Flash fiction (~700 words)
Madelyn likes to sit by the stream and daydream. Her mother frequently told her she always has her head in the clouds. If only! She’d love to float up there in the clouds. What must it be like to fly so high and look back down on the trees, the streams, the orchards, the animals, and all the land?
Today, the sun is really heating up the land. Madelyn takes off her shoes and socks and sticks her feet into the chilly water. Ah, but it’s so refreshing. I wonder if the little fish will bite my toes? Nah. They might nibble. It would only tickle a little anyway. She giggles.
Suddenly out of the corner of her eye she sees a movement. She slowly turns toward the pile of stones near the base of the broken tree. A little faerie is staring back at her. This little faerie, though, is not like the faeries Madelyn has read about in her story books. This little faerie is wearing a tiny plaid shirt, tiny dungarees, and the tiniest little work boots Madelyn has ever seen — and they’re brown with orange laces.
“Who are you?” Madelyn asks.
“I’m Orlaith. I’m the queen of the faeries in this meadow. I’ve never seen you before.”
“Really? I come here almost every day. I guess you’ve been looking in the wrong places.”
“Or maybe you’re in the wrong place.”
“Are you magic?”
“Don’t be silly. Of course, I’m not magic. But I can do tricks and give you wishes. What’s your name, Madelyn?
“Silly! You just said it. It’s Madelyn. How did you know?”
“Oh, I just guessed it, or maybe I heard you talking to the clouds.”
“I wasn’t talking to the clouds.”
“Oh, well, maybe it’s magic.”
A flash from the pool of water catches Madelyn’s eye and she glances at two trout as they swim by. When she looks up again, Orlaith is standing on top of the broken tree stump. She’s giggling.
“What’s so funny?”
“You are. You’re so tall. I wish I was tall.”
“Why. It’s not always a good thing. The boys don’t like tall girls.”
“Why not? You could be very useful. You can get the cereal down from the top shelf.”
“Yeah, but you could just fly up and get it.”
“I could, but the cereal box would be very heavy for me. I’d probably fall and the box would land on top of me.”
“Good point. I guess that wouldn’t be good. Why are you wearing work boots?”
“Because I was working before you got here.”
“What were you doing?”
“I was painting clouds in the sky for you.”
“You put those up there?”
“Yep! Do you like them.”
“Yes! Of course. I would love to fly up there among them.”
“I could help you fly up there.”
“But you said you weren’t magic.”
“I’m not. But I can grant you a wish. Do you wish to fly in the clouds?”
“Oh, very much!”
“Okay. Let’s go.”
Suddenly Madelyn was holding hands with the faerie — well, the faerie was hanging on to her little finger — and flying high in the sky. The clouds were brushing through her hair. The cool air chilled her nose. And the wind held her on the currents like an eagle soaring so free. When she looked down, she could see all the people working and playing and doing what they do every day. She never wanted to go back down. She wanted to stay up here forever.
Someone was calling her name from down by the stream. She looked, but didn’t see anyone.
There was movement near the oak tree, but still she didn’t see anyone.
“Madelyn! Are you all right?”
She looked again. Her husband was yelling at her.
“Why are you yelling? I’m right here.”
“No I don’t think you are. Where were you?”
“Just daydreaming again. I guess I’d better get back to work. That garden won’t weed itself. She tightens the laces on her work boots and gets up from the lawn chair.
“What a glorious day!”
Her husband just shakes his head. Always daydreaming, that one!