Short Story Sunday: Harvest
Out in the garden it was a tomato forest with plants taller than I am. Pumpkin vines escaped the raised bed boxes and climbed up the nearby orange trees. Eggplants and peppers exploded with fruit. Tiny songbirds visited to eat seeds from the now dry sunflowers.
Next week I’ll start to pull out the tomatoes and prepare the ground for the fall/winter garden. New compost will be worked into beds for lettuce, exotic Asian greens, rare heirloom cabbages, and winter blooming flowers. My heart is always happy, both mentally and physically, when I am out among my plants, and working the soil.
This morning I went out to water and survey whatever was out in my suburban jungle. The usual lizards, birds, squirrels, and honey bees were out in full force enjoying the morning sun before it turned blazing hot. Occasional turkeys would trot into the yard but they never made their way up to the vegetable garden.
As I sprayed down the plants I heard a voice like the faint cry of a child. I looked around and saw nothing. I figured it was a bird, maybe a child playing in another yard. Then I heard it again, and it was close. It was in my garden.
Under a tangle of melon and gourd vines I saw a small pale shape, about the size of a kitten, curled up in a tight ball. It looked like a child, or a small person. Had it not been looking right up at me and blinking I would have sworn it was a toy.
“Oh my goodness, what are you?” I said.
“My wings are injured. Help me,” it said in a voice that was barely a whisper. Then he reached out his tiny hands and I gently picked him up.
Inside my husband was sleeping in, as he does on Sundays. My daughter was here taking a long weekend away from college. She stood in the kitchen in tiny drawstring shorts and a tank top making coffee. She was still halfway asleep but I know she’d wake up fast.
“I have something to show you. Someone to show you,” I told her.
She noticed I was carefully holding something in my hands close to my chest.
“What is it? A kitten? A squirrel? Mom?”
“A fairy. This is Daniel. He is a California Gloss Winged Fairy. I told him we’d let him stay with up until his wings heal. Daniel this is my daughter Samantha.”
Daniel looked up with large golden brown eyes. “Hello Samantha. I have a daughter too. Um, if I give you her number could you text her and tell her I’m alright?”
Samantha texted his daughter and now we have a porch and garden full of fairies all wishing Daniel a speedy recovery. They bring tiny gifts for us like clam shells from the river, colored rocks, and jewelry they’ve stolen from homes in the area. I’ll have to return the jewelry somehow without looking like I took it.
This is so weird. I’ll just play it by ear. In the meantime my husband got up and he and Daniel are watching college football. I don’t even know who is playing.
So when you’re digging your fall garden don’t put in the shovel without first making sure nobody is there. Dig lettuce beds, not fairy graves.
But yes, this is amazing. Truly amazing. Wow. A fairy. A real fairy.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman