“The South Shall Rise Again”

The fairy awoke and felt all of the earth around her, damp and cold and packed tight against her papery skin.

She awoke and her heart began to thud. It was time.  Frowning and scowling her angel face, she fought against that thick, cloying mud which had held her tight and safe and unforgiven for 150 years. Mud which had once sucked her down, spilling into her ears, her mouth, suffocating and clogging, pouring into her lungs as she screamed, slamming into her wide open eyes, cracking her fingernails as she scratched and tore at the sun baked ground.

Fear like a sickness, making her sweat and shriek. And pray.

“Help me.”

Down she went. Into that Kentucky mud. That soft, wet mud, dragging her down into its belly, drowning her in its blackness.

A century and a half. Little, lazy, rotten fairy who awoke as slowly as an unfurling snake.

Awake, she was strong. The mud became her strength as she sucked in its sweet, unpolluted water, sapped its  life giving nutrients, the very breath of all the living things around her and, with a flick of her pale white foot, she snapped the root of a tree that had dared to come too close.

And she remembered. Life.

She had been someone once. Powerful and strong, she had had the minds of men of government and war and wealth at her feet and, unbeknownst to all, she had slithered into their skin, creeping and crawling, whispering in their ear, shadowing their sight.  She had made them fear and hate and rage, she had rasped and clawed at their nerves, twisted their stomachs, inflamed their sex, their minds, their being  with thoughts of blackness, of subjugation and righteousness and rape.

“Kill,” she had whispered in her childish, honeyed tones. “For they would kill you.”

Yes, she remembered life. She tasted it still, the vinegar taste of fear in her mouth, as she scrabbled and dug, as she felt the warm, rough ground at her fingertips and with one great, engulfing effort, pulled herself to the surface.

She retched and gasped on her hands and knees, her stomach heaving and her throat on fire as that thick, black mud spewed out of her. Beneath her, the ground began to vibrate, sliding and slipping back into place.

She drew in a deep breath of that fresh, summer air; she felt the tingle of rough, rusting metal beneath her knees and, with a smile that revealed her coral, baby teeth, she looked up to the sky that would one day be hers.  Beneath her the ground began to rock and tremble, quaking with fear.

Power. She smiled.

Silly, little, malevolent fairy named Racist forgot. Time passes, times change. In a shriek that made her flinch, the metal wheel of the train grated against the rust of its tracks. Too late, she turned. Too late, she looked. Too late.

Dead and fuming. Into that black Kentucky mud.