Your Friend, Rosabelle

white roses

Every year, as far back as I can remember, the morning of my birthday I’d find a little fairy present on my windowsill. There was always a note saying, Happy birthday Anastasia! Your friend, Rosabelle.

For my third birthday there was a blanket sewn of spider silk. I cried when it came apart in the wash. My parents couldn’t remember where they’d bought it, but Daddy wanted a refund.

For my eighth birthday, it was candy, the sweetest candy I’d ever tasted, and so fresh and pure, the color of amber and wrapped in honeysuckle petals. You can guess how long that candy lasted.

For my tenth birthday, a necklace of baby rosebuds. They opened, bloomed, and faded to brown husks on the same day.

garden staircase

On my eleventh birthday, I found a note. Just a note. It said, I’m sorry, Anastasia. You’re too old for fairy presents. According to the Bureaucracy of Fairies, the presents are to be cut off at age eleven. I was devastated.

The day after that fateful birthday, I found a small pouch on my windowsill. Inside was glittery gold dust. A note came with the pouch. It read: Let the Bureaucracy wring their hands. I’m going to give you magic to last you a lifetime. Think of this as a gift card of infinite value. Do with it as you wish (please don’t destroy the world.) Some children have the magic in their hearts, even as they age. Your friend, Rosabelle.

Now I’m a grandmother, and my grandchildren still love me to read them the fairy notes and show them all the wonderful toys and games I created with that fairy dust. They think, with their heads in the cloud of Internet and electronics, that I’m a silly old lady who prefers imagination to technology. They don’t know how my house is still spic and span in my old age… I’ve kept that pouch of fairy dust to this day. And every once in a while, I send tiny notes on dandelion seeds, addressed to Rosabelle from her friend, Anastasia.

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