Lilly was 18-years old and despite turning a year older, hated she wasn’t able to leave their house on the lake for a city university, not the prep-college in town; Lilly’s family had for generations owned a winery near her current university in Napa. After a dull birthday party she swung to-and-fro on her treasured porch swing, and scowled at the lake — her charcoaled eyes brimming tears; Lilly wondered how much criticism she’d have to endure until she could attend any university she desired in Fall. She had achieved the SAT grades for a scholarship far from the winery and her Aunt’s persistent nagging and constant mention of Lilly’s waistline; she longed for the days could attend school far north in Canada without perpetual hunger.
” I don’t believe in fairies,” Lilly told her school mate Emily. “Magic isn’t real and fairies are magic.”
“You’re weird,” Emily said. “I know fairies are magic and they’re real. My best friend is a fairy named Fern and the reason you can’t see Fern is because you don’t believe in magic. If you said you believed in magic, you could meet Fern and we could play with him in the land of the fairies.”
Lilly snorted. ” I don’t believe in fairies; I told you.”
Emily was alarmed. “Don’t say you don’t believe in fairies. If you keep saying it Fern will die and Fern’s family will curse you for killing him.”
Lilly laughed and snidely remarked: ” I don’t believe in fairies; I hope Fern dies. Fairies are make believe and I don’t believe in fairies.” She smiled triumphantly when Emily broke into tears.
“You wicked girl, you killed Fern! I can’t help you now. Fern’s family will never rest until you are cursed.”
“Yeah right, Emily your such a baby . . .” Lilly stopped mid-sentence. She felt stinging sensations all over her body. If she wasn’t so sure magic didn’t exist, she would’ve sworn tiny fairies were stinging her with their wands.
Suddenly, Lilly and Emily shrunk until they were both fairy-sized. Lilly was angry at Emily and went to attack her but fairies of every colour protected Emily.
Lilly spotted a dead green fairy lying on the ground. She thought it must be Fern so she started kicking his body. All the fairies gasped audibly.
A green fairy whose appearance was like Fern’s, approached Lilly. “Lilly Thomas, you have been sentenced to life as a fern for the killing of the fairy Fern.” Lilly laughed not believing a word the green fairy said.
Then, she screamed, but it was too late. Lilly became a plant; a common garden fern.
The fairies returned Emily to the size of a human, leaving her with a new fairy friend and caretaker named Willow.
The first thing Emily and Willow did was stomp on Lilly the fern.
And never did she know such triumph but in the proud stance of the Christmas flowers that told her in one arrangement the fight against nature had not been lost to the snow; something alive did still yet live and thrive in this frozen tundra.