( Just a quick note before I continue with my story. If you haven't already, I suggest you read the first two blog posts before reading this one. Otherwise it might not make sense. Not that any of this will make sense to most of you anyway, but trust me, it works better if you start from the beginning.)
I sat at my desk trying to concentrate on my work, but my mind kept going back to the mornings events. None of it made any sense. That is, unless you believe in fairies, in which case the pieces all fit together pretty well actually. But I wasn't ready for that yet.
I ran through it all in my mind again. First, the unshakable feeling I was being watched. That could have been anything really. Happens all the time. No big deal. Next, the tiny door that appeared on my wall. I had convinced myself that my husband must have been responsible for that. But, when I called to ask him about it he had no idea what I was talking about. That left only two options. Either he had suddenly become an incredibly good liar overnight, or he had nothing to do with it. I even toyed briefly with the possibility that someone broke into the house while we were gone, stole nothing, and installed a tiny door in my sewing room just to mess with my head. That was even more far fetched than fairies being responsible.
Then there was the small matter of seeing a tiny little bumble bee person standing on my sewing machine. I mean, sure, I haven't gotten much sleep lately but come on, I wasn't that tired. And what about all the fairy stuff going on in Ann Arbor? It's a pretty big coincidence that all of this happened right after we spend four days there. The article showed pictures of the fairy doors that were found and they looked pretty similar to the one in my sewing room. They were passing it off as the work of a local artist, yet nobody had ever seen him actually installing any of them. After the morning I'd had, I could sure understand why he would rather have people think it was him than admit he believes in fairies and has them living in his house. You should google the Ann Arbor fairy door thing when you have a minute by the way. It's a great story. Anyway, it was all to much for me to think about. I was giving myself a headache. So, I forced myself to focus on work and managed to make it through the day.
When I got in my car I turned on the radio in an effort to get my mind off the ringing in my ears. Just when I thought it was gone it would come back again. It was the worst case I had ever had and it was really driving me nuts. When I got home I made myself a cup of coffee and plopped down on my couch. I reached in my pocket and took out the penny that I found on my sewing machine. How could I have mistaken that for a miniature bee child wearing a tutu?
Absentmindedly, I turned the penny over and over in my hand and my thoughts turned to a summer day when I was just six years old. It was the end of August and my mother took us to Boston to buy new uniforms for school. After that we walked to the commons for a ride on the swan boats. Somewhere in our travels that day we passed a fountain and she gave us each a penny to make a wish. I remember being very excited because the penny she gave me was so shiny and new. I closed my eyes and wished that my first grade teacher would be nice. I was very worried about that after hearing my sisters tell stories about all the mean nuns at St. Anthonys. I can still remember the sound the penny made when it hit the water with a loud plop. Actually, it was more of a plunk. It's funny the little things that stick in your mind, isn't it? This penny sure wasn't shiny and new. In fact it was filthy.
As I walked to the bathroom to wash my hands I looked at the date on it and stopped dead in my tracks. It was 1968. I was six years old in 1968. I could feel my heart pounding. Why was this freaking me out so much? It was just a coincidence. There are probably zillions of 1968 pennies still floating around out there. I slowly began to become aware of the fact that I wasn't holding the penny anymore. I was holding Bea.
"That was me" she said with a sly smile. I was staring down at my hand in disbelief. Aware that I had temporarily lost my ability to speak, she continued. "I've been trying to tell you this all day. The penny you threw in the fountain was me. Have a look." She turned around and rolled her shoulders, sticking her tiny wings out at me. At first I wasn't sure what she wanted me to look at. Then I noticed that between her wings was a penny...the penny! I sank slowly to the floor trying to absorb all of this. And that's when she told me all about the Magic Penny Fairies. "So you're the reason I had Sister John Ann? She was probably the only nice nun that ever taught at that school. You know, I ended up having her for second grade too." Bea's smile widened. "what can I say" she said, I'm an over achiever."
I had so many questions. I didn't know where to begin. Bea seemed eager to answer them all and we stayed up most of the night talking. I was surprised to find out how much of the human world is intertwined with the world of these amazing, tiny beings, and how well they've managed to convince us that they only exist in fairy tales.
I'm going to stop here for now. But, I promise I'll be back to tell you about some of the things I learned from Bea and the rest of the fairies that made their way to my sewing room in the days and weeks that followed. I'll give you a sneak preview. Ringing in the ears? definitely fairies talking, but you probably figured that one out by now. Let's see, socks that go missing in the laundry? Fairies up to mischief. The hiccups? Fairies again, and not the good kind. The Tooth Fairy? Very real, there's more than one, and wait till you hear what they do with our teeth!
Unpublished work © 2011 Laurie Konevich