Fairies Going for the Win!

Crashers at the Wedding

20 years later

By Virginia Repka-Franco

Trevor brushed his sandy hair from his eyes and looked over at his future bride—in contrast to his large, blonde family, Zamara was small, dark and dainty. He watched her graceful moves as she floated among the guests at their outdoor wedding rehearsal—held at her parent’s home in Sunny Florida, a world away from the rugged, wild winters that delighted (and mystified) his childhood.  His fiancé somehow reminded him of the Fairies, the heroes of a once upon a time adventure when he was a kid, from the twinkle in her Hershey Kiss eyes to her ballet like poses when standing totally at ease.

Jim and June were delighted to bask in plastic chairs under a palm tree sipping tropical treats and having a super time. They always did when they were with each other—and family. All of the Marco’s made the trip for the wedding. This was two days before and the mood was jolly.

As you may remember, Trevor was quite a practical boy and practical boys (despite impractical experiences) grow up to be practical men. He was just going to concentrate on earning his Engineering degree—no distractions, thank you very much. So naturally he himself was caught by surprise when he fell in love with the effervescent, intuitive, free spirited, fabulous Zamara Sunshine Garcia, the girl with the quick wit and dark lashed eyes from his Environmental Engineering Classes at the University of Miami.

They went together as senior year undergrads, and then as Graduate Students, both earning the letters PhD after their respective names that would now be soon merged as one.

“Trevor Marco-Garcia,” Melinda snorted. At 27, she still had an impish face surrounded by dark blonde hair that could never be tamed.

“That’s Dr. Marco-Garcia to you, anyway Mel, how goes Community College, and did they kick ya out yet for impersonating a student?”

“Okay, enough, kids.’ June stopped the sniping in a flash. Years had given her much practice. Having never attended a university herself she did have the equivalent of a Post-Doctoral Degree in Mothering, with a major in squashing arguments.

“I’m just a late bloomer, right dad?” Melinda turned and smiled at her dad who gave her a consoling wink.

Kyle was there too— smiling and mingling but with part of his gaze on patrol. Something he always did both as his job as a Park Ranger in New Hampshire as well as whenever he went anywhere new—especially outdoors. Despite the joyous occasion, something wasn’t quite right here. Kyle knew it—he just couldn’t sort it yet. As he got older his childhood senses became dulled by the everyday of sports, college admissions, girls, cars—all the things that diminish your sixth sense like a once sharp knife left to rust in a drawer. Recently; however, his two year career at the Park Service being far from the concrete dorms and back into the thick of nature had honed that intuitive blade to titanium and he could “see” again.

The lovely home of Manuel and Angel Garcia, Zamara’s folks, was tropical and wild—full of Florida native plants, shrubs, chimes, huge crystal balls, glittering fountains, and a huge meditation gardens where Mrs. Angela “Angel” Garcia went to “center herself,” each morning, according to what she was telling his mom.

It was gaudy with baubles compared to a New England style residence, yet lush, and so very green that the plants were slick with humidity and gleamed in the sunshine.

All was going well—too well. Suddenly Kyle jumped like he had been pushed from behind and the punch in his glass jumped high and rained down on his suit jacket.

“Not here!! Whoa!!” Kyle yelled, way too loud.

Everyone turned and stared.

“Uh clumsy oaf, I am, Zamara you should know you’re marrying into a family of sloppy clods,” was Kyle’s best save as he could hardly recover from what he saw laughing underneath the tablecloth of the dinner feast.

“Better hope our kids take after the Garcia’s!” Trevor laughed and gave his soon to be mom- in -law an apologetic smile.

Trevor’s smile faded as he felt something weird about to happen—like the feeling just before you feel yourself about to trip or step off an amusement park ride while your brain is still spinning.

A tremor and a whoosh came from the food tent. All havoc broke out as the tables overturned. Unbeknown to most of the guests a team of nasty Gnomes were invading like storm troopers. No one but Kyle could see the onslaught—the speed, the snickering, the whirling dervish of chaos brought by those creatures who looked just like their New England counterparts, just barefoot instead of booted.

The Marcos all looked at each other. They didn’t all have to actually see—they were soon washed once again in that wave of magical lunacy that you can try but never forget.

Zamara locked eyes with her future brother-in-law. A knowing look. Had Trevor told her…maybe that…or maybe she can….”

“She knows! She sees them too!” whispered Kyle to himself just before the second wave brought the entire tent sliding to the ground.

Zamara flitted over and tugged Kyle’s shirt. “I tried to tell mom the outdoor wedding might not be the best idea. My folks always thought I was making it up.”

“Must have been too much fun going on that roused them, easily irritated those halfwits!” offered Kyle

“You said it brother!” chimed in Melinda who had sidled behind them.

Zamora began to cry and to the magically untrained eye she was softly patting her own arm and reaching toward the leaves of the palm. The sunlight rippling through her raven hair which seemed lit with wavy sparkles and her chocolate eyes held a distant gaze.

“You could maybe try to look normal. Everyone’s staring,” Melinda advised her future sister as she walked back to where her mom and dad were whispering with the Garcia’s.

Quite a conversation for two families, who just met, soon to be in laws to be having.

“Yeah, we hoped she would grow out of it. “

“Our son sees them too.”

“Zamara never said….”

“Nope, it’s our Kyle, not Trevor,”

The family sat over cups of strong Espresso, comparing notes. The Marco’s told their story—complete and uncut—which was a rare occurrence as they learned sharing this usually had people brand them as loons. The Marcos were a bit eclectic, from the time they picked up city roots and began their small farm and saw all the wonders of nature, but odd things happen to the looniest of families as well as the sanest.

“Well, we’ll just have the wedding inside, I guess,” was Manuel Garcia’s executive decision. A practical man, he really wanted the subject shelved for now and hopefully for good.

“There’s no room inside, unless you want to serve the Paella on Zamara’s twin bed with her honeymoon suitcase!” Angel protested glaring at her husband.

“Okay!” June interrupted, much like a referee calling time at a game.

“Despite whether you believe or not, this much is true….” June began.

Kyle had come in and sat quietly in one of the extra chairs set away from the “Parent” table, like a kid at Thanksgiving.

“Look, guys, know this much—the more you bicker and argue and stress about this, the worse it’s gonna get. Hands down the worst thing you can do is lose it! Kinda like I am right now!” Kyle exclaimed with the inflection of a kid but the boom in his grown up voice made everyone jump and stare. His face was drenched in sweat and he cut quite a ridiculous figure as dollops of sour cream dotted his face from the hit he took in the food explosion, which complemented his tropical punch flecked shirt.

Peals of laughter erupted among the elders despite themselves. Yeah, they were all “losing it”. Big time.

Meanwhile, among the piles of food and drink smearing the grass, the happy couple was having “the talk” about her special gift.

“I’m sorry I never told you…I didn’t want you to think I was crazy…well you know I’m crazy…but you know…” Zamara weakly offered to her future husband.

“Crazy—in my world it’s a requirement!” Trevor laughed and hugged her tight, The laughing coming from inside the house was reassuring.

Zamara came in hand and hand with Trevor, with Melinda trailing behind. She wasn’t gonna miss a minute of this and was determined to have her say.

“Last time, we helped out the Fairies by just being happy and believing things would get better. I know it sounds like a stupid catch phrase but it’s true. I’m sort of an expert at looking at the positive side of life.”

“Yeah, you’d have to look at the positive considering your dumb choices!” Trevor couldn’t resist jabbing his sister. All the years away at college had not tempered his sibling reactions, which under normal circumstances would just be a thought, not a vocalized dig. Why did he say that? He felt awful.

“Whoop, there it is!” Melinda offered as evidence glaring at her brother, “Same as last time, the fighting got worse, we all freaked out….”

Zamara sat studying the faces in the room. She approached the table and drew herself up to her full five foot one height and cleared her throat, commanding attention.

She asked everyone to please follow her back outside

As if cuing an orchestra, the light changed and danced in splendid color. Zamara spun her arms and twirled, literally bathed in sparkles. Melinda joined her as if they had actually grown up as sisters, dancing this dance their whole life. Manuel Garcia could have caught flies in his mouth and Jim looked over at him, remembering his first Close Encounter of the Fay Kind, all those years ago.

The ball of light broke apart and zoomed—darting, swooping, and reflecting in prismed splendor. Angel Garcia sat on the stone of her meditation garden transfixed and delighted.

“We’re going on with the wedding—in two days—right here—as planned!” Zamara announced with a smile to her family and toward the little garden house where the Garcia’s kept their lawnmower. She was putting the Gnomes on notice—not angrily, not fearfully, but with composed assurity.

The direction of that gaze was not lost on Jim. Yeah, they sure like those little sheds, thought Jim to himself—remembering the havoc with wood and tools up at Marco Cottage all those years ago. He wouldn’t admit it to anyone but his wife, but he later told her that the whole thing for years had felt like a dream—another life—like the childhoods of his offspring. This latest encounter reminded him that the unbelievable can be real, regardless of what you believe. The chances of Trevor falling for a girl who could see magical creatures. Oh, one hundred percent, he thought and laughed. What a family! He never felt closer to these four adults he was proud to call his own and this new, wonderful being who he could see was the joy of his eldest’s son’s life.

It would be assumed that the outdoor wedding fiesta went off without the little bearded grumpy wedding crashers—but it didn’t. However, the Fairies (partnering with family which their expertise) did a great job on security detail.

Of course, as it was Zamara’s wedding, she was running late. And of course, as it was Trevor’s he was rather obsessed with keeping his clothes in order. He learned from experience that “now you see it, now you don’t” is the Gnomes favorite fake out. Because the day was sweltering (for a New Englander) he only took of his tie for a moment and set it on the bench in the garden before it went missing. That awful deja vous of knowing you didn’t put your shoes in the mailbox came flooding back to him and it took Melinda shedding her high heeled shoes, hitching up her formal dress, and shimmying up a tree to fetch it to make him loosen up and smile.

The most precarious moment was when the caterers brought out the huge white iced cake, decorated in swirls of pink and gold. A light zigzagged getting his attention and Kyle saw that little bearded bruiser under the aloe plant was watching carefully, and biding his time waiting to rush out to knock one of the balancing waiter off his feet. Kyle just beat the little devil to his running start by rushing up and yelling “Stop!!!” and then added, “I think there’s a wet, slimy spot you might slip on!” to the teenager in the white vest and grabbed a hold of the third side of the cake and slowly steadied it to the table with the precision of landing a plane.

“Smooth going Bro” said the groom clapping Kyle on the back. Zamara’s eyes glistened with tears, like her mom, like her mom-in law June, and especially Melinda who was laughing so hard she was snorting.

By the time the last guests said goodbye and Trevor and Zamara left for their flight, a soft, tropical breeze velveted the yard.

Melinda and Kyle sat in the meditation garden—catching up and laughing about the esteemed Dr. Trevor Marco-Garcia, world’s most educated idiot.

“Would have been funny if the cake landed all over him,” Melinda chuckled. “Or if everyone got upset and had a big food fight like that college movie”

Kyle pretended to ignore her but the corners of his mouth gave him away.

“Just sayin’” she added, shooting him a grin.

They both fell out laughing imagining the possibilities that were only funny now as they didn’t happen.

The two couples sat talking about their hopes for the bride and groom now off to their own family adventure.

“Wonder if their kids will be able to . . . you know . . . see this stuff . . . like really see it, like Zamara and Kyle do?” Manuel asked Jim as they clinked their after dinner coffee cups.

“I always wondered why we don’t,” was Jim’s clueless reply.

“Behave you slime balls, cause I’ll be back,” Kyle said in the direction of the corner shed after saying his last goodbyes.

“Lovely girl, your Melinda—great dress and that sparkled tiara was something else.” Angel’s sister Maria said to her new friend June.

The only tiara Melinda ever owned, the one her brother’s made for her at Christmas that first interesting year, was indeed very carefully placed—in a box—in June’s closet—19 years ago.

Melinda locked arms with her mom and whispered a heartfelt thank you into the salt air night.

The End—For Now (public domain image)

Art by Richard Mandrachio