Let's see what Denise has to say . . .
One night, over 25 years ago, I listened to an acoustic song my husband had just written. In that magical moment, I was inspired to write a poem about fairies. I could envision the fairies flittering through the trees and then decided the fairies would want to protect those trees. That's where this story originated. Here is the poem that is included in Tree Fairies:
The little fairies danced around the trees
To a playful tune
Coming from the very soul of the forest.
A magical song that has always been
But lost to you and me.
As we moved away from nature
In our houses of concrete and steel
It deafened us
To magic within the forest
That only the little fairies hear.
For us to join them again.
When reality and magic meet in the forest
It's 1969, and twelve-year-old Daniel Burns is camping in the redwood forest with his family. Danny wants to listen to his music and read, but his family has other plans. S'mores around the campfire and stories end their first day. The family is sleeping soundly in their secluded tent when Danny wakes up and finds his sister, Colette, is missing. Assuming she went to use the outhouse, he goes after her. When he finds his sister, they discover there is a thin veil between reality and fantasy.
Two bonus short stories offer a glimpse into the magical world that finds Danny and Colette. These hidden beings not only share our world but have a role in protecting their forest.
TREE FAIRIES CHAPTER 1 ~ 1969, somewhere in a redwood forest
The sun was setting behind the mammoth trees as we returned to our secluded campsite. My mom rushed into the tent to add inspirational words to the book she was writing. They had come to her on our hike among the redwoods. Dad and my nine-year-old sister, Colette—who weren't as moved—collected wood for our campfire. They insisted it was a three-person job.
They walked ahead of me, Dad engaged in another batch of endless questions from Colette. I wanted to be listening to the brand-new portable radio I'd gotten for my twelfth birthday, but there were no radio stations to pull in—not even AM. I wouldn't mind hearing the always-playing "I Heard It through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye, but my new favorite song was "Get Back" by the Beatles. Music filled my unsure spaces. Today, surrounded by trees that had lived more than one hundred lifetimes in contrast to mere humans, I needed some soothing tunes. I felt like I was a tiny grape in the vastness of a vineyard.
Picking up a branch here and there, I followed my dad and Colette. Two fluffy-tailed western gray squirrels were chasing each other across the same massive tree my family had attempted to join hands around earlier. I stopped and added two more branches to my load. A hand suddenly waved in front of my face. Dad. I held back my sigh when I saw his frown.
"Daniel Burns. Would you please join us on this hike?"
I kicked a small, gray pebble off the trail. It rolled under a fern before I met Dad's firm stare. "I am with you."
Dad folded his arms and raised an eyebrow. "Your body is here, but your mind isn't, Danny. Like I just said, we're headed to camp now because we have enough wood. Then we will all get the fire going and cook dinner." He turned his attention to Colette with a wink. "After that, we can roast marshmallows and tell stories. Maybe Mom will have a new story to share tonight."
Colette returned the wink. "Can we make s'mores?"
Her big blue eyes were enormous with excitement. Strawberry-blond pigtails bounced up and down in constant motion, and her smile's brightness matched her loud orange-and-pink-striped shirt. The combination of my sister's movement and colors made me dizzy. She would be a perfect cartoon character, like a colorful Tweety Bird in the Bugs Bunny cartoons.
"I packed the chocolate bars, marshmallows, and graham crackers myself." Dad grinned. "Let’s go.”
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