A couple years ago, Faerie Magazine held a contest for people for people to share what faeries meant to them. I wrote up something and sent it in, just on a whim, since I had faeries on the brain anyway (I'd been working on a YA fantasy story that had faeries in it). Well, imagine my surprise when I found out my little piece was a finalist!
It's been a crazy kind of week for a lot of people, so I thought I'd publish my little faerie fun here as a treat. And remember, tread carefully! You never know where they might be.
A Fae Kind of Day
Melanie R. Meadors
Fate has delivered another one of those days. You know the kind I mean. The dog eats your homework. Your boss berates you. A toilet paper tail streams from your waistband and no one tells you until lunch. Your wife forgets your anniversary; your kid brother yanks your hair. Or maybe nothing like that happens at all, and you are just feeling low.
You step outside for a little fresh air, to clear your head. You start walking a little, aimlessly, with no real destination in mind. Then you notice you’re at a boundary. Before you lies the forest, the garden, the neighbor’s yard, the alleyway behind your house. Perhaps you didn’t leave your house at all, and are at the doorway of the kitchen, craving a comforting cup of cocoa. You stand at the fringe, neither here nor there, hesitating. You feel a twinge of warning--"Enter at your own risk,"--even as you feel an unmistakable invitation. Your skin prickles, and you are filled with both apprehension and excitement. The entry is not for the faint of heart. You’ve felt this before; it’s how you know.
You take a step.
You can’t quite see them, yet something teases the corner of your eye. You can’t quite hear them, but you know the blanket of inexplicable silence is covering something just beyond your senses. And you know when you are being merrily mocked. They are everywhere: in the moss underfoot, in the creaks of the floor, the fog of your breath, the breeze through the air. The forest stream rings with their laughter, their breaths echo through the city, the snowy winter meadow is laden with their presence. The hesitation you felt moments before ebbs away, and you relax for the first time since you can’t remember when. You feel at home, where you are supposed to be. You are free, you are wild. The cares of moments before are lost with the realization of things truly important: dancing, singing, drawing, painting. Creating. Laughing. Eating chocolate.
The world seems so much bigger when you include all that is unseen, all that escapes the imperceptive human eye. You don’t mind so much that you can’t see them, that you can’t hear their words, because after a time, you can understand them, in a way the others of your kind can’t understand you. And for all their teasing, you know these ones unseen do it because they can see your true nature, and they can see how silly your worries are, when the world is so big, so open, so free. So fun.
You take a deep breath and wish. You wish with all your heart, all your soul, and all your might, that you could always be a part of this world they belong to, this world that is bigger than your senses. It is a world in which you are never alone; it’s a place where someone always has your back, no matter what kind of pickle you find yourself in; where there will always be someone to laugh with. A world where just the right amount of mischief is encouraged, where your day-to-day problems are suddenly trivial, and the greatest worry is how to taunt the neighbor’s nasty cat without getting caught.
Then you realize. All you’ve done is step outside, or step into your kitchen, like you have a million times before. You don’t have to wish yourself to this world.
You are already here.
Melanie R. Meadors is the author of fantasy and science fiction stories where heroes don’t always carry swords and knights in shining armor often lose to nerds who study their weaknesses. She’s been known to befriend wandering garden gnomes, do battle with metal-eating squirrels, and has been called a superhero on more than one occasion. Her work has been published in Circle Magazine, The Wheel, and Prick of the Spindle, and she was a finalist in the 2014 Jim Baen Memorial Science Fiction Contest. Melanie is also a freelance author publicist and publicity/marketing coordinator for both Ragnarok Publications and Mechanical Muse. She blogs regularly for GeekMom and The Once and Future Podcast. Her short story “A Whole-Hearted Halfling” is in the anthology Champions of Aetaltis, available April 12, 2016. Follow Melanie on Facebook and on Twitter as @MelanieRMeadors.