Asra stumbles over the torn streets of Nablus, Palestine; her eyes fixate where her house once stood. The blackened yard no longer shines green and pink from her mother’s bushes. She staggers down her ashen street. Only skeletons remain to house the new ghosts. She struggles over stones and limbs, clutching her yarn doll and taking no notice of the blood seeping from her head. Dizziness swarms her eyes, her stomach churning acid. As her small, 11 year old frame trips over a charred body, the world blackens before she hits the ground.
The sweet freshness of plants and soil greeted her nose, inviting her senses to awaken. Asra opened her eyes, feeling strangely peaceful, as though the bomb and destruction had been a nightmare. The air wrapped her like a cloudy dream, and she stared at the overgrowth of twisted trees and vibrant plants. Grass tickled her hair, and birds whistled from the brush. Blinking groggily, she pulled herself from the grass and wandered the forest aimlessly, amazed by the brilliant shades surrounding her. One particularly strange looking flower caught her eye, for it was ginger and bent in an odd shape. She leaned in to take a look. To her surprise, the flower shivered and bloomed, morphing into a flying creature.
“Goodness, you startled me!” exclaimed the pixie. “Can I help you?”
Asra studied her ginger red, flowing hair, royal blue butterfly wings, and miniature features. It dawned on her that the fairy had asked a question, but she couldn’t remember it.
“What’s your name?” Asra asked.
“Trinket. What’s yours?”
“Asra. Where am I?”
“Oh my, you must have just arrived.” Asra nodded in response.
“Oh dear, I apologize. Well, Asra, this is Centerra.”
“It’s beautiful,” she replied.
“Would you like me to make you some clothes?” Trinket offered.
Asra looked down at her bare skin. “Some clothes would be nice, thank you.”
Before Asra could blink, Trinket was flying in circles, dressing her in camouflage shorts and a black shirt. The fabric fell soft and free on her skin, and she complimented Trinket on her handiwork.
“Would you like to meet the other children?” Trinket asked.
“There are other children?”
“Of course! They aren’t far. Say, you wouldn’t mind sparing me some pixie dust, would you?”
Asra shook her head in confusion.
Trinket sighed. “I suppose I should explain. Fairies can’t make pixie dust anymore, because we have to earn it. Children are the only ones with the magic to make it, so we work for you. Just stretch your hand over my wings.”
Asra lifted her hand over the sapphire blue wings, studying the details very closely. Blue and ginger specks floated down, Trinket’s wings absorbing the dust as seamlessly as Asra’s fingers dropped it.
“How come fairies aren’t allowed to make their own dust?” Asra asked, enchanted by this magic.
“It was our punishment.”
The fairy sighed, running her fingers through her locks. Her eyes drifted about the trees, formulating an answer.
“Apparently we fairies have a tendency to…meddle.”
“Meddle in what?”
Again the fairy sighed, and Asra sensed she was tiring of her questions.
“You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” she said, strategically switching topics.
The fairy blushed, batting her eyes and soaking in the compliment.
“Aren’t you sweet? Come, I’m sure you wish to meet the other children.”
Asra nodded, eager to make new friends. Trinket led her out of the mist and into Noor.