the tiniest fairy

Once I captured the tiniest fairy.

That’s not to say she was small. Kittens are small. Flowers are small.

She? She was tiny.

I caught her in a tiny bottle with a tiny cork and a thin black rope so that I could wear it around my neck.

She never spoke, but the beating of her wings made a humming vibration that I knew so well it became a second heartbeat.

I could never tell if she was happy or angry or sad, but I like to think she was as content as I.

I never took her from around my neck except at night where I feared breaking the tiny bottle in my sleep. Before resting, I would set her on the small table by the bed and in the morning I would slip the thin black rope around my neck once more.

Until the morning when I awoke and she was gone. The tiny bottle was there with its tiny cork in place. But it was empty. I searched under the bed. In the cupboards. And because I was clever, and knew she was tiny, I would close my eyes and listened for the sound of her tiny wings beating.

But I could not find her.

And for weeks after, each morning I would reach for the bottle in habit only to find it empty anew.

Until the one morning I stopped reaching for her. In time I forgot the soft glow of her, the warmth of her against my chest, the ritual of the day.

But sometimes…sometimes I close my eyes. And feel her flutter behind my heart.

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