Checking the Fairy Tree

I was nineteen when I wrote this story, and as a writer it is about my primal landscape. My primal landscape is the place where I spent the most time growing as a person. This place is part of my memory and who I am. The story is written in the second person so that the reader may experience life through the eyes of a child who believes in fairies.

Your eyelashes fly apart like a newly-hatched butterfly drying their wings in the sun, and your eyes are bright like stars. You throw back your bed covers, and jump up, never regretting the loss of the warmth of your cocoon.

In the greyish mudroom you tug on your little green welly boots as you stumble forwards.

Jogging past, you barely glance at the tuxedo cat with blinking green eyes who has listened to the strange noises of the night. Gently closing the back door so that you don’t wake your parents, you run outside.

You gallop down the hill in your backyard, thrilled gasps bursting from your lungs, even though your mum said that she would bring you breakfast if you stayed in bed for once.

You remember that one time that the tooth fairy came to visit you. She thought that you were asleep, but she actually woke you up by sliding open your window and taking the screen off with her magical strength. You tried not to look because you know that fairies don’t like to be seen. But you saw through the dark, a fairy dressed in black, and a grey blur of wings. Once she felt your eyes on her she swooped out put the screen on and shut the window abruptly. The next morning you were relieved that even though you had caught a glimpse of her, there was a tiny letter on the dollhouse ottoman you had put on the sill, in which she still agreed to let you keep your teeth if you took good care of them; meanwhile, she would continue to pay you.

The coolness of the early summer morning fills your mind with an enthusiasm for life. Everything sparkles. Your world is bright, and you look at things from your child’s unblemished perspective. You find all of the caterpillars on the plants. Flowers are for picking and putting in your hair. Any twig is a magic wand. The trees look good for climbing. Fairies exist.    

You leap towards the fairy tree at the bottom of the garden and imagine that you are flying.

Crouching down under the great maple tree, you inhale deeply, smelling the fairies. You can sniff that they have been here: the recently burnt out fairy bonfires, clean morning dew, and fairy soup. You breathe in the fairies into your very being, wanting to become one.

The maple tree has roots which make the perfect platform for a fairy party, or as you have tested, the perfect seat for your little bottom.

The moon is high in the sky, fading into the clear blue.

The fairies have created a beautiful tent made out of twinkling pale fine fabric. You touch it with your fingers in awe but it crumples under the smallest pressure of your tiny clumsy hands. You guiltily try to reassemble it with some twigs.

The fairies have left their dishes for you to clean up. You happily put them in your pocket.

Every morning you find a new surprise, and you leave the fairies a note and a present before the night. Yesterday you wrapped glass beads in tin-foil so that they would shine in the moonlight; you humbly asked for a taste of fairy soup.

You carefully put the fairies’ letter into your pocket for your mum to read later, and look at the bottle-cap filled with green bubbling liquid. “Fairy soup,” you whisper in delight.

You put the bottle cap to your lips and drink. You almost gag. The soup tastes nasty, but you are happy that you have tried the food of the fairies. You wish that it would turn you into one.

You hurry back up the hill and climb into bed with your day clothes on hoping that you can trick your mum into giving you breakfast in bed.

She walks into your room and pulls back the covers. “You’re all ready up,” she smiles. “You don’t need breakfast in bed.”


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