The Elf-Man Goes Human! And Other Things.
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Jun. 7th, 2006 | 12:23 pm
posted by: bad_mushroom in les_cannettes
Lydda stared at the person sitting at the table. Said person stared back at her coolly, never blinking her gold-brown eyes. Calmly, she took a sip of her coffee. Lydda sighed.
“Mmm,” said the brown-eyed girl, “This is very good, yes?”
Heather, from her chair next to the stove, nodded her assent. “Yeah. Good stuff, french roast.”
“I’m rather partial to hazlenut,” said Lydda, trying not to sound too rude.
“Jin,” said Heather, ignoring Lydda, “do you have coffee in Korea?”
Stupid question, thought Lydda. I think Heather fancies her.
Jin curved her perfect rosebud lips into a smile. “Oh, yes. Coffee very popular. Yes.”
“Oh,” replied Heather. “Cool.”
Jin just smiled.
“So...” Lydda began, as Heather washed the mugs by hand in the big silver sink. “That girl...Jin...do you,” Lydda paused awkwardly for a moment. “Do you....fancy her?”
Heather stopped scrubbing. “Do I what?”
“Y’know,” said Lydda. “Fancy her. Are attracted to her. She’s very pretty.”
Soap suds all up her arms, Heather turned around. She laughed. “She is that, she is that. But no. I mean, I like her, sure. But not like that.” She began to turn again, but then stopped herself. “Hold on,” she said, whirling around, “are you jealous? I didn’t know you...”
“No!” Lydda exclaimed. “I mean, no. Honestly, I’m not; or, I should say, I don't. Er...”
“Didn’t think so,” said Heather wisely.
Lydda chose not to respond.
Jin suddenly seemed to be everywhere. Needless to say, this drove Lydda absolutely mad. She began to take pains to be out of the house when Jin came over for tea or coffee or whatever the hell she drank. Probably Patented Innocent Asian Eye-Wetting Tea. Lydda suddenly became extremely dedicated to research. That is, research that required her presence at the school library.
Fortunately, Lydda liked libraries. They smelled nice. There was something in the air. It could be mold, of course, but Lydda preffered to imagine that it was the spark of knowledge or something equally romantic.
It was Thursday. Heather and Jin had been discussing the weekend’s upcoming parties, but it was after eight and Jin usually left by seven, so Lydda figured it was safe. She stepped out of the library into a bright twilight littered with scattered gusts of damp wind and the occasional distant thudercrack, feeling rather scattered herself.
“Do you have a light, miss?”
The voice came from her left. It had a familiar timbre that she couldn’t quite place, like deja-vu in a dream or a photo of a nephew that she hadn’t seen in decades. She turned hesitantly.
Bewildered recognition colored her response; “Oh, um...hullo...?”
His features were a little more human now--his elegant nose was red and a little pockmarked, and his thin lips were chapped. Even his eyes looked more watery than luminous. Both his hair and his fingernails were yellowed with tobacco, and he smelled powerfully of smoke. And yet, it was still him. Lydda could catch glimpses of his beauty under his human facade; for a moment, his hair shone silver in the right slant of light, his pale hands curled gracefully as he pushed back his navy blue newsboy cap.
“A light, miss?” was his only response.
She knew she was staring at him. She just wanted to see his real self again. He was so beautiful.
Then he readjusted the cap, tugging it over his eyes. He looked at the ground, spat, looked up again and met her gaze for a moment, with eyes as silver as cobwebs. When he spoke his voice was the voice from Lydda’s dreams: “Library’s a nice place. See you tomorrow.”
And he was gone.
Lydda was beginning to get quite fed up with his disappearing act. Library’s a nice place, huh? Well, she thought, I suppose we shall see.
Critique goes here.