The Fairy Ring

Flash Fiction

The Fairy Ring

Tonight is Halloween. One step light, one step heavy, swinging uncontrollably from left to right I started walking home late after a night's revelling at the pub dressing as Count Dracula's bride. I refused a lift from a mate because I didn't want to risk the chance of throwing up in my amigo's new Mercedes. Besides, I felt extra foolhardy and adventurous after the countless shots I put away in my hollowed legs that I challenged everyone for a sleepover at a cemetery but no one was up for it. At my age, it seems most of my companions' sole ambition is to be dull and unassuming. Father always told me to blend in with the crowd for security reasons. But father was not here. On top of that, I must have walked this path a thousand times and know it like the back of my hand. I could walk home backwards with my eyes shut and I never felt I had the need to fear anything at all, in light or the shadows.

And yet, tonight, the path in the forest seems darker than usual under the colossus blue disk of a moon. I looked up and saw the spectacular visage before me and was in total awe. I heard it's a rare occasion, to have a blue moon like this, was it 1000 years or 500 years? And on a Halloween as well, an uncanny time of the year when the veil of the underworld is thin and boundaries between the realms are unclear. What are the chances! I wondered what the ancient civilizations made this out to be. Were they in awe as I was or in fear?

The insidious black inky shadows of the tree branches were dancing on the shady hill path like maniac spirits out for blood or vengeance. Suddenly I caught a shiver from the cutting cold wind. Did a spirit just touch me? Was a ghost stalking me? Or was my alcohol wearing off fast? I started to get goosebumps and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. Wait, what's that smell? Hmm, aromatic like an intense perfume leaking and infusing with the pristine cool forest air, with some mysterious spices and exotic herbs all roll into one. Was it a cherub swinging a celestial censer trying to clear the malicious spirits from my path? Or was it a nymphs' song trying to lure me to another realm? I walked deeper and deeper into the woods.

Hang on, where am I? I stumped on a bundle of gnarled and enormous tree roots and nearly fell had I not held on to the old barks of the gigantic trunk of an Oak. I looked around and tried to catch my breath. The terrain started to become unfamiliar and the woods more menacing. Shit, am I lost? Lost? Seriously? Nooooo. It can't be, if I can get lost in this neck of woods then no one is safe. And yet, and yet, an even more frightening thought started creeping up my mind. This is Halloween after all. I have heard strange tales about the happenings in this area for centuries. But I'm an atheist, and I don't believe in any flimsy supernatural claims without examining solid empirical data. Be logical now. I have absolutely nothing to fear, there are no evil spirits, ghosts or monsters of any kind. They are made up flights of fancy to insult the impressionable inferior minds. The forest at night is exactly like the forest during the day, only with less visibility. I just need to retrace my route and I will be home in no time. So I kept on telling myself while looking back at all directions like a frightened deer trying to figure out which way I came from. But they all looked the same. Damn!

Then the most bizarre thing happened. A glowing azure butterfly somehow manifested next to me while I was busy looking around for an exit. Butterfly? In this season? And a glowing one? What species could this be? As I became mesmerized by its elegant dance in the glowing air I start to notice its electrifying pulsing light trough its vein-like patterns that were embedded in its body. Extraordinary! As soon as that thought popped up in my mind the butterfly seemed to read my mind and turned into a thousand fluttering neons with different colours. Wow, how are you able to do that, little one? Absolutely stunning! Is this a light trick? Like a mirage? It can't be, in this type of heavily wooded area. Anyway, I don't care, it's so beautiful. I could look at this forever! If this is magic then I do not wish for reality. I sank in a deep trance and followed the cohort to a glade.

Curious! The butterflies hovered over a large ring made of mushrooms of all sorts and gently landed on top of them. What a magnificent scene! As soon as they touched the mushrooms, the mushrooms themselves started to glow in a blend of a kaleidoscope of psychedelic light. Words couldn't describe my excitement before this otherworldly display. Is this a UFO landing site? Is this a portal to another world? Is this, is this…?

'Come.' A voice vibrated in the air. 'Come and join us.'

'Join you? To do what?' I asked.

'To complete the circle.' The voice answered.

'How?'

'Step forward, into the ring.'

'Ok, here I come.' I stepped into the ring without a second thought.

What is happening? I felt a hand held on to mine tightly on each side. Wow, fairies! They are real! Look at these smiling friendly faces and exquisite customs made of flower petals! They are so beautifully dainty, agile and… Then I felt an involuntary force moving me with the rest of the group in a circular fashion turning around and around. I felt such a happy elation I lost track of time and my mind.

halloween
 Et Imperatrix Noctem
Et Imperatrix Noctem
Read next: I See You
Et Imperatrix Noctem
See all posts by Et Imperatrix Noctem