A Box of Magic Dust
By: Julie C.
Maryland, Age 11
Maddie breathed the air from the Landfall Bay. It was a beautiful spring day. Mud mashed between her toes. She was standing in a cord grass field and was picking shells that were washed in. What should Maddie ask of Pink Fairy when she visited her in Caldor?
Nothing was going good for Maddie. Her mother only loved her older two sisters. Violet, “the middle” child, treated her nice enough; but not the eldest, whose name was Pearl. Maddie always had to do work for her family, whatever their requests were. Every night, she had only about five to six hours of sleep.
Hopefully things would turn up for her. Maddie’s mother smacked her with a thick and long stick the afternoon before. Maddie’s father had died four years before, and her mother had a remarried. The new father was always busy. He only met the girls twice.
“Maddie!!!!! It’s time to come home now to pack up for Caldor!” Violet called.
“Tell mother I am coming!” Maddie turned and called.
“Hurry up, now!”
Maddie put her shoes back on. She ruffled her corn flower blue cotton dress. Violet had started running back to the cottage. Maddie sped and caught up.
“You’re fine?” Violet asked.
“Yes, but I don’t know what I should I ask from Pink Fairy. Every time she gives me a gift. For the last couple times she asks for what I want.”
Violet nodded. She never received a gift from Pink Fairy. Never ever did. Maddie works hard, and Pink Fairy only saved gifts for the less fortunate people. Of course, Maddie was considered one of them by Pink Fairy.
The next day, Maddie and the rest of her family headed for Caldor early the next morning. The sun had barely risen. A few townspeople started doing a few chores. The king’s palace also approached them. Maddie knew the princess well and wished she could visit her. There was no time to stop.
“What are you thinking, now, Daydreamer? Mother wants you to drive our wagon now. Hurry up. There is no time to wait!” Pearl sneered.
Violet gave her a look that read hurry up, now! Mother will get angry and will punish you, too! Maddie nodded at that.
Maddie drove the horses for about two hours. A few tree branches rip the thick cotton material on top. She got a little in trouble, but it was just a light spank. Nothing much really.
“OK, Maddie, it’s my turn to drive!” her stepfather cheerily said. “Go back inside, I’ll take it from here. You deserve rest.”
“Thank you, Father, you’re the best,” she replied to his kindness.
Caldor was BEAUTIFUL. When they entered, the first entrance was a grove of trees all lined up. Apples and blueberries hung from trees and bushes. The road was paved will glassy stones. A river gurgled by. Birds sang sweet melodies to the tune of the waterway. A few peaceful animals ran alongside the wagon. Flowers and other plants stood and grew next to the trees. A nice breeze came and passed by.
The horses stopped. A golden gate guarded the serene city. A short man asked for the father’s name and his reason of coming. If he was not on the list, the family could not enter Caldor.
“My name is Galore and I am a merchant,” Maddie’s stepfather said honestly. “I come to Caldor to sell some of my goods to the Caldorians.”
“Your name is on the list. This is your first time here?” the man asked.
“Yes, indeed, sir.”
“I knew it!”
Galore had a shocking look on his face. He had no idea whatsoever what the little man was talking about. Just right then, the man threw down his clipboard and stared up at Galore.
“I have some questions to ask you then. You may be suspected as a spy. Is anyone else with you?” he sneered.
“Why, yes there is. My wife and three daughters have come along with me,” Galore answered truthfully.
“What belongings have you brought?”
“Clothing, food, soap, that kind of stuff.”
The short man continued to ask questions like he had previously done so. His interrogation continued for eight long minutes.
“What company do you work for?” he asked at the end.
“Millen Sons and Company. Here’s my card.”
“Ah, yes, I know that corporation. We have a station right here in Caldor. I believe that there is a meeting next Thursday, so if you would like to come feel free. You may now enter Caldor.”
The dwarf opened the gate. The inner part of the city was even better than the outside. The town was bright and looked like the movie set of Cinderella 2, the cartoon one.
The wagon stopped at an inn that was very fancy. The parents shared one fancy room; Violet and Pearl shared another. Maddie had one fancy room to herself. It was fair for everyone. No one had a room that was worse than the others.
That night, Violet stopped by Maddie’s room. She knocked on the door lightly and had a candle stick in her hand. Maddie slowly opened the door.
“Violet?” Maddie whispered.
“Could I come in?” Violet asked.
Violet tip toed in. She had brought some dinner for Maddie since their mother did not let Maddie to eat until this weekend. She ate the food heartily. Maddie was very hungry. A servant had already given her a glass of water to drink.
“Tomorrow I am going to see Pink Fairy,” Maddie stated.
“Mother said she was going to town to buy clothes for herself. Pearl is going with her. She said I am in charge. I’ll take you to Pink Fairy’s house. I won’t pick you up, though. I’ll be back here at the inn. Ask her for a map.”
Violet left shortly afterward. Maddie tucked herself into bed and thought hard about what gift she wanted. It was hard to choose. Maybe she should ask Pink Fairy what she has.
Violet delivered breakfast to Maddie the next morning. Mother and Pearl had already left by then. Their stepfather took the shoppers out already and was out selling things out at the market.
Maddie followed Violet through all the crowds of people. Pink Fairy’s house came into view at last. No one was in it except for the Pink Fairy herself of course. She was bored.
“What may I do for you, ladies?” Pink Fairy asked when the sisters came in. “Or Maddie that is. I can’t serve you, Violet. Now go, Violet.”
Violet left in a flash.
“Now, I am assuming your stepfather has come to Caldor to sell things. Am I correct?” Pink Fairy asked.
“Yes,” Maddie answered.
“No one is treating you fairly except for Violet?”
“That is correct.”
“Where are your Mother and other sister?”
Instead of saying, ‘you should know already’, Maddie said something else. The truthful, right answer.
“They are out shopping for some clothes.”
Pink Fairy jumped up from the chair and clapped her hands.
“You have past the respectful test. On my last question I asked where your mother and sister were. You said where they were instead of saying I know where they are. I do though.
“Now, what would you like for your gift?”
“I don’t know. I want something that would provide me with everything that I ever wished for. Nothing is going good for me. I have to do every command my family orders me to do and………………………”
Maddie began to cry. Pink Fairy wrapped Maddie in her arms.
“Stop fretting child. I felt and was treated the same way when I was your age. Now, I have the perfect gift for you. It’ll be a moment.”
The fairy walked over to the other room and rummaged through a few shelves. She came back with a black and white jewel box. Pink Fairy explained that it was a box of magic dust. If Maddie was every in need of something, she would sprinkle it on her. For an example, if Maddie were thirsty and hungry, she could sprinkle it in her mouth. Cold? The dust would go on a cold body part. No clothes? Dust would be spread on a clothes part. The dust would also reappear or re-grow after used. It would only work on Maddie only.
“Do you like it?” she asked.
“I love it!!!!!!!” Maddie replied.
“Tell me what happens, OK? Oh, yeah, also things will turn up. You’ll get everything you should ever want. Whenever you want something your parent won’t give, put the dust on this piece of paper.”
Maddie left that day as the happiest girl on the earth. She used the box of magic dust everyday. No one knew about the box in Maddie’s family.
Three years past, and Maddie had not seen Pink Fairy. She had not been to Caldor since she was gifted the magic dust box. Maddie wished to do something to thank and pay back Pink Fairy.
One sunny afternoon, the King of Landfall was passing by Maddie’s home. She was washing dishes outside. The King knew that she was not treated too well, and he noticed that she was wearing very suitable clothes. He was very curious about this and decided to stop and ask.
“Good day, Maddie,” he greeted.
“Good morning your majesty,” she curtsied.
“I have a simple question for you. I know that you are not treated too well. Your mother makes you work and you do not have good clothes. May I ask why you are wearing something your sister would be dressed in?”
“Well, your highness, I have been gifted to the box of magic dust. Pink Fairy gave it to me.”
The King continued to talk to Maddie. The rest of Maddie’s family came out and bowed. They talked to the King too and made him forget Maddie. It did not work. He continued to talk to Maddie.
“I would like my horseman to take you all to my palace. That includes Maddie,” he said.
Once at the castle, the prince came out to greet everyone. He especially noticed Maddie for her beauty. Maddie’s mother hoped that he would notice Pearl and hope to marry her. The royal family invited them for dinner. They could explore the castle as they wished. The prince showed the girls around. He especially paid attention to Maddie and talked to her the most.
At the dinner, the King mentioned that the prince was soon to be married. He asked the prince who he was going to marry. The prince smiled and responded that Maddie. The King said that anyone who met the Pink Fairy for their needs and received a magic dust box would marry royalty.
The wedding was beautiful. Violet was the maid of honor. Maddie’s father was invited, but not Pearl and her mother. The special day had songs, dances, and many other entertaining acts. Maddie wore a beautiful wedding dress. The food was fantastic, also.
And the two lived happily ever after.