Fairy Lights

She was reminded of the little fairies. She would spend hours in the garden building little houses for them. She would line match boxes with dandelions and petals and lay them out in a row under a thicket or a shelter. She built shelters with leaves and toadstools and little fences of sticks and stones. She would set tiny tealights around the fairy houses and light them in the evening. She would put little figurines and sculptures around the lights for the fairy party that would happen that night. She hung acorns and little trinkets to the bushes to make them look like ornaments. She picked up a beetle or two and set them in the matchbox houses to accompany the fairies in their dances. Then she would go back to her room and watch the little lights dance until the wind blew them out one by one. However, sleep would take her into its heavy embrace before she could complain. What a dreamy little child she was!

The wild poppies sprung deep red in her thoughts. She sat on a stone and gazed into the rain. A group of drenched flowers stood drooping in the rain like a row of helpless little children. Her clothes were damp from a chill breeze and raindrops wet her skin in a steady drizzle. She did not move or walk away from the rain. She let it wet her thick black tweed skirt and her coat.

Her dripping brown hair looked black when wet. Her lace ankle socks were wet. So were her leather boots. Her face seemed blanched yet her cheeks were flushed red in the cold. Her misty breath came out in little white wisps. She drew her black parka around her hair even as tiny droplets clung to her unruly hair. And she shivered mildly in the cold. A shy golden sun hung somewhere in the western horizon beyond the clouds that were swiftly melting in rain. This sun colored the atmosphere in a magical light that seemed sinfully surreal. The only sounds were those of the rain or some evening bird anxious to find its way back to the nest.

The rain had been her companion. When the rains came her little friends would crawl out of the tree barks. Friendly frog babies would hop like little clods of mud and happiness. Caterpillars talked to her about their endless journeys across the terrain and she believed them because she thought they were trains that fairies rode on. She brought some candies and left them in the garden to invite ants. She would watch them for hours and follow them through all their serious business of gathering food. She shook down plants after the rain to get all those shiny water droplets onto herself and loved how it felt. She once did that to a squirrel and it ran like there was a hailstorm as she laughed till she fell to the ground. Then she loved to explore the crevices and hidden nooks and collect little souvenirs. She hid little pebbles, acorns, red leaves, yellow leaves, marbles, twigs, dead beetles, shells, and other treasures in a tin box under a stone near a big tree. The box itself was quite rusty but it worked pretty well for now.

She had work to do. She had to go looking for little creatures that slept in shadows. And the meaning of light and shade. And she had to learn to drink rain water when running. And a new place to hide a special treasure that she would find any moment now. She had to find a blue feather she had once seen a bird shed in its flight. And learn the language of the little ants. She had to pick a handful of wild flowers and drink their fascinating colors. She had to run now and worry about the butterflies that had gone away in the rain and the dragonflies that had arrived. She had to wait and watch for the clouds to dissolve even as her sun emerged in its skilfully mysterious way. Then she had to pray for more caterpillars and pebbles and shiny precious rocks. And she had to build a shelter for her fairies to protect their flimsy wings from rain. And their little dancing lights too.

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