(Free-writing is a great experiment for any writer, so one morning I did it; I stayed in bed as an idea popped into my head and wrote this little fairytale in an hour. Free-writing is a great way to let ideas roll from one thing to the next causally, allowing yourself to write imaginatively without worrying about structure or a final product, you can do all that once the story is on the page. Sometimes the results can be pleasingly surprising…)
the witch Circumstance
Once Upon A Time there was a Fairy who fluttered around like a butterfly, looking for Love. She looked under her bed, it wasn’t there, she looked up the big old oak tree, it wasn’t there, she looked inside her book, it was there. She was stunned for a moment and slapped her book shut to make sure that Love didn’t fall out. Slowly, ever so slowly, she opened her book to the page where Love was, making sure that no-one else saw so they wouldn’t steal Love and, yes, there it was, waiting for her. In squiggly-wiggly writing were the words, I Love You. In the next moment, it vanished, and then she felt a force zoom across in front of her. The Fairy looked over to the window and there Love was! It had jumped out of the page and was standing, smiling, waving, outside the window. A smile cracked through the porcelain sadness of her face and she rejoiced.
The happiness didn’t last however. It wasn’t Love that was hiding in her book that day, but a strange, unkind thing that posed as Love. She had been tricked and hadn’t realised that her own Love, that was as much a part of her as an arm or a leg, had been stolen by this Imposter. Imposter Love lulled her into a long, long sleep. For six and a half years she doted on Imposter Love, the Love that wasn’t Love, and she did all she could to make it happy, and thought that it was making her happy in return. ‘This is what Love is,’ she thought, as she slaved away and did as Imposter Love demanded. She thought, ‘Love asks you to make compromises, Love asks you to change, and Love asks you to wait, so that is what I will do to keep my Love.’ This was all true about Love, but she didn’t understand that when Real Love asked her to compromise, to change, to wait, she would do so happily and willingly, and barely even notice. She grew older, but not wiser, and Imposter Love lived greedily, indulged by the Fairy and her naivety.
For six and a half years she slept in that haze. But then, on the day after the sixth month of the sixth year, Something happened. Something appeared at her window… then again… and again. Like Imposter Love, he wanted her Love, but unlike Imposter Love, he wouldn’t steal it and wanted to share his Love with her. But Something would not force the Fairy. He didn’t creep up on her, he didn’t surprise her, he just waited outside the window of her vision until, for a brief moment in which Imposter was not watching her, she looked hard enough to see that Something was there. She couldn’t work out what he was. Imposter had clouded her eyes so well that she could not see clearly. But she kept looking for Something that she thought she saw.Weeks later, there Something was again. Indescribable, incredible, and just out of reach.
One day, Imposter, who clutched onto her Love so tightly that it felt strangled, said, ‘I’m going out for a little while, I’ll be back, stay here and wait for me.’ Suddenly, for the first time, she felt a separation from Imposter Love, it was like a lightening bolt had parted the clouds in front of her eyes and she could finally see. Had Imposter really taken her Love, or had it accidentally been left behind? She searched around relentlessly but couldn’t see her Love anywhere. But then, unexpectedly, she felt that Something was in the room with her, and in his hands, which were stretched out towards where she lay, curled up and upset on the floor, was her Love, cupped carefully in the hands of Something.
Something offered her her Love and she took it. ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry,’ she whispered to it as it lay frightened and weak upon her sticky palms. As it lay there, she watched it grow; it got bigger and stronger and brighter. With glee she looked up, and there he was still, Something, waiting for her to join with her own Love and become whole again. Something had woken her up from her long, long sleep which she could not wake herself up from. The fairy thought that Something was beautiful. She felt as though she had swallowed a cluster of butterflies and that they were dancing around in her stomach.
Something and the Fairy, who was evolving quickly into a beautiful, lively, spirited thing, spent a lovely time together. They, and his Love and her Love, played and laughed and danced together. But they were being watched. A witch named Circumstance didn’t like the ease of what they had and she wanted to give them a test. She lifted the Fairy up as high as the moon and looked at her; she was a sweet thing, but sweet things get eaten, and the Fairy’s spirit looked especially sweet. Circumstance held onto the Fairy and nibbled away at her spirit. Something was unaware of what had happened to the Fairy and he picked up her Love from where she had dropped it on the floor. He knew she’d come back for it. But what he didn’t know about was the witch Circumstance. Circumstance was bitter, and she craved sweet things. She held onto the Fairy for years, nibble, nibble, nibble she went at the sweet Fairy until the little Fairy became very little. She felt lost without her Love, and she missed Something.
Eventually, the Fairy stopped tasting so sweet. Her sweetness had been worn away and could not replenish itself. So Circumstance put her down, ‘I’m sorry, young thing,’ she said, as the Fairy rolled off her hand and back onto Earth, ‘but you were just so sweet I couldn’t help it.’
The Fairy was finally back. She called and called for her Love and, after weeks, maybe months, it returned to her, looking a little lost, but warm and with it’s healing touch. She vowed never to give her Love away again to anything that wouldn’t take care of it and, in turn, share their Love with her. She also decided that she would always keep her eyes free from clouds so that, just in case, if Something returned, she would be able to see him. But, for now, she had her Love, and they both needed to heal together.
The witch Circumstance felt awful for the pain she had brought to the Fairy, she wasn’t a bad witch, she just couldn’t help but change things. Circumstance decided that, one day, the Fairy and her Love would find Something again, and then, she would leave them to live together with their Love.