Rated: E · Book · Children's · #1922493
A young boy writes himself an epic adventure...which starts to come true!
Jayden woke up early, as was his habit, and while the house was quiet, he retrieved the journal from under his pillow and reread over the adventures of the day before. He still had trouble believing that he'd really seen a taniwha or that his journal was capable of making his adventure stories come true. Surely it had been a daydream? Well, either way, he thought with a shrug, he wanted to draw some pictures of the taniwha before he forgot all the details.
Carefully opening the metal case containing the special drawing pencils his mother had bought him, Jayden selected a pencil and started drawing. He remembered the swirls of green and brown that flowed over the taniwha. He tried his hardest to draw the big calm eyes that had watched them, and did a small drawing of the tail showing above the water. When he finished, he carefully selected a dark green pencil from his case and started to shade some colour in to his drawings. He was working with the brown pencil when Caitlin finally wandered in to his bedroom.
Caitlin rubbed her eyes and yawned as she picked her way across the mess of toys and books and clothes on Jayden's floor and reached his bed.
"Careful!" he warned as he lifted his pencil off the paper before she could jostle him. Eyeing the pencil, she clambered on to the bed and positioned herself against the wall. Jayden said "Wait just a moment while I finish doing the brown parts, okay? No wriggling."
Caitlin nodded. No wriggling.
The very instant that Jayden put the brown pencil back in the case, Caitlin burst out with "Can you write about the fairies now? Please? Pretty please? Now, Jayden, can you do it now?"
Jayden closed his eyes for a minute in mock exasperation, but the truth was, he wanted to test the journal again, and yes, have another adventure. Okay, so fairies weren't really his thing, but he was definitely keen to test the very idea of his stories coming true. He smiled at Caitlin and nodded, then turned to pick up another pencil - this one not neat and carefully looked after like his drawing pencils but with teeth marks at the end and nicks and scratches down the length of it.
"Yay!" Caitlin squealed. She rose to her feet and quickly trod over the covers to plop down beside him. She grinned up at him. "Let's go!"
Jayden and Caitlin were sitting on a grassy hill, overlooking green pastures dotted with white sheep. Behind them was a forest of tall, sturdy evergreens. The sun was shining down warmly on them and they felt like it was a perfect day for dozing or picking daisies or smiling at little lambs wiggling after their mothers.
Jayden had decided not to worry about the practicalities of how they got to the grassy hill. He was more than happy to write a magic return to the bedroom at the end of the story. Why be practical when you can be magical?
He chewed the end of his pencil before looking back down at the page. Hmm, what sort of fairy should he write about first? He blinked a bit in the glare of the sunlight reflecting off the white page and tilted the journal a little so that he could see the lines more easily. Then he frowned, realising there was no sun in his bedroom and quickly looked up. Sure enough, they were sitting on a grassy hill in the sunlight. Jayden looked down at himself and couldn't help but smirk when he realised he was still wearing his pajamas. Oops. He watched Caitlin in her dressing gown and slippers, plucking daisies and dandelions from among the blades of grass surrounding them. He couldn't quite understand how she accepted the wonders of their adventures so calmly and without question, but then he supposed she had always been cheerful and outgoing and accepting. She didn't tend to overthink things like he did. He reminded himself to get back to the fairies. He supposed this was really Caitlin's story, so he had best write something for her.
Caitlin plucked another dandelion from the grass and added it to the bunch of wildflowers in her hand. She was reaching for a pretty daisy with shades of pink on its white petals, when she suddenly stopped short, with her arm outstretched. Ooh, there was a perfect little toadstool there! Caitlin smiled and her eyes lit up. How pretty! It looked just like one in a storybook, all red on the top with white spots. Caitlin moved back a pace and carefully lay down so that her face was up close to the toadstool. She eyed it with wonder, and started imagining all sorts of little fairy creatures that might live on or in the toadstool. Suddenly she blinked with surprise as a tiny wee fairy alighted on top of the toadstool, just a few centimeters from Caitlin's nose. It had lovely golden curls in its hair, with the tiniest flowers scattered through the curls. It was wearing a pretty dress the colour of...
Jayden poked his tongue out of the corner of his mouth as he thought. The colour of what? What colour would the fairy's dress be?
"The deep indigo of a starlit night" suggested a deep but quiet voice from very close to Jayden's ear. He quickly turned in astonishment to see who had spoken but could see nobody. He saw Caitlin lying down in the grass, presumably looking at the toadstool, but she certainly didn't speak in a deep masculine voice. Jayden rose to his feet and spun in a circle but could see no one. How bizarre! He was even more confused when he heard a deep chuckle in the same voice. It was definitely coming from his left but...there was no one there.
"Calm down, lad. You're not going mad. I'm sitting on your shoulder."
Jayden's eyes widened and his eyebrows shot up. His shoulder? Moving very slowly and carefully, he looked out of the corner of his eye to see a very small figure sitting on his shoulder. The little creature could only have been 7 or 8 centimeters tall.
"How can you have such a deep voice when you're so small?" he blurted out, then flushed with embarrassment.
Fortunately, the little man (fairy?) chuckled again, appearing to take no offence. "Just one of the many mysteries of the world, Jayden. You might as well ask why I have wings, or why you have freckles." He smiled up at Jayden.
"Are you a fairy?" Jayden asked, having thought previously that all fairies were females.
"That I am."
"But you're a male!"
"Oh yes. What gave me away, the voice or the clothes?" came the laughing reply.
Jayden smiled, feeling a little foolish. "Sorry. I've never met a fairy before. I didn't even know there were male fairies. My name is Jayden."
"Yes, I know. Mine is Foster. And the lass your sister is talking to is Eolande."
Jayden repeated the names in his head. Foster and Eolande. Foster was a fairly solid sounding name for a fairy, but then, the little man had a deep voice and didn't seem very pretty or dainty, despite being so small. He was wearing scruffy clothes that looked like they were made out of rough materials, and Jayden thought that if he'd been human-sized, he'd have been quite strong. He was probably quite strong for a fairy, if that made sense. Jayden frowned and shook his head a little. Eolande was a pretty name, he thought. That suited a pretty fairy. He peered back at Foster to find that the fairy was watching him, waiting for him to finish muddling through his thoughts.
"Shall we join the women? You should meet my Eolande," he said proudly.
Jayden nodded and went to take a step before freezing in place. "I'm, ah, not going to stand on any fairies, am I?"
"Oh no, lad. They're too quick for that. Don't you worry."
Reassured, Jayden walked over to where Caitlin lay on the ground and sat beside her.
Caitlin glanced up at him, then quickly turned back to the small fairy in front of her. "This is my brother Jayden! Jayden, this is Ee-oh-land" she said, pronouncing the unfamiliar name carefully.
Jayden smiled and said hello before introducing Caitlin to Foster.
"Oh!" Caitlin exclaimed. "You have a fairy too!" They all smiled at Caitlin's assumption that the fairies belonged to the people who found them.
"I was just telling Caitlin a bit about fairies and where we live, and what we do," Eolande said in a light, musical voice that was about as different from Foster's deep voice as it was possible to get. Eolande glanced up at Foster, still perched on Jayden's shoulder. "You've got yourself a grand view from up there, haven't you, Foster?" she teased.
Foster grinned at her. "That I have! I might just stay here for a bit."
Jayden smiled, but before he could say anything, Caitlin impatiently asked her next question.
"So, where do you buy your clothes? Do you have shops?"
Eolande smiled patiently at Caitlin and started telling her about how the fairies made their own clothes from materials they found in nature, but some fairies were better at making pretty clothes than others, so sometimes a fairy might swap a special musical instrument they'd made, for a pretty new dress, or something else that was of value.
Jayden was surprised to find it all quite interesting. "Do you live here in the paddock?" he asked.
"Oh no," both fairies replied in unison before Foster continued. "We live in the forest for the most part. It's lovely to be in the sunshine out here, and Eolande likes the pretty flowers and butterflies." He smiled at the other fairy before adding "but the forest has more places for us to hide and live and work."
Jayden nodded, thoughtfully. That made sense.
"And do you go to school like we do?" Caitlin asked, clearly with a list of questions in her head that she wanted answered before they had to leave. The fairies were very patient with her and answered all her questions. For all his interest in mythical creatures, Jayden hadn't spent a lot of time thinking about fairies before this, and was surprised to learn that there were lots of different sorts of fairies from different parts of the world, much as there were different sorts of dragons from different parts of the world. He was especially startled to realise that some fairies were human-sized. Imagine that!
They spent a pleasant few hours in the sunshine, talking to the fairy couple. Foster and Eolande didn't have many questions about humans, but they enjoyed asking Jayden and Caitlin about their personal experiences, such as what they did for fun, things they liked to learn and their favourite foods. The time passed quickly, for both Jayden and Caitlin, and it was Foster who finally brought a halt to the visit.
"I'm afraid it's time for us to go, children," he said quietly. "Eolande and I have things to do before nightfall and I'm sure you need to be getting back home too."
Eolande smiled and added "It has been so wonderful to meet you two, you must come back and visit us again someday."
Caitlin nodded her head emphatically even as her eyes filled with tears. "I don't want to go! I want to stay and spend more time with you! I wish you could go with us!"
The fairies both smiled at her.
Jayden put his arm around her shoulders and said "We'll come back, Caitie. Don't forget, we can write what we want in our book."
Caitlin sniffed and nodded. "Okay."
Eolande fluttered up and placed the softest of kisses on Caitlin's cheek. "Take care, Caitlin. It was wonderful to spend time with you."
Then suddenly the fairies were gone, and Jayden and Caitlin were left standing in the grass, as if there had never been a fairy at all.
Still sniffing sadly, Caitlin plonked herself down on the ground again, narrowly missing the red toadstool where she'd first seen Eolande. She pouted, her lower lip poking out, as she waited for Jayden to write them back to his bedroom.
Jayden watched her for a moment, then opened his journal. He wasn't quite as surprised this time to see the pages filled with details of their experience visiting the fairies, but it still seemed amazing to him. He flipped to the last page and thought of what to write. He was a little sad too and wondered how he could cheer Caitlin up. He knew if she were happy and smiling again, he'd cheer up too. He thought a moment more.
Almost before they knew it, they were back in Jayden's bedroom, sitting on his bed. Caitlin looked very sad, and that made Jayden feel sad too. He knew she was missing her new fairy friends already. He was just about to say something to her when he noticed the pretty band of daisies around her wrist. He smiled, knowing it must have been a gift from Eolande. He would suggest she go and ask their mum how to press the flowers so they wouldn't wilt and die, and she could keep them as a special reminder of their visit with the fairies.
Jayden looked up from his page, and noted that Caitlin did indeed have a bracelet of daisies around her wrist. "Come on, Caitlin. Let's go and find out how we can press the daisies in your bracelet, and then you'll be able to keep them forever."
Caitlin looked up in surprise, then lifted both her arms to look at her wrists. "Oh!" she exclaimed when she saw the little flowers. "Oh Jayden, look!"
He smiled and climbed off the bed. "Come on, let's go find out how to stop them from dying, so you can keep them forever."
"Yes!" she agreed quickly, climbing off the bed after him.
As they left the room, Jayden smiled again, pleased that she was no longer feeling sad. Personally, he was delighted. They'd had another adventure, and proved that the book really did work magic. It was incredible and amazing and oh so tempting. Where would they go next? Ha, it wasn't even a question that needed asking, he knew. He wanted to see another dragon, a European dragon this time. A real fire breathing dragon. Oh yes.