THERE ARE FAIRIES IN THE PARK, a story by AriDy Nox
We will not tell you our names. Names are powerful things and we do not know you.
But we will tell you some of our secrets. Because we need your help and we know help does not come free.
You may call us River, Wind, and Gran.
River is an Undine (a water spirit) Wind, a Sidhe (a wind spirit) and Gran is a pixie (an earth spirit). We are all of The Fae. Once our kind ruled all of the Earth…or at least that’s what our mothers say. We lived in all types of places: lakes, rainforests, grasslands. The very first of us were created in the swirl of hurricanes, or the shaking of earthquakes and then they just rooted there, living amongst nature in peace. Some of us still live in those places, deep in the thick of The Amazon, way in the back of a lost waterfall.
But most of us live in hiding.
The older folk, they remember when we were powerful and grand, when we were unbound by humans and the world you all created.
Not us though. We have never known a world other than this one. We have never known anything but how to survive.
It would have been unthinkable for an undine and a sylph and a pixie to be friends back in the day, but now no one judges us. They know how important it is to have others who understand us. And if we have nothing else in common, we are all Fae. We are all magic. We are all trying to make it in this world that doesn’t believe in us anymore.
But we can only keep each other so safe. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, danger still finds us.
Which is where you come in.
Meet us at one of our secret locations and we will leave word of what we need you to do. But think long and hard about your decision. If you help us, we will owe you, and a favor from a fairy is no small matter.
But if you betray us, you will regret it.
So? What will it be?
Choice A: The Tree
Silly human, you move so slow! Don’t you know I have things to do, people to prank? And there are so many good pranks to get up to in the city. Making lights go haywire, making subway stations stop in their tracks. Many Fae lost their powers when things changed but not us Pixies. Our power has always come from mischief and more humans only means more ways to play.
And, of course, we’ve had to change. Older pixies used to play with humans who lived in the woods and their games aren’t like my games. But hardly any of us live in the woods anymore and those who did, if they didn’t adapt, they’d disappear. Like POOF.
I say games are games. No need to get picky about what kind they are. Better to learn new ones than to turn into nothing.
But there are fewer people to play with lately because everyone has been trapped inside. The city has come to a standstill which isn’t so good for pixies like me and mine. I’m not scared! I’m not! But only a fool wouldn’t be a little worried.
So that’s why River thought of this. A little missive for people like you, who might just believe enough to want to help. See we can go without food for a long time, but that’s only when we have power. We only get power from the things that amplify our very essence.
I’m not weak though. And even if I was, I wouldn’t tell a weak human like you that! But…I’m not gonna say no to a little extra power.
So. Will you help me gather a little power? It won’t cost you…much.
Choice B: The Wall
I don’t trust you.
You with your cars and your airplanes. You with your smoke and your poison. We Sidhe used to rule the skies. The highest peaks of mountains would hold our gentry, Queens and Kings and Lords and Ladies with the most beautiful wings you can imagine. And your kind drove most of them out, climbing up their castles and defiling them. Now only the most special of Sidhe remain, at the top of the mountains of this world.
My family aren’t gentry. They’ve never lived at the top of great mountains, but once we had a home, a great home, beautiful and grand. I lived there, when I was very small. A beautiful hill, with soft rolling grass that smelled like honeysuckle. I would fly around in the sun with my siblings, singing with the wind. You probably didn’t even know that the wind sang.
Once all the Sidhe flew with wild abandon with great birds of prey like the eagles. Now we hide, taking refuge on the top of skyscrapers, only able to look at the wild expanse we once ruled.
I don’t trust you at all. No matter what River says, humans are dangerous. Many things have changed, but not that.
Still. Desperate times call for desperate measures. My tribe grows weak, with less space to fly, less pure air to breathe. Our power grows too dim to fight against you, too dim to survive at all.
And what will this world be like without the Sidhe to sing along with the wind?
So. Will you help us, loan us a bit of power to get through these hard times? Or will you be selfish with your power, as usual, and leave us to rot?
Choice C: The Park Bench
Undines aren’t like other fairies. There was a time when we couldn’t leave the water at all, like a fish. Too much time outside of a lake or a river or the seas and we would dry up, from the inside out, and turn into dust. But when the waters started becoming less pure, full of plastic and crude oil, the undine had to figure out how to leave their homes.
Still. We must return to the water every once and a while in order to survive. That’s why we choose coastal places to live like this place. We need to make sure we can visit home, if only for a little while.
When I was born my mother and my father had already learned how to live outside of water. They had to, with so much of it being destroyed by plastic and oil. They even learned how to withstand iron, though It weakened them, as it does us all. But their powers were completely diminished. My father could once command tsunamis with a flick of his hand. But here, he can barely keep poor souls without shelter dry from the rain. My mother can speak the language of any water creature you could imagine, but here she struggles to get work because of an accent no one can place.
Momma hated the water around here. She said it wasn’t pure enough. And after a while, she refused to return. Refused any water of any kind. If you look straight out, you can see the place where my mother disappeared. It’s only been a few months, but I still cry when I think about it.
I don’t want that to happen to anyone else I love.
So. Will you help us? You’re just loaning us a little bit of your power. You’ll barely even feel it…probably. …please?
Choice 1: Yes
Wise choice human!
Helping the Fae comes with risk, of course, but it also comes with great reward. We will not forget your kindness, we assure you.
We spent many a night trying to figure out ways to get some power back. We noticed that when humans do certain things, it gives a bit of a spark, a bit of energy to get us through the day. And we thought, just how much stronger that energy could be if those things were done in our name? Like we told you, names are powerful things. You might not know our real names, but you know enough about us that it’s almost the same. With your help we might just have enough power to survive these hard times.
Now, your task! We will need you to play a bit of a game. If you can find someone to play with you, even better! But even if it is just you, what is most important is that you are willing to play.
First, find you a little bit of water, in a bottle or a cup and hold it in your hands. Next, pick a song. Any song you want, as long as you love it. Sing it, soft, loud, it doesn’t matter, just sing into the wind with wild abandon. As you sing, dance in a circle at least seven times (more if you want!) and while you do pour a little water out. Once you are done stop for a moment and feel how joyful you are. And then whisper “this is for you.”
Don’t worry if you’re a bit fatigued or feel a bit weaker. Power is like that. It costs a bit to make, costs a bit to give away. We will be sure to collect it later.
And after we do, we will be sure to pay our debt.
Choice 2: No
Oh, Thank Goodness you’re here! I saw you, reading those messages those fairies left. I was worried you might be taken in by their words and help them.
Fairies are dangerous, especially the young ones. The old ones there are tried and true ways to keep them from messing with you, but the new ones are too adaptable, too willing to shift and change.
I would know. I was here when the fairies first came to this place. My mother told me what they were and at first I was utterly fascinated by them. I even tried to talk to one once, but they just ignored me. I was just a child then, unimportant to the likes of The Fae.
But as I got older I sought them out more and more in places like this park. I wanted to know them, to know their power.
Until one day, one of them noticed me. She looked my age, a young woman, but she could have been thousands of years old for all I know. She thought I was entertaining and so she offered me an apple. I took it. I didn’t know then that you should never take food from The Fae.
I will not speak of the horrors I saw, but I will warn you that you must be careful when it comes to creatures of nature. You must ward yourself. There are many ways, but for now I would say just be very still. Play no part in the offerings of the foolish people who chose to help those monsters. For at least 30 seconds, do not move a muscle. Listen closely. Can you hear them? The Fae?
Good. Stay away. As far away as you can get. They just want you for what little power you can loan them. Don’t let them take it from you! And under no circumstances should you give it away.
We have never lived completely apart, your kind and mind. From the earliest moments of our existence, there has been a give and take between us. You enjoy the natural gifts that our magic helps to keep alive. We enjoy the bits of power you give, whether you know it or not. The world is like that, we guess: a cycle, an exchange.
One more secret: This park is one of the few places in the city we feel safe. Where wind and earth and rain can be free to be the purest selves. Where we can be our purest selves. It is one of our favorite places on this Earth. Perhaps you feel the same?
And maybe there is a bit of magic in you too. Maybe that’s why our pleas called to you because we are not so different. Maybe you sense it.
Or maybe you fear us, because you do not, cannot, understand what we are. Maybe you would rather cower in fear rather than have a bit of faith.
Either way, whether you have chosen to help us, to lend us some strength when we needed it or you have chosen to be afraid of us, deny us power while we are powerless…Either way, we will remember.
We always remember.
And though we may dwindle in power sometimes, though we may dwindle in number, we will not disappear. Somehow, someway we will survive. And one day we will have enough power to return fully, to bring the Earth back into its full splendor.
And when that day comes, we will remember your choice.