Once the fairies were all outfitted to their satisfaction, I reopened my pincushion shop and tried to get back to my routine. The problem was that I wasn't quite sure how to go about doing that with a bunch of tiny, well dressed house guests who by all appearances, had no plans to be leaving any time soon. So, being of Italian descent, I decided to start by stocking the kitchen with fairy friendly foods so that I didn't have to worry about what they would eat while I was at work.
I went to the sewing room and gathered up the fairies to help me make a shopping list. It turned out to be no easy task getting them to agree on what they wanted. Blueberries were the only unanimous choice, so they were the first thing on the list. Then, after much debate, they finally agreed on strawberries, pears, honey, cream, butter, sunflower seeds, bean sprouts, pea pods, and popcorn. Just when I thought we were finally done and everyone was reasonably satisfied, someone suggested ice cream. They were all very excited about this until I told them they had to choose one flavor. The battle lines were drawn on this one for quite some time, but the leprechauns eventually wore the rest of them down and they reluctantly agreed on pistachio.
Armed with my list and feeling very optimistic, I headed off to the grocery store. I strolled up and down the isles singing along to the music that was piped in over the speakers, then breezed through the check out feeling like I was finally going to get back to life as I knew it. When I got home, I put on a pot of coffee having no idea how just how wrong I was.
I was still singing and putting things away in the pantry when I noticed that something had chewed through a package of oatmeal. Since we live in the woods, I immediately suspected mice. I frantically began taking everything off the shelves expecting to find more chewed through boxes and droppings. Much to my surprise, I found neither. Puzzled, I grabbed the dust pan. As I was cleaning up the spilled oatmeal I noticed some of it catching the light. I picked up a few pieces and put them in the palm of my hand. They looked like tiny rice shaped pearls.
Suddenly aware of the fact that I was no longer alone, I turned to see Cora, Bea , and Lena who was sparkling with pixie dust, hovering over my shoulder. Cora reminded me of a cherry blossom with her bright pink skirt and long cotton candy colored hair. She was very lighthearted and was always singing to herself and dancing away, whether there was music playing or not. She had a smile that was almost bigger than she was. At the moment, however, she was not smiling. "I told you they'd find us," She said to Lena and Bea looking quite pleased with herself. They were all staring at the contents of my outstretched hand.
"Would one of you mind telling me what this is?" I asked, not entirely sure I wanted the answer. "It's poop!" Bea answered, looking at me like I was quite dense not to have figured this out on my own. Lena, sensing my rising anxiety over this new development, suggested I pour myself a cup of coffee and have a seat. This turned out to be a very good idea. By now, a miniature crowd had gathered above my kitchen table. There was something about the soft hum of their wings that took me back to those long summer days of childhood, and I immediately felt myself begin to relax. So much so, that I was only slightly annoyed when I noticed that the pixies had made their way down to the kitchen on one of my favorite pink fuzzy socks that I had been searching for for weeks! I settled back in my chair, took a sip of my coffee and said, "OK, I'm ready. What's in my pantry?"
To be continued. (Dun, dun, dun, dun...)
Unpublished work © 2011 Laurie Konevich