This is the official blog of Winna Efendi, author of several bestselling Indonesian novels.

Sabtu, 13 September 2008

The Fairy

Something that's been sitting on my laptop for months. Let me know what you think :)

The beach and the sea are separate worlds on their own. I always believed that. Species and creatures live harmoniously down under, places we have never thought we could see, people we have never thought we would encounter. But I was fortunate enough to own one magical moment with one of their kinds.

It was a grey evening. Close to a stormy night, if you counted the number of the stars in the pit of the sky, the way the wind slapped against my skin and how cold the sand felt underneath my feet. It was the night my father died. I heard the phone ring an hour ago, and my mother stared wordlessly at me as she clutched the cord and let tears slowly consume her grief. I did not need to hear her say the words, the hollow silence that phone call caused said it all. I was fourteen years old.

You could say I followed the northern wind. I would say I had nowhere to go. A destination would have made things more resolute, more confirmed. And I was not ready for a change yet. So I walked down the beach, my fingers tapping each palm tree as I did so. When I sat at the border where the waves touched the land, I began to cry.

Normally I would never forgive myself for showing a moment of weakness. But tonight I kept sobbing, the tears wetting my knees and my cries swallowed by the storm. I must have cried my heart out because at one point, I was oblivious to the fact that suddenly everything calmed down. It was one of those moments when you felt bizarre – like when someone snapped two fingers and the noise simply turned to a hysteria of silence, or as if someone turned down the volume of the world. I looked up at once, and there he was standing in front of me.

He was not quite human, even I could see that. His hair was the finest silver I had ever seen – as loose as silk. I wondered how it would feel to touch them. His eyes were the color of the sky, the blue of the sea I had never seen before. His face was long, angular, with a smile that striked as cold beauty. His cheeks glowed rosy red, and his skin was a pale bronze; even though it was dark it seemed as if he were shining. He was an angel, he was the devil, or perhaps a star. But he was life, all by himself.

I could go on describing him, but the truth was, I lost all power of speech. I was not afraid, I just hated being unsure. But then again, back then perhaps I mistook fear for uncertainty.

“What are you?” That bubble of thought exploded in my mind, reaching my tongue but still I could not say it properly.

“As you might have guessed, I’m a fairy. A sea creature.”

I caressed his face with my stare, and all he did was smile. A fairy? Was he for real?

“Yes.” He said, his voice smooth and quiet. I wondered if only I could hear it. “I’m real.”

Scarlet rose to my cheeks when I realized he could read my mind. I found my voice and pretended I was brave. “Can anybody else see you?”

He shook his head.

“Why can I?”

He shrugged again. “Because you’re a property of magic.”

“I’m magic?” I almost laughed at that. I might be different than other kids my age, but I was not one of magic.

“How could you be so sure you are not?” he asked and lifted one hand to touch me. I flinched and moved back, forgetting my tears at once. “You do not have to be afraid,” he whispered. The ringing of his voice almost lulled me to sleep, and it was much more beautiful than music because I felt like dancing. Barefooted on the beach at midnight. He had that power on me.

I shivered when his long fingers touched my skin. It felt like rough edges of a diamond, cold, ruthless, but precious at the same time. He ran them down my tearstained face, my quivering lips, my trembling chin.

“Your eyes,” he murmured softly. “Your eyes are the color of jade, with irises as dark as moss. They are special. That is why you can see me.”

I stood transfixed, not knowing how to respond. When I was little, my grandmother would sit me on her lap and read me fairy tales from centuries ago. Some of them were true, she said, but I never really believed her. How could I believe that fairies and goblins existed, how could gnomes and nymphs be more than victims of human’s imaginations?

“I am real because you see me,” he said, once again interpreting my thoughts. “You will just have to believe.”

“What is your name?”

“Fairies like me do not have the pleasures of owning a name,” he said simply.

“And your home?”

“Tree barks underneath the sea,” he replied earnestly, “The insides of an empty seashell. The bubbles of sea foam. The tears of a mermaid. The place where the rainbow touches the water. The sound of the wind. You never know.”

I sighed, because it sounded so wonderful. He must have understood the strength of my thoughts and the expression on my face because he continued, “You wanted to come to my world.”

In stories like this, human beings were always too tempted to follow a myth-like creature to his world. They forgot what they were supposed to do, and in turn they were never to return. I, too, was as greedy as they were. I was charmed by those aqua eyes, the touch that held pleasure, and the voice that sang like a lullaby. Most of all, I wanted to prove he was real. So I pleaded.

Again, he shook his head, the silvery mane draping his shoulders like a blanket. “No, you must not come. You will learn of regret. They will hunt you, and kill you.”


He looked sad. “Other fairies.”


He did not answer for a very long time. “Because fairies are not supposed to fall in love with ordinary human beings,” he finally replied. “When they do, the humans shall die.”

“Fairies know of love?” I asked, out of curiosity.

“We know of everything. We know the past, and the future.”

“What do you know about me?”

He looked at me sadly. “I know that your father died tonight. I know that you would one day be a hero. I know that I would fall in love with you, and that I would never be able to see you again. Fairies know a great deal about things in this world, too much for our own good.

We already knew our destiny on the day we were born.” He smiled again, a smile of goodbye. I saw enough to notice one. “My destiny says I am going to die on the day I meet you.”

“But why?”

“So that you could live.”

He paused, his beautiful features softening as he looked at me one last time. “Goodbye, Wednesday. You will never see me again.”

He pressed one bony finger on his lips and touched the tip to my mouth – a kiss of the fairies. And then he was gone. Dust, ashes, and air. All that could never replace him.


My mother found me on the beach just before sunrise. She had been looking everywhere for me since the stroke of midnight. A villager swore he saw a shadow surrounded by a bright light, and made a motion to check – only to find me shivering with pneumonia, alone in the beach. They said I was going to die. They said I was lucky to be saved.

I was found, but I was never the same again.

That was also the last time I ever saw the fairy.


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