Michael woke on the side of the road, on Tumble-hill, where he had first met Megan. It felt like so long ago. Looking around he was puzzled; everything looked so much smaller than normal. Why, he was getting wet standing underneath the hedge. Then he realised.
“I’m big,” he shouted. “I’m big” he leapt into the air and bumped his head on a branch. “Ouch!” Michael looked around but no one was watching him. He stepped out from under the tree and on the road. He took a few hesitant steps towards Megan’s house; tripped over his own feet and fell flat on his face. Fortunately, the road only being a mud track, he didn't really hurt himself.
"I'm big" he shouted.
‘This’ he thought ‘is going to take a bit of getting used to’ he got up, and dusted his clothes off. Tying again he took a few small steps. ‘It’s all a question of balance’ he considered. He looked around at the hill and the lake. ‘It all looks so different. I like it! Better proportion.’
He remembered the room full of fairy dust, and gave a huge grin. He picked up his magical stick with the pocket-handkerchief tied securely on and started to whistle.
At Megan’s house he stopped and knocked on the door. What luck, Megan answered it. Michael took his hands out of his pocket and stopped whistling. What ever would her mum say? Whistling was all very well in Fairyland but now he was part mortal he would have to learn to behave like one.
“Yes? How can I help you?” said Megan not recognising Michael. For he had changed much since the fairy Queen’s spell had worked upon him.
“My love, it is me! Returned to you from Fairyland” Michael plucked one of the Forget-me-not’s that she had planted by the door and handed it to her. Megan looked in to his eyes and sure enough found that it was Michael, for she had never seen anyone else with green eyes.
Inside the little, white-walled house Michael sat by the warm fire and told Megan of all of the exploration he had done at the castle. All the while he had a big grin on his face.
“Why don’t you take a look at what I got you as a present?” He said and put the pocket-handkerchief on her knee.
Inside was a small, golden pile of fairy dust.
Megan looked at him carefully “did the queen give you this then?” she asked.
Michael looked down for moment, “well not quite give…” he said, and “more like didn't notice me helping myself to a bit.”
“Well what shall we do with it?” said Megan “Won’t the queen notice us if you try to use it?”
Michael looked up again “I hadn't thought of that” he said “but there must be a way. I think that as long as we don’t use it in front of other mortals, it will be ok.”
Megan dipped her finger in the pile then tasted it. She did it again.
“This is wonderful,” she said. “ It tastes like honey and lemons.”
Michael just looked at her. “You’re not supposed to eat it darling,” he sighed, shaking his head “I don’t suppose there will be any ill affects but don’t try anymore just in case.”
The wind started to howl and the windows started to rattle. Megan and Michael clung together in panic. The lights went out. Upstairs Megan could hear the ornaments falling from their places and smashing on the floor. Then the door flew open.
Orlaith stood there. Her hair flying round her face and a whirlwind of leaves swirling round her feet.
“I have come to claim what belongs to me” her voice was terrible to hear. No longer sounding like the tinkling of bluebells but as fierce as a lions roar.
Megan and Michael held each other tighter. Each of them looked at the chair where the pocket-handkerchief lay with the pile of golden dust upon it.
Orlaith’s attendants swooped down and snatched it away.
“I hereby decree that as punishment for your crime, you Michael will be banished forever to the lost rooms in the Enchanted Castle.”
The whirlwind round her feet moved over to Megan and Michael and tore them apart. Michael vanished in the middle of the dust and leaves.
Orlaith turned to the attendants “Return this to the chamber” she instructed them “seal up the back entrance to the castle to make sure that he will never escape. Then return here and deal with this mortal child. You may do with her what ever you wish.”
In a flash the fairies were gone. Megan picked up Michael's beloved stick, caught up her coat and ran out of the back door as fast as her legs could carry her.
* * * * *
The smell of the small, white flowers was sweet in the air around. The leaves rustled as the warm, evening breeze softly swayed the branches above her head. A couple of small, brightly coloured birds twittered a lullaby softly from their nest of twigs, at the top of the trees.
Megan was tired, she had traveled all day and now she needed to rest. She crawled under a large bush with pretty white flowers covering every branch. Michael's stick was now safely in her pocket. Megan patted it absently from time to time as if to check that she still had it near.
Not caring that the ground was dirt, or that her only cover, were leaves that made lacy patterns in the sky, she watched the sunset turn slowly from orange to pink. Then finally to that deep shade of blue that only appears when you are out in the country away from all of the city’s lights.
Before the stars rose to sing their song in the sky, Megan was asleep.
Oblivious to all of nature’s glory around her Megan slept on, dreaming of things so wonderful, that she smiled even as she dreamed them.
Sleep well and don't let the bed bugs bite.