An Urban Faerie Tail

An Urban Faerie Tail

A Story by Tristyn

Faeries may not be what we expect them to be, but they are real, and they are among us.


Once upon a time...

Well, maybe I should give you a bit of background on us first. If you’d rather not hear it, skip to the next part for the story.


How do I describe faeries to humans? It’s like trying to describe the beauty of a waterfall to a blind and deaf person. We don’t have the means to explain it, and you don’t have the means to understand. But I shall do my best. In that regard, I may be the best ‘person’ for the job. I am the most human-like of the elders. This makes our metaphor more like; trying to explain the beauty of a waterfall to a blind and deaf person �" through Braille.


Our stories are not by any means rare. There is a reason they are called fairy tales. And the fairies at the bottom of the garden? That was us. But we are so much more than that.


We were born from the same primordial soup as you, but we developed differently. We became insubstantial, surviving on ‘cgaba’ alone. The ‘cg’ is pronounced like your letter ‘h’ with a sort of growl in the middle, making it sound like ‘hkha-ba’. Cgaba is a simplified version of the word we use to describe that which we ‘feed’ on. I suppose the closest approximation I can come to is the spiritual energy of all living creatures. That which drives you to believe in something bigger than yourselves, to strive for growth, and betterment, and something more than just existence. But let me clarify �" when we feed, there is no depletion in your cgaba. It is a sharing of energy �" you give us energy and form, and we give you hope and ambition.


As humankind developed, moving towards today’s society, we grew with you, leaving behind the simple, uncomplicated energy given off by primitive creatures. We gave form to that which you believed in. We became your spirits, your gods, even your demons. But as you grew, so too, did the chance for evil, the potential for violence.


We survived �" most of us �" by developing strict rules. Any faerie who committed acts of violence against another was immediately sentenced to ‘hacgé’ �" the afterlife. It is not death, for we do not die, but it is an end of existence. Those who are weary of their lives may voluntarily go to hacgé. It is rather like a large hollow in time and space where we meld with those around us, losing ourselves to create new life. We expand our species using this method �" we grow from small pulses of energy to large beings as we feed.


But the time came when the hacgé was not enough to rid us of violence. We are not an inherently violent people, but it comes upon us when we feed on too much human violence. The elders gathered �" those of us who had seen history itself unfold before us, like the red carpet being rolled out for visiting royalty �" to discuss what was happening. Finally, we decided �" after much careful debate �" to create a world for ourselves �" separate, yet united. We called together the faeries who were most human �" the most creative, intelligent, and forward-thinking among us �" to design and create our new world. We drew on the stories your kind had so kindly created for us, and we built a world within a world.


In essence, we created a world that, like us, existed because of your ability to imagine. And like us, it grows even now, with TV, the internet, electronic games, phones, and all the other gadgets that supposedly wither the human imagination. True, it is a poor sort of food compared to that of our ancestors, but there is so much more of it. Every human on the planet has imagined something different at one point in their life. From playing with fairies in the back yard, to having imaginary friends, to imagining what you’d do if you won the lottery, to wishing the weekend would come faster.


However �" there are very few people who can see us, and it’s even rarer to be sighted, because you can’t see into our world, and most of us have no need to come out. Most of the time, it’s children who see us, because their views are not yet rigid, and they can see that we are there. But no human can ever see our true form. Your mind will only see what it wants to see, and as such, we are fettered by your perspective, forced into the shapes your mind creates.­­


Even children usually see us as human �" like the stereotypical fairy with a human body the size of a hand and wings. Or we are ascribed human characteristics and personalities. Most of the stories you’ve heard about something out-of-the-ordinary happening �" that was us, just popping in to say hi.


But that’s quite enough of our history now �" you’ll be wanting to move on to the faerie’s tail now. So, on with the story!



Once upon a time...


I’m waiting for the train, like usual. I’m looking around, which is not usual. I’ve normally got my nose buried in a book, hoping for the train to hurry up because it’s cold. But today I finished my book on the first section of my journey home. As my eyes scan across the wall opposite me, I catch a dart of movement. It comes from the brick opening that I always thought was there so if someone falls on the tracks they can duck in there and not get run over by the train. I stare at the doorway, thinking that maybe I imagined it. My mind goes wild with all the possibilities, and I decide to play pretend instead of zoning out. I imagine that there’s a creature in there, and it’s going to come out and play with me.


And then I actually see something. A little white nose peeks out of the doorway, and a small winged unicorn trots out, following the ledge made by the square gutter running along the length of the platform. It’s exactly as I’d imagined, but somehow, it’s not quite right. It’s as if it should be something else. So it changes, morphing first into a squirrel, then a cat, then into a small creature, about the size of my hand, creeping along the ledge. It’s got a long bushy tail, as long as its body, and it has dappled brown fur that somehow manages to mingle every shade of brown under the sun. Well... all the nice ones anyway. It’s gorgeous, but it’s too small to see properly, so it grows a bit more for me, until it’s as long as my forearm. It has the most intelligent chocolate brown eyes, and I can see the hint of mischief as it looks at me.


All of a sudden, it darts forward and makes a mad leap straight up into the air, catching itself on one of the bulgy bits in the wall, swinging itself up. It’s heading right for the top, but the bank of concrete doesn’t leave it any place to grip, so it dashes over to the side, jumping from the bumps in the wall to the pipes hanging out and finally onto the patch of grass growing on the side of the wall right where it juts out. The creature then scurries up the brick, and runs to sit on the top of the concrete, right over the section it couldn’t climb before. It grins at me... as much as an animal can grin, and then leaps over the edge towards the tracks, finally catching itself on the last bulge.


I smile to myself, and look around furtively to see if anyone else has noticed. They haven’t. They’re all too busy looking for the train and waiting impatiently. I can hear the train coming in, and I look back to the creature. It’s already on the move, almost back to the doorway. It hops in, and right before the train pulls in, leans out and pulls a silly face at me. I almost burst out into laughter, but since no-one else can see him, I’d look kinda foolish.


I’m still thinking about him as the train pulls away. I look up, and he’s running along the one of the train tracks beside us. He moves like molten metal, muscles bunching under his fur. He makes it look easy, but he’s running pretty fast to keep up with the train. He’s on the furthest track, but as we approach the next station, he leaps across between the tracks, coming closer. He leaps onto the outside of the train, but can’t keep a grip, so he back flips onto the other tracks again and runs ahead. When the train stops, he’s halfway up a pole grinning at me. He darts in before anyone can step on him, and shimmies up the grip to perch on the top.


He waits until everyone’s on, then starts moving. He swirls down around the pole, then leaps for the top of the door and runs across to the other side. He leaps around the carriage, performing marvellous acts of daring, flipping his body around like crazy, balancing and catching himself with his beautiful tail. We stop at the next station, and there’s a tree on the platform, which he promptly climbs, sitting and looking for all the world like he belongs there. The doors start to close and he runs back, flicking his tail out of the way at the last moment, before running to the top of the hand rail to look back at me. I look away, pretending nonchalance, and he squeals, trying to keep my attention. He runs to the top of the steps and grins at me again.


Through the rest of the trip, we play look and catch. I look away, he tries to catch my attention. Although it’s not needed �" even when I’m not looking at him, I know exactly where he is and what he’s doing. When it’s time to get off the train, he pops out and swirls around the roof supports, then leaps of and darts ahead of me as I walk up the stairs. There are a lot of people, so he runs along the banisters, then finally clings sideways to the walls. As we go down the stairs on the other side, he gives up and attaches himself to the roof, following just ahead of me, keeping me in his peripherals the whole way.


He clambers across the walls, leaping to the top of the vending machines, until finally, we’re out of the station and there’s no more people around. He runs on the ground for a while, but it seems to bore him, so he leaps and swings from the trees, then walks across the top of the bushes. We play look and catch again on the walk home, until we reach the bridge over the train tracks, and I tell him he should go home to his mother.


Already I can see that it’s getting harder to concentrate on him. My mind is starting to drift, and he’s losing  substance as I struggle with the wind. He leaps down onto the wires that run above the tracks, but it’s too far for him to jump straight down, so he hops back up to the bridge and runs to the side, where he waves at me before leaping down the bushy embankment to the tracks.


I follow him with my mind on the way home, so that he can show his mum the body the nice human gave him for a while. In my mind’s eye, I can see him dash along the tracks, moving so fast that he seems to be nothing more than a blur of light. He’s home, and I can hear him calling as he dashes in the doorway.


I can see his mother take shape before me, and while it makes sense to one part of my brain, I know that this isn’t quite right for either of them. They have no concept of gender, or motherhood. As it starts to get vague, I pull away, bidding them farewell. They wave, and are gone, and I’m left to think of them as I walk up the rest of the hill. It lightens my heart a little more with each step, each thought.


Today I met a faerie, and his tail.

© 2014 Tristyn

Author's Note

Just realised that this has so much more I can do with it, so feedback and constructive criticism would be welcomed so I can improve it.

My Review

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I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I can almost see the little critter running along with his bushy tail. I'm afraid I don't have any constructive criticism to offer, just wanted to say it was a very imaginative, cheerful story. :-)

Posted 9 Years Ago


9 Years Ago

Thanks - I'm glad I could bring him to visit you too.
I enjoyed how you described this Faerie that was shaped from a human perspective. The Faerie is just a blank slate referent that may be influenced by an image in someone's mind to refer to, and materialize as. These poor Faeries become trapped within the preconceived notions of humans who observe them. They are free unless they are captured by a human bias. We see what we want to see, and as that becomes real for us, it becomes a trap for others.

Posted 9 Years Ago


9 Years Ago

Thanks, I thought it was an interesting concept to explore. And why I wanted to continue with the i.. read more

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2 Reviews
Added on May 13, 2014
Last Updated on May 13, 2014



Sydney, NSW, Australia

I am an avid reader, and from the age of two, when I first started to read, I have been checking out of reality to take on all sorts of new adventures. I have been dabbling in writing for years, an.. more..

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