The Kingdom Saved
Her wings, gleaming in the morning sun, gracefully glided with the summer breeze, and as she landed, the grass under her seemed to sing with joy. Her neigh split through the crisp air like the sharpest knife. She was WhisperWind, the Queen of all Pegasi. "Where? Where?" She seemed to say. Her spirited eyes darted across the horizon. "Where?"
The bright sun was just setting, and the morning dew blanketed the meadow with a sparkling gleam. There was a movement beside her. A pitiful noise rang out. WhisperWind's sharp gaze held onto the shape. Was this one of her herds missing foals?
She trotted to the figure cautiously, and immediately knew it was a foal. "SilverSpirit, my baby...is that you?"
Before it could reply, she was at the colt's side. The pegasus queen nudged her baby to his feet with care. His miniature wings were silver, as was his mothers. She cast her worried eyes at his. "Where are the others? Where is your sister? Where?"
The little prince trotted to his mother wearily. "I don't know...mama...I was playing..." He leaned on her weakly. "I was playing in the meadows, with my friends, and then...then it happened." Two little tears burst out his golden eyes, and WhisperWind saw he had no more energy. "Stay here, my sweet. Stay safe, I love you." She prepared to fly.
"Mama! Where are you...going?" He tried to follow her but stumbled and fell to the ground. "Mama! Don't leave me!" He pleaded.
She looked back, concern in her eyes. "You can't fly. I'll get help. Nothing will hurt you, baby. I'll be back." She said softly, and took off into the air, searching for her guards. Her ears pricked and she heard a deep rumbling of thunder. She nickered loudly.
Her mate, King ThunderGallop, emerged from the clouds and flew to her. "Have you found any?" he asked, tossing his black mane in curiosity. She stopped in mid-air and landed on a cloud, a feat only pegasi can do. "Only one, our colt. He can't fly, we must hurry." She guided him to SilverSpirit. "Have you found any, Thunder?" she asked.
"Two colts and one young filly. " Was the reply.
Minutes later, they landed beside SilverSpirit, who gazed up at them with joy. "Dada! Mama! You came back for me!"
WhisperWind helped him get on his feet. " Of course we did. I would never leave you alone forever. But I need to find your sister. Stay with Father, you'll be safe. I love you ."
She turned and galloped into the sky, desperate to find all the missing pegasi from her kingdom.
Searching the forest and meadows for the missing foals took many days, but today had been the best. They had found eleven foals so far and there were only four left. Thoughts and questions tumbled through her mind. All those questions! Why? How? Who? Where? What?
All of the pegasus foals they had rescued were terrified, and would not tell them what had happened. They would mumble words that didn't fit together, and couldn't remember why they said it. The Queen suspected fairies. "Maybe the mountain fairies are planning a war on us...Or is it the ogres? Not the dwarfs, not the gnomes." She paused, thinking. "Oh, what if it's the...no! It can't be!"
She let loose a sharp neigh, alerting the pegasi guards traveling on the ground below her. They sprang into the air and soared overhead. A group of unicorns stood in the middle of a clearing...
And between them were four pega-foals. The unicorn's leader was a completely grey pegasus. She stepped closer and looked at WhisperWind, who hovered above her. The pegasus flicked her long tail and blinked.
"My dear sister! We've been expecting you. But please, call off your guards before i have my unicorns do it."
WhisperWind glared at her sister and turned to her guards. "Land. Stay still. Don't fight."
They obeyed her reluctantly, and stood by a clump of trees. The Queen turned to the unicorns and her sister.
"ShadowSpeed, Why? Why did you take our foals, and turn our cousins, the unicorns, against my kingdom?" She eyed the unicorns with anger and disappointment, causing them to look away with shame.
ShadowSpeed tossed her mane with a bitter laugh. "You know why, WhisperWind. Because I want the right to rule over all of the Kingdom of horses. I was the rightful heir to the throne...As the oldest of us two, I was to rule the Kingdom of Pegasi, but no, you just had to come in and take my right, didn't you?"
"There is no rightful heir to the throne. It is the wisest and strongest of the royal line that is picked. Everybody knows that."
"So you think you are better than me? I will show you who is the strongest! I already have the unicorns, and the nonmagical horses knew they wouldn't stand a chance , so their queen agreed to serve under my rule as well. All of us...Against you. What do you say?" She narrowed her eyes and spread her grey wings.
WhisperWind glanced at the foals and trotted to them with caution. Nobody stopped her. As she reached the foals, she breathed a sigh of relief.
None of them were harmed.
"Mama..." GlitterEyes nickered. " We're scared. I want to go home." A white foal nodded. "We all do...I want my mama! I'm so afraid."
WhisperWind's heart broke to see them so scared and alone. She whispered to them. "If you follow my directions carefully, you will be able to get away. As soon as I use the word "Fly", can you all fly up to a cloud?" They nodded. "Good. I love all of you, and I know you will escape. Remember. When I say the word "Fly", you must use all the power you have. You can do this."
"Say goodbye to your princess, Sister. Unicorns, take them away. " ShadowSpeed said cruelly.
The five guards stood uncomfortably. The queen acted quickly, and whispered quietly into the wind...and her voice was carried to her guards. "When you see the foals fly away, help them get to safety. Warn my husband of the unicorns and send for help. The meadow fairies will help. Tell the herd I love them all, and am honored to have been their Queen."
The message got to the guards unsuspected by the unicorns and the guards watched the foals carefully, ready to help them in a second.
WhisperWind put her plan into action. She walked away from the foals, making it look like she was escaping. ShadowSpeed and the unicorns looked at her.
"UNICORNS, DON'T LET HER ESCAPE!"
The unicorns obeyed and chased after her, pointing their sharp horns at her. They left the foals unguarded. She stopped. "Please, Why can't you let us FLY free? Don't hurt my kingdom!"
At the very word, the foals spread their wings and took off with all their strength. The guards flew to them and helped them. In seconds, they were over the treetops and out of sight, on their way home.
ShadowSpeed galloped to the forest, and realized it was pointless. She glared at the unicorns. "FOOLS, you left them unguarded! Never mind. Just take her away, kill her. NOW!"
The unicorns trembled with fear. "We can't kill a Queen..."
"She is a queen no longer. I am."
They lead WhisperWind into the forest. A black unicorn spoke. "WhisperWind...I'm sorry...If we don't see that you die, our foals will...ShadowSpeed will..." The unicorn's eyes threatened to spill tears. WhisperWind looked at all of the unicorns with pity. "I understand. I love my foals and would do anything for them."
Another unicorn nodded sadly. "Queen WhisperWind, we respect you...please believe me. But our order is to poison you. Our foals are at stake. But...Maybe you could just pretend...?"
The pegasus shook her head. "No. If she finds out I live...Your foals. I must die."
The unicorns looked at a plant to their right. "The Poisoned Lily. Death in an instant. But, please! Don't do this! Just a bite could kill you! You could taste it, and pass out. Then it'll look like you're dead! You could sneak away! You could return to your herd and live."
"No." She stepped closer to the plant. A unicorn blocked her. "Please. Just fly away. We'll take the blame. Our foals are too precious to her. She'll just kill us. Save yourself, please."
Another unicorn spoke up. "If you die, I'll live in guilt forever. I want you to live." He went to the Lily and was just about to eat it himself, when WhisperWind nudged the unicorn out of her way with all her strength. " You are all foolish. Why risk a whole herd when only one must die? I thank you for giving me a chance to flee, but that is something I would never do."
She ate the Lily before anyone could stop her.
She staggered, and fell to the ground. Her vision went blurry, but she could hear everything. The sorrowed whinny of the unicorns, the birds singing to their young, her sister's evil laugh, and whispering voices above her. "No...please don't die, Queen WhisperWind..."
She tried to move...and failed. Her eyelids fluttered, struggling to stay open. With a deep sigh, she let herself go limp. She didn't fight against Death, instead, she went with it. The sounds around her faded away, and all she could see was darkness. She should have been afraid, but she felt calm, free, and relaxed. She felt no pain, had no worries. She knew she didn't exist but did exist. She was Nowhere but Somewhere. She felt Nothing and Something, knew Nothing but Everything. She should have felt confused, all this doesn't make sense. But she didn't .Was this how it felt to die?
Wait. Was that Light ahead? Yes, light...it was closer...closer...and then she was in it. Everything rushed back to her. She felt herself in her body again, she felt alive, and healthy. The light was so bright. Stunning, but blinding. She closed her eyes in confusion. Was she dead? When she opened her eyes again, she was in a meadow. A perfect meadow. Flowers bloomed here and there, grass was luscious and as green as the greenest emerald. The sun was bright and the sky was a mellow blue, and the beautiful white clouds were thick and soft.
She walked across the meadows into the forest. Trees of all sorts were scattered around. Apple trees held deep red fruit waiting to be eaten. She must be dead. There was no place on earth as wonderful as this. A small creek ran across the forest, and the water was clear and smelled so sweet. WhisperWind gazed at a figure in the trees. It was a horse. WhisperWind walked closer. The horse had black wings. And a horn...A rainbow horn, shining with light. It was a pegacorn. WhisperWind stared as the pegacorn trotted to her, tossing her beautiful white mane.
"Don't worry, cousin. Your herd is safe. Your sister and her army have arrived in your home pasture to find nobody there." She blinked, and WhisperWind noticed her eyes had specks of different colors in them, making it hard to concentrate on anything else.
The pegasus tilted her head. "Welcome to the Land of Pegacorns. Your family is here. Come."
"But wait...I thought pegacorns are extinct..."
"Oh no, that's because we moved away, into this land the Meadow fairies made for us. See, the last unicorn king wanted to kill us off, he found us a threat. So the meadow fairies helped us escape by hiding us in this land. Your guard came to the fairies for help, and they took your herd and hide them with us. You may live here as long as you like."
WhisperWind was still shocked by the sight of the pegacorn. "Before I was born, a Pegacorn queen was appointed High Queen of All of the Kingdom of Horses. She disappeared with the rest of her breed, and we have lived without a High Queen since. Is she still alive?"
The pegacorn looked back at her. "I am that queen. My name is High Queen SwiftBreeze."
WhisperWind bowed. "Oh, your Majesty! I am...speechless...I never thought I'd see a pegacorn again! Let alone the High Queen...Thank you. But I have one question...I was supposed to die. How am I still alive?"
"A fairy switched the Poisoned Lily with a weaker poisoned flower. You almost did die, and after the unicorns and your sister left, she healed you. It's a good thing your sister wanted to leave right away, to attack your herd, or the fairy wouldn't have been able to get to you in time without being seen."
WhisperWind was amazed, and thankful the fairy was willing to take risks to help her. "Thanks you, for helping me protect my kingdom and my herd. I am forever in your debt."
The High Queen trotted away. " Thank the fairies. Now, lets go to your family. They are waiting for you."
WhisperWind was overjoyed. Her entire herd was safe and happy. This place was not Heaven, but she felt as though it was very close to Heaven. As she surveyed her herd, tears glistened in her eyes.
She finally had the story sorted out. Her sister wanted to be High Queen, not knowing SwiftBreeze still lived. She got the unicorns and nonmagical horses on her side by threat, and paid the mountain fairies to kidnapped every pegasus foal and take away their memories. She would then tell them they were orphans and take them in as her own, raise them, and use them against other pegasi. But the Mountain Fairies realized they didn't want to be part of such an evil plan, and made the foals forget what happened, and set them free. They used Temporary- Memory-Loss-Dust so nothing could be traced back to them. Four of the foals were recaptured, and that is where WhisperWind came in.
"ATTENTION, EVERYONE, STALLIONS AND MARES, FILLIES AND COLTS! The High Queen SwiftBreeze would like to officially welcome you here!" A silver pegacorn messenger announced.
The High Queen gracefully walked to a clearing in the Meadows. Everyone stopped to listen, and all eyes were on her. She gazed at them. She seemed so magical every other horse looked plain beside her, and they knew it. Many horses froze in awe as she spread her black wings with grace. SwiftBreeze's neigh pierced the silence, her neigh sounded like silver bells and fairy music. Every horse immediately bowed.
"Dear horses, I am glad that our kind may once again reunite after these long years of being apart. Forgive me for keeping our existence a secret. Together as horses and friends, we will bring our nation back together. Welcome, all Pegasi! Welcome." She glowed with such joy, everyone's hearts filled with warmth. "Hail, Queen SwiftBreeze!" They whinnied. And WhisperWind was the loudest of all.
The end of this story, but not their life.