The Fairy With The Turquoise Hair
“Do you remember anything from before?”
“I don’t believe there is anything to remember. I exist because I was Dreamed.”
“Have you ever undergone, sorry to be rude, but…studies?”
“If you are asking if I’ve ever been poked by men in white coats, then yes, and you’re right to be
“Did they disclose anything to you?”
“Would you like to ask if I’ve ever had a period or any other intrusive questions while you’re here?”
“No!—I just—well, have you?”
“I was Dreamed by a seven year old boy in 1946—I have nothing but a smile and blue hair. Peter didn’t think to make me anatomically correct.”
“So, you’ve continued to exist years after Peter died.”
“Yes, he died young and I don’t age and now I think I’d like it if you left.”
“Are you angry at him?”
When The Fairy With The Turquoise Hair slammed her door behind me, I stood on her front porch under a trellis of wisteria and whispered to her blue oak door my last question—I had been too afraid to ask in our five minute interview—do you wish you didn’t exist?
I came home from Maine and our father had three new pairs of goggles and it was dusk and he was getting ready to head out and walk the same corpse roads looking for the dead and he offered me some chocolate milk and I said yes and he said he would make it special which means he just adds a splash of French Vanilla coffee creamer to it and it does taste better but I think drinking milk this way is going to clog his heart.
When I woke up I was holding a twitching hand with pearlescent nail polish and my hair was blue. I went downstairs and waved the hand at dad and he said “nice hair” and I threw the latest hand into the pile and it disturbed the butterflies into a ripple of flying orange and insect smell.
Our house is on stilts. Hanging from it is a garden fed by rain run-off and in the back yard there is a large oak tree beside a honey suckle plant and some nondescript shrubs that bud violet in the late summer. Our house has three bedrooms. Sometimes in the spring a wind will ride up against the house and the timber holding it up will lean. The house will snap back into place. We lock all the cabinets shut in the spring so the dishes don’t fall out.
“I think I’m going to go back to Maine and see The Fairy With The Turquoise Hair.”
“Would she like that?”
“Yeah, we got along famously.”
“Come home with me.”
“Get off my porch.”
Spring is colder in Maine than it is back home and I saw inside her house how she had the logs dancing into her small fireplace.
“Can you change things?”
The logs stopped dancing.
“Why would I change anything for you?”
“Because you are The Fairy With—“
“I know my name. What do you want changed.”
“Is dream stuff identical—composition wise—to the real thing?”
“What do you mean? Most of the time Dreamers bring back unique things.”
“I’m bringing back hands. Is it as real as a hand from this world?”
Spring is a season of mud and butterflies. Our backyard is a mess with them both and the fairy had to lift her skirts as I showed her the pile and the butterflies and the smell and the red mud around the pile which was held together by chicken wire like a compost heap and I told her how sometimes when I come outside I find foxes chewing on the fingertips and I have to chase them away with a broom and she felt sad but she told me she couldn’t guarantee and then our father introduced himself and I could tell he thought she was pretty because he told her the joke he only tells pretty women and she asked about the goggles and he got embarrassed and I told him it was alright because I told her everything—that she was here to help—and he smiled wide and toothy and I could see the caps on his teeth and I think the fairy liked him too because she likes wood things and one of his teeth is polished and finished sycamore and then they went inside and he offered her some chocolate milk with a splash of creamer and the fairy giggled because she had never heard of drinking milk that way before and our dad said it was a family secret and I heard all this from outside because I have good hearing but I didn’t come in I just kept counting the butterflies on the pile of ivory hands and I kept losing count at 350 but some would leave and others would come back and I don’t have a word for a hive of monarch butterflies except maybe to say a “court” of butterflies or a “palace” and they shifted and blurred and I couldn’t see them as individuals anymore because they were a kaleidoscope because I had water was in my eyes and it seemed like a breathing heap of smell and orange and I wanted to lay in the mud but instead I went inside and took a shower.
The Fairy With The Turquoise Hair was standing over me as I counted sheep and I could hear her wand swishing in the dark air above my bed. Before that I told her what I wouldn’t tell dad— about ache and memory and heartwounds and she said my tears might help so she caught each one with the tip of her wand and I sank further into the bed.
“I don’t know if this will work.”
“I appreciate you’re trying your best.”
Dad had said she could sleep in the empty third bedroom and sometimes you hear things and it opens a space in the middle of your body like a small black hole and all you feel is empty and sucking and light draining.
“The angles of your room are helping—did you do this yourself?”
“I’ve been rearranging it for months trying to get the layout right for this.”
“You want whole things.”
“I want whole things.”
And then her wand touched my forehead right between my eyes and she said something about the third eye and chakras and bringing imagined manifestations into reality but I fluttered shut my eyes and thought things like the vowels of your name.
Mitchell King is a runaway witch living in Kansas City. Someday he hopes to colonize the moon.