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les_cannettes

Disenchanted (Part Four)

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Mar. 6th, 2006 | 06:52 pm
posted by: bad_mushroom in les_cannettes



The dreams kept coming.

He appeared in many guises: sometimes the long white hair of that first night, sometimes the khaki coat and blue scarf. Once, he appeared with his hair up in a complicated knot, wearing a long high-collared blue-green coat with silvery designs. Beautiful. He was beautiful. And very elvish.

Strangely, Lydda never really thought of Tolkien or that sort when she saw him, though. He was the old sort of elf, the Anglican elf, not the kind that lived in Rivendell. Yes, she would allow, the Tolkien elf was inspired by the sidhe elf, generally, but Lydda’s elf, he had this quality--he wasn’t human at all, like Rivendell elves were. Or maybe it was that he was more human than them; she wasn’t entirely sure.

Two weeks into the nightly visits, she got into bed with a grim determination. This was not going to rule her life. I read a fairytale about this, she repeated to herself, the trick is to confront him.

(The fairytale in question was called East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and involved a polar bear sleeping with a young girl. She wasn’t supposed to look at him so he could turn back into a human for good, but of course she did. It’s not really clear where Lydda got the idea that confrontation was good, but hell, it did make the bear go away in the story. Sort of, except that the girl ended up following him.)

Hah. Confront. She hadn’t even spoken to him since that first night. She wasn’t even sure if he was aware of her. But that didn’t make sense. It was a dream. Just a dream.

The problem was, she didn’t want it to be a dream. There had been one particular dream--fantasy, more like, she thought--a few weeks ago that was rather nice. It had involved herself and him, in the back of a dark car, but not how you’re thinking you pervert. No, rather, it had been almost entirely about reaching towards each other. And it wasn’t in the sort of cliche way you’d expect. It was more like fumbling, but in a way that was inexplicably pleasureable. Just hands, but so much more. She couldn’t explain it any further than that without sounding crazy or sentimental.

Confront. Confront. Confront, she chanted, as sleep crept up on her, slightly more slowly than usual.

Sunlight streamed through his silvery hair, and his eyes were shadowed but sparkling, squinting in the light. He stretched languidly, rolling out his lanky body against the bench, joint by pointy joint. Shoulders popped with a mildly painful noise, and he sighed.

She was seated at the other end of the bench from him. The wood was painted a peeling green (probably lead paint), and rusty ironwork decorated the sides (probably very old, older even than the lead paint). There were birds in the design, and when she looked up there was a pidgeon on his shoulder.

A noise bubbled up in her throat that, on it’s way, became a muffled “Er, hullo...”

His graceful head turned, hair streaming from his shoulders in an elegant way, catching the light almost blindingly. A small smile found its way onto his lips.

“Indeed,” he said, nodding, stroking the bird absently on the head.

Just another peaceful moment for him; for her, a lengthy awkward silence.

He may look peaceful, she realized after a while, but he’s trembling. That was true. His hands were shaking ever so slightly. He was trying to cover it up by petting the bird, but it wasn’t working. Then again, she wasn’t feeling all that comfortable either.

“Why?” she blurted, feeling like the warm air was bearing down on her.

“Hm?” he answered, noncomitally.

“Well,” she stammered, “this. Why are we here? Why are you here? Is this a dream or some sort of...insomnia, or the like?”

Even his laugh was soft, just like his voice and his manner. “Ah,” he replied, “not insomnia, I’m afraid, but not,” his eyebrows quirked regally in her direction, “a dream, either.”


The incredulity must have been evident on her face-- he interuppted her before she even began to speak, holding a finger to his mouth.

“Hold on a moment.” he interjected. “Perhaps ‘not a dream’ doesn’t quite explain it either.

“You are dreaming, in a way, but--yes, I know, I’m coming to it--” he said, seeing her question, and the annoyance growing in her eyes, “this is perfectly real. Or as real as anything. Which is, I think, rather real.”

“Not dreaming,” she repeated, eyes wide, “but not awake. Is this the bloody Twilight Zone, then?”

“In a way,” he replied, smiling his secretive smile. Then his face grew sober again, and his eyes lost some of their silvery quality and seemed to become just dull gray. “Actually,” he started, coughing a little and turning away. He stared for a moment at a flock of ravens sitting in a tree off into the distance, then continued. “I need your help.”

“Why?” Lydda asked, both concerned and suspicious.

Before he could respond, she woke up.


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