The fairy sank down into the bottom of her glass prison, her hopes plummeting with her body. It had been a clever trap to set for one of her kind, baited with the promise of shiny lights threaded on small branches, but as soon as she had slipped into the opening, a metal lid had sealed her only means of escape.
Such a cruel fate for one used to racing the wind, she was left to sit and observe the beauty of the new day, unable to touch anything behind her wall of glass. Tears of anger and frustration rolled down her cheeks as she balled her small fists and hammered against the domed barrier, but with no success. Over time the tears changed to those of deep sadness and she slumped at the bottom of the sphere.
Suddenly her ears picked up the sound of a small tap-tapping. She looked to the top of the bauble and saw a lone bird looking down at her from the outside. It tilted its head to one side and tapped its small beak against the glass again. It brought a small smile from her, reminding her of the time she had raced swallows across summer meadows. “Hello there!” She sniffed quietly, wiping her eyes on her sleeve.
The bird peered at her, then turned to look away. “No!” she called, “Please don’t go!” The bird didn’t leave her though, instead it was joined by another. The two swallow squabbled and chattered a little and the fairy watched them. Two more landed and tap-tapped as they hopped towards the others. The noise of more chattering swallows was heard and it made the fairy grin a little “You are as bad as my sisters and I!” she called, a smile in her voice.
The wind blew gently against the sphere, shaking it a little. “Oh how I miss the breeze!” she thought to herself closing her eyes, her mind filling with the sensation of how it would pummel her body and move over her wings as she flew. The rush of it in her ears would deafen her to all, but its call to fly on, to fly faster and higher. Her wings shivered and rustled in her prison, sure they would never feel such a touch again.
A series of light plinking noises sounded in front of her face and her eyes flew open to see more birds had appeared and were swooping around the ball she was trapped in, hovering now and then and tapping their wings and beaks against the glass. Their yellowish bodies seemed to shine to the fairy, as did the shafts of light after storms on dismal days. She smiled gently, a sense of warmth filling her again.
The fairy looked all around her, no longer alone, although still trapped. It was as if these small creatures had heard her sobs and flown to give her good cheer. “Thank you… thank you all for not leaving me here alone.” She called up to them. All chatter from the birds stopped and either swooping or standing they all looked at the fairy’s smiling face.
Then each one of these tiny thoughts and memories did the unthinkable. Although they were tiny and their beaks so small, each one chipped and hammered at the glass. The fairy blinked and watched, hardly able to believe the gentle cracking sound as lines appeared in the glass and spread over its surface like the veins on a leaf.
The birds then took to the air, but remained nearby, their bodies dancing through the air, curving arcs in the clouds and waiting for their friend. The fairy picked up one of the branches and pushed it at the glass, her wings beating quickly to hold her from damage as the prison gave way, shards of sparkling glass falling to the floor.
“Wait for me!” the fairy called, and soared into the sky to race the wind with her friends.