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“I’m telling you, it was a fairy!”

Hannah pushed a low hanging branch out of the way and held it while her sister passed it. Susie, concentrating on the camera in her hands, didn’t even notice.

“I heard you the first time,” Susie said. “But how do you know it was a fairy?”

Hannah let go of the branch, which sprang backwards and let loose a shower of leaves behind the two girls.

“It was a little man about this big,” she said, holding her fingers just a couple of inches apart, “And it was dancing on a rock by the stream. It has to be a fairy! There’s nothing else it could be!”

Susie looked up from the camera and took in their surroundings. The stream was only just around the bend. “And you really think it’s still going to be there for us to take pictures of it?”

Hannah folded her arms. “I don’t know. I hope so! But we can wait for it. I mean, a fairy’s got to be worth waiting for, right?”

Something small dropped out of a tree and landed in Hannah’s hair. She screamed and started batting at it.

“Fairy?!” It squeaked, jumping out of the way of her hands and pulling her hair as it landed on the other side of her head. “Fairy Schmairy! Who’re ye calling a blasted fairy?!”

“Get it off me,” Hannah squealed. “Ow! Get it off me! Ow!”

It grabbed two locks of her hair and rappelled down her face, landing with both feet on her nose and staring into her right eye.

“I’m no bloody fairy,” it shouted. “I’m a piskie!”

She blinked. “A pixie?”

“PISkie! PISkie! PISkie!”

It jumped up and down on her nose, tugging at her hair for emphasis.

“Ow,” she said, eyes watering. “Alright! Piskie!”

The piskie’s angry face softened suddenly, and it smiled. “Aye. Piskie,” it said. “There’s a good girl.”

Its face screwed up in anger again and it tugged on her hair even harder, yelling as loud as a thing that size could yell.

“AND DON’T YE FORGET IT!”

Her eyes involuntarily clenched shut with the pain. When she opened them, the piskie was gone and her sister was staring at her.

“Please,” she said, rubbing her sore scalp, “Tell me you got some pictures of that.”

Susie started to nod, then looked down at the camera in her hands. The lens cap was still on.

© Kari Fay

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