I met the faeries in Vermont. I was coming around the corner of the road with the radio turned up and I saw a slender girl with a big straw hat on leaning over the smoking engine of a small white car. It was a piece of junk. She waved at me when she turned around and I pulled up on the opposite shoulder. Their (there were three more) car was shot and could I take them to the gas station to get a tow truck? They piled in with their luggage, saying thank you with mischievous smiles on their faces. I looked closely at their clothes. Aprons turned into smocked tops, old ballet slippers on small feet, torn spandex leggings. Old suitcases, the cracking leather in stark contrast with their milk colored skin. How did they not burn in the summer sun?

Their car, after being picked up by the tow truck, would be out of commission for a good while. The fairies wanted to know if I could shuttle them around. People ask crazy things of you in Vermont. And you answer them crazy too. Sure, I told them. I could never take my eyes off them. I let them take turns driving the van. They did all the talking, airy and drawn out which made it sound like they were always trying to seduce each other. I mostly stared. They were always hugging and kissing and nuzzling each other. They started doing those things to me and I would hug them back and nuzzle them, but never kiss them. I couldn’t bring myself to kiss them.

The faeries wanted go to Jelly Mill Falls. A creek really. The one who had worn the straw hat fell back and rested her head in my lap, her face feigning a sleepy expression which meant “Pet me.” I would brush the soft blonde hairs of her cheek as the van would go over another bump.

At the creek, they would strip down to their under wear and start splashing in the cold water. It ran over yellow rocks that shined like gold in the summer sun. They didn’t wear bras; they were too small for them. The sunlight made their breasts glow. “Get in!” they shouted at me. I hugged my waist, smiled, and shook my head “No.” I wanted them to forget I was there. The fairies were trying to pull each other’s underwear off. I liked it. But I was also worried that at any moment someone would come across us and we would have to explain ourselves. These thin beautiful creatures with small noses and bright eyes perfectly at home, naked in the gold water, and my self, the trespasser. No one ever came luckily.

I ventured upstream. I wanted to make sure no one else was there, that no one else was watching the faeries. I felt jealous suddenly, then ashamed. They could never belong to someone, but I hated the idea of sharing them. Following the grooves the watered had carved for millennia I thought about death and how short this life is, and about the faeries. I turned around every now and then to make sure I could still see them, and just to see them. I worked my way up a certain wide groove onto a flat rock, its surface submerged and treacherously smooth. I braced my feet against the oncoming rush and found a spot in which I would not falter. The presence of a possible accident made me flinch and stare hard at the water’s surface. I was catching my breath and that’s when I saw it. Faerie lights. The late noon sun cast my shadow onto the surface of the water, but water being clear can hold no real darkness. My shadow had become something glowing, a spirit burning in the water beneath me. Soon I saw other sparkling shapes drift over the moving waters and rest next to my fiery doppelganger. It was the faeries, they had followed me. Seeing what I had seen, they began to move their arms and legs in Shiva like poses to see their water spirits dance. I watched their glowing reflections on the bright water. I felt then, being the biggest shadow and the brightest, that I belonged with the fairies and I didn’t feel ashamed any more. They weren’t mine, but I was theirs. I saw my own energy in the shining falls and knew we were made of the same shifting mists, the same water and rock, the same light.