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"Silly Scilla, silly Scilla," the young girl sang, as she pushed another tiny blue flower into her hair. She knew she would have to remove these adornments before returning to the house. When Mamm irritably cleared her throat, the girl remembered the tiny celery seeds that had been spilling out of her apron all morning.


She sighed and settled down in an empty row, digging her bare toes into the cool soil. She froze when her foot bumped something hard. Scooping the dirt aside with her fingers, she found a tiny, tattered purse. Glancing at her mother to ensure her secret treasure was still a secret, she opened the clasp.


Though Priscilla was unprepared for the puff of glittery pink smoke that billowed out of the purse, she did not drop it. When the smoke cloud coalesced into a tiny winged figure, she was equally unruffled. Only her wide blue eyes spoke of her astonishment.


“Hello, Scilla,” said the faerie. She was the tiniest, most beautiful woman Priscilla had ever seen, with lovely pink gossamer wings arching gracefully from her alabaster back.


“How do you know my name?” Priscilla whispered.


“You were just singing it,” said the faerie.


And it was true. She had been.


Glancing over her shoulder again, Priscilla saw that her Mamm was too engrossed in the romance unfolding between the pages of her book to pay her any mind. She turned back to the faerie.


“Who are you?” she asked, quietly.


“My name is Aislin,” said the faerie. “I am here to grant you three wishes.”


Priscilla’s eyes widened again. “Three whole wishes?”


“Three whole wishes,” the amused faerie said.


“_PRIS_cilla!” Mamm’s voice made the little girl jump. She turned guiltily. “What do you have there?”


“J… just a kerchef, Mamm,” Priscilla stuttered, stuffing the purse into her apron pocket.


“Yes, well… stop lollygagging, silly girl, and return to your chore,” her mother said, warningly.


Priscilla turned back to the faerie, blue eyes questioning.


“Never fear,” the faerie giggled. “She can neither see nor hear me.”


Priscilla sighed with relief. The faerie fluttered her wings and flitted a foot away to alight on a dandelion.


Pondering the faerie’s words, Priscilla returned to her chore. Poking her small finger into the moist earth, she sprinkled a pinch of seeds into the hole and covered it up again, then repeated the action.


 “Can I wish for an elephant, or a monkey, or a kangaroo?” she asked, idly.


“All three, if you like,” Aislin said. “But you really should think about your wishes before you make them. You only get three and once they’re made, they can’t be unmade. Do you really want to have to feed, care for and clean up after an elephant, a monkey or a kangaroo?”


Priscilla wrinkled her nose. That didn’t sound like any fun at all. “No, I suppose not,” she sighed.


“I thought not,” Aislin said. “Think about your wishes. I’ll wait here, sunning myself on this lovely flower.”


And so, Priscilla thought.


“Stop daydreaming, girl!” Mamm exclaimed. “Those seeds aren’t going to plant themselves.”


“Yes, Mamm…” Priscilla pouted, doubling her poke and pinch process.


“I would like to make my first wish, now,” she whispered to Aislin.


“Ask,” said the faerie.


“I would like Mamm never to make me do chores, ever again,” she announced.


“Done,” said the faerie. And she did.


Suddenly Priscilla was sitting quietly next to the garden, watching as her elder sister planted celery seeds in the ground.


“But Maaaaaamm,” Matilda whined. “Why can’t Priscilla heeelp?”


“Because she’s far too young to be doing chores,” said Mamm. “Now, less mewling and more planting.”


Matilda shot Priscilla a hate-filled look. Priscilla smiled back.


“Don’t think you’re getting away with anything, pest,” Matilda hissed. “You’ll get yours!”


Priscilla turned to Aislin, still sunning herself on the flower. “For my second wish, I would like to have my daddy back. I don’t remember him, but surely he would protect me from my mean sister.”


“Done,” said the faerie. And she did.


Suddenly Priscilla’s Da was standing under the tree, just as strong and handsome as he looked in the pictures Mamm kept locked away in her dresser.


“Here you are, lazy woman,” Da barked. Mamm looked up startled and dropped her book. “I should have known you’d be wasting your time on that trash! Why aren’t you helping your daughter?”


Mamm yelped and did as she was told.


“And you, girl!” he bellowed in Priscilla’s direction. “Why are you lollygagging? Get to work!”


Wide-eyed Priscilla jumped up and joined her terrified Mamm and sister. This wasn’t what she’d wanted at all. She turned back to Aislin and hissed to get the faerie’s attention.


“Work, girl, work!” Da bellowed.


“Leave her alone, Maxwell,” Mamm sobbed. “She’s just a child.”


“I’m tired,” Matilda whined. “I want to stop now.”


“You’ll stop when I tell you to stop,” Da said menacingly.


Mamm began to cry. Then Matilda began to cry. Then Da began to rage at them both. Suddenly Priscilla was filled with panic. Everything was all wrong. She had to think about her next wish, but the din was too much for her.


She clamped her hands over her ears and shouted, “I wish everyone in the whole wide world would just go away, so I can think!”


“Done,” said the faerie. And she did.

                                                                                                     * * *​


© David Salcido, 2009. Registered with the Library of Congress and the Writers Guild of America, 2013. All rights reserved.

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