Twinkle Twinkle Little Pixie: Pixie Litter Revisited
It's silly, I know, but how can anyone who has ever loved Peter Pan, Tinker Bell , and Neverland, not enjoy a silly story from time to time?
Read on my fellow readers!
“Wake up! Twinkle, c’mon! Get up!”
The demand echoed down a hallway and I struggled to stay asleep. I had been dreaming of my Prince again, the one with the golden egg. I loved that dream so much it was always depressing to wake up from it; to find myself alone in bed, alone in my apartment with nothing or no one to greet me. Maybe I should invest in a pet.
A hand shoved my shoulder, “What’d you do, go on a honey binge last night? I need you to wake up, Twinkle! The Heiress is missing! A search’s been called and everyone from Masters and Reapers to Drones and Skates are out looking for her- TWINKLE!”
“Screaming never worked before, Twister, what makes you think it’ll work now?” As slow as amber sap on a cold pine, I sat up. “Who’s missing?” I asked, not fully comprehending what my cousin was jabbering about.
“Have you heard nothing? The Heiress! You know, the only daughter of the most influential Pixie since your great-grandmother, Tinker Bell,” Twister huffed, hands on hips, waiting for me to do something.
Understanding trickled through and I came fully awake, realizing the repercussions if the little Heiress stayed missing. The fragile infrastructure of the Pixie race would begin to crumble, pollination would slow, and Pixies would no longer trust one another. It was what made them different from the Gnomes and Sprites of the Earth- Pixies acted like one big extended family, where everyone was welcomed with open arms and a smile. No one was a stranger and everyone treated each other fairly. One seedling of doubt or mistrust, and the community as I knew it would suffer greatly.
I jumped from my bed toward my closet, in a sudden hurry to go find the little Heiress.
“Fluffing dandelions, Twister, why didn’t you say something sooner?!” Running around my tiny apartment like an angry bee I dressed, put my hair up, and chugged a left over shot of honey.
“How you can have honey so early in the day will never cease to amaze me,” Twister threw a coat at me. “C’mon Twink, we need to find that little girl before something awful happens to her.”
I nodded in agreement and as I stepped onto the window ledge. With a deliriously happy giggle I leaped out into the open air. What I didn’t add to Twister’s comment is that I’m not worried about the heiress as much as I’m worried about what her disappearance could mean for the Pixie community. There weren’t many of us left since Man invented the car and dirtied up the atmosphere. All the fumes and gases those loud monstrous engines spewed were detrimental to Pixie life and survival. It forced the majority of us to move to smaller, more rural areas, if not right into the woods themselves.
“Any idea who did it?” I asked as I leveled out forty feet from the ground and waited for Twister to close my window and catch up.
“No, there was nothing left behind. Not a single speck of dust to implicate anyone. Are there are, are theories. No facts.”
Our flight above the low roofed buildings and smoke belching chimneys was brisk. The salty air swept up from the ocean, refreshing and clean between the columns of soot billowing from the stacks below.
“Here,” Twister handed me a hankie as we swung higher into the air to improve our vantage.
“Thanks. Ugh. The peat smoke always gets me.” As I pocketed the hankie I noticed a Farris wheel on the other side of town, towering over the low houses.
“Want to check it out?” Twister asked, cutting a hard right without a heads up to her change in direction. “Legend says anytime a band of travelers hit town, Pixies can access Neverland.”
“Don’t be a fungus brain. Travelers in town don’t do anything but bring tourists. And besides, Pixies haven’t been in Neverland since before my great-grandmother’s time. Finding a doorway to it is futile and pointless.”
“Pointless? To go back to our roots? To see the land we came from?”
“There’s a reason Tinker Bell evacuated the Pixies,” I defended.
Sensing our conversation was turning sour we stopped talking and focused on searching for signs of the Heiress as we made our way to what turned out to be a Carnival. As we crossed the threshold of the town, we split up.
“You take north, I’ll take south. I’ll meet you on the other side.” In a blink, Twister was off and I was left to tread air beside the top baskets of the Ferris wheel. The Carnival was mostly inactive, with only the few early rising carnies up and moving around, setting up their displays and fine tuning the mechanical rides. As I made my way slowly around the north end I became aware of a blue orb floating in the air a few dozen yards from where I hovered. It was floating above a faded striped circus tent, mere feet above a yellow waving flag. The orb seemed to gain pigment the longer I looked at it.
Something bumped into my backside and sent me tumbling head over feet.
“Holy lily petals, Twinkle! Do you know what that is?” Twister pointed at the orb. “That’s the Neverland doorway I was talking about!” Excited, Twister dropped her hands from my shoulders and spun up and backward, spiraling toward the orb.
“Wait!” I charged my wings to a sprint, struggling to catch my cousin before she did something stupid. “Twister! You don’t know what it’ll do to you!” I got a grip on her shirt sleeve just as she reached out and touched the luminous ball of blue. In slow motion a bright halo of white and yellow expanded out, up, and down to engulf us in warm ocean air.
“You see that?” I heard Twister say in a dreamy voice.
“Hell’s daisies,” I murmured as I stared out in awe at our surroundings. We were a mile above an ocean sparkling brightly in turquoise and aqua hues, looking at a tropical island shaped vaguely like a compass. Palm trees lined its golden shores, and a tree that looked older than time itself stood atop a hill in the very center. Its branches were lost amid vines and moss that clung and hung from every available branch.
“Where are we?” It was a last ditch effort at denial, I know, but I couldn’t help asking. The warmth of the white sun mingled with the coolness of the ocean below, and I didn’t care if I never went home. It was the most beautiful, most alluring setting I had ever encountered. It was a color saturated, scent drenched paradise built just for Pixies. It was Paradise realized.
“Something’s different,” Twister whispered as she turned to me. Her eyes widened and a grin split her cheeks. “We’re seeing a different color spectrum.”
“What?” I blinked.
“Your hair, it’s bright black like a crow’s feathers. And my skin,” she held up her forearm in example. “It’s tan. I’m never tan. I’m the most un-tanned Pixie I know.”
I looked down at myself and noticed my skin looked luminous, appearing as if I moisturized twice a day.
A tingling started at the base of my neck and spread rapidly through my limbs.
We reached out to each other but not fast enough. Our finger tips grazed and she disappeared. Or rather, I disappeared. Before my vision cleared, I smelled wood smoke and hay. I was back hovering above the circus tent in the Carnival. The change was too much for me. Feeling faint, and unable to support my rapidly drained energy, my wings fluttered to a stop and I slowly sunk toward the ground. The last thing I saw was a pride of Sentinel Pixies nose diving to catch me.
“You think she’ll come around soon?”
It was a male voice I didn’t recognize.
“You’ll get your answers soon enough. Let the poor girl rest.” A different male voice replied. This one sounded older and was flavored with a bit of gravel.
“Rest? We need answers now, Graupel! She’s the only Pixie since Tinker Bell to come back from Neverland! She’s the only one who’s found its doorway!”
I braved a peak through my lashes and found I was high off the floor in a dim room, and the two men were Reapers, the highest militant class of Pixie before royalty. They were easily identifiable by their ridiculously vibrant red wings. They were standing directly next to me; the older one beside my feet, the younger one beside my head. No wonder his shouting seemed so loud.
“You know, shouting never works,” I said as I sat up and rubbed my temples. “Is there any honey here? My head feels like a dulled ax is cleaved between my ears.” The responding silence made me look up. The Reapers both wore expressions of alert fascination. The older one extended his hand in a universal shake of welcome.
“Dear, I’m Graupel Hailer, fourth in the Hailer line, and this here is Shiner Hailer, my nephew.” He shook my hand and bowed, and then motioned to his nephew to come closer.
“A name of Light and a name of Weather should never go together” I recited the childhood rhyme aloud, staring at Shiner. Where it was not uncommon for Pixie families to give their children a name from each side of the family, it was very rare for the Light families to breed with the Weather families. It had something to do with a legend so old no one could remember its origins.
He simply nodded and crossed his arms.
“Right,” I smiled brightly and turned back to Graupel. “I’m Twinkle Rose Bell, sixth in the Sound line, and daughter of the first in the Flower line.”
It appeared my pedigree had surprised the two Reapers. I knew their first thought was what a demi-royal was doing running around dressed like a low-class Skate instead of wrapped in dazzling jewel toned flower petals like the rest of my Royal cousins.
I executed a quick and sloppy curtsy. “Excuse me gentlemen, but I need to leave now.”
“Oh no you don’t.” Shiner grabbed hold of my arm. “We need you to tell us how you found the doorway this morning. And how you came back.”
I glared at his hand on my arm, yanking myself free. “I don’t know. But I need to go back and look for it. My cousin’s trapped inside.” This time Shiner stepped right into my path and I ran into him before my body could tell my feet to stop moving forward.
“I’m going with you.”
I stared into his navy eyes and nodded.
In respect for the elder Pixie I turned and bowed low. “My thanks, for allowing me to recover here, and may my door be open to you and yours in case of need or social inquiry.”
Flipping Shiner both fingers, I exited, leaping off the wooden ledge into immediate flight.
Several hours later, as the sun finished setting and cast the sky a dusky blue-orange, I alighted on an elm branch out of breath and slouched with defeat. Shiner and I had search high and low, inside and out for that ridiculously elusive blue orb that opened to Neverland. The Carnival was in full swing, people still meandering through lanes made by the game booths and rides; balloon animals astride their heads, and their hands and mouths full of popcorn and cotton candy. Just a whiff of the overly sweet spun sugar made my stomach upset.
“Should we meet tomorrow to finish the search? Maybe be here a minute before the time it was you and your cousin arrived today?” Shiner had taken a different attitude when after the first three hours of our search I had not flagged or wavered from my determination.
I nodded. As much as I hated waiting until the next morning, his reasoning was logical.
“Yes,” I sighed as I stepped from the tree branch and hovered face to face with him. “Tomorrow at ten. Please don’t be late. If the orb is here before you are, I’m not waiting.”
He nodded and hovered higher up into the air, “See you tomorrow at ten, then.”
What to do now? I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep. After everything that had happened today, sleeping felt wrong. As if by doing so I was betraying my determination to find Twister.
With nothing better to do, I turned for home, stopping by the Wood Sprite’s market to pick up some clover honey. Any honey would do the trick, but clover honey was a particular favorite when I intended to get drunk.
About halfway through the thimble of honey, I slipped off my chair and spilled into a dream- the dream- the one where I walk through a forest and come upon a small lake where a foot-tall frog points me to my Prince. When the frog sees me he points a slimy round toe in the direction of what sounds like a waterfall. I follow the footpath along the water’s edge to the waterfall and stop in surprise. As many times as I’ve had this dream I’m amazed I still have any surprise left at all. But surprised I feel, and surprised I react when I see the man standing beside the cascading water. He’s a Prince, one I’ve never met in person, and he’s holding a ruby and diamond encrusted golden egg. He’s taller than the average Pixie, with clear tan skin and his eyes are goldenrod and sunshine His wings rub a chirp hello.
It’s as if he’s been waiting here for me his whole life and seeing me finally arrive is an absolute joy. We embrace, we smile, and we stare into each other’s eyes until I wake up.
But not this time. This time the dream ended differently. He tried to speak but his words were whisked away by the wind and I run to capture them, as if they were tangible things I could grasp and hold on to. He grabs a hold of my hand and I can’t break free. I turned to ask why he didn’t want me to catch his words. He said something again, and again I couldn’t hear him. Those lovely syllables left his mouth and escaped on the breeze before I could hear their sounds and learn their meaning, and the knowledge translated to complete misery and I awoke amid a choking sob. I so desperately needed to go back to sleep and finish the dream, to learn what happened!
I reached for my thimble of honey, but its absence from its usual spot brought me wide awake. The table was not my table, it was a slab of time worn wood set atop a log, and I was not in my home like I was before I passed out; I’m in the woods. The woods looked frighteningly familiar and I wondered if maybe going through the portal to Neverland had done something to me; had somehow made me capable of teleportation to impossible locations. But how do I get back? Do I need to fall asleep for things to revert back to normal, or just wait to be sucked back into reality like last time?
I stood on unsteady feet and made my way toward the chipper babbling of moving water. Just like in my dream, a clearing appeared ahead set before a turquoise and cobalt lake surrounded by cattails and duck weed. Atop an outcropping of sandstone to my right sat the largest frog I had ever seen. His eyes were mottled green on sassafras, his skin dappled olive and slimy. However, the frog did not point me to the waterfall. Instead, his throat expanded into a translucent bubble and he blasted a ribbit. The croak was so loud and deep it rippled bass waves through the air. Immediately in flight, I zipped away with a ringing in my ears.
After a moment of not paying attention to where I was going, I noticed the change in humidity. Up ahead a waterfall churned the lovely jewel toned river into a white capped froth. Along its left bank were stones that formed a lazy, zigzagging trail to the top. To the right were coniferous trees, the ground blanketed in varying shades of needles. I stayed a comfortable distance from the fall, avoiding the rainbow hued spray as I searched the rocks for signs of life. At this point in my dream the Prince walks from around one of the large stones into the sunshine, the ruby studded golden egg throwing brilliant rose colored prisms against his black shirt. But as time passed and sweat gathered between my shoulders and on my brow from hovering in the sun so long, I realized the Prince wasn’t showing. Like the frog had been different, so had been the waterfall and the Prince, and my hopes sunk. After having the same dream over and over for years, and finally being there and seeing it realized had my heart racing. For the reality of my dream to produce imperfect likenesses, to fail to have the same results as my dream, I was heartbroken.
Feeling defeated, I approached the sun warmed rocks looking for a place to sit when movement caught my eye. A bright light shone from the far side of the rocks, but it was impossible to see what caused it. The light seemed to get closer and grow in size and intensity, and a familiar face loomed at its fringe.
I squinted into the brilliance, “Shiner?”
He wasn’t my Prince! The Prince in my dream had dark hair, aqua eyes, and tan skin. Shiner had fair hair, dark eyes, and neon red wings. Clearly not Royalty and clearly not my Prince!
“What are you doing here?” I demanded, just barely stopping myself from stomping my foot petulantly.
I stepped closer and the light got a little dimmer, Shiner’s face grew bigger.
“Hey Twinkle, you in there?”
“In where? I’m right here,” I spread my hands out to indicate my obvious surroundings and consciousness.
“Wake up,” his face got even larger, proportionately magnifying until his features were all I could see and the waterfall became a vague shadow in the background.
“What’s wrong with you? You’re huge!” I tried to back up but something that felt like a wall pushed back and I remained riveted to the spot. The light surrounding us got even dimmer and Shiner’s features became clearer as his face began to shrink back to its normal size.
“Hey, you with me?” His warm hand gripped my chin, turning my face from side to side. “Well your eyes are focused, so that’s a good thing.”
“What are you doing here?” I asked, suddenly aware I was lying on my back. “Where am I?” I sat up and looked around. I was in my apartment. “How did you get in?”
Shiner backed up until he was on the opposite side of my living room. Arms folded across his chest, he looked me in the eyes.
“Where were you just then?”
I stood and stretched until my back felt somewhat loosened. Sleeping on a wood floor was not comfortable at all.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I was passed out on my floor, you saw me.”
“Not buying it.”
I responded with a blank stare.
“Fine,” he threw his hands up then walked to the window. “It’s a half past eleven. Let’s go.” He leapt from the window in a flash of red.
After I changed shirts and finished the honey remnants in my thimble, I flew out my window toward the Carnival. Whatever chance I had of recreating the day before, to test the theory that the portal to Neverland would return at the same time of day had diminished with my honey supply. The day had a dismal outlook.
When I caught up to Shiner, he had just finished a circuit of the fair grounds. All respect he had the day before had been replaced with unhappy understanding. As a Reaper he was held to higher standards than most Pixies; was required to always maintain a clear mind, clear eyes, and an unbiased heart. As a Reaper, he was militant to the core, would never dream of being anything but, and yet, had plenty of reasons to drown his misery like I did mine. Seeing the underlying implications of Shiner’s mood made me feel sad and jealous at the same time. Maybe if someone held me accountable for my actions, I’d be less reckless, more caring for the repercussions.
I shook my head. Who was I kidding? I hated authority. Authority felt like a wet blanket; heavy, depressing, and restrictive. Why else would a demi-Royal slum with the Skates like I did?
“Stop thinking whatever you’re thinking and focus,” Shiner’s voice interrupted my thoughts and my eyes snapped to his.
Executing a mock salute I flew off toward the main tent in the middle of the Carnival.
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