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Fairy Captives Swarm Apple Orchards
By The Filigree
It wasn’t long after hundreds of families had gathered in the ripe thickets of Peckover’s Apple Orchard when the first unusual signs and peculiar sounds were heard--
‘We heard the whispers, almost like a song. A strange language; familiar yet foreign,’ one witness said. Sure enough, forms soon began to emerge from the dotted hillsides, slowly at first and then in incredible amounts. Single file, creatures from all walks of life began spilling into the orchard and causing uproars of Joy at their return. The Apple Orchard, many said, turned into a place of wonder.
Peckover’s Orchard has been a place of release for those spirited away and held as fairy captives for as long as anyone can remember. If you’d lost a loved one during the year then the following Halloween meant you would surely be at the cluster of Apple trees, watching the hillside anxiously in hopes of their return. Sometimes the captives served their penance in just a short time but other times they could remain as prisoners for years.
Last year, reporters from the Filigree visited the orchard and followed several families as they waited, hopeful for the return of a loved one. While the moon was highest, the captives slowly started appearing. Most appeared bewildered and confused, while often times mumbling a strange language. Some of the returned captives were even completely altered—
Earl Cahail, who had been ‘bald as a biscuit’ returned to his wife Karen after 7 years of captivity, sporting a full head of silken hair.
Arbella Stoll was pleased to receive her son Tomothy, who smelled like Fairy waters and was even more beautiful than before. Little Freddie Krommer was switched out for a changeling child and sent home some 200 pounds heavier.
The re-uniting was plenty bittersweet, as the Mahoney family could attest: More than 21 years had passed since the disappearance of their father. Every year saw the Mahoney family faithfully and hopefully waiting at the orchard on All Hallow’s Eve, only to leave every year empty-handed, without the faintest sign of Mr. Mahoney. This year, however, they finally got the surprise they had all been waiting for:
‘Our father retuned!’ said a beaming Mahoney daughter, ‘Well, a miniature version of him, but exactly like we remembered him.’ Standing proud beside his family and looking young and healthy while bearing no strain of the last 21 years was Will Mahoney. A completely proportionate miniature version that was hip tall to his 23 year old son, Ralph.
Another happy ending was experienced by the Arbuchle family of Pine Swamp. They waited six years for the return of their daughter Emily who had been spirited away along with two friends while playing in a forbidden fairy ring. Earlier years had seen the safe return of her two companions, while Emily Arbuchle remained captive until this year— ‘She looks just the same, as if a day hasn’t passed!’ Her parents smiled.
So many captives were released this year that it has even the scholars baffled--
‘It’s seen us re-calculate & re-examine what we believed to be the strict protocol of spiriting away,’ Dr. Odell Osbourne said, ‘Most definitely. Either Fairy is too crowded or they’re making room for Winter! We’ll never know!’
One thing is for certain: Never play in the dangerous haunts of the wild Fairies, especially during the shadowy and fragrant days of Autumn, when dead leaves can easily pile up on secret portals and trip up even the most seasoned Fairy Veteran.