The "Daily Doodle" concept is intended to warm up my creative engines, and is essentially free writing, poetry or prose, usually accomplished in under an hour with a minimum of corrections. From time to time, I will post the results here.
In some cases, the piece will also be a special commission, prompted by a particular buyer. Readers can still custom order their own quick short-short stories: details here.
Today's post is based on some stuff I've been thinking about in connection to some creative brainstorming with Megan Levens.
The smoke swirled around him like grass. He lay on his back and the green fields of never grew up all around him. The soil formed and remodeled itself to nestle him, to allow for maximum comfort. The fire burned down to his fingertips but he didn’t notice the heat. The world was his mattress.
The movement was at first perceptible only out of the corner of his eyes. He stared to the white ceiling of sky and dared not look away, lest he frighten the visitors on his periphery. To see a secret is to know it, and to know it is to make it public--a secret no more. The way candle scents and vapor disappear from a room when you open the door.
The first was green, the second blue, the third orange. The pink came last, and it came closest. They all flittered and flew, ducking behind a dandelion, vanishing behind a tree, re-emerging on the other side. The pink walked around up to him, he could feel its presence, could smell the lilac on its breath. He tried to stay perfectly still. Let it make contact.
Which it did. The pink fairy held a bumblebee’s wing the way a human child might hold a feather, and it tickled the inside of his ear with the thin point of the object. The man giggled, but he was careful not to jump, even if that was his reflex. Instead, he turned his head slowly so as not to startle his new acquaintance. The fairy remained. It was leaning forward, examining him, smelling him, hands on knees, lips curled in a smile.
“Hello,” the man said, and the pink fairy jumped at the sound of his voice. Wings flapping sounded like a deck of cards being shuffled. Flakes of its epidermis trickled from its body, sugar from a donut. Fairy dust. He inhaled it in his nostrils, and the world turned cherry in the man’s vision.
The fairy did not flee. It hovered above him, where it was joined by the others. The orange, the blue, and the green. They examined him closely, trading observations in their fairy language. Or so he assumed, for he could not understand them. Their voices reminded him of pachinko balls falling down the machine. Except that sound was of money being lost, and this sound was of something exceptional being found.
“Am I intruding?” he asked.
The orange fairy zoomed forward, stopping mere millimeters from his face. Its wings blew its shedding in his direction. His vision went from fleshy to carroty, the atmosphere bending to the will of the spectrum faerie, to the color of the dust.
He had believed this was the path. That little girl at the turn of the century had found it first, and though she had been widely discredited by those not wanting to believe in anything other than their pre-established mysticism, he had always assumed their was truth there. He sought truth however it came.
The green was first because the green is nature; pink was last because pink is man.
He held out his hand, palm up, fingers flat. An invitation. Would the orange fairy touch down on his skin? In his mind, he drew a big F in a circle over his lifeline and loveline, connecting the two. “Fairy Landing.”
The orange creature floated away from it. Much in the way a spore dislodged from its flower is carried by a breeze, it looked as if the air currents had just nudged the little creature away, it did not go by any great choice.
Perhaps it wasn’t its own choice. Perhaps it was the change in airspace, the push of wind kicked up by the blue fairy rushing over to take its spot, to settle gently on the man’s hand. Its feet were sticky with little hairs, and he could feel an odd adhesive or oil seeping from the blue fairy’s soles. It stared at him defiantly, and it exhaled heavily through its nose, nostrils flaring. The cerulean dust came now and everything became like water. The man’s vision grew blue and the air grew thick and suffocating, cool and heavy with condensation.
The blue came second because blue is water; the orange third, because orange is light. The center of life. Yet, water is most precious.
The man exhaled in response. His breath carried glitter of all four colors, of the full rainbow: pink, orange, blue, green. The air smelled of cinnamon and gasoline.
“I conjured you,” he said, speaking in a soothing whisper, the way one might explain a death of a pet or a family member to a child who had not yet experienced loss. “Or more accurately, I made you. I invented life. My dreams...my reality.”
The blue fairy opened its mouth and more metal balls tumbled down its throat, making conversation, the kling-klang of vocabulary.
“You are my key,” he said. “I have unlocked something. Just like that little girl. The one with the photographs. I will raise her from the dead, prove both of our theories at the same time.”
This bothered the blue fairy. It balled up its fists and held its breath, and the watery tint began to dissipate, the sky around them returning to its original hue. In solidarity, the green fairy was flying along the edge of the ground, gobbling up the grass and fallen leaves.
The pink fairy was already gone. It left first.
The orange, it seemed, was the true center. He did not see it coming until it was right there, arms extended, its hands coming close, and settling on his eyes. The lids closed, the way one’s eyes do when a foreign object approaches. The last thing he saw was its splayed fingers and the grimace on its face before all went dark.
Current Soundtrack: Frank Ocean, channel ORANGE
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All text (c) 2012 Jamie S. Rich