Lyn Thorne-Alder (aldersprig) wrote,
Lyn Thorne-Alder
aldersprig

A Present for the Queen of Underhill, a story for the Giraffe Call

For moon_fox's prompt

Names from the third paragraph on from here
.


The Queen of Underhill was bored, and that was never a good thing. When Her Majesty suffered ennui for too long, things started to blow up, people started to transform, rooms vanished and moved – the Queen was Underhill, after all. If she remained in that state long enough, the effects began to ripple to the sunlit world, and then the real trouble would begin.

Her courtiers gathered around her, dancing, singing, trying their best to cheer her up. The Duke of the Western March performed an epic sonnet, complete with magical effects and a storm of glitter. The Countess of the Darkest Waters brought in a troupe of goblins who danced wildly, cavorting up the walls and on the ceiling. The Exiled King of the Bitter North brought a cello that played itself, herself, a sob in every long wailing note. The Queen of Underhill yawned. Seventeen elves spouted another pair of limbs each, and a cow in the sunlit world began giving strawberry milk that gave one visions.

They ramped up their efforts. The Baroness of the Great Mother's Scythe brought in a troupe of sword-dancers, their long blades drawing blood with every dance step, until the whole troupe collapsed, half-dead, at Her Majesty’s feet.

The Queen nodded off. Six goblins grew eagle wings, and, above, an eagle egg hatched a phoenix.

The Duchy of the Eight Windy Trenches came, all thousand elves and boggarts, boggins and pixies strong, carrying a tapestry that moved and spoke, telling the tale of another land; with a tug of the right threads, the viewer could change the lives of the people in the story.

The Queen tied the strings into a complex knot, and doomed the story to stagnation; seven of the eight windy trenches filled with ice.

The strange men of Lawful Drake's County brought a new clerk, a tiny dragonet who had learned to read and write in the high script, although its reciting voice left something to be desired. The Queen left its cage unlocked, and the whole High Hall was filled with dragonet shit that etched patterns into the marble floors and made the place smell of burnt ink.

Finally, amused out of his sulk at being kidnapped, and tired of randomly gaining and losing limbs, the Queen’s human companion, ignored now for nearly a year, coaxed a minor noble to take him on a trip to the daylight world. There, he made a deal with a small child, paying in golden dragonet eggs, and returned to the High Hall just in time to find it scrubbed and shining again.

Shamelessly, he used his position as Queen’s Companion to cut in front of the scantily-clad delegation from the Parting Province, and stepped up on the dais, where few were allowed. “Perhaps,” he whispered, just so, so that the arching vaults of the High Hall echoed every word to every corner and every ear, “what my Queen needs is not another magical frivolity. Perhaps what you crave is the mundane.”

“And you would know, you tireseome man,” the Queen yawned. “Have I not sent you home yet?”

“Any day now, your Majesty, any day. But first, my gift.” The box was tiny and cardboard, un-adorned and un-wrapped. It was not the sort of thing you handed a Queen, certainly not the Queen of Underhill. But he did.

Intrigued, the lady opened the box (six elves regained the proper number of limbs) and peered inside (and three winged goblins plunged to the ground). “Thomas!” she cried (all companions were named Thomas, regardless of their sunlit-realms name). “Thomas, it’s… what is it?”

The tiny thing mewed at her, and a phoenix turned out to be merely a brightly-feathered chicken. “My Queen,” the human murmured, “it’s a kitten.”




This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/203535.html. You can comment here or there.
Tags: giraffecall, giraffecall: result, verse: misc: fantasy
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