The Lowly Servant
While she worked, the servant thought of what she would have to do to repay the one who would grant her wish and hoped she would be kind as servants rarely got much time out of work. That night the servant went at once to bed, tired, as her knees and hands ached from the harsh work she had done during the day. When her head hit the makeshift pillow, she closed her eyes, nearly drifting into blessed sleep only to hear a voice beside her.
"You wished and I came, girl."
When the servant opened her eyes, she saw the strangest sight she had ever seen: a lady tall and well-built, wearing a black leather corset that showed off her figure, a flowing skirt and boots...and she held a whip. Her fairy wings elevated her as she spoke. "But the wish you made has certain consequences, so, as a result I need you to give me your most treasured possessions as payment for that wish."
The girl thought of her broken vase and the box. "I'm afraid I am only a lowly servant, Lady. I have no riches, only a vase with a herb in it and a box full of my things."
The fairy smiled, waving her whip around, wondering why she held that when fairies usually held wands. "Where I come from, everything holds value no matter what it is. What does matter is that you trade it for something else."
She wondered why she had wished and whether she would get it. The fairy stood there before her ready, so she must have been able to grant her what she wanted most of all. "Will you grant me my wish?" the servant asked, feeling most nervous.
"You mean wishes?" the fairy corrected. "You desired most of all that the earl's wife would be cast out of the castle and that the earl would find you most alluring and take you to his chamber in his wife's place."
The servant blushed, falling silent. She had wished for more than she should have, yet she had strangely been drawn to asking for more than she was entitled most of her life.
"Well, isn't this what you wanted?" the fairy, asked annoyed. The servant nodded thinking of the things she would have to give for the wish to come true. "I will grant you these wishes, but I need those things from you if I am to do so. It is all part of the balance of the cosmos. If you wish for something, you have to give payment no matter how small."
With great reluctance the servant took each of her belongings, the broken vase with the herb in it, the wooden box that contained the autumn leaf, the copper coin and the key. She handed them to the fairy and the fairy gazed at them, intrigued.
"The herb looks a little worse for wear, but a bit of water and extra care will perk it up. The leaf is dry but a perfect shape. It will be a good addition to my collection. The copper coin is old, and as I do not already have one, so it would be an asset to my collection too. However," the fairy said, gazing at the key. "You were destined to find the key, so keep it."
The servant took back the key still thinking it was nothing special.
"If you go to sleep, remember the earl will come to your room and you will have your wish." With that the fairy was gone along with the servant's possessions. The servant held the key and wondered what it might open one day, and then she slept until she heard a knock at the door.
"Who is it?" she asked.
"Earl Saltwood, I would like to come in." When he entered she had already disrobed. He gazed at her body, thinking how long and luscious her hair was, and instantly fell in love.
"I have wished for this moment for many years, my dear," he said. Then he stroked her, pushed her on the bed, and pleasured them both.
Elsewhere, another woman wished for something the same night the servant asked the fairy for the earl. The fairy appeared, though she was not what the woman expected.
"You wished for me," the fairy announced, waving her whip.
"Yes, fairy, well, you know what wish I asked for."
The fairy smiled. "Yes, I know what you wished for, but if I am to grant it, I require something of yours in exchange for it."
The woman began to cry. "I am afraid I have nothing to give you. I was cast out of my house with nothing more than the clothes on my back."
The fairy shook her head.
"I can see that, but you don't have to give me anything now if you have nothing to give. I want you to sneak into the castle you used to call your home, and retrieve an old key from the former servant now having relations with your husband. The key opens a treasure hoard that will keep you until the rest of your days. Oh, and your wish for a muscular young prince who lives in a much larger castle will come true, too. All I desire for my time and effort is the key, as it has magical value."
The fairy liked the look on the woman's face.
"So by the time you find the key, your wish will come true."
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