The Woman at the Well

 In the wishing well just outside the village there dwelt a fairy.  The fairy lived there because inside the well magic grew in great abundance.  Long ago the fairy had been pulled toward the warm glow of the ready magic, as did many a passerby who found themselves gazing into the subtle water to speak a wish.  

              But as years turned to centuries, the fairy grew tired of hearing the wants of all those who came to cast their hopes, for the wishes themselves were often for wealth, and pride of place, and privilege.  Hopeful they would come, perhaps weary, and they would speak the words of longing in their heart, only to walk away, the fairy thought, slightly hardened.  As the fairy looked after the wishers, it would grow sad, for the aura cast about them seemed to mark their end.

              Then came a day when a young woman knelt upon the stone stoop of the well, placing her elbows on the lip as her head fell into her hands.  It was when the first tears hit the water that the fairy startled, for it was unusual for any to come to the well in sorrow.  Curiosity over came the Fae creature.  It flew up, lighting softly on the woman's tight curls in order to hear her speak her wish.  But the woman spoke no more than her tears.  The fairy felt a moment's pity for the woman and did not want for her to walk away without a wish, so it took it upon itself to cast a peace upon her in hopes that it would allow her the freedom to speak whatever it was her heart desired.  

              At that, the woman stood, and, flying back, the fairy saw her shoulders move from her ears, her head raise, and her tears cease as she walked light-footed away from the well.  The fairy cocked its head as it looked after the woman, and couldn't help but feel that her wish was only her beginning.

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