The Seamstress Fairy

The Texas School of Fairies

The Texas School of Fairies brought students from far and wide for its excellence in fairie acadaemia.  Some were in, dare I say, boring subjects such as Fairy Law but the departments of Magick and Apothecary Arts was so popular that there was a long waiting list.  The Art of Textiles faculty was the best of all; so renowned that Fairy Royalty used their services for special occasions such as coronations.  You could study weaving, sewing or design of fairy fabrics such as thistledown and beetle silk.  On the student tour even Flax, the most pragmatic of fairies majoring in beetle husbandry, gasped when he saw the Hall of Fabrics.  Every color in nature was represented in delicate material – fuchsia silk and golden velvet draped the walls and vaulted ceilings.  Sumptuous fabrics were strewn across the sewing tables; reams of sapphire, emerald, sepia, and scarlet fabric.

Most students grouped in their natural color or environment; Pacific fairies group were working with sea foam, marine blues and corals.  Piney Wood fairies were cutting deep green and chocolate velvet.  Some of the more gregarious fairies were working outside their element rejoicing in non-native hues such as New England Fall.  Crimson, pumpkin, yellow and copper fabric gleamed like an autumnal sunset.  One little fairy, named Aiya, felt she was in fairy heaven!  She had travelled from her home in Missouri to the Texas School of Fairies but came from a very special lineage.  Her father was a Japanese Maple Fairy with magnificent copper and flame colored wings.  Her mother was a descendent of the much revered Irish fairies.  Humans have a similar reverence for the Irish…  Aiya’s mother was a woodland fairy with long glossy brown hair and fair of face.  Her wings were gentle shades of green from the old country.  Like many fairy parents they met at school when glimpsed each other the Apothecary Arts class.  Their union was not entirely approved of by fairy society as they came from very different family lines but their attraction was so powerful that they moved to the state of Missouri just to be together.

Aiya, which means beautiful silk in Japanese, was a striking mixture of both parents.  Her long dark brown hair gleamed as did her eyes which were almost black.  Her wings were a melange of her parents coloring – deep amber with the palest cicada green.  She was only 12 so her coloring would change after the blossoming and she would choose an appropriate Forever Name.  Aiya was one of very few students chosen to study Textile Arts and she had already displayed a natural talent for couture and sewing.  Just like every other college you have to submit an application and a sample of your talent.  Aiya sewed the most exquisite coin purse in delicate beetle silk.  It was a simple creation but her color choice of deep garnet red with gold embroidery and tassels impressed her tutors.  Monsieur Marcel, head of design, was quite taken with this young fairy’s skills and envisioned a future with one of the Royal Families.  As excited as Aiya was for her tutor’s vision, it seemed intimidating.

Her new friend Ria, from Brownsville on the Texas border, had told her about Selina the seamstress’s workshop in Mexico and to Aiya that sounded exciting enough.  It was a trip to meet family in Japan that sparked her love of fabric and sewing.  One glimpse of a fairy kimono made with spider silk and embroidered with chrysanthemums made Aiya’s heart race.  For years after that she would sketch kimonos and make miniature outfits for her little willow twig dolls.  Aiya had the great fortune to attend a royal fairy wedding in Japan and her grandmother made her a special kimono to wear.  It was silk in a delicate Celadon green with copper leaves embroidered on it. Her Jiji, or grandma, had spent many hours lovingly sewing it for a precious granddaughter that lived so far away.  Aiya’s loved the kimono but was terrified by the pomp and ceremony of the wedding.  She had been instructed to be absolutely silent and bow very deeply when the royal couple walked past.   They didn’t seem like real fairies.  The Princess bride’s formal makeup created a solemn mask – there was no twinkle or sparkle.  Their wedding robes, in scarlet, gold and black for the Prince, were magnificent but stood stiffly to match the seriousness of the occasion.

Aiya’s Dolls

One day, Ria, Blu and Aiya walked into the Hall of Fabrics to a stunned silence.  “What has happened?” whispered the girls.  Just then Monsieur Marcel coughed loudly for attention, “Attention, étudiants féeriques!” Blu, who loved all things French, translated “Attention Fairy Students!” “By Royal Decree, it is my pleasure to announce the arrival of a new student for one semester – her royal highness, Princess Kaida from Japan.  She will arrive tomorrow with her entourage and you will all behave respectfully.”  Aiya blanched as every other student chattered excitedly about this noble arrival.  Ria and Blu were already discussing what outfits they would wear but all Aiya could feel was panic.  Just then, Monsieur Marcel appeared in front of the three girls and said, “I understand that you have attended a royal wedding in Kyoto, Aiya?”  Ria and Blue looked at their friend from Missouri in stunned silence.  Aiya blushed furiously and looked at the floor.  “It would make me very happy if you could accompany Princess Kaida during her visit with us.  We have arranged for her hammock to be put next to yours in the dormitory.  Her parents want her to be treated like any other student”. “It would be my pleasure” whispered Aiya in response to Monsieur Marcel.

As soon as he walked away, Ria and Blu had a torrent of questions for Aiya.  “Was Aiya a Princess?” “What does Princess Kaida look like?” “What was it like to attend a royal wedding?”  She briefly, almost tersely, responded that she was a distant cousin of the Japanese Royal Fairy family, she had never met Princess Kaida and that the Royal wedding was AMAZING (because overwhelming and terrifying did not sound right.)  Aiya ran off to prepare for the next day.  She sat on her hammock and tears rolled down her pretty face.  This whole situation was so embarrassing; she just wanted to be a regular student.  Now she had to babysit a spoiled Princess whose name meant “Little Dragon”.  She slept fitfully that night, endlessly playing out her meeting with the Princess.  Her family would be so disappointed if she didn’t welcome Princess Kaida gracefully.  “I hope she doesn’t breathe fire…”was Aiya’s last waking thought.

The next morning Aiya put on her best green silk pinafore with an ivory blouse; Ria was in a chocolate velvet pinafore and Blu in the palest blue linen.  At 7am, all the students gathered in the Hall of Fabrics anxiously awaiting Princess Kaida’s entrance.  Most Texan students had never even seen a sketch of a Japanese princess so the excitement was tangible.  There was a fanfare of fairy trumpets fashioned from bluebells and Princess Kaida fluttered down with her consorts.  There was an audible gasp from the assembly at her vivid peacock blue kimono embroidered with a red dragon.  Her face was painted with formal white makeup with red lips and her black hair was coiled all over her delicate head.  The principal of the school welcomed Princess Kaida and after the formalities, Aiya was called over to accompany the Princess to the dormitory.  Two of her royal servants followed behind with a golden trunk.  Aiya bowed deeply to the Princess and greeted her formally in Japanese.  Princess Kaida bowed in return and followed Aiya to the dormitory.  Once they arrived, the servants were dismissed and the Princess collapsed laughing onto her new hammock, “Oh, I am so glad that is over, Aiya.  Can you help me out of this kimono?”  Aiya looked at the Princess perplexedly but immediately jumped up to help her.  Princess Kaida then looked her trunk to find a light turquoise pinafore with a similar ivory blouse to Aiya’s.  Then she grabbed Aiya’s hand and rushed to the bathroom. “You take my hair down and I will take off my make-up.”  Aiya carefully took out what seemed like hundreds of pins until the Princess’s beautiful long black hair lay straight to her waist.  With a wipe of a flower puff and witch hazel, Princess Kaida soon washed all remnants of her make-up off.  As she turned around, Aiya gasped in astonishment! Princess Kaida was just a little girl fairy not unlike Aiya, who was a relative after all.  “So, cousin Aiya, what are we going to do first?  Can I meet some of your friends?”  Almost inevitably Blu and Ria were right outside the door and within minutes the four fairy girls were chatting like they had known each other forever.

It was a very busy day, exploring the campus, watching Princess Kaida’s face as she tried Texan delicacies such as root beer and deep fried cactus.  Princess Kaida’s English was perfect but she really enjoyed all the local accents y’alls.  When the sun set Aiya and Princess Kaida settled down into their hammocks.  Within minutes the Princess fell into a deep slumber – even fairies get jet lag.  Aiya reflected with surprise upon her day.  Despite her name and nobility, Princess Kaida was just as much fun as Ria and Blu.  She realized that the pomp and ceremony was just that.  Fairy Princesses were just as real as anyone else.  Aiya fell into a happy sleep dreaming of designing royal kimonos…with dragons on them.

The End

Postscript

All of my fairy stories were written to celebrate a friend’s birthday and include elements of their life.

 

Advertisements

The Boy Fairies

Flax and Rye were the bane of their younger sister Blu’s life.  She had just started her first semester at the Texas School of Fairies.  So far, all of her tutors had made some comment about her older brothers.   Sometimes they mentioned their academic achievements but often they referred to their love of Mischief and Magick…  “Just wait until I get home to tell Mom and Dad”, thought Blu.

Her mother and father were also alumni of the Texas School of Fairies.  Her father was a coastal fairy from Corpus Christi, on the south west Gulf of Mexico.  His hair was the color of the golden white sand and his blue eyes matched his pastel blue wings with honey tips.  Blu’s mother was the most beautiful Prairie Fairy from Oklahoma.  Her wavy wheaten hair glistened in the sun like the many grains and grasses of the prairie.  Father was smitten after one gentle kiss from her rosebud mouth that made their wings vibrate with excitement.  Mother’s wings were metallic hues of bronze and copper with just a hint of amber.  Their love was so great that Father left his beloved seaside abode to live with Mother and her family in the Prairie.  His sand and blue coloring made it easier for him to fit into the Prairie world but sometimes his blue eyes clouded over as he dreamed of the Gulf’s gentle waters.

Blu had inherited her mother’s glorious looks and was named for her beautiful eyes.  Her hair was a riot of golden curls and like all the Prairie fairy children she had light colored wings.  Hers were the color of seashells – it was her greatest hope that when she blossomed she might inherit her Father’s hues and live in a coastal community.  Mother and Father really didn’t want their baby girl to leave the Prairie but were happy for her to go to such a prestigious school. “They won’t be happy if Flax and Rye get suspended from school”, Blu shared with her new friend Ria from Brownsville.  Ria had never seen boys quite as handsome as Blu’s brothers and her dark brown eyes sparkled with delight when she saw them.  Blu noticed this and could not understand why anyone would like her horrible brothers!  Fairy families have very similar dynamics to Homo Sapiens…

Flax and Rye had a penchant for having insects for pets.  No pets were allowed at the Fairy School but the brothers tucked them into their hammocks at night.  The other fairy boys were driven to distraction by the endless ticks and chirrups that emanated from those hammocks.  At home on the prairie, Blu would often find an unwanted pet in her own hammock!  Her brothers loved to hear her scream but then Father would get out his Fairy Switch.  The Texas School of Fairies was conservative so each tutor had a switch, usually made from willow twigs, but a sharp comment usually did the trick.  Sometimes a strict tutor would cast a harmless spell on a miscreant youth turning them into a Cicada for a day creating much hilarity among their classmates.

Blu and Ria were trying to decide what classes to take.  Blu had signed up for Apothecary Arts because her beloved Grandfather was a Fairy Healer.  Despite a resemblance to humans, Fairy physiology is quite different – more akin to that of a dragonfly, with a pupation cycle before the Blossoming into adulthood.  Flax and Rye also took Apothecary Arts but only to finesse their skill of fermenting grasses and tree saps.  It was probably the only reason why their fellow bunk mates put up with all their nonsense – you can’t go to school in Austin without a libation or two.  On their first week Blu and Ria tried some tree sap but after two acorn cups they were dizzy, so they both sensibly decided to wait until they were older to enjoy the delights of the Fairy Bar.  Humans have those in Austin too.

When Blue returned to her dorm and stumbled into her hammock, she could hear some of the other fairies giggling.  She was mortified that they had seen her, especially as she was really so shy, and normally well behaved.  The next day one of the Red River fairies, with glorious auburn waves, pointed at Blu in the classroom and whispered to the girl next to her.  Blu blushed from head to foot; their tutor Miss Aloe just had to touch her willow switch and everyone quieted down.  After class, Blu rushed out to the forested recess area, tears welling in her big sad eyes.  She sat under a toadstool hoping to hide from everyone.  Blue jumped hearing a familiar voice, “What’s up little sis?” asked her oldest brother Flax.

To her own surprise, she tearfully told Flax everything from the Fairy Bar to the classroom.  When she started sobbing, her wrapped her up in his arms and wings, gently soothing her.  “Dry your eyes and come with me” said Flax.  He walked straight up to the mean Red River fairy who started fluttering her russet wings at the sight of the most handsome fairy boy.  Blu hung behind him, feeling miserable.  “Rose, I would like you to meet my sister Blu” gently pulling her to the front.  Rose looked shamefaced especially when Flax said, “I would be so grateful if you could help her feel at home in Austin.  It is so far from the Prairie”.  He smiled widely at Rose, who told him that it would be her pleasure to help Blu settle in.

Rose stuck to her word, making sure that Blu settled into her first semester.  In time they would become friends and eventually imbibed Tree Sap together after their blossoming.  For now, Blu thought she might just be grateful to have a thoughtful big brother to help her settle in at Fairy School.

The End

Postscript

Each of my fairy stories have been based on the lives of friends here in Texas.  I write them and give them as a gift.  They seem to give more pleasure than traditional gifts.

The River Fairy

Ria was anxiously excited about her first year at the Texas Fairy School in Austin.  She wondered what language they would speak.  There is an ancient Færie language but it is only used for ceremonial events; weddings, births and contracts.  Fairy lawyers have to be fluent in Færie (lawyers aren’t liked in the fairy world either…)   Most fairies speak the same language that their human neighbors speak.  In Ria’s case, it was Spanish as she came from the Texas border town of Brownsville.  She could speak English, also, but loved the way Spanish rolled from her tongue.  “Mi amor” she whispered, blushing at the idea of future fairy liaisons.   Ria was twelve years old and a River Fairy.

Brownsville sits on the Rio Grande River which divides Mexico from Texas along the border.  The town is at the river’s estuary into the Gulf of Mexico.   Its river water is silty with brown sediment from hundreds of miles of river weaving through desert, mountains and plains.   Ria was presently a brown fairy, with hair and eyes the color of expresso, but knew that she could metamorphose into shades of blue, grey or brown or a tranquil combination of all three.

River fairies have to blend into their surroundings like all other fairies.   Ria was surrounded by bright blue skies, the blue grey of the Gulf and the soft brown of the Rio Grande.  Then there were dolphins, herons and catfish – all hues of grey.  Her Mother had sultry smoke grey eyes with platinum long wavy tresses.  Her wings were cerulean blue with taupe and charcoal accents.   Ria longed to look like her Mother when she was older but she could be just like her Father.  He was a most handsome, Latino fairy!  His deep mahogany eyes sparkled with humor and kindness.  His hair was chestnut, tipped with silver, as were his metallic wings dappled with chocolate and lilac.

“Mija, are you ready for big school?”   Ria’s Father broke into her reverie.   “Papi, I am a little scared about fitting in at Fairy School.  Will some of them speak Spanish?”   “Of course, Mija, the Texas School of Fairies in the most prestigious in the Occident.  There will Amazonian fairies that are brown just like you.  Then there will be all the Caribbean Azures.  Everyone has a special place in our world.  You will even meet some Red River Fairies from North Texas.”

“What color are they, Papi?”  Ria excitedly interrupted.  “They are a deep red to match their river, which meanders through red rocks and soil.  When I was at Fairy School I met a beautiful Red River Fairy with russet curls – her name was Roxanne.”  His warm brown eyes twinkled as Ria exclaimed, “Papi!  Does Mama know?” “Let’s keep this our little secret, Mija.”  Both giggled secretly when Ria’s Mother came into the room.  “What are you two up to?” said Mom. “There are bags to pack and a new school uniform to buy for our little girl.”

Ria clapped her hands with joy, her little chestnut colored wings vibrating with pleasure.  All the girl fairies attending school had to wear the same pinafore style but it could match their fairy hue.  Mother and Ria held hands while they flew to their fairy seamstress.  Her workshop was on the opposite side of the Rio Grande in Mexico.  Fairies don’t care about borders – their role is to bring happiness to all species wherever they may be.  Selina, the seamstress fairy, greeted Ria and her Mom like the old friends they were, chattering in Spanish and offering yellow Hibiscus tea.

Ria’s round eyes gleamed looking at the array of beautiful fairy fabrics spun from spider silk and cotton.  Every hue of their landscape hung gauzily in the workroom.  Silvery silk, ocean blue muslin and slate gossamer thread.  Endless shades of cream, fawn and cinnamon fabric for the many brown fairies.  She gently touched the reams of fabric that were as soft as thistledown they were weaved from.  Brownsville is at the very tip of Texas with a hot, tropical climate so all species feel the heat.  Austin is hot in the summer but can be cool with frost in the winter when the school session started.

“Honey, come try your uniform on,” her mother entreated holding up a chocolate brown velvet pinafore with an ivory thistledown blouse. “Ooh, it is so beautiful, Mama”.   Ria’s eyes filled with tears as she looked at herself in herself in the copper mirror.  Her mom and Selina choked back tears of their own looking at a beautiful little girl fairy growing up before their eyes.  All too soon Ria would blossom into an adult fairy with new colors and a chosen name.  Her Mom hugged her and held her tight, thinking how far it was to Austin.  She could see the anticipation in Ria’s eyes and kept her sadness to herself knowing all little creatures have to flee the nest.  One day she would return and live a River Fairy’s life.

The End