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A watermelon fairy befriends a young girl to cope with loneliness and depression.
Tiffany"s bedroom had a single window:
It was precisely four feet by four feet and had a little latch that, if undone, would allow the window to shift left and right, open and shut; It"s glass was thin and slightly foggy in the extreme corners and was given towards wobbling in duress under the force of ocassional tremendous winds; beneath the window was a sill and though gleaming with a flawless, fresh coat of white paint, still was laden with metropolises of dust; it was an exceptionally ordinary window based on all these qualities and yet--
And yet Tiffany abhorred it--abhorred it every morning that she awoke forced into melancholy (oftentimes even before she opened her eyes or cast off her dreamy reverie) by the sorrowful beating of the rain that the window's thin glass could do little to hush, and she would fancy having her window become plaster and wood and insulating foam like all the rest of her walls--for none of them ever let through a drop of the dreary noise. While her disposition slipped increasingly away from a seat of happiness and motivation with the realization of each consecutive day that she was made to be roused by the clapping of rain, she refused to remain idle; apathy and disenchantment were reserved for the dregs and Tiffany, then a freshly-frocked thirteen year old and newly-aspiring artist, was absolutely no such thing!
She would pull herself from bed each morning at a reasonable hour and quite often leaving the linen in disarray would fish through the swamp of clothes on her floor, or under her bed, or in her closet, for something warm and fashionable to wear: the warmth afforded her by her clothes was of supreme import given the weather"s inclination towards inclementness, but the voguishness of them was somewhat gratuitous as she was far removed from any type of setting what structured itself on community or visbility; and indeed she spent much of her days absent from any comprehending eyes save for those of her parents and siblings, though this unwilling reticence was highly relative to her being in a new environment given to rurality and a local population owning to a mentality differing greatly from her own and what she was made accustom to as a trendy girl in San Diego.
It was under the kind San Diego sun that, for the majority of her then quick life, she had lived until, and for reasons beyond her meager understanding, her parents, belonging to pragmatic professions and quite often an accompanying paradigm (her father was a teacher, her mother a veterinarian), had surprisingly and suddenly decided to buy up a piece of lake-front property in the forested lands of western Washington where, of all possible times, they chose to fill the walls of their newly-acquired home during the absolute grimmest season of the year. And what tragedy their casual decision had brought to their daughter, for Tiffany was taken by a feeling of rancor towards the grayness and the cold and all the rain of Washington and yet she could never catch sight of any other type of weather; the further into December that she persevered, the deeper into winter she fell wherein the light only ever became dimmer, the rain only ever fuller.
For the fifth day in a row, the rainy pattering penetrated the veil of Tiffany"s dreams and ushered her into an embittered consciousness. She laid in her bed for a long while, listening and despising the sound and imagining the offensive cold that pressed itself against the surface of her window just inches above her headboard. What a significant inbalance there must have been in the world for her to have to wake into morbidity on so many mornings what all could otherwise have been sunny and cheerful if she were only at home, in her own bed, her own room, her own neighborhood--in San Diego!
Tiffany"s focus was jarred from the rain and gloom then and given to Curly Blacknose Oatmeal, her only teddy bear, for he had just performed a rather unusual act of yawning, something also unbecoming for a teddy bear; or, rather, he made the sound of one yawning deeply, albeit meekly. Tiffany listened and watched with uncertainty that she had heard anything at all reverberate from Mr. Oatmeal"s cottony insides and after a few moments of silence where the rain re-impressed itself onto her mind she imagined herself to have still been loopy from sleep when she had descried hearing such a noise emitted from her stuffed animal. She set Mr. Oatmeal to the side that she might untangle herself from her blankets and begin the loathesome day, but let him drop halfway through the motion of doing so, again in uncertainty, though this time it was an uncertain horror as something from inside the curly skin of the stuffed animal lashed out at her grip much in the same fashion that a babe in the womb might twitch and be perceived as kicking by its mother...So now she watched Mr. Oatmeal more intently--and at a greater distance in her expansive bed--but his amber eyes, three quarters covered by his knappy beige fur, pleaded innocent, along with his forlorn countenance, to any involvement in such a rebellious act as her fixed glare then accused him.
But what a perfidious fiend! for the teddy bear then lurched and jigged with frightful animation on the bedcovers and though Tiffany recoiled, shrieking, it wasn"t out of a thought that perhaps some lurid spirit had seized control of her teddy bear, but rather because she reckoned it had instead become possessed by some enhanced, dozen-legged, meaty and crispy, hairy and grotesque, gooey and fang-gnashing country insect which, as she understood was the case, could grow to supernatural sizes and lengths.
Her first notion, which she was very near acting upon, was to call for her brother who, though only nine and several years her junior, shared a certain affinity with insect-destruction, when a tiny set of arms, not so different from Tiffany"s in pallor and complexion, punctured Mr. Oatmeal"s exterior from a small incision what had been made the night before and was naturally hidden amongst the tufts of his curly fur. The arms thrashed about for a moment while Tiffany could do little but watch with a hinged jaw. A petite foot and leg thrust through the cut in the teddy bear"s skin whereupon an awkward sight ensued that saw both the pair of arms and the leg working in dissonance to try and free the body as a whole from its cell within the bear. Supposedly, the master of the limbs realized the futlity of trying to emerge with both arms and feet simultaneously and subsequently the foot was retracted back into the stuffed animal and the focus was shifted towards finding leverage and tugging, for the little hands gripped clumps of fur and the tiny muscles in the tiny arms flexed and became pronounced. Slowly, the upper arms revealed themselves, and then the shoulders, and finally--though Tiffany had no idea at first what the dandelion-seed-head-looking magenta tuft was--the little head of something popped out:
Tiffany was looking at the bust of a determined little girl whose appearance was characterized by a divine wanness throughout and red freckles on her cheeks and nose and also magenta eyes that matched perfectly the color and tone of the raging tempest that jagged out all over her head. Given the proportions of her exposed parts, the little girl could have been no larger than seven or eight inches, but this was absolutely preposterous and Tiffany shunted her bewilderment for indignation.
"What are you? What are you doing in my teddy bear?" Tiffany demanded answers! The magenta raggy-haired girl honestly had no reply to give because she didn"t fully understand it herself, though she placed fully the responsibility of the plight she then discovered herself to be in on the shoulders of her wild and wanton drinking. With her thoughts still drifting on the surface of the pond that drinking had made her mind, like little lilly pads, she ran a little hand through her wild hair and attempted to use her eloquence to escape the danger of discovery:
"I," she began, sounding much haughtier than she intended, "Am a watermelon fairy. And--"
This was too much for Tiffany who suddenly grabbed a heavy book (Dawn, a popular vampire romance novel) to smash the thing what could physically, rationally, theologically, metaphysically and every other -ally be an insect, but this wasn"t the fairy"s first rodeo and with some quick squirming and gathering up of her gut, she managed to wrestle herself free and avoid the fell blow of the book as it connected with poor Mr. Oatmeal. From her place fluttering near the ceiling, the fairy attempted to soothe her human discoverer:
"Please, wait just a moment," she said. "I think we got off on the wrong foot."
Tiffany dropped the book on her bed and stared wonderingly as her paradigms all began to erode in sight of the fairy--the real-life fairy--what then addressed her from a corner of her bedroom ceiling.
"If you open that window right behind you I promise I"ll be gone in just as long as it takes me to get from here to there," said the fairy, deciding it best to cut her losses and flee. Then, Tiffany did something that both surprised the fairy and released a consuming glee within her:
"My name"s Tiffany," she said, still staring up at the fairy, unblinking and slack-jawed. The fairy, with her heart pumping angrily in her chest, let herself descend just a little bit as she gauged the sincerity of the human. Then, finally:
"My name"s Romanti."
"I"m sorry I tried to kill you...I thought you were some kind of bug," Tiffany admitted.
"That"s quite understandable, given my size and my very arachnid style of hair, and I would like to also say that I share your disdain of bugs," Romanti spoke with a kind of accent that Tiffany was helpless to identify and her words were ever disinterred from her little mouth with an air of dignity, simple honesty, and innocence.
"I...I don"t know what to say...are you real?" Tiffany pondered.
"That would have been a question to ask in the first place, and seems something outright silly to ask after we"ve already traded introductions, huh?" Romanti said, sensibly. Then, seeing that the blank look on the human"s face was ever present, added: "Yes; I am real."
"But how?" every conceivable part of Tiffany"s body exploded into motion at the pronounciation of "how".
"Most fairies are excellent at keeping hidden and out of the way, but only when they"ve got their wits about them..."
"What do you mean?"
"I"ve been given towards favoring the sauce in light of recent events and my judgment may have slightly been impaired and that, more than anything else, is what led to you discovering me, I"m sorry to say," said Romanti.
"Alcohol, booze, liquor, etc."
"I don"t think I understand, still..." muttered Tiffany. "You"re an alcoholic fairy and got drunk and then...you wound up inside my teddy bear?"
"I wouldn"t go so far as to say alcoholic...but as I said earlier, I am a watermelon fairy--a very prestigious and venerable class of fairy, I"d like to add--much more so than the banana or pomegranate fairies--and it"s a common practice for us fairies to seek refuge in watermelons when we sleep at night.
"Well, I was slightly remiss in my judging of your teddy bear and I mistook it for a watermelon and used my knife here"--Romanti waved a little knife that Tiffany was certain was somebody"s toe nail--"and made a little cut in your teddy bear and fell asleep. The cotton was quite warm and while I wouldn"t go so far as to say I prefer it to the rejuvenating juices of a watermelon, which is very good for the skin, I will say that I would not be opposed to sleeping another night in such a caricature of a bear, for as I mentioned earlier, it was very warm; and warmth, as much as the therapeutic juices of the watermelon, is also good for the skin."
Tiffany was speechless. Fortunately for her, Romanti had no grudge against talking and she carried on quite undeterred by the one-sidedness:
"You"ve got a lot of things in your room, huh--this is your room isn"t it? It"s a lot bigger than mine, though I am considerably smaller so that makes sense--you wouldn"t happen to be an artist, would you? There"s a lot of drawings and paintings here that all seem similarly done, huh!"
"I started painting a couple years ago, but I just decided it"s what I"d like to do when I grow up," said Tiffany.
"When you grow up?" Romanti coughed. "As in, you"re not fully grown yet? Ye gods but you"re so tall! I can"t say how us fairies managed to survive for as long we did with such oafsomely tall neighbors. But as for you wanting to be an artist--that"s an excellent decision, though I remember being told, quite some time back, and as such I can"t rightly say that perhaps a mentality like that still exists, that humans regard artists as awkward and overly romantic and given to fits of depression and suicide and all sorts of nasty things like that; still, there"s no greater pursuit than the truth of the spirit and the mind, which is what art inevitably brings to all its practitioners. You know, I"m an artist, too."
"Yes, but nothing as grand or as ambitious as what you have here"--Romanti motioned to a crayon drawing of a bunny rabbit that Tiffany had scribbled when she was only seven, and this made Tiffany laugh--"I mostly dabble with berries and the such, and twigs are my brushes and the trunks of the trees are my canvases, though not the pine trees because they are nasty rude and indignant things for how poor canvases their trunks make."
"Can I get you some breakfast, or something?" Tiffany asked, still in shock and uncertain of what to input into the conversation.
"Have you got any watermelon?"
--And with those immortal words, a very desperate friendship was birthed:
Romanti, often affecting dreadful caprice in the social aspects of her diminutive life, quickly was swallowed up by a deep enamorment for Tiffany, though her new friend seemed reluctant to ever stray very far from the fairy"s image of humans that descried them as sad, silly, petulant and cruel creatures; and yet the fairy was inclined to deepen her affections for the human girl through an earnest admiration for and liking of her art, which seemed especially colorful and expressive. Romanti also had no rival for happiness in any fairy (neverminding that none then were left), but experienced periods of reticent sobriety in those instances where Tifanny, a supremely malleable girl and a person given to the cosmopolitan notion of self-unawareness, would disintegrate into a wicked mood and bleed an aura of sourness until all the resplendancy of the fairy"s world became hues of gray. In those trying times it was the invocation of Romanti"s intrepid spirit and her resilient heart--things ever mercurial in their storage of antipathy and resentment--that shored her against depression and misanthropy.
Tiffany"s expression was constant enough however, only rarely sagging to the baneful levels aforementioned, and she was, for the most part, quite pleasant to be around when things were all quite pleasant. Romanti found this characterization in humans to be quite vexing and irksome, and struggled to understand the necessity (and desire) of any person to have dual personalities and dispositions what were directly influenced by exterior forces; it just didn"t seem very honest or kind.
Tiffany was likewise as confounded by the fairy, whose embodiment of a type of absolute vulnerability seemed shocking and almost offensive. The fairy managed to represent herself always in sensible ways, following a very organized, methodical approach of unpretentiously diffusing her most deeprooted feelings and emotions, neverminding any kind of regard for the value of the character she was entrusting them. In this light Romanti freely spoke of her loneliness and the exodus of all the fairies she ever knew to a place extending beyond her knowledge. She always spoke very matter-of-factly, only ever becoming slightly withdrawn when she made mention of a friend of hers who had left on the promise that he would one day return carrying all the love and mystery and magic of all the past ages of the world...and though her trembling words and uncertain tone conceded a notion that there was no other thought or feeling dearer to the fairy"s essence, she still coolly divulged the whole lot of it until every corner of the topic had been shamelessly illuminated and presented for judgment.
Being that it rained so much, and Tiffany was so opposed to going outside during such weather, the two developed an indoor type of relationship. In the initial stages of their burgeoning friendship, Romanti only stayed with Tiffany for a little while each day and they would talk and play board games and dibble-dabble in various artistic undertakings and then, when the gray light of the afternoon wrestled with the purples and blues of dusk, Romanti would depart through Tiffany"s bedroom window for the nearby hollow where she kept reclusive residence; and there, holed up inside her rotting watermelon, Romanti would look through the stratum of thick clouds at the beaming moon and petulantly wait for it to sink so that she could once again hurry off to be with her friend. But how lame she had become! She had traded whole feasts of hungering eyes and flattering words from fae folk for a single morsel of significance--served to her by a human girl, no less. Now her appeal was long gone, and she was made to find her own compliments...
As their friendship progressed, Romanti became more familiar and comfortable with Tiffany and began arriving earlier in the mornings and staying later in the evenings until she eventually stayed the whole day and night through and was put up in the armoire. No longer was Romanti impatiently watching the moon and begging it to hurry, or bathing in her melancholy and loneliness--now she could bask in the warm feelings of companionship the night through and with a powerful sigh of contentment the time slipped by unnoticed.
One unusual day, Tiffany decided to bundle up against the forceful cold and go for a walk with her fairy friend through the adjacent woods as part of an "exploratory expedition" as she called it. Romanti was delighted beyond words to spend some time in her near-natural environment with her friend and was determined to show her all the gorgeous things that in their subtlety were often overlooked.
Romanti quickly became dismayed however, when not far down the road, and well before they left behind all the markers of civilization, Tiffany encountered a boy of coetaneous age and quickly lost all interest in her woodland adventure. Romanti stayed hidden behind an old fence post through her own volition and marvelled in how rapidly Tiffany had shunted all recollection of her. An extraordinary amount of time passed and Tiffany only ever became more flirtatious and simple with the boy who responded in the usual ways of cool, uncaring masculinity as were currently in fashion. And despite his rudeness and callous tongue towards a girl as becoming as Tiffany, Romanti perceived that her friend was lapping up his attitude and gestures and thirsting for more!
The day was nearly spent and Romanti"s heart was a rock at the bottom of her pond. When Tiffany finally parted ways with the boy, she found Romanti and refused to let the subject switch to anything other than him. Romanti held firm to her affection for Tiffany and their friendship and remained hushed and feigned interest as they walked home.
The following morning was rainy and Tiffany woke up very disturbed and Romanti knew well enough to leave her be as she underwent her rigorous morning routine of bathing and applying her artificial beauty and perfumes. While Tiffany was busy with that, Romanti gathered up her friend"s things which were left in disorder and stored them away and tackled the job of making up her bed so that it was neat and uniform. It took Romanti, with her dainty size and matching strength, very nearly the same amount of time to complete these simple chores as it took Tiffany to complete hers. And when Tiffany was finished she collapsed onto her bed and ruffles streaked the smooth blankets and sheets.
"Rain again!" Tiffany sighed. She paused and listened to its silly chanting from outside her window. "I hate the sound of it..."
"I think it"s pretty," Romanti commented quietly.
"Sometimes I wish my window was all boarded up so I wouldn"t have to be constantly reminded that it was so gloomy and raining outside," said Tiffany.
"I think some light is better than none," replied Romanti.
"It"s that sound though! It"s so sad and it never stops! I"d throw a rock through the window and break it to pieces but that would only make the sound of the rain come through clearer."
Romanti thought a moment.
"Well, it seems to me that it isn"t the window that is making the sound, but the bush outside the window; the rain is falling on that bush"s big leaves that are spread open and that"s what"s making the sound. Maybe if you took the bush out you wouldn"t hear the rain anymore?"
Tiffany angled her glance out the weeping window at the stubby bush crouching outside. She pfft"d irritably and sat back. Romanti was right, Tiffany knew, but she didn"t have to state it so smugly as if to call her stupid.
Romanti couldn"t quite explain why Tiffany became so grumpy then and just fluttered somewhere beyond her reach and stayed quiet. This display of fear in her friend only served to invoke more anger in Tiffany and she demanded to know why the fairy was shying away from her.
"It"s just to be safe; you"re really very large and I"m really very tiny, and if you should become so angry even once--I think that is all it would take," answered Romanti, truthfully. Tiffany spouted a series of hurtful words and threats and lumbered off to some place, but since she slammed the door shut behind her, Romanti was helpless to follow to try and dissuade her from being angry.
Romanti went to her home in the armoire and wept for a little bit and some time later she stopped and dried her eyes. Tiffany still had not come back and there was no sign of her, and Romanti was terrified she may have lost her only friend.
"I suppose it"s time to pound out some fairy magic," she whispered to herself to test the strength of her voice, which was still shaking. Romanti thought a while on what she could do to completely stun her friend and win back her adoration, and it wasn"t until she decided that no payment was too lofty that she decided on a course of action:
The Dimuna Kasklora was a tricky bit of sorcery, but if done correctly would allow Romanti complete control over the weather for a few days. The price, of course, was a hefty bit of self-mutilation and Romanti recklessly chipped off her luminescent wings with her little watermelon knife as payment for invoking the power of the spell. She mustered considerable strength to suppress her desire to scream out in wretched agony while she recited the words belonging to the sorcery and only after she was complete with all her work and the spell was burst into effect did she allow herself to black out.
Some unknown stretch of time enjoyed its duration before Romanti awoke from her nasty unconsciousness and the first thing she was made to notice was the absence of her wings with a trembling, furious pain where they ought to have been and secondly she glimpsed the rays of benevolent, unfamiliar sunshine gushing in through the large window above Tiffany"s bed.
Tiffany was in her bed asleep because morning was just coming up and Romanti snickered, proudly showering herself with accolades for her conviction and shrewdness to see the Dimuna Kasklora put into effect. Later when Tiffany awoke she was sprightly and eager as Romanti had never seen her and if she ever had doubt whether her friend"s happiness weighed less than her wings, it was surely cast completely to the wind then.
"I can"t believe it"s sunny outside," Tiffany exclaimed. "What should we do today?"
"Can we go for a walk into the woods? There"s a whole lot I"d absolutely love to show you!" Romanti chirped. Tiffany agreed and talked excitedly of all the things they would do and how helplessly gripped by joy and anticipation she was to spend the whole day through with Romanti and noticing that the fairy"s wings were somewhere misplaced, she sympathetically allowed her to sit in her pocket.
"Where have your wings gone?" Tiffany asked.
"They"re with all the other fairies, I suppose," Romanti replied, and Tiffany completely didn"t understand--but she didn"t press the subject, since metaphors and allusions and similes and the such were subjects that always made her look and sound ridiculous.
"Do you know what a clairseeley is?" Tiffany asked casually as they stepped outside. Romanti, not thinking much of it, although interested and curious to learn where Tiffany had learned of such a thing, replied, "Of course. They"re people that used to be fairies, but gave up their magic to become humans. They are very unhappy and, in my opinion, confused and silly creatures and they stalk around for fairies and gobble them up. I"ve never seen one, though,"
Romanti sighed dreamily. Tiffany must have read some type of book about fairies or done some research, which meant she was interested in learning more about fairy folk and that she must really be held in high regard by her friend. It all happened very quickly though--fortunately for Romanti--and her transition from Tiffany"s pocket to the boy"s mouth was quick and unexpected and her life was quieted without a hassle.
Afterwards, the clairseeley, with whom Tiffany had conversed and spent so many hours flirting with two days prior, while on her walk with Romanti, smiled and thanked the girl.
"And that date you promised me?" Tiffany squeaked eagerly with all the excitement and giddiness of a person just about to have granted their supreme wish.
The clairseeley, exuding a cool and uncaring aura of masculinity, shrugged and walked off and never looked back.
And Tiffany was hopelessly in love for a day.
|I'll Die Yesterday||The Pink Scarf|
|A Late Summer Sunday Evening|