Fairies At The Bottom Of The Garden

By Louise Burch

sfgenre“Mummy?” asked Holly, “Could we make some fairy bread for the fairies?”

“Please,” corrected her mother as she smiled down at her daughter.

“Please, Mummy?”

“Well, you’re a big five-year-old now; you can make it. But I’ll help you cut off the crusts.

Where are the fairies, Holly?”

“At the bottom of the garden, Mummy.”

“Of course they are,” replied her mother.

Holly had seen the two ‘fairies’ earlier. Nutmeg the cat had been sitting on the windowsill in Holly’s bedroom looking intently out into the garden. Holly had gotten out of bed, stroked her, and looked out. She had seen the fairy creatures fly out from a black dome-shaped object in the vegetable garden. Large silvery wings sparkled as they flew across to the flowers. There they stopped then zigzagged rapidly back to the black dome.

These two scout fairies had seen Holly watching them.

The creatures in the dome were not expecting party food. They had their own supplies, and they had the dome, their lander, for shelter. The two scouts were reporting, organising and planning as the other creatures awoke and moved out of their pods.

The fairy creature’s dome-shaped capsule had entered the Earth’s atmosphere the evening before at forty thousand kph. The heat shield protected the dome and kept it cool inside. The clouds concealed the bright streak of light. At twenty thousand metres they engaged an anti-gravity force beam and gradually slowed down. For the last thousand metres the capsule floated like a snowflake and landed softly in the vegetable garden at Holly’s home. Its striated blue-black surface resembled that of a meteorite—a meteorite the same size as the wheelbarrow it came to rest next to.

Holly collected the sprinkles from the pantry, then the margarine and lastly the fresh white bread. There was always yummy fresh bread on a Saturday morning.

Her mother helped her onto a chair by the bench. Holly covered the slice of bread with margarine then sprinkled on the tiny, coloured sugary balls.

Holly looked at the four triangular pieces her mother had cut.

“Could they be smaller pieces please, Mummy?”

“Okay, but I think sixteen pieces will be the smallest we can cut them into.”

At the bottom of the garden the dome was still warm. The hatch was open to allow in the fresh oxygen they needed. The two small creatures Holly had seen earlier had been venturing out to explore. Their wing muscles had atrophied during the long voyage, but the density of the atmosphere made it possible for them to fly. Flying low, sometimes hovering, they had investigated this planet of soft moist soil, green leaves and fluorescent flowers almost too bright for their eyes. Another flying creature interested them; it was only a sixth their size, like them it had a sting. They watched as the bee burrowed into a flower to sip the nectar and stuff pollen in small sacks on its legs. Then, flying in short evasive bursts, they returned to the dome.

Holly put the sixteen triangles of Fairy Bread carefully onto a plate.

“What about something to drink?” asked her mother.

“Mummy, fairies drink dew!”

Holly carried the plate of fairy bread across the lawn, past the spring flowers to the vegetable patch at the bottom of the garden. Nutmeg followed her then sat and stared fixedly at the blue-black dome. Holly’s mother smiled as she watched through the kitchen window. Holly sat down next to the wheelbarrow and placed the plate of fairy bread on a small block of wood. Her mother gasped when she saw two fairies fly to the plate. Nutmeg pounced. A fairy flew at the cat. The cat collapsed like a rag doll. Another fairy creature flew at Holly; the little girl flopped backwards and lay still.
“Holly!” her mother shrieked as she raced out into the garden. She knelt and gathered her daughter in her arms. A creature darted out, then she too sank to the ground—lifeless.

The creatures’ sting was on the end of their long tails. The needle-sharp point injected venom; it killed instantly.

Ants found the sweet fairy bread. The creatures ignored them. It was time to lay eggs in the now vacant pods that lined the dome’s interior. There were two hundred of the small creatures. All had emerged from their pods and were moving around, exercising their wings, drinking the dew. Each creature could lay a thousand eggs. The young would be fed nectar and pollen from the flowers. Two months after hatching they would be mature and ready to lay their own eggs. Each generation would spread out across the planet, removing Earth’s existing intelligent life form.

The engraved section of the dome’s metal floor glowed in the morning light. This first dome to land had been given the ‘honour’ of returning the golden plaque the creatures had found on a wandering spacecraft. Like them it was a pioneer traveller in interstellar space.

Other domes would be landing soon.

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About The Author

Louise Burch

Louise grew up on farms in Victoria and Western Australia, places where you could see the stars clearly nearly every night.

Having imagination and artistic ability, she completed a Diploma in Graphic Design and later a BA in Fine Art History in Perth. In between work and travelling she was quite often daydreaming and imagining stories. She did an online writing course and started writing down her stories.

She is still doing some Graphic Design and lots of travelling; especially to places where you can see the stars.

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mark web 200Mark Webb's midlife crisis came in the form of attempting to write speculative fiction at a very slow pace. His wife maintains this is a good outcome considering the more expensive and cliched alternatives. Evidence of Mark's attempts to procrastinate in his writing, including general musings and reviews of books he has been reading, can be found at www.markwebb.name.

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Coming In Issue 245

Coffee With God
by Col Hellmuth

Crossing Mercury
by Kevin J. Phyland

Hugh's Friend
by Mark Towse

Jackie
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Much Needed Boost
by David Scholes

Painting The Future
by Robin Hillard

The Final Squeeze
by Zena Shapter

The Fire
by Chris Gladstone

The Prince Scamp — His Wrath
by Wes Parish

Trajectory
by Roger Ley

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pixie willo 100Pixie is a voice actor, cabaret performer & slam poet From the Blue Mountains in NSW.

She enjoys writing short fiction, plays for radio and stage as well as her own brand of weird poetry.

She hosts the 'Off-Beet Poetry Slam' held bi-monthly in Katoomba,

And is a theatre reviewer for 2SER FM in Sydney.

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timonthy gwyn 100Timothy Gwyn is a professional pilot in Canada, where he flies to remote communities. During a lull in his flying career, he was a radio announcer for three years, and he is also an author.

In addition to short stories at AntipodeanSF and NewMyths.com, his SF novel is available internationally in print and ebook formats. "Avians" draws on his love of alternative aviation to tell the tale of a girl who runs away from home to join a cadre of glider pilots on a world without metal or fossil fuels.

On Twitter, he is @timothygwyn, and his blogs are at <timothygwyn.com>.

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david whitaker 200David Whitaker is originally from the UK though has travelled around a bit and now resides in India. He has a degree in Journalism, however decided that as he’s always preferred making things up it should ultimately become a resource rather than a profession.

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marg essex 200Margaret lives the good life on a small piece of rural New South Wales Australia, with an amazing man, a couple of pets, and several rambunctious wombats.

She feels so lucky to be a part of the AntiSF team.

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mark english 100Mark is an astrophysicist and space scientist who worked on the Cassini/Huygens mission to Saturn. Following this he worked in computer consultancy, engineering, and high energy research (with a stint at the JET Fusion Torus).

All this science hasn't damped his love of fantasy and science fiction. It has, however, ruined his enjoyment of rainbows, colourful flames on romantic log fires, and rings around the moon. He has previously been published in Stupefying Stories Showcase, Everyday Fiction, Escape Pod, Perihelion and also on AntipodeanSF where he is part of the narration team.

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garry dean narratorGarry Dean lives on the Mid Coast of New South Wales Australia, and has been a fan of SF for most of his natural life. Being vision impaired, he makes good use of voice recognition and text to speech in order to write. Many of his stories have appeared in AntipodeanSF over the years, and his love of all things audio led him to join the narration team in 2017.

You can read examples of Garry's fiction on his website <https://garrydean.wordpress.com>

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lauriebell 2 200Laurie Bell lives in Melbourne, Australia. She was that girl you found with her nose always buried in a book. She has been writing ever since she was a little girl and first picked up a pen. From books to short stories, radio plays to snippets of ideas and reading them aloud to anyone who will listen.

She is the author of The Butterfly Stone (available now).

You can read more of her work on her blog Look for her on Facebook <www.facebook.com/WriterLaurieBell/> or Twitter: <@LaurienotLori>

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Carolyn's work spans devising, performance, theatre-in-education and a collaborative visual art practice.

She tours children's works to schools nationally with School Performance Tours, is a member of the Bathurst physical theatre ensemble Lingua Franca and one half of darkroom — a visual arts practice with videographer Sean O'Keeffe.

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SF News

Upcoming Cons

Supanova Adelaide 02/11/2018 till 04/11/2018, Adelaide Showground, John Barrowman & a calvacade of others. <https://www.supanova.com.au/>

Supanova Brisbane 09/11/2018 till 04/11/2018, John Barrowman & a calvacade of others. <https://www.supanova.com.au/>.

Monsterfest Horror Movie Festival 22-25 November, Cinema Nova Melbourne <https://www.monsterfest.com.au/>.

INDIE COMIC CON 2018 8 Dec Northcote Town Hall, Melbourne Free event. <http://www.indiecomiccon.com.au/>.

Nullus Anxietas VII: The Australian Discworld Convention — will be held in Melbourne on April 12-14, 2019, and is themed on Going Postal. More information: <https://ausdwcon.org/>.

Continuum 15 Other Worlds (Natcon 58): Continuum 15 is the Australian National SF Convention, to be held in Melbourne on June 7–10. More information and memberships <https://continuum.org.au>. AntipodeanSF will be at Continuum 15 and celebrating Issue 250 of AntiSF!

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