Iron & Wine-Chapter One: Dust Fairies

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Chapter One-Dust Fairies

Chapter One-Dust Fairies

I woke to the touch of sunshine slightly warming my face and smiled in contentment as I looked up through the large skylight above my bed. Through the rays of warm sunshine gleaming down, particles of dust floating could be seen dancing in the air. They made me think of little fairies, too tiny to ever see. When I reached up to touch them, it was as if they weren't there; weightless, yet each particle danced away from my fingertips.

 I yawned and stretched my limbs as I pulled the warm, heavy duvet up around my face. Aunt Tess's house was my favorite place on earth, not that I had been to many places to compare, nonetheless, I was certain that this was my favorite. I looked around my one-of-a -kind room, as I often did, in awe. It was small, humble, yet housed my double bed, dresser and cluttered computer desk just fine. The unique aspect of my bedroom was the fact that it's made entirely of old stone walls and large oak beams. It gave a very warm, woodsy feel to the bedroom. Almost the entire ceiling was a skylight; Aunt Tess always said that special little girls should sleep under the stars every night. But, then again, she also believes that her garden is full of sprites and magic fireflies.

The house itself isn't really a house but a large cottage about an hour outside the city. Like my room, the rest of the home consists of aged stone walls and dark wooden beams. Our place is what Tess calls 'open concept'. The huge living room was the very heart and center of the house. A stunning red stone fireplace that reached up through the ceiling, surrounded by miss-matched furniture made of logs and wicker and adorned with dozens of fluffy and colourful pillows, so much that you could barely see the seating underneath. Aunt Tess always worried I wasn't happy or comfortable here in the country so far from other kids my age and the convenience of the city, so she overcompensated with things like giving me the largest room or getting up early everyday just to make me pancakes. The truth was I felt totally content being here in her fairy tale cabin. I never was one for large groups of friends or shopping or the buzz of a big city.

On the north side of the living room is a kitchen full of antique cabinets and pieces Aunt Tess has salvaged and re-finished. On the sunny southern side of the living room a dining room sat completely encased in glass panels that open into a magnificent garden. The only item in that area was a huge dining table made of an old oak tree from out back, topped with a slab of cool white marble. Hands down, it's the most beautiful piece in the entire house, surely a work of art. Maybe that's why it was my favorite piece, since I am an artist. Well, an art student, come Monday. I took in a nervous breath as I remembered that this was my last weekend living at home in my beautiful, quiet and comfortable paradise in the country.

"Avery, are you up yet?" Tess asked as she knocked at my door.

"Yeah, I'm up, Aunt Tess," I replied with another yawn.

"Don't call me that, it makes me sound old," she protested as she entered my room and skipped over to my bed. At thirty-six she looked as if she were barely in her twenties. She is really more of an older sister than anything else. My dad always told me she was like a little kid inside and out. But I found it hard to believe. After all, she was the one who stayed and raised me while he spent most of his time on the other side of the world photographing monkeys and giant ferns.

"Seriously, get up. I only have one day left with you before you leave me forever," she half joked as she ripped the duvet off the bed.

"Tess!" I cried and scrambled toward her. "Give it back!" Standing all of only five foot two in heels and sporting the bone structure and milky skin tone of an eighteen year old, it often felt like she was the teenager instead of me. But, all it took was one glance into her emerald green eyes to see the age and wisdom she kept hidden behind them to quickly remind me that she was the adult, not me. "What are you talking about anyway? I don't leave 'til Sunday. It's only Friday."

She grinned. "True, but today doesn't count because we're wasting it shopping!" Her big green eyes gleamed with excitement and she tossed my duvet back on the bed. I groaned. While she absolutely loved to shop, I completely despised it.

I mean, I'm not totally unreasonable, I don't mind going to the mall when I need things, even though I prefer to shop online. However, shopping with Tess is like participating in a marathon or going to the dentist; you really don't want to do it, and you try everything to avoid it, but for some reason you find yourself doing it anyway.

"Come on Tess, I already have what I need for school. Everything is already at my apartment in the city. I don't need anything else," I pleaded, hoping to detour her from the idea.

She gave me puppy dog eyes which quickly turned to a scowl. "Don't argue with me, I will spend money on you and you will love it," she ordered, trying to keep a straight face. "What good is all my money if I can't spend it?" Tess was one of the best, if not the very best, landscape designer in the area. People paid her big bucks to come and turn their properties into dreamlike gardens or extraordinary outdoor getaways.

I gave her a scolding look back, but then gave in and laughed. You couldn't be serious around her. And I knew there was no way out of this.

"Fine, get out so I can get ready," I ordered. She jumped up and skipped out of the room, pixie-like, with a victorious smile.

"Be ready and downstairs in twenty minutes," Tess quickly added as she closed the door behind her.

With a sigh, I got up and walked over to my mirror. My hair is totally crazy and I never know what to do with it. I'm quite short myself, though still taller than Tess, with a dainty nose and a nice set of plump lips, if I do say so myself. With my ivory skin and long, loosely curled dark red hair, most people assume I should have freckles and green eyes too. Instead, I have wide, chocolate brown eyes that seem to fit my oval face just fine, and not a freckle in sight. I played with my hair until I inevitably gave up and tossed it into a messy ponytail.

I quickly threw on a pair of dark skinny jeans and a white tank top, grabbed my purse and ran downstairs. Tess had pancakes ready, my favorite, and fresh coffee. I sat down and started digging in while she paced around and ticked items off a mental list of the things she was convinced I needed.

"For sure you need some scarves. In five, no, ten different colors! Artsy people always wear scarves." I rolled my eyes and ignored her, and kept wolfing down my breakfast.

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