#AtoZChallenge Visitors from Beyond – Finding a Fairy

Trap for fairies

“You’re never going to catch one like that, Frankie.”

Sylvia snatched the bird cage out of her sister’s hands and started tying a rope to the top loop. She pulled it snug and sat back on her heels as she considered her work.

“I don’t know, Sylvia. Are you sure you want to do that?”

“How else are we going to prove they exist, huh? We need to actually catch one. That’s the whole point. Geez, Frankie.”

Frankie sighed and rested her elbows on her knees and her chin in her hands as she watched Sylvia put the final touches on the trap, which included a trail of M&M candies along the ground. She didn’t think Sylvia believed they were really going to catch a fairy. She doubted Sylvia even believed they existed so why were they putting so much time into it, and wasting good candy too?

“I’m hungry. Let’s go see if dinner is ready.”

“The sun is setting, Frankie.”

“So?”

“So, we don’t have much longer to get this thing perfect.”

“Right,” Frankie said with a sigh. She kicked at the grass that was tickling her feet. She’d abandoned her shoes earlier that afternoon in favor of wading in the stream and hadn’t bothered putting them back on since. She preferred the feel of earth below her feet.

“The fairies come out at sunset,” Sylvia said, as if she’d been the expert all along. She stood up and put her hands on her hips as she surveyed the woods around them. Frankie followed her gaze, wondering what they would do if they ever did catch a fairy? She suspected Sylvia’s intentions were not so friendly and the idea of it left an uneasiness in the pit of her stomach.

“I’m the one who saw one before,” Frankie said.

“Yeah, well, maybe you didn’t.”

“Are you calling me a liar?”

“We’re going to catch one and prove it to Jenny,” Sylvia said ignoring her comment.

“Who cares what Jenny thinks?”

“No one. That’s not the point.”

“After we catch one and prove they exist,” Frankie said carefully, “We’ll let it go, right?”

Sylvia gave her sister a hard stare and even though she didn’t say the words, Frankie knew the truth. If they did manage to catch one, the fairy was going to end up worse off than that frog Melanie kept talking about dissecting in Biology class.

When Sylvia turned her back, Frankie whispered under her breath a silent plea to any that might be listening to stay away. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught movement in the branches of a nearby tree. Slowly, she turned her head, careful not to make any sudden movements, and she took in the sight of an unmistakable bright sparkle of a fairy sliding playfully down a leaf. Frankie opened her mouth to call out to Sylvia but remembered the frog and thought better of it. The fairy slid all the way down to the bottom branch and then hit the ground with a silent plop.

Mesmerized, Frankie sank down to her hands and knees as she crawled toward her. She was certain it was the same one she’d seen the other night splashing in the bird bath, the same night she’d made the mistake of running into Sylvia’s room to drag her big sister to the window to watch. She should have known better. By the time she’d convinced Sylvia to pull away from her phone, the fairy had vanished.

The fairy looked up and smiled, not the least bit startled by being discovered.

She wants me to see her.

“What are you doing?”

Frankie bolted upright and turned to face Sylvia.

“Nothing. Honest.”

“Nothing, huh? You’re acting mighty suspicious over nothing. What are you hiding behind your back? Cough it up, Frankie.”

Sylvia attempted to push past but Frankie held her ground, determined not to let the fairy fall to whatever fate Sylvia had in store for it. Unfortunately, Sylvia had size and strength on her side and eventually, she managed to shove Frankie aside. Frankie scrambled to her feet and made a flying leap at Sylvia’s back, but she realized too late that the fairy had gone.

“What has gotten into you?” Sylvia said, spinning until Frankie detached and hit the ground.

“Come on, we’re going to be late for dinner,” Sylvia said.

Frankie glanced back at the tree and saw the fairy peek around the trunk to wave goodbye. She smiled. Fairies were smarter creatures than she’d given them credit for. She waved back and then jumped to her feet to follow Sylvia down the narrow path that led out of the woods and back to their house.

She knew as she washed her hands and took her seat at the table that she would need a plan to sneak out of the house later when everyone else was asleep.

**

Thank you for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts. Each day I am posting a ‘snippet’ based on a paranormal creature that begins with the corresponding letter of the alphabet. I am using this as a fun writing exercise which I am hoping will also be enjoyable to read, but keep in mind that due to the fact that I must post a new snippet each day in April except Sundays, the posts may be a bit rough. I’ll do my best, however, in the limited time I have available to me. 🙂 Let me know your favorites or the posts you find most intriguing because I plan to develop those into a full story later in the year!

Check out the other participants in the A to Z Challenge.

Happy October from the Mom of a Kid Who Hates Pants

autumn colorful leaves backgroundThe sun sets earlier now, the days are slowly cooling down. All around us the trees gradually change from green to varying shades of reds, oranges and yellows.

I love this time of year for so many reasons. I embrace the cooler temps and the cozy sweaters. I happily trade in my flip flops for a pair of cute boots. I look forward to making a cup of hot tea before I sit down at the desk in the morning to write and actually drinking it without breaking into a sweat.

I love everything about fall.

Or at least I did until I had kids.

Spring and Fall are seasons of transition, at least in this part of the globe. While I may be thrilled to change over my entire wardrobe, there are others in my home who are considerably less enthusiastic about changing theirs.

As a mom to a kid with autism, even high functioning, I anticipate some of the challenges I will face from day-to-day while other challenges still seem to hit me completely off guard even when I know they are coming.

Even when I start giving warnings in mid- September with concrete boundaries. As in, “On October 1st, I am putting away the shorts and we will have to wear long pants.”

Period. The end.

It’s still a struggle. Who knew that long pants could cause so much revolt and strife? To me, they are simply shorts, only longer. Yeah, okay, it feels a little weird on my legs after so many months of being bare, but I adapt to the funny feeling quickly enough. To me, it’s more important not to freeze.

But maybe I’m just an odd ball?

For my son, who doesn’t adapt quite so easily to different sensory inputs, the day I declared it “no more shorts day” I might as well have been heralding the apocalypse. The world will never be the same. How will we go on?

Yes, even with the warnings that this day would come, my morning was met with screams and resistance.

Why do I love this time of year so much?

When my brisk walks through the park kicking dry leaves under my feet are overshadowed by the constant fight to get dressed in the morning?

Because you know, long pants are only the beginning.

There will be coats. (shudder)

Sigh. No matter what, being a mom is never easy and there are always going to be battles whether they are battles of will or battles of routine and sensory perceptions.

Put on the pants and maybe, just maybe, I’ll treat you to a cup of hot chocolate to make up for it? 😉

Just breathe… And let there be pumpkins and Halloween decorations! It’s October!

 

When All Else Fails… Just Dance

What are the words that every mother dreads to hear?

“Please, Mummy, can we listen to Lady Gaga?”

It’s my fault, I suppose. I can only blame myself. I may not be a huge fan but I do own two of her CD’s and often when it’s ‘dancing time’ in the living room, I will reach for The Fame. There are quite a few songs on that CD that I like.

Apparently, there are quite a few songs on that CD that my kids like as well and they have made it quite clear that while we’re in the car, the only music that we should be listening to is Lady Gaga.

There are only so many times that I can listen to Lady Gaga before I start engaging in road rage behavior. I know the words to every song.

So do my kids.

Let’s have some fun,

This beat is sick,

I want to take a ride on your disco stick

 “What’s a disco stick, Mummy?”

“I don’t know. Perhaps, we should listen to some REM this morning. We need a break from Lady Gaga, don’t we?”

Was I just exceeding the speed limit?

(roughly two minutes later…)

“I don’t want to listen to REM. This music is boring.”

“Mummy, can we listen to Lady Gaga?”

Just like a chick in the casino
Take your bank before I pay you out
I promise this, promise this
Check this hand cause I’m marvelous

 “She said ‘chicken’” (laughing hysterically) “She said, ‘chicken’, Mummy!”

“Right… ‘chicken’… of course, she did.”

I’ve given up on my chances for the Mother of the Year Award. Even still, Just Dance wins the prize as our all-time favorite dance-in-the-living-room-song so we shall heed the advice of Lady Gaga…

Just dance. Gonna be okay.
Da-doo-doo-doo
Just dance. Spin that record babe.
Da-doo-doo-doo
Just dance. Gonna be okay.
Duh-duh-duh-duh
Dance. Dance. Dance. Just dance.

And when things get a little too crazy in the car, I reach over and switch to the trusted radio because you can’t wrong with that, right?

“Mummy, why do you have to fight for your right to party?”

Any thoughts on this one, Beastie Boys fans? 😉

Who is the Tooth Fairy Anyway?

My son lost his first tooth during an afternoon at school on Tuesday. This may not sound exciting, but to us it was a monumental occasion – one that we’d been waiting for a long time. Since he’s the oldest, he gets to lead the way for all the growing up firsts … first fistfuls of mushy baby food, first words, first steps, first to start school, and now first lost tooth. The Tooth Fairy finally gets to make a stop at our house.

With any new experience comes a lot of questions. I expect those. What really intrigues me are the answers that the kids come up with. For example, what will the Tooth Fairy bring me when I leave my tooth under the pillow? Opinions vary. My oldest said $10. (!) My second oldest stated rather matter-of-fact that the Tooth Fairy always brings gold. Apparently he dresses all in green as well. I believe he’s got the Tooth Fairy mixed up with a Leprechaun. (Too bad because the gold would be nice.) Maybe the Tooth Fairy brings toys? Ummm… probably not.

Once we established that the Tooth Fairy probably wouldn’t fill our pockets with riches and leave presents under the bed… that left us to answer the question, so who is this Tooth Fairy anyway? I caught my two oldest locked in the middle of a heated debate over whether the Tooth Fairy was actually a boy or a girl. My immediate reaction, of course, was to settle the argument – the Tooth Fairy is a girl, just like all fairies. (Right?)

The kid persisted in his assertion that the Tooth Fairy is a boy and after I thought about it, I decided … Well, why the hell not? Who am I to reinforce gender stereotypes to my five-year old when fairies don’t even exist? We live in a world where we can be anything we want and I want to impress upon my kids imagination and creativity more than falling into predetermined roles. So then, why the heck can’t a boy have wings and collect teeth? It’s no more absurd than thinking a girl does it.

I guess I’m not a huge expert on the fairy world anyway. After all, there must be girl and boy fairies, right? Or else, how do we end up with baby fairies? But let’s save that conversation for a different day …. far, far, far from now.