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.