Fairies

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Rita woke up in the dark of night from a sleep full of nightmares. She quickly threw on shoes and a sweatshirt, not bothering with the time. She had to see Jack.

Jack was Rita’s best friend, and it had been that way since he had dared her to eat a worm in third grade. Rita immediately did so, despite the fellow girl’s disgust, and Jack had found it admirable enough to befriend her. Jack could always make Rita happy, no matter what the situation, and the two were nearly inseparable.

That is, until Jack moved away.

Jack had left nearly a month ago to his new home about a half hour away from her. The distance felt so much further, and Rita had suffered an unbearable loneliness since Jack went away. The past month had been a huge pit of darkness and despair, numberless days that slowly melted together. The darkness was a poison to her soul, gradually eating away at her.
`
That’s why she had to see Jack. Now.

Rita wandered out onto the street where the cold of night tried to chill her. Rita was so numb with both heartache and determination she hardly noticed. The street yielded no life at this hour. The houses showed no glowing lights of life, instead standing cold and silent, their occupants sleeping contently. They were not trapped in the night, like the lone girl outside.

Rita had never been out alone after ten o’clock. Her thoughts went to a story Jack once told her, long ago. “Do you know what fairies really do?” he’d asked her.

She had shaken her head, bewildered. “What?”

“They eat people who wander in the night!” he exclaimed, curling his hands into claws and lunging at her. She had shrieked and nearly fell off his bed. He laughed at her expression. “It’s okay, though.”

“Why?” she’d asked.

“Because of the people up there,” he told her, pointing up. “They’re always up there, watching and protecting you.”
They’re always up there, watching and protecting you.

Liar, Rita thought. You rotten liar, Jack.

Rita continued to walk through a sleeping world in which only she seemed to move. The town was as lifeless as her street, and no cars passed her by.

Rita finally reached the black wrought-iron fence that encased Jack’s new home. The hinge on the old gate protested as she entered, creating an eerie noise that echoed through the night. She ignored the noise, ignored everything until she arrived at his home.

His grave.

The car accident had taken Jack away forever, to this new place where he lay empty six feet beneath her. When life left him, it felt as though it left her as well, leaving her a ghost, living only in body, not soul.

She fell on her knees in front of the stone, overcome by the emotions that had been swirling around inside her, too heavy to bear.

“I want the fairies to get me, Jack,” she told him, her voice shaky. “If they eat me, I can be with you.”

She would be dead - but with Jack forever. Better than being dead with the living, without Jack.

From the black earth in front of Jack’s grave came a faint glow. Leaves sprouted, a blossom flourished, opening into a beautiful red tulip, right in front of Rita’s eyes.

Her favorite flower.

Jack knew that.

They’re always up there, watching and protecting you.

Rita smiled as the tears began to drip down her cheeks.





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