"Go ahead," the old faerie smiled, touching young Fyora's
shoulder. "You have a hard, winding path in front of you. Your nature will make
you strive for good, but not everyone sees that. You will be a good ruler of Faerieland,
though what the queenship does to yourself... only time will tell."
She took out a large staff that had a beautiful,
light-blue touch to it and handed it to the purple-clad faerie. "Hereby I proclaim
the new Queen of Faerieland, Queen Fyora!"
The audience below applauded, though not a lot
of them looked confident in their new queen. Some of them wore doubtful, puzzled
smiles as they clapped, and a group of dark faeries even booed. Clutching to
her staff, Fyora thought that it was a good time to say something. However,
she mustn't make any promises that she couldn't keep, or they would soon grow
to be disappointed of her.
"You were chosen, not only because it was your
birthright," the faerie behind her whispered, "but because you have the heart
for it. You're very mature for your age and have good judgment. I wish you luck."
The faerie that had introduced the Queen of Faerieland
vanished in a puff of smoke, and Fyora was left there on that big stage all
Taking a deep breath, the Faerie Queen began
to nervously utter her first words as a queen. The hand that held the large
staff shivered, and she could feel the cold wind wrap around her legs as she
spoke. But everyone looking at Fyora didn't see that. They just saw a Queen
that was promising and ordering everybody around, just like any regent did.
Not bothering to look at all, they never saw her weak side, perhaps because
they had never thought of looking for it.
Some years had passed since Fyora was crowned
to Queen. She had ruled her land well, just as the faerie behind her back had
promised. Despite having a palace filled with servants and attendants, the Faerie
Queen felt lonely.
Maybe the cause of it was that they never really
connected. Most of them just performed their duties like monotonous machines,
never making the slightest mistake in fear of angering her, the Queen. She had
seen them freely wander about their quarters, talking cheerfully with each other
with a voice that never would be used to her. To them, Fyora was their master,
and all they could do was to obey. None of them even dared to take the initiative
of breaking a rule or two.
Then again, she only had herself to blame. Fyora
had tried her hardest to create a good, peaceful country and succeeded at it.
There were no disturbances, though the conflict with Jhudora had almost turned
into one. The average citizen of Faerieland was hardworking, earnest and never
went out of the line. That was Fyora's definition of peace, and she had turned
the precious land that was entrusted to her into what she believed was right.
But not a lot of people believed that. Sure,
the faeries were smiling and friendly, but deep down they all knew what the
Queen said. Hard work is the only thing that lasts in the long run.
Despite the fact that everyone was following
the rules, many of the faeries were free-spirited and independent. Fyora herself
never strayed from her path, not even the times when there were rocks and potholes.
She did not consider that listening of her servants' conversations was something
wrong, because she had to know they were functioning properly.
"What a Queen!" she heard one of the faeries
exclaim one day when she listened to them. Fyora started to feel disheartened.
That sorrowful feeling always entered her chest when she listened to them.
"Working us so hard..."
"Doesn't even lift a finger herself..."
"It's all work, work and work! Doesn't she know
how to have any fun?"
"I'll bet they made her queen just so she could
torture us like this."
"Always being so calm and nodding like that...
A perfect creature put in our world to make us suffer."
"And we never get to have any fun wars like those
pets down there!"
"On top of that, she hushed down that scandal
with Jhudora. And it was so fun too!"
Fyora turned away from her crystal ball, her
vision blurred with tears. Today's comments were worse than ever. Did they really
despise her that much? She wasn't perfect! The Faerie Queen had just strove
for justice, did what was best and upheld her reputation...
Many times she had regretted taking the position,
and all those ingrates really made her wish that she hadn't accepted the offer.
Then again, the queenship was hers by birth. Fyora sighed, wondering what would've
happened if she had refused.
But she had never refused anything in her life.
From the cradle she had been taught to be good, kind, fair and everything that
a faerie should be. Fyora was supposed to be the perfect faerie, but often she
felt that she was anything but that.
The hardworking Faerie Queen shook her head,
returning to her paperwork. Even if she did all this hard work, she was never
going to be appreciated. They were all expecting her to perform her duties flawlessly,
as if she was a machine. Fyora sighed and continued to fill in papers.
She worked beyond midnight, and by the crack
of dawn there were more than a dozen empty coffee cups on her table. Feeling
sad and tired, Fyora reminded herself that this was her duty. She was part of
what made Faerieland work, and even if they did not recognize her for that she
had to keep working, or it would all fall apart.
"May I have an interview?" a girl with black
hair asked at the door. The shocked servants stared at her in horror.
"W-with Queen Fyora?" one of them finally managed
"Yeah!" the girl said. "Tell her that I'm a Neopian
Times reporter!" She smiled a smile so open they had to let her in, and soon
they were treating her as if she was a queen.
The Faerie Queen, who had been staying up all
night, did not wish to receive anyone. Still, that cheerful girl talked her
way through the numerous servants and attendants. She entered the Queen's room,
finding the legendary faerie doing paperwork.
"Excuse me," the reporter said with a friendly
tap on the Queen's shoulder. Unlike all the faeries in Faerieland, she was not
dazzled by the great magnificence of the Faerie Queen. Standing there, the girl
couldn't help but to feel that Fyora was a very earnest faerie just by observing
Surprised, the Queen quickly regained control
of herself. She neatly folded the papers and placed them in a section. Then
the faerie took out a silver tray with milk and cookies on it, kindly offering
the food to the reporter.
"Hi," the girl said energetically. "I'm a Neopian
Times reporter, and I'm here for an interview. I must confess that I haven't
booked a time, but I hope that's okay."
"I guess..." Fyora muttered, secretly feeling
happy. Here was someone who actually dared to break the high and mighty invisible
wall that seemed to exist between her and everybody else.
"Well, I'm just going to ask a few questions.
It won't take a long time."
"Okay," the Faerie Queen said courteously, exercising
her best manner. She shuffled her skirt slightly, trying to retain her calm.
"First of all, what did you feel when you were
"Surprised," Fyora replied honestly.
"Wow..." the reporter said. Fyora sensed that
she had given the wrong answer. This girl was like everyone else, getting awed
at those typical things. "I thought you would've at least felt happy."
"Happy?" the faerie replied, as if that word
was new to her. She had seen much happiness, but feeling it herself...
"Well, aren't you happy?" Seeing the Queen hesitate,
the girl went on. "Nevermind. I'm wasting time. Anyway, do you like your job?"
"Like...?" Fyora said. This girl had so many
stunning questions. The faerie knew that she did her job because she had been
told to. "I suppose," she said maturely, not completely sure. She knew that
she didn't totally hate her job, but those events yesterday made her doubt if
she really liked it...
"Ah... And last," the girl looked at the giant
clock in the room. "I've got to go soon, so there's only time for one more question.
When is your birthday?"
"The second day in the next month," Fyora replied.
Then she realized what she had just said and stared at the girl. The Faerie
Queen felt overwhelmed. Here was a reporter, bursting in and chatting happily
like she had always wished someone to do. And now she was even caring enough
to ask about her birthday!
"Thank you," the reporter said in a professional
voice. "Thanks a lot, Queeny. Anyhow, I've got to go now but maybe we can talk
later. Sorry to have interrupted you in the middle of your important work."
"I don't mind," Fyora said, feeling it with every
fiber in her body. "I really don't mind."
"Well, I'll have to get going," the girl said,
smiling. "Or there won't be enough time!"
The days passed slowly, like they usually did.
That odd, short interview had been the only interesting thing for Fyora during
that week. She did take notice of her servants' happiness; how they exclaimed
that they were going to a special event.
The Queen knew that she would never be able to
take part in it. Sometimes she found that she strongly wished for someone to
come here and whisk her away from this ungrateful job. Then Fyora would chide
herself for being thoughtless and work harder. She should be thankful, and just
be a good queen.
Her special day came without anything special
happening. The same old boring lunch... To her surprise, the servants all asked
to get off early. Wanting to be good, Fyora agreed and pardoned them.
Secretly she was wondering why, but since everyone
had left her, she would just have to work harder. It wasn't as if she would
be important in their special event anyway.
Fyora drowned herself in more coffee and made
a quick dinner. She was not the world's best cook, but a decent though somewhat
odd-smelling pie was produced after an hour in the kitchen. The Queen ate it
up all alone, still using her perfect manners.
She told herself that if she knew she had done
those good deeds, then it was all right. She didn't need to be deserving, didn't
need others' recognition.
Feeling rather curious since her servants hadn't
returned, the Queen left her desk. As she walked out of the palace, she felt
satisfied at having completed the work for the day. All the papers were lying
neatly in folders and plastic pockets, and the spellbooks were alphabetically
A firework at the Rainbow Fountain caught her
attention. Curious, Fyora called on a cloud to take her down there. From above,
she could see a stage and all the citizens of Faerieland as the audience.
What in the world was going on? When everyone
turned to look at her, the Queen realized that she had thought out loud. She
descended gracefully, hoping to cover up her mistake.
"Good timing, Queen of Faerieland," a familiar
voice said. Fyora whirled around to see the reporter that had stirred up the
"Well," the girl said, turning to the audience.
"Let's all hooray for our Queen, shan't we?" She clapped once and said, "Hooray!"
And everyone did that, like they always do at the end of a fairytale.
"Happy birthday to you, our dear Queen!" she
smiled. "But not only that..." the reporter looked at the audience. "How many
of you think of her as someone kind, someone that extends a helping hand?"
This time the audience was quiet. Many of the
faeries were looking at each other, wondering what purpose this writer's speech
"See?" the girl said, stretching out an arm.
"That's why you should appreciate her more! The peace and happiness that you
have had for the last few years are due to her hard work, not just to yours.
Please appreciate her more." The reporter smiled. "Hereby I proclaim this day
to be Fyora Day! We shall all think of her kindly, because we do not do that
often, and appreciate her fully."
"Thank you," the subject of discussion whispered
as tears filled her eyes. Every face that was looking at her weren't giving
those cold, hard stares they used to. They had been touched by that writer's
speech, and were now softer and not so stiff.
"Thank you, Queen Fyora!" one of them said, and
the Queen realized that it was her personal attendant, Lyra. That was only the
beginning. Fyora smiled as she heard all of the praise her, praises that she
had always thought herself deserving of but not trying to think too much all
about it. Now her wish had been fulfilled...
"Let's have a happy Fyora Day!" the girl said.
As the reporter stepped down from the stage, the Queen felt a strange feeling
settle over her. It was not just happiness, but so much more. They were all
staring at her, just like the time she had been crowned queen. But this time
they were appreciating, applauding whole-heartedly and the faerie felt that
she wasn't alone.
Her serious side took over, and suddenly Fyora
realized that this was all foolishness. All this folly had gone to her head,
and she returned to her down-to-earth nature. With horror the Queen remembered
that she had forgotten to dust off her snowglobe collection and shuddered.
Well, that would have to wait. Fyora searched
for the girl that had brought her so much happiness in the crowd, found the
reporter waving and smiled. Her heart was once again filled with joy, as she
took a deep breath. Every eye was set upon her as the Queen gave the grandest
speech with an unusually shy voice, filled with promises and hopes.
It had taken an outsider for her to realize it,
but now Fyora realized that perhaps being queen wasn't all that bad. Most of
them said that they hate you, but once you get closer you know that they really
do appreciate you, after all. After giving her very best and putting her true
feelings into the speech, the Faerie Queen closed her eyes, her mature side
also satisfied. This was truly being a Queen. And right now, Faerieland was
hers, not only in practice but also in heart.