Once there was a fairy, whose wings were stolen from their back as punishment for dreaming of a world that they lacked.
This was simply not done. Other fairies knew best. Fairies must stay together from their first day until their time of final rest.
“Why dream?” they scolded, and sneered, “Why are we not enough? We should be all that you think of, and all that you need, but you are a strange one, clouded by greed.”
The fairy watched as the others flittered and flew, wondering why was it so outrageous that they should wish to too. They stared at the ocean waves, and they cried beneath the moon’s wax and wane. Left to wonder why daring to dream caused the others so much pain.
But if they could not fly, that did not deter them from attempts to try.
They walked to the ocean’s edge, and built a boat to sail away. It wouldn’t be forever, it would be just for today.
All the same the boat was sunk, and torn asunder, as the fairies cried each one to the other. Leaving was simply not done. What kind of ungrateful creature did not wish to stay forever with their own, instead choosing to run?
“What will we do when you’re gone?” they wailed, and wept, “What if we are sick, and we need ourselves kept?”
The fairy watched as the others flittered and flew, wondering why happiness could not be theirs to choose. They stared at the ocean, and they joined not in any dance. The others whispered in disbelief, for whatever could cause such a trance?
Time shifts and sways, futures sought crumble and decay like so many dandelion puffs adrift and gone away.
Stolen wings get covered in dust, lying forgotten amidst dregs and rust.
Yet still that fairy stares at the ocean.
“Come here,” the elder fairy finally says, “come here and listen, my dear. I’ve stories to tell and lies to dispel.”
Once the elder fairy dreamed of faraway lands too, they longed for all that they hoped to do. But they were told only bad fairies leave, and doing so would cause the rest to grieve. You must stay, they said, you must care for us all. For who would tend our wounds should we plummet and fall?
The elder fairy believed these words, and thought it only fair that if they should be hurt, surely the others would take their turn to care. The elder fairy stayed due to this belief, watching opportunities pass with concealed grief.
But time shifts and sways, and futures sought crumble and decay.
“Look at me now,” the elder fairy says, “I stayed behind because of their words, yet when these old wings faltered, my cries went unheard.”
They told the elder fairy they were one and the same, in blood united had been their claim.
“But now they fly without thoughts for me,” the elder fairy says, “and they only wanted me to stay to sate their needs. Once upon a time I know I told you to stay, but my heart has changed and I see the hurt you bear this way.”
“What should I do?” the wingless fairy wonders. “Without wings I can no longer go yonder. When I built a boat, they did naught but tear it asunder.”
A final gift the elder fairy offered to bestow, a return of the stolen wings that they may now go.
Stolen wings now in disrepair, for all those years locked away from the air.
Flexing their wings, the young fairy laments, “I thank you for this gift, yet I fear their strength spent.”
“Try to fly,” the elder fairy says, “try to fly far across the ocean, to a place where the rest of us haven’t even a notion.”
Afraid and uncertain with wings returned, the fairy flew to the ocean, towards that which they yearned. Their weakened wings faltered and frayed, yet onward they flew, daring to dream all the same.
For time shifts and sways, and futures sought may yet come to be one day.