I awoke the next morning to find Dani leaning against the door across the room, snoring. “Dani!” I said loudly, and wasn’t surprised to find she didn’t respond. Sucking in air as my feet touched down on the icy stone floor, I darted across the chamber. I gave her a solid shake which snapped her to life in front of me.
“Why yes, Mister Kitty, I do like square doughnuts…” she said groggily as she returned to this world. “Oh, good morning Kat, did you want square doughnuts too?” I rolled my eyes and tapped my ear at her. She caught on quickly and turned her hearing aids back on.
“Why did you sleep in the chair?”
“Because I didn’t want the King to surprise attack us in our sleep. I sat guard last night.” She stretched and scrambled off the chair.
“Why are you so convinced he’s evil?” I helped tug some of the wrinkles out of her underdress.
“You don’t get the title the ‘Mad King’ by being nice to everyone.” She fluttered her lopsided Pixie wings behind her, knocking out the creases in her crumpled wings. She cursed for a moment then reached behind her trying to fold them back into shape.
“Doesn’t that hurt?” I asked, cringing at the strange clicking sound they made.
“What?” she said, then looked back over her shoulder. “Oh, this? No, not really… at least not as much as trying to iron them.” She saw the shocked look on my face and laughed. “I’m just kidding. Like I would willingly iron,” she said with a snort.
I took a deep breath before giving up. “Shall we get dressed and go get some breakfast?” Ten minutes later we headed for the hall.
“Where is everyone?” I said as we entered a deserted hall. “Did we sleep late or are we just very early?” Dani shrugged, but below us the tables sat empty. You would think that even if Aiden wasn’t there that we would at least find maids or someone.
“Something seems off,” Dani said quietly.
“Ya think?” I snapped. I surveyed our surroundings. “Let’s check the kitchen.” I led the way down the stairs and across the hall to the large castle kitchen. It sat empty except for one lone page sitting with his head resting on the table, sleeping. Dani tried giving the lad a shake but he continued to slumber.
She paused for a moment studying her hand. “Kat, don’t touch anything.” I blinked at her but dropped my hand back to my side. “Everything is covered in Pixie dust.” I started to ask but she cut me off. “Not mine.”
Nodding, I led the way to explore more of the castle. Everywhere we went the residents were sleeping. When we arrived at Aiden’s chamber I knocked, hoping I would get some answer, but none came. Taking my courage in hand I watched as Dani pushed the door open before I went in. Inside I found just what I feared, King Aiden asleep under the influence of Pixie dust.
“Uhhh Kat, I think you should see this,” Dani called from across the room. I avoided touching anything during our search like she had recommended as I made my way over to where she stood by the window.
With a sigh she pulled back the curtain revealing a wall of thick-thorned vines. “I don’t think these should be here.”
“Maybe they’re just lazy about the gardening?” I offered as a weak explanation.
“Maybe some Pixies bombed the castle with dust and covered it in thorns like in Sleeping Beauty.”
“Ok, interesting theory, but why weren’t we affected?”
She smiled and shrugged uncomfortably. “As I mentioned, I don’t trust him,” she pointed to the sleeping King. “I warded us against EVERYTHING before I fell asleep.”
“Including other Pixies?”
“Especially other Pixies, they can be vicious,” she said with a shudder.
Carefully we made our way out of the King’s chambers and to the main door leading out into the baily. I pulled the door open to find the castle was sealed by big, thorny vines just like in Sleeping Beauty. “What the heck?”
“Calm down,” she told me. “In the story the Prince rescues her from the Dragon holding her captive and the entire Kingdom awakens.”
“Yes, but my Prince IS a dragon!”
“Well, nobody’s perfect.”