In the afternoon

Walking back from school, Brighton, UK, 2014. Photograph by Tanya Clarke

Walking back from school, Brighton, UK, 2014. Photograph by Tanya Clarke

Writing Prompt No. 79

There was a place near where we lived, a wooded place.

In the spring, when the air began to warm and long sleeves were for winter, the bluebells grew. A blanket of blue, purple, lilac and white. The trees shaded them from the heat of the sun giving them cool shade to flourish. I loved this place. It was magical. I knew that fairies lived there. Hiding from us but watching.

I saw them once. I ran ahead just a short distance, my mum and dad were talking. I ran ahead breathing in the perfume of flowers, of damp shaded soil, of fresh rain. There was movement at my feet so small I almost didn’t notice. I stopped. The leaves of the bluebells at my feet were shimmering. I bent down and moved a leaf with my hand. Underneath was the tiniest living being I’d ever seen, Translucent against the green plant matter. Wings trembling, vibrating like a bee.

I put my finger out keeping it as still as I could. The tiny being shut its eyes. Something made it move in fright.

There was laughing behind me, mum and dad. I turned back but the tiny being had gone. I looked and looked turning over leaves, tip-toeing through the flowers.

What are you looking for? They asked.

Fairies. I said. The fairies are here. I saw one.

And they laughed and tickled my hair.

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