In a field not far from home, I was standing alone among the trees on the edge of the local park. As I gazed around in the early haze of a springs morning sunshine I clocked a girl, no more than about seven years old, staring at me from the middle distance.
It was her cerise pink cardigan that had caught my eye, and I saw that she also had on a very pretty dress, in a fainter hue of pink, with a large white floral pattern strewn over its surface.
Her expression was odd though. She appeared to be in some kind of trance and unblinkingly was just starring at me.
The more I looked, the more engrossed I became. How odd that her dress did not ripple as the spring air rustled through the park. Her hair also was stock still. Was this young girl a ghost?
As I wondered this prospect, the girls attention grew stronger, her eyes seemingly boring through my skull.
I managed to turn away.
To my left on the far side of the park, just out of clear focus, there was a small group of children running about. I could hear quite plainly the word ‘tag’ as they picked someone new to be chased.
My curiosity got the better of me and I wondered why the girl in pink had not ventured to join in. Yet, there she was as if rooted to the spot, still standing starring, but this time at the group of children.
Following her gaze, I noted that she was far more interested in one of the young girls who bore a remarkable resemblance to herself.
The girl in pink leant forward. Her whole body braced itself as she leant 45 degrees to the ground to get a closer look at the girl playing.
It was at this time that I noticed a shocking discovery; not only was this young girl trance-like and unblinking, she spine-chillingly had no feet either.
As soon as this thought reached my mind, the girl in pink lurched around, still at that horrendous angle and stared back at me once more.
Her eyes were as black as coal and fierce. Her pretty face had changed from a trance-like stare into a contorted mask, with her two incisor teeth showing. In shock, my brain scrambled itself trying to think where I had seen such a thing before. ‘A pretty child, or small person, whose looks banish them in their fear? No that wasn’t right, it was more like jealousy! Now, which category do they come under?’
Yet before my ransacked brain could muster the word, it was extended forth to my ears by the girl in pink.
Without committing myself to actually having heard this, my mind just accepted the voice as a thought. ‘Faerie, that was it – nice but wicked! She must be a faerie, but why no feet!’
Again the girl in pink answered my question.
‘Because as a child I kicked an animal – which is bad…’
‘Kicked an animal ehy?’ Thought I. Faeries don’t kick animals, they are too small and come to think of it, you, girl in pink are too big to be a faerie! Why is that!’
‘I was once like her over there, playing happily, but I got cornered by a gang of boys. They were older than me and I was trying to act as if I was strong. This cat came waltzing over, as they do, all superior, and one of the boys looks at me, then looks at the cat, and I thought, well if don’t kick it, he certainly will. So I kicked the cat. It flew sideways under a car. I was terrified, I shouldn’t have been there, it was horrendous…’
It took a while for this to sink in. This young girl had felt threatened by the gang of boys, she had been scared. So to prove herself she kicked the cat. But why no feet!
‘That was the cat. But it wasn’t a cat. It was in the form of a cat, but it was a spy who had been sent to help me to be taken away from the boys. So if I hadn’t been so tough and outwardly brutal, the cat would have made the boys go away, but like an absolute fool, I had no idea that people could transform into cats.’
The girl continued unabashedly.
‘Yet it wasn’t a cat or a person, it was a faerie. She took off my feet as punishment. She said, ‘You will never run away again or kick a defenceless animal.’