They're tiny, they're charming, and sometimes they're even clever: welcome to Teacup Tales, a web-series that tells the story of the little forest folk that go unnoticed in our stressful and busy lives.
You are invited to tag along on their tiny journies as they find love, happiness, and hope in a world that often forgets that such treasures exist.
Take a moment to enjoy something small: a loving effort to put a little bit of beauty, kindness, and fun back into the world.
And so it was that the butterflies' Monarch fell in love with one of the fairy folk at the Butterfly Ball. Phoebe was only looking for an opportunity to dance and wear a fun dress while she was at it; she was not aware that the ball was held for the Monarch in order to present eligible maidens of the land for him to choose from for a wife. As he gazed at the fairy adoringly throughout the evening, Phoebe simply danced and enjoyed the party, blisfully ignorant to his advances.
As the night wore on, after hours of dancing, the music died down, the punch was finished, and Phoebe's wings began to protest in exhaustion. She quietly slipped away from the Butterfly Ball and headed back to her quiet little home in the wood.
In the peace of her cozy haven, the fairy sipped on chamomile tea, the night of dancing with the Monarch already a distant memory.
The Monarch, however, was not so at ease. He stared longingly out his castle window, and, like many an infatuated and possessive fairy-tale prince, vowed to find the woman of his dreams to make her his bride. The fact that he had only met her once was beside the point.
The next morning, Phoebe decided to explore. She saw an unfamiliar spot along the creek and rested on the soft moss blanketing a rock in the water. She sang to the bubbling of the creek...
...unaware that she had in fact stumbled upon the home of a stranger!
Phoebe had uncovered the residence of a water nymph, who introduced herself as Norma. She complimented Phoebe's singing and invited her to a tiny jam session. Norma had a ukulele fashioned out of a walnut, and she played a simple, sweet melody for the fairy. Phoebe wanted to sing along, but she was transfixed by the lovely creature in front of her.
After getting acquainted with one another, Phoebe and Norma began spending their time together. They spent a warm day swimming in the creek.
On a sunny afternoon, they faced off in an intense game of chess with high stakes: loser had to bake the winner a cake.
Norma visited Phoebe on a cool and dewy morning. They enjoyed cake and coffee together. Guess who ended up baking?
Each new day brought a new adventure for Phoebe and Norma. After one such adventure, the two watched the sunset together and held hands for the very first time: blissful and unaware that their new-found happiness would soon come to an end.
After watching the sunset together, Phoebe headed home. The fireflies were out dancing in the night. All was calm and peaceful, but she couldn't shake an odd feeling that overwhelmed her as she approached her front door.
In an instant, Phoebe found herself bound inside of a thick net. She felt the chilly night air as she soared over the forest to an unknown destination. When they touched ground again, she was uncovered and tied-up by two butterfly guards.
"My darling!" The Monarch proclaimed as he knelt to the ground with fervor. Phoebe, grumpy from the terrifying and exhausting journey to the Monarch's castle, let out a deep, disgruntled sigh before beginning: "Okay, three things that I'd like to point out. One: I'm not your darling. Two: I think I met you not too long ago; we danced and had a lovely time but clearly you read way more into things than is normal or healthy because here I am: fairy-napped. And three: if you think you can build a relationship with me based on Stockholm Syndrome like any good fairy tale romance, and I'm only assuming that because I've been fairy-napped by a guy I met once, please think again."
Norma became worried when Phoebe didn't visit the next day. As she walked to Phoebe's house, thunder clouds began rolling in, bringing with them a darkened sky. The front door was hanging ajar with no fairy in sight, but Norma noticed the blue dust of butterfly wings smudged inside of the door frame.
The Monarch ignored Phoebe's protests and insisted that she get ready for their wedding. She was brought to the palace seamstress, who immediately began fitting a small, beautiful gown to suit the tiny fairy.
Norma, suspecting foul play, cleverly disguised herself before making her way to the Butterfly Kingdom. She arrived as it began to rain. Looking for shelter, she noticed a large group of butterfly folk heading into the palace. She followed them inside and began looking around for Phoebe, wondering what the butterflies could possibly want with her dear fairy.
Norma heard voices down the corridor of the palace and slipped into the nearest room to hide. She found herself in a little chapel that appeared to be decorated for a wedding.
Phoebe was placed in the palace dungeon to ensure that she wouldn't stow away. Only a small bed and a pitcher of water were in the cell to keep her company. But the Monarch underestimated Phoebe. You see, this little fairy paid attention in science class when she was in school, and she understood basic physics and how leverage works. She pried one of the posts off of the bed, wet the bed sheet, and wrapped the sheet around four of the wooden prison bars, tying the ends together. She slipped the bed post through the loop and began twisting, causing the wet sheet to tighten more and more with each twist. The bars could not withstand the pressure, and they snapped when Phoebe thought she could twist the post no more. When the coast was clear, Phoebe made a run for it...
...and so did Norma.
You see, the Butterfly Kingdom had been in a state of unrest for some time. The Monarch was selfish and had high taxes on his people to pay for his expensive tastes. The use of their precious resources on a forced marriage was the straw that finally broke the butterflies' back. Feeling the heat of the crowd, Phoebe acted quickly. She ran around the Monarch, catching him off-guard, and bound him in her chains. Having faced their own hardships at the hands of the Monarch, the palace guards took their chained king in hand and carried him off to the dungeon so that he could answer to his people.
Phoebe was released, and the butterflies made way as an elderly gentleman with spectacles emerged. Taking Phoebe's hands in his, he said, "my name is Ernie Anders. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, you made it possible to finally overthrow this tyrant. The land now belongs to the people." His eyes twinkled as he spoke. "I am so sorry for how you were treated while in our care. You will always be welcome in the land of the butterflies."
The butterflies applauded, cheered, and hugged one another. Phoebe and Norma, together in peace at last, brought their hands together in joy and love.
In midst of all of the excitement, a rainstorm passed through unnoticed. As the palace warmed with the joy of its inhabitants, the clouds began to roll out of view, leaving behind them a purple sky. The sun was in just the right place to gift the forest with a rainbow, full of magic, pride, and promise, though the butterflies, Phoebe, and Norma, were unaware to its beauty.
The sun began to set, so Ernie called upon his nocturnal friend, a rat named Toowy, to escort the fairy and the nymph back home. The two gave one last wave to the butterflies before disappearing into the wilderness, the keen eye of a rat and warm glow of lanterns guiding them home.
You may be wondering what's next for Phoebe and Norma. You may be wondering if this is one of those fairytales where the main characters fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after...
...but this isn't one of those stories. I mean, they really haven't known each other that long; they can't just go and get married already.
Phoebe and Norma have more adventures ahead of them and more growing up to do; we can't assume their future. What if Phoebe will never be able to get over the way Norma slurps her drinks? And what if Norma decides that one day she might want to move out to the suburbs, raise like four children, and retire to Florida? So let's throw out that 'happily ever after' business because life is not that predictable, and if it was, it would be mighty boring.
What's important is that right now, Phoebe is holding Norma's hand, and they are immensely happy.
The End, for now...
Phoebe and Norma
Written and Illustrated by Rosie M'Love
All illustrations are presented to scale of the original, tiny work (except in mobile viewer)
"Phoebe!" Norma cried, surprised to find the fairy sitting in front of her.
"Norma?" Phoebe put her hand to her aching head, feeling as though she had run into a wall.
"Halt!" two voices shouted down the hall. The palace guards closed in on the fairy and nymph, blocking their exit. Norma tried to protect Phoebe but to no avail. The guards brought the two to the Great Hall, where the Monarch and his subjects were waiting for them.
"My people!" the Monarch boomed proudly, "I present to you your future queen: the fairest fairy, Phoebe! We will have an extravagant wedding, feast, and ball to celebrate!"
"For the last time, we only met once! You don't even know me!" Phoebe growled, exasperated with the entire ordeal.
There were murmurs in the crowd before someone shouted, "is this what our taxes are paying for?"