Pixie is not a derogatory term for a Fairy.
Felicia never left Southland until her boss sent for her to visit Kingdom City. Taking her best friend Gin-gin, who happens to be a Fairy, the two embark on an adventure meeting pirates, Trolls, Elves and the dashing Commander Moberly along the way. They race to find the last Pixie before the pirates do.
You might think things are idyllic growing up in a fairytale kingdom. It's all right
- kind of boring really. It isn't all wishes and daydreams come true - at least none of mine have. But then I'm too pragmatic to waste energy hoping for things that may never happen. And don't forget there are evil creatures as well as benevolent ones. From the sounds of some newspapers, you might think they had us well out numbered. Luckily I live in the southern tip of Kismania. Things run pretty smoothly down here. Plus we have fantastic weather year round.
If it weren't for the fact that to get to town we have to cross a bridge I could almost forget all about the darker forces. See it's a Troll bridge and you either give up an offering or trick your way across. Mankus is the father Troll of the family that claims that passage.
When I was younger, every crossing was an act of courage but since I learned he likes a nice ripe fruit it isn't so bad. We have a diverse grove growing on our farm so it's easy to bring enough for the whole clan. I can't say if he feels the same but I consider him a friend. If you need proof, once he ran off a pack of wild wolfs that tracked my brother Taylor and me home one night.
Trolls get a bad reputation. It can't be an easy life lurking under bridges or in caves unable to be in the sun for more than a few minutes straight. Well, Mankus doesn't seem so bad and he's the only adult Troll I've met in Southland. Granted it isn't a proper sampling size to declare all Trolls are misunderstood. Whether he's an exception or not - I like him. Mankus is a shining example that not all darker beings are destined to be evil.
His Troll kids, Winky and Dinky, are kind of cute. They lost some of their appeal when they started teething and wanted to bite everything including my fingers. Winky, his oldest and the daughter, has taken to gnawing on tree limbs to quell her urges. Dinky hasn't picked up the wood habit but he was grounding up pebbles from the riverbed in his mouth the other day. That can't taste good but if it keeps him from snapping at me when I hand him a fruit, I won't complain.
Gin-gin, my best friend and a Fairy, says that Trolls were once much prettier than they are today. Apparently they considered themselves so handsome that they took to hiding for privacy. After generations of living in dark dank places their beautiful skin
turned green and rough and hence their current appearance. At least they don't grow taller than four feet but don't let that fool you. They are quite strong. Stronger than an Ogre some say but since I have never met an Ogre, I can't be sure. Most people pay up out of intimidation. The few who brave across without a better plan get a stone thrown their way.
As for Fairies, like Gin-gin, they are stunningly beautiful with perfect milky complexions and long flowing hair. Gin-gin's is pure white and even without moonlight, she shines in the night. Her eyes are pale blue. She's tall for her kind at ten inches and now that she's courting age, late forties for Fairies, she has a hard time finding males taller than her. There are some. The thing with Fairies is they are very particular on appearances. All the girls like tall guys and all the guys like short girls so she has a tough time getting the taller ones to take notice for long.
She would have better luck if she didn't spend so much time with me. Fairies don't trust humans as a general rule of thumb, at least not the full grown ones. Her clan has not kept their displeasure in her choice of friends silent. Despite that we're pretty inseparable. Perhaps because we share a firm believe that all life is equal. Not all humans feel the same. Many believe because we are the majority that we're the top of the animal pyramid.
The Proclaimer, the official news source of Kismania and a rag publication in my opinion, has ads for Fairy sales. It's illegal but they cover up their tracks by using coded language like Pixie power for so-many doubloons. Why doesn't the King put an end to this? The guards make raids but the ads never seem to end.
I don't understand if they are magical how Fairies can be trapped in birdcages, which is how most are kept captive. Gin-gin says their magic is greatly hindered without their freedom. Too bad that doesn't discourage folks from collecting them anyway and forcing them to do menial magical tasks for their keep.
The Proclaimer is wrong to allow it but that paper has no scruples. It is all anti- kingdom propaganda except for page six which is dedicated to the social elite's interactions. I'll admit this much - whoever does the artwork for their paper is fantastic. They use a new device called a camera and the pictures are incredibly lifelike. As much as I hate myself for reading those pages, I do.
I write for Insights, the next most circulated news, which is merely a tenth the size of The Proclaimer. If we bothered to sensationalize we'd probably catch up but we adhere to moral standards like keeping the details to facts and not speculation. Quinn, the owner and editor of Insights, hired me last fall during a visit to Southland. He needed someone to report on our remote village. Really there isn't a whole lot going on in my neck of the woods. I get a kick to see my articles in print. Mostly I cover the occasional tropical storm, weddings, births and any town event is big news like the Harvest and Summer Fiestas.
On Quinn's recommendation, I use a pseudonym. My official reporter name is Susie Nimm but outside of my family, Gin-gin and a few co-workers, no one knows that. Everyone else calls me Felicia, short for Felicidad. It's suits me better than Susie Nimm, which I consider my alter ego.