As a child, the pencils you used weren’t pencils, but wands. During recess, a handful of sand was all you needed to show your friends that fairy dust was real. And when they went crying to the teacher about sand in their eyes, you knew that you had the power to change reality.
As the years passed, you came to realize you didn’t need such earthly things as food, a family, or a therapist anymore. You were literally a fairy trapped in a human body. You threw away your belongings and became a street urchin, soon using your fairy powers for illicit things. To an unsuspecting bystander, it may have looked like you kicked that old lady into the open manhole and stole her purse, but you actually turned her into a funny little bird.
Then, one night, when you were about to cast a harmless spell on a shop clerk with a cattle prod, something caught your eye. It was the most beautiful book you’d ever seen. It had a sparkly, bright-purple cover with the picture of something with wings on the front. It took you a second, but then you realized. It was you. It was a fairy on the cover of this book. The shop clerk said it was called a “Shakespeare,” and that it was a “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
“Why yes; yes it is,” you said, thinking he was discussing the current state of the weather.
With a nervousness that could have easily been mistaken for sheer terror, the shopkeeper started telling you about it. It was hard to understand it over the sound of his odd sobbing, but there was a character named Duck, who was also something like a fairy.
“That’s me, I’m a Duck,” you said, triumphantly.
You bolted out of there so quickly that it took you about a year to realize that you had left the cattle-prod behind. But by that time, you had read the play and visited online forums devoted to the Fair Folk and were well on your way to your ultimate destiny: putting on the greatest production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream the world has ever seen, paid for by the gold coins freely given to you by people who thought they were being mugged but were actually being turned into a bucket of Amazonian tree frogs.
There’s no point in lying about it: producing a famous play is difficult when your only professional experience up until then is selling magical grapes to a bunch of stray cats. But with determination, perseverance, and a little bit of pathological denial, you knew you could make your midsummer night’s dream come true.
From the very beginning, there were problems. You had a hard time finding anyone who could properly fashion a donkey head for someone to wear. Everyone kept saying “that’s illegal” and “what happened to Old Man Jebediah’s donkey?” Thankfully, mere hours before opening night, you were able to buy a donkey’s head off a man who went by the name of Banjo Rick. You didn’t care how or why.
There was one moment on opening night that you still remember today. Yes, maybe you could have used material other than papier mâché and spit to make your fairy wings, but in the moments after you leapt off that balcony into the waiting, frankly horrified arms of Nick, the 16-year-old who was bafflingly cast as Oberon, king of the fairies, you thought you were flying. Really flying.
Nick told you later that what you thought was levitation was actually your wings getting caught in the fake overhanging foliage. In that moment, did you not suddenly understand the struggles of Macbeth when he lost control of his kingdom? Did you not see a kinship with Hamlet, who really had some compelling notions about the use of human skulls? This was your tragedy, and by the Great Earth Mother, your only flaw was that you were just too darn talented. Of course you flew that night!
As a fairy trapped in a human body, you’ve known tragedy all your life. From your parents who didn’t let you change your name to Nugget McGlimmer-Toot, to the police who didn’t accept “having a real-life Bambi” as a proper excuse when you brought a baby fawn through the downtown metro-area, you have seen obstacles everywhere you turned. Well, after your production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, you knew that you had to set off on your own. The summer season was over, and you had to start preparing for your very own winter of discontent. With one last flourish, you threw your fairy wings, your bag of sand, even your 1834 copy of Yes, It Really is Made of Glitter: A Fairy’s Guide to Bathroom Etiquette by Murga Stubbypump, into your StorBox unit. There, all your treasured items will be stored, safe and sound, and will be ready for when you return next summer for your newest production: Macbeth, but every character will be played by newborn puppies wearing sunglasses. The world isn’t ready for your genius.