Green Hills Literary Lantern

Tinker Bell

 

 

All summer long precisely at nine PM Tinker Bell would fly down an invisible cable from atop DisneyLand's Matterhorn Mountain to Fantasyland's Enchanted Castle. Every night at precisely nine--you could set your Minnie or Mickey watch by her flight--she'd drop all aglitter through the spangled evening air in her oh so skin-tingling gold sequined body suit. Her wire-bent opaque wings impossibly too small for flight. But there she was! With frightening speed her fairy-lithe arms and legs and wheat-blond gossamer hair sped across the cannon-black Anaheim sky. She was beautiful up there. Held high above our eyes on our always suspended breath and triple spotlights you'd actually hear click on--showing her poised there for flight from Walt's own imaginary snow-capped alpine peak as fireworks arced and exploded over the park announcing her comet flight. Down, down she'd come, fast, faster, the beautiful fairy girl. Without noticeable effort she'd launch away from the mountain's top like a pale luna moth tossed or a fanciful mermaid-firefly set suddenly free from a child's cupped hands over all our startled heads. Flying over Main Street USA, over the cloned army of Mickey and Minnie college-vacation workers staring with cartoon heads and oval black varnished eyes tilted back, white gloves tightly gripping little kid's adoring hands--adults, teens, my own visiting grandmother, just about everybody wide-eyed. Walt wide-eyed when he was there, I suppose, and Goofy pointing toward the night sky shouting "Wuk! Wuk!" which everyone already was of course. Even though you maybe knew every night she was coming through the exploding sky--which is always the real world anyway--to fly startlingly over our up-raised heads, over Tom Sawyer's Island, over the fake Nuclear Submarine ride, the Space Center's tall-standing fake rocket, over the Pirates of the Caribbean's docked ship, even over anatoma-tromic Lincoln who just stood there speechless for once, amazed along with everyone else, listening to the oooooohhs! and ahhhhhs! of the crowd. While some nights the moon's yellow brightness was above her too. So she might have fallen from there as far as we really knew, some tiny goddess streaking down, all fairy numinous, overhead for a brief shooting-star moment redeeming all our summer nights with wondrous light and magic. Luminous star-wand dusting us with flecks of gold light shaken over everybody's momentary sense of peril before she sank from view in seconds. All summer long you could set your watch by it.

 

Ed Higgins’ poems and short fiction have appeared in Duck & Herring Co.'s Pocket Field Guide, Monkeybicycle, Pindeldyboz, and Bellowing Ark, as well as the online journals Lily, Cross Connect, Word Riot, The Centrifugal Eye, and Red River Review, among others. He lives on a small farm in Yamhill, OR with a menagerie of animals including a rescued potbelly pig named Odious. He teaches writing and literature at George Fox University, south of Portland, OR, USA.