Filomena's Chore

Posted on April 7, 2015
At the top of a two-hundred-year-old Spanish house, underneath rows of orange ceramic tiles on a slanted roof, lives a tiny night pixie named Filomena. She stretches her thin arms outwards and upwards as the moonlight shines down upon her from a crack in the wall.

"Time to wake up, Filomena," the moon says shining its ray a little brighter.

"So soon? Olivia has a bad cold, and her parents keep giving her medicine, so she was asleep for most of yesterday. I am still exhausted. Just a few more minutes?"

"I know you are tired, my dear Filomena, but who else will guard Olivia as she sleeps?"

"I know, I know," Filomena says. She rubs her eyes and scratches her long, jet-black hair.

"Your human child must survive at least until her fifth birthday, and only then will you prove yourself to be worthy of wings."

With the annoying grunt of a teenager who doesn't want to do her chores, Filomena rises to her feet, straightens the white strands of cloth around her slender body, and tightens the shimmering string around her waist. A quick tug of her white, sparkling, magic boots secures them on her feet. She is ready to protect Olivia from the natural dangers of the night.

She storms out of the attic through the crack in the wall, pouting at the moon, and falls gracefully down to the window sill outside of Olivia's room.

"Filomena, please don't be upset with me. Do you want to be a house pixie forever? You must earn your wings."

"I'm not mad. I'm tired," she snaps back, rolling her eyes, sliding her hands under the window to lift it up.

"Very well," says the moon as he lessens his shine and goes about his duties for the night. 

Filomena slides inside and shuts the window behind her, leaving her father's control outside and realizing her responsibility towards Olivia's safety. She slaps the dust off her hands and takes a glance about the room. The backside of the dresser, the under-bed, the open closet door; Filomena's tasks are laid out before her. With the mysterious powers of her tiny moon boots, she jumps high in the air, over the breadth of Olivia's bed, and lands on the white dresser across the room. She checks for poisonous spiders, hungry mosquitoes and infected house centipedes that are in search of the tempting smell of a small child's breath. She finds nothing behind the dresser.

The moon moves across the starry sky as Filomena searches for vermin in the stuffed closet. Old teddy bears, dirty laundry baskets, and the insides of Olivia's shoes are clear of the threat. She slaps her hands clean of grime and jumps down to the ground to start her march towards the under-bed, the filthiest part of Olivia's room and the heaviest part of Filomena's chore. 

She glances up at the moon as she walks across the daisy-patterned area rug in the middle of Olivia's bedroom. "How much longer do I need to do this?" she asks the moon.

A moon ray shines brightly upon her. "This child will be five years old in eight months."

"Eight human months! That's... like... almost two and a half more pixie years for me!"  

The moon chuckles. "Every house pixie has to go through this, Filomena."

"I know, I know. It just feels like I've been doing this forever."

"Eight months will pass quickly, faster than you will notice."

"Not fast enough," Filomena mumbles under her breath.

The moon lessens his light once more as Filomena reaches the under-bed. After her routine scan, Filomena finds nothing of interest and jumps up to Olivia's nightstand, her magic boots leaving a trace of glittery dust in her path. She slaps the rug's dander off her hands and perches upon Olivia's daisy-pattern night lamp.

"Father, how will having wings change my life? Will I have to watch over Olivia?"

"Sweet Filomena, that will be entirely up to you. Once you have your wings, the world is much safer for you. You will fly to any destination, and you will use your wings' magic to defend yourself from predators. Your wings will help you fly away from humans that will want to capture you as a treasure. You are already a master at using your boots, and not to mention your hunting skills are better than many house pixies older than you. There is only so much I can show you, and prepare you. Once you get your wings, your life is yours to control."

Filomena sits back against the lamps' white base and straightens out her legs in a long stretch. She looks over at Olivia, who sleeps soundly in her bed. After spending all these years watching over Olivia, Filomena finds the idea of leaving bittersweet. She contemplates the possibilities that she will have once she gets her wings, but drowsiness overwhelms her. Yawning, rubbing her eyes, stretching her arms out as far as she can reach, she asks the moon, "So, once I get my wings, I can sleep as long as I want?"

The moon sighs. "Yes, Filomena. When you get your wings, you can sleep as long as you want."


5 comments:

  1. This is an interesting world that you've imagined.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    A Faraway View

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cute story, and those are some crazy boots! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello, I’m stopping in from A to Z and thanks for your continued participation!

    Stephen Tremp
    an A-Z Cohost
    @StephenTremp on Twitter

    ReplyDelete