There are moments that gently nudge for attention and others that merely slip past apathetically, and then there are moments that shoot across the sky and leave your shoes to finish your sandwich. By the mayonnaise covering Amelia's shoes, it was apparent which 'moment' had passed.

It always happened to the person sitting on the park bench, minding their own business; it's always the way. Had the day not been so overcast it may have gone unnoticed but the red blur had the perfect grey backdrop for its opening performance, and if it was not its first, it most definitely was its last, as the finale consisted of a head first dive into the roof of the forest not far from where Amelia sat.

She idly rubbed off the mayonnaise with her other foot and watched an old woman walk along a distant path with some kind of fluorescent pink concoction on her head that gave her the look of a crippled flamingo. Neither Amelia nor the woman (though it would have been a much more difficult feat for latter) began the rescue search. But then came the smoke and spluttering and other side effects of a bad landing, and the thought crossed Amelia's mind that this wisp of colour, quite possibly, needed some help. As it would have taken several hours for the peg-legged flamingo to cross the field, it fell to Amelia to sacrifice her lunch and inspect this anomaly.

As she passed under the swaying branches of a willow tree, she came into a picturesque glade that was perfectly assembled, right the way down to the ray of light that broke through the canopy and fell onto a makeshift market stand in the centre. There was a humming that resembled that of a stray fly head butting the glass in a desperate bid for freedom, and what could have only be described as a ginger midget with wings emerged from the foliage carrying an empty crate.

'Wotcher!' the midget exclaimed. 'I'll be with you in a minute.'

Amelia took a few tentative steps forward. 'But you … you have wings!' Amelia said. 'Actual, moving wings.'

'Trademark of yer bog-standard fairy,' he said nonchalantly. One of the wings moved rather impressively from side to side, while the other limped behind it and was the cause of the humming. 'Bad landing in '85. Never been the same since.'

'You're not very … sparkly,' she said. For some unknown reason her childhood recollections of fairies were covered in glitter and as it was the only information she had to correlate with the situation, she had no choice but to throw it out there. But it was exactly the wrong thing to say to a fairy. Apparently.

He huffed his chest out like a disgruntled child. 'Let's get this straight. We don't sparkle. We don't have wands. We don't steal your teeth. And we don't go leaving money under pillows,' he listed off. 'We don't steal babies, and the only time we stumble in your garden is when we're trashed. And when I say we, I mean me. Kosher?'

She was pretty sure that none of what he had said was 'kosher'. If she agreed with him, that meant she agreed to his existence and therefore he had successfully warped her childhood. Just as she was about to convince herself that she had stumbled into a crack den, his wings fluttered and lifted him from the ground to adjust the sign above his stall.

'Welcome to Goods and Stuff!' he said, landing behind the stand and disappearing behind it.

Goods and Stuff consisted of several empty banana boxes stacked on top of each other, and a wonky sign that was missing an o and the ffs. Gods and Stu. She was a little disappointed that the actual message was so mundane, and there was a small part of her that hoped that by some shift of fate, his name was actually Stu the Fairy … Or rather, Stu the Fairy with the cockney accent. Of all the places she expected a fairy to originate, the East End of London was right down there with a Glaswegian Nymph. Yet she could feel the information automatically filing itself in her brain under 'General Knowledge: Fairy Origins'. If it was not of any use to anyone then it would be soaked up by the Pub Quiz lobe, however ridiculous the information was.

As if reading her mind, he introduced himself. 'My friends call me Dave.'

'Dave the Fairy?' she reiterated.

And he nodded as if that didn't sound at all odd. Perhaps Dave didn't have the same connotations amongst fairies as it had amongst humans.

'So, what will it be?' Dave asked. He had pulled out a medley of childhood classics and x-rated DVDs, a stereo with a smashed speaker and a compact camera.

Amelia said nothing. What exactly did he expect her to say? Yes, Dave the Fairy, I would love to buy that second-hand porn from you. Do you accept Visa?

'Right, right,' he said, taking the silence to mean that she was a tough customer. 'Nowt here for yer liking. I get it. Well, how about these beauties.'

Then he did the most stereotypical thing she had ever seen play out in real life – and not in the fairy sense. He opened up his black trench coat to reveal a crowded inner-canvas.

'I got yer Rolls, yer Gucci. You name it,' he said, 'and I got it. Good prices for a pretty face, too. A monkey will get you a long way with me.'

'A monkey?' she said, which she regretted instantly because within a second he had yanked an actual monkey from beneath his banana box stand and was thrusting it on the counter.

'He speaks fluent French,' he said, lighting up a cigarette. 'Well, that's was the man down the market said. Think he'd been at the old bottle, but, for a nicker, it ain't worth arguing 'bout.'

There was something so jarring about seeing a so-called mythical creature lighting up a Menthol fag and spitting ash with every word, as his wings hovered in the background of the whole thing and the monkey sat stubbornly mute. It was as if she wasn't actually living the experience … as if her brain had taken a leave of absence and simply left a note: Cannot compute. Good luck.

'I don't really need a monkey,' she frowned.

'Then what's yer addiction? I think I've got some imported booze and fags somewhere,' he said, rummaging under his stand.

'Well, have you got anything … magical? You know, like flying carpets, crystal balls …?'

'Ain't no calling for stuff like that,' he said from under the counter. 'There was time when stuff like that sold well. Pandora's box – now I made a blinder on that! But nah, no call for it now, luv. It's all about copies and Ipods. Was thinking of changing the name to iGoods and Stuff, but it never really panned out.'

He looked genuinely upset about this fact, and she could have sworn his functioning wing drooped in mourning. She looked up to the sign with the missing letters and she was glad that his dream had not become a reality: iGods would have been the biggest travesty known to man.

'Not being rude, darlin', but are yer going to buy anything?'

She shook her head.

'Some you win, some you lose,' he shrugged. 'Where's the nearest Rub-a-Dub?'

'I'm not—translation, please,' she said dryly.

'Rub-a-Dub,' he repeated, like she was capable of mentally processing the whole scenario if she would only listen again. 'Pub, luv!'

'What?' she said, still unable to comprehend. 'There's the Dragon Inn just a few—wait! Are dragons real too?'

How could she not ask? It was like meeting Mrs. Claus and not asking how He got around the world in a single night.

'Pfft,' he exhaled. 'Now if you think I got a rough deal in your human tales, well, the dragon's got it good. In real life they ain't no bigger than a bloody poodle. George and the dragon – yeah, 'course he managed to kill the bastard!' He threw his hands above his head, though it simply accentuated how very short he was and it took all self-restraint for Amelia not to laugh. 'No bigger than a poodle!'

He had become so animated during his rant that his feet actually left the ground, though unsteadily due to the broken wing. She sensed there was some deep story behind his hatred of dragons and as her mind filled with these Dragon-Poodle hybrids, she wondered how such a story could start – but she thought against asking him, however comical his mid-flight rant was. It was obviously a wound that ran deep and she wasn't about to go and piss off a fairy, even if he seemed a poor substitute for one.

The awkward lack of conversation only spurred on her mental escapades and before she knew it there was an army of Dragon-Poodles raging war against Giant Rabbits with Unicorn Horns. All the questions she could have asked withered in the battlefield. He began to pack up his belongings and when she thought that perhaps it had all been some mockery, he took off his trench coat and with one clean swoop the stand disappeared.

'Je ne suis pas— the rest was muffled by the coat.

Dave rolled his eyes. 'The French.'

She had actually passed up the opportunity to own a speaking monkey and she had never felt more idiotic. Of course, she could have asked again, but he had packed up and it seemed her British mannerisms were compliant even in Fairy-Human interactions and therefore she would not ask again … and perhaps she would even get at the back of the queue should one suddenly appear.

Shut up thinking, Amelia. There were more important matters at hand: like a pair of wings wandering into a pub with a landlord with a dodgy heart.

'How are you going to be able to walk in a pub with those?' Amelia said, pointing to his wings.

He dismissed her with a wave of her hand. 'You'd be surprised what folk choose not to see.'

And with that he gave her a wink and sauntered under the willow trees in search of a pint.

The only artefact left to document the event was the cigarette butt that would eventually become entrenched in the earth and would later become the foundations of another suffocating housing development.

It was a pity she didn't buy the monkey.