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  • vickyearle


Updated: Nov 14, 2021

This is a short story I wrote in a 10 minute writing-on-the spot session during our September Uxbridge Writers' Circle meeting.

The wind rustled through the leaves but Maria couldn't hear. She was focused on building a sandcastle. She knew the fairies would come if she built one that was pretty enough. At least that's what her mother had told her.

She looked up as a boy came towards her, perhaps her own age. She put her arms around the pile of sand wishing he would leave.

"Where's your mother, young man?" demanded Bess, Maria's nanny, in her deepest authoritative tone.

"Around," he said, not even taking the trouble to look at her.

Ellie was shocked. Shouldn't this boy be as terrified of Bess as she was? Even more, she thought.

"What are you building?" asked the boy.

"A castle for the fairies," answered Ellie.

"Do not talk to strangers! yelled Bess. "Where's your mother?"

This time the boy did turn his head, and pointed towards the washrooms. "Over there somewhere."

"I'll be back," Bess said with considerable emphasis, as if it could ever be in doubt.

"Can I help?" asked the boy. "I don't have anyone to play with today."

"I never have anyone to play with except imaginary people, and the fairies of course," said Ellie.

"Tell me about your imaginary people. They sound like fun."

Bess strode back across the patchy grass with a smart young woman tagging along as she talked on her cell phone.

The children were nowhere to be seen, but the fairies were dancing and singing around a beautiful sandcastle and sparkling in the sunshine.

Vicky Earle copyright 2021

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