I know I said I wouldn’t post any more of the fairy story, but I thought it’d be better for me to stop posting at a more reasonable stopping point. Here’s a little bit more background into Elise.
Her mother was inside cleaning and sweeping the living room, humming to herself. Elise’s mother used to go by Audrey. That’s what she was known as in the old village of Redwood. But in recent years, she had simply become “Elise’s mother.” And that was the nicest name spoken by the citizens of Redwood. Most ignored her altogether. She was one of the few older fairies that never took a husband, yet still reproduced. For a while, the village chose to overlook this flaw in their village. At first Elise was the envy of every female fairy in the forest because she was the first of all the girls in her age group to grow a wing. All of the fairies looked up to her. But as she continued to grow, and her second wing never grew, she became an object of ridicule in the forest. And because of Elise’s missing wing, both Audrey and Elise were outcasts. No one used their real names anymore. As Elise entered the living room, her mother sat down on a chair constructed of fur gathered from abandoned bird nests.
Elise tried as best she could to avoid her mother as she made her way further in to the tree and to her bedroom. But there was no escaping her.
“What’s wrong, honey?” Her mother asked.
“Nothing…nothing,” Elise answered. “I just want to go to sleep. I’m not feeling well.”
There’s something about being sad that subconsciously reaches out to other people. It’s a universal symptom that no one can escape, whether fairy or human. The more a person tries to hide and explain how not sad they are, the more it becomes impossible to hide. The more Elise tried to escape to her room and escape her mother, the more obvious it became that something was wrong.
“You can’t fool me, Elise. What’s wrong?”
“I told you earlier and you didn’t listen,” Elise said, “I told you what was wrong. I’ve been telling you what’s wrong since this wing grew in. It’s terrible. They hate me. They hate me for no good reason, and there’s nothing I can do about it. They’re going to hurt me.”
Elise flung herself onto the chair across from her mother.
“Oh, nonsense, Elise. They can’t hurt you. They’d have to get through me first.”
“They just got through you! You don’t pay any attention. I was just outside on the branch and I was surrounded by the same girls that have been giving me problems for the last five years, even before the wing. They surrounded me and spit on me, Mom. And there was nothing I could do. They just stood there… hovering. Hovering above me until I was covered in spit! Do you know what that feels like? They threatened to teach me how to fly. I can’t ever go outside again. They called you a whore. And they said my name is Elizabeth.”
“People say lots of things, Elise. You’re father fell. He didn’t leave us. He fell and he died. If that makes me a whore, then I don’t care. Just because I never carried him away doesn’t make me a whore. That’s not how that works. And you’re name is not Elizabeth. Your father made it a point to emphasize that. No one has ever called you Elizabeth. You’re named after some music your father heard when he was tampering with the humans’ logging equipment. He said he was messing with this machine that wouldn’t stop playing music. The humans were asleep, obviously. He said he approached the machine to destroy it, but he couldn’t bring himself to when he heard the song. He said the label on the tape was ripped, but it said ‘Elise’ in the upper right corner. He said it was special because all of the music he’d heard them listening to earlier was loud and metallic. But the music he heard was different. It must have helped them sleep. And that’s what you’re named after. Your name is not Elizabeth.”
They didn’t say anything to each other for a while. Aside from the wind whistling through the branches outside, the room was silent.
Her mother sighed and sank further into her chair. “Your father went back to try to steal the tape, you know? That’s why he fell. It was raining when he left. He thought he’d be fine. But the rain was too much. He said he wanted me to hear the song,” her mother said. “I never got to hear the song, and I never got to see your father again. So I named you after the song. He loved that song because it was so different from anything he’d ever heard. I bet he’d be proud of your wing.”