She sat with thin arms wrapped around skinned, scraped and bumpy knees. Each inhalation brought the flash of a fire fly; each exhalation stirred the mysterious night-flower scents.

Complete stillness was an impossible improbability. Her own inner energy, and the need to swat at night-time blood suckers meant twitching and strange gestulations often towards the starscape whirling above.

Not that she enjoyed killing. Splat of so bright red blood (hers or someone else’s?) against the skin; complete flatness of the hapless bug. Swish away; blow off her wrist or kick off her ankle.

Various insects tuned up their instruments for the evening’s orchestral progression. She favoured her left ear, and turned it towards the string section. Screech’s and shrieks as each musician vibrated with love of their art, even if somewhat lacking in harmonious talent.

If she still believed in fairies, after all she was now 7 and leaving childish things behind, then she knew tonight’s score: wild gypsy waltzes. Fairies danced a frenzy in moonlight – no wonder she thought she’d find one sleeping in the hydrangea. She found only their day-time consorts, the bees, a buzz.

Great-grandmother rocking on the porch had said “Strawberry moon;” always a totem for a child with bright red hair.

If she was still a child, she thought, then the rising moon would match the colour of her hair. And she could stain her fingers red from the juicy berries magically appearing beneath it’s nurturing glow.

So she waited, trying not to let head nod toward chest, for the clear full moon (not made of cheese and inhabited by a man!) to rise above the peak of her house; above her attic room; above the trees that swept the roof clean in the wind.

When her moon reached the top of the sky, she planned to spring from her “hiding” spot beneath the weeping willows’ sheltering limbs, and dance all wild and free like a fairy might. Maybe 7 wasn’t all that old after all.


A tangential for mlmm Tale Weaver #177: climbing to the top. The ascendance of the moon; girl “climbing” that tottery ladder between believing in magic-childhood and whatever comes next; and fairies always climb to the top – it is their mastery of flight that allows them to do so.