Friday, 1 April 2016

Despite Her Reasoning

© Denis Fitzpatrick, 2015

 

Amber Rothe, despite her immaculate reasoning to the contrary, was holding what could only be described as a small faerie in her cupped hands. She had no idea how it got there (indeed she couldn’t remember past the time when the LSD she’d just dropped had come on) in this large nightclub in inner city Sydney, a converted warehouse presently filled with young and old dancing away. She just remembered wondering at its little flowing gown, covered in ruffles and folds, a light, sky blue, and made of what had to be gossamer. But who’s wearing this petite wonder? It was then that she noticed that she was holding a faerie.

     It was obviously a lady and with the cutest apple-cheek features Amber had ever seen. It hovered above her hands, slowly and shyly turning its head. Amber began to cry, sobbing once out of sheer happiness for its beauty. The faerie remained with eyes downcast. Amber then looked around to see if anyone else had noticed this creature.

     The faerie took the opportunity of Amber’s distraction to leave her, to head back to wherever it came from, or to begin whatever mission it had come here for. Amber noticed the little lady, distinctly trailing a tingle of rose scent, gliding passed her. She thought of reclaiming it, but then chose to see whether anybody else could see it.

    The little lady drifted into the thick of the crowd unnoticed. Amber trusted her senses though. She would never forget that little apple-cheeked faerie, never believe that it was the product of the acid.

     She went back to where she had been sitting with some friends but could only stare into her empty cupped hands. Would this experience with real magick ruin all of her mundane everydays? She looked up, pondering, and saw the little faerie returning, guiding a young man towards her. He was following her slowly but doggedly, blind to all else besides the miracle of Nature leading him. The faerie glided back onto Amber’s still cupped hands. Amber looked up at the young man.

     ‘So, you can see her too,’ she said to him.

     ‘Yep. And I’ve only had pot tonight, no acid.’

     ‘I’ve had a trip but I know she’s real. Especially now that you see her too.’

     ‘Why can’t the friends you’re sitting with see her?’

     ‘Don’t know. Maybe because they’re all listening to their music, tuned out on acid between their earphones.’

     ‘I’m here by myself, so maybe that’s why I can see her too. On the lookout for anything, as it were.’

     ‘What’s your name?’

     ‘Alain.’ He pronounced it with a French accent. ‘What’s yours?’

     ‘Amber. Are you French?’

     ‘Oui.’ Then Alain did something he didn’t at the time realise was fatal. He stumbled in adjusting his posture, standing there talking and trying to appear suave. He stumbled onto the faerie, which had stepped from Amber’s cupped hands unnoticed, and none of them heard it scream the instant before it was squashed. Alain only noticed his error when his right shoe slipped on something as he was heading off to see if he could buy some more pot. The slimy, sky blue dress was unmistakeable.

     Amber was the first to react, taking the messy cloth, removing her beanie, folding it around the dead faerie, and then placing it into her bag. She asked Alain if he would come along with her on Monday to the Biology Department of the University of Sydney, have them maybe identify its genes. Perhaps her discovery would lead to a whole new world. Alain naturally agreed: it was the least he could do and he was very keen to make amends.

     ‘The question is, though,’ mused Amber, ‘why had the faerie brought us together? Why are we so special? You’re just an ordinary bloke, at least you appear so, and I’m just a hairdresser. What’s so special about us?’ They were seated with Amber’s friends (there was really nothing to be done for the deceased) and had exchanged contact details. They planned to be at the University’s Biology Department at nine on Monday morning, a day and a half away. They planned to leave soon so that Amber could refrigerate the remains, the corpse better able to be then studied.

     ‘Maybe it was just chance,’ said Alain. ‘The whole thing was just a complete freak of Nature that went horribly wrong. But I think we should fulfil its last wish.’

     ‘What do you mean?’

     ‘We should stay friends, or rather become better friends. I have few female friends even though I prefer the female energy.’

     ‘We’ll see,’ she replied, making sure her bootlaces were tight. ‘Right now, though, I’m heading home, to keep the poor little lady cool and resting in peace.’ They agreed to meet outside the University’s main gates on Monday, to then reveal their shattered miracle, and Amber left the party. Alain followed suit half an hour later.

 

*

 

Amber wore her favourite green dress to meet with Alain on the ensuing Monday morning, not admitting to herself that she hoped he might admire the dress’ bell-curved hem. She also wore her dreadlocks in a bun, with one of them standing out on its own like a bird of paradise feather. Alain too dressed up, similarly not admitting to himself that romance was around, in a cream sports coat, red shirt and black jeans. He also had his fine, brown hair tied back. He was also the first to arrive at the rendezvous. Amber was five minutes late.

     ‘Hi, Alain, sorry I’m late. My cat didn’t want to be evicted while I headed out for the day.’

     ‘Busy day planned?’

     ‘Yeah, I like to keep busy. Mainly with art. My pay isn’t much but it lets me have just enough fun. And I don’t smoke or drink.’

     ‘Just the occasional LSD,’ quipped Alain.

     ‘Yeah. Just occasionally though. What work do you do?’

     ‘Night-filler. I pack supermarket shelves at night.’

     ‘Well,’ she said while stroking her hair, ‘we may as well make our revelation.’

     ‘Indeed.’

     After confirming that Amber still had the beanie containing the specimen in her bag (which beanie hadn’t been opened since its taking hold of the corpse) they set out to find the Biology Department. They could have, of course, asked for directions, but instinct told them both to keep as low a profile as possible. After all, Amber held in her bag what could possibly be a very significant landmark in the annals of Biology. They located a map of the campus and after Amber had planned out the location in her notebook they were soon within the Department’s sandstone.

     Surprisingly they had no trouble in being attended to by a biologist, having only to wait for about ten minutes to do so. He introduced himself as Dr Cheng and took them into a presently vacant office to discuss their ‘unusual find.’ He assured them that people brought in ‘unusual finds’ often and the matter always ended up benign.

     ‘So,’ he soon said, getting down to business, ‘may I see your specimen?’

     Amber took the folded beanie from her bag and opened it. There was absolutely no sign of the faerie’s remains, not the slightest stain from its mangled, gory flesh. Amber and Alain were stunned. The good Doctor felt put upon.

     ‘Listen, you two, this is not a funny joke. I have very important things to do. Is this a joke? Some sort of student protest?’

     ‘No,’ replied Amber and Alain together. ‘We’re just as surprised as you,’ said Amber for the both of them. ‘I have no idea where the faerie could have gone.’

     ‘Faerie!? Listen, little miss, and good sir, you both might wish to see a psychiatrist soon. These delusions nipped in the bud early usually cause no long term worries. But now, good day.’ Dr Cheng then left them alone in the office, having assumed they were a harmless, deluded pair and would leave soon without further incident. Which they duly did.

     Without saying a word, though, they both headed to the nearest cafĂ© to talk about their apparent delusion, which couldn’t be a delusion because they had both seen it. They both ordered a large flat white.

     They soon decided to head back to the same nightclub on the ensuing Saturday night and to try as best they could to replicate the conditions that had led to the faerie’s appearance, of which both very firmly believed. With any luck another faerie should appear and they can both unite to discover the purpose of their proclaiming their existence to a humble young woman and young man. They left soon after their coffees, both going home to see if they need to do anything to prepare for another faerie’s revelation. They also both expected their names to become inscribed in history, two ordinary folk who opened a world of magick.

 

*

 

Amber had no trouble in getting the same trip she’d had upon discovering her miracle and both she and Alain were wearing the same clothes as when they first met. They both naturally expected great things, even flirting with each other more. Who knows, maybe the faeries were beginning to announce themselves simply to spread love. That wouldn’t be such a bad world. Or would it?

     It was Alain, having just had a pipe of ganja, who noticed the faerie first. The same size as the first, but dressed in a more many folded, purple gown. Alain pointed out her arrival to Amber and they both held out a hand each to form a cup to receive this obvious envoy.

     The wee creature descended onto their hands, hovering just above the rim. This new lady looked at each in turn and then made a bow. When Amber and Alain looked up again after returning the creature’s bow they both could plainly see that it held a long, black poniard in its right hand. The faerie drew the blade across both their palms and simply was not there the next instant.

     They looked at their palms. Nothing.

     Likewise, their death was, ultimately, treated as nothing. Nothing could be attributed to their sudden death, even though illicit drugs were discovered in their systems, but not at harmful levels, and their passing within two days of each other was put down as an act of God on both their parts. Their parents never really did get over their sudden passing and couldn’t face cremating them, being not so far away if they were still somehow whole. Resting, simply resting.
 
~~~
 
If you have been enjoying Fitzpatrick's stories here you may also enjoy his short story collections, and other books, available at www.amazon.com as both Kindle books and paperbacks. Click this link to view them - http://amzn.to/1NfodtN Other ebook options are available through www.lulu.com; go to - http://bit.ly/1UsyvKD

    

 

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