I turned around swiftly, shaken from my reverie by the bright voice that had mercifully prevented me from fully transforming into a fumbling classicist. There before me stood a most remarkable creature, smiling through the sunshine and shaking her lovely hair in the soft summer breeze. I couldn’t remember having actually seen fairies before this time, although I had been almost sure of their existence and had longed to meet with one of their number whilst I was a child. I was slightly in awe of this one, maybe because she radiated the most extraordinary confidence through glorious green eyes that betrayed no sign of conscience whatsoever. Maybe because of her almost incredible beauty, which combined all the lightness of air with the alchemy of fire.
Fairies are elemental existences, emanations of the ethereal spirit, and they follow natural laws. They have no allegiance to any but themselves and their master and they take great glee from high-jinx and trickery. Quick-witted, easy to both anger and delight, fairies are beings that can never be trusted beyond reason, must always be treated with caution, but who might also prove to be extremely helpful under the right circumstances. I recovered some of my sense and eyed this one authoritatively.
“Thank you ma’am, I was just daydreaming for a moment – this ancient city was part of my first youth and I’m trying to recall the way to the Elysium Fields”. The vixen-like appearance of the elemental being softened perceptibly and her eyes lost their mischievous glitter. “I see that you are a little confused, for surely it is not yet time for you to return. Come, let me first take you to the Potter’s hearth for some light refreshment while you decide what to do for the best.”
Gosh, I was certainly unprepared for a surprise invitation and looked around in a state of slight agitation, feeling myself pulled in two directions. In one way her offer was received like a welcome remedy to an inner disturbance and the creature herself was tempting. Evidence of this was to be found in the demeanour of my companion, who had already moved slightly from my side and closer to that of the other, at whom she was now gazing in wonder.
I could see that she was almost captivated and wondered how she could be so easily swayed. For me own part, I did not wish to become beholden to creatures of the netherworld, however enticingly they appeared, and thought instead of continuing alone whilst within the walls of the city rather than go along as one with two and lose track of time. Secretly, though, I was disconcerted at a potential parting of ways with the voice of reason, brown-haired and demure, strong in her white robes. The strange and beautiful place that we were in was full of danger for me and perhaps the opportunity to take instant refuge with one who had the freedom of the city should be taken up thankfully. If my reason was entranced then maybe I should follow it willingly rather than be alone in my passion - but something held me back.
“Your offer is most kind, but I….I’m not sure, forgive me”.
My reason was now stroking her hair and I felt something slip away for the first time as the chill I could see in the air of the city shimmered into a warmer clime. I started to drift away and remembered how it had felt, in those days, to still belong - the cocoon of protection started to envelop me once again - was it true that I had been a citizen after all and that there was a way for me to wander these rare streets as if they were my own? I felt resolved again in a new direction; it would be fine – why should we not go with her – for what purpose had we come, if not for adventure?
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