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Fact or Fairyland

Last summer was the best summer of my life. I did nothing and everything. My house is right on the border of fairyland. Well, there’s a the beginnings of a great forest in the backyard, but this creek runs right past my house and into the forest, and in the forest there are all these beautiful, mystical places, so it’s fairyland to me. Sometimes the fairies are good and sometimes they’re bad. It just depends.


I’ve had lots of adventures in fairyland, ever since I was small. I mean, younger, since I’m still only five feet tall now that I’ve stopped growing. Anyway, fairyland has always been there, it’s just that last summer, things got more meaningful. The stars sparkled more brightly, midnight turned indigo on wonderful nights after a storm, and the cricket choruses sang to the heavens with more of a melody than in the past. Maybe I was influenced by other things, or maybe I’m just special. I like feel special; the only girl who walks through the same trees and hears the same crickets and sees the same stars as everyone else and experiences something completely different. It’s fairyland to me, whatever everyone else wants to think.


Plus, last summer I was 16 and everyone knows that is the best year of your life. Sunsets are prettier, twilight is hazier and moonlight glows more comforting. Except, well, everything around me was shinier and more wonderful so it all meant more, so then seeing less shiny and wonderful things out there in, you know – reality - can be quite a shock. Especially after a day in fairyland.


I’m 17 now. Things are still mystical. Dusk is dreamier than ever, the trees are friendlier than ever, or at least, I am to them. Everyone has tree friends, don’t they? Trees do make for good companions, at least, when you’re in fairyland. And it seems to be fading away.


Did I do something? It’s like there’s some sort of sickness going around and it’s infecting everything around me. It’s even jumping down my skin and making me shiver. The trees would always welcome me before, but now they are silent. Have the fairies all flown away? What about Grandfather Moon? I can still talk to him, but he doesn’t much answer, just smiles and hums his melancholy moonlight melodies and sings me back to sleep.


It’s not the trees. It’s not the moon. It’s me. Isn’t it? Or is it the world around me, the world besides fairyland. I don’t like to think like that. Fairyland is so safe. No one can hurt me. No one put me down. I am more than my own person, I feel free to act like it.


I’m so old now, my bones ache. My head and my heart and my hands, they’re all full of butterflies. And reality, that scary, racing world outside of fairyland, doesn’t like them. The butterflies can’t survive there. Do I have to let them go? I feel old and weary without them. I’m just 17, but my mind is ancient.

I’m caught between two places, two opposites. In both places, I’m still young. It’s odd. I always said I didn’t want to grow up, but here I am grown up inside and back in reality I’m a young adult and back in fairyland I’m forever, which is like being a child. Butterflies or broken hearts? Bitter choice. But I suppose I have to remember than I’m 17 and butterflies don’t live forever, even in fairyland.




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