Turning Over a New Leaf

The Faeries are back, when a middle aged woman going on a walk makes a rather startling discovery. Its not all so straight forward though, how do you explain to your husband of 20 years that you rather spend your days with the Fae, than taking care of your daughter, what will he think?


She picked a leaf up from the ground and quickly suspected that somewhere between where she left her house and reached this point, she had lost her mind.

There was no other explanation for picking up the perfect leaf to press, and finding, what appeared to be a fairy beneath it.

The sight sparked something within her, a fragment of a memory. Seeing things like this, fairies, everywhere, and she shook her head to clear it. She had such an active imagination as a child, but now she was an adult, and seeing things like this as an adult…

The leaf shook, and she realized it was her hand that was shaking. Oh, oh no, she had a brain tumor. While there wasn’t a history of mental illness in her family, there was one of cancer, and there was a fairy laying on the ground in front of her. She was dying.

She took a step back, prepared to double time it back to the house, when the fairy stirred. When it saw her, it stopped for a second, and when it realized she was looking at it, it froze entirely. Then it was up, inches from her face, and then she heard it, the voice, tiny, reverberating, excited, as if it was coming from inside her own head.

“SHARON!” The fairy knew her name.

It flew around her letting out whoops of joy. “Sharon, Sharon, you can see me, it’s been so long, you just stopped and we tried and tried to talk to you, and you wouldn’t even look, but now you can see? What happened?” And this is how she spent the rest of her day, wandering the park with a fairy.

The more the fairy spoke, the more she remembered, of Buttercup and Dewdrop, and Stanley, who was rather dour, and for some reason strangely named. She felt like she was floating on her way home, like she had found a part of herself that had been missing, and she wondered how, how had she forgotten her friends.

It was all she thought about now, her “runs” started to increase, both in frequency and duration. She spent every moment she could at the local park, with her friends, and it took six months for anyone to realize that for all the running she was doing, she wasn’t getting very fit.

Her husband was the one to confront her.

“Don’t lie to me Sharon, I know you aren’t running. Is there someone else?” He pleaded for the truth and she wasn’t sure how to give it to him. There was nothing that she could say that he was going to believe. She barely believed it herself, and she was living it, but what could she do. This was her husband and she loved him. So she told him everything.

“Fairies?” He asked when she was done.

“Fairies.” She confirmed, and they sat there in silence.

“Sharon, I, could you tell me when you started seeing them again?” He asked after a long pause.

“Oh, about six months ago, right after I started running.” She explained.

“After you started the clean living diet?”He confirmed.

“Yes” She replied.

“Okay.” He said, and she waited for the other shoe to drop and it didn’t

The just went back to normal, and she found it so strange. How could you find out about fairies, and not want to meet one, see one. Maybe he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to see them.

Two weeks later, when their daughter was at his parents for a sleepover he brought them up again.

“Sharon, I think we need to discuss the Fairies.” He stated as they were washing the dishes from dinner.

“What about them?” She asked.

“So, I thought that they were a side effect. Maybe one of those all natural supplements you were taking had something wrong with it, ergot poisoning or the like, so I had them tested.” He started.

“And, they were all fine?” She stated, she knew they were.

“Yes, and you understand though, why I had to check”

“It seemed crazy, even to me, so ya, I get it.” She countered.

“Okay, so I looked into mental illnesses, and based on your age, I couldn’t really find anything that fit. You are a little on the older side for the closest ones” He continued.

“Okay.” She didn’t like where this was going.

“And then I remembered what you said. About remembering them, from when you were a teenager, I uh,” He held up a container with her iron supplements.

“You what? Thought the iron was keeping them away? We started using the iron fish thing, eating iron rich foods. I didn’t decrease my iron intake, so nothing would have changed.” She explained.

“And if they were iron, nothing would have.”

“What, they say iron right there on the label?” And they did.

“Yes, but, you know I always hated that doctor of yours, and well I had these tested too. They aren’t iron, and when I found out what they were, I called your doctor, and confronted him with it. Your parents, they didn’t want you to know, and they worked so well, as long as you took them.”

“What are they?” She felt numb.

“Anti-psychotics. Specifically for early onset schizophrenia.” He stated, and she put down the plate hard on the counter.

She wanted to fight it, to say he was wrong, but it was who her parents were. The kind of people who would sweep a mental illness under a rug of iron pills. If they let her know, she might have told people, tarnished the family name.

“I’ll start taking them again.” She said woodenly, holding out her hand.

“Uh, thats the thing, when you go back on them, they will need you to be monitored, regularly to make sure they are working and the dosage is right. There are side effects, it might be why you couldn’t get the weight off. They, well, sometimes when you stop and start again, they don’t work right. You will need to meet with a psychiatrist.” He talked to her like he talked to their daughter, and oh god their daughter. Why hadn’t she asked when her doctor told her to cut back when she was pregnant. Thank god their daughter had been healthy, the thought that she could have hurt her baby made her want to cry.

“Okay, when.” She asked, all fight gone from her limbs. She was crazy.

“I have an appointment, first thing tomorrow. Someone good, someone…good” She knew he wanted to say your parents didn’t pay off.

“Honey, its going to be okay.” He continued.

She smiled and nodded, but she knew, it would never be okay again.


Okay, I admit it, I am obsessed with the Fae, and schizophrenia. I mean there are a lot of early Fae stories that can be explained by natural phenomena, or toxic mold, but mental illness probably played its fair share as well. Not just schizophrenia, but also autism, depression, and anxiety can be linked back to the old stories. Believe me, this is not the last you see of the Fae here.

Eureka!

When I read that the word of the week was SPARK, my first thought was to write about arson, and while I am not sure what that says about me, I decided to nix that thought. I instead went with the spark of inspiration, a dream becoming reality, and the story of someone who made it happen.


Everyone has a purpose in life, a destiny, and she knew down to her very soul that this enterprise was hers.


The idea had come to her first in a dream, barely formed, a single nebulous thought, but it was there, the spark of inspiration that had led her to where she was today.


There had been more dreams after the first, shaping the spark, fanning it into the tiniest of flames, and protecting it against the mocking she faced from those she told about it in her everyday life.


She didn’t pull her journal out often, but she did keep updating it, over the days, weeks, months, years, that followed, she kept adding little bits here and there, taking it further from being a dream, and inching it towards reality.


Most people didn’t know why she chose to double major, calling her insane, but she wasn’t insane, she had a vision, she knew exactly what she would need to make that vision a reality, and she pursued it with a single minded determination that bordered on obsession.

It was all worth it though, the sacrifices, all of it, because she had done it- she thought as she looked down at the impossible life that she held in her hands, it’s too sharp teeth reflecting the overhead lights- even if maybe she shouldn’t have.

Sunshine and Daisies

This is another Friday Picture Prompt response from The Writer’s Mess, (picture below) where apparently last weeks doors have not yet left me alone, and I brought along my poor protagonist to see what happens next…


The door was gone, and she wanted to cry. It was hard to be sad here though, standing in an endless field of daisies, warmed by the sun on her face.

There was a second where she thought of her brother, alone, untended, crying, but that wasn’t really her responsibility. Her mother was home, and would see to little Johnathan eventually, or so she hoped.

She let the smells and sounds of summer sooth away her worries, as she began to wander. She could always try and find the door later, but for now she wanted to enjoy this perfect afternoon.

She walked, ran, skipped, spun, and danced through the field, laughing. She couldn’t remember the last time she had been this light, this carefree. It was like a weight, maybe the weight of a little boy, had been lifted from her, and she was finally her again.

While the sun hadn’t moved, she knew time had passed, because she was growing hungry, and weary. She turned to head towards the door and froze. There was no path in the weeds showing where she had been, and she had spun, so much so she didn’t have a clue from where she had come.

As she walked, weeping, her limbs grew heavy, as if filled with lead, and she made a choice, she probably wouldn’t have if she hadn’t been so tired. She stopped where she was, and laid down among the flowers. Surely everything would seem better when she awoke.

Bound

The word of the week is KNOT, and I am going to be entirely honest, I have NO idea how I got to this story, from that prompt.  This is the story about a woman who is the keeper of a knot, ensuring it does not be untangled, and I can’t really explain more without giving the story away, but think mythology…


Her fingers were bleeding again, but it didn’t matter, because she knew that she couldn’t be the one to let the knot unravel.

Everyone had heard of the tapestry, the threads, but what most didn’t know was that in the tapestry there were knots, and no matter what happened they could not be allowed to unwind.

Once unknotted, that which they contained would be lost forever, and the last time it had happened, an innocent girl had been blamed for the trespass, as if opening a box could have caused such a calamity.

There were only eight knots left, and as thankless as it was, keeping this one tied was her life’s work, and she would not see it undone.

She would never know which of the knots she maintained, as the nature of the knot could only be revealed in its destruction, and the fates were careful not to tell the volunteers if they guarded the remaining virtue, or one of the seven great vices.

And she would give her life to the knot, in the understanding that it was the hope in the hearts of all men that kept them going when they had nothing else, and that she would not be the reason it was lost.