I wrote this whimsical short story this month while trying to get to the Yeager Airport in order to travel for my day job. My colleague, Grace, provided invaluable assistance to get me where I needed to go.
The Queen Mother’s Allegory
AKA Cheryl’s trip to the airport
In a land far away lived a Queen Mother. With her in a castle high in the mountains also lived a king and two fair princesses. One day, it came to the Queen Mother that while all was good in their land, she still needed to make a journey, to join others of like mind and character, so that she could partake of the cup of knowledge.
The Queen Mother made her preparations for the journey. The day before she was to depart, she received missives. They were confusing, giving ever so many reasons why she should not make her journey. The Queen Mother in her wisdom recognized that these were simply misdirections sent by the evil Travel Wizard. The Queen Mother had faith because she was guided by grace.
The day of her journey arrived, and the fairy princesses called out many calls of affection and lamentations at the thought of being apart from the Queen Mother. One fairy princess cried out and pulled at her clothing in her sadness. The Queen Mother mounted her steed, who she fondly called Jabba. As she departed through the gates, the King stood sternly in the castle doorways, waving his farewells. One fairy princess held back the beasts who guarded the castle gates, and the other fairy princess gave one final caress of parting before closing the gate behind her.
The Queen Mother guided her heavy steed with steady foot and heel, as they wandered forth through the misty fog of morning and approached a long, rocky road toward their destination. The Queen Mother was prepared, because she knew that the misleading messages from the evil wizard would be just the first obstacle in her path to knowledge. But again, she had faith, because she was guided by grace.
As the Queen Mother and her steed moved steadily forward, they were often blocked by old peasants in rickety wagons, who blocked the way. The Queen Mother, with firm lips, would encourage her steed and make her way around these caravans, intent on their own path.
And then, the Queen Mother and her steed approached their first true obstacle, a troll bridge. Unexpectedly, the troll had beautiful, blonde tresses, but with solemn countenance, she held out a long, silver lance, to block their way. The Queen Mother bowed her head respectfully, and paid the price of two notes of tender. The troll accepted the payment and allowed them to pass.
Still, the Queen Mother on her steed made their way further up the mountain, often with sightings of bears who had tackled other travelers on the path. It seemed no time to the Queen Mother before they approached another troll bridge. This one was manned by a long, lean troll who snaked out an arm with curling dragons inked upon it, blocking their path. With another respectful bow of her head, the Queen Mother paid the price of two notes of tender. With a growling sniff, the troll pulled away from the path and allowed them to pass.
As the Queen Mother and her steed reached the top of the mountain, they emerged into a sprawling city. Everywhere were people at industry, puffs of smoke from their many fires bespoiling the air. At the center of the city lay a castle with a large golden dome at its height. The road pulled in that direction, but the Queen Mother pointed her steed up a small quiet path to the right of the castle. The Queen Mother headed to another small castle owned by a powerful wizard who had complete mastery over both creatures of the air and barriers of sound. The Queen Mother headed in that direction because she was guided by grace.
The Queen Mother entered the castle walls and after a long search found a stable for her faithful steed. Gathering her satchel over her shoulder and her weapons in hand, the Queen Mother approached her final obstacle. At the entrance of the castle, the Queen Mother approached the guards at the outer gate. At first, the guards sneered and questioned her identity. Quietly, the Queen Mother held out a royal token. The guards bowed low to the ground, swinging open the gates to let her pass, and even to go as far as to carry her satchel for her.
The wizards helpers swarmed around her with smiles and calls of greeting, as they guided her to the inner gates and onto a long shiny dragon who with a quiet rumble, went running along the ground before leaping with a quiet dignity into the air. The Queen Mother then flew for the rest of her journey, where she joined others of her ilk, with like mind and character. And together, they supped from the cup of knowledge.