Agatha bounced through the front door with a bright smile on her face. She could barely see over the object that filled her arms, the same one that put that smile in place.
“Mama! Look what I made at school this week.” The six-year-old huffed to catch her breath as she gently—as gently as a child her age could—set the work of art on the dining table.
Her mom inspected it with a wide gaze. “It’s beautiful, sweetheart.” She bit her lip. “What exactly is it?”
“It’s a fairy house!” Agatha’s voice squeaked with excitement and she jumped up and down.
“Of course, it is,” her mom laughed. “I can see that now.”
Mother and daughter poured over Agatha’s newest creation as the child pointed out all the intricacies she tried to include. The toilet paper roll fireplace; the twig roof; plastic beads that made the path to the door. There was even a stream made out of blue yarn that was haphazardly hot glued along the edge. (With the help of her teacher, Miss Nelson, of course.)
“I love it,” her mom said. “Why don’t you put it in your bedroom and I’ll get you a snack.”
“Yes!” Agatha raced off to place the fairy house in its new home, on top of her dresser but not in the way of her night-light lamp. “Okay, fairies. You can come visit me now!”
Every day for a week she made that declaration. Each morning she checked through the egg-carton door to see if there was a visitor inside. Her shoulders sagged and smile faded with every peek she made.
One morning, she woke to find her Barbie doll stuck halfway inside the cardboard structure.
Benjamin! It had to be her older brother playing games again. He always did stuff like that. Rearranging her toys, or stealing them and leaving them around the house. She’d never caught him, but she knew he could be the only one to play such a nasty trick on her.
With a grumble, she grabbed Barbie by the legs and pulled her out, smoothing her hair back. “Come on, Barbie. You don’t belong in there. This house is for fairies. I’m just waiting for one to show up.”
Barbie’s head turned on its own, her plastic smile widening. Agatha gasped.
“Silly, girl,” Barbie said. “Fairies aren’t real. But I am.”
©Laura L. Zimmerman 2018