Pin Flower Fairies
By Jaramiah Sabadoz
There was a small creek that ran behind the office building she worked in. No one but her ever went there, not because they didn’t know about it, but because they didn’t care. She had worked at that office since the beginning of spring, and after finding the creek a few days later, she started having lunch on its bank.
Juniper, (the woman I have thus far been speaking of) especially enjoyed eating by the creek when it was raining. The trees were full enough, and arranged in such a way that a large, flat rock at the side of the water was always dry.
People would occasionally look down from the windows of the tenth floor of the rectangular office building where she worked and see the top of a red umbrella moving towards wood shrouded creek (they seemed to be more interested in her than she was in them) and they would remark, ‘she must like being alone.’ But that was not true, because she was not alone at the creek, for the creek was the home of the Pin Flower Fairies.
Juniper did not go looking for the fairies, and indeed, she had always believed that she did not believe in them; but when she first saw them playing on the surface of the water, she was not surprised. For some reason, she felt like she had always known them.
She could only barely see them, they were too shiny to look at directly, and somewhat translucent when she tried. They were ten or so inches tall, and very thin. Juniper thought that they wore clothes (as they all seemed to be different colours), but was never sure. She felt that they were all girls, but the fairies told her that half of them were boys.
The Pin Flower Fairies talked to Juniper. She only heard twinkly, squeaky sounds, but she always knew what they meant.
One particular day it was raining hard, but it wasn’t too dark or cold out, and there was no wind. Juniper watched out the window in her office, hoping it would continue raining for at least another ten minutes (which is when her lunch hour started), and preferably for an hour after that.
She typed absently at her computer, trying to look busy when the occasional person walked by her office. It’s not that she was a bad worker, she just really didn’t have anything to do; consequently, she was able to devote most of her attention to the window.
Sometimes, when it was raining especially hard, the light from the fairies could be seen from her window. This was one such day. They didn’t seem as bright from so far away, but their colours were stronger. Juniper wondered why nobody else saw them; maybe they just didn’t look.
Twelve o’clock came around and it was still raining. Juniper took her lunch bag from her desk drawer, (as she did everyday) and her umbrella from the hook on the wall and went outside. As soon as she stepped off the paved parking lot, she began to hear the fairies.
When Juniper got to the large rock, she spread her lunch out over it, then took her shoes off and put her feet in the water (she wondered if she’d still be able to do that in the winter).
The Pin Flower Fairies always fly to her and start circling her food when she comes. As a result, she started bringing things for them (they especially like non-green vegetables). On this day she brought carrots. The fairies wouldn’t let her watch them eat, they just circled around it, and then ate it after she left.
Juniper splashed her feet, and the fairies flew around the flying water. They usually just talked amongst themselves and didn’t address her directly unless she asked them a question. This day they were discussing the future of sole-proprietorships in the modern, global business world.
“So,” Juniper asked, “have you found anything neat in the water lately?”
‘Yes,’ one of them said, she couldn’t separate them when they were all grouped together, ‘I found a watch, but it was broken, and kind of ugly too.’
“I wish I could see it,” Juniper said.
‘It’s too heavy, so I can’t lift it,’ said one of the fairies. When their conversation got more heated, the fairies flew faster, tracing patterns on the water. Juniper watched them in silence.
When she finished eating, Juniper dried her feet with a washcloth from her lunch bag and then packed up to go back to the office.
“Bye,” she said.
‘Bye,’ said one of the fairies (they never spoke more than one at a time).
Juniper hung up her umbrella, and put her lunch bag in the drawer, and then sat down at her desk. She went to hit the spacebar on her keyboard to get out of the screen saver when she saw a fairy hovering above it.
“What are you doing here?” Juniper whispered as quietly as she could. The fairy put its hand up to its ear as if it couldn’t hear her. Juniper sighed, and then looked around to see if anyone was looking. “What are you doing here?” she asked in her normal voice.
‘I followed you,’ it said.
“Who are you?” Juniper asked. She hadn’t noticed a man walking into her office.
“I’m Anthony. I’ve worked here since before you started. We’ve met before,” said the man.
“Of course, I-I don’t know what I was thinking,’ Juniper said softly. The man dropped some papers in her inbox and left. Juniper turned back to the fairy, “hm?”
‘I’m Jonquil,’ it said.
“Could you please go back to the creek? I have to work,” Juniper said.
‘Why? Don’t you like us anymore? You come and see us everyday, I just wanted to come and see you,’ said Jonquil.
“I’m busy here, I have a job to do, and I don’t have time to talk,” Juniper said.
‘You don’t think we’re busy down at the creek? We have important things to talk about,” Jonquil pouted.
“I like you – “ said Juniper just as a woman was walking past.
“Thanks,” the woman said, confused. “Um, I like you too.”
Juniper faked a smile, and the woman walked on. “See?” she said to Jonquil, “it’s not the same thing when you guys come here.”
‘I’m hungry, can you get me some food?’ asked Jonquil.
“Will you go back to the creek if I do?” asked Juniper.
‘I don’t know,’ said Jonquil.
The cafeteria was at the opposite corner of the floor Juniper worked on. As she walked, Jonquil hovered just behind Juniper’s head, flying left and right to talk into each of her ears. ‘I’m actually considered the smartest Pin Flower,’ Jonquil was saying. ‘Most of the others also think I’m the prettiest, but there are three of us that are particularly good looking, so there’s some debate.’
“Please quiet down,” Juniper said.
“Oh, sorry,” said a man in a cubical she was passing.
The woman he was talking to, added, “I guess we were kind of loud. We’ll try to keep it down.”
“Um, thanks,” said Juniper, “sorry to bother you.”
Juniper continued on to the cafeteria, and was happy to find it empty. ‘Gee, everyone’s really nice to you, why don’t you eat lunch with them?” asked Jonquil.
“I just don’t. I don’t even talk to them, and you’re making me look weird,” Juniper said. “Besides, don’t you want me to come see you?”
‘Eh, you’re O.K., I guess.’ Jonquil came down to the counter. Juniper couldn’t tell if she had landed, or was just hovering. ‘What do you have for me to eat?’
Juniper opened the refrigerator and looked in. Jonquil said, ‘I want that one,’ while pointing to a blue lunchbox.
“That belongs to someone, I can’t give it to you.”
‘Well, what CAN I have?’ Jonquil asked.
“There’s nothing to eat here,” said Juniper. A woman had just walked in then.
“Well, it’s too late today, but you can come to lunch with us tomorrow,” the woman said.
“Hum?” Juniper asked.
‘Let’s just go back to your office, this is boring,’ said Jonquil.
“Fine,” said Juniper.
“Great, well, we’ll come to get you at your office around twelve o’clock tomorrow,” the woman said.
“What?” Juniper asked after he woman had left.
The next day, Juniper arrived at work before anyone else (as was usual). Jonquil was hovering above her keyboard, right where she had left it. “Good morning,” she said.
‘Turn your computer back on,’ Jonquil said. ‘The screensaver went on a few hours ago, and I couldn’t get it back.’
Juniper pressed the spacebar and saw what Jonquil had been looking at. She sat down and put her lunch in her desk drawer. ‘Why’d you bring a lunch? That woman said she was taking you out,’ said Jonquil.
“I forgot,” said Juniper.
‘No you didn’t, you just think that they’ll forget,’ Jonquil said, while fixated on the computer screen.
“Just move, I have to start working.”
Shortly before lunch that day, Juniper was randomly typing on her keyboard, then backspacing, and then typing again. Jonquil was hovering around the window. ‘Are you going outside for lunch?’ Jonquil asked.
“I don’t know,” said Juniper.
‘You think that woman will show up?’
“I don’t know,” Juniper said, just as the woman arrived.
“You don’t know what?” the woman asked.
“Um, what I’m doing,” answered Juniper.
“Heh, yeah, neither do I,” said the woman, “come on, we’re going now.” Juniper got up from her desk.
‘Bye,’ said Jonquil. Juniper waved when the woman had left her office doorway.
Juniper had a nice time at lunch with the office women. She had a lot to talk to them about as far as work went, but then they started talking about their husbands, which sort of left her out. Still, she enjoyed it, and if nothing else, it resulted in several people walking into her office every morning to say hi (which she ended up liking, even if it forced her to say something back). She continued going to lunch with them until a few weeks later, when there was a lunchtime meeting that two of them were involved in, so they couldn’t go.
Juniper decided to go back to the creek that day (without the influence of the other women, she fell into her old routine easily). It just so happened that it was raining. She looked outside her window, but it was dark out, and the rain was running into her window, making it impossible to see the lights.
At twelve o’clock, Juniper took her lunch from the drawer (as she used to do everyday), and her umbrella from the hook on the wall and went outside. She laid her lunch out on the large flat rock and put her feet in the water, and looked out, and saw nothing. The Pin Flower Fairies were not there; and Juniper wasn’t sure that they ever had been. The creek was high from all the rain (soaking the hem of her dress), and Juniper thought that the sound it made was much nicer than twinkly-squeaking.