Fiction: Singing for the Fairies

It was two weeks after we moved into the new house that I first noticed my daughter singing the theme song of a popular cartoon series in our new backyard. "For the Fairies" she said; and I thought it was cute.

A couple of nights later I woke up to hear her voice floating in through my bedroom window at one in the morning. I found her singing humpty-dumpty for the fairies in the backyard. She had snuck out of her room, and out the locked backdoor.

I assumed it was one of those silly things children do, and made her promise not to sing for the fairies after her bedtime anymore and put her back to bed. After that she would go into the backyard and sing a song or two each night before bed.

For the next couple of months we seemed to settle into our new lives in a new house, with new jobs and new schools. There where a few issues with my daughter at her new school, but her teachers, and I, just believed they where the stresses of a new house and a new school.

Until, when we had been there a little under three months, and she collapsed in the middle of class.

I rushed to the hospital from work, and when they let me into her room my daughter simply met my eyes for a second before returning to staring vacantly out the window.

The doctors had no idea what was wrong with her, and they wanted to keep her in overnight for observation. I stayed by her bedside all afternoon, and drifted off using my rolled up jacket as a pillow.

A couple of hours later I woke to a chilly breeze blowing through the open window. I remember thinking, as I stepped to the window to shut it, that they should have done something to make it look more cheery, especially in the children's ward, the bars made it look rather like a prison.

When I turned around I realised that my daughter's bed was empty. I tried to tell myself that rationally it was obvious that she had just got up to go to the toilet, and that was probably what had woken me up, but deep down inside I didn't really believe it.

My hand was shaking as I knocked on the toilet door and softly called my daughter's name. When there was no response I knocked more heavily, and called loudly enough that I think I may have disturbed some of the patients in neighbouring rooms, but I was worried enough not to worry about such niceties.

And my worries where well founded. My daughter was not in the toilet, or anywhere else in the hospital. We searched for nearly an hour before calling the police in to start searching the surrounding neighbourhoods.

We didn't find her until I thought to check our house a few hours before dawn, and found her sleeping in the back garden. When I picked her up her eyes opened, and she said that she had needed to sing for the fairies, and then fell asleep in my arms.

When we got back to the hospital they still couldn't say what was wrong with her, just that it was worse.

I caught a few hours sleep in the morning, but made sure to keep a good watch on her that evening.

I couldn't say why, but I found myself obsessively checking the latch on the window throughout the evening and night, even though there was no way she could have slipped through the bars.

She had not spoken since that morning, until suddenly at around eight or nine she sat up in her bed and said that she had to go. I was angry at her for having run away the night before, so I immediately jumped to her bedside and grabbed her arm, "No, you need to stay here until you get better."

My daughter looked at my hand on her arm, and then into my eyes with fear on her face, "I need to sing for the fairies."

At the look of fear in her eyes my own anger turned to fear as well, and I pulled her into a tight embrace and tried to tell her that it was OK if she missed a night while doing my best to sooth her.

She suddenly shuddered and went limp in my arms. The doctors tell me that she didn't technically die until the next day, but I saw her vacant and unmoving face as she lay on the bed, and I knew it was just an empty shell already.

Categories: Writing
Date: 2015-10-31 06:45:33, 8 years and 259 days ago

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