Welcome to the conclusion of “The Silver Queen”. If you haven’t yet, read Part 1 here. Otherwise, enjoy!
The night was dimly lit by the full moon Faye knew was hiding behind the clouds coating the sky. The drake followed the marks she’d left in the trees, pondering her wish all the way to the clearing. New colors were insufficient; she should definitely wish for a different form too. Her gossamer wings were just as pathetic as her dull scales. She much preferred leathery ones, or feathered ones, or even fins. Why couldn’t she have been born with any of those? Instead, she looked like an oversized butterfly. Hopefully after tonight, she never would again.
The clearing was even more beautiful than she’d remembered it in the daylight. There was the pool, just as the dwarf had described. All she had to do now was close her eyes and make a wish. Simple enough, right? Right?
No room for doubt, Faye. Believe.
Faye took one last look down at her plain scales before turning up to the thinning clouds. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
She paused. What was it, again? To be red and gold? To have feathered wings? To have more magic than all the other drakes combined?
Don’t overthink, Faye. Wish for what’s in your heart.
“I wish to be a new me.”
A soft breeze blew through the clearing. Had it worked? Was she here? Faye dared to lift her eyelids a tiny crack, but nothing seemed different. Unable to stand the suspense, the drake opened her eyes and looked down.
She thought she’d be prepared for disappointment. She was wrong. The sight of those same old white scales seemed to pierce her heart like a sword. Maybe she didn’t believe hard enough. Or worse, maybe the dwarf was right, and there really was no witch.
No, there has to be a chance.
She wanted to believe there was still hope, but several more tries yielded no results. Heartbroken, Faye approached the pool to stare at the plain dragon in the water, doomed to be ordinary forever.
I’ll never be special, she thought, her tear rippling the water. I’ll never be anything but me.
The white dragon turned away, ready to head back home in defeat, when a sudden noise prompted her to look back in alarm. As the clouds shifted, the moonlight revealed a small figure standing across the clearing…
Terror overtook Faye the second she spotted the human child. It was a dark-haired female, six years old at most, and she wore a long dress that was torn at the knee. She too had tears in her eyes.
The drake didn’t have time to hide from the girl before their gazes locked. What now? Humans were dangerous, even little ones. Dragons were taught to scare them away with magic, but that advice wouldn’t help an Achromatic. She’d have to run and hope the creature wouldn’t believe ever having seen her in the first place.
Before she could move an inch, however, the girl’s small voice broke the minute-long silence.
Whatever fear the drake felt vanished instantly. Fairy queen? Only a child could reach such an outlandish conclusion. She wasn’t a fairy, much less a queen. She was a dragon! A small one, yes, but a dragon nonetheless.
“Fairy queen! Fairy queen!”
Suddenly annoyed, Faye decided to react, to prove that she was no fairy, that she was something far greater than those tiny creatures who wasted their time floating among flowers. But upon turning away to prepare the scariest roar she could manage, the young dragon suddenly froze at the sight that met her pale blue eyes.
The image in the water was so magnificent that it took Faye a full minute to recognize it as her own reflection. The moonlight had illuminated her scales to a shimmering silver, and her translucent wings had come to life in an opalescent display such as never had been seen on the back of any beast. It was a sight that took her breath away.
With fresh tears in her eyes, this time of joy, the dragon only returned to her senses when she felt a tiny hand on her right front leg. Looking down into her eyes, Faye noticed the child’s tears had been replaced by a smile.
No longer afraid, the silver drake glanced at the child’s torn dress, and somehow she knew what she had to do. The moon’s magic in her veins guided her to lower her head and exhale a soft breath over Flora’s injured leg. The human’s gratitude for healing her knee warmed Faye’s heart, and she felt unexpectedly calm as the girl placed a hand on her head and looked into her eyes.
“I wish to go home.”
The dragon smiled. Normally she would never consider helping a lost human, but the moonlight on her scales had given her much more than the magical color she’d always wanted. Now she had a purpose. Faye stepped back and bowed to let Flora climb onto her back, then spread her multicolored wings and took off toward the village south of the forest.
Try as she might, Faye never remembered everything that happened after that. She recalled standing in the shadows at the forest’s edge while Flora hugged her and promised to meet her every full moon, and she recalled watching the girl wave one last time before running into the village. The next thing she knew, she was back in her clan’s cave, still beaming in disbelief that her wish had come true. She was a new her.
A week later, the white drake watched the magic competition from a high rock in the fields, a smile on her face at all times. Faye had no desire to join the solar dragons anymore, nor did she bother to reveal she was a lunar dragon when the anticipated bullying began.
“Monochrome!” “Colorless!” “Pale-face!”
But Faye no longer cared. They’d tire of name-calling soon enough, but even if she never got a chance to prove herself to the other dragons, the drake was content to know there would always be someone looking for her whenever the moon was full, someone who had seen the real her and had made her believe she was special. Faye wouldn’t give up being Achromatic for all the colors in the world, now that she knew she was something far greater than an ordinary dragon. In a human’s eyes and in her own heart, she truly was a queen.
Hope you enjoyed the story! Thanks for reading!