Extraordinary Day

(This story was written as part of a creative writing course through the Ringsend Adult Education Service in Ringsend College. The story was inspired by the legend of Oisín and Tír na nÓg).

By Yvonne Yuen

My story begins one spring morning. The April air was crisp and the garden had come alive with flowers, revealing a vibrant array of colour. The buds on the trees were bursting open with new life and it was uplifting to be entertained by the chorus of birds from the crack of dawn each morning. The harsh winter was well and truly over and I was looking forward to the warm long days of summer.

Before I explain the extraordinary events that took place that morning, I must tell you more about myself. I am married to Paul and we have three children, Mary, Thomas and Jack.The day in question started like any other. We had our breakfast at 7am, Paul went to work and the children went off to school. I had the whole house to myself.

Because the weather was good, I decided to spend some time in the garden. There was always a lot of work to be done in spring. The garden was an unkept mess. I went out, feeling the burden of all the work that lay ahead of me. I began by pulling up weeds between the plants. In the corner of my eye I noticed a flutter in the foliage, then a flash of bright light. In an instant I was struck by the most beautiful display of flashing, darting, multicoloured lights. To my amazement these forms were tiny beings with wings. There were hundreds, maybe thousands of them, flying up and down and around me. I was frozen to the spot. I could not believe my eyes. I thought I must be hallucinating: fairies are mythical beings.

They had wings and each had a bright aura that lit up its whole body. They flew nimbly in and out among the plants, leaving a trail of colourful light.

One of the fairies spoke. “I am Annabelle. Please don’t be alarmed, I mean you no harm. The fairies have always been here. We live in your garden and sometimes we travel in and out of portals that exist between our world and yours. There are fairies everywhere in your world but very few are ever seen by mortals. Only very special humans like you are given the opportunity to see us. You have been chosen, if you wish to exist alongside us in our everlasting time warp. Time as you know it doesn’t exist in the fairy world. You will feel no pain and you will have eternal life. When we sprinkle you with magic fairy dust, all your life on earth will be erased from your memory. Your family will find your body but your soul will be with us, living in parallel to the world you once knew.”

I was overcome with an enormous longing and an urge to accept their offer. Then I thought, if I do this I will never be able to be with my family again, not even to share their good and bad times. My mind was bombarded with all the ifs, buts and maybes. It was torture. I thought, I can exist forever, but if I stay in my world I will grow old and feeble and die. That is the cycle of life.

I decided I could not leave my family, my life, my world. I declined their wonderful, almost unbelievable offer. The fairies were shocked. They swarmed round me and gazed in disbelief at me not wanting to stay with them. I was petrified and thought something awful was going to happen, but I was wrong. One fairy spoke over the rest and said, “I am King Oden. I will let you stay in your world on one condition: you must never tell anyone about our existence.” I solemnly promised never to disclose any information about them.

From that day to this I have not told a soul anything about the events of that morning. My life had been changed forever – I knew that fairies existed. Sometimes I wish I could tell my family my amazing secret, but just at that moment I remind myself of the power of the fairies and I immediately refrain from mentioning anything.

If you are reading this, I am dead and you have found this letter, hidden in my safe, with the words “only to be opened after my death” written on it.