SHORT STORY OF THE MONTH

Dinky Dewdrop Fairmaiden III

DANCE OF THE SUGAR PLUM FAIRY 

 

“It just won’t do my dear,” said her mother in that usual rather overbearing way, “choices will have to made. Either stop eating fairy cakes or forget all about the midsummer ball.”

Dinky Dewdrop, Fairmaiden III looked at the little fairy cake on the table in front of her and sighed. It was cone shaped and covered in raspberry jam which magically dribbled out every time she looked at it. Inside the sponge cake, which was itself so light that there was a warning on the box to keep the lid tightly shut to prevent loss by floatation, it was filled with sizzling ice-cream which stayed cold till you bit in to it, when it changed in to any flavour you could wish for and took on the consistency of runny honey. On top of the fairy cake was an enormous strawberry which glistened with white icing sugar and seemed to be saying to Dinky, in a husky voice, “come on, eat me, I want you so badly.” The fairy cake began to slowly rise from the plate again and almost impatiently move towards Dinky’s mouth.

 “Oh,” she groaned, “what shall I do."

She glanced again at her dancing shoes hung on the back of the chair and then at the cake which simply, but magically, refused to be ignored.

 Dinky knew only too well what mother was about to say next and she mimed the words as they were spoken.

 “You’re a Sugar Plum Fairy and we all know what that means.”

 “Yes mother, I know,” she muttered under breath, “and I’m sure you’re going to tell me again.”

 “It’s a well know fact that we Sugar Plums are prone to,” she hesitated, she was herself on the roly-poly side of portly but mother-love  prevented her from using the F word for Dinky. “Prone to plumpyness.” She added thoughtfully.

  Dinky desperately wanted to go the Midsummer Ball looking her best. All manner of handsome elves would be there and she imagined being swept of her feet by a dishy prince of Elves looking for a bride. She also knew that her mother was right, Sugar Plums were inclined towards healthy adiposity, it was in her genes. It was, she had always thought, an  hereditary burden she just had to bear.

 “Perhaps,” she said to her mother rather fiercely, you might stop baking fairy cakes.” Hearing this mother burst in to tears and she sobbed so much that her whole body began to shudder and wobble like a jelly. Dinky sighed; this always happened and it always ended up with her saying sorry and declaring that she loved her mummy’s magical fairy cakes.

  Dinky lay on her bed thinking about how she might lose weight in time for the Midsummer Ball. She was in fact quite a strong willed person and the idea of dieting was not a worry for her. The ball was still six months away so there was plenty of time. The problem was mother. Mother showered affection on her only child and this was often misguidedly in the form of food. Her father, who was himself elfish and not therefore predisposed to the suet gene, was one of the royal garrison, and away from the family home for long periods of time; but even so he was portly and in fact had been grounded from the first platoon of king of Elves flying corp.

 There was nothing for it, thought Dinky, her mother would have to go. By some means or other Mrs loving-mother Dewdrop would have to be dealt with in a drastic, not to exclude magical, but very decisive solution.

  “Have you thought about consulting the wise-man-of-the-woods,” said her best friend  Mildred when they were having a girls night in. They  both lay across Dinky’s bed looking at the floor, waving their legs and wings too and fro, like girls do.

 “Get advice from a human,” spluttered Dinky in disgust, “I don’t think so.”

 “Well he’s become quite fashionable of late,” said Mildred rather defensively.

 “Too retro for me,” said Dinky.

 “He’s very old and I’ve heard it said…..

 “Mildred,” interrupted Dinky indignantly, “ they’ve got the most disgusting habits and the older they get the more they smell.”

 “I know all that stuff,” said Mildred waving her fingers about, “but were’ doing syllogistic reasoning at college and apparently humans are good at it.”

 “And they scratch themselves, and walk everywhere,” said Dinky keen to finish the point.

  The wise-man-of-the-woods lived on the furthest boundary of the enchanted world. He wasn’t difficult to find. There was a queue outside his little house which went twice round the garden and a half a mile back in to the enchanted wood. Dinky saw all manner of her own kind in the queue. 

 “Are you the wise-man-of-the-woods,” said Dinky very politely to the rather scraggy little fellow when she finally got to the front of the queue.

 “Yes yes, I’m Mr Wiseman,” said the little man with an enormous sigh, as he tried to close his front door on her and scratch himself and at the same time.

 “Could we talk about my mother,” said Dinky trying not to sound too earnest.

 The man held his head and muttered. “Not another disenchanted daughter, you’d better come in,”

 Dinky left Mr Wiseman an hour later with a new flutter in her wings and a more tolerant appreciation for the human kind. She found Mr Wiseman a most charming man who didn’t laugh at her and she was quite taken with his logical approach to problem solving. She felt a little sorry for him when he explained that he was actually trying to be a hermit but people wouldn’t leave him alone. And was glad she had been able to help him with some advice of her own.

 

“Why don’t you change your name from Mr Wiseman to Mr Nobbs, I think you’ll find it’ll get quieter.”  They had worked out a plan together and she was going home to put it all in place.

 “Watch out mother,” she said in a very determined voice, to no one in particular as she flew home through the Enchanted Wood.

  In the heart of the wood crowds of elves, pixies, fairies, gnomes began to gather. In the   glade where the celebrations would take place every conceivable blood-line was represented  from the far corners of the earth.  At one side a raised enclosure  had been set  for the royal party. Gradually under the supervision of the loyal goblin guard, the place filled to capacity. The hubbub caused by the crowds of so many magical folk so closely confined, was literally spellbinding. The orchestra began to tune up their instruments and the excitement grew amongst those present who had waited all year for this event.

  At the corner of the glade leaning against the side of the royal enclosure a young elf prince watched the noisy scene as the dancers took to the floor. He was a slim handsome but very shy fellow, not at ease in such gatherings.

 “Who is that enchanting girl,” he said leaning over the shoulder of one of his personal guards.

 “Well they’re all enchanted my lord,” said the guard in a rather nonchalant manner,   “ else they wouldn’t be here.”

 “No, said the prince rather testily, “the one who dances like an angel. She’s so light she appears to be floating on air.”

 “Well she is actually my lord,” trying to sound a little more deferential to the prince, “floating on air that is. She’s a sugar plum fairy, that’s what they do.”

 “But she is so, sylphlike. Who is she?”

 The guard squinted through the crowds, not entirely sure who he was supposed to be looking for, “actually she’s one of the Fairmaiden Sugar Plums, my lord.

 “She is so graceful, I must dance with her,” said the prince.

  Throughout the evening Dinky was never without a partner; all manner of enchanted creatures lined up to dance with her and when ever she took to the floor, a space was cleared around her as onlookers marvelled at the way she moved with the music. The way she floated through the air like a moonbeam and swirled amongst the other dancers in a most breathtaking way.

  It was very late in evening before the  prince got his chance; he wasn’t the pushy sort and when  he finally plucked up courage Dinky was too tired to go on. So the pair just sat and talked. All the other dancers  were mightily relieved when she finally sat down because it gave them some space to do a bit swirling  of their own.

 “How is it you manage to look so slim and dance like an angel, my little sugar plum” said the prince who wasn’t quite so shy any more.

 “I got rid of my mother,” said Dinky proudly  with just  the merest twinkle in her eye.

 The prince looked shocked for a moment wondering what was coming next.

 Dinky went on undeterred. “Levitation classes for the over fifties on Mondays; a thousand things to do with toadstools on Tuesdays; Wednesdays is her favourite, she goes to the Fairies Institute and they sing hymns and make potted jams. Thursdays she goes to a health club, takes all her cloths off and gets pummelled by those hobgoblins with the smiley faces. Fridays she belongs to the cobweb club; they sow blanket squares for the sick and homeless. For Saturdays I enrolled her in a cross country orienteering club, it caters specially for fairies with no sense of direction. On Sundays she’s too tired to bake fairy cakes.

The End 

DELL