CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and EIGHTY-THREE
Tuesday morning — 7:05 a.m. MT
“Hello Princess Edith,” Heather said as Edie entered the kitchen.
Blushing at the formal greeting, Edie looked around to see who might have overheard Heather.
“No one else is here at the moment,” Heather said evenly.
The electric kettle turned off and Heather went to pour the water into a pot to brew tea.
“You knew that,” Heather said, looking up at Edie.
“I did,” Edie said.
“How can I be of service to you, Princess?” Heather asked.
“I … uh …” Edie swallowed hard. “Can I talk to you as Hedone?”
“We are one and the same,” Heather said.
“Ah, I’ve never been sure,” Edie said.
Heather nodded. She set the teapot onto the kitchen table and went back to the cabinets for mugs.
“Milk?” Heather asked.
Edie shook her head. Heather poured Edie a cup.
“I know you don’t like it very strong,” Heather said.
“It’s not that I don’t like it strong,” Edie said with a nod. “I’m just not used to it. For most of my life, tea has been a luxury only available at court. Even then it was very weak.”
“Me, as well,” Heather said with a smile.
“Oh.” Edie chuckled. “Right.”
“I am not as old as you, though,” Heather said, her voice lingering over the world “old.”
Edie laughed outright, and Heather grinned.
“We only have a few more minutes alone,” Heather said. “What can I do for you, Princess?”
“You know how there was almost a war between the Fairy Queens?” Edie asked.
“I remember,” Heather said.
“Um, well, the Fairy Queens are still on retreat,” Edie said. “Abi thinks they will never return from retreat. Mari says that she went to see our mother, but Queen Fand didn’t recognize her. Didn’t recognize her!”
Edie shook her head.
“All of that is fine, of course,” Edie said. “The Fairy Queen sisters need time together or maybe they were always supposed to be together or whatever …”
Edie took a breath and lost confidence. She looked down at her hands.
“There are still three entire, separate communities that have built up over the millennia,” Heather said.
“The fairy communities are in chaos,” Edie said. “I mean, in our Queendom, the fairies are coping. Fin spent the summer creating a kind of ‘Board of Directors’ to advise what might be best for our community. But we are lucky. Mother has five capable, adult children. Our father is still there. And Fin is able to keep the community going while going to school here. The other communities aren’t so lucky. There has been a lot of fighting.”
“And a lot of death,” Heather said.
Edie’s head jerked up.
“So, you know,” Edie said.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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