Before Man Lost the Ability to Dream

Long ago, in the time of dragons and such mythical beasts, the land of Faerie was as real as any town in England today. Then, you could find Faerie if you knew where to look on starry nights in woodland glades and by trickling streams, for Faerie was real and everywhere and existed in parallel to our world. Of course, Faerie had receded from the big towns and areas where people gathered and wars were fought, but in the quieter, forgotten places, Faerie flourished.
The inhabitants of Faerie tended to keep themselves to themselves. Occasionally, a lovesick knight would wander into the realms and sometimes would stay, and sometimes wouldn't. Faerie's doors were particularly open to lovers, writers and fools, perhaps because they found it easier to believe: for you had to believe to find Faerie and its folk. Mostly the residents of this fantastic realm stayed there, but sometimes they would pass through to the mortal world, for the doorways were many and accessible.
Many fantastical beings inhabited Faerie, and ruling over them all with a mighty power was the beautiful and powerful Queen of Faerie, Mab. Mab was tall, slender and dark haired. Her eyes twinkled with many colours and her long hair fell in ringlets around her beautiful heart-shaped face and over her shoulders. She shimmered and glowed and proudly wore a glistening crown on her head. Mab was arrogant and magical and terrible; she was monarch supreme.
Sometimes she would tour her realm on the back of a unicorn, or on the back of a griffon, and her subjects would silently pay homage on bended knee. Sometimes she would call for entertainment in her castle and players, jugglers and acrobats from all over the earth's kingdoms would flock to her court to have the honour of entertaining her. Sometimes she would take a Faerie lover and sometimes a mortal, and when she became bored she would discard them, spent and dazed, to wander through her lands dreaming of the beautiful woman that they had once held in there arms and whispered their desires to. She ruled absolutely and her subjects flocked to do her bidding no matter how terrible or delightful, for she was Mab, and she was their Queen.
The Kings of the mortal world knew of her and feared her. She was never spoken of except in furtive whispers between nervous lords. Metal and brute force had no power against her magic, and the Lord's feared she would conquer their lands for her own. In a feudal society, the boundaries of a lord's domain were as variable as their power. Mab was everywhere and dangerous, and yet to render her powerless, all they had to do was forget, for her power remained in their remembrance.
Mab had an influence in all things in the mortal world as well as her faerie kingdom. When J M Barrie wrote about Tinkerbell, and Peter Pan saved her life by calling for all the children to believe in Faeries, Mab smiled and glowed a little brighter. When Shakespeare's quill described the antics of Titania, Oberon and the rest of the faerie court, and every time it was performed thereafter, Mab smiled and knew that she was remembered, for as long as faerie's were wondered at by the mortal world Mab was secure. She courted the writers and the dreamers like lovers, caressing their furrowed brows and soothing their aching fingers for she knew that they were her chroniclers and through them she would remain powerful and eternal.
But most of all it was the children that gave her power. Adults forgot, they became old, reason took over, and the delights of a faerie grotto played in during their youth were forgotten. Mab's true power lay in the imagination of the child and their dreams. The children were her nourishment, she ran with them through the glades, played hide and seek amongst the trees, and danced in the faerie circles with them. She was mother and queen to then all and she loved them just as they loved her.
And so Mab's power continued through the ages, through the feudal lord's wars, through the time of discovery, writing and plays, through the industrial revolution, but as the world met the metal and machines and the feudal age was all but forgotten, the realms of Mab's domain began to shrink. No more did the faerie folk dare to cross the boundaries into the mortal world for once when in the innocent age they met with mortals they were treated with wonderment and respect, now there was science and the faerie was to be studied. The mortal world had discovered technology and the innocent old ways were quickly being forgotten. The writers and the poets stopped visiting the realms of Faerie and looked to other sources for their inspiration, the city and the machine became their muse, mortals were their lovers, and Mab receded from their bowers. Even the children began to forget. Computer games took over adventures in the forests and books of the faerie folk were replaced by space age adventures on other planets. The mortals began to forget and Mab grew thin.
The folk of Faerie watched as their Queen, once beautiful and powerful grew weak and haggard. Her flesh, once plump and youthful grew skeletal and drawn; her lips lost their cherry glow, and shades of dull grey be-speckled her once glossy black hair. Her clothes grew worn and threadbare and the royal majesty of her appearance changed to that of a Queen from a dying age. She was being forgotten. She watched as each day the realms of her kingdom grew smaller and her appearance grew less royal: in no time at all she would be cease to exist.
Yet there was hope, occasionally in the technological age someone would pick up a book or perform a play and there would be a memory of Faerie projected for a brief moment on the mortals' mind's eye, and Mab would glow like a dying ember, warmed by the brief remembrance. And at these times she would smile sadly and remember her glorious youth in those golden times when she was Mab, queen of Faerie, courted by many lovers and worshiped by many kingdoms. When her kingdom was powerful and teeming with life in those times before technology and the future erased all belief in the Faerie realm; before man knew that she could not exist; before man lost the possibility of imagination; before man lost the ability to dream.