Marabell gazed out from her pretty prison, and gave a sad sigh that nobody heard as people bustled about all around her. When nightfall came she would escape from the spell that currently held her captive, and for a few hours do some bustling about of her own. When moonlight softened all the daylight shadows, she would spread her gossamer wings and flit among those diffused umbras. The ancient curse that held her captive in this modern world was only lifted between the witching hour, and dawn's first light. The second the sun's rays shone past the horizon, she would once more be imprisoned until the clock struck the witching hour again.
Once upon time, she and others like her had flitted about free and happy in the many great forests that had dotted the earth's landscape. Back then many people had believed in and accepted her kind as a rarely glimpsed, but natural part of that well forested landscape. Times had gradually changed though. So many of the large forests that had been their homes had been decimated by axes, then later large noisy chainsaws. Each time a tree had been felled, a little bit of the belief that had kept her kind alive and well, had also died. Ironically, some of the paper that had once been living trees had been used to write amazing stories about her kind. Upon that paper were also stories of other kinds of creatures who had once roamed the forests that paper came from.
By the time the forests began to ring with the dreadful sound of those noisy chainsaws, many kinds of creatures that had once found safe haven in the forests were becoming extinct. Gaia wept as the forests were decimated and the creatures who depended upon those forests began to die off. The Great Earth Mother had given a few of the witches and wizards whose magick was still strong and true the power to cast a spell that would insure her favorite magickal creatures would survive in some form. Those creatures were not exactly thrilled with the spell that had been cast upon them, but understood that it was necessary for their survival.
During the day the spell held them in forms which allowed them to exist in this new world that the hand of mankind was creating. The words written about them first on paper, and then later on digital screens helped to keep the spirits of those many magickal creatures alive. The pretty prisons that held their bodies helped to protect them from the often cruel and unfeeling hand of modern mankind. Though the forests that once gave safe haven to so many creatures were mere shadows of their former selfs, there was an abundance of pretty prisons that could be used to house and protect Gaia's favorite magickal creatures.
Marabell had been inside her current prison for many months now. She had been confined to it when her previous prison had met destruction during a great storm that the humans around her had called Katrina. She had been reasonably happy in that previous prison. During sunny days the surrounding garden had been filled with the sounds of birds singing, and the sight of many colorful flowers. As humans went, the older couple who had lived in the house the garden belonged to had been pleasant enough. They had even made sure her pretty prison was set safely in a secluded part of the garden that offered plenty of shade and protection against the elements. The couple kept the garden well tended, even installing a small pond and waterfall two years before the great storm. The pond and waterfall had been near her pretty prison. She had enjoyed the sound of the waterfall, and the sight of birds and other creatures drinking from the pond.
The great storm had brought that reasonably happy time to a terrible end though. The couple had begged their son and daughter-in-law to let them take some of things from the garden with them when they had come to whisk the older couple away to safe ground. But, time had been short, space in their vehicle limited, and along with the pond and waterfall, Marabell's pretty prison had been left to the mercy of the great storm. Unfortunately, that great storm had shown no mercy to city it had devastated. As the walls of her pretty prison shattered in the storm, Gaia's loving hand had rescued Marabell. She had taken her a place where many pretty prisons were manufactured. There she was safely deposited in another pretty prison.
Suddenly, Marabell heard a familiar voice. She had heard that voice only a few times before. The last time she had heard it the owner of that voice had been begging Gracie to please stop worrying about a bunch of easily replaceable knick knacks, and get in the car so they get out of town before evacuation traffic became worse. Marabell felt a hand close around her pretty prison and Susan say, "Look mother, this is just like the little faerie you had in your garden." Marabell felt her pretty prison exchange hands, and the fingers of the old woman lovingly stroking it. Then the very familiar voice of Gracie said, "We can put it under the new tree Gerald planted, and bring a bit of magick back to the garden."
Susan gave her mother-in-law an indulgent smile, and handed the clerk her own credit card. Gracie and Donald had lost so much to the storm. Their house and the beautiful garden Gracie loved so much had been completely destroyed by Katrina. Between the insurance and the fact that Gerald owned a construction company, the house and garden has been rebuilt in a very timely manner. But losing certain things that couldn't be replaced had taken a toll on Gracie. If Gracie thought having the little garden faerie she now held so lovingly in her hands would bring back a little of the magick that once made her faded blue eyes twinkle with mirth, Susan would gladly pay for the little faerie and give it to Gracie as a gift of love.
Gaia smiled as one of her favorite faeries was returned to the care of Gracie. She knew Marabell would be lovingly cared for by her. She also knew when Gracie's time on earth was finally up, Susan would take the little faerie and keep it in her garden as a memento of her beloved mother-in-law. As Gracie's fingers lovingly caressed the statue, Gaia felt the terrible depression that had overtaken both Marabell and Gracie since Katrina had blown through their lives like a very ill wind, lift slightly from both their hearts and souls. Through Gracie's loving touch Marabell would come to understand the inexpensive ceramic facsimile of herself that she always thought of as a pretty prison was in reality, the only safe haven to be had in this modern world for faeries and other magickal creatures.
Perhaps there would once more come a time when faeries, elves, unicorns, leprechauns and other magickal creatures would roam great forests and be considered a natural part of those forests. Until that time came again, they must learn to live within the protective ceramic facsimiles of themselves during the daytime. During moonlit nights, between the witching hour and dawn's first light, they could freely roam about the gardens their ceramic shells resided in, as well as in any nearby forests.