By Kyri Colson (Sun Valley High School, Aston, PA)
With a flabellate leaf bag wrapped around her shoulders, Silva strolled out of her home onto the cobblestone path before her.
As she walked she quietly hummed a melody Silva had heard the crickets perform the night before. Unlike Silva, the other creatures quietly shuffled down the firefly-lit pathway with gloomy expressions. Silva tried her best to smoothen out the wrinkles in her new dress she had bought on sale at the Caterpillar-Market two weeks ago. She wanted to look as nice as possible when she would meet the queen.
Her call went unnoticed by a young bullfrog with warted moss skin, and a bright yellow belly. His attention was occupied when he noticed a mindless fly had begun to circle around him. Finally, his long gum-like tongue captured the poor insect, almost hitting Silva’s in the process.
“Must you do that so close to my hair? Nothing can go wrong today!” the young sprite whined, then reached into her bag to pull out a small piece of glass so she could check her appearance. In turn, Bu’s laugh crackled in the night alerting many of their presence.
“Happy Created day Silva! Today’s the day right?” Bu exclaimed, “think about it, little Silvy! The first sprite in years to find a four! Has a nice ring to it doesn’t it? I can see it now! You’ll get to meet Queen Claire, now that’ll show the fairies just because they have wings they’re not better than us!”
Silva took one last glance at her home. Her roof was made from dead red maple tree bark and was hand glued together poorly with nearby tree sap. While the windows were made from a leftover bottle glass that she had cleverly stolen from the Human Lands.
“Don’t even think about doubtin’ yourself, Sil. It doesn’t matter what your home looks like. You know it, I know it, and once we find that four everyone else will too!”
“Okay,” Bu muttered sheepishly, “I meant you, of course.” Finally, the two of them had approached a wooden crisscross door that stood tall around 7ft above them. In front of it was a small yellow and brown spotted bunny sleeping inside a large toll booth.
Bu quickly slapped his tongue onto the side of the glass and the sound of his slobber immediately woke the rabbit. “Bu?” The rabbit murmured while he rubbed eyes and quickly scrambled to gather his wits. “Thanks for waking me up before Hulga got here. The fairies threatened to shorten my rations for a month if I even blinked too long.” the bunny muttered, and Bu tried his hardest not to snicker when he saw Cornelius’ little nose begin to twitch.
“Don’t worry, Corne, you’ll be able to get some sleep when I find that four leaf clover! I’ll ask Her Majesty if you could have a day off as a reward for my excellent service.” Silva replied with a smug expression.
“Right, well, happy Created Day Silva. I hope you find it.”
Silva saluted her fuzzy friend as Cornelius pressed a large red button on the keyboard inside the toll booth. It triggered its rusty hinges and the door gradually opened.
Cornelius revealed a large field as long as the eye could see.
The sun, had risen from the horizon and created shadows behind those who worked diligently. They were all hunched over with seldom expressions. While fairies of all shapes, colors, and wing spans were seen hovered in the air overseeing these creatures work diligently below them.
Another sprite by the name of Emerald walked behind them. Despite her sickly yellowish skin, she was heavily favored by the queen because of the rest of her beauty. Because of this, she was rewarded with a lavish lifestyle even though she carried no wings on her back.
“Happy Created Day, Silva.” She said, but despite her cheerful words, her tone was a mocking one and caused a sinking feeling in Silva’s stomach. “Thank you.” Silva replied quietly then ducked her head to avoid letting Emerald see the blush blossoming on the apples of her cheeks.
“Good luck on finding that four, Silvy. You’ll need it!” Emerald snickered then walked over to her section to greet the rest of her friends.
Silva’s section was in the middle of the field.
She was completely surrounded by grass, and the tips of these large blades were browning. The harsh wind nipped at Silva arms and caused the clovers to sway. Unfortunately, none of these said clovers were fours. Silva assumed that today would be the last day to search for a four before the ground was covered in a blanket of snow.
The sprite decided not to let her mind wander on the upcoming season as she got to work.
With doll-like knives, she began to cut three leaf clovers at the stem. Then she proceeded to place them on a large wooden wagon.
Silva continued her work even when the clock struck midnight and the fairies began to call, “Nighting!” Yet, their instruction still went deaf to her ears.
When the sprite looked up she realized she was the last one in the field.
The wagon was gone and had long been pulled by the Caterpillars so they could take them to the Planters. The eerie sense of silence began blaring in her ears but it didn’t stop her hands from scavenging to find a four.
That is until she collapsed.
Her fingers were numb from holding her scissors, she had a blaring headache from squinting too much through the night, and her back ached from being so hunched over. Silva looked up to see the last clover in her section standing upright and tall above her. Her vision became blurry with tears of exhaustion.
Silva rubbed at her eyes several times.