Writing Prompt of the Week: A little girl goes out in the garden to play one day, and spies a tiny door at the base of a tree. She imagines that a family of fairies live there…or is it just her imagination? And if they do exist, are they as benignly charming as the little girl perceives them to be?
Beware the Tiny Doors
by Alex Westhaven
“I’m sorry honey. You’re two feet and ten inches too tall.”
Five-year-old Paisley Johnson pointed to the tiny door at the base of a tree in the park and looked up at her mom, her lower lip quivering. “But I want to visit the fairies! Make me shorter!”
Her mom chuckled. “I can’t make you shorter. But you really don’t want to visit the fairies. They’re mean, and if you could fit through that little door, they would kidnap you and make you their slave.”
“How do you know, Mama? Have you visited the fairies?”
“No, I haven’t. But everyone knows fairies are mean. Now come on. We have to get home for dinner.”
Paisley looked at the little door one more time. She was sure there had been a face in the middle window just a second ago. Was it a little fairy girl like her? Was the fairy girl scared of the giant outside her door?
“Now, Paisley. It’s time to go.”
With a heavy sigh, she stood up and ran after her mom.
“How does everyone know fairies are mean, Mama?” She climbed into the car and pulled the seat belt over her lap, making sure it clicked into place.
“Because everyone just knows that, honey. My mom told me, Grandma’s mom told her, and I’m telling you.”
Paisley thought about that on the way home. When Mama pushed the button to let the seatbelt go, she climbed out of the car.
“But how did Grandma’s mom know?” She followed her mom into the house and took off her coat.
“Don’t leave that on the floor. And I don’t know how your great grandma knew. Go wash up for dinner — your dad will be home any minute.”
Paisley went to the bathroom and washed her hands. When she came out, her dad was hanging up his coat and she ran to give him a hug. He scooped her up in his arms and kissed her cheek.
“Hello Princess. Did you do anything fun today?”
“We went to the park, and I saw a tiny fairy door. I want to visit the fairies, but Mama says fairies are mean. Do you think fairies are mean, Daddy?”
He laughed. “I think fairies are probably like people. Some are mean, and some aren’t. But I don’t think you can visit them, Princess. You have to wait for them to visit you. It’s only polite. Now let’s go see what your mom is making for dinner.”
He put her down and they went into the kitchen.
“Daddy says some fairies aren’t mean, Mama. But I can’t visit them, because they have to visit me first. It’s only polite. And we should always be polite, right Mama?”
Her mom smiled and then winked at her dad. “That’s right, honey. I put some plates on the table — why don’t you go put them at everyone’s place and set the silverware out? I’m making macaroni and cheese.”
Paisley giggled when her father kissed Mama on the cheek. She went to the table and set plates and silverware out, wondering if that little fairy girl had to help set the table too.
After dinner, Paisley played in the backyard while Mama did the dishes and Daddy watched TV. She looked at all of their trees for tiny little doors, but she didn’t find any. Why weren’t there any fairies living in her yard? Was it because Mama thought they were all mean? Or maybe the trees weren’t big enough for fairy families.
She wished she knew what would make a fairy want to visit her.
That night after her parents tucked her into bed and turned out the light, she waited until she heard her dad snoring and then went to the window. She picked out the brightest star in the sky, and made a wish.
“I wish the fairy girl from the park would come and visit me. We could have a tea party, and play with dolls, and maybe she could share some fairy dust with me.”
The next morning, Paisley woke up to see a tiny, shiny creature flitting around overhead. Not quite awake yet, she sat up and yawned.
“Are you a fairy?” she asked.
The creature fluttered in front of her face, and Paisley thought it might be saying something, but it just wasn’t loud enough. She shook her head.
“I can’t hear you. But you look like a fairy. Would you like to have a tea party with me?”
She could just barely see the fairy nod her head, and Paisley got out of bed, so excited she could hardly stand it.
“Let’s sit down at my table over here. I can have my mom make us some tea…”
The fairy fluttered in front of Paisley’s eyes so she was able to see a shake of the head. Reaching to her waist, the fairy pulled out a tiny bag and reached a hand in. When she brought her hand out and tipped it sideways, a trail of tiny, glittering particles rained down on the teapot, and steam came out of the spout.
Paisley gasped and put her hands to her cheeks.
“Wow — was that fairy dust?” At the fairy’s nod, Paisley grinned widely. “Can you make me small so I can visit you too? Daddy said I had to be polite and wait for you to visit me first, but you’re here now, so would it be polite to visit you?”
The fairy seemed to think about that for a moment, and then reached into her tiny pouch again. Flying up just a little higher, the fairy dropped the glittery substance on Paisley.
Paisley blinked, and everything around her was suddenly huge. The fairy she’d barely been able to see before was much bigger than she’d imagined now, and when it smiled, she gasped at the sharp, pointed teeth. Two more fairies flew in to join it, and they all smiled at her.
“I told you she would do it,” one of them said to the other. “Peering out the door like that was the perfect touch.”
Paisley’s lower lip started to tremble.
Thanks for reading! Check back on Monday for the next weekly writing prompt.