The blog of a college student and nerd. Fashion, history, books, comics, movies, music, and gaming are a few of my interests. I like to post writing and geeky comics here.
The first time the Queen saw her daughter was as a wisp, thin and small as the skeins of silk that lay in the storehouses. The fairy-girl, like her sisters, was born into fine robes and rows and rows of mulberry to feed growing silkworms. Their home did not touch the earthy realms, but instead was a dwelling in the West, the land of the divine. In time she taught the girl the ways of the mulberry and spinning-house. In time the Queen herself learned that her daughter needed little teaching in the ways of silk, for the fairy-girl began to spin thread finer than hair, and fine tapestries that were hung in the house of the Jade Emperor.
Your girl is a treasure, said others as they meet her. Take care of her and she will take care of you.
The Queen was prideful in raising the fairy-girl, having her attended and cared for each hour as the girl made her way from the mulberries to the spinning-houses to home. Like clockwork, she began to tend to her other affairs, knowing that her daughter was cared for. The girl was growing, after all. No sense in keeping a child at her bosom for eternity. She trusted the maids too much, for a time.
A girl left her mother when she married, left her house, her name, and became one with her husband’s home. The idea had gnawed at the Queen as she watched the girl grow into taller robes. She asked for seconds of rice and nectar from the immortal peaches they ate. As the fairy-girl worked, she began to weave stories into fine silks, keeping up with the rote motions as she listened to gossip and lore by her attendants.
Through the busy seasons, the Queen had no time to court the idea that the girl was ready to leave. There were meetings to be arrange, festivals for overseeing, harvests to watch and execute. The fairy-girl and all her sisters were worth, at most, a passing glance in ornate hallways of their home.
The Queen paid no heed to the boy that brought cattle for their feasts, deeming him unworthy by ignorance alone. The boy was not the problem, she would tell herself later. He never really was.
The problem was that the Queen and the fairy-girl had ceased to agree, on love and many other matters. In anger, the fairy-girl began to rend her fine tapestries as she worked, and tore leaves from the mulberry trees with brutality. She would shout and stamp her feet to no end, and only heard her mother’s angry words in return. The din frightened their maids, who shied away from their arguments. The Queen found out about the boy, banishing him from their realms. Yet, his cattle remained in their stables and his presence in the fairy-girl’s heart.
She began to spy glimpses of him in her daughter’s weavings—a life away from home, a life weaving silks of her own. She walked in the spinning-houses late at night after the servants had left, peering into the colorful stitches to try to understand who this peasant was. Would he take care of her? Was he of sound temper? Where would they go?
The fairy-girl answered all these questions for her mother when she vanished, cloaked from sight under the hide from a cow loyal to its master.
It was unjust, the Queen decided, that the girl had left. Some had said that their mistress went mad when her daughter fled the house, yet others attributed it to sorrow. She herself found that sadness was to be swallowed- pushed aside with the facade that anything had happened. The Queen continued with her meetings and harvests and festivals, only to find that her home had chilled in the absence of her daughter. On some nights she gazed westward, searching the skies for where her daughter had gone.
The girl had twins by the next summer’s harvest. There were days where she silently blew into their domain, silent and quick as the West Wind itself, to peer at the faces of her sleeping grandchildren. Yet, she spoke neither to her daughter nor to her new son. For years the Queen did nothing, frozen in place by her affairs and a stiff, expressionless smile as she tended office and home.
She walked down from clouds on one summer’s evening, stars marking where she stepped. Her fingers curled upon silver hair-sticks, two weapons. There was going to be a battle here, mind against heart. The Queen entered her daughter’s home.
At first she pleaded. Why was there any reason, she asked, for such a good daughter to leave without notice? She was owed, argued the Queen. A good explanation, a sincere apology, and a swift return to the heavens. Such a life with a ruffian was uncouth of a fairy-girl. The girl, already settled into life on earth, refused. The fairy-girl, sick and tired of attendants and mere stories of life beyond the heavens, had fled. She ordered her mother out, and at that moment the battle finished. Much to the misfortune of the girl, her mother’s heart vanquished her reason. Where she felt it broken, the Queen’s hair-sticks cut a matching wound into her daughter’s own heart. Silver and snakelike, they wound its way across the house and split girl from her husband and children.
She watched as they cried to each other across the pale river. No longer was the girl simply a set of disobedient words against her. No longer was the boy simply a blank slate that had taken the girl. A second etch was carved into her heart as she watched the river of endless stars separate them. But for the first time she could do nothing. What took her daughter was not the boy, not her lazy attendants, but herself. She left. Walking westward, she started home to the guidance of stars and mourning magpies.