Today’s short story comes from one of our talented writers, Joanne Payne Davies.
It used to be so easy: show up in a puff of pink smoke, wand in hand, and everybody knew the Fairy Godmother had arrived and was at their service. Easy!
Now? Try that trick in an enchanted wood and you’re likely to be chopped and winded by some street-smart runner who has her black belt in self-protection. Never mind that she’s unhappy and unfulfilled–she can take care of herself. Uh-huh.
Try ‘appearing’ to some lonely, over-worked, under-appreciated soul who could use a break, and she’ll probably squirt you with pepper-spray and scream for security. The others tell you to piss-off—you’re just another weird hallucination that’ll require them to have their medication adjusted again.
I even tried to advertise; figured that might mitigate the surprise factor. Fairy Godmother for Hire. Guaranteed Wish-Granting. The only takers were gamblers and politicians…not a single Cinderella. Even the new-agers think I’m some kind of freaky high priestess with poor fashion sense touting the newest thing in goddess cults. Bibbity-bobbity-boo-hoo-hoo…
So, I tried to quit. The Guild didn’t like it, of course. But what the hell, they assigned me to this era; R & D really fell down on their research on THIS one. How am I supposed to do my job when no one over the age of six believes in fairies or magic or miracles anymore? And even those pre-schoolers are so inundated with high-tech special effects in their toys and entertainments they think I’m computer generated!!
There’s still sixty-odd years left on my contract: the Guild insists I stay here, maybe there’ll be an attitude change. Fat chance, I say…these people don’t believe what they see.
They don’t even believe in themselves. I guess that’s what frustrates me; a little magic could really help them get back in touch with what’s real. They just don’t know it. They’re so caught up in their own mass-media illusions they’ve forgotten that magic exists and that miracles are personal. Ah, well.
So here I am, wondering what all the other magicians are doing these days; maybe I’m the only one here in this when/where. I’m NOT going to try advertising again…
I just don’t fit in well with Canadian social groups; not even in the multi-cultural-anything-goes scene in Toronto. You see, we Fairy Godmothers are what we are, and we’re SUPPOSED to look what we are at all times. Our magic is for others, not for ourselves–I can’t even zap myself into a semblance of a ‘modern-day’ granny with blond streaks and in yoga pants. So I’m very limited in where I can go without being asked to leave.
I did finally figure it out–yes, I was a little slow there, but I AM a fairy, don’t forget, and I was born when there really WERE monsters under the bed. AND the competition for positions is fierce. However, since I don’t need money, I didn’t apply in the usual way; I just showed up one day and was accepted as one of ‘them’…the ‘characters’ that wander around the park and attractions at Canada’s Wonderland! Perfect for me–I fit right in. And a bit of magic THERE is hardly noticed; a ride that goes on for an extra round, lost kids found right away, ice-cream that ONLY melts in the mouth, not all over the hand….I know, I know, small stuff, but it keeps my hand in and gives some pleasure.
Of course, this IS a seasonal placement; I’m a little anxious about my future plans. I mean, it’s perfectly normal for Godmothers to go to Florida for the winter. I just don’t know if any other fairies are planning to ‘hide-out’ in Disney World, too. I wouldn’t want to crowd anyone’s patch!
On the other hand, maybe this is WHY Master Disney created his ‘Worlds’. I seem to remember a rumour of some disagreement between him and the R & D…
I must ask him when I get back to Guild Central eventually.
Great way to start off out New Year! Happy reading!