Just a bit of fluff for a Friday…. Continued from Wednesday’s story, which is located here, if you missed it:
Her first thought was that it was a particularly large voice for such a small person.
Her second was that she was in fact, talking to a very small person… A person so small that she might, in fact be considered a fairy. She let out a gasp of air in a large woosh that sounded suspiciously like a hiccup.
She was talking to a fairy.
WAS SHE TALKING TO A FAIRY?
Then she realized that, in fact, she had not actually said anything yet. She decided that this should be remedied immediately. But of course, as nearly always happens in such situations, she couldn’t think of what to say. Ultimately, she decided that saying something less-than-impressive is far better than saying nothing at all. This, reader, was a very wise, well-considered choice.
“Hello,” she said.
“Yeah, hi,” said the fairy, tapping her foot impatiently, as though she was waiting for a rather unintelligent puppy to fetch the newspaper.
The foot, the girl noticed, was clad not in an ethereal silken slipper, as one might expect from a fairy (and…dare she hope, a fair princess?), but an extraordinarily tiny Chuck Taylor sneaker. She could hear it tapping against the table.
Did fairies wear chucks? Where would one procure such tiny sneakers?
Actually, now that she stopped to look, the fairy was dressed in a rather unorthodox fashion. Chucks were just the start. Black leggings topped by a hot pink mini-skirt. A tiny black t-shirt with a name she didn’t recognize on it… Who were the …. Ramones? And a leather jacket. There were pink streaks in her black hair.
“You gonna stand there all day staring?” the fairy asked.
“N-no,” she stammered, although honestly, she would’ve been quite content to stand around all day staring.
Instead, she gathered up her courage and asked.
“Are you the fairy princess?” she asked, her voice almost a whisper.
You would expect a fairy to have light, tinkling laughter, like the sound of bells, wouldn’t you?
This one snickered.
“Do I look like a fairy princess to you, kid?”
“No,” she said, staring extra hard.
“Listen,” the fairy said, clearly eager to get to the point. “You got anything to eat in that big ol’ backpack of yours?”
“Eat?” she asked, as though the concept had never occurred to her.
“Yeah, eat,” the fairy. “You know, the act of putting food in your mouth? That thing you do when you get hungry?”
“I don’t know,” she said, trying to remember what she’d shoved in her backpack that morning.
The class had already eaten lunch in the museum cafeteria. What did she have left?
She started rooting through her backpack.
“Aha!” she cried, pulling out a pack of crackers with peanut butter and a baggie of grapes.
The fairy looked up at her, eyes wide and greedy.
“Awesome,” she said. “Thank God you’re not one of those gluten-free weirdos. You mind sharing the wealth?”
“Sure,” she said, placing the food the edge of the table that held the giant castle. “They don’t feed you here?”
The fairy instantly latched onto the crackers, trying to drag them away. When you’re the size of someone’s hand, reader, trying to carry a pack of Ritz Bits is a lot like trying to haul a couch. A delicious couch, sure, but a couch nonetheless. So it was not entirely unexpected that our fairy was a good bit out of breath before she answered again.
“Feed …. Who?” she gasped.
“Don’t the fairy cooks make things for you to eat?”
“Ha!” the laugh was released on a single breath. “Do you…. See any cooks around here?”
“I thought maybe they were hiding?”
“Nope,” the fairy answered. “Just me.”
She dropped the crackers and looked up.
“The digs are nice, but there isn’t a whole lot to eat,” she said. “These should last me a while though.”
“What happened to everyone?”
“Who everyone?” the fairy asked, hands on hips.
“The …. The prince,” she answered. “And the princess. Their court and ….servants.”
This elicited another laugh.
“I don’t know who you’ve been talking to,” the fairy said. “But clearly you’ve been misinformed.”
She gaped down at the little person.
“There is no prince,” she said. “No prince, no princess… what do you think? We live in the stone age?”
“There’s no prince?”
“Nah,” she said. “Our senate’s just as boring as yours. And they get just about as much done. I won’t lie though – the president is pretty cute.”
She couldn’t really imagine a non-cute fairy, but chose not to say so. She couldn’t think of what to say…. So she said what all girls say, in a conversational lull.
“I love your shoes,” she said. “Where’d you get them?”
“Aren’t they cute?” the fairy replied. A bright grin lit her face as she kicked up a heel. “I swiped ‘em from a Barbie.”
“Comfortable footwear is important,” she said sagely, despite having no idea what she was talking about.
“Definitely,” the fairy said, looking down at her toes and clicking the white rubber bits together.
“So…. What are you doing here?” she asked. “If there’s no prince and no princess and no court….”
“I’m just passing through,” she answered. “This place is nice, although the tourists are annoying. I think I’ll move on soon… I hear Niagara Falls is nice. Maybe I’ll go there.”
“Just how do you expect to get there?”
The fairy just grinned mysteriously.
“So… what are you…”
This was a louder, larger, grown-up voice. And it took her a few seconds to realize it belonged to the full-sized museum guard standing at the doorway of the room.
“No touching the exhibits,” he said.
She looked down at the table ledge… It was empty. The fairy was gone. So, suspiciously, were the grapes and the crackers.
“Sure you weren’t,” he said. “Just like every other kid who’s ever been in here says they weren’t. But just on the off-chance that you were, how about you go find your teacher now?”
“But I don’t want…..”
She looked back at the castle. She could swear she saw something moving in one of the bedrooms.
It was ok.
“How about you get a move on?” he said, stepping closer.
She glared at him.
She would leave.
She wanted information and she had certain ways of getting it.
There was a whole box of crackers at home and she had every intention of putting them to good use.
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