Books are a uniquely portable magic. ~ Stephen King

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

If You Dream of Fairies

If You Dream of Fairies is a story I wrote for my daughters and niece last summer. I will present it here in serialized form. It was my first foray into fiction.

In case you missed something:
If You Dream of Fairies - I
If You Dream of Fairies - II
If You Dream of Fairies - III
If You Dream of Fairies - IV
If You Dream of Fairies - V
If You Dream of Fairies - VI
If You Dream of Fairies - VII

“You look even prettier than usual today, Lizzie.” her father remarked over dinner. “I guess being out of school and spending the day out of doors agrees with you.”

Liz looked down at the table and smiled shyly at the compliment. The truth of it was, when she’d checked her reflection in the bathroom mirror before heading down to dinner SHE’D thought she looked prettier than usual, too. To agree with her father’s compliment seemed immodest, so she turned all of her concentration instead towards the remaining food on her plate.

“Ole Keebler looks good, too. You must be taking real good care of him.”

It was true; Keebler’s coat seemed extra lustrous and shiny. She figured her father was probably right. They’d both had a higher dose than usual of sunshine today. That explained everything.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When Liz went to sleep that night with Keebler curled up next to her even though Maria had told her to not let him sleep on the bed, she dreamed of fairies.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Whoa! Lizzie! Breakfast first!” her mother called as she headed out the back door that led to the garden. She had already fed Keebler and was more anxious than her mother could’ve imagined to get outside. Breakfast did not interest her in the least, but she knew her mother would never let it drop if she didn’t have something. She poured herself a glass of milk then threw a handful of cereal into it.

“Ok?” she said between mouthfuls as she quickly devoured her makeshift breakfast.

“Elizabeth Renee” her mother sighed, “summer is only two days old. You don’t have to do EVERYTHING the first week.”

Her mother was speaking to an empty room. Liz and Keebler were already halfway across the yard and were making a beeline for what Liz found herself referring to in her mind as ‘the fairy tree’.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Liz knelt on the ground and leaned her head forward so that her eyes were level with the door, or as close to level as she could get them. Knocking hadn’t worked before, but she really didn’t know what else to do. She rapped on the door three times in quick succession with the knuckles of her pointer finger. Nothing happened. She used the same finger to try to pry the door open, but her fingers were too large and clumsy to manipulate the tiny door. She scrunched up her face and tried to come up with another plan of action.

She wished Maria was there. Maria would come up with a wonderful plan. A foolproof plan. She always did. But Maria WASN’T there and Liz was left to her own devices.

She found a small stick and tried to use it to wedge the door open. It didn’t budge. She threw the stick out into the yard and Keebler happily retrieved it. She threw it again. Once more, the pup returned it to her. Both girl and dog shifted their interest from the tree to their game. When she became tired, Liz returned to the tree to rest for a moment.

She stopped a few feet short of her destination and rubbed her eyes in disbelief.

Propped against the door was a little envelope.

In a beautiful script which was somehow both ornate and simple at the same time were two words:

For you

Liz’s eyes were wide and her hands were trembling when she reached for the little envelope. She picked it up as gently as she could manage. The moment it was in her hand, it dissipated in a beautiful puff of iridescent powder. The powder covered Liz’s hands and made them glitter and glow.

Liz didn’t have to think about it at all. She knew instinctively exactly what this was. She had been given fairy dust. She rubbed her hands over her hair and face. She hugged herself. She did a little spin and a dance; turning her face up to the morning sunshine. It was grace personified. If anyone had been watching, they would have sworn it was Maria. Physically, Liz was still Maria’s polar opposite, but she was suddenly moving with such poise that it made it easy to forget such mundane details as height, build or hair color. Liz had never felt so happy or free before in her whole life. And she had certainly never felt so beautiful.

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