Her outstretched, beautiful butterfly wings were translucent and soft; thin and smooth.
FEATURED in the WDC Newsletter - Spiritual: Do Animals have Souls? by kittiara, November 6, 2013
FEATURED in the WDC Newsletter - Fantasy: Wings are Possible, by Dawn Embers , April 3, 2014.
The sadness on her face was heartbreaking. John couldn’t accept it. The feeling of loss and helplessness reflected in her crying eyes and that cut his heart into tiny pieces but he had to be stronger. He opened the pink curtains of his daughter’s bedroom and noticed that his wife’s clean clothes were still folded on top of the small bed. He had placed them there some days ago. His son was asleep on the bed, his head calmly resting on his mother’s lap yet she seemed to be unaware of his presence. She just sat there.
The bright light enveloped the room. She covered her eyes, withdrawing into the shadows as if the sun was too beautiful to look at; sinful. The sun rays uncovered toys, pink dolls’ dresses and tea sets, untouched since she last played with them. Fairy books scattered on the floor; she loved them so much. He nearly choked with despair.
“Emma, Emma. You must leave this room. You must.”
“I-I cant, John.”
“It’s been a week or so, Emma."
“I c-cannot. Not yet.”
“Your son needs you. I need you.”
“I know, John, but it’s so difficult ever since…”
“She’s gone, sweetie. She’s gone. Our little angel is gone but Jason is here and so am I. We need you. The house needs you. Your garden needs you. Everything needs you!”
“She said ‘Fairies’, daddy.” Jason said, waking up and still holding his mom’s hand. “That’s what mommy said. Fairies.”
“She loved fairy tales so much, John. I miss reading them to her.”
“Yes, darling. I know that but please, l-let’s go on with our lives. For Jason; for me. For you, too.”
“She loved pink fairies the most of all the colors, mommy, especially the ones that carried fairy dust with them, like Tinker Bell.” Jason said, yawning and stretching his arms up in the air. She told me.”
“Yes, mommy. She told me that there are thousands of fairies, and of different colors.”
“There are sun fairies, moon fairies, fire fairies, icy fairies, shadow fairies, glimmer fairies…”
“And queen fairies… yes, I know that Jason.”
“Emma, come on honey. Please."
“I’ll do my best, John. I’ll try t-today, promise.”
“I miss her too, Emma. Very much.”
Recognition hit her hard when she looked into her son’s eyes. He had tears in his eyes and now they were rolling down his little face and wetting his red Car’s pajamas. Where does one find the strength to continue after the death of a child? How to explain the loss of a child to your aching heart? How to comfort your child when you need it the most? She hugged him hard and smiled a forced grin at her husband. He understood. He always understood her.
John held Jason’s hand and carried him slowly out of the room not before he kissed his mother’s pale face. “Can I stay with you, mommy?” He begged.
“No honey, go with daddy now. You must go to school.”
“Okay but I wanted to stay home today.” Jason complained. “I feel kind of sick. Don’t I look kind of sick? I want to stay home. Read one of Lily’s stories for me, mommy. I look sick, don’t I, mommy?”
“No, you don’t. Go on now, come on. Go with daddy.”
She looked around the quiet room. She had tried hard but she’d never managed to make the bed, pick up the toys, and close the door behind her. How long had she been in there? John had said a week or so. A week or so? Her little girl had died; meningitis. It took her so fast. The pain. The hurt. The anguish. A cold, long knife that penetrates, cuts, twists and empties your heart leaving nothing but a red, pulsing memory of what has gone forever. Tears rolled down her cheeks.
“Come play, mommy. I’m outside.” Emma heard the voice as clear as day. “What?” She turned her head; searching, her long hair caressing her black dress.
“I’m outside, mommy.” Laughter. Laughter like music in the air. Again, her sweet voice, sweeter that honey, like ointment to a sore throat swimming down your tongue, when you have a sore throat. Perplexed but amazed by the intensity of the happiness she was feeling, she got up. Her legs, weak, couldn’t keep her from falling. She bumped her head against the night stand and Iridessa Silvermist’s pink fairy book fell on the rug. Her daughter’s favorite story. She picked it up carefully, holding it firmly in the hand; as if it was her daughter’s.
“Where are you, Lily? Is that you?” How could it be, Emma thought. She’s dead. My daughter is dead. A week or so.
“Come outside, mommy.” It was her voice, crystal clear, again, like a river running down a dry desert, fulfilling each and every dry spot.
“All right, honey.”
She got up, walked slowly towards the door and opened it. No one. The house was empty. She carefully went down step by step. She noticed she was barefoot. Where had she left her shoes? Right before she opened the front door she looked at herself in the mirror. Thin and sad; hair uncombed. Her deep blue eyes seemed sadder than the palest shades of blue of far away beaches. Deep circles under her eyes the color of her dress. “Is that what sorrow … does to us?” She said out loud. She took a deep breath and opened the front door.
Clean air embraced her and she took a deep, long breath. She heard her laughter again. Her daughter must be running down the sidewalk, and meeting with her friends. They loved to play down the road, in a garden, full of trees, green grass, flowers and butterflies. Again, her laughter. “I am here, mommy. Hurry up.” Still holding or grabbing the fairy book she walked towards the lot. Leaves scattered everywhere; she walked over them. Brown, yellow, and red leaves, soft to the touch. She crunched them with her feet, and wondered if her daughter had ever found a pink leaf. Of course she must have, when they turned red they certainly became pink before, right?
Children’s voices everywhere. They ran past her and met Lily but she couldn’t see them, anyone, yet she sensed it though, her heart nearly exploding in her chest. Anxious, she stopped and looked around but only saw the garden, which all the neighbors kept clean and safe. The moment she stepped on the soft grass she heard… wings. Wings? Wings like of a humming bird, yes, of a humming bird inside her ears. Was she going mad?
A bright light lit up the day itself around her, brighter than sun or lightning and her face felt warm. Everything in front of her became so bright; it was like standing in front of a Christmas tree in a dark room. When she managed to look in front of her she saw a woman dressed in a flowing pink gown with beautiful tiny diamonds shining multi-colored rays all around her. What exactly went into the making of the gown? Was it made of frost or rose petals or even water, or something else entirely? She had lovely little pointed ears. Her long golden hair was inlaid with pink wild flowers. She looked --- airy and almost transparent in body; so delicate in form that a dewdrop, would tremble and dance on her body but never break. Such beauty. She just stood there, radiant, majestic, making twinkling noises, floating and smiling the sweetest of smiles at her. The aroma of baked cakes or was it vanilla or both traveled in the air and she immediately thought of cupcakes; pink cupcakes. Her outstretched, beautiful butterfly wings were translucent and soft; thin and smooth. Maybe it had to do with what they were made of – their substance, their density, their powers, and reasons for being what they were; such mystery. She wanted --- needed to touch them but dared not. “A fairy! I am standing right in front of a-a fairy! My goodness!” She whispered.
“Do you believe?” Iridessa Silvermist asked.
“Do you intensely, sincerely and deeply believe in … fairies?”
“Yes, I do!” She exploded, crying with such happiness that she thought she’d go mad.
“So now you’ll see.”
She blinked her eyes because of the intense whiteness around her. When she opened them … she saw her, playing with some other girls, under a tree in the garden. She looked happy and strong. She opened her arms; longing.
“Lily!” She screamed, her heart aching in her chest.
“Mommy!” Lily ran as fast as she could, laughing and crying, and jumped into her mother’s arms.
“Yes, I do!”
“I have but a minute, so listen. I can’t stay long. I don’t know why but I got this only chance or you do, not sure. Something about intertwined dimensions. I am going to this other … place today but I won’t be far away. I’ll be able to hear you but you can’t cry anymore mommy. When you cry it hurts me so much. They said it’s like a phone in my mind; only I can hear you; you can’t. I hear your thoughts. I hear your sorrow, I hear you cry, mommy. Please don’t cry anymore.No, please don't. Oh there’s so much to tell you. So much I saw, and felt. It’s B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L mommy. Believe me!”
Twinkling noises in the air. Lily turned her head towards the light, nodded, and then looked at her mother.
“Have you been eating cupcakes?” Emma asked.
“Yes, mommy, with pink icing! D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! You just think about them and they appear. Can you believe this? It’s fun. I am so happy. I’ll wait for you. They told me that. I will be okay. Will you stop crying?”
They hugged again but this time Emma wouldn’t let go of her daughter. She held her tight, oh so tight, that she could hear her daughter’s heartbeat inside of her little chest. “Mommy. Mommy, I must go.”
“Do you believe?”
“So --- let go. Go on with your life, and believe.”
The moment she let go, Lily turned back and walked towards the brilliant light. She tried to reach out and grab her hand but Lily grinned. She said: "No, not now!" She smiled. A smile full of recognition of things she now understood, things her mother didn’t and couldn’t, but that was okay, her mother still had a long life ahead of her.
Emma felt like a child. Lily was older now, wiser, an awareness of a separate dimension. She knew … things; unearthly things. She wanted to cry but didn’t; she had made a promise. Promises are to be kept no matter what. Brightness overtook Lily and she slowly became the color of melted butter, disappearing in thin air. She heard music, laughter, and vanilla scent overtook her or was it strawberry? She stood up and turned back. She wanted to go home. Lily had gone home. Our lives are not our own, we are bound to others; traveling throughout eternity.
She noticed that she was still holding Iridessa Silvermist’s fairy book. She believed. Taking a deep breath, Emma headed back to the house with a smile on her face. As she walked faster, she had only one thought in her mind: bake cupcakes with pink icing for Jason. He loved them too. Her mouth watered. She could nearly taste them; batter-cake, then warm. How long hadn’t she read Jason a bedtime story or baked him cupcakes?
A week or so.