The bell rang, and school let out.
Mia's classroom is in the next building over from mine. Every day I go to pick her up, and then we walk the four blocks home together.
This time, when I went to get her, I found a note taped onto the door saying that Mrs. Brinkerhoff's class had been moved to the cafeteria, and that the door was to remain CLOSED.
I opened the door. Water came pouring out. The classroom was flooded up to about ankle height.
Three ships that looked like they'd just escaped a bottle floated out from under the desks, pulled towards the door by the current. On them, tiny people the size of Polly Pockets scrambled to regain control.
I moved out of the way. They went out the door and followed the water down the pavement and disappeared into the gutter.
I closed the door and went to the cafeteria where Mia was waiting.
"We learned about Christopher Columbus today," she said, taking my hand.
"I saw. You flooded the classroom."
"Not on purpose," she said.
"I know," I said. Because it's never on purpose. "The people went down the gutter."
"It's okay," she said. "They find the king of the sewer fairies and he takes them in. They all live down there and have kids and live happily ever after."
The way she said it let me know, without a shred of doubt, that those three ships were docking on the concrete shores of the sewer fairies as we spoke.
"Just remember what I said about live things-"
"Make sure they end up okay. I know. Don't worry, they're fine."
We left, and Mia talked about Christopher Columbus and the sewer fairies the entire walk home.