This is a long story so I'm going to tell it to you in two parts. After all this is supposed to be a blog post not a novel. Anyway, as promised in my first post, here is part one of how I met the fairies.
It started out like any other day. I woke up before the birds as usual, made some coffee and then headed to my sewing room to work on a few pincushions for my shop before heading off to work. (I'm not sure if I mentioned this but I have a little shop on etsy.com where I sell handmade pincushions. I also work at a local preschool, but I digress.) When I turned on the light on my sewing table I immediately got the feeling that something wasn't quite right. As I moved around the room I kept having the odd sensation that I was being watched. I tried to shrug it off and concentrate on my work, but the feeling persisted. If that wasn't enough, I kept noticing an annoying ringing in my ears. You know, that faint high pitched sound that happens every once in a while? Distracted, I reached for my scissors and knocked over my thread holder. I reached under the table to pick up a stray spool, and that's when I saw it.
At first I thought I must have been imagining it so I took off my glasses and cleaned them with my pajama top. I took another sip of coffee and a deep breath and looked again. Much to my surprise, it was still there. On the wall, just above the baseboard was a tiny door. I crawled under the table to get a closer look. I reached out and tried to open it. It wouldn't budge. My first thought was that someone had decided to surprise me by installing this charming little door for me to discover. I'd seen fairy doors for sale and always thought it would be fun to put one in my house, but just never seemed to get a round to it. I have always loved the idea of fairies and truth be told, secretly held on to the hope that they just might be real.
I grabbed my computer and googled fairy doors to see if I could find out where it was purchased. Dozens of stores popped up in the results. I of course scanned the list for Etsy shops assuming that since I have a shop there, that's probably where they purchased it. I noticed that more than one result mentioned Ann Arbor. It caught my eye because my daughter is a student at the University of Michigan, which is located in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor. In fact, we had just returned from a visit with her 2 days before. Curious, I clicked on one titled "The Wee Fairy Doors of Ann Arbor". This is what appeared on my screen:
"All across the city, "fairy doors" are popping up. The miniature openings into imagined fairy homes are unsponsored, unauthorized works of public art that have captured the imagination of the city. A six-inch white wooden door with a carved jamb framed by miniature bricks was the first to appear, outside Sweetwaterz Cafe. Since the spring of last year, seven more doors have appeared at businesses around Main Street."
The article was written in 2006. It went on to say that a local artist was installing the doors around the city in an effort to breathe new life into some of the struggling businesses downtown. That was it! My husband must have heard about this on our latest visit and decided to surprise me with a fairy door of my own. I closed my laptop smiling to myself. I reached out to turn off my sewing machine, and there she was.
She was leaning against the thread on top of the machine, legs crossed, grinning up at me, waiting for my reaction. She wasn't any bigger than the spool of thread. She looked part bumble bee, part human. Her wings were so sheer and iridescent I almost didn't notice them at first. She had a huge yellow bow in her short black hair and she was wearing a tiny yellow skirt that looked sort of like a tutu. As if reading my mind she pointed to her skirt and her tiny lips began to move. I couldn't hear what she was trying to tell me because the ringing in my ears had started again. I leaned down close to her and concentrated. In a tiny high pitched voice, still pointing to her skirt, she said, "I made it out of a piece of your ribbon. It turned out great don't you think? I'm Beatrice by the way. You can call me Bea." This couldn't be happening, could it? I no sooner finished that thought and, poof, she was gone. There was Nothing there but a penny. Where the heck did that come from?
Anyway, I must have imagined her. Between the 14 hour car ride home from Michigan and the lack of sleep that followed trying to catch up on my sewing, it was no wonder I was seeing things. But deep down I knew she was real. I began to think about the ringing in my ears and how it was timed perfectly with the movement of her lips. I'd had that ringing thing happen every once in a while ever since I was a kid. It was at this point that I began to realize that I had been hearing fairies pretty much my whole life. I know lots of people who get that ringing in their ears from time to time but nobody's ever really had a good explanation for what causes it. That is, until now.
I tried to shrug it off and went to get ready for work. Before I left, I went back into my sewing room and had a look around. The fairy door was still there but there was no sign of Bea. Maybe I really had imagined her. Absentmindedly, I picked up the penny from the top of my sewing machine and put it in my pocket. I was anxious to ask my husband if he was responsible for the fairy door but he was still asleep and I didn't want to wake him. There had to be a reasonable explanation for all of this. As I drove to work that morning I had the feeling that my life was about to change. What I didn't know was that I was on the brink of discovering that life as I knew it was, how can I put this.......never really life as I knew it.
Well, I'm going to call it a night. It's late and I can barely keep my eyes open. I'll be back with part 2 very soon. By the way, I'm sure some of you think I have gone and lost my mind. That's OK. There are always going to be plenty of nonbelievers out there. I do have a quick question for you though. Have you ever had a faint ringing in your ears?
Unpublished work © 2011 Laurie Konevich