She opened her eyes after what felt like years of sleep. Frozen in place, she looked around, taking in…whatever or wherever this was. It must still be a dream. A light dew covered her skin. It was starting to get light. But she couldn’t tell from where. There was no sun here. Maybe it was the moonlight. Suddenly, fog was everywhere.

Numb. She couldn’t remember the last thing that happened. Tears. Yes. But they would no longer come. On to somewhere or someone else, she supposed. It’s almost as if she wanted them to stay. There is comfort in tears. And truth. What now?

Through the fog she could see flickers of flying light. One at first, then many. Lightening bugs! It had been so long since she’d captured them in a jar, only to see their lights slowly fade and disappear. You can’t capture magic. But here it was. Not gone, after all.

Just then, she was back there…in the theater. Glamour all around. Glitz by its very definition was everywhere. Everyone looking and laughing. Underneath, hypocrisy. She remembers now how unsettling and fake it all felt. Rushing to the toilet, flashes of white hands with blood-red nails caressing each other fervently, attempting to wash away the filth she felt for taking part in it all. Soaking up the warm rush of water and lather of bubbles, the feelings started to fade as quickly as they had come. She couldn’t go back out there and face all the fake smiles. There had to be something else. Something more. The sound of waterfalls flushed her ears, echoing amidst the walls of the wide porcelain basin.

Back in the dream…or the forest…or wherever she was…she started to see through the fog. The fireflies were overwhelming now, taking over the clearing. There was the waterfall. Peaceful in its brilliance. Simple in its beauty. Undeniably real.

For the first time, she was able to move. Sitting up, she took it in, this faery oasis. A holding place, perhaps? Something about this felt familiar. Had she been here before? She couldn’t be sure. But it was time to get up. Across the way, she saw a break in the fog and walked toward it, but not before blowing a kiss to the fae. Thank you, she thought, knowing they were somehow responsible for this.

Shielding her eyes against the blinding light, she blinked a few times before realizing she was back in bed, the summer sun blaring through the bare windows. Half asleep, still smelling of sweat and sweet, natural goodness, he looked over through droopy eyelids and smiled, planting a kiss on her cheek before falling back into slumber.

Yes. This. She thought.

You may not be able to capture magic, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real.