A Midsummer's Nightmare
'They amazed Titania, the clustered lights. They wriggled and dipped and curved and rose, like the shining scales of some giant yellow sea serpent struggling to reach the distant ocean. Her pet owl, perched on the bonnet like a motor-manufacturer's emblem, stared straight ahead.
Morgan-le-Fay had been wrong about Titania not being capable of recognizing the baby she had stolen. The infant, child of legendary ancestors, was on the seat beside her, fast asleep. The baby had the eyes and nose of Guinevere and the lips and brow of Lancelot. It was a magical child. A child more precious than any exotic baby from the Orient. Her beauty would become more enchanting than that of Helen of Sparta and Prince Paris of Troy combined.
The red tail-lights of a mortal's huge truck suddenly appeared in front of the fairy queen, shaking her out of her reverie. They were in the middle lane and instantly she forgot her fear, swerving the bus around into the inside lane.
'This was well done," said Moth. 'A plausible manoeuvre, my queen. These avenues of Promethean fire have not blunted your faculties. Hark, I hear the sound of sackbuts behind our carriage, signalling our victory.''
Oberon, Titania and the other Shakespearean fairies live in a rapidly diminishing Sherwood Forest, whittled away by urban development. Oberon and Puck decide it is time to move to a larger wood where the fairies' magic will be restored to its former glory. On Midsummer's Eve, a most auspicious day, the fairies embark on the long journey to the New Forest, travelling in an old bus, purchased for them by Sid, an enthralled car mechanic. Titania insists on driving while Moth navigates by the scent of fern leaves in the breeze and the call of pines on the wind. During the next twenty-four hours, while the fairies travel, their aura awakens legendary beasts and mythical monsters, including the terrible Morgan-le-Fay.
While Titania's driving creates havoc on the roads, her inability to resist an old temptation creates a national outcry. She steals a seven-month-old baby, putting the whole expedition in jeopardy. Finally, the fairies link up with a convoy of New Age travellers on their way to Stonehenge. These humans, unlike most others, befriend the fairies -- almost without question.
The fairies' progress is stealthily monitored by the evil Morgan-le-Fay who controls the New Forest. On their arrival, Morgan's devious scheme for returning society to medieval times involves the vicious murder which only Titania can prevent.
Condition: Pre-loved book. Minor yellowing of pages. Otherwise in good condition.
Year published: 1996
Imprint: Bantam Press
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