Do you believe in fairies?
I'd have said I didn't, at first. I mean, everyone knows that the Tooth Fairy was really your mum and dad, taking away those deciduous fangs and leaving you threepence under the pillow, if you were lucky. Or, if you weren't, a numb cheek and a mouthful of blood. No, that was the trainee dentists that defenseless schoolkids used to get sent to when I was little. Anyway, fairies that took things away were no big deal, really. They came, they went, a week later there was nothing to remind you that they'd ever been round and you forgot all about it and got on with your life.
No, the dangerous ones were the fairies who brought you things. I didn't realise they existed until I was about twelve, and I had a visit from the Tit Fairy. There was no forgetting that she'd been round, not with a pair of D cup hot water bottles suddenly attached to your chest to remember her by. Goodbye childhood, hello awkward adolescence, backache and hunched posture trying to avoid the stares from males whom you'd never even noticed before.
But after all, even that was part of life. All of the Plokta women are afflicted that way. Well, not Marianne. Not yet.
But even that wasn't the worst that life had in store. Fairies can get a lot more insidious than the two I've just mentioned. And all you blokes out there needn't feel safe, either. This is the big sister of the other two.
No, this one is the mother of all the fairies: this is the Kipple Fairy.
Yes, the Kipple Fairy: you never know she's been, but week by week, the junk builds up.
The Kipple Fairy, sneaking stuff into your home in countless innocuous shopping bags.
The Kipple Fairy, whose characteristic calls "Ooh, that's nice, and it's on special," and "No, don't throw it away, it might come in handy," echo in countless shops and homes throughout the land, day after day, slowly, building, until one day you wake up to find yourself buried in a lifetime's accumulation of junk.
Then you move house.
But you don't get away that easily. It all comes with you and you realise you're unpacking crate after crate of individually wrapped matchbooks, little candles, tiny bottles of vanilla essence, encrusted jars of treacle, Britain in '87 t-shirts, flavoured condoms, until at last you can take no more and sink, sobbing, for consolation, into the arms of the last of the fairies, the Red Wine fairy.
Then you get your friends to come and unpack for you instead.
--Giulia de Cesare