“Look at this,” said Chicago, dropping a pile of ash onto the counter.
“What is it?” asked Edith.
“My FAVORITE TAROT CARDS,” said Chicago LOUDLY. “I was asking about the…wait, who is she?” asked Chicago staring at Pansy.
Introductions were made and tea and chocolate cake appeared on the counter. Chicago poured, Edith passed out lavish slabs of cake and the faerie flew to the top of the counter and settled down.
“I mean you no harm,” said Pansy, staring at the cake, which was three times as big as she was.
“Just eat what you can love,” said Edith, licking the thick chocolate from her lips and refilling her fork.
“Thank you,” said Pansy. “As I was saying, my brother and the King feel that they should expand their territory into the human world. I told them I disagreed. I reminded them of the reasons we left this land in the first place, all those thousands of years ago. They said that things have changed since then. Our magick is more powerful than ever and humans are destroying the planet. In the beginning the King simply wanted to put a glamour over all of you to make you less violent, although we are more violent than you are,” she said sadly. “In different ways, of course, but we are. The Queen, who is good and kind, wanted to save the seas, the animals, the land and the air. Many of us agreed with her but some of the others saw only gain and profit for themselves. They don’t care about the water, the animals or the land and air. They want to enslave you for their own purposes. And they can.”
“They sound like politicians,” snapped Tilly, who was leaning against the arch into the other room. “I don’t want to be enslaved any more than I already am and I want some cake, please.”
“Help yourself,” said Edith, who snapped her fingers and sent a slice to Merlin.
“You don’t seem afraid or upset,” said Pansy. “Did you understand what I said?”
“Yes, of course,” said Chicago, her mouth full of cake. “Best cake EVER,” she said groaning softly.
“I agree,” sighed Edith.
“This is delicious,” muttered Tilly, running her finger through the frosting.
“Uh,” said Pansy. “Enslavement of your entire race. That’s a BAD thing.”
“Merlin won’t let it happen,” said Edith smiling.
“I don’t know if he can stop it,” said Pansy quickly.
“Don’t know if I can stop what?” Asked Merlin, reaching for the cake. “Never had cake this good,” he said, putting a quarter of the cake onto his plate. The cake immediately filled the empty space with more cake.
The faerie sighed. “I don’t know if you can stop the fae from taking over the humans.”
“Sure I can, Princess,” laughed Merlin.
“Princess?” said Chicago.
“You’re Princess Pansy Willow Tree?” asked Tilly.
The faerie reddened and tried to look invisible.
“She is,” said Merlin, giving her a hug. “You’re all grown up Pansy and you’re as beautiful as your mother. How is Wisp O’ the Willow?”
“She’s fine, thank you, sir,” said Pansy. “But my brother and father are going to enslave the humans and I want to help you stop them.”
“When you were born,” said Merlin, “I held you in my arms. Your mother and I have always been good friends, you know. Anyway, she told me that you were a warrior, someone special. That you would grow to be a guiding light for the Silver Court. We both knew from your first breath that you were something wonderful.”
“Thank you, sir, but how are you going to stop them?” asked Pansy, impatiently.
“Wow, who’s the princess?” asked cat. “I haven’t seen her around here before,” he said slinking across the counter.
While more introductions were made, Dali walked in. “I will paint you,” he said, to the princess. “Your wings tattered and torn, with blood running over ticking clocks and an anteater eating apples under a giraffe who is standing in the rain. I can see it,” He said, his arm already painting in the air. “I see it all, yes, and maybe the American dollar in the background, on fire, burning…?
“Sounds wonderful,” said Edith, hoping to cut the description short. “Can’t wait. Why don’t you get started.”
“Yes, I’ll start now,” he said, leaving the room. “Maybe more blood, thick and red, dripping from the dollar…” he whispered to himself as he went.
“How do you get ANYTHING done?” asked Pansy, frantically. “There are constant distractions and interruptions, you can’t even finish a sentence, let alone have a full conversa…”
“Have you seen Arthur?” asked Lance, sticking his head into the room. “Is that cake?”
“No, I haven’t seen Arthur and yes, that’s cake,” said Edith, fixing a plate for him.
The Princess gave up and lay flat on her back, mumbling to herself. Meanwhile, Chicago was telling Merlin how her cards went up in flames when she asked a question about the faeries. Lance said that he was feeling back to normal but didn’t remember ever leaving Camelot. He licked his fork and asked for more cake. The White cat returned, a mouse riding on his back, and jumped up to chat with cat. Everything was going splendidly when suddenly, the dragons let out a roar that knocked books off the shelves and made the cake disappear.