by Susan E Willis
I am sitting on a big ceramic toadstool in Mr Thompson’s garden. I’d heard him tell his neighbour over the fence that he’d bought it at the garden centre. Being a fairy, I am not exactly sure what a centre is, but I do like the toadstool. It is orange and smooth under my little legs which I have crossed underneath me. I smooth down my green taffeta skirt and tuck my feet into the hem.
I have been in Mr Thompson’s garden for a while now because it is a nice place to hang out and will probably stay here forever. Happy fairies like nice places.
I am a little concerned however because I haven’t seen Mr Thompson for a few days now. Usually I hear his whistle every morning opening the garden shed. In fact, that is where I first met him. In the shed. It had been dark inside but because I can control and project light into places, I had done just that.
He had gasped when he saw me sitting in between his watering can and tub of tomato feed. ‘What the!’
I had fluttered my big green wings in a greeting. ‘Hi, there,’ I’d whispered. ‘If you can see me then you’ll be blessed with good luck and happiness.’
He’d rubbed his eyes and blinked as though he couldn’t believe what he was seeing and then had stumbled backwards out of the shed.
I’d grinned. I know I am a bit of a shock to people, but over the months we have got to know each other. He looks out for me now wherever I choose to settle. Today it is on the toadstool.
I make a little garland of daisies by twirling the stems around each other and place it on top of my blonde curly hair. I would be feeling mischievous and full of fun today if it wasn’t for the fact that Mr Thompson still hasn’t arrived.
My long black antennae start to twitch, and I know someone is coming towards the back of the garden.
It is Mrs Thompson. I watch her sit on the garden bench and talk into a small machine that she is holding onto her ear. Even at this distance I can hear another voice.
‘Oh, Mum, lets hope he’s better today. I wish I could be there with you in this lock-down but I can’t leave the kids and drive up the country. It’s not allowed.’
I watch Mrs Thompson dab her eyes with a white lace handkerchief and then pull her shoulders back. ‘Now, Penny,’ she says. ‘Don’t you worry about me, I’m fine. I’ve to ring the hospital at lunchtime to find out how your dad is.’
My heart starts to flutter, and I straighten out my legs over the toadstool. Oh, no, Mr Thompson is ill and in the hospital.
I know Penny is his daughter because he has told me all about her. And, how their son died in a car accident two years ago. He talks about him a lot.
This poor woman, I think and fly over to her. I perch on the arm of the bench just as she clicks off the machine. I know now why I have been hanging around for so long. Mrs Thompson needs me to restore her emotions and low spirits.
I see her staring at me. Her whole face lights up and she grins then clicks her tongue. ‘My, Bill, told me we had a fairy at the bottom of the garden, but I just laughed. I thought he was teasing me!’
‘No.’ I smile. ‘He wasn’t. I’m here and I want to help.’
Her big blue eyes fill with tears.
I whisper, ‘Mr Thompson told me you had lovely eyes and they were the first thing he fell in love with.’
She leans forwards now and sobs into her handkerchief.
‘Mrs Thompson, if you can see me then you have three wishes,’ I say. ‘Tell me what they are?’
Mrs Thompson sniffles and dries her eyes. ‘I wish Bill was better. I wish Bill would get over this Corona Virus. I wish my Bill was at home with me.’
I spread my wings knowing there is much work to be done and fly off into the sky.
Later that day as I return to the toadstool, I see Mrs Thompson rush outside with the machine on her ear again.
‘Penny! Oh, Penny,’ she cries. ‘Your dad is much better, and the nurse reckons that if he continues to make good progress, he could be home by the end of the week!’