A Fairytale Land

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Once upon a time in a fairytale land, there lived a young girl and her sisters. They were untouchable, floating upon the innocent cloud that a heady combination of youth and summertime always bring. In this fairytale land anything was possible. Perhaps today they would be captured mermaids, lured upon an evil ship by the intoxicating scent of peanut butter. Perhaps tomorrow they would be fairy sprites, leaping through tree branches as though on wings. No one else existed and happiness was the law of the land.

Once upon a time, in a fairytale land, a little girl almost killed her baby sister. Only 4 or 5, the baby girl was at that magic age between floaties and being able to truely swim in deep water. The little girl had been diving in and out of the pool as a mermaid all day and was eager to teach her baby sister to join in. She thought she was opening the door to countless underwater adventures. They were standing on the edge of the deep end when the little girl pulled her baby sister off. To her horror, instead of springing back up, eager for more fun, the baby girl started to sink. The little girl dove beneath the water and pulled her back up to the surface. As soon as they surfaced again, their mother plucked the baby girl from the water and assured herself that she was still breathing. Then she turned to the little girl and informed her that she had just saved her baby sister’s life. The little girl pondered this for a moment before it dawned on her that her mother thought that the baby girl had slipped. With two red spots of shame coloring her cheeks, the little girl turned back into a mermaid.

Once upon a time, in a fairytale land, time began to pass and the little girl grew up. Summers came and went and the little girl was a bit taller, a bit stronger and a bit wiser. The single steady branch of the small tree no longer could hold the worlds of her imagination. She begged her big sister to lift her into the big tree. But although her big sister tried and tried, she could not lift her. So she begged her father to lift her higher into the rich worlds offered by a thousand branches. But one day her father was not there to lift her. So the little girl sat at the bottom of the tree and waited. And her big sister came and sat beside her. And her little sister came and sat beside her. All three sisters waited. And waited. And waited. But no one was coming. The little girl suddenly sat upright and stopped debating with her sisters whether or not the fluffy white cloud was the shape of a dragon breathing fire. She had an idea. With a mischievous smile lighting her face, she hooked her new long arms around the lowest branch and jumped. Slowly, slowly, she pulled with all her might she lifted herself up onto the branch and although she had grown a bit taller, a bit stronger and a bit wiser, she still could not lift herself. She slumped to the ground in defeat, shoulders hunched. Suddenly her big sister sat upright and stopped debating whether or not the fluffy white cloud was an elephant performing in the circus. She had an idea too. The little girl rose and began to struggle to lift herself up once more, but this time, her big sister positioned herself beneath her and pushed up with all her might, pushing her sister into the tree. But it was too high and too much for the two of them alone. They motioned over their younger sister, who had been watching carefully, and together they all pushed and pulled with all their might and the little girl fell into the tree. She stood carefully on shaking legs and laughing, found the wings to fly once more.

Once upon a time, in a fairytale land, there were three sisters. A thousand brilliant stars screamed and flickered in the night sky. The sisters linked hands and stared at the tumultuous sky. Shattered panes of stained glass were thrown across the cosmos and fell back to vanish into the shifting black water. The sisters gazed up in wonder. Red, white and blue banners were draped across every possible surface. The tables, the chairs, the people. Even their tree was covered in a thousand flickering lights, of red, white and blue. On a joyous night filled with thousands of unfamiliar faces, the three little girls stood alone, wrapped in their own joy, their own fairytale world come to life at last.

Once upon a time, in a fairytale land, a little girl got too big for the skin of her mermaid body and shed it once and for all. One day, even the fantastic worlds of thousand branches began to fade. The little girl grew up, leaving her baby sister behind, groping in the darkness for one last flight, one last story. Her big sister welcomed her with open arms, into the age of intellectualism, work, school. But the little girl still secretly longed for the fantastic worlds she’d lost and buried herself ever deeper into the books and writings of such mystical places where she had once flown. She was barred from that world now and no matter how much her little sister begged, she could not return.

Once upon a time, in the real world a last, there stood three sisters. All grown up, with tears in their eyes, they stood on the remains of the happiest place on earth. There was the pool that their grandparents built, where the youngest had almost drowned. And there was the cherry tree they’d taught themselves to climb as children. There was that little tree with only one branch; the one they had left behind. Here was where they sat watching the clouds go by. Here they picked dandelions by the bunch to present to their mother. Revolving on the spot, a thousand memories of a simple yet joyous childhood assaulted the tree sisters. They say clarity comes with age. They say that one day, you will grow up. Three little girls whisper to the wind, “We’re still here…”.





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