Missing Pieces – Part 1

I stared at the sock sticking to the bottom of the washer and sighed. Looks like I’m going in after it. Being only 5’2’’ meant I had to hoist myself into the washer head first, waist bone digging into the edge of the machine and feet dangling inches above the floor. I stretched my arm, reaching for the sock. At the exact moment that my hand grasped the damp cotton, I felt a tug and I was falling. 

I braced myself to hit the hard metal, thinking I had just become unbalanced, but I went right through the bottom of the washer. My hand gripped the sock for dear life as it tugged me along through cold dark air. 

I heard a gasp, as I came to a surprisingly soft landing. 

“Oh no, oh no. You’re not supposed to be here. What have I done? What do I do?” a voice muttered. 

A girl, who was smaller than me by half, paced in front of me. I thought it was the dim lighting, but her skin looked tinged with blue. 

“Where am I?” I asked the girl.

“Shhhh…if they hear you, they will want to keep you. Quickly, follow me. And do try to stay quiet,” the girl said. 

Now that I looked closer, she wasn’t exactly a girl. I followed her anyway. What choice did I have? 

The ground was soft, like walking on a floor of pillows. It looked like a thick grass, or maybe moss. Our steps didn’t make a sound. But I did hear something, a quiet fluttering. It was then that I noticed them. 

Scattered throughout the woods around us were what looked, at first glance, like fireflies. They didn’t come close, but I was able to see their tiny bodies outlined by the glow of their wings. They looked like miniature pastel barbie dolls dressed in delicate flower petals.

“Fairies,” I whispered.

At once they scattered, as if blown back by a gust of wind. 

“Pixies, actually. I’m a fairy,” the girl replied.

I turned my attention back to her, and took in the details of her appearance. She had wings also, but they were translucent and didn’t flutter while she walked, making them hard to see. Her ears were pointed, and I was pretty sure now that her skin was a pale blue. Her clothes were vines and large leaves. 

“There we are. Hurry along,” the fairy said, as she opened a door set into a large tree and stepped inside. 

I had to crouch to fit through the door. Inside, I was able to stand, barely. My head was inches from the ceiling. I chuckled; I finally knew what it felt like to be tall. 

The room was lit by glowing orbs that were set into stems dangling from the ceiling. The furniture looked like it was carved from the tree itself, everything seamlessly connecting to the floors and walls. Chairs and a table grew up from the floor, and cupboards and countertops sprouted from the walls. 

“Where am I ?” I ask the fairy.

“I thought that would be obvious. You’re in Elfhame, the land of fairies.”

“The land of fairies is in my laundry room?”

“No, silly,” the fairy says with a laugh like a wind chime. “Elfhame is just another location in your world, but it’s disguised to humans. The land of fairies exists all around you, but humans cannot enter unless they are brought by a fairy.” A frown scrunches up her pretty face. “I didn’t mean to bring you here.”

I open my mouth to ask why she doesn’t send me back, but I hesitate. If I bring it up, she might send me back now. I’m in the fairy world. I want a chance to explore it before I go home. I only got a glimpse of this land on the way here. Which reminds me…

“Who is it that we’re hiding from? You said they would want to keep me.”

“The Fae,” she whispers with a shiver. “They are the only ones that like to take humans. We fairies frown on that. We tend to stick to items.” She holds up my soggy sock, as if it’s proof. “I promise I didn’t mean to take you. You just had a hold on the sock when I pulled it through.” She pouts and shifts her feet.

“Ummm…it’s ok,” I tell her, trying to smile reassuringly.

“You’re not mad?” she asks.

“No, I’m not mad.” Mad is one of the few emotions I don’t feel right now. 

The little fairy beams up at me and her wings flutter. 

“Wait, why did you take my sock anyway?” I ask.

“It was left in the bottom of the wash. I didn’t think it would be an inconvenience.”

“I mean, what would you want with my sock?”

“Oh, it’s to power our magic.”

“You power your magic with socks?” I scoff.

“We use lots of things: tupperware lids, puzzle pieces, gloves,” she pauses. “And some use humans. Anything that’s a part of a pair or a piece of something will do.”

“But why would Fae use humans, when a sock will do?”

“Oh, using humans is much more powerful. They are missed far more than a sock. Eventually, you throw out the other sock. But humans never forget their loved ones.”

I let the truth of those words sink in. Then, something clicked.

“You’re saying there are people trapped here, and their loved ones don’t know where they are?”

“Well…yes,” she says, as she looks away.

“We’ve got to help them.”

“What? We can’t. It’s simply not possible to help them.” The fairy’s cheeks flush. “I’m sorry,” she adds. “I like humans. I do. I’d never take one myself, but the Fae are strong and they do what they like.”

“There’s got to be a way. Will you please tell me how?” I ask.

At that moment, a glowing pixie floats in through the open window carved into the tree. Her skin is lavender and her hair is like pink cotton candy.

“I wasn’t eaves-dropping. I promise. I just happened to be flying by, and this human voice caught my attention,” the pixie says. “But we’ve got to help her, Erissa. The wee folk always help humans in need. That’s what sets us apart from the cruel Fae.”

The fairy, Erissa, begins shaking. “Oh, Belle, I know you’re right, but what chance do we have against them?”

“We’ve got to stand up to them at some point. Maybe this human was meant to find us. Be brave, Erissa,” Belle said. 

The fairy looked between me and the pixie, and then she straightened. “We’re going to need a lot more socks.”

What do you think of the story, so far? Check back next Sunday for the conclusion! If you enjoyed this short story, we would love for you to leave a comment, or even buy us a cup of coffee! We promise to share!

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Thanks so much for reading!

-Clever & WTF

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