A Short Story: Queen of the Grapefruit Tree
I could hear the warm summer breeze whispering through the leaves and gently enveloping the ripe grapefruits hanging from each sun-kissed bough. A faint buzzing of bees could be heard from the distance and the scent of honeysuckle tickled my nose. It was a perfect sort of afternoon. I had no pending responsibilities, only to relax. As I lay in the grass underneath the grapefruit tree, my eyes slowly became heavy and began to close...my mind seemed to be drifting off when all of a sudden...click click click. What sounded like a woodpecker's work jolted me from my peaceful state of mind. I looked up into the boughs of the tree and what did I see? What appeared to be a tiny woman...a fairy?
I did not move a muscle. I did not even want to blink for fear of scaring this creature off. I strained my eyes to see closer...this could not be a fairy! The winged being looked as if it was wearing a miniature dress woven of gold, with a tiny golden crown adorning its head. I had to be seeing things...my mind was playing tricks on me! Then...it spoke!
"You are not seeing things, I assure you, Madam Hannah. My name is Queen Cytrullia and I have been waiting to meet you!" The winged creature was talking to me, and even knew my name! How can this be? Still trying to convince myself of an overactive imagination, "Queen Cytrullia" suddenly lifted herself from the branch above my head and, flitting down as if a hummingbird, gently landed right beside me on my scarlet blanket. The golden dress that hugged her little body was so long that it brushed the blanket beneath her feet. Her wings resembled that of a hummingbird, though I have never quite seen a hummingbird's wings not in motion.
The Queen had a face that seemed to radiate pure innocence, it possessed an imp-ish quality unseen on any adult in the human world. The crown adorning her tiny head was sparkling in the sunbeams and as she sat down on the blanket beside me, I had to remind myself that this was all a dream...a very adventurous and wild dream. Savoring the fantasy of the moment, I realized that I was staring at her...her glistening pink wings, her golden gown, and her long amber strands of hair.
"Do you live in this grapefruit tree?", I asked her hesitantly (as I had no idea of what a conversation with a fairy should consist of).
"Yes, I dwell in this tree's boughs and roots. I am Queen of this Tree and my people," she answered me with a certainty that could not be denied nor shaken from my still confused mind. Amidst my innate confusion, I somehow relaxed and I watched as the Queen of the Grapefruit Tree gently flitted up to land on my left shoulder. She snapped her delicate fingers (which were probably about the size of blueberry seeds, mind you) together once and a brush too large for her hand appeared within her grasp. Though the golden-plated brush looked too heavy for her tiny frame, she held it with a strength and ease that I never would have expected.
Without a peep, she began to run the golden brush's soft bristles through my hair...as she did this, I felt a wave of tingles flow from the crown of my head to the very tips of my toes. It felt like I was in Heaven! After about ten minutes, or what I presumed to be about that length of time, the Queen began to sing...it was a song not like that I have ever heard before. As I try to explain it now, it is almost too difficult to even put into words. If I had to describe it correctly, or as correctly as possible, I would say that her voice was like that of a mother nightingale. Strong, yet gorgeous, a voice that speaks to one's very soul. It reminded me so much of my mother's voice...pure and nurturing.
Suddenly, from the boughs of the grapefruit tree swaying above my head, I saw a sight which could never have been seen in the history of man! Dozens, no, hundreds of fairy folk descended from the limbs of the grapefruit tree...all of them joining the Queen in her eerily enchanting song.
They were flying all around me, singing in my ears, and softly running their tiny brushes through my hair. The sunlight was pouring in through the leaves and each fairy's wings were glistening like drops of dew on a sunlit rose. Then...it happened...the singing ceased for one almost sorrowful moment and the Queen stared at me silently...
The fairy folk shook their heads and disappeared...into thin air, I tell you! There was one fairy left...it was the Queen...Queen Cytrullia.
She gazed at me with eyes that seemed to be filling with a sadness...and this is what she said:
"Hannah, your people have taken over the Earth.
They have crushed helpless animals in the corrupted wake of their wealth and success.
But it is all just material. It has no real value. You are the only person left who understands this.
So I am giving you a gift. One which you must always remember and use...or you will forget and it will be lost in time...a lost cause...and the world will eventually fall into total ruin.
I am giving you the gift of sight..."
And then...I awakened. I was still lying in my comfortable spot under the grapefruit tree...with the sun shining brightly on my face...but I never heard the Queen finish her sentence...the gift of sight? To see what, exactly?
Written and copyrighted © by Kitty the Dreamer (May Canfield), 2012. All Rights Reserved.