Looking at ourselves and the world through the lens of the 21st century.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Fire Fairies - National Novel Writing Month

This week on the Podcast and blog we are celebrating National Novel Writing Month and exploring Amber's writing challenge. She challenged everyone to write a personal narrative with magical realism. I have read a only a bit of magical realism, specifically The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (1982). Most of my reading enjoyment is high fantasy and science fiction romance. I prefer fantasy genre more than magical realism. I wiring for the challenge I discovered that it was a bit more challenging for me to keep realism as my main setting. However, I did not have the burden of "world creating" so I could keep my narrative brief. I hope that our readers enjoy participating in the challenge. I look forward to Amber and Cindy's response to the challenge as well as any one else who wishes to participate. If you feel so inclined, please reach out by email to: info@modernmusings.net

Fire Fairies

Here we are. After an hour or so of driving, we had made it to our camping destination. The drive out to the campsite wasn’t so bad; we hit a little bit of traffic on our way out of town, but for the most part, the drive was uneventful. When we checked in, the ranger pointed to some free firewood that was available. That was lucky, we wouldn't have to scavenge for our own wood. Things were looking up.

I really need this break from work to get out and disconnect. Work has been tense even up to the moment we left. I have been working extra hours of overtime and even a few hours off the clock to get things done. It didn’t help my situation that I was disheveled and unorganized all the time at work, but who can I blame but myself, my inner thoughts say. It really isn’t all my fault…really. Those pesky meddling fairies always turn up when things get intense at work. My boss tells me that they only show up because I let them, but I think he is just repeating some platitude that he is required to say to keep me motivated. I can’t blame him. 

Argh. Even now, I am thinking about them. I squeeze my eyes shut tight and clench my fists. I just hope they don’t show up and try to mess up my camping trip. I just need some peace and quiet for once…and to not be disturbed. I mean, I know they are going to be there, they are everywhere, but hopefully the ones at the campsite are nice. I snort at the absurdity and step out of my car to greet my mom who pulled up in the truck behind me. The stress of fairies invading my relaxing weekend quickly dissipates. 

We have a full crew this weekend. My husband, Travis, and my daughter, Reyna, exit our vehicle and greet the additional campers in our caravan. My mom ,Cindy, dad, Mark, cousin Ashley, and my younger brother, Steven, hop out of the car to greet us. I’m so glad they could make it. Getting the whole family together has been hard to do now that Ashley, Steven and I are grown up. 

My mom looks and sounds as eager to get this campout started as I am. “Christen, why don’t you and I unload the cars? Steven and Travis can go back to the lodge and get some of that fire wood for our campfire, and Mark, Reyna, and Ashley can get our folding chairs set up and the fire-ring set up.” 

As we head over to the truck to unload our gear, I can’t help but let my thoughts drift to a memory of our last campout. “Remember last time we went camping and we captured the fire fairies in our photos? I remember seeing them both times when we went camping – with our friend Susan, and then again when we were camping on the Brazos River,” I said to my mom as we unloaded our cars.. 

“Yeah, wasn’t that so awesome to capture them on film both times hovering over our fire? Their green shimmer twinkled so vibrantly over the flames. Who would have thought that they were green, my favorite color?” 

“I know right! It was as if they were using their powers to keep our fire lit for us.” 

We both know that is not the case though because fairies are mischievous and usually try to make a mess out of people’s days. Only some of us have it worse than others, it would seem. 

"Remember that time they stole your notepad you were working on?"

Cindy rolled her eyes, "Which time? Yesterday, the day before that, or the time before that?" 

We both chuckle at the truth in her statement as we part ways to dump our gear and find a good flat surface for our tents. It seems that the house fairies are always misplacing Cindy’s things right out from under her nose, and always when she needs things the most. 

You can never catch them, though. Not even out of the corner of your eye. They cannot be seen with the naked eye. We were fortunate to capture some on film. Many have claimed to see them but very little proof exists, a jingle of a Christmas ornament on the tree…in the steam coming from your plate of food…when you hear a pan clanking in the cabinet, but no one else is home…. That's the fairies causing mischief – a burden in anyone's life. They are a blight on our planet. An infestation. And an invasion of  my thoughts again. I try not to get frustrated focusing on the campout ahead of me and the great time we will have. 

“Tonight we are having hotdogs and S’mores.  Who is ready to get the campfire going?” Mark announces. Everyone files in around the campfire circle and takes a seat. Travis and Steven start loading up the fire ring with some of the free wood they gathered from the lodge. I take a look at my family around me as I lean back in my folding camp chair and sigh with relief. I think to myself that this is going to be a great weekend.  

To be Continued…

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