Daniel padded to the scary doorway. The garden outside breathed with magic and life.
“Be careful Danny, Mummy’s just going to make some tea. Don’t touch anything, all right darling?”
Daniel waved and set out on his playful escapade. He danced along the gravelled path and up puffs of dandelion dust. Ant soldiers swarmed in a swirling army amongst the grass. A poor snail lay in their way. Daniel giggled when bubbles exploded from the unfortunate creature’s shell.
He stepped towards a rainbow bush. A red rose attracted him. He loved the scent. He wanted to take a bite from a petal but remembered his Mummy telling him off for eating a daisy. He lost interest before he found a new source of fun. He sprinted and gave the volleyball his best kick.
He cheered when the ball soared. The leather missile thudded into the undergrowth. He hunted for the sphere, ignoring his mother’s orders not to go into the bushes. He darted through a shroud of vines. The orange orb lay ahead teasing him to go deeper. He stooped and a sad whimper echoed from behind a thorny barrier.
He listened and recognised the noise. He made the same murmurings when his Dad slapped him for arguing with his Mum the day before.
“Hello, who’s there?”
The crying stopped. A tiny woman with raven hair tied back by a golden band peered at him from beneath a tower of brambles. Her dress shimmered in a swirling spectrum when she moved before settling into white. She rested on a wooden stick with a buttercup at the tip and paused before her giant guest.
“I’m Melody Blue, the fairy of this garden. Please tell me your name?”
“I’m Daniel and I’m six.”
Melody nodded, her tears quelled by the curiosity of innocence. She waved her wand and a trail of silvery glow-worms danced.
“Why were you crying, Miss?”
“Because Daniel, soon I will be invisible to you. You’ll grow up and you wont remember me.”
Daniel frowned. Her golden eyes met his. He felt so warm.
“I’ll never forget you. You’re the most beautiful fairy in the entire world. I’ll play with you whenever I want.”
“Daniel, where are you?” shrieked an angry voice from behind.
His Mum paced up and down looking for her missing son. Daniel turned to say goodbye to Melody yet saw nothing but a plants and dirt.
Daniel’s mother raced towards him.
“Don’t ever go down here on your own again. Do you understand?”
“Daddy, I’m just going to play in the garden. I wonder if Melody will be there.”
Daniel hoped there was no fairy. He didn’t think talking to fantastical imps was healthy for his daughter. He remembered telling his school friends about the sprite in the rose bushes: they teased him mercilessly.
Daniel picked up a tiny envelope. He would search for Melody when Suzie returned and settle the affair. His parents had passed away not long ago but the house they left to him and his family helped ease the pain. The home was a perfect idyll with one tiny flaw.
Suzie had vanished. He cursed his daughter’s curiosity. He stepped onto a concrete path. The once luscious lawn lay covered with paving slabs, old motorbikes and stained oilcans.
“Must get around to clearing this mess up,” he thought.
“Suzie, where are you?” he roared.
She cried from the back of the garden.
“Daddy, I’ve found Melody and she says hello.”
He brushed aside the dense undergrowth. Melody didn’t disappear when he approached.
She was older, her black hair had lost to grey and her svelte figure had become more rotund. The wand remained the same, but the magical attraction she possessed no longer held him in its spell.
“Daniel, is that you? You’re so huge.”
He lowered himself to her level
“I thought you might have found somewhere new to live.”
“I will always be around whilst people want me.”
Suzie huddled close to her magical friend.
“Suzie, will you go back to the house? Me and Melody need to have an important talk.”
“Can I play with her later daddy? She’s good fun.”
Daniel told her he’d let her know. Suzie sprinted inside to help some monkeys escape on the telly.
“Melody, I have big plans for my family. I’m aware of exactly what has to be done and I need you to do something for me.”
Melody imagined herself working magic once again in this long neglected kingdom.
“Oh Daniel, I’ll look after this realm and your daughter seems so happy here.”
“She is. However, unfortunately this is for you.”
Melody inspected the plain brown envelope nestling in Daniel’s palm. He set the missive down beside Melody. She shuddered when she read the words ‘Eviction Notice.’
“I’m sorry Melody, but this if for Suzie’s best interests. She can’t be fooling around with childish nonsense.”
Melody protested, reminding Daniel of his joy from their first meeting and how he brought light back into her world.
“I’m not a little boy any more. I insist you leave.”
“Daniel, we can find another way.”
“I’m afraid there is no alternative.”
Daniel ignored the fairies tears and found his daughter. She was not to tell anyone else about this fairy, especially her friends at school. Outside, the sun died in a curtain of clouds, yet Daniel didn’t care. Like him, Suzie’s lesson would teach her there was no such thing as magic.
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