The Brown Fairy


Everyone thinks that fairies have a charmed life but it’s really not that different from Homo Sapiens or other species. This tale is about a brown fairy called Hazel. Like Dragonflies, fairies have an awkward pupa stage. They don’t develop from larva but when younger, they have short stubby wings, their coloring is muted and their flying skills need some work.  Hazel’s best friend Rosa is a typical example of the Roseate species and is the Barbie of the fairy world. Her little wings are perfectly formed with a faint translucent blush tone. Her hair is a glossy burgundy and her violet eyes sparkle. Hazel was so disappointed that her eyes were same as her name – neither green nor brown.

Rosa and Hazel met at their first year of the Texas School of Fairies. There, every color of Texas was represented from beautiful bluebonnet fairies to rather plain tumbleweed fairies whose thorny wings kept everyone at a distance. Texas has more brown fairies than most places as they have to be camouflaged in their surroundings. Some Texan Browns are Sandy blondes from the dusty west to Piney Wood fairies like Hazel, with a mix of brown and green.  Hazel wondered who would want to blend into the endless forests and sediment rich ponds. She thought enviously about rare Azure Fairies from the Caribbean to the Pacific Blue Fairies in California. They were only pictures in books but she was at the age where an exotic boy fairy made her pretty hazel eyes dreamy with longing. Her parents, unfortunately, were rather old school Texan Browns. “What’s wrong with a nice local boy such as Moss or Bark?” Hazel’s eyes rolled dismissively, out of her parents’ eye shot, because you dare not defy a fairy parent.

School was strict too, “Yes Ma’am!” Hazel revered Miss Centaury, who was a native to Romania just like the wildflower – her field of study was the art of camouflage. Her wings were a vivid shade of purple mixed with red; her hair and eyes completely black. Her accent delighted most of the students who were most used to the generic “Y’alls”. So what do fairies study? Everything that will help them achieve the goal of their species – bring joy and mystery to all the other species lives. When you see your cat pouncing on something invisible in the garden, they are likely playing with the Garden Fairies.  The fairy species works hard to keep their presence secret from most humans. Homo sapiens have lost many of original gifts. We don’t believe in Santa never mind the tooth fairy. There is no time to just sit and stare at the daisies so you miss the shimmer of the yellow and white Daisy fairies. Have you ever seen what looks like a fish jumping to the surface of a lake? There are concentric rings on the water with just a hint of a rainbow. Sometimes it is Lake Fairies who love to play Tag with the catfish.

In times long past many more humans could see the Fairies, especially those working the land. Some nations, most famously the Irish, have embraced their ancestors’ relationship with the Fairy species. Leprechaun is the Irish name for the male Meadow fairies that are as green as the old country. Hazel wondered if she would if she would ever travel to Ireland. Maybe it was possible because she was a brown fairy with green camouflage? She had met a visiting Irish History tutor at school. He was so handsome – tall and slender with bright green eyes that sparkled like emeralds. All the little fairies swooned and made rude jokes about his Shillelagh. Hazel didn’t quite understand what that meant but she thought it might be about S.E.X. Her conservative Texan parents refused to talk to her about the breeding habits of the fairy world. She had watched Dragonflies mating on the wing, vibrating with pleasure. This made Hazel blush furiously and her eyes darkened to mahogany with anticipation.

She and Rosa whispered quietly about future spouses. They were approaching their ‘Blossom Stage’. Humans have a similar time when little girls’ busts grow from 28 AA to 34 C and little boys’ voices change from squeaky to manly. Rosa and Hazel knew that they would retreat to their homes and sleep for a few weeks. During the Blossoming, a cocoon of silky fabric would envelop them for a period and when they emerged, Hazel and Rosa’s wings would be fully developed and their coloring would subtly change. It could be deeper, more intense or just different. Since Hazel was a Piney Woods fairy she would likely be shades of brown, green or copper. The little fairies were anxiously excited; Rosa was a little more confident about her blossoming but both girls were worried about such a metamorphosis.

Cocoon Day finally arrived and Hazel’s parents made her a comforting meal of Beauty Berries and Tree Sap before tucking her into her hammock. The fermented Tree Sap gently carried her into a dreamless sleep. The next time she opened her eyes, her parents were anxiously watching her. “Be careful, Honey. You need to get up slowly and let your new wings unfurl”. Hazel blinked the sleep from her eyes. To her surprise her body was much longer with slender long legs. She carefully put her feet on the earthen floor and was momentarily unsteady with the weight of her new wings. Her Pop held her steady and urged her to shake her new wings free of their cocoon. It was the strangest sensation as they unfurled. Her Mom gasped in pleasure and her Dad was smiling. They both took her hands and led her down to the forest pond so that she could see herself.


Tears started to roll down Hazel’s face as she saw her new visage. Her hair had lightened to a silvery brown color; wavy long tresses that framed her beautiful face. Hazel’s eyes were now a shade of Moss Agate, glistening with tears. She tentatively stretched out her wings so she could fully see them and now she gasped. Her top wings were a beautiful shade of creamy peach; those under were a light silvery green and the bottom wings were a pale pistachio. “Oh Hazel” said her Mom, “I think it is time to choose your Forever Fairy name. Doesn’t she look like a Carolina Linden, Pop, with gray and green foliage? What do you think Honey?”

Carolina Linden Fairy, formerly known as Hazel, quivered her wings with excitement, and delicately flew up above the pond to live her new adult life.

A Carolina Linden Tree also known as a Basswood. Rare but present in the Piney Woods area of Texas

 

The Dystopian State of Texas – 2038

My favorite reading genre is science fiction.  This is just a tale of the future inspired by current events.  It is written in the first person.

Map key

Red line – fortified wall between Texas and Mexico

Green line – almost impenetrable forest between Texas and The Louisiana Wasteland

Gray dotted line – new El Paso territory

It has been 15 years since Imperator Trump became leader of the New American Federation.  No longer the 50 United States but some 30 disparate states, many with new boundaries and names.  In 2018 we were unaware that medical and DNA facilities were collating data about our ethnicity.  Under the guise of scientific advancement, the government had colluded with the data gatherers to make America as white as possible.  Anyone with 85% white or Caucasian genes was reclassified as Pure Citizens.  All others were no longer citizens but subjects; in a caste system.  On rare occasions, subjects could pass as citizens but dare not procreate for fear of recessive genetics.  The caste system is not truly based on darkness of color but your worth to this new society.

A Nigerian doctor might be part of Caste #1 but a Guatemalan farmer could be Caste #4.  Many people of color fled after rezoning to Free States such as those in the Pacific West (formerly known as California, Oregon and Washington) or to other continents.  Curiously, white Neo-Nazis from Northern Europe and Argentina flocked to immigrate to New America and they were welcomed by Imperator Trump.  No one dare call him any other name but they can’t control our thoughts.  I am now an old woman stuck in a country I despise, the country of my birth and ancestors.  Despite my mixed blood, I have 85% Caucasian genes and look as fair as any Aryan.  My hair is snow white, my faded dark blue eyes are cloudy and my skin as fair as milk.  I am treated with veneration to my disgust; for safety I smile at all the compliments and kindness.  Even monsters have some capacity for good, don’t they?

Those subjects who were unable to escape New America now live in ghettos.  Some are better than others; just old suburban areas but clearly differentiated.  No one from Caste #1 can marry, live or have a relationship with someone in Caste #4, for example.  Two doctors of different color in Caste #1 can marry even if one is of Chinese ethnicity and the other Mexican.  To the white citizens, they are all less than pure.  The 85%, as we are known, live in fully armed and gated communities.  A very few are similar to the Mar-a-Lago estates of the old days.  Fort Trump is an example with multi-million dollar homes, gilded from top to bottom.  Imperator style is ornate and gaudy; like one of Imperator Trump’s many casinos.

When the states separated, I hoped that democracy would prevail in Texas but “Make America White” struck a chord in a Republican State.  El Paso had always been blue and was able to create a new territory which is governed and protected by Mexico.  New Mexico, mostly Hispanic, is a Protectorate of Mexico.  Oklahoma and Arkansas merged into what they once were – Indian Territories. In this strange new world, Native Americans have retained power and sovereignty but are not Citizens.  Louisiana is a wasteland; devastated by flooding, hurricanes and poverty.  It has become a disease ridden swamp that only Cajuns and other indigenous people can survive in.

Houston too did not survive the vagaries of the increasingly turbulent weather systems.  The coastline has retreated further north and Galveston has reverted back to a sliver of sandbar.  New Houston has taken the place of Austin as State Capitol.  It is a grim city with no rainbows or sunshine.  It is full of dangerous ghettos as is South City formerly known as San Antonio.  All Spanish words are banned, so Amarillo was renamed Yellow City, a literal translation.  Many times over the years I wished I had kept my Spanish maiden name but a white name kept me safe.  I whisper it under my breath to remind myself of who I am.

So why didn’t I escape to Mexico or Pacific West?  By the time I realized that Texas would succumb, I was a widow and too frail.  I live in the Big Thicket in the same house that I always did.  The forest has encroached and the roads are barely passable.  The ocean is much closer than it used to be and you can smell the ozone on the breeze.  Since I was stuck inside the New Federation and inconspicuous, I have secretly volunteered for the Underground Railroad.  We are close to the Louisiana border and despite the danger many people are willing to brave their lives just for a chance at freedom.  Small boats are guided through swamps by the Cajun Navy until they reach open water.  If they are lucky a refugee rescue boat will attempt to take them to safety.

I laugh bitterly because all we used to worry about was a wall.