Follow by Email

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Thems' That Go, and Thems' That Stay

    An Important Notice to Readers...

     Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience.  Please be advised.

Thank You,

The Author


       

           She paced the small kitchen...nine steps from back wall to hallway...about face...and then nine steps back, careful not to make any noise that would draw attention.  The medical tape she'd used to flatten her boobs stuck to her skin, making her scratch at her chest like a flea ridden monkey, and she felt strangely naked without the weight of her hair bobbing on her back.

          The hair had been the hardest part, the dark locks falling onto the towel like ribboned confetti at a private bon voyage party.  It had seemed ridiculous to cry over hair when she was poised to risk both her life and immortal soul.  Yet, she had sniffled her way through the entire event, leaving just enough length to gather it back in the small queue her research had dictated.  Lacking the indifference to toss the whole mess in the trash, she had rolled the towel up, hair pressed inside, and tucked it in the bottom drawer of the high boy dresser.  Something to deal with when...or if...she returned.

           A loud thump, hard enough to rattle the plates in the dish drain, brought her back to the present.  It sounded exactly like what it probably was, Kevin's 6' 4" frame hitting the parlor floor.  Beckett had been upfront with her about what he intended to do, making no insincere promises that it wouldn't hurt, only that the priest wouldn't suffer any long term effects.  She felt guilty, but convinced herself it was all for the best.  This all could have all been avoided if only Kevin hadn't been so damned pig-headed.  So intent on being the big hero that he couldn't see the idea had disaster written all over it.

             She and Beckett and gone round and round over the best way to handle Kevin's lack of reason, though they both had agreed that there was no way the priest should mix himself up in fairy magic.  Neither she nor the Sheriff put much stock in any platitudes about the afterlife, and the thought of losing something you didn't believed existed wasn't much of a sacrifice.  But Kevin did.  He truly and completely did, and though he might be commended for risking it all for the safety of his sister, the consequences of self doubt would eventually destroy all he held dear.

              It was Kevin's belief, and the fact he was still clumping around in that casted foot, that had brought them to this point.  She had kept entirely to herself these past few hours, worried something in her face would give the plan away.  As per Beckett's instructions, she had put together an outfit similar to the ones they'd created for the men.  He had insisted that for her own safety she travel as an adolescent male, and though her features were on the soft side, she discovered she made a passable boy.  The plan called for her to sneak into the rectory through the kitchen door, and stay put until Beckett signaled for her to show herself.  The sound of Kevin hitting the floor meant she didn't have long to wait.
_____________________________________________

           She Who Was All fluttered off the mantle, positioning herself on Beckett's left shoulder. "Tell me, Ridire Dubh.   Who will travel with you?  You have a different plan?"

           "Aye, Your Majesty.  The Churchman is not suitable for the task at hand.  I plead to take another in his place.  Under the same terms, of course."

            She gave his earlobe a pinch, her tiny rosebud mouth turned down in a pout.  "The terms be whatever I say they be, Mortal.  I will decide what shall be, and what shall not.   Explain yourself, Ridire Dubh."

            He sure as hell hoped that Roxie had not gotten cold feet, and that she was in the kitchen as they had planned.  As much as he liked to work alone, a successful conclusion required exact knowledge of the spot that was Maureen's ticket home, and it made no sense to waste time experimenting when someone with that information could close the deal.  He hadn't been surprised when his newest deputy had volunteered to take Kevin's place.  Her affection for his brother-in-law was obvious to anyone with a half a brain, and in her, he saw the same need for adventure, for risk, that he saw in himself.  Granted she was untrained, but she had that that in bred sense that allowed her to simply follow orders, and for a mission like this, that's all that mattered.

             Beckett put two fingers in his mouth, and gave a low whistle.  Deputy Spinelli made her way from the kitchen into the parlor, and even he gave her a double look.  Gone was the attractive, shapely brunette, who once made her living as an exotic dancer.  In its place was an awkward teenage boy,  dressed in clothing from the Revolutionary period, a short queue peeking out from under his tricorn hat, and a rusty old knife strapped to his waist.

              She glanced around the room, catching sight of Kevin, out cold, propped against the sofa  "Is he all right?"

             "He'll be fine.  Probably have a nasty headache for a few hours, but nothing permanent."

             She nodded, and then added, "Are 'They' here?  The Fey?"

              "They are.  Your Majesty...may I present Miss Roxanne Spinelli.   It is she I wish to take along."

               Not knowing where to look, or how to act, Roxanne bowed low at the waist, hoping she wasn't breaking any Fey protocol.

                 She Who Was All  left Beckett's shoulder, circling Roxanne, and giving her tiny pony tail a tug.   "A female, Ridire Dubh?  Dressed as a boy?  Quite silly I say, Black Knight.  But clever."  She flew back to the mantle, and once again took her favorite spot among the Apostles.  "I will do as you ask.  But again I warn you...the spell will last only until the rising of a full Lady Moon.  You both will return, and things will be as we have discussed.  I make no promises to your success. That be up to you. " She stood and came to the edge of the mantle, spreading her luminous wings behind her.  "Let us begin then, before the Churchman awakens.  I do not relish being a witness to his discontent.  Come stand together and join left hands, the amulet between your palms.  Then lash them together tightly."

                They did as she asked, and feeling the shake in Roxie's hands, Beckett added, "No worries, Deputy.  We'll be fine.  I promise."

                Seeing they were secured, She Who Was All closed her eyes, and began her incantation, heard only by Brian, who cowered under the sofa next to Kevin, and Beckett, whose blues eyes, intense and focused, locked those of Roxanne.  Roxanne held onto the gaze, praying for a soul she was pretty sure she didn't posses, and placing her life in the hands of a man she really didn't know.

                "Chi fey sonne bace.  Indula tres bosha.  Impagio furetna.  Shema condonna.  Alve alve!"

                The lighting in the room dimmed, despite the fact that the sun poured through the parlor windows, and the amulet between their palms grow warm.  Roxanne tried not to tremble, but the shake seemed involuntary, as Beckett's own arm began to move as witness.  A dense fog began to gather at their feet, and as the Fairy Queen repeated the words, it grew thicker and taller until it completely engulfed them.  "Chi fey sonne bace.  Indula tres bosha.  Impagio furetna.  Shema condonna.  Alve alve!"

                 At the third repetition, there was a crack of thunder, seemingly from somewhere inside the fog, and when the air cleared, the space where  the two mortals stood was empty.  She Who Was All clapped her hands in delight.  "See Clurichaun...I still have the power.  You'd be wise to remember that, old one."  And with a snap of her wings she was gone, leaving him alone with the unconscious priest.

________________________________

              It was an overwhelming need to throw up that woke him.  His eyes snapped open, and he could feel the burning bile rise up in his throat.  He started to try and lift from the floor, but instead found himself unable to get his feet under him.  It was Brian who encouraged him to remain seated, standing as he was next to him, a kitchen dish pan dropped in his lap.

             "Best you stay put, laddie.  Me thinks you might be needin' to make a deposit in the dish."

              There was no time to answer, as the little bit of food he'd managed to get down earlier in the day made a repeat appearance.  His focus was trained on the gagging and choking, and it was a few minutes before his brain registered the awful facts.  Head pounding, he leaned against he sofa and looked around the parlor.  It was empty.  No Beckett.  No Fairy Queen.  The grandfather clock behind him chimed 6:00 PM, and the realization that he had been found unworthy and left behind hit him like a wooden mallet straight to the heart.


Copyright Victoria T. Rocus 2015
All Rights Reserved

         

         

     

           


         

           

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Black Knight (Ridire Dubh)


    An Important Notice to Readers...

     Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience.  Please be advised.

Thank You,

The Author


   
 
The woman who is not Maureen, (Mrs. Rachel Walker Revere) waits for plans to help her get back home

       "You're being an ass, O'Kenney!  Try being objective about this."

        He watched his brother-in-law punctuate his emotions with a long handled knife, slashing at the pizza with almost scary precision.  Despite the gravity of the situation, his mouth watered at the aroma, and the thought crossed his mind that this might be the last slice of D'Angelo's thin crust he'd ever consume.  Fr. Kevin wiped the niggling worry from his head, and passed a slice to Roxanne on his left, and to Mrs. Revere on his right.  Everything would be fine.  He and Beckett would use the fairy spell to reach Maureen, guide her to the spot in the bank, and then return home themselves.  Easy as...well...pizza pie.
 
        Waiting until Ted's mouth was full, he responded, "Look, I know you think you can handle this all on your own.  But the watch is very specific on where you need to be to travel.  I've been there.  Twice.  I know exactly where it is.  You need me.  Besides, she's my sister, and it's my fault this happened.  If anyone needs to take a risk, it's gonna be me."

          "I'm with the Sheriff on this one, Kev.  What if everything that fairy queen person says is true?  About the soul part?  How are you going to live with yourself if it really happens?  You, of all people, who's built his life on things of a...a spiritual nature?"

           Her pity annoyed him.  Why would she take Beckett's side?  She was supposed to be his friend.  Roxie knew how much his sister meant to him.  Didn't she think he was capable of making up his own mind?  Her disloyalty cut deep, and though it was childish, he turned his back to her, and didn't answer.

          "Use your brain, O'Kenney, and listen to Roxanne.  Even if I did believe in all this soul shit...and let me make this clear...I don't...the fact remains that you DO believe it.  You've created a purpose for yourself in doing just that.  If you go ahead with this, you're always going to have doubts over whether you're the same person you were before it all happened.  It'll eat at you forever.  And frankly, I can't see you "faking" your role as a priest."  He pointed to their wedding photo behind him, distinguishing between the woman who sat at the table examining her piece of pizza, and the "real" Maureen. "If Mo were here right now, she'd say the same thing to you.  The last thing she'd want is for you to give up your vocation...any part of it...for her."

         Next to him, Mrs. Revere laid a hand on his arm, staring at him from Maureen's face. "If it is any consolation, Reverend, I believe your friends make a most compelling argument. ' Tis most unseemly...unholy, in fact... for a man in the Lord's service to be partaking in things that deal with the fairy magic.  I want nothing as much as to return to my beloved husband and children.  But as a good Christian woman, I can not allow you to sacrifice any part of your consecrated soul on my behalf, though I am very grateful for the offer.  I will turn my trust to God to make thing right as He sees fit."

         It was like he was a kid again, at home, surrounded by his brothers,  all of them taking sides against him.  Old habits die hard, and a wall of resentment and hurt stalled further logical consideration on the subject.  How dare any of them decide what was best for him?  He was an adult, perfectly capable of making decisions for himself.  "Look people...I don't need your sanctimonious suggestions on my behalf.  I will do as I see fit."  He turned and looked both Beckett and Roxanne in the eye.  "I don't go around telling you people how to live your messy, ugly lives, so keep your damn opinions to yourself about mine."

          Roxanne turned a deep shade of pink, and looked away, and Kevin felt a biting stab of guilt over hurting her.  He had always been careful not to bring up the awful things in her life that seemed to haunt her, and he knew she was taking his comment personally.  On the other hand, his brother-in-law smirked back at him, and in an instant, he was able to predict the words before they left Beckett's mouth.

        "Now, Father O'Kenney, we both know that statement is far from true."  He stressed the word "Father", lingering over it in obvious sarcasm.  "As I recall, you most certainly DID tell me how to live my life.  Insisted...no blackmailed me...into doing it your way.  That little piece of advice cost me six weeks apart from my wife, at a time when I should have been at her side.  Damn well nearly drove a permanent wedge between us.  And now you have the balls to sit at my table and tell ME to mind my own business?"

           At the graphic nature of his words, Mrs. Revere blushed, causing Beckett to reign in his temper. "Please excuse my un-delicate choice of words, Madame.  I mean no disrespect in the presence of a lady."  Then seeing Roxanne's face, quickly added, "Ladies.  I apologize for my lack of manners.  It is just that the good Reverend's hypocrisy causes me utter frustration."

          Fr. Kevin could contain himself no longer.  He jumped from his seat, slamming the chair against the table with a resounding thud.  "You can stick that hypocrisy in your ass, Sheriff!  The trouble between you and Maureen rests solely on your shoulders alone.  I just made sure you weren't going to continue to make a fool out of my sister, even put her at serious risk, any longer."

          Beckett remained in his chair, but his demeanor was icy, and his face deadly calm.  "Put her at serious risk, you say?  How?  Like you've done in this situation? Be careful where you tread with this line of conversation, Reverend, or I might just forget you are my wife's brother."

          It was ironically the passive Mrs. Revere who put a pin in their ballooning anger.  "Gentlemen...please!  This is not helping with the task at hand.  I neither deserve, nor am interested in, the sordid details of your ongoing feud, though it is quite clear the two of you have unfinished business.  If we are to rectify the turn of events, then we need to stop bickering amongst ourselves, and work together to return myself and your loved one to their rightful places."  She lost her composure, and began to sniffle.  "I must rely on your goodwill...your sense of commitment... if I am ever to see my family again."

          Even Beckett had the courtesy to look slightly sheepish.  "I beg your pardon, Madame.  You are most correct.  This is not the time to air our family's dirty laundry.  We have approximately eight hours to prepare for our destination.  There is little time to waste arguing about things that can't be changed."
He held up both hands in a sign of surrender.  "Fr. O'Kenney...if you wish to sacrifice part of your 'immortal' soul in the rescue of your sister, then whom am I to sit here and argue with you.  Do as you wish...and I will do the same."
______________________________________

           It was half past four, and still there was no sign of She Who Was All.  The three of them, he, Beckett and Brian, had assembled over an hour ago in the rectory parlor as they had been told to do the day before.  It was as strange a sight as Kevin could ever remember seeing, as if the musical 1776 were being staged in his very living room.  At the direction of Mrs. Revere, closet finds and thrift store purchases were altered to fit the style of her time. She had fashioned breeches for them both from loose fitting pants, while Roxanne had scoured every resale shop in Dollyville for suitable cotton shirts, broadcloth vests, and tailored coats acceptable during the Revolutionary period.  Beckett had been able to procure an antique musket in mint condition from a local gun collector, though Kevin had blanched at the price he had paid for it.

               That was not to say that the Sheriff was going without the benefit of modern weaponry.  He wore his shoulder holster under his jacket, outfitted with his favorite Walther PPK, 7.65mm.  Try as they might, it was impossible to hide his ankle holster in any way it was not visible, so after much grumbling, he gave up the idea of using one, instead settling on a small Ruger in the back of his waistband, and a very scary looking knife that disappeared somewhere into his clothing.

                They each wore cotton stockings to the knee, and tricorn hats purchased from a neighborhood costume store that catered to local theater groups.  When finished, they made a pretty convincing pair of  men in His Majesty's colonies.  It secretly galled him, however, that while he appeared gawky and uncomfortable in his outfit, Beckett looked rather dashing in his, if the reaction of both women were to be trusted.  The Sheriff's jacket was a dusty blue gray color, which according to Mrs. Revere, brought out the blue of his eyes, while his was a plain brown weave the color of muddy water  He wondered if the homely jacket wasn't pay back from Roxie, who had done all the shopping, in exchange for the hurtful comments he made the night before.  It was a ridiculous notion to think about, so instead, he paced the length of the room, traveling in round circles, and reviewing the long inventory of items that needed attention before he left.

           He was able to contact an old friend from seminary school to come stay at Holy Family for the eight days he planned on being away.  Fr. Joe Campbell taught at Boston College during the fall and spring semesters, and was currently without a permanent parish, so the chance to play Pastor appealed to the man.  He was delighted to take over the morning Masses, and even the youth group meeting and scheduled Confessions.  It had also been decided that Mrs. Revere would fake a badly sprained ankle that required rest for a week or so, keeping her out of the public eye.  Although she looked like the Mrs. Beckett everyone in the community knew and loved, her body language and speech pattern would seem odd, and it was best for her to limit her contact with the people of Dollyville.

        It was the way things were between he and Roxanne that bothered him the most.  He knew he had hurt her feelings, but she usually just told him off, and then was fine.  This was different.  She had gone out of her way to avoid him, leaving the room when he walked in, and working at never looking him in the eye.  It was very unlike her, and it worried him, especially as he was wasn't sure how this all would end.  She hadn't even come to see them off, or wish them luck.  The whole thing had a bad feel to it.

                "Aye, laddie...halt your meanderin'...you be makin' me dizzy.  She will come when She sees fit, and not a moment sooner.  Though there still be time to change your mind."

                "Enough, Brian.  You said you'd support me, and I'm holding you to that.  I have to do this, whatever the consequences."

                "It's your no understandin' of those consequences, I worry to.  This be no bedtime story, laddie.  There often be no happily ever after.  I canna change what has been done."

                "I don't need your help on this, Brian, though I appreciate your concern.  Just let me do what's gotta be done."

                 The wee man looked first to him, and then to Beckett, shaking his head, and falling silent.  He took a seat near the hearth, his face gloomy, and his mind lost in thought.  The three of them continued this way for several minutes, until a low buzzing sound filled the room, followed by an over powering smell of summer roses.  A small ball of light floated above the fireplace, and came to rest in her favorite spot on the mantle.

                 She Who Was All settled herself down, fluttering her wings, then pulling them tightly behind her back.  Her attention rested on Beckett, and she smiled at him, though her expression held little warmth.  "I see you have returned, Ridire Dubh...and you as well, Churchman.  I mean this to understand you plan on proceeding with this little adventure?"

                Beckett moved closer to the mantle, and smiled back at the little fairy, flirting with her as if she were simply one of the many women taken with his good looks.  "I am more than ready to continue, Your Majesty."  He removed his hat, and bowed low in front of her.

                 She laughed, swiping a candlestick off the mantle, and catching him in the back of the head. "You think to use that pretty face on me, Ridire Dubh.  You are quite naive, mortal, though you would cause quite the stir at court.  Of that I am certain.  But it is for what's inside your heart I make this deal.  I have grand use for one of your continence.  So if you are sure, then we may proceed."

                  She snapped her fingers, and a long parchment scroll and a feather pen appeared to her left.  "This be a contract between mortal and fey.  Once entered upon, it can not be undone.  For my help in breaking the bonds of time, this mortal Black Knight binds himself to my complete service for a period lasting until the birth of his first son.  Do you agree to all stated, Ridre Dubh?"

                      "I do, Your Majesty."

                      The pen appeared in Beckett's hand.  "Then sign at the bottom of this contract, in the blood of a young swan, and it shall be as promised."

                      Things were moving quickly, and Kevin began to panic.  The Fairy Queen had spoken not a word to him, ignoring him completely.  There was no way Beckett was cutting him out of this deal, and so he spoke up.  "Your Majesty, what about me?  Where do I need to sign?"

                       She looked him over, and sighed.  "I have no use for you, Churchman.  You can offer nothing I need."

                        His anxiety rising, he countered, "But yesterday...you...you said I could go?"

                        "Silence, Fear Seipeal Dearg!  Stop your whimpering!  If you still wish to benefit from the use of dark magic, I will not stop you.  It is of your own free will that you use this spell to meet your needs.  The Ridire Dubh's commitment pays for both of your passage.  But know this Churchman...it will be as I have said.  You will surely lose a part of your immortal soul, that which can not be undone.  It is the way of all things dark.  Be forewarned."

              Fr. Kevin watched as Beckett signed his name to the strange document, the red of the ink glistening wet on the paper, the thought that it contained the blood of some poor bird making him queasy.  When he was done, the pen and the paper disappeared in a puff of smoke, replaced by a stone amulet of some kind in his brother-in-law's hand.

              "Then we shall begin.  You must hold the stone together, your hands bound by this cord."  She snapped again, and across the same palm, lay a long length of leather string. "There are rules for the breaking of time.  As I have stated, you have until Lady Moon comes to her fulfilment of time.  After that, the spell will be broken, and you will return to this very spot, whether or not you have completed your quest.  You are warned firmly not to meddle in the way of things.  Each stone you turn, each life you touch, will have ripple effects.  Some ripples are meaningless, other bear huge consequences.  Do what needs to be done quickly, and with as little fuss as possible.  Do I make myself clear to you?"

                   They both nodded their heads, and weird sense of calm filled Kevin's mind.  They would have Maureen soon.  Safe and sound.  It all would work out.  He was sure of it.

              She Who was All stood up on delicate feet, her wings now feathered out behind her in full regalia.  "Are you ready for your journey to begin?"

               Beckett stood in front of Kevin and took hold of his right hand, posing as if he intended to lash them together.  "We are, Your Majesty...expect for one last thing..."

               Kevin never saw it coming.  The punch came from nowhere, catching him hard across the left temple.  He blinked twice, confusion filling his mind before everything went black.

______________________________

              Beckett pulled the unconscious priest across the room, propping him up against the sofa where Brian had perched himself.  "You'll make sure he's alright?"

              "Aye.  He be fine in time, though not much happy."

              "It can't be helped.  You and I both agreed he shouldn't do this."

              "I do not disagree with our decision,  Ridire Dubh, though still I trust you not."

              Pulling his jacket back in place, Ted ignored the little man, and came in stood in front of She Who Was All.  "I apologize for the delay, your Majesty.  A change of plans."

                "Well played, my Knight.  The Churchman is no asset, though I do find your concern over his soul...interesting.  Know this Dark One, your loyalty is mine now.  Mine alone."

                "I understand completely.  I gave you my word."

                She clapped her tiny hands in delight, the sound oddly echoing in the small room. "Excellent answer, mortal.  I am glad we agree, Ridire Dubh.  Most pleased."   The Fairy Queen ran a hand over Beckett's cheek, then gave it a sharp pinch.  "Shall you travel alone now?"

                "Actually your Majesty...if it please you...I'd like to take another in the Churchman's place."

Beckett holds the amulet



Copyright 2015 Victoria T. Rocus
All Rights Reserved

           

                   

               

               

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tightening the Terms

            An Important Notice to Readers...

     Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience.  Please be advised.

Thank You,

The Author

Brian explains Fey protocol to She Who Is All

       If Beckett was shocked at the unusual demand, there was nothing in his expression or body language to show it.  Instead, he leaned against the fireplace, and stuck his his hands in his pocket.
"And if I do this...sign myself over to you...you'll get Maureen back?"

       The wings fluttered again, ever so lightly, though there was no wind in the room.  "That I did not say, Croi Diamhair.  I grow weary of repeating myself.   It is you I can send, through space and time, and return you once again.  Not so the girl.  She must have the key, and unlock the door.  As I have already explained, the spell she is under can not be broken.  But if you know where the door can be found, and if she has the watch in hand, you can direct her through it.  She will return, in her natural form, to the life she knew before, and you can then follow her back."

        During the entire conversation, Fr. Kevin sat in mental battle.  It was the answer to their prayers.  Maureen back, safe and sound, in her God given form.  Rachel Revere once again home with her children.  But at what cost?  Beckett would be doomed forever, under the thumb of the Fey world's most powerful citizen, and at her immortal mercy.  He knew just enough of fairy history to fully understand exactly what that meant, but he was doubtful his brother-in-law did.  He couldn't, in good conscience, let him make that sacrifice. Not without knowing the consequences. They would have to find another way.  The Sheriff opened his mouth to agree, but Kevin was out of his chair, and across the room, covering Beckett's mouth with his palm.

        "You can't do this, Ted!  You don't know what you're agreeing to!  If you accept her proposition, you will be forever trapped in the Fey world, belonging neither there, or here.   I can't let you do that.  Maureen herself would never forgive me.  She'd be back home, but you'd be gone from her for..." He never got to finish his sentence.  His lips moved, but no sound came from them.  In addition, the soles of his feet began to burn, and he was forced to tear at his shoes and socks to seek relief.

        She Who Was All clapped her hands and giggled in amused delight, as the priest hopped about the room in obvious distress.  She pointed a a tiny finger at Brian, who up to this point, had offered no dialogue.  "See, Old One, how your Church Man dances?  We shall invite him to our next fairy ring.  He will make my sisters laugh and laugh."

       The little man was gone from his spot in an instant, suddenly next to the queen on the mantle, and though both knees shook as he spoke, he forced the words out with a firm sense of valor.  "Your Majesty.  The Church Man is correct.  You must disclose... without falsehood...all terms of your dealings with mortals.  It is our way according to She Who Was Before."

         The fairy narrowed her eyes at the clurichaun, and a heavy mist began to rise from all four corners of the room.  Fr. Kevin stopped his frantic hopping, intent on the scene unfolding before him, and even Beckett took a short step away from the two.

          "You dare question me, Old One?  Know you not that I am She Who Is All?  I can banish you to the bowels of the Earth, where you will spend your last days in suffocating blackness!  Cut off from the life blood of the Creator.  Is that what you want?"

           Tears gathered in the corners of his purple eyes, and his shaking was strong enough to rattle the candle sticks on the mantle.  Still he held his ground.  "That is not what I want, your Majesty.  But I vowed to honor the ways of our people.  Those laws set down by your own honored mother at our last Gathering.  I must stand for what is right, your Majesty.  The law states you must disclose all when making exchanges with mortals."

          With a gale of wind, the clurichaun was blown of the fireplace, landing several feet away, and hitting Kevin's desk with a thump.  The little man groaned, but got straight to his feet.

           "I will do as I please, Old One.  I am She Who Is All."

           "Then you bring shame to your house, your Majesty.  Do as you wish to me, but you know I speak the truth."

            The Fairy Queen looked about, her eyes holding the fury in her heart.  She pounded at the plaster statue of the Last Supper, beating at the heads of the frozen apostles in sheer frustration.  When she was spent, she sat herself on the edge of the mantle, and drew the rest of the room to a spot in front of her.  "Very well, Old One.  It shall be as you say.  I will disclose all the terms of my offering."  She pointed a finger at each of them.  "Know this...I will offer only once, and then I shall be gone.  Do not call me again under the threat of my fury."

             It was Beckett who spoke for the group.  "I am listening, your Majesty.  What are the terms?"

             The little fairy smiled, pointed tiny teeth like little pearls in her mouth.  Her whole body seemed to shimmer, and there was the sweet smell of May lilacs in the room.  She crossed her legs daintily at the ankles, fluffed out the dress around her, and addressed Ted in liquid voice.  "I offer you the following...gift, Black Heart.  I shall cast a spell and grace you with a talisman that allows you the power to break the bonds of time and space.  It shall bring you to the side of your beloved's soul.  She will not be in her given form, so you must recognize her on your own.  Do you understand that?"

              Beckett nodded.  "I do your majesty.  I will be able to find her in her new form.  What else?"

              She pouted.  "You are very blunt, Mortal.  It hides your charm." She studied him for a moment, then added, "It will be up to you to help your lassie find the door that brings her back.  Once she has stepped through, you can use the talisman to return back yourself.  It is all verra simple."

              Feeling brave in the moment, Brian interjected, "You must explain about the dark magic, your Majesty.  All of it.  These mortals hold much stock in the state of their soul."

             She Who Was All tisked, her lips smacking against the pearly teeth  "You grow tiresome, clurichaun.  I miss the days when your people were full of mischief.  These new times are most dull." She sighed, "Very well...there are things the Old One wants me to reveal.  The spell I use is a dark one.  All magic comes at a price, and dark magic is costly.  If you use the spell and talisman to break the time bonds, you blacken a part of your immortal soul.  Not the whole thing...just a wee bit.  But it is irreversible, and lost to you forever.  Payment for your granted wish."

                Fr. Kevin looked at Beckett in shock, but before he could add to the conversation, the Sheriff waved him off.  "That is of no consequence to me.  Is there anything else I should know?"

            "Of course, my Impatient One.  Like all spells, there is a limit to its fruitfulness."

            "You mean...like a time limit?"

            "Aye.  A time limit."

            "How long do I have?"

            "It will depend on when the spell is cast.  It has strength until Lady Moon comes to term, round and white and bursting with life.  At her labor, the spell evaporates."

             He pondered her words, trying to make 21st Century sense of the unbelievable.  "So, you mean until the full moon?  We have until the full moon rises?"

            "You are correct, Croi Diamhair."

             Both Beckett and Fr. Kevin reached for their cell phones at the same time, frantically tapping at the screen, the Sheriff retrieving the information first.  "That's in nine days.  We have nine days to get to Maureen, and bring her back."

               "Actually eight, mortal, as it will take me a full setting and rising of the sun to prepare the spell.  I can send you on the morrow at this very time...if that is what is agreed upon."

              "It sounds as you have what I need, Lady Queen.  And you require me in exchange?"

              "Aye, Croi Diamhair.  I require you.  But not in the way the Church Man fears.  I have no use  for you among the Fey, though I will admit are a pretty man.  My need of you is where you can serve me the best...among your own kind.  You have a black heart, mortal, thoroughly lacking in general conscience.  It is that which I need.  A champion in my service among those who would do me harm.  A Ridire Dubh, of sorts.  I have enemies among mortal man."

             "And what would I need to do?"

              "Whatever I require, Ridire Dubh.  We both know there are no boundaries you will not cross to follow orders.  It is who you are.  What you are.  It would serve me well."

              "And the length of my service, Your Majesty?  How long will you require my services?"

              "Come now, Dubh, we...you and I... understand the way of things.  Once in, never out.  But the Old One will insist on proper protocol.  So we will set terms.  What say you to this...you will serve as Ridire Dubh, my Black Knight, until the birth of your first born son?  Upon your heir's birth, the debt is paid."

              Beckett's reaction was so slight, it might have gone unnoticed if Fr. Kevin hadn't been so focused on the man's face during the discussion.  At the mention of a son, his brother-in-law grimaced, a slight intake of breath, and it was gone.  Beckett had never shared his grief, never opened up to him on on the tremendous loss he and Maureen had experienced, though he had tried to start the conversation a multitude of times.  But it had been there in that moment, real and deep, a wound not yet healed.

            Despite the glimmer of grief, there was little hesitation on the Sheriff's part.  He had no care of his soul, fully believing it had been lost years ago.  And the work she required of him was already part of his nature, every bloody, immoral bit of it.  It seemed like a small price to pay for the return of Maureen.  "I accept, your Majesty.  Fully and unconditionally."

            Fr. Kevin leapt from his chair, and Beckett expected a full blown sermon aimed at changing his mind.   But what followed shocked even his jaded view of the world as it was.

             "Your Majesty, I would like the same deal.   Same as Beckett's.  I need to go with him to find my sister."

             "I don't need your help, Kevin.  Just let me take care of this on my own.  She's my wife."

             "And she's my sister!  Plus, I have first hand knowledge of where the watch opens the door.  I've been there.   Been through the experience.  You need me."

              "Just explain to me where to go, and I'll handle the rest.  You're not cut out for this, O'Kenney."

               "You're wrong, Ted!  I've done this before.  You haven't.  I can help."

               She Who Was All waved her hands across the two, and they instantly silenced.  "Silence, you arguing dogs!  It is at my will the contract is offered, and I will decide the writing of it."  She turned toward Kevin, the smile gone, and her growing irritation apparent.  "I have no use of you, Fear Seipeal Dearg.  You are the Old One's pet.  And what of the part of your soul that you will loose in this attempt?  Do you not fear over what your heart holds dearest?  Surely your soul is worth more than this?"

              "I am willing to sacrifice that part of me if it means my sister's safe return.  I can help.  I know I can."

              "You have nothing to offer me in return, Churchman."

              "Surely your Majesty has enemies among the clergy.  I can be useful.  I can"

              "And you are willing to shake all you believe, all you have held dear... in my aid?"

              "I won't have to shake my belief, your Majesty.  I can work around it.  I'm good at thinking outside the box.  Of finding alternatives.  Ask anyone."

               The Fairy Queen stared at both men, shaking her head and making grinding noises with her teeth.   The seconds clicked by on the grandfather clock in the corner of the rectory parlor, the noise crazy loud in the silence of the room.  Then, with a nod of her head, she was airborne.  "I shall agree to the terms discussed in this room.  Return on the morrow to this very place.  I will bring the contract with me.  Once signed, the spell will be woven as you ask."

Fr. Kevin pleads his case with the Fairy Queen


Copyright 2015 Victoria T. Rocus
All Rights Reserved

     

       

   

   

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Let's Make a Deal

                     An Important Notice to Readers...

     Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience.  Please be advised.

Thank You,

The Author

     
She Who Was All makes herself at home
       It was a surreal scene, even for a believer.  The Fairy Queen sat perched on the fireplace mantle, using the broken Last Supper as a back rest, sipping Irish whiskey out of a toy tea cup, while the plaster faces of the apostles peered over her shoulder.  She had selected that spot as a throne of sorts, expecting the customary pomp and circumstance afforded to one of her stature, and in keeping with Fey etiquette, no business would be discussed until the formalities of hospitality were attended to.

         Next to him, Beckett sat ramrod straight, his fingers intertwined in his lap, and his expression a blank palette.  Say what you want about the man being a pompous bastard, you had to give the Sheriff credit for holding it all together during the absolute absurdity of events.  Granted, Brian's first appearance had startled him, and if they hadn't removed his weapons while he was out cold, things may have gone badly.  But he seemed to accept crazy things relatively quickly, though the two of them, fey and mortal, had forged a mutual dislike.  And he couldn't imagine too many men being able to process the thought of an actual fairy, complete with wings, landing on their shoulder without questioning their sanity.  All in all, his reactions were...well...quite Beckett like.

          The tiny Queen downed the last drop from the cup, and nibbled the corner of a vanilla wafer, eyeing the three of them like produce in the market.  She afforded Brian a brief nod, gave him the once over from top to bottom, and then settled in on his brother-in-law, narrowing her eyes and scrutinizing every inch as if she could see right through him.  Beckett returned her stare, keeping eye contact longer than the priest thought humanly possible.  Then, without warning, he winked at She Who Was All.

         Beside him, Brian gasped, and he could feel his own mouth go dry.  Her wings rippled, and the dish holding the last of the cookie flew off the fireplace, spraying Nilla Wafers in every direction.  The corner of the china plate caught Beckett at the side of the temple, and though it left an angry red welt, the man offered no reaction.  For a second, everything in the room froze, and Kevin saw any chance of retrieving Maureen disappear.  Yet, in the strangeness of the day, She Who Was All surprised them all, laughing out loud, a sound like hundreds of tiny wind chimes on a summer afternoon.

           "You do not disappoint, Croi Diamhair, though your arrogance blinds your true potential."  With a raise of one finger, the plate and the cookies regathered, and once again found a spot on the mantle, while Fr. Kevin instantly found the tiny tea cup back in his hands.  "I shall require more, Fear Seipeal Dearg."

            He hurried to refill the cup with a few drops of Jameson, placing it carefully next to the cookies,  keeping his eyes averted.  She downed the contents in one gulp, then leaned back, her wings resting atop the heads of St. John and St. Andrew, dusting them with each flutter.

            "You have called upon my assistance.  Explain this."

              From his spot on the ottoman, Brian gave him a poke to the leg.  As planned, it was going to be up to him to ask for help in returning Maureen, and he opened his mouth, working to select the right words in accordance with Fey protocol.  But he never got the chance, Beckett answering instead.

              "My wife's gone missing, your Majesty.  I want her back."

               She Who Was All tossed her head, the golden red curls bouncing about her head like tiny bubbles.  "Of course you do, Croi Diamhair.  You are a mortal that wants much.  It is important to you to 'have'.  Why seek out the Fey?  Are you not capable of finding what is yours?"

               "Not in this case, your Majesty.  She's lost in time.  Those are bonds I am unable to break."

               "That must anger you, Croi Diamhair.  You have built a life on breaking rules to do as you wish, but in this instant, you can not retrieve what you hold dearest.  It is out of your reach.  Most pathetic, is it not?"

                The muscles in Beckett's jaw tightened, but his voice remained neutral.  "Yes, your Majesty.  Pathetic, as well as sadly ironic."

              She paused to reach for another cookie, and then raising a finger, pulled Beckett's chair closer to her.  "It is most impossible, mortal.  To breach the distance of time.  The red haired lassie is in the throes of a powerful white spell I can not break.  It is the way of things.  To return, she must complete the circle."  She pointed at Fr. Kevin.   "He knows this.  The watch is the key to unlocking the spell.  Your lassie must use the key at the right door to make her way back.  I can do nothing to change that."  She rose, and stood on the ledge of the mantle.  "And now I must be gone.  Things of great importance to attend to."  Her wings fluttered, and she was airborne.

               Kevin could feel the panic rise in his throat.  She Who Was All was their last chance in helping Maureen find her way back.  Without her intercession, they would have to hope Mo would figure it on her own, a scenario that seemed doubtful.  He looked first to Brian, who had sat silent the entire time, and who now had no suggestions to offer, and then to Beckett, who had left his chair and was standing directly in front of the Fairy Queen.

              "Your Majesty,  I don't believe you when you say there is nothing you can do."

              The air in the room grew warmer, like someone had turned on the furnace in the middle of summer.   "How dare you question me, Mortal!  I owe you nothing."

                "That is true.  You owe me nothing.  But I would be in your debt, Great One, in return for your assistance."

                  The words hung in the air, almost taking on solid form.  To make such an offer to the Fey was a dangerous thing, and to someone of the Queen's unlimited power, a life changing moment.  If accepted, Beckett's offer could not be undone, and She Who Was All would end up with the bigger reward.  He tapped Ted on the shoulder, wondering if there was still time to back out, and secretly hoping the man would not.

                "You need to know that a deal made with the Fey is rock solid.  You can never renegotiate, and ya gotta know going in that she'll end up getting more than she gave.  Think carefully about this, Ted.  There's no going back."

                 "I don't need to think about it.  I already made the offer.  I stand by it."

                  The Fairy Queen raised another finger, and Kevin was thrown back into his chair.  "Silence,  Fear Seipeal  Dearg!  This is between the Croi Diamhair and myself."   She returned her attention to Beckett, landing on his shoulder, and whispering in his ear.  "You wish to arrange a deal, mortal?"

                  "Yes, your Majesty.  I do."

                  "What is it you offer, Croi Diamhair?"

                  "I am a wealthy man, your Majesty.  Money.  Influence.  I offer whatever you wish."

                   She laughed, the sound filling the room despite her diminutive size.  "I have no use for your mortal trappings, Black Heart.  Surely you can do better than that?  After all, it is your dearest possession we negotiate for."

                     "Tell me then, your Majesty.  What is it you want?  Help me get my wife back, and it's yours."

                   She Who Was All rested against his neck, and stroked an ear lobe.  "What you are asking  is very difficult.  To break the bonds of time and space, in human form, requires powerful magic.  The dark kind in which much energy and sacrifice is required.  It is no small thing."

                   "And your Majesty can do this?"

                   She pinched his ear lobe with her fingernails, hard enough to draw blood.  "You doubt me, mortal?  That is most unwise."

                   "No, my Queen.  I believe you are quite capable of whatever it is you wish."

                   "True, true...more than capable.  The question remains... do I wish to do it?"

                   "And do you, my Queen?"

                   "I do like the sound of that on your tongue, mortal.  'My Queen'.  You are pretty man with pretty words, Croi Diamhair.   Yes...I can arrange for you to rescue your dear one.  But I will need something great in return for my help."

                   "Anything, your Majesty.  Name it.  What is it you wish?"

                   She leaned in, and licked the blood off his ear lobe.  "Why...you still don't understand simple mortal?  It's you I want.  You are the trade."
Making a deal with She Who Is All



Copyright Victoria T. Rocus
All Rights Reserved