Due to the time it took to complete the Advent Story poll this story is going to be a little less polished than the other one and I’m not certain that this should even technically be an Advent Story. However it’s been a very easy story to write, so I’m going to keep going with it and work out later where it fits into the timeline.
When the last of the fae who’d made the choice to travel to Earth had passed her Willow took one last look at the world she was leaving behind and stepped through the door. She left it open, just in case someone else chose to follow them, but set a time limit, knowing that it wouldn’t be long until the loss of all the magic of the world turned it into a wasteland, and she didn’t know what might happen or what creatures might evolve. As she did she made wished, feeling unready for the jobs ahead of her, that she would find her father awake and capable of being King again. It didn’t seem likely, but she needed him.
The first person Willow saw, and she breathed an unexpected sigh of relief when she did, was Alder. He glanced at her, smiling, before turning back to whatever it was he’d been doing. She was grateful that someone was on her side, because the other elders weren’t. It was their opinion that she’d made a huge mistakes ever since she’d stepped into the Council Hall and taken control. They believed, and she didn’t quite know why, that her father would have waited to make certain that there was no other choice, when it seemed utterly obvious that there wasn’t time to waste, because even their King had been affected.
Slowly Willow started walking through the camp. With their arrival the place of magic had grown, the way Alder had believed it would, so there was more than enough space for the fae who had followed her, but that didn’t make things simple. With the fae things were never simple. There had been times when all she wanted to do was hide somewhere, so she didn’t have to deal with the infighting, the hatred of mixed bloods, and all the other problems she’d realised existed. Unfortunately hiding wasn’t an option.
Running a hand through her hair Willow tried to think, but she felt eyes on her from numerous places and that made it hard for her to focus on anything else. She waited, knowing someone would need her help, because she was, until her father woke up, in charge of everything. That included talking to the humans, who needed to know about the fae sooner rather than later. Soon they would want to explore their new world and she wasn’t going to let them happen to uninformed humans.
Willow’s plan, now that she was on Earth, was to check on her father and then… Sleep was very tempting. She hadn’t been sleeping well before the move, worrying about all the things that might go wrong, but she didn’t think that getting the main problem out of the way would really help that much. There were too many other things to deal with, to secure her race’s survival, even though she thought that, maybe, she should have let them all bury their heads in the sand and cause their extinction. It was too hard to see the fae as a race that were worth saving, considering what they had done. Yet she was the one who had done all the hard work to get them to Earth.
Instead of sleeping Willow needed to talk to the Prime Minister. He was the one who needed to know about the arrival of the fae and could spread the word quickly. As long as he didn’t decide that she was nothing more than an hallucination. She sighed. There were too many things she should have done that she hadn’t had time to do before the move, because the elders had buried their heads in the sand for too long, making the fae invaders rather than seekers of sanctuary. Her father might have done the same. She had no way of knowing and she should have asked before the duty of being the stand-in Queen was dumped on her shoulders.
Right at that moment, as Willow thought of all the things she still needed to do, she felt overwhelmed. Until the magic had taken her family away from her she’d never even thought it was possible that she would end up being Queen. She was the youngest of twelve children and she had no idea why she had been the one to survive, when she was the youngest, hadn’t been given any training because the likelihood of something happening to all eleven of her siblings was very slim, and didn’t have any to rely on. Except, maybe, Alder, who seemed to understand how difficult things were for her.
Like all the other comatose fae Willow’s father was in the medical tent. The elders had argued about that, but she knew it was the best place for him. He was somewhere the healers could look after him and the best healers could also look after the other people who needed them. One thing her father had taught her, probably more through luck than judgement, was that she always needed to think of those she was in charge of. Now that she was in charge of more than three thousand fae she knew that the only choice she could make was to keep the all healers with those who needed them.
Finally Willow stepped into the medical tent, grateful that no one had stopped her to talk. They all knew that the King was in a bad way, so she guessed that was the only reason, and for the first time she felt she might be able to take on the mammoth task she had ahead of her. One of the healers made his way over to her, looking grim.
“Good evening, Princess,” he said, “I’m glad that you’re finally here.” He ran a hand through his hair. “We… Every one of the healers here knows that you made the right choice in travelling to Earth, but unfortunately it wasn’t in time for some. No one blames you. When you took charge things began happening and thank you. Thank you for making the difficult choices. Without you no one in this tent would have a chance but there are a few who are beginning to respond to treatment.”
“He’s not well.” The healer started walking and Willow knew she needed to follow him. “It seems like he is beginning to respond, but that’s doesn’t mean he’s ever going to wake up.”
Willow nodded. “I know.”
“The chances of him waking have increased now that we’re on a world with magic. It’s increased for everyone who’s in a coma due to the lack of magic. Unfortunately Earth doesn’t have as much magic as some of the fae here need to survive and I think your father may be one of them, although if he had of travelled here by choice his body would have coped differently.”
“I had heard that before, from another healer I talked to.”
Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.