The sky was a beautiful red, red as a rose, red as his mother's lips, with clouds feeling softer than his furry blanket on his bed. He reached up and touched one, and pulled it down to his lap, snuggling into its warm, soft and furry heart.
All around him bluegrass grew to the sound of gentle, swaying music that filled his ears. He watched it in delight as it grew, slowly and surely. Tiny white flowers sprouted in between the grass blades and reached up high towards the purple sun.
Rolling onto his back he watched a tiny dragon-like insect fluttering and flipping through the grass stems, in time to the swaying music. As he lay there in the peace and quiet of his world, he felt calm, serene and rested.
Then suddenly and without warning, a large hole appeared in the red sky, and his mother's face peered down at him.
“When are you going to scrub the floors,” she said.
Reluctant to leave his beautiful place he turned away from her and blocked her view with his hand, not wanting to break the calm of the place he had found.
“My son, we need to get on and do it, or the troll will wonder why you haven't done it?”
Up from the ground, below his back, an enormous sadness filled his world, his heart breaking into tiny pieces, he felt anger, frustration, sadness, confusion, things that he had no words for which overwhelmed his tiny body and seemed to tingle right down to his toes and deeper than that.
He tried to reach up to grab another soft cloud, and they were all gradually disappearing one after the other, with gentle popping sounds.
“Noooooooooooooooooo” he screamed, wanting to destroy everything that had caused this maelstrom in his soul, he began to weep huge tears of sadness.
He knew the troll would punish him and all the other beings like him would not understand
and yet again, that dark pit of shame would open up and all but swallow him into its maws.
Sadly, and slowly, he got up from the floor, and rubbed his eyes, trying to bring himself back into the world, stamping his feet on the floor, touching the table, the chairs, the curtains, to ground himself and begin to live in the real world.
He took the mop and bucket, and hot water and began to scrub the floors, cleaning away all the dirt from the weekend, until he could see his face on the wooden surface, and after a couple of hours, the dirt was gone, the floor clean, and he lay down on his bed, trying to recapture the blissful place that he had lost so suddenly.
As he was about to reenter his special place, the troll came barging into the house.
“Well, is it clean?” It stood there staring at the floor and moving slowly forward inch by inch, it was inspecting it meticulously. “Hmmm, well it's good enough - not perfect, but enough. Now mind you do it just as well tomorrow, or there will be trouble....” The troll left, slamming the door behind it.
The child lay on his bed, wondering if he was ever, ever going to be able to live in this world, his wonderful safe place seemed to be “wrong” for his mother, the troll, and the rest of the world, and he did not understand why.
After supper, as he lay drowsing on the edge of sleep, he gently entered his world once more.
The grass was still blue, the sky red, the sun purple, and little white flowers bloomed all around him. And this time there was a difference. Sitting on a little mound nearby was a very old looking and wisened little fairy grandmother. Dressed all in silky grey with gossamer wings, and leaning on a stick.
“Why hello young man, My name is Wickendor, I see you came back, how are you today?"
“I don't know, I feel so many big things inside and I don't know what to do with myself”
“What colours and shapes are these big things?”
“Well, they're black and brown, and yellow and red, and loud, and sharp and pinchy”.
“Do you know where they come from?”
“No, I don't!”
“These are the dis-eases of the big world out there. Things that don't work with your gentle soul, things that are moulded for people made and living in the big world, and not you. Those people know how to hold onto and work with those things, you don't, and it will take time for those people to understand your difference, so be gentle with yourself, there is nothing wrong with your difference, it just takes time to learn to experience those big things and not be scared by them”
“I don't like those dis-eases, they feel lumpy and bumpy and sharp”.
“In time you will learn to make a part of you that can manage these things, a kind of soul box, that will hold them safely without destroying the gift of your safe world. Your mother will help you, and so will the troll, and I will be here, watching over all of you from the sidelines. In the meantime, take this with you and keep it safe. It will remind you of me when you are hurting.”
The old fairy gave him a tiny gold wand, wrapped round in grey silk, which he wrapped in his handkerchief, and kept safely under his pillow.
“If you are in need of me, just lie down on your bed, take out your wand and wave it, and you will find me sitting right next to you just as we are now. I will guide you .”
And so it was that the young child kept that tiny wand by his side, through all his childhood, and into adulthood, and enjoyed many important conversations with the little old fairy who's name was Wickendor. Olivia Wells
- Olivia Wells