If you have ever been to fairy land, you know that it is awfully hard to get there. Part of this is due to their fairy enchantment. The rest… Well, it is really up to you.
I know someone who was there. All began on a warm summer evening.
He did it again. She could not understand why. It seemed as if he had an unseen calendar, days marked carefully to reflect all the pain she had to endure.
But how much could she take? One day, she would fill up and then…
“Lizzy, I’m talking to you!”
The voice was quite insistent, which, she knew, could lead to trouble.
“Yes, dad. I’m here, right next to you. Listening, as always.”
“No, you aren’t. You’re lost again in God knows where. Turn off that thing and go eat!”
She sighed. Music kept her alive. Music and her thoughts of wonder.
She stood up and removed her headphones. The world seemed to be dead. She felt like a statue, standing in a long-forgotten house, frozen in time. Yet, time moved on, with the occasional rustle of her dad’s newspaper as he turned a page, or moved it closer to his eyes to scrutinise a particularly interesting paragraph.
“What are you waiting for? You still need to clean your room!”
She sighed again. Sometimes, just sometimes, it would have been nice to have a bit of peace. Not much, just a tiny bit which she could roll up into a ball and hide under her pillow.
“Also, that blasted bird is getting loud again. If you don’t do something about it, I will.”
“I will, dad. She is okay now, I can let her out.”
Her dad muttered something incomprehensible and buried his face into his newspaper.
It took her five minutes to finish her meal and close her room’s door behind her. It felt like an eternity, but she was, at last, free of scrutinising eyes and harsh words that could sting her unexpectedly. She was in her room. The only place where she felt home. A small bed, two bookshelves and a small desk with a lamp on it were all her possessions. She did not need more.
She looked around. Everything was there, even the ever-present dust. A large, white owl was perched atop the window ledge.
The “bird!” She had forgotten about her!
“Are you okay, Snowfire?”
The owl seemed to nod. Her wings looked fine to her.
“You know, I will have to let you go soon. My dad…”
The owl’s eyes seemed to be misty—or were they hers?
“I am sorry…”
The owl cooed gently. Why can’t I talk to her? she thought. If she could only understand.
“We’ll do it tomorrow, okay?”
The owl continued to look at her, eyes unwavering. She sniffled.
“Tomorrow it is, then.” She sat down. “Cleaning can wait another day, what do you think?”
She closed her eyes and pressed ‘Play’.
Come, set sail for fairy land,
For golden fields of green,
Where song and dance come hand in hand,
To set great spirits free.
Behold the fairy valleys,
Lakes, rivers of mirth,
Belong to folk of fairy green,
To Fae and elves unearth.
If you find your way to be,
Barred by foe unseen,
Utter a magical faerie pledge,
To whisk away unease.
She opened her eyes, then promptly closed them again. Where was this bright light coming from? Did dad open her door just before heading to work again? She tried to make it out through her eyelids. No, this was not an open door… This was not even her own room!
She jumped up and looked around. She was outside, standing in the centre of a small clearing surrounded by tall trees. Occasionally, their branches moved, though there seemed to be no wind blowing.
She froze. Music, she thought. Where from? Soft, melodic music seemed to emanate from all around her, but just like the bright light, its source remained a mystery. She looked at herself. Her clothes had changed, now she was wearing a glowing robe, richly adorned with small, glittering jewels. Her fingers were plain, except a ring on her right index finger. Needless to say, it was glowing as well, just like her robe and her hands…
“My hands!” she exclaimed. “My hands are glowing!”
“Of course they are, my…”
She jumped and spun around. Three figures were standing behind her, near a huge wooden… chair.
“Oh, I am sorry,” said one of the figures. “We did not mean to startle you, my…”
“Who are you?” Lizzy blurted out.
“Oh, how rude of me!” The figure slapped its head, making a tinkling sound.
“I am Hope. These are my… companions. Luck,” Hope pointed at a young, human-looking figure, “and Love.” Hope looked at an elderly figure.”Nice to meet you, at last!”
They bowed respectfully.
“At last?” Lizzy asked. “What do you mean at last? Where am I and… why am I here? I am sorry, but…”
“It is our… it is thanks to us that you are here now. This is the land of the fairefolk and you are our queen. We had been looking for you for a long time, my queen.”
Lizzy looked at the three figures, shocked. They seemed to be blurring in and out of existence.
“Could you please… stop… disappearing?”
Luck winked. “My queen, I would like to inform you that I had warned them, but it was not heeded. We’re lucky it is not too late!” Luck chuckled and with a furrowed brow, seemed to disappear for a moment, only to reappear as a young man. Others followed suit. Hope became a young girl, wearing a loose cloak. As she moved around, hundreds of tiny bells started tinkling in her hair. Love’s transformation was astonishing. After a few seconds of intense concentration, she appeared as a young girl, her age perhaps the same as Lizzy’s.
“Done, my queen,” she chirped. Her cloak was made up of varying sizes of hearts, seemingly moving of their own accord.
“That’s… impressive,” Lizzy said, smiling.
“Thank you,” said Luck.
Lizzy was overwhelmed, to say the least. Everything happened in such an incredibly short amount of time. More and more questions appeared. Perhaps this was acceptable in the presence of fairies, but she still didn’t like it.
“How… how do you know that I am your queen?”
Hope smiled. “Our fae instincts, you know. Fae powers have always belonged to our queen. We could not exist without her. Our race was fading slowly, ever since we lost our queen. Until now. Now that we found you, our powers are slowly returning.”
Lizzy raised her eyebrows.
“Do I have to stay here forever then? Would this power disappear if I left?”
“Certainly not!” snorted Luck. “While we would love for you to stay, we understand that this would be too much to ask of you.”
“Fear not,” Love said, “our worlds are linked now.”
Lizzy pondered. “Still… I could… stay, but… what about my dad? He won’t know where I am.”
Hope, Luck and Love looked at each other.
“We cannot influence men without beliefs… One day, he might accept who you are,” they said in unison. “Should that happen, we can show him the path he should follow.”
Lizzy frowned. “I still don’t understand.”
“My queen?” asked Love.
“Why me? Why isn’t your queen…”
“Why isn’t she one of us? She was, for a while,” chimed Hope.
“Then, she disappeared. No one knows where she went,” added Luck. “Our powers taken away, we started to fade.”
“Oh…” said Lizzy. “Maybe I could find her and return her power. It must be sad, losing her.”
“No, my queen,” Love smiled. “You have done enough for us. We owe our life to you. Our queen… our former queen cannot return.”
“But I haven’t done anything!” Lizzy exclaimed.
“Not consciously, my queen.”
“Is this why I am here now? To show me what I’ve done?” she asked.
Hope cleared her throat.
“Not exactly, my queen. That day will come, too, but not tonight. We’re here now to show a trickle of our appreciation. We’re sorry for having to do this in our world. We are yet to regain our full power. Love, would you do the honours?”
Love skipped over to Lizzy. “Certainly.”
She seemed to blush for a moment, then took a deep breath.
“Your wish was heard, my queen,” she said lightly.
Lizzy looked at her, puzzled.
“Yes. You shall see in a blink.”
They stood in silence. Nothing seemed to move, as if the trees knew that something extraordinary was about to happen. Even the mysterious music ceased playing.
“Look!” Hope exclaimed. “There!”
Lizzy looked. Everything was still, frozen in time. Yet, for some mysterious reason, she held her breath. Why was she expecting the light, yet deafening sound of her dad’s newspaper?
“But there’s nothing…” she exhaled.
“Up, my queen, look up! It comes from above!”
Lizzy did. She saw thick branches with golden leaves, forming a dome above them.
“This is beautiful,” she breathed.
The trees rustled. She noticed new leaves sprouting, wherever she looked, as if the trees wanted to please her.
“Even higher, my queen. Look at the sky!”
“But the trees…”
Leaves rustled, then branches moved aside, giving her enough space to look through. A clear sky greeted her. Perhaps she will be able to look at the stars soon… One was appearing already. Curiously enough, it was moving closer and closer…
She gasped. On a slow current of air, Snowfire was gliding towards them, her majestic figure drawing reverent looks, even from the fairies.
“Snowfire!” Lizzy yelled. “But how did she…”
“With our aid, my queen,” Luck beamed.
“Look at her! Isn’t she magnificent?”
“Oh, she certainly is. We expect no less from our queen!”
Snowfire flapped her wings lazily, stirring the air slightly in front of them as she landed gracefully on the grass.
“Well met, my lady,” she nodded. Suddenly, she shuddered and sneezed loudly. “Please excuse me, my lady. The fairy dust, you see…”
“But… but you can talk!” Lizzy was moving her gaze between Snowfire and the fairies.
“Yes, thanks to them I can,” Snowfire pinched Love’s hand with her beak. Love emitted a small shriek, only to turn it into a giggle.
“Is that how you show us your gratitude, wise one?” she chuckled.
“Ah, you are lucky I had my share of mice tonight.” The owl’s eyes seemed to smile.
The fairies feigned surprise.
“Well, now I can tell you the most important thing I wanted you to know,” sighed Lizzy. “Thank you. Thank you very much, all of you. Even if this is a dream.”
“We assure you, this is not a dream. This is why you are here now. You were not afraid to believe.”
Snowfire moved her wings slightly.
“My lady, I think it is time for us to go.”
Lizzy sighed. “We can return at any time though, can’t we?”
“Things will not be the same,” Love sighed.
“But we will be here,” added Hope.
“By the time you return, the rest of us will be here as well,” said Luck.
“What about you, Snowfire? Where will you go?”
“I will stay in our world, Lady. I can visit you at any time.”
“Think of us,” said Love. “Think of us if you need our aid. We’ll come.”
“Will you really?” asked Lizzy.
“On our fairy honour,” said Luck gently.
“Yours is not much to trust though,” chimed Hope.
“This is mutiny!” Luck grinned and looked at Lizzy with pleading eyes.”Help me, my queen, my life is miserable with these creatures!”
“Don’t you worry, my queen, he will only get some friendly education.”
Lizzy threw back her head and laughed.
“Be careful, you three. And thank you again!”
“We await your return, my queen!” Hope said. “On that day, we shall tell you more about our kind.”
Lizzy looked around.
“How… How do I get back to my room?” she asked.
“With my help, my lady,” Snowfire said. “Get on my back!”
With a bit of help from the fairies, Lizzy climbed on Snowfire’s back.
“Hold on to my feathers, my lady.”
Snowfire expanded her wings and leapt into the air. They seemed to hang for a moment, but Snowfire’s wings began lifting them upwards. Hope, Luck and Love were waving and cheering.
“Are you sitting comfortably?” Snowfire asked.
“Yes, I am,” Lizzy replied.
“Think of your home, my lady! You will be our guide home!”
Lizzy closed her eyes. Images seemed to pass by, her mum, her long lost friends… her dad… All the fun they had when she was younger.
“Lizzy! What are you doing? Lizzy!”
Someone was shaking her. She opened her eyes. Her dad was floating in front of her.
“Lizzy! What’s going on here? You were yelling!”
“Dad, this is wonderful! You can do it too!” Lizzy squealed.
“Yes, I can sleep too.”
Lizzy did not know why, but her dad seemed different now. He seemed to be more… alive.
“He is a good man,” Snowfire said. “Perhaps a bit harsh and ignorant, but… you can’t blame him. He sees your mum in you.”
“But I am not my mum!” Lizzy exclaimed. Her dad looked surprised.
“Are you all right?” he asked.
“He can’t hear me, my lady,” Snowfire said.
“Dad… just look around. Do you see all this? The land, the trees, how they blossom wherever we fly…” she stopped for a moment, thinking hard. Her dad must understand! There has to be a way…
Suddenly, she looked at her dad with renewed vigour. “The dust! Do you see the fairy dust? Do you see how it glows all around us?”
Her dad looked worried.
“Lizzy, are you absolutely sure you are okay? You shouldn’t be daydreaming now.”
“No, I am not, dad,” Lizzy said. “I am starting to believe that this is not a dream. Do you see it, the dust?”
“Well, there’s dust here all right.” He blew it off of his hands. “But it is not glowing. It is perfectly normal dust.”
“I see. Can you just try to…”
Her dad sighed. “Look. I am going back to sleep. Anything you saw was just part of a nightmare.”
Her dad disappeared.
“Worry not, lady.”
“But… what if he never believes me?” Lizzy asked.
“He will, in time. Be patient!”
“I’ll try,” Lizzy said. “I’m not sure…”
“Remember, lady. We are all here for you. I will stay in your room tonight.”
“Thank you, Snowfire!”
“You better hold your breath for a bit,” Snowfire suggested. “We are at the gate between the two worlds.”
Lizzy did so, but exhaled immediately when she saw what the gate was made of: a brilliantly glowing, golden arch of fairy dust.
“Beautiful,” she coughed.
The bright light enveloped them as they crossed through, leaving Lizzy slightly disoriented.
She was lying on her bed, Snowfire next to her.
“We’re back,” Lizzy said.
Her room’s door slowly opened and her dad stepped in, holding a glowing candle.
“Lizzy? Are you…”
He looked at the owl, smiled, then stepped outside, quietly closing the door behind him.
That was odd, Lizzy thought. Why would he hold a candle? I haven’t seen one in his hands, ever since…
Her heart leapt in her chest. That was it! It was not a candle. It was just his hand! He was holding some fairy dust!
She hugged Snowfire, who seemed to wink at her.
Minutes passed. Lizzy was still having her arms around Snowfire, who extended one of her wings protectively above her, cooing softly. Lizzy did not see it though, as she was far away, listening to an enchanting harmony of voices, calming her, lulling her into a deep, deep sleep.
Your world’s asleep, oh fairy girl,
Moonlight shines through your dreams,
Our joy is sang by fairy birds,
We’ve found our fairy queen.
Beauty comes and goes with ease,
Such is the human heart,
Do not forget our fairy queen,
We ask you before we part.
Think of her, O’ wanderer,
Our queen of pure delight,
Her face of fair, when lips would turn,
To make a fairy smile.
Think of her, O’ wanderer,
Our queen of pure delight,
Her face of fair, when lips would turn,
To make a fairy cry.