Family of Me

by Daphne
Updates Mondays and Fridays

Scene 94: Shapeshifting Sisters

(Ivy sits alone under a tree as fallen leaves litter the ground around her. She’s trying to read a book, but is distracted when Lark leaps down out of the tree and lands lightly on a the leaves with a soft crunch.)

Ivy (The Companion): Lark, what on Earth…

(As Ivy looks up at her sister, she sees the pair of colorful fairy wings stretching out from her back — she’s flexing them back and forth slowly like a butterfly might. At the sound of Ivy’s voice, Lark turns to face her sister.)

Fairy Lark (The Dreamer): Hello, sister. How’s your book?

Ivy (dryly): I don’t know, I kind of lost track of the story when a sister of mine fell out of the tree I was reading under.

Fairy Lark (pouty): I didn’t fall! I was very graceful. I think.

Ivy: What is all this, anyways? Is being a fairy another Dreamer power you’ve discovered?

Fairy Lark (smiling): Not this time! This is something all of us can do. You can too, Ivy.

Ivy (surprised): I can?

Mom (Me): Good morning girls!

(I arrive with Aura walking along behind me. Aura scoffs at Lark’s fairy form while I smile at it.)

Aura (The Professional): Prancing around as a fairy *again* Lark?

Fairy Lark: I hardly got to do it at all when the two of us shared a body. I’m making up for lost time!

Ivy: Hang on, I want to rewind this conversation a little bit — Lark said I could be a fairy too. Is that true?

Mom: Fairy or foxgirl, yes. All my girls can do that.

Ivy: But… You’re trying to model this place after your actual mind, right? Changing shape isn’t something we could ever actually do.

Mom: No, but keep in mind this place is a *fictional* representation of my thoughts. The fairy and fox forms are sort of like particular mindsets, or approaches to life. They aren’t distinct entities, but a kind of mental framing that can color any of my daughter’s experiences — or mine, for that matter. I tried to explain all this before, but I’m not sure how clear it was.

Fairy Lark: To your readers or to you, Mom?

Mom: I guess that’s part of the problem, isn’t it? I’m not exactly sure how these forms work either.

Ivy: Wait, wait… It’s true then? I can transform into a fairy?

Aura (sarcastic): Oh here we go, another shapeshifting sister.

Mom: Don’t knock it until you try it, Aura.

Ivy (excited): How does it work? How do I transform?

Mom: Find the fairy inside yourself. She’ll know what to do.

Ivy (confused): Inside myself…

(For a few moments, Ivy mutters under her breath, trying to work out what I said. Suddenly, enormous butterfly wings spring from her back in a burst of light, and her clothing shifts into a gauzy, airy outfit.)

Fairy Ivy: Oh! Did it work?

Mom: See for yourself.

(I gesture at the open air, materializing a large mirror. Ivy gazes at herself in awe as she poses to inspect her fantastic form.)

Fairy Ivy (stunned): I… I’m beautiful.

Mom (smiling): You were beautiful before, but yes, you absolutely are now.

Aura (annoyed): This is all lovely, but I still don’t understand why this is a thing we can do.

Mom: Come *on*, Aura. You can’t honestly say you wouldn’t want to look like that.

Aura: Fine, sure, granted. Is looking super pretty *so important* that we need to be able to do it at the drop of a hat? Why not focus that attention on something meaningful?

Mom: Recall that for a long time, we thought being a girl was a hopeless fantasy and a waste of our attention. You can see how that turned out.

Aura (hesitant): …Fine, I’ll concede that too.

Mom: Fairies aren’t just beautiful. They’re magical. They’re mysterious, otherworldly creatures. They’re ruled by concerns that seem alien to our human society. There’s something about the idea of a fairy that we keep pivoting back to over and over again, a sort of North Star shining across the decades.

Aura (dismissive): Well when you figure it out, let me know. If I wanted to stand around gawking at myself all day, I’d just *eeep!*

(Aura leaps into the air as a pair of arms reach out from behind her to tickle her sides. She whips around to find Lark behind her, having snuck up in fox form without anyone noticing.)

Fox Lark (mischievous): You’d *what,* twin sister? You’d “eep”? You poor, tired thing!

Aura (shocked): No, I meant… Hey! Hey, what… Aaah!

(Lark continues dancing back and forth, feinting and poking playfully at Aura as she tries to explain. Before long Aura gives up on talking and bolts from her sister, Lark only steps behind as she chases Aura around the area.)

Fairy Ivy: Never mind Aura’s attitude. I *like* being pretty. I don’t think I need a special reason.

Mom: Good. I think that’s part of why we can all become fairies — there’s something inside us that wants access to whatever they represent. Being fairy-like doesn’t have to be our whole lives, but we want the ability to embody it when we choose.

Fairy Ivy: Presumably the fox form is the same way?

Mom: Yes, albeit for a different self concept. Though I can’t help notice there are similarities. Both fairy and fox are mischievous, whimsical creatures. Both are beautiful, albeit in different ways, and both represent a connection to something beyond ourself.

Fairy Ivy: It sounds like there’s more exploration to be done on this.

Aura (breathless): Fine, fine! I won’t call the fairy and fox forms useless!

Fox Lark: Promise me you’ll try one!

Aura: No, leave me alone!

(Panting heavily, Aura runs behind me and peers over my shoulder, shamelessly using me as a shield. Lark stands in a crouch in front of me, looking for an opportunity to strike.)

Mom: Now now Lark, no forcing her.

Aura (triumphant): Hah! Can’t tickle me now, can you?

Fox Lark: Can’t I? Maybe I’ll just tickle Mom too.

(I raise an eyebrow challengingly.)

Mom: Try it, Lark.

(Lark only considers it for a moment before standing up and relaxing her stance. In an instant, Lark’s fox form poofs away, leaving behind a familiar twenty-something girl.)

Lark (nonchalant): Eh, I was bored of this game anyways.

Mom (smirking): Sure you were. Does this all make a bit more sense now, Ivy?

Fairy Ivy: Yeah, I think so. I’ll experiment with these forms some more — explore a bit. I’ll let you know what I find.

Mom: Good, I’m glad. And you two — try to get along, you hear?

Lark and Aura (embarrassed): Yes Mom.