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The Fairy's Tale

F. D. Lee

Top 10 Best Quotes

“I just wonder… Isn’t it better to start as a monster and become a hero? Isn’t that what creates belief? The idea that someone can change?”

“He started to draw. He drew from memory. He had a good memory, something which, all things considered, was far from a blessing. The pencils moved quickly across the paper, scratching back and forth in deepening shades of grey. He leaned low over the paper, concentrating all his energy on his work. The candles flickered and dripped wax, having nothing better to do. Eventually he lifted his head and looked at his creation. The face of a young woman stared back at him from the paper, a slight smile playing on her lips. She looked as if she was about to say something, and that once she had you would laugh. She looked happy. Seven stared at the picture, his strange eyes unreadable – eyes that, now he made no effort to mask them, were from edge to edge only the deep blue of the dead ocean. He swallowed hard, as if he was trying to imbibe something foul tasting but necessary, like a child sipping medicine, and pulled another sheet of paper from his desk.”

“You worked at night, when the shadows masked you and you were little more than a dream. You hid in the forest or the mountains, away from the steam engines and the lamps of the cities, the things that would expose you, confirming you and stripping you of your mystery. You showed yourself rarely, and only to the ones who needed to see you. After the free-for-all that was the earlier Chapters, when babies were stolen, young men murdered and maidens locked away, the fae had had to learn to be very careful about their involvement in the lives of the characters, lest they turn still further away from their beliefs.”

“You don’t know anything about me.” “No, I know not everything about you. But I sense enough to know you have mistaken obsession with drive, guilt with injustice. I know you want to escape what you are, cabbage fairy,” he said, reaching for his hood and gloves and tucking them into the waistband of his trousers. “Your desires are no different from my own, I simply have the courage to face them.”

“I’m not… What’s wrong with them believing?” Bea asked, a note of pleading creeping, uninvited, into her voice. “You do not sell belief, you sell belief-in. Belief in true love, as if everyone were entitled to it. Belief in a simple solution to a complex problem. Belief in one type of person, one type of future.” “No I don’t. I offer people dreams, and hope, and, and, something to organise their lives with,” Bea said, not sure why she was trying to convince him. “I don’t make them into ‘one person’.” “Oh no? Let me recall your doctrine: Kings, Princes and their ilk must marry girls whose only asset is their beauty. Not clever girls, not worthy girls, not girls who could rule. Powerful women, older women – like one day you will become – are nought but wicked creatures, consumed with jealousy and unfit to hold position. No,” he said as Bea began to speak, “I am not finished. Let us turn our attention to the men. As long as the woman is something to be won, it follows only the worthy will prevail. It matters not if they truly love the girl, nor if the man is cruel or arrogant or unfit to tie his own doublet. As long as he has wealth and completes whatever trials are decided fit, he is suitable. For what is stupidity or arrogance when compared against a crown? The good will win, and the wicked perish, and you and your stories decide what makes a person good or wicked. Not life. Not choice. Not even common sense. You.”

“You don’t approve?” Joan asked, picking up on Delphine’s tone. “Their stories were for themselves, not the Mirrors.” “What do you mean?” said Bea. “Certainly sometimes a good little character would find a lamp, and would not be so corrupted by the strangely endless possibilities of three wishes that they ended up causing more harm than they ever imagined. Those stories fostered belief, they were retold, certainly; but they were few and far between. Most of the genie’s tales showed the characters exactly who they really were, not when they were despised and degraded, not when they’d reached the gutter and been given licence to look at the stars. No, the genies showed them who they were when they were invincible. The characters, they try to forget stories like that.”

“She was here and the world, for so long ugly and deformed, was all at once itself again. She was taking a glass of sweet wine from one of the waiters. She was smiling. She was breathing. She was here. She was an island of such colossal importance within a sea of inconsequence that it seemed impossible the Ball was able to continue its empty existence.”

“Today was the introduction, and introductions were important. The girl had to meet the boy in an equal setting – if they met any other way there’d always be a question about whether it was True Love or a more financially motivated desire that awakened the passions.”

“There isn’t anything I can tell you that you don’t already know,” Melly answered. “Yes, but if we already know it then you’re not telling us anything new,” Bea said, thinking her way through the carriages of fear on the witch’s train of thought, “and if we don’t tell you what we know and what we don’t know, then you won’t know if you’ve actually told us something we don’t know, and what you don’t know we don’t know won’t hurt you.” Melly stared at Bea, her cigarette hanging from her lip in defeat. “Did that make sense?” Joan asked. “Yes,” Melly said slowly, “but it probably shouldn’t have done.”

“There are a number of rules that should be observed when one meets royalty, ranging from what one can say and when, to where one should stand, when one can sit, even where one should look. Sindy bobbed a nervous curtsy and, before being introduced, blurted out an invitation to come inside whilst looking John directly in the eye.”

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