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I can see the Fairies

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I can see the Fairies











September 12
Rays of pink light mixed with purple and rich blue dipped in gold washed over all of Victoria as the sun began to dip low in the sky. It lit up the many stalactites that hung from the low limestone ceiling turning them from deep blue to bright red to a majestic purple in turn. Jasmine, (me) hurried around the small honeycomb of caverns, lighting the modest candles that lay scattered around the room. The sun finished her arch through the sky with an elegant display of regal gold which echoed throughout the cavern. Finally, darkness descended on the small grotto as one by one, the tiny flames of the candles lit up the cavern as I waited patiently, a thin, woollen blanket around my shoulders.

After what seemed like centuries, the sound of far off laughter filled the cave, so soft and insignificant that it would have been lost in the bustle and noise of the day. I only heard it now in the stillness of the night and the tranquillity of the air. The laughter started to grow louder as little glowing lights began to flicker on and off uncertainly. I watched with wide eyes, as the glowing, multi-coloured orbs became brighter, ones of deep indigo and violet to rouges and fluorescent pink. One flew past me and I had time to glimpse the petite figure of the minute fairy. It wore a long, blue dress that complimented her rich, chestnut hair, which flew down her shoulders to her waist, carving its way like a river of dreams down to her waist. She was suspended in the air by a pair of delicate azure wings, which sparkled in the dim light of the cavern.

One fairy flew up to me and landed on my knees, which drawn up, inches away from my face. My features lit up as I recognised the familiar raven black hair, gorgeous, white gown, thin red lips and slightly blushed cheeks of my favourite fairy, Violet. She took my pinkie in her delicate, porcelain fingers and led me over to the minute table where the fairies were preparing a feast fit for miniature King. There were minuscule chickens, beef, steaks, pizzas, salads and chocolate cakes, raspberry jellies, macaroons, brownies (the food type), and millions of hard-boiled sweets, all piled high on the tiny table.

Once we had eaten to our hearts content, the fairies laid out my worn blanket and sung me to sleep. I remember watching, enchanted as hundreds of small woman in spider silk shawls slowly waltzed to the smooth, melodic singing. The elves would come out clothed in leaves, and joined the gentle dance. Even now I still remember the lyrics to my special bedtime song that the fairies would sing, once my eyelids had begun to droop.
Tucked up in bed by a flicker of light,
That is the light of a single candle,
Never to be disturbed till dawn creeps,
Then let light be broken by a single breath,
But alas here is dream time come pick me up,
No longer shall I linger on a flicker of light,
A light shown by a single candle.

That was when I was five, now, at fourteen and a half, though I still try very hard, I can’t seem to see the fairies anymore. It started three weeks before I turned thirteen. I lit my candles and waited, but only two thirds of the fairies seemed to turn up. And even the ones that did turn up, their light seemed dimmer, more subdued, than usual. With two weeks to go, only one third of the fairies seemed to come, and yet, I was still oblivious to what was happening. With exactly one week to, only a third of the fairies turned up each night, and as the days ticked down, I had to concentrate harder and harder to even hear their tinkling laughter.

On my thirteenth birthday, I sat up as the sun went down, the very picture of gaiety. For one of the fairies had told me that all the fairies were going away on winter holidays, and I, a fool, believed her. As the hours came and went I became increasingly worried until, at last, I realized that, try as I might, there was no going back. As dawn approach, her pink rays giving the Earth light and hope, I had finally cried myself to sleep. So deeply depressed didn't’t even notice the small, insignificant bracelet of gold that lay at my feet.

And though I tried and tried every night afterwards for some time, each night I came home disappointed. Finally, at fourteen and a half, I finally resigned myself to my fate. I had grown up.

***
The bright, sunny day was drawing to close when two figures, a small girl of two and her mother, stumbled their way across the limestone and into the catacombs of caves that lay beyond. As night descended upon the couple, the woman lit rows of tiny candles that were scattered about the cavern. When the sun finally dipped beneath the horizon, the duo were huddled, mother and child, beneath an old tattered blanket. The eldest gazed at the young girls chestnut pigtails, chubby cheeks and wide eyes as she waited in suspended silence. ‘Do you think they’re coming Mama?’
‘Shhh, my dear, you mustn’t scare them away.’ Suddenly, the small girls face lit up in delight. Jasmine smiled, she knew what her young daughter had heard, she had heard exactly what she had heard thirty-five years ago. She sat there, in the grotto, and suddenly, she heard a noise, a familiar noise, a noise she hadn’t heard in a very long time. It was bizarre, she knew, but for some unknown reason, Jasmine could hear the soft sound of far off laughter.



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