Fairy Stopwatch by Emily Martha Sorensen by Emily Martha Sorensen - Read Online

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Fairy Stopwatch - Emily Martha Sorensen

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Chapter One

Eileen leaned over the wire fence and watched her brand new next door neighbor.  The Hispanic girl her age was pretending to fix something tiny, or at least that was what it looked like.  A minute ago, the girl’s bare foot had come down on something and she’d stood an inch in the air.  Then she’d quickly jumped down and apologized, and now it looked like she was trying to fix something.

I’m sorry, the girl kept saying, over and over again.  I didn’t mean to break your house.  There wasn’t a house here on the grass yesterday, so I didn’t know it was here today.  Hasn’t anybody warned you that you can’t put houses in my backyard?  Oh, but you can’t hear me, anyway . . .

As she talked at rapid speed, the girl was feeling around, picking up some little things, and putting them up top of each other about a foot off the ground.

Hi! Eileen said, waving.

The girl jumped, looking startled.  Her hands jerked apart.  Then she let out a moan.  You made me break the chimney again!

Sorry, Eileen said.  She put her elbows up on the fence and rested her chin on them.  Whatcha doing?

I’m . . .  The girl stopped, looking unsure of what to say.

Are you playing with fairies? Eileen asked.

The girl’s eyes widened.  H-how did you know?

It looked like you were playing with fairies, Eileen said.  Were you fixing something?  Can I help?

The Hispanic girl shook her head.  I’m the only one who can fix fairy things.  I’m the only one who can break them, too.  She stopped, looking startled.  Oh — Big Feet just jumped down from my head.  I guess he can help.

Who’s Big Feet? Eileen asked.

A fairy, her new neighbor said.  He likes to sit on my head.  The girl paused.  You believe me?

Sure, Eileen said.  I’ve always believed in fairies.  Can I come over?  Will it break anything?

You can come over.  The girl glanced at the end of their driveways, where the sidewalk started and the fence stopped.

Eileen didn’t walk to the end of the driveways.  It was too much bother.  She took off her flipflops, tossed them over the wire fence, and climbed up using the squares as toeholds.  She hopped over the top and landed, leaving little dents in the grass.

I can’t climb fences or trees or jump over stuff anymore, the girl said, looking a little sad.  I might land on a fairy and hurt them.

Eileen brushed off her dirty hands and walked over.  She held out one of her hands.  My name’s Eileen.  We moved in yesterday.  What’s yours?

Maricela, the girl said.  She put something down carefully, then shook Eileen’s hand.  How come you’ve always believed in fairies?

Just ’cause.  Eileen shrugged.  They’re real.  Why shouldn’t I believe in them?

I dunno.  Maricela frowned.  I didn’t.

Then how come you believe in them now?

Because they’re real, I guess, Maricela said.  I got a fairy sense.  She paused.  Do you know what a fairy sense is?

What’s a fairy sense? Eileen asked.

It means . . .  Maricela hesitated.  You know the five senses?

Uh huh.

There are more than five.  Sunflower says there are more than seventeen.

Seventeen? Eileen asked.

Maricela nodded.  There might be more.  The fairies gave me the ability to touch them and pick them up.  It’s called pressure.  Daisy has magnetic something, and Amanda can hear fairies.

Eileen felt a thrill go through her.  "Can they do that to me, too?  Can I see fairies?"

Maricela shook her head.  Cassie already has sight, and they don’t do senses twice.  I don’t know why.  I’ve tried asking Amanda, but the fairies haven’t told her.

Eileen felt a pang of disappointment.  She’d wanted to see fairies for as long as she could remember.  What’s left? she asked.

Maricela considered.  I don’t think anyone has smell or taste.

Ewwww.  Eileen wrinkled her nose.  "I wouldn’t want to lick a fairy.  I bet they