(A Fairy Tale)

by Dolores Esteban

It was a day in summer when I went out for a walk in the morning. I crossed the fields until I reached a wood. I moved on, yet stopped short at the sounds of crying. The sounds were close. They seemed to come from the ground. I looked down in bewilderment. And there I spotted it. A small creature was sitting on a dandelion. The creature was crying. I startled at the sight of the tiny being. I had never seen such a creature before. I had stopped right in front of it. Had I done it any harm? I moved closer cautiously and then crouched beside the tiny figure.

Little eyes looked up at me. The being opened its tiny lips, yet did not utter another sound. It closed its lips and looked at me. The being stopped crying, perhaps out of shock at the sight of me.

“Shh, I will do you no harm. Don’t worry. Did I scare you? Is this why you are crying?” I asked softly.

The being shook its tiny head.

“Are you sure it wasn’t me who scared you so?” I asked again, feeling touched by the crying and the sight of the fragile creature.

The tiny creature shook its head again.

 “Who are you?” I asked softly.

The being blinked. It did not reply. I was not sure it understood me. The little creature kept looking at me. I bent down a little to see it more clearly. The being looked like a tiny human. Its body, its arms and hands, and its head were little but well proportioned. Golden hair framed a tiny face. Tiny blue eyes looked up at me. The creature looked airy and beautiful. It looked vulnerable and very fragile. The being was dressed in an almost transparent robe that was made of a fine white and opalescent fabric. The gown fell down to the creature’s ankles and revealed tiny bare feet. I felt amazed at the sight. And then I discovered the most stunning thing of all. The creature had tiny transparent wings. It spread them for an instant, and then folded them up again. I gazed at the creature in wonder.

The being blinked again, and then covered its tiny mouth with its hand. I assumed that it was in a state of shock. I studied the tiny creature more closely. The being seemed to be genderless. At least, I could not tell from its appearance if it was male or female. My mind worked as I looked at the creature in utter amazement. Could it be? Had I discovered a fairy?

“Why are you crying?” I finally asked softly, anxious to not speak too loud. I thought that loud words would probably frighten the tiny fairy and perhaps even scare it away.

The fairy drew back its hand from its mouth and slowly lowered its tiny arm. It blinked again and then looked at me out of its widened blue eyes. The fairy rose to its feet and now stood on the dandelion.

“I lost my way,” the fairy said finally in a soft and melodious voice.

The soft voice fitted the fairy well. I felt amazed and I smiled at the tiny being.

“Perhaps I can help you? Where do you want to go to?” I asked in a whisper in order to not frighten the creature.

“I need to find the magical gate. I left the fairy realm this morning in order to explore your world. I am very curious, you must know. I stole away and slipped through the gate. But, unfortunately, I cannot find it again,” the fairy said.

The flood of words took me by surprise. Yet I felt happy that the fairy confided in me and told me of its predicament. The being apparently trusted me and I instantly made an inward promise to help the fairy find its way back home. I smiled again at the fairy. The creature blinked.

“What is your name?” I asked in a low voice.

The fairy looked at me for a moment. Then it spread its wings.

“Elethiel,” the fairy said. “And what is yours?”

The fairy folded its wings up and then tilted its head.

“Gabriel,” I replied with a smile.

The tiny creature flew up a little. It clapped its hands. I looked at it in amazement.

“Like the archangel. This is a sign. Fate sent you for my rescue,” the fairy said.

It spread its wings and rose in the air until it hovered in front of my face. I wondered if Elethiel was a boy’s or a girl’s name, but I did not dare to ask. I found this would be very impolite. And it did not really matter anyway. I wanted to help Elethiel before anything or anybody could do any harm to the fragile being.

“Was the gate somewhere near?” I asked.

Elethiel nodded and pointed with a tiny finger at the wood.

“It is behind a waterfall. The waterfall is located in the wood. I flew back into the forest some time ago, but I cannot find the waterfall. I left the wood again in order to recharge in the sun. But I suddenly felt so sad. And then I started crying,” Elethiel said.

“It makes me wonder that such a tiny creature can utter a crying that loud,” I said, still smiling.

Elethiel’s tiny cheeks blushed a bit. The rosy color graced the fairy’s cheeks. Elethiel looked very beautiful. The fairy looked a bit like a fragile butterfly that was dancing in the air.

“Don’t worry, Elethiel,” I said. “I’m going to help you.”

I pondered. Was there a waterfall in the wood? I often went for a walk in the forest, but I had never seen a waterfall. Neither had anybody told me of one.

Elethiel tilted its tiny head a bit and studied my features.

“Do you have an idea as to where we must go?” Elethiel asked curiously.

“I’m pondering,” I said slowly.

Then a thought occurred to me. Considering Elethiel’s size, the waterfall was most likely very small. No wonder I had never spotted it. Elethiel’s waterfall was probably just a trickle to me.

“Did you fly long and far when you had left the gate? Can you remember the direction?” I asked.

Elethiel covered its mouth with its tiny hand. The fairy blinked. I guessed it was pondering.

“The edge of the wood was not that far from the waterfall,” Elethiel said finally. “I saw a place with mushrooms when I flew in the direction of the morning sun. The sun had just risen.”

This information helped me a lot. Elethiel had flown east. Thus we needed to go west in order to track down the gate. I also knew the place with the mushrooms. Like Elethiel had said, the place was not far from the edge of the wood. I looked at the sky and studied the sun. I calculated the cardinal points. And then I was pretty sure where we were headed.

“I know the route we must take,” I said, pointing in the direction.

Elethiel nodded excitedly. The fairy flew up in the air and then descended again slowly. I reached out my hand. Elethiel understood. It sat down on the palm of my hand. The fairy was light. I did not sense a weight. But the soft fabric of Elethiel’s gown tickled my skin. I rose to my feet cautiously with my hand held out. Then I moved to the edge of the wood. Elethiel looked up at me. The fairy blinked, and then smiled.

We entered the wood. It was a warm summer day, yet the air in the forest was chilly. The light was dim and the rays of the sun barely reached the ground. No wonder Elethiel had left the wood in order to recharge in the sun.

“Are you all right, Elethiel?” I asked.

“Yes, I’m fine,” the fairy replied. Its voice sounded light and cheerful.

I hoped I would find the waterfall soon. I did not want to disappoint the tiny creature. I moved on, my hand still held out. After a while, we reached the place with the mushrooms.

“The place with the mushrooms,” I said, stating the obvious.

Elethiel nodded and smiled up at me. The fairy had apparently recognized the place, too. This meant that we were walking in the right direction.

“Was the gate far from the place?” I asked as I moved on slowly.

“Not so far,” Elethiel replied. “I only felt a need to rest when I reached the place with the mushrooms.”

I nodded. Inwardly, however, I wondered how long Elethiel was able to fly without taking a rest. Elethiel seemed to have read my mind. The fairy turned its head and looked up at me.

“I can fly without a rest three times the distance from the edge of the wood to the place with the mushrooms,” Elethiel said.

“Okay,” I said.

I stopped and looked back and calculated the distance. I then looked ahead. I guessed we had to walk another eight-hundred meters. I counted my steps. This would help me to find the area, albeit not the exact place of the gate. I moved on for a while, and then I stopped.

“The gate must be in this area, Elethiel,” I said. “I cannot locate the exact point. We need to look out for the waterfall and the gate.”

Elethiel nodded, and then flew up in the air. The fairy looked in a certain direction. It raised its tiny arm and pointed at a small ash tree.

“I passed this tree. The waterfall was close,” Elethiel said.

I looked in the indicated direction and then moved on. I walked slowly and looked around carefully. There was no brook in this area. I wondered where the waterfall was.

“Was the waterfall close to the ground?” I asked.

“Yes, indeed, it was,” Elethiel replied.

The fairy flew right next to my head. We both looked out attentively. Elethiel descended in the air and flew not far above the ground. I also scanned the forest floor. I studied every plant, tree, and rock in our way. Finally, I saw a promising place. Two moss-covered boulders formed sort of a cave.

“Elethiel,” I said somewhat excitedly, pointing at the place.

Elethiel flew up in the air. The fairy hovered next to my left ear.

“Oh,” Elethiel exclaimed in excitement and joy.

The tiny creature clapped its hands as it flew hurriedly to the stones. I followed Elethiel, and then crouched down beside the stones. I looked into the pseudo cave that the boulders formed. Elethiel descended and landed on the ground. The fairy looked into the small cave.

“This is the place, Gabriel,” the fairy said with relief.

Elethiel looked up and smiled at me. I smiled back. I crouched even more, and then I spotted the waterfall. Water trickled down the side of a boulder. The water dropped to the ground. I saw a cavity behind it.

“Isn’t this a very odd place for a gate?” I asked somewhat bewildered.

Elethiel nodded.

“Yes, it is. Nobody would look for it here,” the fairy replied.

“In fact,” I said slowly as I straightened again.

Elethiel was right. The gate was hidden well. I, for my part, would have never looked for a gate to the fairy world in this place.

“Okay, Elethiel,” I said. “It was nice to meet you. Perhaps we meet again one day,” I said in a stifled voice.

I felt sad to let the tiny creature go. I had known the fairy only briefly, but I found that I already liked Elethiel.

Elethiel read my mind. The fairy flew up in the air. It placed its tiny hand on my cheek. I felt a tickle on my skin. Then Elethiel placed a kiss on my cheek. A warm shiver ran down my spine. I must have looked totally perplexed for Elethiel gave a soft laugh.

“I feel amazed that a tiny creature like you can cry so loudly. Now you took me by surprise again, Elethiel. Your tiny kiss had a somewhat big impact,” I said, still feeling stunned.

Elethiel laughed. The fairy flew to my left air.

“Farewell, Gabriel. Thank you so much. And perhaps we’ll meet again,” Elethiel whispered into my ear.

I turned my head and smiled at the fairy. Elethiel smiled back a tiny smile, and then descended and landed on the ground. Elethiel looked up and waved its tiny hand. I raised my hand also.

“Farewell, Elethiel,” I said

The fairy nodded and then tilted its head. Elethiel gave me one last smile and then turned around and flew into the cave. I sat down on the ground. I sat motionless for a while. Then I crouched and looked into the cave. The place was empty. Elethiel had disappeared.

I rose to my feet and walked back slowly. I entered my house and sat down at the kitchen table, wondering if I had had a hallucination. I finally rose to me feet again and started my daily work. A few hours had already passed, when I looked into a mirror to comb my hair. And then I spotted it. There was a tiny love bite on my cheek. I felt amazed and totally stunned. I had taken a glimpse at the magical world. I had not dreamed. It had all been real. I thought of the tiny fairy. I waved goodbye once more and sent Elethiel a smile.

© 2012 Dolores Esteban


First published at GA Gay Authors - Gay Quality Fiction