Macie listened carefully from underneath her blankets, clutching her favourite headtorch. Mum had just turned off all the lights, letting Mr. Night properly take over the time from Mrs. Day. If Macie was going to go ahead with her plan, this moment was crucial. She needed to know the bedroom floor was safe enough to cross.
Silence was the sign of Underbed’s presence. It was a way for Macie of knowing whether the monster was awake.
Then she heard it; a soft chime that Macie knew did not belong to this world. Unravelling herself from the blankets around her, she slowly reached the floor with one of her toes, testing it. The chiming grew stronger. Macie hopped out of bed, planting both of her feet firmly on the fuzzy carpet, then quietly jumped towards the bedroom door.
She heard the sound again and knew it came from downstairs. Keeping in mind Mr. Night did not like to be disturbed, Macie picked the not-too-bright setting on her headtorch. Then, her feet barely touching the stairs, as was the proper faerie way, she made her way to the kitchen.
That’s where she had made a circle out of brownie crumbs.
She reached the space between the oven and the pantry door and saw silver bells floating in her circle. Her heart thumping, she stood still and blinked furiously before reaching for the bells.
She felt the cold as her hand crossed the circle, but before she could touch them, the kitchen lights suddenly turned on.
‘Macie! You had your snack already!’ said Mum, while the bells dissolved and disappeared. She stood in the doorway with her arms crossed, waiting for an explanation, but Macie was didn’t even hear her.
She swallowed, but her spit turned solid, painfully expanding in her throat. She balled her fists and stood there wanting to cry out, but her voice was gone and her breath with it. Macie could count on the tears, though. They streamed down hot and angry, and she turned towards her Mum. She ruined her chance at meeting the faeries she read so much about.
Macie loved her, but adults could be so stupid sometimes.