Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

#FridayFlash 53: Wedding Magic

"When I look at you I remember a little girl who believed in magic," my aunt told me wistfully, "what happened to her?"

"She grew up." I told her bluntly. The hardness of my carefully crafted cynicism hiding the stab of pain at the memory of what once was. It was a facade that had been serving me well for years; she didn't see through it.

Leaving me to sulk, she returned to my mother's wedding. It was my mom's fifth. My sisters and I had a pool going -- I, on the realist end, had taken the 6 month to 1 year option. Gloria, ever the romantic had declared this one would last. The other girls were playing it safe somewhere in the middle -- after all, it had been an incredibly romantic ceremony. Suckers. It was all too easy to take their money. I'd yet to lose.

I was not a good enough actress to pull off happiness and excitement for the wedding, but I also had no wish to spoil my mother's night, so instead I a walk along the path away from the house, lit by an eerily vibrant moon. After only a few steps I kicked my feet out of the treacherous heels and continued, feeling moderately rebellious, without them.

The path I found myself on wound its way through the garden, but never far from the moon's rays; while part of me felt a primal instinct to fear the dark, a stronger part of me was so grateful to avoid the farce that it seemed a relief to escape to the shadows.

I sat on a decorative marble bench, my back to the lights of the party and looked out at play of light and shadow. As I watched I realized it wasn’t anger or cynicism or frustration that kept me from being able to enjoy the party; I was genuinely sad for my mom. Perhaps it was my aunt’s comment that did it, but somehow the piece of me that once believed in magic surfaced and I asked of the moonlight: “If love is real, why can’t my mother find it? Nobody tries as hard as she.”

“Because true love generally comes uninvited and unlooked for. Those who try too hard, accept a mere parody of the emotion and therefore, it cannot last.”

I jumped at the voice – at once both angry and embarrassed at having been overheard. Until I realized I was still alone. I looked all around and saw nothing. Called but no one answered. More than slightly freaked out, I turned and headed back quickly towards the lights of the party, moving as quickly as I could without appearing to be running from shadows.

“Why do you run from the truth?” I spun around. The voice was very different, but there was still nobody to be seen.

“What truth?” I demanded angrily. “How can you speak truth while hiding in shadow? Show yourself!” Brave on the outside, shaking within. All the time wondering if anybody would hear me if I shouted.

I heard a sigh, “I thought she could see us?” a younger voice asked, disappointment evident. And somehow I knew I was the ‘she’ in question.

“She used to be able to,” another answered.

And from the first, sadly, “she used to believe in magic.”

“Where are you?” I asked again, less frightened and more annoyed. As though everybody were laughing at a joke I didn’t get.

For a long moment there was no answer, and then somebody deigned to speak: “You look, but don’t see. Open your mind to the possibilities and then look closely at the moon’s beams.”

The moon’s beams my mind raced backwards as I was sucked into a memory. My mom’s second wedding – I was six, wearing the most beautiful princess dress I’d ever seen, and I’d just gotten a new dad and a new brother. And I was ecstatic. “Look at the moonbeam,” my mom said to me, crouching down to my level and showing me the unusual way the single beam shone through the trees. And I suddenly recalled my response.

“There are fairies dancing on it,” I whispered the phrase I had once uttered excitedly. And suddenly I could see.

“Welcome back,” the most regal of the fairies said with a smile and a slight nod. “For a while I thought we’d lost you.”

“So she can see us now?!?!” It was the younger voice again, and I attached it to a fairy who was zipping back and forth almost too quickly for the eye to register.

“Well she can if you sit still!” another responded, irritation evident in her tone.

I was too stunned to comment. I hadn’t had anything to drink, much less smoke, yet I was seeing fairies on the moonlight.

“Others accept us without ever seeing, so why is it so hard for you to accept what you can see in front of you?” one of the calmer voices asked curiously.

“You can’t be real,” I stated; knowing how ridiculous that statement was. If they weren’t real and I was talking to them, I had a serious problem. And if they were real, I was proving myself an idiot. Idiot or insane? I wasn’t sure which would be the worse fate.

“And yet we are,” the one I had deemed to be the leader spoke, “and so is Love.”
Even though I instantly wished I hadn’t, I rolled my eyes. But she didn’t seem to take offence, just smiled an eerily knowing smile, “you just have to open your eyes to it.”

A heavy cloud rolled in front of the moon, breaking the beam, “Gotta fly!!!” the young one zipped in front of me and exclaimed excitedly, “hope we get to see you again!!!!” she seemed to speak entirely in exclamation marks.

“And you,” I replied. But they were gone.

Lost in a world of memories and magic, I returned to the party with a much lighter heart, and open eyes.


Nice characterization in this flash.


Strong story. I think this would work as a longer piece too. I agree with Aidan, the characterization was quite good.


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