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By Sarah Schwister
Mary sat in her small, cramped room hovering over an ancient book, its aged golden pages baring ink blots that resembled fairies and other mythical creatures. Hearing her baby brother, William, start to fuss from down the hall, Mary watched her mother’s shadow glide underneath the door. Mary drew her old lamp in closer, licking her lips in excitement as she read the legend of fairies over and over again. She mumbled the story to herself as she pictured what a real fairy would look like, her imagination raped of ideas by the faded black hole illustrations.
As William quieted down, Mary called her mother, Vanessa, just as the shadow brushed the corner of the parched wood floor.
“Momma, could you come here, please?” Mary called, pushing the lamp back and straightening her pale blue blankets. With a creak, Vanessa looked at her daughter in a golden crown and candlelit glow from the contrasting lights.
“Mary, dear, night hasn’t even fallen yet, why are you in bed already?” Vanessa asked, sitting on the corner of the twin bed and leaning over to brush Mary’s pale curls out of her bright eyes. Vanessa tried a smile, but failed as she saw her husband in her oldest child. Mary did not boast her mother's fair skin, sharp cheekbones, chocolate hair, or purple eyes. Every featured mocked that of her father, Henry, and her attitude was exactly the same. Vanessa faked a smile and brushed her daughter’s cheek before recoiling to her previous position.
“I want you to tell me about fairies. A new legend, I have read all of the others from your book,” Mary said, tightening her fists in excitement. Vanessa looked taken aback, eyes darting around uncomfortably before deciding.
“Well, it is said that fairies are the keeper of dreams and the guardians of the innocent,” Vanessa said, back growing rigid as she spoke. “They are invisible to our eyes, but it has been said that they can be seen at twilight; and caught.”
Vanessa paused, growing unsure of her daughter’s wide eyes and twisting smile, but continued once again as Mary’s hand twitched.
“Before the sun disappears under the horizon during twilight, they are seen as a shimmering purple orb floating towards the dying sun,” Vanessa finished quickly, looking away from Mary. William gurgled a cry and Vanessa patted her daughter’s knee and muttering a “don’t stay up too long, dear,” before thankfully fleeing the room.
With her mother gone, Mary looked at the blackened mess on the book before slamming it out of her way. She shot a glance at her tiny window and grinned again as she slid her shoes on, slipping out of the small country house to backyard. Chilling dew clung to her ankles, seeping through her socks in the dark field as the weeping willows brushed silver tears in the breeze to the golden globe sitting atop the demented mountains.
Mary’s heart swelled viciously as she saw a flick of glitter in the sun’s final beam.
With a faithful leap, she snatched the violet crystal. Grinning mischievously, Mary poked her crooked nose into her cupped hands to spy a blooming shell of golden, glistening light flooding over her palm, burning her flesh, as it cascaded on to the grass; washing away the darkness in a sweetened glow. Blossoming around Mary, the aura whipped up around the child in a bowl, Mary’s silver curls fluttering around madly in the wind as glitter transferred locations through the hollow center. Neck aching from her attempt to soak everything in, Mary’s face shot back down to the epicenter of the mythical garden as her eyes popped. Rising from her hands was indeed a tiny person- perfectly built in a childish yet feminine body no bigger than Mary’s hand. The fairy glared at the girl; long, voluminous emerald curls swaying around her heart shaped face and freezing her petite violet dress.
Raising a gloved arm to Mary, the fairy touched the child’s crooked nose as heat shot into her spine and erupted throughout her body, all feeling vanishing as suddenly as it came. With a twitch and a shake, Mary looked around, frightened for the first time, to sigh in relief as the darkness engulfed the hollow once more. Shaking off the feeling, she labeled it as a dream without a second thought as her mother called her name.
“Mary, there you are, you had me so worried,” Vanessa called, sighing in relief, looking at her daughter not thirty feet from her.
A shiver went down the girl’s spine, her head dropping. Raising it gracefully, the Mary opened her matured, purple eyes and said, “Yes, mother,” in a double edged voice as the girl walked back to the mother.
#Unreal #CreativeWriting #Fiction #FlashFiction #Fairies #FairyTales #Magic #MysticalExperience #StrangeHappenings
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