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Fairy Girl.
Copyright 2010, 2018 by Raymond Johnson. Sixth edition.
Heaven-Sent main cover photo provided by Singhatum. (iStock Photo).

For Thomas & Bobo.

“I think that people who can’t believe in fairies aren’t worth knowing.” – Tori Amos.

A mysterious object has been seen flying through the air by onlookers shocked at what they were witnessing. At first it was dismissed as being a large bird but after a chance encounter with a young boy and a lucky photograph taken from a distance, people came to realise this was certainly no bird. With the body of a child and wings of a butterfly people began to add their own interpretation of what was being seen and it was concluded that she could only possibly be one thing, a fairy. Told through her own eyes, which at times look upon the world with a na´ve innocent view, these stories explore myth of fairies as well as adding an extra dimension as to their origins.

 

Chapter 1 – Relocation

February 14th 1942 felt bitterly cold as the easterly wind blew and the rain poured down tapping against the market roof seeping through the cracks between the slates. All the lead that once protected the roof against the elements had been removed long ago to help with the war effort while the market below was no longer in use. It was essentially an empty building just used for general storage, and it was a shame to see it in such a state. Built in 1268 it once was the pride of the town attracting people from miles around selling local produce all under one roof.

I remembered Mr Potter the man on the fish stall, he sold fresh fish daily except for Mondays. He always wore a pristine black suit, a bowler hat and a striped apron, not the usual attire for a fishmonger perhaps but his eccentricity was part of the appeal that attracted people to his stall.

I also remembered Dorothy who sold knitting supplies such as balls of wool, knitting needles, cotton reels, etc. She spent more time knitting than actually selling anything and I suspected she used more wool than she actually sold. She was a sweet kind old lady and always greeted everyone with a warm smile.

I missed those days and was looking forward to the market re-opening. The war had dragged on for far longer than anyone anticipated and the market was vulnerable from air attack from the Luftwaffe aiming for the munitions factory further in town. In fact every large building was targeted whether it was a threat or not and I wondered why so many people were willing to risk their lives to defend what was essentially an empty building.

“OI!” A voice yelled out from below, “Keep an eye on what you’re doing!”

It was Veronique reminding me to pay attention, I did have a tendency to drift off into thought while bored. I gripped the rope tightly with both hands then looked down at her below.

I was standing on the very top of a complicated set of scaffolding attached to the inner wall of the market while helping with the evacuation of the statues that lined the edge around the main entrance. It was a strange location for them to be because most people never got to see them until they were leaving. Such beautiful statues should have been placed further up at the back of the market but it wasn’t my decision. It made little difference anyway because they were being removed to protect them from damage.

“Don’t swing it!” Another voice yelled out below.

I looked over the edge of the scaffold, whoever had yelled wasn’t talking to me. There were around ten men below, as well as Veronique, assisting with the removal of the statues. It wasn’t a task that could be hurried as each one had to be carefully wrapped then lowered into the back of a truck. They were quite a weight and had to be removed one at a time. The rain was complicating the situation further making it dangerous as the water seeped through the roof onto the scaffold. We had to take a lot of care, just one slip would mean a thirty foot fall onto concrete.

Veronique seemed more concerned about the statues than anything else and was determined to remove every single one to a place of safety that very evening. There was no time for that, it was at least a two day job.

“Be very careful with him,” Veronique said slowly as one of the three wise monkey statues was placed onto the back of the truck.

She quickly climbed onto the back attempting to push it further into position but it weighed far too much for her to even budge it slightly. Once she realised she was making no difference she jumped back down from the back of the truck then started licking the side of her hand, she must have cut herself. Her black leather trousers and rough brown leather jacket were filthy but she didn’t appear to care.

“Lift it back slightly,” she said quite breathless, “It’s not in a safe position.”

Even high up on the scaffolding I could see her curly hair was covered with sweat. She leant against the wall while some of the men continued jiggling with the rope, no doubt the flaky paint of the damp wall would ruin her jacket even further.

“I’ll start the van,” one of the men said.

“Wait, wait!” Yelled another.

A tall man, with a fluffy moustache and a cigarette hanging from his mouth, climbed onto the back pushing the statue in position while the rest of the men pulled against the rope raising it slightly. The truck then started while two men ran over to the large market doors opening them and letting the truck pass by. A huge waft of colder air filled the already cold market giving me a chill, I shook myself for warmth while still steadying the rope. In fact I wasn’t even sure what the rope was attached to but knew I had to keep hold of it.

Meanwhile Veronique stared up at me, while she got her breath back, giving me one of those comforting smiles that parents would give to a child. Her facial expression changed however as the air-raid siren sounded.

“Everyone leave!” A very deep male voice yelled out.

I immediately let go of the rope and took a step back while trying to keep a clear mind and not panic. There was a lot of noise below and shouting as everyone started running.

The next thing I remembered was the roof collapsing taking the scaffold and me with it. The fall to the ground seemed to be in slow motion while I waited the inevitable with the concrete floor growing ever closer. It wasn’t until after I actually hit the ground and had the roof fall on top of me that I heard the awfully loud explosion echo throughout the walls and blasting the huge market doors from their hinges. The bomb wasn’t even dropped on the market, it had missed its target and landed in the courtyard, it was purely the shockwave that had caused the damage.

My ears were ringing covering the sounds of the air-raid siren and people screaming. I was surprised I was still alive but knew that others may not have been so fortunate. My face was hurting as well as my right foot. I knew the best course of action was to not attempt to move and wait to be rescued but was worried more of the roof could come down on top of me.

I could see headlights ahead of me as a vehicle pulled up next to the entrance. The blurry images of two people came out rushing into the market. They didn’t appear to notice me and ran past beyond my view, no doubt treating more casualties.

After some period of time, minutes or hours I wasn’t sure, I felt some of the slates and beams of the collapsed roof started to get lifted from me. As I looked up I saw Veronique, her face completely black with dust as well as blood entangled in her hair. She was talking but I still couldn’t hear anything above the ringing in my ears. A medic was with her holding her arm attempting to lead her out of the market to an awaiting ambulance while she argued with him pleading to help me.

With an extreme state of exhaustion and a feeling of dizziness I drifted into unconsciousness.

 

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