Midsummer Night

I hear you collect stories, stories of the otherworld. I have one, it is not long and elaborate, but it is real. I know it is real because it happened to me. So if you would indulge me for a moment, I will tell you what happened. 

It happened when I was a young man. I was down on my luck, I had lost my job, my heart had been broken and my soul was aching after the death of my mother. I am sure you can understand that the times were hard for me then. I felt lost. 

It all happened on a scorching hot summer’s day, I was tired, hungry and worn but was walking to another village to look for work. I had been walking since the early hours of the day and sat down to have a bit to eat and a short nap. I found a grassy patch in the shade, and I must not have paid very good attention, for it seems I fell asleep inside a fairy ring.

When I woke up, I found myself surrounded by three gorgeous women that were poking me with branches while giggling. They were speaking amongst themselves in a weird musical language but once they realised I was awake they ran off to the trees. There was an eerie fog surrounding the land, and I couldn’t tell if it was day or night. I called out to the women, but they just giggled in response. When I moved towards them they started dancing and skipping away in amongst the forest. I yelled for them to stop, but they didn´t as much as throw me a backward glance. I followed them for a while until it got all quiet. Too quiet really. Eventually, I heard a splash, and I followed the sound. There was a lake on the other side of the woods. The fog didn´t extend to the lake, and the water was as clear as crystal. I could hear their giggling again, but there was no sight of them. Nowhere they could have hidden. I took a step into the water, and as I did the previously still surface rippled and moved. Huge waves were coming towards me as if the lake itself wanted to drown me. The giggling sounded menacing now, and in a moment of clarity, I stepped out of the lake and fled back into the forest. The friendly, teasing laughter stopped and wailed instead. I ran as fast as I could and grabbed the iron keys that I had in my pocket. As I reached the faerie ring I jumped into it, and the fae world vanished and the sun was beating down on me once again.

I knew it must have been the land of the Fae. It was different from ours. It was enchanting in a way that was not healthy. I am so happy that I had my old keys in my pockets. As you know, iron and fae do not go well together. So now, wherever I go I always make sure I carry some iron on me, and you should too.

digital art illustration of three water nymphs plauing in a lake