This is a short story inspired by the following verse of a poem by Robert Frost titled Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.
The Woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep.
And miles to go before I sleep.
And miles to go before I sleep.
I yawned and stretched out my arms and wings to shake off the feeling of sleep which had fallen over me. I looked up at the sun and realized how late I had slept. I got up in a hurry and hastily flew on my way. It was not easy being a fairy. Children seemed to grow up so much quicker these days and they stopped believing in our kind so much sooner. Every day our fairy woodland seemed to get smaller and smaller and we all trembled in fear at hearing the words, “I don’t believe in fairies.” We would wait to see in terror which one of us would drop to the ground and cease to exist. Long gone were the days of us living eleven or twelve years, now we were lucky to make it to eight or nine.
All this fear had caused our fairy woodland to come up with a solution. We managed to use our magic to make a new formula of fairy dust to help extend the time that children believed in us. However, it meant that we had to go house to house each day blowing fairy dust through the windows of all the children. As you can imagine this was a lot of work, and I was very late.
I flew across meadows, valleys and hills faster than I had ever flown before. The sun was beginning to set. I stopped at each and every cottage and farmhouse on my route. I paused briefly to perch on the windowsill of each and watched all the little children sat upright in bed in their pyjamas waiting for their bedtime stories. I gently blew a small amount of fairy dust into each of their rooms and watched as it swirled across the room and danced around their heads filling their imaginations with a little bit of magic. By the time I was done I was shattered. The air had grown colder and it had started to snow heavily. I headed for home and back to the comfort of the fairy tree.
I flew back across the hills, valleys and meadows which were now covered in a blanket of white. I thought about my cosy fairy bed. Suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, I remembered the little cottage next to the wood and I flew there directly. I perched on the windowsill and peered through the window. The boy was fast asleep. All of a sudden the boy started coughing and sat bolt upright in his bed and spat something into his hand. The boy held out his palm next to his nightlight and gave a big grin. My heart froze like ice. It was a tooth! I delved into my fairy dust bag in a panic only to realise that the bag was empty. I shook it out into my hand, there were a few grains remaining. I went to blow them into the room when a gust of wind breezed by and the grains were no more. I had to get back to the fairy tree to collect more dust before the boy had the ‘tooth fairy’ conversation with his grown-up. I left immediately, there was no time to lose.
I entered the woodland and was momentarily stunned by the beauty surrounding me. It was as if someone had dropped a handful of diamonds from the heavens and Scattered them all over the trees and the forest floor. The moonlight was filtering through the trees lighting up the magical world. A feeling of contentment washed over me and I stopped to rest on a snow-free branch. I gazed at a spider’s web coated in little beads of Crystal that shone in the moonlight and I felt my eyes becoming drowsy. Unexpectedly I heard a snow-laden branch snap which brought me out of my slumber and I remembered the boy. I couldn’t fall asleep now, I had taken an oath along with my community to protect the fairy woodland. I continued on. Finally I reached the fairy tree. I landed with a bump in my cubby hole and went to collect more dust. As I was about to fly off I started to feel odd and could feel a strange aura around me. I could hear the boy talking excitedly to his mother about the lost tooth and she was telling him to place it under his pillow and see what the Tooth Fairy would bring. The boy laughed and told his mother not to be silly and said “I don’t believe in fairies!” My blood ran cold and then I felt nothing.