Fairies had come to the Hampton Roads Botanical Gardens.
Not those stupid little vignettes that people had been making for years. Pretend things with plastic flowers and dollhouse shovels - no, this was the real thing. Tiny houses in glass boxes with real, live fairies.
At first the world had scoffed. Then more than just pictures and youtube videos came out. A scientist in Ireland found a corpse. Another in Florida had captured one in the Everglades gnawing on the carcass of an alligator.
I take two more steps and look into the Hansel and Gretel style display that houses the fairy cages. Seems a bit overly sweet to me. I peer into the nearest glass case, seeing the tip of one thin wing, a rainbow film across it, sticking out from under a broad leaf. It should seem tiny and cute.
The chunk of stew beef sitting in a tiny bowl near the creature, the edges of the meat frayed by sharp teeth, makes me rethink that.
A child screams in front of me, buries his head in his mother's chest. The small cage in front of him is rocking back and forth as the fairy slams into the glass, baring a mouthful of needle-points. Then the cage behind begins to teeter. The next as well. Soon all of them are filled with angry, buzzing myths.
My heart pounds. Something is wrong. All of them fix tiny jet eyes on the ceiling of the greenhouse. At the same time, I realize that the buzzing I'm hearing is no longer the hum of voices and people. The bright day has gotten dimmer.
I look up, open my mouth in a silent scream. The scientists were so eager to display their finds, they didn't do much research before hand. After all, these are fairies. Tinkerbell and friends. What could a fairy do to you?
Following the pull of the crowd, the top of the greenhouse collapses in a shower of glass shards.
Who would have thought that fairies swarm?