The Fairy Door

I made myself small. I had to fit through the fairy door.  

The door creaked on invisible hinges. There was a skittering, the sound of tiny feet running … away. At first, I thought they must be hiding, but when I heard a door slam, I knew that they were gone.  

I stepped in boldly. There was a light that came from nowhere but lit everything like dawn or early dusk. I looked behind me: the door was still open, but it framed only darkness, though I’d stepped over the threshold from daylight.  

It was hard not to be apprehensive, but there was no obvious threat. I realized that I was in a storeroom. Tiny jars lined the walls. I got closer, almost expecting garish figures in formaldehyde, but this was not a horror movie scene. 

The jars were full of preserves. Jellies, vegetables, fruits. My mouth began to water, and I realized how hungry I was. I don’t typically steal, and poaching from supernatural beings is risky, but … there were pickles. I can’t resist homemade pickles. 

The jar was so small that I worried I would crush it as I tried to open it. Using my thumb and forefinger, I carefully turned the lid. The smell that greeted me was just what I hoped: a tangy vinegar smell, with no hint of sweetness. I like my pickles sour. 

I drained it into my mouth and chewed the tiny morsels. Though it was barely a mouthful, the taste was beyond belief. If ambrosia tasted like briny cucumbers, then this was ambrosia.  

After the taste went through me, I reached out for another jar. Then I stopped myself. I was a stanger in a strange room, and I knew that I shouldn’t overstay my welcome.  

I had nothing of value to give them, as far as I knew. So, I said loudly, “Thank you.”  

I hesitated, not really expecting a reply, and I was right. I stepped back across the threshold, and I grew into the daylight.  

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