The young fairy child stares out the window of her hotel in the East side of town. A blanket is wrapped around her, as she fearfully clings to it. She didn't like storms, never has. More specifically, she didn't like the booming of thunder. She can almost feel the way it echoes across the town and into her bones, vibrating her entire body as she shakes with fear, following by a vicious fork of lightning raking across the darkened sky. It was pouring, drenching the earth with a summer downfall. Her pale, porcelain skin is covered in goosebumps from both fear and chills as she snugs the blanket around her even tighter. The wind howls like a wolf crying to the moon and Maeve wishes all of it would just stop. As another great thundering roar opens into the sky, her tiny, fair skinned hands rise to her ears and she shuts her amethyst eyes tightly, hoping with all of her heart and soul that the storm would just end.
She isn't sure how long she sat that way, hands pinning her pointed ears to her head and eyes scrunched up tightly, blocking her sight, but when Maeve opens her eyes, the rain has ceased, the thunder quieted, and the lightning has disappeared. The storm has passed. Hesitantly, she presses her face against the glass of the hotel room to stare down at the city below. The grey clouds in the sky still lingered, not a small speck of blue sky visible. The sun was a bright, but blurred circle in the sky, hidden behind the sad colored clouds as they made no attempt to clear up. Maeve is hesitant, she wanted to leave the hotel room, after all, she was only a child and therefore she enjoyed her time outside and stretching her legs. But she wonders too if she will leave the safety of the hotel only for the rain to fall again and for the thunder to shock her nerves.
Finally, she rises from her cocoon of blankets near the window before changing from her pajamas into a much more suitable outfit. Maeve assumes the day will be cold due to the rain and the very little sunlight that seemed to be trying to push its way through. She has a pair of jeans, that while they are a brand new pair, only having been worn by Maeve herself instead of a second hand pair, they are too big, too long for her to wear and so Maeve rolls the bottom of her jeans into a suitable length before slides a black and white striped long sleeve shirt over her head. Again, while the shirt is new, belonging to Maeve and no one else before her, it is slightly too large for her and she pushes the sleeves up to her elbows and slides her violet converse on over her sockless feet, tying the laces around her ankles and into a perfect bow. She slides her hotel key into her pocket and heads to the door, pausing only to, as always assess her reflection and ensure she looks like any other regular child and not a fairy, nor a runaway foster kid. Her hair hangs low down her back and and over her shoulders, it is slightly messy, but Maeve does not have a brush and combing her hair with her fingers can only do so much. But she thinks for now with her pale complexion and bright purple eyes that she will be okay, she looks like any other normal eight year old child, growing into some clothes.
She quietly meanders down the hallway towards the elevator, hoping that no one will question why she is wandering about the hotel without her parents to accompany her. She presses the button for the lobby and is greeted by a quickly opening elevator into which she steps inside, all alone. The short ride down to the bottom floor opens to the lobby in which several people are trying to get onto the elevator with suitcases and backpacks, once man who is so tall does not even see the fair haired child and bumps into her as she quickly tries to worm her way through the crowd of people. The hotel employee at the front desk is busy with hotel guests that seem upset that some of their plans were cancelled due to the rain. A strand of pity reaches out to the employee dealing with such hostility, but at the same time, Maeve is thankful for the distraction for she is able to quickly slip through the sliding glass doors and reach the streets of the outside world.
The smell of a world fresh from cleansing rain reaches her nostrils, the scent is potent and beautiful. A smile grows onto the child's face, lighting up her pale skin features and she looks so childlike and free that there is beauty in that smile. Maeve moves along the street, pausing to look in windows here and there. Especially when she comes to a dress store made specifically for children. Everything in Maeve comes to a stop as she stares inside through the window, her eyes growing with such a longing to just wear any one of those beautiful, custom made dresses. Just then, the 'ding' of a door opening causes the fairy child to jump and turn to the direction of the sound. An older woman stands there, simply staring at Maeve with a dark chocolate gaze, her gaze is hard and stern, accusatory even. "You have come here nearly every day and just stared in the window," she says looking down at violet eyed Maeve. "I justâ€"the dresses are so beautiful," she says before dropping her head in shame. The woman looks around Maeve for a moment, seemingly to be searching for anyone else with the child, she takes in the child's appearance, the unbrushed hair, the too big clothes, before she speaks once more. "Well come on in and have a look around. Looking is free," she says, humoring the dress-obsessed girl and holds open the door for Maeve who immediately brightens and dashes inside.
She is amazed by everything that she sees and she begins to look around as she shop owner goes to make a phone call. Her eyes fall first to a cobalt blue dress with a high collar, a pink flower with olive green leaves adorns the dress diagonally across it. The contracting warm and cool colors are dazzling to the violet eyed girl. Next, a floor length gown captures her attentionThe straps go up and around the mannequins heads, they are beaded and encrusted with rhinestones that fall all the way down the bust of the dress before opening into a long, wide skirt full of ruffles. The turquoise color of the dress is astoundingly bright and beautiful. But the dress that enraptures the child the most is a simple one, there are no frills, no glitter, in all words it is very plain, and maybe even boring by some standards, but Maeve, who has owned so few dresses, and especially ones that were not ripped, stained, or a school uniform, she finds it beautiful. A pastel pinkish purple, baby doll design with a cream peter pan collar at the top. There are two layers to the dress, the top being sheer and the bottom being soft as silk. The sleeves eave the shoulders exposed, and down below the dress lay a pair of shoes the color of cream put in coffee, the toe area of the shoe looks like lace, a single line of leather floats upwards where a bow sits by the bottom of the ankle. "You like this one?" She asks and Maeve nods shyly in response. "I made all these dresses," the shop owner says as the fairy stares up at her in awe, a thousand questions dancing through her head like sugar plum fairies at Christmas time.
But the sound of a car pulling up and opening doors quickly distracts the child. Violet eyes turn to see policemen entering into the store. She quickly shoots a petrified glance at the shop owner, that must have been who she was calling on the phone earlier. She should have known, typically she was so much more vigilant than this, more aware, but she had been distracted, by pretty and wonderful things as any little girl would be. And now her mind is whirling, thinking of a way out of this predicament. Otherwise, they will catch her, take her to the station, ask about her family, find out she is a foster child who ran away, and either her foster parents would take her back, or she would be placed in a new home. It was the same ole dance that Maeve knew all too well.
She watches as they open the door and step inside, her violet eyes not even daring to blink for dare she miss an opportunity at escape. "Is that her?" One of them says to the store owner, casting Maeve nothing more than a side glance in her direction. The woman nods in response as the officers slowly move towards her. She knows to run now would be futile, but a plan cooks up in her head as he bends down to speak to her. "Hi there, kiddo, where are your parents? We would love to talk to them," he says, and Maeve knows the strategy. A cafe sits across the street, she knows what may just work. "They are eating across the street. I came here to look at dresses, would you like me to point them out to you?" He nods and Maeve leads the way outside, but the moment she makes it through the door, she breaks into a dead on sprint. She doesn't know if her legs have ever moved that quickly before in her life. It takes the officers a moment or two to realize the child has taken off and that is the only moment the fairy child needs to get away, though she knows she cannot out run them forever.
She realizes that through all her window shopping she had bene out on the outskirts of the East side of town and had entered perhaps the north side of the city. A place people with wealth to spare tended to be. She throws herself into a nearby alleyway, zig zagging between different shops and houses until she finds a suitable place to hide, there is a small space behind a dumpster outback behind a fancy bar, and Maeve spares little hesitation of crawling inside.
It is quiet. The only sound the blonde hair girl can hear is the sound of her own breathing, the sound of cars, and obscured voices, though none of them are near her. Maybe she evaded them, escaped. But Maeve was too nervous to move from her secluded hiding spot and so she stays there, hugging her tiny, knees to her chest, making herself as small as possible so as not to be seen. She always was good at hide and seek. Though the fae child has never attempted hide and seek from a were before...
Maeve Liliwenimage by Wang Xi