Today Cindy was going to the clinic. After having daily injections of hormones, it was now time for her eggs to be harvested by the doctor so they could be fertilised. She hated medical procedures and felt nervous about going there. Jess was meant to be with her today, but there was an emergency at her parent’s farm she had to help them with, which meant Cindy was now going into the city by herself. Which made it worse…
“The next step is to fertilise the eggs. When you come back next week we’ll transfer a healthy embryo to your uterus.” the Doctor told her after she had collected Cindy’s eggs with a fine needle.
Once Cindy got home, she saw there were flowers on the doorstep. The card read: “Hey babe, sorry I couldn’t be with you today. I hope it went well. I’ll be home soon. Love Jess.”
It was the third day of Jess and Cindy’s holiday and they wandered through the town to see the “sights”. As it was a small coastal town, there wasn’t much to see. A local pointed to the lighthouse that stood out from the rest of the town, like the proverbial sore thumb. The local told them it was the town’s most notable structure and any tourists that came to the town always visited it.
“Well that’s not surprising, since there’s nothing else to see here.” Jess answered. The local looked offended and wandered off.
“Play nice with the locals Jess.” Cindy reminded her. Jess grunted.
“Sorry, the hike yesterday left me feeling tired.” Jess explained. Both the women looked up at the lighthouse. Cindy giggled. “What’s so funny?”
“Nothing really. It just reminds of what we’ve got in our bedroom drawer at home.” Cindy replied. Jess started giggling with her.
“Wake up! Wake up! It’s Christmas!” Jess was awoken by Cindy excitedly bouncing on their bed. She slowly opened her eyes and beheld Cindy’s beaming face right in front of hers.
“Merry Christmas love!” Jess got out just before Cindy kissed her.
“Merry Christmas!” Cindy replied before bouncing excitedly on the bed again.
“You’re still a kid at heart, aren’t ya?” Jess said as she sat up in the bed. “I guess we should put some coffee on.”
“Or, we could open our presents!” Cindy exclaimed. Jess shook her head.
“I guess we can do both.” she replied. Jess slowly got out of bed while Cindy bounced down the hall into the living room. She went to the kitchen and put the coffee pot on the stove and then sedately walked into the living room. Cindy was already by tree looking through the presents.
“So I guess we’re doing presents now.” Jess remarked. Cindy beamed a smile at her and handed her a small parcel. After unwrapping it, Jess found a box which had an embroidered silver bracelet inside.
“It’s beautiful!” Jess remarked. “Did you find this at a fairyland market too?” Cindy rolled her eyes.
“I found it in the town market.” she replied. “Anyway it’s Faerie not Fairyland.”
“Well it was a great find, wherever you found it.” Jess replied as she put the bracelet around her wrist. She then kneeled in front of the tree and dug out two presents for Cindy. In the smaller present was a necklace, while in the other was a red covered diary with thick creme coloured pages, along with a set of fine tipped pens.
“Nice.” Cindy said.
“Before you went off to the city you wanted to be a writer. Since you got back you haven’t said a word about that. I thought if you had any thoughts or ideas you could write them down in the diary. You have one of the most active imaginations I know of. Just because you help run the farm, it doesn’t mean you should give up on your other dreams. Maybe you could write about your life here on the farm and your experiences.” Jess told her. Cindy smiled and gave Jess a long hug.
Among the other presents from friends and Jess’s parents, there were chocolates and socks and sweaters and candy and cups and other gifts. There was also a squeeze-toy for Lucky and a catnip mouse for Rainbow. After they went through them, there were just two presents remaining. Two small gift wrapped boxes. They both stared at them quizzically.
“Have you seen those presents before?” Jess asked. Cindy shook her head. Jess picked one of them up. “This says: To Jessica, Merry Christmas, from Father Christmas.” Cindy picked up the other one.
“This one says: To Cynthia, Merry Christmas, from Father Christmas.” They both looked at each other oddly.
“They definitely weren’t there last night when I went to bed. Did someone deliver them this morning?” Jess asked. Cindy shook her head.
“No.” she replied. Jess looked puzzled.
“Then how did they get here then?” Jess asked. Cindy turned to look at the fireplace. She was sure she could see faint sooty boot-prints on the floor.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone! I hope 2021 is much better year for everyone.
Cindy walked along the path. Ahead of her Lucky had found something to investigate. The leaves were starting to fall and it was getting cooler. Soon winter would be here.
In only a few days the harvesting of their corn was about to begin. It was her and Jess’s main source of income and the money from it would be used to run the farm for the rest of the year until next harvest time, despite Jess’s various attempts at side projects. To have so much hinge on one harvest always made her anxious. What if something went wrong?
After the harvest, winter would come and she always looked forward to snuggling up with her wife for warmth. Jess was her girl, and she was hers… Then after winter they would sow the next crop. This was her life now. She breathed in the cooling air and breathed out contentedly.
Their rabbit had escaped to Faerie, and Cindy followed him. When she finally managed to grab him and take him back to the farm, Cindy found the sky was darkening though it had only been an hour. She put Mr Bunny back in his hutch and went home. Jess was waiting for her.
“Where have you been?” Jess asked. “I couldn’t find you!”
“Mr Bunny escaped and I was looking for him.” Cindy replied.
“The whole day?”
The trouble with Faerie was that going there meant you always lost time in this world, but Cindy didn’t tell her that.
Cindy landed on the ground with a thud. She sat up rubbing the back of her head. Babradon hadn’t warned her about the rough landing. She wondered where she was this time and spotted a middle-aged woman walking a fox terrier. Cindy walked up to her.
“Excuse me, where am I?” Cindy asked. The woman looked at her as though she was crazy.
“You’re just outside the town of Lawrence.” the woman told her before hurrying off and occasionally looking behind her. She was home! Finally! Now all she had to do was walk back to the farm…
Within half an hour she was at the front gate. She walked down the driveway to the homestead. As she approached Jess ran out the door and grabbed Cindy in her arms.
“Where have you been? You’ve been missing for days! People are out searching for you. I’ve been so worried.” Jess blurted out quickly as she hugged Cindy tightly.
“I can’t breathe!” Cindy got out. Jess relaxed her hold, and looked into Cindy’s eyes.
“Oh sorry! I’m just so relieved to see you. I really feared the worst. Let’s get you inside.” The two of them walked into their home with Jess leading the way. Cindy sat down on the couch in the living room while Jess kneeled in front of her. “Where have you been?”
“I got stuck.” Cindy replied.
“You got stuck?” Jess frowned. “What do you mean?”
“I got stuck in Faerie.” Cindy clarified. Jess sighed deeply and shook her head.
“Not this again.”
“I knew you wouldn’t believe me so I brought you back something from the Faerie market.” Cindy dug into the pocket of her jeans and produced a delicate silver bell and handed it to Jess. She looked at it moving it around in her fingers.
“And what did you use to trade for this? Magic beans?” Jess asked.
“I had a letter from Melissa. They were quite happy to exchange it for that.”
“You exchanged a personal letter from a friend for this in some market stall? Why did Melissa write to you?”
“She wanted to apologise for sleeping with you.” Cindy replied.
“Melissa had no need to apologise to you. When we had sex, you and I weren’t back together. You were still in the city.”
“So why all this jealousy with Melissa? Surely when you were in the city you dated other woman?”
“Yes.” Cindy answered.
“And I did likewise when I was here on my own. Who I slept with then is not really your concern. I don’t ask who you slept with in the city do I?” Jess asked while searching Cindy’s face.
“So why all this jealousy regarding Melissa? Are you afraid we’re going to hook up again?”
“I do worry about that.” Cindy admitted.
“She has her own girlfriend now, that tall pale blonde, and I’m sure they’re quite happy together. You have nothing to worry about.” Jess reassured her. “I think you should be more worried about your delusions.”
“Speaking to fairies and visiting fairyland.”
“My grandmother could see the fairies and speak to them. I’ve inherited her gift.” Cindy told her.
“Yes your grandmother told everyone that she spoke to the fairies, and she was nuts. Everyone knew that. I don’t want to see you go the same way.”
“I wish you’d believe me.” Cindy implored her, but Jess looked at her concerned.
“Your delusions are getting worse. Now you’re disappearing for days. What’s next? One day you don’t come back at all? You’re covered in dirt, your clothes are all ragged, and you really smell. It looks like you’ve been sleeping in a ditch for several days. For all I know that’s what you’ve been doing.” Jess informed her. “I want you to get help.” Cindy rolled her eyes.
“Okay.” Cindy replied, hoping this would appease her.
“We’ll talk more about it tomorrow. Right now you need to get out of those clothes and have a wash.” Jess told her softly. “I have some phone calls to make.” Jess gave her another long hug and left, Cindy slowly got up from the couch and walked to the bathroom. Maybe it would be better if she just kept quiet about Faerie from now on. If only Jess would believe her.
It had been a busy day for farm chores, Cindy thought. Aside from doing the housework, she had been planting new rows of carrots, checking how the corn was doing, getting rid of weeds, and clearing land for a new project.
Now it was mid-afternoon and she decided to sit in the sun for a few minutes. Just as soon as she had, Jess appeared.
“It’s alright for some!” Jess said with a disapproving look. “If you’re not doing anything, you can always help with the fencing.” Cindy rolled her eyes, but slowly got up and followed her wife.
Cindy was now almost fully stuck to the web as the giant spider approached. It stopped and towered above her. It’s head with it’s grotesque fangs and large eyes looked down on Cindy.
“I’m going to bite you and inject you with poison that will turn your insides to jelly which I will then suck out.” the spider declared while obviously doing the spider equivalent of salivating. “You look so tasty!”
Cindy shook her head. How did she get into this mess? She thought about Jess who would be wondering where she was. She would never know what became of her. Right now Jess would be at the farm waiting for Cindy to return. What would happen when she never turned up? How long would Jess wait for her? What would happen when Jess finally realised she was gone for ever? She felt overcome with sadness.
“I’m sorry Jess!” she called out into the void, hoping her words might get to her love as tears began to fall down her cheeks. Maybe Jess would be alright. Maybe she would hook up with Melissa again… Melissa? Suddenly a light went on in her brain. What had they said at the Faerie Market about Melissa, of all people? It had been rather surprising…
“Aw we’re crying! Don’t worry, it will all be over soon!’ the spider said as it’s fangs began to bear down on her.
“Melissa!” Cindy called out into the dark hoping her voice and thoughts could reach their target. “Melissa, I’m sorry for what I said when we last met. I was jealous, but I need your help. I’m trapped between worlds by a giant spider. If you can hear this, please help me!”
“I’m trapped too.” a voice abruptly said in Cindy’s mind. “But I’ll do what I can. I can see you in my mind’s eye. When it hits, get ready to run as fast as you can, no matter what shape you’re in.”
“Okay.” Cindy replied. Beyond the web, floating in the dark she saw a light in front of her in the shape of her friend.
“Now!” said the voice and suddenly the entire web was hit by lightning. The spider screamed and recoiled, while Cindy was thrown from the web and landed on solid ground.
Without a thought Cindy stood up and ran for the portal. She heard the spider behind her and knew she was being chased down. She didn’t dare look back as she ran straight for the glowing portal in front of her. She could hear the spider catching her up and suddenly felt the spider’s legs try to grab hold of her. Cindy managed to dodge them as she jumped through the portal. The last thing she heard was the spider scream with frustration and anger.
Cindy landed on some soft earth. When she opened her eyes she saw she was in Faerie again. She had escaped.