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Heart & Mind Copyright © Chris Pavesic, 2014 All Rights Reserved.

In a kingdom by the sea there lived a princess with hair as golden as a sunflower and eyes as green as apples. She was blessed from birth by a fairy godmother who wished for her to have beauty and power and to marry a prince on her eighteenth birthday.

Of course, the fairy godmother deliberately gave this particular blessing to the princess just to make my life a living misery.

You see, one of the benefits of being a fairy godmother is that you know the exact date of your own death. The knowledge just comes to you, sometimes decades in advance. That particular fairy godmother knew she was going to die just before the princess reached the age of eighteen. She wouldn't be alive to see the outcome of her blessing. Even back then she could feel the magic starting to gather—starting to pour from her body into the wand as it prepared to transfer to the new host—so she decided to have a little fun with the person who inherited her position.

Lucky me.

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A few weeks ago I had been working in my garden. After the long winter I was happy to toil outside in the gentle sunshine. When I heard the sound of wheels creaking towards my gate, I stood up, shading my eyes with my trowel. Whoever was approaching could only be heading to my house. It was at the end of the road right before the track turned to dirt and led into the dark forest.

The carriage came into view and a young man dressed in the Queen's forest green livery jumped down from the driver's seat. He walked toward me, handed me a package and a letter, touched his forehead briefly in salute, turned around, and jumped back onto the carriage. He snapped the reins and the horses took off, leaving a cloud of dust behind.

I opened the parcel first. It contained a slim, white rod with various gold and silver rings set into it. I touched the rod, curious to see how smooth it felt.

Magic exploded into my body, knocking me backwards across the garden. It was several minutes before I could breathe properly again, and even longer till my right arm regained any feeling. I managed to break the red wax seal on the back of the envelope and scanned the note as I lay on the ground, whimpering.

"If you are reading this, Catlia, it means I am dead and the wand is looking for a replacement," the note read. "It always seeks out a family member; bloodlines are important to the magic. I never had a daughter, so you are the next in line to be a fairy godmother. I wish I could see what kind you will be.

I have asked my friend, who is Queen of this land, to deliver the wand to you along with this letter. I bet you didn't even know you were part fae on your mother's side. Your mother, may she rest in peace, wanted to keep this aspect of your heritage from you, but the magic goes where it will. The Princess, my goddaughter, is now your responsibility. Don't mess up her life."

It was signed "Hugs and Kisses, Aunt Zieldia."

Upon reflection, it was understandable when I passed out, my fingers still wrapped around the wand.

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