The faeries have been ruled since time immemorial by a high king and a high queen. As faeries are a contentious lot, they have never been able to agree on a succession. Rather, they elect from among themselves nobles, who in turn elect from among themselves a high king and high queen (not necessarily husband and wife!). The nobles and the high king and high queen rule for a year and a day before a new moot is held. As is their nature, the lowliest peasant faerie may, in the space of two years and two days, become high king or high queen.

Naturally, this has posed problems in the past.

Perhaps the greatest trials come with the death of the high king or high queen before their term is up, which requires an emergency moot. Every faerie proposes their favorite, and etiquette requires that every candidate receive at least one vote. Every faerie then votes for their own nominee, meaning that the high lordship can be decided with as little as two votes.

And that is how, one late April morning, Ms. Ada Mae Spinnaker awoke and put on her tea only to learn that she had been elected high queen of the faeries despite never even voting for herself.

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Human they seem, though endless of life, and many a man’s tried to make one his wife
But human they’re not, appearances decieve, and every one in time’s come to grieve
A hearth and a home, they don’t understand, preferring instead the wild untamed land
No children will they bring into the world, the lineage ends, its banners all furled
Spirits are they, the body’s all fake, no hungers they sate, no thirsts do they slake
A long lonely wait ’til death do they part, the man who has bound them by sorceror’s art
Heed a warning from one who knows well, leave beauty alone lest ye wind up in hell

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When reached for comment, the president and CEO of DustEZ dismissed the claims of TAFFY activists.

“Look, I understand where these ‘Treat All Fairies FairlY’ protestors are coming from,” he said. “Even though DustEZ-brand fairy dust grants humans eternal youth and the power of flight, I don’t want to see fairies harmed in the process of harvesting their dust. DustEZ and its parent corporation Dynenord Defense Systems is committed to ethical, sustainable, organic, free-range, fair-trade, low-sodium fairy farming.”

When the substance of the allegations–that DustEZ farms were keeping fairies in half-gallon jugs and fattening them on a diet of pure sugar to produce more dust per fairy–he added: “That’s preposterous. We keep them in gallon jugs and feed them the ground-up remains of fairies who have been dusted out.”

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Fawn Delacroix Pivec owned a small library of books about the little chinks through which magic might seep into our otherwise mundane world. Lewis and Lewis, C. S. and Carroll respectively, were first and foremost in the collection, and her peers in school had long grown tired of endless book reports and dioramas on they and their literary successors.

So, when standing longingly in a fairy ring at the very edge of the Pivecs’ five acres, Fawn was delighted but unsurprised to spy a fairy flitting back and forth among the stinging nettles and wild raspberries tumbling over the old fence.

“Take me with you,” she whispered breathlessly, at once afraid to cry out and scare the delicate being away and unable to contain her joy upon seeing it.

The tiny fairy cocked its head and regarded her.

“Take me with you,” Fawn said again. “Don’t be afraid, I won’t hurt you. I’m ready to see your world. I always have been.”

“Oh, child,” said the fairy, in a voice that was birdsong and cicadas, summer rain and running water. “My poor precious child. You dwelt in our world for an aeon and verily became our most beloved friend and queen, ere you returned. But mortal memories cannot hold that where we dwell and dance, so it has already slipped away from you like sand in a spring tempest.”

From an idea by breylee.

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