SAD in May — Day Thirteen
Prompt: write a descriptive story
The Fairy Garden
By Lori Carlson
Maggie stared out the window. She knew every tree, house, bush and mountainside along the way to her grandmother’s house. There was the baby blue house with the white shutters and flower beds circling the yard. A magnolia tree stood to the left of the house and it was in full bloom. Maggie could almost smell the sweet aroma, but her mother had the air condition on and she couldn’t roll down the window. She relied on her memory instead and inhaled deeply. Oh how she loved magnolia blossoms!
“We are almost there,” her mother informed her, but she didn’t need to be reminded. They’d just passed the long stretch of pine and fir trees up the mountain. Next came the old golden-painted Victorian with brown gables and a small bridge over the creek that flowed by the house. To the right of the house was a large barn that held horses. Maggie didn’t see any horses today, but she knew them by heart: two were chestnut brown with white faces, one was a palomino, and the last one was a black stallion. She liked the black one best.
Her mother turned off the road and headed up a long drive-way. It wasn’t directly to her grandmother’s house; they would have to turn off at another road further up for that. Maggie watched intently as the trees along the path sped by her. In the distance, to the right of her, she could make out the grand Colonial mansion on the hill. She also knew that at any minute the two English Setters that lived there would come barreling down the hillside to bark at them. One, two, three… she counted and sure enough, there they came. She waved at them and barked back at them. Then her mother turned down another side road. Maggie became fidgeting because any minute now they would be at her grandmother’s house. She counted the trees because at tree fifteen, they would be pulling into the driveway.
Fifteen, Maggie thought, as her mother parked the car. Bolting from the car, Maggie started running down the stone pathway leading off from her grandmother’s house to a wrought-iron fence. She opened the fence and was about to disappear through it when she heard her mother.
“Maggie! Aren’t you going to come in and say hello to your grandmother?”
Maggie waved her hand at her mother and said, “Tell her I am going to the fairy garden. She won’t mind.” And away she disappeared among the high grass and irises.
She continued following the stone path until she came to a little pond. The lilies floated on top of the pond like parachutes in the air. Maggie stared down into the pond and waved. A frog leapt up onto one of the lily pads and croaked at her.
“Hello, Mr. Frog. I missed you the last time I was here,” she said, reaching down and petting the frog on the head.
Happy that she’d seen the frog this time, Maggie continued on her way circling the pond until she came to a little-known pathway between bushes of wisteria. The path led her deep into a dark forest area covered in moss with the smell of rich dirt. Maggie loved that smell. It reminded her of when she helped her mother plant a garden just a few days ago. She located the old Oak tree and sat down on the carpet of moss in front of the tree. She picked up a twig and began drawing her name with it in the dirt.
She heard the whispers of her name and looked into the darkness. Little flickering lights began to come toward her. She clapped her hands and laughed with delight. The little winged creatures landed on the moss around her. Maggie held out her hand and one of them landed on her palm.
“Hello, my little fairy friends, I have missed you!”
The fairies buzzed around her and flickered off and on for a few moments and then landed back upon the moss. Maggie took the twig she’d been using and used it to knock on the bark of the Oak tree. An owl answered her knock with a hoot and flew down to a lower branch to be near her. Soon the whole area was crawling with wildlife and birds and fairies.
Maggie was dancing around when she heard a snapping branch. She put her fingers to her lips and motioned to her friends to be silent. She peered out into the darkness, straining her eyes, but could see no one. Suddenly out of nowhere, something grabbed her and she screamed.
“Little Maggie,” the creature said, “it’s only me.”
Maggie looked up and laughed. She was in the arms of her Fairy Godmother.
“Is she gone?” Maggie asked.
Her Godmother nodded, putting Maggie down. “She never stays long these days.”
“She still doesn’t believe?”
“No, Maggie. She never did as a child and she still doesn’t. But you, my little one, you believe!” Her Godmother threw her hands into the air and the entire place began to glisten and glow as though filled with a million tiny Christmas lights, and music began to play out of thin air. Maggie clasped hands with her Godmother and began dancing as fairies flew around them and the birds chimed in with the song. It was a magical evening and Maggie’s mother would never know.