She Belonged to the Fairies

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
A village decides to help a girl deal with her loss in the human world.

Submitted: May 18, 2011

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Submitted: May 18, 2011

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When she was little, Merope would disappear for hours into the green woods that grew behind the house that she lived in with her mother. When she would reappear, her legs would be covered in dust and there would be wildflowers tangled in her hair. Once, her mother asked her where she would go when Merope was in the woods.
Merope replied “I was with the fairies.”
Her mother, being delighted with the seemingly simple interest of her daughter, bought her loads of books on fairies. But Merope refused to read them. She claimed that faries didn’t look anything like the illustrations.
And so it went, that everyday since the day she turned five, Merope played in the woods. That was, until, she began sixth grade. Then, Merope became interested in other things. Other things like sports, getting good grades, and boys. For a while, Merope didn’t go back into the woods. Eventually, she even forgot about the fairies.
 
It was a warm weekend that Merope felt the urge to visit the woods behind her house again. With a change of clothes crumpled up in her hands, she walked down a path so twisted and strange that only she could follow it. The spring of her sophomore year of high school, Merope was newly single and rather upset over her recent breakup.
She reached a clearing in the trees, where the ground turned immediately from grass to dust. After taking a look around, Merope stripped off her t-shirt and shorts. She stood a moment and let the warm wind caress her body. It made her shiver and she slipped into the tank top and a rather grandmotherly skirt that she had found in her closet. She tossed her other clothes into a tree. Merope cleared the stones from a patch of the dusty ground. Kicking off her shoes, she began to dance.
The dance wasn’t intricate. She spun around with her arms above her head, kicking the dust up around her. The dust and the warm wind danced around Merope, attempting to sweep her into its arms unsuccessfully.
Merope remembered dancing like this so many timed when she was little. She would pretend that she was a princess at a ball or a witch casting a spell. She also remembered that she would dance with someone here, sometimes whole groups of people. But she couldn’t remember their names or faces.
When she became dizzy enough to fall over, Merope stumbled over to the pile of stones she had cleared from her dancing ground. She flopped ungracefully onto the dust and began playing with the rocks.
First, Merope placed them in groups according to their size. Out of the largest ones, she built a ring. Inside the ring, she put together fairy houses.
Ten or eleven years ago, Merope’s father left her and her mother. But before he left, he showed Merope how to make fairy houses.
To make a fairy house, Merope placed three similar-shaped rocks in the dust like three sides of a square. The side without a stone was considered the doorway. Then, Merope would put a flat stone upon the three walls as a roof. She built five of the little houses.
She then built a mansion and a palace. The manor was slightly larger than the other houses. On top of the stone roof of the mansion, Merope placed two stone walls and another roof upon those. The palace was big, as big as two manors put together. Once or twice, the instability of the rocks would cause the large structure to fall over, but Merope never lost her patience. She simply began over again.
A small sparrow flew down from a tree and landed on the stone wall. He trilled when Merope completed the palace. Carefully, Merope stroked his feathers with her little finger in consideration. He flew up and onto her shoulder as she pointed out and decorated the village.
“The royal family lives in the palace, but the duke and his family don’t live in the manor. They live right here, in this little house to the left of the palace. The dragon keepers live in the manor. A long time ago, before dragons could go extinct, the fairies used their magic to turn some dragons small. See here? The dragons live in the little room on top of the mansion.”
Merope began to whistle, a slow high tune that she wrestled out from the alcoves of her memory. She placed a few decorative rocks on the palace and some flowers in the middle of the town.
As she whistled, the trees that towered over Merope’s head began to stir. They shook with the force of the warm wind. Some of their green leaves fell down in spirals around the little village. They danced around Merope as she worked until she noticed them.
On each of the leaves that fell sat a little fairy. With the iridescent wings of butterflies and moths, they flew around Merope. Some settled on the stone wall to watch her work on their little village. Others hovered in the air, their wings beating lazily in the wind.
Merope placed a thin, flat rock in the center of the village. “A table,” she whispered. “A table that everyone can sit at so they can enjoy feasts together.”
One of the fairies blew out a call using a really tiny bugle. Each of the fairies stood at attention in front of their decided house. Six fairies that were more elegantly dressed than the rest floated down out of the sky. Merope recognized them from her so-called childhood fantasies. The fairy king and his queen were at the head of the procession. The heir prince, his wife, and their son flew after them. Last of all was the younger prince. All of the fairies bowed or curtsied to the royal family. But Merope gasped in delight.
The younger prince, Sigler, had been Merope’s best frien when she was little. They had done everything together. They had fought trolls, rescued trapped dragons, and hid in the forest when the village had had those boring town meetings. They had been inseparable.
“Hello Sigler,” Merope whispered. The fairy prince broke away from his family and flew up onto Merope’s extended finger. Merope nodded her head to the rest of the royal family as they smiled and waved at her. Sigler bowed to her and laughed. He had missed her.
And just as he saw how she had grown from a shy, insignificant child to a beautiful young woman, Merope noticed how the prince had grown. He had been half an inch tall when she left, and very skinny at that. He had filled out now, and was tall for his age, just over a full inch.
The king flew above his town and proclaimed “My people! Today we will rejoice, for this beloved friend of ours was lost, but now she has returned. Let us show her our gratitude!”
All of the fairies flew up until they formed a circle around Merope’s head. They clasped each other’s hands and began flying around in a ring. They chanted in a language that Merope recognized as Faerietongue, though she could not understand it. She watched the fairies for a moment before she became overwhelmed with sleep. And just before she went unconscious, she made sure not to lie down upon the fairy village.
 
When Merope awoke, she was laying in a bed made of thistledown. The room she was in was made of stone. An elderly woman with graying butterfly wings was crouching near a fireplace in one corner of the room.
Merope sat up and stretched out her wings. With the blues and greens of dew drops, her wings shimmered in the sunlight that sneaked in past the door. She rose silently from her bed and flitted across the room. She kissed the woman on the crown of her head, smiling at her adopted mother. Faintly she remembered that this woman had brought her in, but Merope couldn’t remember why or when.
Outside, someone called “Oh, has the sleeping beauty awakened? Or will her prince need to give her a kiss to break the enchantment?” Merope and her mother laughed as Merope flew out the door and into the arms of her beloved Sigler.
“Patience, dear prince. One must make sure that one in presentable to her royalty.”
Hand in hand, Merope and Sigler flew up and sat in a tree to watch a grown human come into the clearing. Confused, Merope thought that the human looked familiar. When she couldn’t remember why, she shrugged it off and watched as the human woman picked up and carried the body of her daughter from the clearing.
 
After Merope’s father left her mother Natalie, Natalie decided that Merope played in the woods to forget about her father. Natalie always wished that she could forget her husband as easily as her daughter had. Instead, she began to drink the pain away.
Natalie didn’t really notice that her daughter was missing until some days after Merope disappeared. Out of the blue, Natalie began yelling at Merope to bring her another beer. When Merope didn’t answer, Natalie searched the entire house in drunken vain for her child. Since Merope wasn’t there, Natalie couldn’t find her. So Natalie stayed up all night to punish her absent daughter.
When Merope didn’t return, Natalie awoke from her drink-induced rage. Merope had never been away from home this long without at least calling her mother, she was too polite a girl. Something must have been wrong.
Natalie raced through the contacts on her phone and, finding Merope’s phone in her room, called each of those too. No one knew where the girl was. Friends who had ridden the bus home with Merope on Friday said that she hadn’t been to school since then. Natalie stopped and thought about that Friday. She and Merope had had a fight that night. But, checking the calendar, that day was Wednesday. Natalie cried silent tears. Her daughter had been missing for about five days.
Natalie ran outside, calling Merope’s name over and over again. She combed the woods behind her house, searching for any trace of her child. When she finally found her, Merope was dead.
In a clearing glittering with sparkling butterflies, Merope laid among clusters of stones. Some words had been written in the dust, they read “Now this child will never again leave us.” Her teenaged daughter’s hair was entwined with wildflowers, just as it had been when she would come home as a child.
As she lifted Merope’s body from the ground, a particular butterfly caught Natalie’s eye. It’s blue-green wings shined like dewdrops on spider webs… just as Merope’s eyes did. But the beauty of the butterfly only caused Natalie to cry harder. She wanted to throw a rock at the carefree thing, but she didn’t want to put her child down. So Natalie walked away and never looked back.


© Copyright 2020 Ademonalai. All rights reserved.

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