There in her living room, Francesca sat on the couch looking at the news for the first time in a couple of weeks or so. She tried to avoid looking at the news since most of the time, it was just depressingly boring. Though sometimes, if she was lucky, she would hear some fantastic lie from the one and only president, “...more people are going to die if we allow this to continue to happen… there’s going to be suicides. People want to go back to work.”
Great, more news about people dying. She thought. She turned off the TV and went into her room. She usually went into her room for quality alone time so she could just sit in the silence and think but lately the silence was loud, fighting with her thoughts and it seemed to be driving her crazy. It’s safe to say her thoughts were negative.
Some people were getting sick. Some were dying. And some were losing loved ones.
It was practically impossible to think of anything positive so she didn’t think of anything at all. Instead she took a nap. To be fair, her usual “thinking sessions” ended with her taking a nap anyway so it wasn’t unexpected. She later woke to her mother calling for her to come down and help with groceries.
“You now if you slept less during the day, you would probably be able to sleep better at night.”
“Yeah but I get more done at night anyway.”
“If you say so.”
At first, we thought it was a mass hallucination. We’d been alone in space too long. Back home, we’d be treated for space sickness and star lust, our brains scanned and studied for signs that our grey matter had deteriorated in the vacuum.
Over the next couple of weeks Francesca continued her routine. Wake up. Eat. Nap. Spend the night being productive instead of sleeping. And repeat. This, of course messed up her sleep schedule but she didn’t have anywhere to be the next morning anyway. Nor did she care. It’s not like her sleep schedule was on track to begin with. This routine became her “ordinary”. Her “norm”.
Just another thing to add to Frannie’s unusual life. Nothing was ever simple. Nothing could ever be explained in a couple of words. That’s why oftentimes, she caught herself saying “it’s a long story…” and never quite being able to tell the story completely and accurately. Especially because there was always some part of the story that she didn’t fully understand herself. That was especially true with her most recent, less than normal experience.
“Hey Frannie, I’ve got to go pick up my medicine from the drugstore. Try not to burn the house down?”
“Yeah, I’ll try my best mom,” She replied with her signature angelic grin.
From the living room window, she watched as her mother slowly pulled out of the driveway. According to her she had “watched everything there is to possibly watch on TV” and according to her, she’s “not able to think as well during the day”, so you can probably guess what she did.
Yeah, she took a nap but she didn’t wake up to her mother calling her to do some chore or help her with something. She didn’t wake from anyone calling her or any noise startling her.
She tossed and turned, throwing the blanket off of her. It was too hot but somehow at the same time it was too cold. She opened her eyes slightly. Her view was hazy, as one's view is directly after waking up from a restless sleep. But what she saw was not the result of waking up from a restless sleep.
There was someone sitting on the side of her bed. An intruder? She rubbed her eyes in an effort to clear her eyesight. It looked like a child. Had her mother accidently left the door unlocked when she left? She sat still, plotting her next move. The child had their back to her. She hesitantly attempted to sit up without moving the bed or making any noise, as to not startle the child but she was unsuccessful. With a quick motion, the child turned their head towards her.
She couldn’t believe her eyes. They must be deceiving her! There sitting on the edge of her bed was not a child. It was small - no more than four feet with silky hair. A mixture of black and gray.
Their brown skin radiating a glow that Francesca had never seen before in her life. Their eyes, a reflection of a beautiful sunset. All of which could have just made them an extraordinarily odd child with a nice pair of contacts but then she looked at her ears. They curved upwards ending in a semi-point with a silver hoop.
“It’s about time you woke up,” She squealed in a cheerful voice which took Frannie by surprise. “You humans sleep for so long.”
“...yeah, I guess we do.”
They stared at each other for a bit.
The young “child”, open eyed and curious. Francesca, open eyed and in utter complete shock. She had to be dreaming. She rubbed her eyes with great vigour but when she opened them the child was still there with her beautiful sunset coloured eyes.
“What are you?” She asked.
“Well, isn’t it obvious? I’m a fairy...you humans are kind of dumb.”
“I’m not dumb.” She snapped defensively, “Why you are here- How are you here?”
“Through a portal, silly.”
“Okay, why? Why are you here?”
“Oh yeah,” She began in a more serious tone, “My mother. She needs you.”
“Yeah, well um, not you specifically. She needs a human.”
“Okay, then go outside and find her a human. I am sorry to inform you that I am not the man for the job. I’m going back to sleep.” She grunted, turning away to lie back down.
“Hey! Wait. No. You can’t just turn your back to me. I need your help.”
“No, you said yourself that you need a human. Go find a different human!”
“Yeah, well my portal led me here so I need your help and you’re going to help me because I don’t have time to find someone more willing to help and more pleasurable to talk to. My mom is in dire need of your assistance and if you don’t help her it will stay on your conscience for as long as you live.”
Steam seemed to have poured out of her ears as the words spit out of her mouth.
“Fine. What am I supposed to do?”
“Thank you for your cooperation. I thought I might have to kidnap you.” She chuckled. “I’m kidding. First we’ll have to find somewhere safe and go through the portal back to my homeland so that we can get you to my mother.”
“Isn’t it pretty safe here?”
“If it was safe here, I wouldn’t have said that we have to find somewhere safe. C’mon, Keep up.”
They walked around and ended up in the garage. In her small hands she held something the size of a compact. In a soft whisper she said a couple of words Francesca couldn’t make out but nothing seemed to have happened. They were still there in the freezing cold garage. Same place they stood just seconds ago.
“Well, c’mon. Don’t just stand there. We’ve work to do.” She said stepping forward and instantaneously disappearing. Taking a deep breath and leap of faith, Frannie too, took a step forward. What she saw next made that trespassing fairy look boring and more than ordinary.
Everything fascinated Frannie and reasonably so. In the far distant she could see a beautiful waterfall but it wasn’t like the ones she had seen before, the water looked smooth and metallic. There was a slight breeze and she felt warmth but there was no sun in sight.
The air smelled sweet, like hot cinnamon and vanilla. There wasn’t any sound of traffic like there was where she lived instead there was a mellow wave of music coming from the right of her, behind a forest of tall trees. She felt compelled to follow the melody, as if she were in a trance but was immediately dropped back into the prison cell of reality by the spitting of the fairy’s harsh words.
“Hey human. Will you stop gawking? Let's get a move on.”
“Hey! I have a name you know.”
“Oh, do you now?”
“I do.” She stated. Eyebrows raised and chest puffed.
“Care to share it with me?”
“Francesca. The name’s Francesca.”
“Maurelle... now that we have that out of the way, would you like to carry on or should we trade life stories too?” Francesca stared at her blankly. “As you please. Come this way.” She said leading the way into the trees opposite of the enchanting music. They walked in silence for a bit before arriving at a small cottage like place surrounded by luxurious greenery.
“Okay, this is it.”
“Alright then, I guess we should get going then.”
“Yes. Yes, you should get going.”
“No, you’re coming with me!” Francesca exclaimed.
“Look, I’m not going in with you but you got this okay?”
Francesca was hesitant. She had no valid reason to trust this creature but once again she took a chance and took a step forward. One step after the next. Deep breaths and before she knew it, she was standing at the door. Once more she took a leap of faith and a step into the cottage looking home.
It was small, absolutely but it was cozy. There was an open space she assumed to be the living room. It was just as beautiful as the outside. She continued walking. Down a hallway passing an eating area. There were no doors but she found a small room that she could only guess to be a bedroom. Her hands shook while beads of sweat trickled down her face but she continued.
Outside Maurelle anxiously awaited results. She didn’t know how long the process would take but hoped that it would be over soon so she busied herself by picking fruit off the nearby tree. Two buckets were full when she heard a voice from behind her.
“If we’re done here, I’d like to go home now if that’s okay with you.”
“My mother, how is she? Is she well?”
“Yours is fine, Mine however will be worried sick and wondering where the hell I’ve been if I don’t get back soon!”
“Thank you,” Maurelle sighed.
They half-walked, half-ran back through the forest of trees right back towards the enchanting music.
“This music, it is beautiful. Where is it coming from?”
“Deep into the woods. It is to keep humans away from our society just in case they somehow find an entrance portal without being escorted by one of our own. It’s quite genius actually.”
“It is and it really works. What happens to the humans that follow it?”
“They are caught and then judged by our government accordingly.”
“Oh! Makes sense.”
“Yeah, I’d love to tell you more but we should really be getting you back to your home.” and they did exactly that.
Moments later, they stood in the cold garage just in time to hear her mother pulling into the driveway.
“Will I ever get to come back?” Francesca asked in curiosity.
“No,” She chuckled, “I am truly sorry but we are also truly thankful, my mother and I. You’ve helped us a great deal.”
“Glad to help and thank you as well. At least now I won’t die of boredom.”
Her mouth curved into a slight smile and before she knew it, Maurelle was gone.
For days, Francesca felt as light as a feather or as if she had been kissed by an angel but she kept the reason as to why, all to herself. Frannie was odd, surely enough, but she wasn’t dumb. She knew that if she told anyone of her “discovery” she would be labeled crazy or a freak and she liked to be called Francesca instead. Five years from now she would think back to this day and recall it as just one hell of a dream but for now she basked in the memory of the enchanting music and the peaceful waterfall. Once more, she was unapologetically grateful she had said yes to lend a hand. She felt as if she was on top of the world, like she was a completely new being. And that she was. She had seen what most others had not and if she could help a fairy in need then she could do anything… including her math homework...
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