I do not belong here.
I am Faerish, but I'm not of Faerie. I am of Diathan, the domain of mortals.
I do not belong here.
I am here because I can be here, in Faerie. Time is different: no-one ages, no-one dies; life is eternal. I'm a spirit among spirits: I have freedoms that in Diathan I only touched upon in distant dreams. I live, here; I can be, here.
I can leave, here, once.
My parents were of Faerie; they, who flit and shimmered through millennia. But, as as befalls us, all my kind, they wearied, and they left the circle to be mortal. They did not know Diathan is different. They did not know that they'd meet, they'd fall in love, they'd have a daughter.
They did not know that she, too, would be Faerish.
In Diathan I seemed a mortal, being, as I was, of mortal forms. Perhaps sometimes my skin was paler than the norm, my hair too black, my eyes too round, or too unround. Some mortals seem to be like that, I wasn't strange.
My parents told me what I was, and where I'd go, and what I could become. They told me I was of Faerie. They told me of the joy I'd have, the senses mortals cannot comprehend, the vibrancy, vitality, the life.
They didn't tell me of the single mortal vice denied the carefree souls who dwell here.
But they didn't know of Michael, that I loved him.
I am not of Faerie. I am of Diathan.
At the crest of time, when patches of domains can intertwingle, I was bade to make the journey through to Faerie. Michael, as he wouldn't understand, was told I'd be away the weekend at a cousin's wedding. I'd be back on Monday.
If I wanted.
At the circle, in the forest's heart, the time appointed: in I stepped. My parents watched, themselves denied the chance, their having given up their right of home the instant that they left. They will be waiting for me at the circle's edge tomorrow, should I choose return.
Tomorrow, I should say, for them.
For me, it is some 30K tomorrows `til the crest returns; it's nearly 90 years.
In Faerie, time is different.
I keep thinking about Michael. In my mind's eye, I can see him. I can conjure up his image, I can speak to it, and make it smile. I know I have a feeling for him, but I cannot recollect it. Yes, I have desire, but I don't have love. What was it that I felt? I know it was intense, but was it like the colour of a Winter orchid, or the scent of Old Man's Beard? Dancing bees, the rush of leaves, the softness of the sunrise: these I understand.
I may not understand love, but I understand I understood it once.
And understand I will again. One day.
My grandmother is here, and her grandfather. They remain content to live forever, basking in the moonlight, skipping shallow streams, and revelling in insubstantiality. Perhaps I, too, may tarry here awhile.
But what I've lost, they've never known.
What I have waiting for me, they may never know.
I cannot feel my love for Michael, but, upon my exit from this land, I will.
I hope I will.
It is the time of quarter-first. Today, the circle lives, the worlds are close enough that mortals who attend will see we Faerie-folk, we spirits of their night.
In Diathan, it's several hundred years ago, although the circle's place remains the same. I watch my grandmother begin her dance, beguiling, energetic, sensuous, apace. I make to join her, but I see a couple, hand in hand, their faces dimly lit by Faerie glow. They look into each other's eyes, they smile.
I think of Michael.
I do not belong here.
I rode a trout today, and drank the dew from spiders' webs. I tagged and tigged and hid and sought, and life was never better.
I like this place. I feel of Faerie.
So, I spin a child. I do not call him Michael.
It is the time of quarter-second. Now, the bonds between Diathan and Faerie are at their weakest. We are no mere shadows in the circle on this day, but semi-solid forms.
I start my dance.
I see a boy, his youthful face entranced. I spread my wings, and flutter to his fore. I take his hands, he joins me, and his girlfriend's cry of anguish is ignored. My nakedness bewitches him, my eyes of deepest violet draw him in. I tease him, toy with him, I'm coy, I'm lithe, seductive. Overcome, he clasps me to his body, passion flowing, puts his lips to mine of cherry red and -
I am gone. I leave a tinkling laughter in my stead, my jest complete.
The girl is weeping. Sadness? No, it's not...
She loves him? This is love?
I teach my son to spin. He asks me of my parents; curiosity.
I tell him all about them, of their life in Diathan, but something's wrong. My story's incomplete, but how?
My son sees nothing odd with it at all.
He is of Faerie.
It is the time of quarter-third. I glimmer at the circle, and see scientists with instruments. They will not sense our presence, for we make it so. Among the others is a mortal once of Faerie, sad, but seemingly at ease. Will I gain wisdom if I ever choose to leave?
What use is wisdom anyway?
What use is love?
Unlike the others in this place, I've been to Diathan before. I know what use is wisdom, and I know that love is worth mortality.
I cannot echo feelings of love's power, but I yet retain the facts.
My grandmother can not believe my choice. What fancy let to my decision? What compels me, after only 90 years, to leave? It's my first crest, yet she has seen a thousandfold of crests, and still finds daily things to awe, delight, inspire her being.
I tell her that I do not know the reasons for my settlement.
I tell her, though, that when I'm mortal once again, I will.
My parents drive me back. They do not ask me how I feel, or what I did, or why I chose to leave; they're simply glad to have me home again.
My bedroom: heart a-pounding, phone in hand, I dial the number. Michael's number.
A girl answers.
"Siobhon," she says her name is. Sorry, but Michael's dumped me. He still wants to be friends, though.
The news rips through my soul like a chainsaw. I fling myself face-down onto the bed, sobbing into the pillow, beating, beating with my fists. I waited, 90 years, for this!
I belong here.
24th January :\webdes~1\ .htm