Short Stories By Kate

A Year and a Day With The Sidhe

A short 500 word story I wrote this week as homework for my writers group meeting this Saturday. Enjoy!
*NOTE: The word ‘Sidhe’, used in this story is pronounced ‘She’ and is the term used for the fairy people of Irish folklore.

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A Year And A Day With The Sidhe

I will never forget that afternoon in the fairy garden at the bottom of Josie’s backyard. The horror that possessed my mother when she came to collect me will stay in my memory for the rest of my life. Josie’s mother had been crying too. At five years of age we could not understand their distress. My mother had squeezed me and smothered my face with kisses, sobbing incoherently.

“Where have you been?” she exclaimed, holding me firmly by the shoulders.

“In the fairy garden,” I had replied.

I had gone to play at Josie’s house, as I did several afternoons a week. Mother had come to get me at sundown, as she always did. But something had happened that afternoon, something that had not happened before, and would never happen again.

Josie had taken me by the hand and led me to the bottom of her backyard, where she showed me the white mushrooms sprouting in a circle from the rich green grass. In our state of play we had jumped right in, not giving it a second thought. There in the Otherworld, we had found ourselves standing in a beautiful old forest, with ancient trees all around, and plants and flowers too numerous to mention. Standing there admiring the beauty that surrounded us, the fairies and nature spirits slowly began to emerge from their hiding places, from their holes in the trees and from under rocks. Their music filled the air, and they began to dance around and play, inviting us to join them. In this place we had had a glimpse into their world, and they had shared with us their food and drink. I will always remember the sense of complete peace and joy in that place, as I have not felt it anywhere else since. As the sun had begun to fade, we had found ourselves back in Josie’s yard.

As a five year old I had been incapable of properly understanding time, but in reflection I would have said we were not away in Fairyland for more than an hour or two. It wouldn’t be until I was much older that I would learn that Josie and I had been gone for a year and a day.

I told my mother about the Sidhe and my time in the Otherworld, but of course she dismissed it all, begging me to tell her what had really happened. Who had taken us, she asked, what did they look like? I simply could not confirm her theory that our disappearance was because of anybody on this earthly plane.

Josie has her own children now, and lives not far from her childhood home. I have maintained a strong connection to the Fair Folk, and have sought to understand more and more about them. Over the years we have spoken less and less of it, but I know that deep down, neither of us will ever forget the year and a day we spent with the Sidhe.

Copyright © Kate Kelsen 2016

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