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.

Gone

This is the story of Jackie, who one day finds that a friend is missing, then another, and then a lot of people are gone…Where are they, what happened to them? No one knows, read Jackie’s story as she struggles to figure out if she is losing her mind, or people are really just gone. At first blush it wouldn’t seem obvious that this was inspired by the idea of surviving a zombie apocalypse, but it was. The idea that at some point along the way that surviving just isn’t enough anymore, and with no end in sight, being bitten would be a blessing.


As a child Jackie had read a story about a girl who found her face on a milk carton and everything changed. The girl soon discovered that while she lived a happy life with her “adoptive” parents, or as she called them, parents, her biological family had been devastated. There was no going anywhere alone, always a parent present, their lives had been forever changed.

Jackie guessed thats kind of what she expected. It would make sense that a person disappearing would leave a hole in the the lives of the people around them That the not knowing would drive them crazy, though Jackie felt that in some cases knowing was actually worse.

So when one of Jackie’s closest friends, Betty, had disappeared, she did not expect what came next. More specifically she did not expect to be the only person who remembered Betty. She couldn’t understand how this was the case. Betty taught second grade, she had a boyfriend, parents, a sister, an apartment, and a car.

When Jackie went looking, she could find no evidence of any of this. Betty’s parents knew her as the girl down the street, Betty’s sister loudly stated that she was an only child. Betty’s boyfriend, single of course, resided in Betty’s apartment, and drove her car. Each person Jackie spoke to, looked at her as if she had two heads, they had never heard of Betty.

It went about as well as you would imagine, when Jackie showed up at the police station to file a missing persons report on someone who had no record of having ever existed. Seventy-two hours later she walked out of the psych ward with a prescription, a follow-up appointment, and a tentative diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Jackie however knew the truth; Betty was real, and Betty was missing. She took the medication though, despite the side effects, because Jackie believed in modern medicine, and even she had to admit her own story sounded insane.

Then she went to visit Betty’s sister again, only the person who opened the door wasn’t Betty’s sister. Martha had never heard of Grace, or Betty, and offered to call someone when she saw how upset Jackie was getting. Jackie left, and headed straight for Betty and Grace’s parents, who still recognized her as the girl next door, but claimed, rather vehemently, that they had not had any children.

This time Jackie skipped the police station, and a week later Betty and Grace’s parents were gone. Jackie got her meds adjusted, and it seemed like that solved the problem. No more of Jackie’s friends, and family went missing, and even she agreed it did seem likely that she made them up. Even though her imagination was never quite that good, and she still had very vivid, life-long memories of these people.

It was almost a year later when she started to notice the cracks in the foundation, so to speak. While Jackie’s friends and family were around, there seemed to be less people around in general. Cafe’s, theatres, and other business’s everywhere were just a little too far below capacity for it not to be noticeable. It wasn’t just her that noticed this either, well, it kind of was. It was complicated.

No one seemed to notice that people, on the whole seemed to be missing. Instead the reports focused on the negative impacts of over-development in small towns, how building too much was almost as bad as too little, that local business owners were struggling to keep the doors open with so few customers coming in each day.

The strangest part was, they seemed to accept it, despite the fact it quite obviously made no sense. If no one was gone, no one had left, no fewer people come to town, then why were the businesses struggling now? Why, wasn’t it a problem 10, 20 years ago when they opened? None of it made any sense, and It seemed everyday now someone disappeared, a shop missing, never opened, and then it happened.

She stepped into her parents house to see a wall of pictures of only her. Ben never existed, her own brother was gone The worst part was, all she felt was relief. It seemed to travel in families, the disappearing, and that meant that she would be next. That there wouldn’t be anymore waiting, no more fear, no more pills.

When she saw the thing in the fog, she didn’t run away, but walked towards it. It looked, surprised as she eagerly took it’s hand. “About time.” She said amiably, and it filched. The fog grew heavier and heavier, until at last Jackie couldn’t see even herself, and she too was gone.

Night Owl

This was based a little upon my own discovery of revenge bedtime procrastination, an ADHD meme from Tumblr, and just some overall irritation at someone I know using the term functional until I felt more than a little violent.


It was one thing to discover that others deliberately stayed up to late to get time to themselves, and another to discover that it had a name “revenge bedtime procrastination” and a list of known causes and effects.

There was a certain flare of indignation that went up at being so targeted, and then a small measure of relief at the knowledge that this was not just being broken, this was a thing. Just another of many of the things that Brandon had, but would never take the time or money on having diagnosed, because frankly no one cared.

Brandon was single, had a good paying job, and as long as he was, as the shrinks say “functional” and wanted no specific accommodation, there was not reason ot get one. In fact, there were nothing but negatives, with the current perception of mental health as it was, haivng this on file could only hurt him. In his line of work it would practically make him unhirable, and for what exactly, a certificate declaring what he already knew to be true.

No no, he was better off just dealing with it alone, the best he could, as he always had. And following the tips on the article, because he really could use some more sleep, oh, wait, those trees can do what?

The Nature of Memory

This was written for a writing course I was taking, and we had to start at one time, and then skip forward or back in the life of the same person. I started in the 80’s and then skipped forward to the near present. Again, it seems to have a theme of being happy with what you have, and I guess the theme of 2022 is self acceptance. Please note, that I am not trying to accept being a serial killer, this note will make more sense after some of my later posts.


I coughed as I tried to escape the fumes, hoping that no one lit a match near my sister’s head. “Come on, Jenny, you have enough hairspray that you could use your hair as a helmet. We are going to be late.” I stamped my foot, and then reached down to pull up my neon pink leg warmer.

I couldn’t wait to get to the roller rink, but Jenny was busy trying to get just a little more volume that Amy Pilsner, and so I was stuck. Mom wouldn’t let me take my bike across town alone at night, so I was stuck waiting for Jenny, as usual


Tracey looked down at the photo, that had brought back the memory rushing back like it was yesterday. Jenny had been so proud of her hair, that she begged Mom to take a Polaroid of it. There were three of them. The first one Tracey was sneezing, and the second Jenny’s eyes were closed, but the third was perfect. We were so happy back then.

Tracey’s phone dinged, and she pulled herself out of the chair, wincing a little at the pain in her right knee. She would have to rub some A535 on it later, and take some tylenol. It only took a month for her to heal from that first sprain back at the rink, but she was still feeling last years, even after the physio.

She finally got to the phone, and saw the notification. It Emily, Jenny’s granddaughter, posting a picture of her and her mother Clara on Instagram. Emily looked so much like Jenny had at that age, it made her heart ache. Tracey felt a stab of guilt at how long it had been since she had went to see Jenny, but it wasn’t like Jenny would know. Jenny hadn’t remembered her in a long time.

Every time Tracey left the nursing home, she was paranoid for weeks. Each time she forgot her where she left her keys, she wondered if this was it. Was this was the first step, though she was reaching an age where it wouldn’t be early onset anymore. At least Jenny seemed happy, happier than she was at least.

Tracey looked around her small two bedroom house and frowned at the quiet. She wondered at times if her mother had been right. If Tracey should have settled down, settled that is, and got married and had some kids. There wouldn’t be the linger rumors at family occasions that she was in fact, a lesbian.

It was such a strange concept to others, that she would prefer being alone, that they instead tried to come up with ideas on why she didn’t have someone. The lesbian theory was the best of the bunch, the others leaving her either traumatized, or too pitiful to keep someone. They couldn’t imagine that she might not want someone, that this may be the life she wanted.

They were too busy comparing her to Jenny, who in her illness had her history rewritten. People spoke of how sad it was that Jenny couldn’t remember her children, how happy they had made her, how much she loved them. That this illness had torn apart such a happy family, and that Jenny never got a chance to know her own grandchild , oh it was such a terrible thing.

Some of it was even true. It was tragic that Jenny didn’t know her own grandchild, and it was true that she loved her daughters, but the reality stopped there. People seemed to gloss over Jenny’s teen pregnancy, the alcoholism, the seven weeks her second daughter spent in the NICU for FAS, or the two years the kids lived with Tracey and Jenny’s parents until Jenny got back on her feet.

It was the same way they glossed over thirty years of nursing, the volunteer work, and all the traveling Tracey did in her own life. In the end, all anyone saw when they compared the sisters was Jenny’s two surprisingly well adjusted daughters, four grandchildren and Tracey’s empty house.

Tracey’s phone dinged again, and she saw the reminder: Cards with the Girls. She looked around her empty house again, and smiled. She loved her nieces dearly, but she really wouldn’t trade this life for anything.