The Deadly Dressmaker

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Chapter Eighteen

Back in her cozy little apartment above the agency, the Fairy Godmother focused on the crystal ball resting on the table before her. The orb glowed with a mysterious purple light that swirled within. Suddenly the image of an old man appeared. He was tall and slender though he looked formidable in his silver-trimmed black robes. He had no hair on his head save for a long white beard and mustache and bushy eyebrows beneath which peered a pair of sharp black eyes.

Aryssa Thornhart, Godmother of the Kingdom of Davenmour, for what do you dare to summon me?” His voice boomed loud enough to rattle the windows.

“Archmage Yrledeash, it is a matter of great urgency-” Aryssa started to say.

“It regards the death of the Princess of Davenmour?”

“It does.”

“Willow Fairy Hazelbite has issued a complaint against you in this case. She has requested sanctions for overstepping your bounds.”

Aryssa fumed. That gleeking flap-dragon went over her head! She reminded herself she had to remain calm and professional if she wanted her case to be taken seriously. Clearly, this was an act of desperation on the Mystic’s part. She probably expected the Godmother to back off after the attack on her office and if any of her staff had gotten killed, well, that incident coupled with Hazelbite’s report would effectively cut off Aryssa’s career.

Aryssa took a cleansing breath and evenly replied,

“I have no doubt, seeing as my investigation has uncovered a breach in her own duties.”

“This is a very serious charge, Godmother.”

“It is. I also charge the Mystic and two accomplices for conspiracy, sabotage, and bearing false witness against a member of the Fae.”

The Archmage went silent again.

“You have evidence to substantiate your claims?” He said finally.

“I do, Archmage.”

Aryssa laid out the findings of the case and concluded by saying,

“I request permission to journey to the island of Tubber Tintye in order to complete my findings and close the case.”

The Archmage was silent for another moment before responding,

“Granted.”

The purple swirling light appeared again and a golden shield the size of Aryssa’s fist appeared before her. It was the Fae equivalent of an arrest warrant issued by the Department of Divine Justice.

Aryssa tucked it away with a sigh of relief. The DODJ was none too pleased when she decided to change careers. A crime-fighting, case-solving Fairy Godmother was ridiculous but Aryssa persisted and over time even the department came to realize there was merit in her work. When the new Archmage came onboard, Aryssa was nervous he would give her trouble but so far he seemed even more open-minded than his predecessor.

When the crystal cleared, Aryssa placed her hands on either side and gazed deep. She drew to her the power of the wind and sky, reaching for space and time itself, and began to chant:

Ex terras hominis, aurea quaeris tibi litora.

Fae per cortinarum vela, qua sub arboribus Drake ludere.

Ibi per tempus quo Griffinus caelumque conscendere.

Et trans maria aeternitatis, Tubber Tintye ego ad te vocas!

Aryssa felt her weightlessness in her belly and kept her eyes on the golden path before her as she traveled. The bombardment of voices that hit her was expected and she easily brushed them away for later. Any time a Fairy Godmother travels by star flight she is inundated by the dreams and wishes of all those who mistake her for a shooting star. Later, the traditional Fairy Godmother would sift through them to determine importance and urgency with wishes that violate the three rules being ignored completely.

As the granting of wishes no longer fell into Aryssa’s jurisdiction, she would forward what she collected to her Junior. Yitri Aspenshimmer was a bright and eager young thing who, at 150 years of age, already wanted to leave her mark on the world. Her methods were a bit unorthodox but effective so Aryssa tended to turn a blind eye. So long as the rules remained intact, the Fairy Godmother had no need to worry about Davenmour’s Godmother Apprentice.

There was a sudden flash and Aryssa found herself standing on a golden sandy beach, lavender waves lapping softly at her boots. A dense blue forest towered before her and the Godmother could already hear the beasts crashing around within.

Then three Manticore burst through the trees and approached her, slowly. The fearsome creatures had the body of a lion with red skin, sunlight glinted off the black claws of their large paws as they sank into the sand. Each had the tail of a scorpion which swished lazily through the air in time with their gait. Unlike a scorpion’s tail, Aryssa noted, the tip of a Manticore’s tail was more of an arrowhead and shot like one too. Two of the Manticore sat back on their haunches while the third continued forward.

Each of these monsters had the square-jawed face of a man, the face of the leader of the pack had light blue eyes and a long thick nose. He grinned at Aryssa, displaying rows upon rows of sharp black teeth. The smile was not a friendly one.

“What business doth thou have here?” The leader bellowed.

“I request an audience with the queen.”

“The queen sees no one.”

“She will see me.”

“And who are you?”

“I am Aryssa Thornhart, Fairy Godmother to the Kingdom of Davenmour. I call as a representative of the Department of Divine Justice.”

The Manticore’s eyes glazed over for a moment and he remained still. Aryssa waited patiently for the ritual to conclude. After about a minute, he returned his attention to Aryssa.

“Her Majesty will see you.”

The other Manticore stood aside as the trees parted and Aryssa saw a path leading straight to the golden palace nestled in the mountains beyond the forest. The Godmother nodded her thanks and made her way to the castle.

All was silent around her as she passed the trees and Aryssa could feel thousands of eyes upon her. Then she made her way along a maze of rope bridges that dotted a blackened hillside that ran with rivers of fire. After an age of stepping carefully to avoid singing the hem of her gown in the bubbling lava, Aryssa reached her destination. A pair of oversized golden gates swung apart as she approached allowing the Fairy Godmother passage but as she neared the front of the golden palace, she paused to look up at the sky and frowned. It had taken her the better part of a day to get to the castle and the sun should be sinking in the West yet the bright orb continued to shine directly overhead. It was one of the elements she disliked about the Otherworld. Whatever created it clearly had no appreciation for a cool evening breeze beneath a purple sky.

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