Books are a uniquely portable magic. ~ Stephen King

Wednesday, May 5, 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
If You Dream of Fairies - VIII
If You Dream of Fairies - IX
If You Dream of Fairies - X
If You Dream of Fairies - XI

Liz had intended to sneak out to the garden before dawn again, but she slept in instead. She stretched and yawned. She reckoned she had slept so long because there was no longer a furry little being sharing her bed.

She went down the stairs just as her mother was pulling a tin of muffins out of the oven. The aroma of the warm treats was almost unbearable to Liz’s empty belly. She grabbed one, and then tossed it from hand to hand when she realized how hot it was. Her mother laughed at her little juggling act. The muffin was never in danger of hitting the floor.

“Are you playing with Maria today?”


“Elizabeth Renee! We’ve talked about manners!”

“Sorry. Duh, Ma’am.”

There was silence for just a heartbeat, then they both laughed.

“Take these to Maria’s mom”, she said, packing up half of the muffins in a pretty basket and covering them loosely with a cloth napkin. “Tell her I said welcome back.”

“Will do.” Liz replied, taking the basket from her mother and heading out the door.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“I’ve seen the fairies, you know.” Liz mentioned in a tone that was intended to come out as casual, but somehow missed it’s mark.

“Oh!” squealed Maria, “You started playing without me!”

“I’m not playing!” Liz answered, a little more defensively than she would have liked. She told Liz about the open door, the fairy dust, and finally about her actual encounter with the wee folk the previous morning.

“Well, I’ve got a lot of catching up to do, then!” Maria said with a wink. She positioned herself near the door in the tree. She held out her hand and began talking to the air in a gentle singsong voice. “Well hello, wee fairy! Do you have any fairy dust for me today?”

Liz started to feel a little anger growing in her throat. “Why are you mocking me?”

Maria looked genuinely confused. “Mocking you? I wasn’t mocking you! I was just talking to the fairy!”

“There was no fairy there! You were talking to the palm of your hand! You were making fun of me!” Liz’s voice became a little angrier and a little more accusatory with every sentence.

“Making fun? I – I was playing! I thought you just told me you LIKED talking to the garden fairies! I don’t know why you’re so upset with me!” Maria was starting to look very distressed. In all their years of friendship they’d never before exchanged a cross word.

“This is not a game of make-believe, Maria. I don’t like being made fun of.” Liz folded her arms and turned her back on Maria. Maria ran back into her house crying, unsure of what she had done to provoke such a reaction. Keebler followed behind, looking over his shoulder to see why Liz wasn’t following. Liz sat in the garden and sulked.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

That afternoon, Maria returned to the garden with a book. The two girls read silently among the flowers, but they didn’t speak much. The air around them had changed and was filled with tension.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

That night, Liz dreamed of fairies.

She kept that information to herself.

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