Fairie Princess of the Mystic Lake

Submitted into Contest #83 in response to: Write a fantasy story about water gods or spirits.... view prompt

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Contemporary Fantasy Fiction



Joyce Laird



Faerie Princess of the Mystic Lake



1955

A blue green mist surrounds her as her feet sink slightly into the bubbling foam of the shimmering rainbow reflections of the mystic lake. She smiles at the faerie prince. He loves her. She can tell. But he can't touch her because she’s now dancing on the water, always just out of his reach. She’s the beautiful, magical faerie Princess of the Lake; perfect in every detail. He tries to come to her, but she starts fading away into the mist. She slowly sinks below the foam, until only her face is visible like a porcelain mask. She hovers like a dream, her face just breaking the water surface. One more look at the prince and then she sinks below the water and the foam closes over her. Her hair floats freely like wisps of gold and rainbow water plants. She runs her fingers through it. Sounds break through the mist, clearing it away.

"Mom! Make her get out! She's hogging the bathroom again."

     "Virginia! (rapid knocking on the bathroom door). "You've been in there long enough. Get out right now and let your brother use the bathroom."

Mother only calls her Virginia when she really means it. Ginny flips the drain lever and pulls herself out of the tub. She watches as the bubbles are sucked down into the swirling vortex. The slender hands and delicate features of her alter ego return to the chubby reality of an average ten year old; standing dripping in the middle of the bathroom rug.

"MOM! I've got to pee!" Jimmy yells..

"Virginia, I'm not asking — I'm telling you. Out NOW!"

"Okay. Okay. I'm out."

Ginny wraps herself in her pink terrycloth robe and stuffs her damp feet into slippers. She wraps a towel around her head. Jimmy shoves his way through the door as soon as she turns the lock, knocking her back.

"Dog face," Jimmy says.

"Toad," she replies. He sticks his tongue out as Ginny pushes past Mother and goes to her room.

"Honestly, it's a wonder you don't melt away in there. What in the world is so entertaining about a bathtub?" Mother’s voice trails after Ginny as she closes the door to her room and flops onto her bed.

"Don't leave the wet towel in there," Mother calls through the door.

Silence for a moment. "Did you hear me?" Mother repeats.

"I heard you! I won't!" Ginny sighs and begins towel drying her hair.

1961

She floats near the surface of her mystic, crystal lake and sees him standing near the shore once again. The faerie prince has been drawn to this spot, not knowing why. He only knows that he must be here. He is tall and blonde and perfect. Could he be the one? Could he be the prince that the Princess of the Lake, has waited for all these eons? She slowly rises to the surface, her gold, flecked rainbow locks fanning out like rays of a wavering sun around her perfect, angelic face. She hovers just barely above the surface until he looks her way. Then, she slowly rises out of the foam and mist to stand on the glass-like surface of the sparkling magic lake. She holds out a perfect hand; slender, delicate with shell pink nails. He comes toward her. He is magically walking across the foam. It proves he is the enchanted prince that she has been saving herself for. They embrace and slowly sink below the mist, below the foam, back into her perfect, magical world. Together for eternity.

"Ginny? (light tapping at the bathroom door) Honey, there's a call for you. Randy? Do you want me to tell him you'll call him back?"

"No. NO! Tell him to hang on. I'll be right there."

Ginny can't believe that her heart can pound this fast and still stay in her chest. She jumps from the tub, almost losing her balance on the water-slick floor. She wraps one towel around her nubile teenage body and another, turban-like around her head and dashes out the door. Dreams do come true. They do. She runs out and grabs the phone receiver from her mother. A few calming breaths, then she speaks into the receiver, her voice as nonchalant as she can muster.

"Who's this? Randy? Hmm- oh yea, Randy. I think I remember you. Marcie's cousin, right?!"

"Eeeww…you gonna swap spit with Marcie's geek cousin? What a loser," Jimmy says, poking his head up over the back of the couch. "Geek - geek, spits in your cheek!"

"Shut up! … No, not you. My brat brother. (she puts a hand over phone) "Mom! Jimmy's…"

"I heard. Stop it right now. Get in the kitchen and help me with the dishes." Mother comes into the room and gently pushes Jimmy from the couch and toward the kitchen.

"Well, he is a geek!" Jimmy shouts back over his shoulder. Ginny watches until he's safely out of the room.

"So, what time is the party?" She says into the receiver, coyly.

1970

The water of the mystical, rainbow faerie lake is cold and icy. Ginny’s hair freezes into crystals below the surface. She hovers, only her lips and nose above the icy blue foam. She feels nothing. She’s numb. She is a beautiful statue of what was once the mystical Princess of the Lake. The errant knave stands on the shore, begging for her to see him, to forgive him, but she can’t. He has broken the faith of the land of magical dreams and taken away all her powers. She can only float just below the surface, immobilized until feeling is restored to her violated soul. She could force herself to rise, but, to rise would mean to feel. It is much better to just float and feel nothing.

"Gin. Please. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." (the doorknob rattles). "Think of Ty! Come on, baby. He needs both of us. Don't do this. Please."

Ginny rises from the magical waters of the lake and stands under the rainbow waterfall to drown out the sounds of the errant knave. It hurts. The water stings as it hits her skin. The hot tears of the waterfall melt tiny trenches into her porcelain face.

(A soft thud as he leans on the other side of the door) "Gin, please. She meant nothing to me. Please, baby. You know you're my whole world. If you leave me I just can't…" his voice drops to a hoarse whisper. Was that a sob? Why should he cry? She is the one violated. He deserves pain. More pain than she feels, but that just isn't possible.

"You should have thought of that sooner," She replies coldly. She turns to the waterfall and lets it pound around her ears so she can’t hear him anymore. But, another sound slowly pushes through the mist of the lake and pounding of the waterfall. A very soft cry, becoming louder. A baby's cry. She wipes her eyes, turns off the shower and flips the drain open. She squares her shoulders and open the bathroom door.

He stands by the door. Their son, Tyler is in his arms. The king and the little prince. The knave that tore her heart apart is holding the only jewel who can mend it. His eyes are red. He stares at her, more like a child, than the boy he's holding. His eyes wide with the unknown and fear of what might come. Maybe she can forgive him.

Maybe…Just this once…just this once.

1985

Ginny lets her hands drift aimlessly on the soothing, gentle surface of the magical, mystical lake. Her body floats while she inhales the perfumed mist deeply into her being; into her soul. The lake is serene. She is part of the lake, her continence melding into the rainbow colors of the sky and water. She slowly slips just below the surface, floating as in a beautiful, perfect dream, then rises again to hear the sounds of twittering near the edge of the lake. She looks up. The fairies and the elves are dancing on the shore. How small they look. How enchanting and perfect. They pay homage to her, bringing bright flowers and plump fruit to lay at the shore so she may rest on fragrant petals and partake of succulent pomegranates and berries as she watches them dance and frolic.

"Mom! I'm gonna be late for baseball practice. (a palm slaps against the bathroom door two times). "The coach will be really pissed," Tyler yells.

"No way! She's driving me first. I've got band. You were supposed to go with Harold, you worm."

Twelve year old Amanda pushes in front of her older brother and rattles the bathroom door knob.

"Mom! Mom! … MOM!!!" They both call out.

Ah, the elves and the fairies. A constant issue for the Princess of the Lake these days. Ginny rises from the soothing calm of the fragrant waters. She morphs back into her Super Mom persona. The magic of the mystical lake has fortified her. She steps out of the tub knowing she can conquer coaches, time schedules and all the other roadblocks in the day with one wave of her magical Mom hand.

"You won't be late. You'll both get there. No more squawking, okay?"

She calmly walks into her bedroom and opens the closet.

    "Did you get the snacks for the team? You have to bring the snacks this time, remember?" Tyler says.

     "In the fridge. The lemonade is in the cooler in the service porch," She says calmly as she changes, drying her hair simultaneously with a towel.

     "Don't forget the camera. You promised to take pictures of the band practice so I can write that story for the school paper for extra credit," Amanda says.

     "How can she be at my baseball game and at your stupid band practice at the same time, rectum breath?" Tyler cries.

    "Better than yours, butt face."

     "Stop it right now." Ginny gives them her best super pissed-off Mom stare. They stop.

"I'll drop you at baseball Ty, go to band practice, take the photos and be back to serve up the snacks well before the game is over. Your brother and I will be back to pick up you at your school after band, Mandy. Settled? Okay. I don't want to hear anymore about it. Let's go."

2004

The magical, faerie lake is cold and gray once again, as if filled with the tears of millions of broken hearts. Ginny tries to use her magical powers to bring the color back, to bring back the rainbow foam, but it won't come. Her rainbow hair is streaked with silver and refuses to float. It sinks, draped like ribbons of lead against her neck. The lake has been this way for a long time now. She is still the beautiful Princess of the Lake, but she seems to have lost all ability to do more than simply float below the surface. The shore is barren. All the beauty of her magical kingdom is wrapped in a dark gloom. She floats near the surface, her eyes closed. She is a statue, an inanimate object floating, just breaking the surface. The eyes of the inhabitants of the faerie kingdom, peek throgh themist and shed rainbow tears.

"Hon, did you pick up my prescription today? I can't seem to find it." (a light tapping on the bathroom door, then the sound of a choking, gagging cough).

"In the kitchen. I'll be right out. I'll get it. Go back to bed. You're not supposed to be up."

She gets out of the tub and flips the drain lever. She feels exceptionally heavy now and awkward as she climbs out onto the thick bathroom rug. She looks in the mirror and quickly takes a towel and covers her face. Her shoulders move to the rhythm of silent sobs. She can't let him see this. She pulls it together, puts on her robe and opens the door. He has gone back to bed. She hears the sounds of his weight on the old mattress as he tries to get comfortable; which seems more impossible each day.

Ginny pads to the kitchen and gets the medicine. She wipes her cheeks, puts on a happy face and goes to their bedroom.

"God, I hate this stuff," he says as she holds out the container to him. "I hate the way it makes me feel."

"It's only for a little while. You'll be up again in no time. You'll see. We'll whip this thing. We're magic, remember? " she lies. He looks at her. He knows it's a lie. They both know it's a lie, and yet they keep the lie going. They each say it's for the other but both know it's for themselves. They can't turn the corner. It's been so many years. How can they turn the corner without each other? How?

2021

A blue green mist surrounds Ginny. Her feet sink slightly into the bubbling foam of the mystical, magical lake once more. She dances once again before the young prince. He still can't touch her as she dances on the misty water. She is, also once again the beautiful, magical and untouchable Princess of the Lake; perfect in every detail. She smiles mysteriously as she slowly sinks below the mist, below the foam, until only her perfect face is visible. She hovers like a dream, her face just breaking the water surface. One more look at the prince and then she sinks below the water. Her silver-white hair floats freely like wisps of water plants and she runs her fingers through it.

"Grandy! Grandy! We're here." (small hands knock repeatedly at the bathroom door).

"Grandy? Are you ready to go? C'mon. We've got surprises for you. C'mon. You gotta see. You gotta see!" a second young voice chimes in.

Ginny slowly flips the drain lever for the last time and pulls herself out of the old tub. She watches as the rainbow bubbles are sucked down into the swirling vortex. The slender hands and delicate features of her alter ego return to the wrinkled and slightly knobby reality of an elderly woman; standing dripping in the middle of the bathroom rug. She wraps her robe around her and open the door to young, enthusiastic arms hugging her legs and waist.

"Give me a minute to dry out and pop into something pretty to wear. You're a little early aren't you?" Ginny says to the excited children.

"The twins couldn't wait," her granddaughter, Virginia says. "They're so excited that you'll be with them all the time now."

Ginny looks at her namesake. How did she become twenty eight? And Tyler, my boy a grandfather now fifty two? The Princess of the Lake, a great-grandmother? No! that’s Impossible!

"Grandy, look. Look at what we made for you." The twins hold up a picture that obviously took time and a great deal of patience for six year olds to make; a lady with wings standing in a lake, with glitter carefully glued all around her like faerie dust.

"It's a magic princess, Grandpa said you were magic. It's you Grandy. It's you," they chime in chorus.

Ginny kneels down and the exuberant six year olds, rush into her arms. Their mother turns away, pretending to be busy helping with the bags Ginny has packed and waiting in the hallway. Ginny hears her sniffle slightly as she moves a suitcase into the living room.

"Well, I guess I'd better find a good Princess outfit to wear. Do you girls want to help me?"

"Sure we can." They rush into the bedroom. "C'mon, Grandy," they call in unison.

"Coming," Ginny calls back.

She glances around her castle one final time. Then goes to her bedroom one last time.They pick out a yellow dress full of flowers. Ginny smiles. Springtime and rainbows have magically come back to the the sparkling water and to the mystical Princess of the Lake.


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March 05, 2021 05:15

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