Saturday, June 28, 2014

Laughter is the Key

I was the only human for miles and miles around. He was elven, as were his two wives. I’ve never seen elves who were so evil. They’d come visit from time to time, to make my life miserable. The fairies would all hide. One day they brought their kids, or at least I figured it was their kids, the boy was trying so very hard to be like daddy, cruel and evil.

I knew I would never regain my peace, so I started packing my things or giving them away. The fairies had brought me many tiny treasures over the years, and I was giving them all back; they were such delightful creatures, always able to make me laugh. When the elves came this time, there weren’t many elves left – maybe a dozen or so.

I was talking with the wives, and it occurred to me that they weren’t really evil; they had simply been twisted somehow. When asked for any reasoning for anything they did, they got really confused, and then they’d try to cover it up by laughing, but it was all wrong somehow.

I was terrified for myself, but now I was afraid for them too. Then a special little fairy I’d named Dawn, popped into view behind the two wives, who were, by the way always holding or touching each other, maybe for mutual support in their evil environment. Dawn made a face behind them, baring her tiny pointy teeth and sticking out her tongue. She was being serious; it was probably the one serious moment in her entire life, but for some reason it struck me as really funny.

Of course, the wives were stunned. They had just been making fun of me, trying to laugh at me about something. I’m sure it was something the fairies laughed at me about all the time, but Dawn was telling these elves that it was one thing for the fairies to laugh at my antics, quite another for some evil bitches to do. Of course, tiny Dawn wouldn’t dare do such a thing to the face of any elves, let alone these evil creatures.

And then suddenly Dawn vanished from my sight, down behind the two women. The boy had her by her feet. Oh he was so happy with himself. He ran, me chasing him, but he wouldn’t let go. I tackled him and started hitting him; calling him an evil little cockroach. He might have been half my size, but he was an elf; he was nearly as strong as I was and easily twice as durable. Taken by surprise, I got in good solid hits, keeping him stunned, but still he didn’t let go. Finally, my hand found his knife, a thin, curved, bone-handled thing; it looked as evil as his soul.

My first inclination was to drive it into his evil heart, but I’d never killed anything before. Instead, I drove it into his wrist, pinning his arm to the floor with my fury, the thin blade allowing me to penetrate the wooden floor pretty deep.

He screamed, which of course brought his daddy from away from his pilfering, but he also let Dawn go. She couldn’t walk, and she could scarcely fly, but she made it out of sight before the elf saw her.

I backed away, my goal achieved, and not a little horrified at what I’d done. The elf unpinned the boy and started to go, half carrying him. The wives, now they were a puzzle. One would assume one of them was the boy’s mother, but both of them, standing shoulder to shoulder, merely looked at me with a stunned, confused, hopeful look on their faces as they followed their husband.

As soon as they were gone, as soon as I felt their evil aura had left, I turned to find Dawn. She was so tiny; I knew there was no way I could set her bones, but I wanted to try, I had to try something. I called for her, searching every hiding place, crying and tearing the rest of my place apart.

When I finally found her, she was just lying there; two others were with her. Her lower legs were mushed out of shape. “Oh Dawn, I’m so sorry. What can I do?”

I don’t know that they understand what I say; I certainly can’t understand what they say, not in so many words. Mostly we just try to make each other laugh. The signals I got in reply to my question were pretty clear. Dawn pointed at me. She pointed at her mouth and chomped her teeth, and then she drew a line across her throat.

The other two looked from her to me. I could see the sadness and horror in their tiny faces. But Dawn was saying something to them, and they seemed to understand and agree. Somehow, this horrible act would be a good thing. How could I do such a thing to such a sweet creature? The only good thing I could see was I would be ending her suffering by a few minutes. I looked at her legs; it was such horrible suffering.

As Dawn began to swoon, and was no longer able to press her argument, the other took over. For some reason, this was urgent. They wanted me to do this thing before she died.

For the first time in many, many years, I prayed for guidance, and then I carefully picked up Dawn’s fragile body; she was no bigger than my first finger and her wings were as transparent as a dragonfly’s. I heard myself saying, “I’m so sorry” over and over again.

Dawn opened her eyes one last time and smiled, nodding. Just to make sure, I held my other finger up between us for a moment, then touched her with my nail, held it up again and then made as if to bite the end of my finger off. She nodded again, smiling painfully. I looked at the other two and saw that others can come to watch. They nodded, waving me to do it, to get over with.

I closed my eyes and did their bidding, certain it would be every bit as gruesome as my mind was telling me it should be, but it wasn’t. There was no neck to bite into, no head left in my mouth that belonged to a sweet adorable Dawn, no broken body left in my hand.

Where I had pictured myself with a head in my mouth, not knowing what to do with it, whether to swallow it or spit it out, not wanting to spit it out, spitting was insulting. Where I had pictured myself holding a now headless body, not knowing what to do with that either, not knowing what the fairies did with their dead. All those issues vanished in a shower of sparks which carried no heat, just a burst of colorful lights, lights that sank into my skin, and then she was there, as if resting on my cheekbone only on the inside. I touched my cheek just to make sure. The two fairies were smiling now, and the others were catching on. Dawn wasn’t dead. She had given herself to me. She was part of me now. Now all I had to do was figure out why.


Why do you think Dawn would do such a thing?



William Kendall said...

I have no idea, but I like the passage!

Willow Drake said...

I love it but I want to read more. We need a follow up.

Anna L. Walls said...