Fiction: The Stilted Fairy

February 2016 Blog Challenge: Blog 29 of 29

Hurrah! It’s the last day of February – a day longer than average Valentine month at that, and I am now posting my final February post.  I have completed my blog challenge – which was to compose and post every single day of this month.

I’ve written ‘Peachey Letters’ considering life and I’ve written fiction blogs too, something new to my adult experience – although as a child I was happy to create stories and loved the escapism that they offered, to fly away with the fairies… 

As an adult, I have now returned to the fiction form and have embarked on writing my first novel (of a trilogy). It’s a blend of semi auto-biographical and fantastical elements, which feels somewhat like making a giant patch work quilt of my life: There are some favourite scraps of my own old clothes, which I am adding to, embellishing and turning into a brand new pattern…

Part of my blog challenge this month was to create content for this first fiction book.  Each excerpt, which stands alone on this blog – will eventually be woven into the larger fabric of my completed book.

And that is me done for February.  Thank you for being on this page with me!  I trust you have enjoyed my daily outpourings and I look forward to your feedback on my new fictional format.

Have a Marvellous March!

The Stilted Fairy

Wings toy

Honestly, at my age, I’m not used to standing up for so long. It’s not how I was designed, after all. My feet are rebelling. They ache and they are sore. I’m wearing entirely the wrong sort of shoes – they may look elegant, but they are remorselessly squeezing my toes, so that every step has now become a wincing agony.

This exhibition that I’m wondering aimlessly around is boring me any way; it’s just a way to kill another lonely Sunday – in a vast Expo Hall, somewhere on the edge of London.

My feet certainly aren’t thanking me for the outing and there is nothing of any interest at any of the stalls, so finally I cue up to buy tea in a large cardboard cup, and limping now – rather than gliding sexily and confidently along, I stake my claim on a dirty table scattered with used cups, scrunched up napkins and discarded crumbs.

My cardboard tea cup has a leak and as I raise the drink to my lips, hot brown liquid spills triumphantly down my white blouse instead… I look down surreptitiously and check out the damage, “Oh wonderful!” And so I put down my defective cup and watch the hectic world whirl about, as I silently spy on the people around me; honing in on clothes and conversation, demeanour and body language and then having analysed the symptoms I see, I start to spin stories of who the people about me are and what they do…

Over at the next table is an anxious young man in a suit, leaning forward, posturing and dominating, clearly desperate to seal a deal with his laconic older companion; a man dressed in jeans and a casual jacket who is in more relaxed mode – sitting back, observing rather than taking part. I can tell, just by my side line observation, that the young guy is not going to get the deal, opportunity or cash that he wants so much. He may instead just get a brush off, although his older companion looks like more the type to give advice. The young guy ignores the stand-off signals from his coffee buddy, but instead finishes his diatribe and holds out his hand to shake on a deal.

Now his older companion leans in. First he looks the young guy in the eyes. Then he speaks slowly and deliberately, looking over the top of his erstwhile companion’s head. Finally, now that his careful, spare words have been spent, he stands up, touches the other man on the shoulder and disappears smoothly in to the crowd.

Before I can observe the reaction of the object of my observation, there is a blur of white in my peripheral vision and I turn to see her… The Fairy…

Now here is a wonder of a woman who does not hide her wings. Instead she is proudly out in public, on show in this showy space.

Of course she isn’t a real fairy… She’s a circus performer or promotional worker, attention seeking and adding a strange brand of ethereal glamour to this earthly place. But still I look her over, so I can consciously compare and contrast…

Unlike me of course she cannot fly or hover – so she is, instead elevated on stilts. Her hair, naturally (or unnaturally, since I suspect that’s a wig) is long and blond, flowing down in tidy waves over her shoulders. Honestly, if she ever actually flew – her hair would never look that pristine.

She’s dressed in clichéd white, in a dress sprinkled with silver stars and she has a delicate silver coronet on her head. Again, it’s hardly practical garb for flying – in these days of pollution and miscreant weather, the frock would be filthy in seconds and the crown would fly off her head during take-off.

Her wings it has to be said, are more impressive than the usual pink Chinese (made) chiffon toy versions are.   They have an individual span of around 18 inches each, with a top wired frame from which drips a light diaphanous material, which means that they flutter behind her as she lopes along.

Instead of a sinuous flowing flight, her walk is a laboured gait. It is less lift and more limp. Despite all her sparkly finery, she’s too earth bound and gravity heavy to ever take off into the skies.

Unlike me, she gets noticed though. She is constantly photographed and posed with. Whereas – as usual, I just sit invisibly by, observing on the edge, with a smug secret smile which belies my tea stained shirt and swollen feet.

So let’s compare her to me… Firstly, my wings are bigger, much, much bigger…

“Can I take this seat?” a man of 30 something says, grabbing the spare chair at my table and taking the seat for granted by planting himself in it. He is wearing glasses, and underneath the dun coloured corduroy jacket and black jeans, I can see a blue shirt, unbuttoned at the top. My nose is then assaulted by the foul smelling black coffee he slaps onto the tiny table, which has the latent liquid consistency of idiomatic tar.

We both stare at the fairy, who is posing for a photograph, with a small excited child somewhere near her feet… “What would it take to get her to fly do you think?” I say idly.

“Ah well,” he replied “you’re asking the wrong person – I’m a scientist, so I know it simply isn’t possible.”

He then goes on to expound to me how a flying human wouldn’t work. Without waiting for any response from me, he launches into bafflement by wing span to weight ratios and uplift and the like. He speaks of energy sustainability and aerodynamics; all in order to refute my laconic proposition.  But I just smugly let all his unversed words flow over my own fair head.

He has, he explains, a degree in physics, so assumes that this means that he knows everything. Well, in the case of flying – naturally I know better…

Of course he could hardly know that I am a winged wonder who bucks the trends of modern day knowledge. I should of course be a creature of myth, whereas it turns out, that apart from the wings folded secretly flat against my back… I’m an unscientific, blonde, averagely ditsy sort of woman, who loves to introduce the conversational topic to random strangers of ‘if you sprouted wings and it was suddenly possible for you to fly, where would you go and what would you do’..?

An all too frequent response is that “er… I’ve never thought of it”, or “well I’d save money on my Spanish holiday by flying there, or I’d avoid the daily commute”, etc., and bla bla bla…

Such bland, flip responses all seem like wasted opportunities to me… They’re too pedestrian, and too plebeian… And so far none of the answers ever received, have inspired me to do any more than the same…

After all birds just fly from A to B don’t they – from nest to food? Why do I think that being a winged human gives me entitlement to anything other than the same mundane?

Well, it’s because I’m different of course – whilst it’s common for birds, most humans don’t actually fly. But then, since my wings are secret to most people – no one knows this of me. My difference has to remain invisible and so, out here in the earthbound world, I remain bland and simply stare at the leaden footed humans all around me; wondering who I should pity the most – them or me??

I stand up, and leaving my congealing tea and wrong footed companion behind, limp away from the table, to melt back into the crowd; without a backward glance or a smug good bye.

~ Sandra Peachey ©

PS: “Thank you for sharing your letters with us all. You have such a wonderful gift with words. … Wishing you joy.” ~ Monique Blackmore

This is just one from the many hundreds of comments I had when I did my first blog challenge 4 years ago.  The post above is a fiction and yet I also write about my own experiences.  In fact a collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a beautiful book, exploring all the facets of my ‘real’ life in all its’ badness, banality and beauty. This is love seen in every aspect of the life that I live.  In it you will find the dark and the light of love, in a way that will make you think, entertain you and let you know that you are not alone in life, whatever it holds for you… It is of course the perfect Valentine gift. You can buy ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ by Sandra Peachey, from book websites anywhere in the world, including on Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)

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