Magenta Jones writes.
The phone hissed and lisped: “take out your notepad and start writing”.
So she parks the car, taps Derek on the shoulder and asks him to go fetch a trolley. Derek gets out and wanders off, not really questioning why they need a baggage cart without any bags. He's blood-bonded to Magenta, so if she says jump, he'll put on his tutu and leap.
Then she grabs her bag, pulls out the moleskin and nib pen she picked up in an LAX stationary shop, and begins scribbling. She's not focusing on what exactly she's writing; she thinks of Smith, infuriating child(no e) that he is, crippled by his power. she thinks of O'Hara and Arafel, which the wolf which the fox, Derek and the burnt-out lab, Sisko and his spraying flowers and she thinks of the angle of the moon.
“Start writing?”, she think. “I was just ending”.
Ending it all iIn thunder and confusion, leaving the children to wander without adult supervision in bloody fields of poppies under the angry moon. Children crusading in Ypres, mesmerized by visions of invulnerability
The words mean little to her, but the very act of putting pen to paper calls forth deeper emotions and memories, and slowly, as she writes, they wash over her.
ring a ring of roses, pocket full of posies, ladybird, ladybird, fly away fly away.
Your house is on fire.
All fall down.
She is coming home without the boys.
Home to the wolves.
Now is the hour of our discontent
will the governess relent
Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones,
can she come out to play?
With every crossing the feelings grow stronger, the thoughts whip around her, roaring in her ears, and then, all of a sudden, she finds herself in the eye of the storm. A strange calm blankets her. She takes a deep breath, without even thinking about it, and begins once more to put words together. Slowly this time, and with no sense of direction.
Hope, all but lost among the Ludites (sic), heard the word of fairy thus:
Thoughts of politics and Gehennas and outside things make room for things of the inside. For long lost childhood memories from when centuries were in their teens, not in their twenties, and from when age was countable on the fingers of a girl.
“In the desert you seek the Drops of Dew, while my Ocean beckons you.”
She can almost here the lisp, like she heard the words before, in a meadow, looking at the sun shining through a sparkling spider's web. The flooding memory fills her, and her writing - still slow, still devoid of intentional meaning - picks up.
“Pretty girl… Ready yourself. You are the house of the holy. The old must judge with eyes of new, but setting us free is up to you.”
Magenta feels, for the first time in decades, “in the zone”, writing-wise. It is getting harder and harder to tell whether she is writing this, or living this - the wind and the flowers in her hair, the blue of the sky in her chest and the buzzing of the fairies in her ears.
Hope squinted at the sun, furrowed her brows and said:
“Am I going to die?”
In the grass, Hope could hear Mister Whiskers rooting around in discontent, troubling the grass with its paws. If it were to find a fairy nestling in a bluebell or bathing in dew, she imagined, it would find it great sport. But the voice she heard, sibilant and playful, wore the sunlight and summer heat like a cloak, a deception over its old cold bones. These fairies would not be hunted by cats in the fields men know, she thought. In the glowing shadows that flitted across her heart, she imagined she could see shapes found in the emptiness beyond lost dreams.
“You want something,” she says, “for which you won't ask.”
Beyond fields and sun drenched grass, Hope sees Mrs. Jones' sad, stern face.
A lazy mountain of a cloud tumbled above, throwing shadows like thunder.
“Is the price of the asking too dear?”
The voice of the fairy did something that sounded like a sigh to Hope. A sigh made of little bells. “Yes, child. You are going to die.”
Sure she is. It was the only present she got for her forty-second birthday. Beautiful Kriemhild. She had such an abundant, generous look to her. She always looked like she was giving you something, even - especially - when she was taking something away. Even when she was draining the last drops of your blood. Or your soul.
“The Nymph must die for the Imago to emerge. The serpent in the egg. He will help you. Do you like butterflies, Hope?”
Emerging. Reforming. In the emptiness beyond lost dreams.
The voice of fairy did not wait for an answer. Who doesn't like butterflies?
“You will find that killing is harder than dying… But I will give you a gift, and as my gifts go, this one too will be more than it seems. If you give me Hope, I will give you a surprise, and together we shall rise.”