I could see the Full Cold Moon high in the eastern sky. Earlier, rain showers had pounded the ground leaving everything wet and dripping. I slipped out of the sliding doors onto my patio. The horse-hole was dark except for the moonlight streaming above. Shadows were distorted by the angle of the moon, looking long and deep. I was excited and I could see my breath in the cool air.
The fairy ring glowed in a deep blue color, like the sea when it was deep and cold. I held my breath and counted to ten. Slowly, I began to jog around the fairy ring. The first time around, I could see that the ring continued to glow. A musical humming sound began to vibrate in my backyard. Again and again I ran around the fairy ring until finally at last I had completed the nine rotations.
The humming had increased sounding like a chanting chorus of Buddhist Monks, deep in mindful contemplation. You can hear the sound here – play it through the rest of the story:
The most beautiful aroma began to waft through the air. It was a mixture of sandalwood and jasmine, orange blossoms and roses. I had never smelled anything so beautiful and pure before.
Pausing, as I had finished the ninth time running around the fairy circle I stood there winded from my exertions. Suddenly, right in front of me she stood, the Swamp Fairy. She appeared in a swirling fog drifting before my eyes. She had long blond hair and glittering wings. I could still hear the chanting in the background, as she gazed at me looking deep into my eyes.
The Swamp Fairy hovered and began to speak to me, not with words, although I could hear her words inside my head. All the while she spoke I could hear the chanting as the fairy ring pulsed in time to her voice.
“Silver Threading, I have come to you because I need your help. Our tiny fairy civilization at what you call ‘Fairy Swamp’ is in danger. There is a new human housing area being built right next to my fairy swamp domain on your walking road. Humans have encroached upon us to such an extent that all of the fairies have left and moved on to other swamps. Only I have remained to tend the animals in the nearby fields. I am old now, at least 297 years and I do not have much time left. I need you to hear my stories and pass them on to the humans, so they will learn to respect the earth and protect the animals. Will you help me?”
I stood there, my mouth hanging open, a silly grin plastered on my face. I was dumbfounded. Pictures flashed into my head of the road I walked each morning. I could see the new housing area and the construction. I could see the field next to the swamp where horse hair hung on the fence. I could see into the swamp, how desolate the area had become.
“Swamp Fairy,” I asked her, “Why did you choose me?”
The Swamp Fairy hovered and again spoke in that particular way she had of communicating within my head.
“You were chosen long ago in a different time and place, Silver Threading. It was your destiny to come here at this moment in time to accept the title of ‘Story Keeper.’ You will write our fairy stories so they will be preserved forever.”
I felt chills run up and down my arms. I shivered in the cold of the moonlit night. I nodded my head and heard my voice squeak in the still night air.
“I will write your stories Swamp Fairy,” I told her. I knew in my heart I would accept before I had even uttered the words.
“Silver Threading,” said the Swamp Fairy. “I will come to you in your dreams when my magic is the strongest. I will tell you the tales that need to be told. Do not be afraid to dream, for your slumber will be the most refreshing after my visits. Write the words and share this magic with the rest of the world.”
The Swamp Fairy continued to flutter those magnificent wings and I felt the air from them lightly upon my face. A stillness came over me. I blinked my eyes and just that quick, she was gone. The fairy ring was gone now too. I looked around, bewildered at the change of scenery. No fairy ring, no chanting, and no lovely aroma. All gone. Just the Full Cold Moon high above shining down upon me.
I took a deep breath and walked back into my house. I finally knew my mission – to tell the tales of the Swamp Fairy. I was the Fairy Story Keeper. I went to bed and began to dream.
Thanks for visiting me. I look forward to our next visit.
Silver Threading, The Fairy Story Keeper