Fairy-Kings And Codpieces
As Esaia Eldridge reads up on the effects of gravity
Joel Danriksson, Fallowfell’s youngest fire marshal, glares at me. “Now repeat”, he starts. “I will not”, he begins. “I will not”, I repeat. “… cook pancakes…”, “cook pancakes…” I echo, “WITHOUT OPENING THE FUCKING WINDOW SO THAT THE FUCKING COOKING-OOZE CAN GET OUT!” Joel screams.
I glance down at the floor of my kitchen, feeling very small right now. How was I supposed to know that you always open a window prior to making pancakes? That a fire alarm could be trigged by mere cooking-ooze? No book covered this.It wasn’t mentioned on any of the webpages I flicked through.And Verde, with all of his memories, didn’t tell me. / You rely by far too much on me. I will be your friend; not your crutch./ Friends should warn other friends before they trigger the fire-alarm and get a invoice that could give you an heartattack. /Oh don’t be so dreary./
I ignore Verde, feeling betrayed, and I ask Joel what was it that he said. “… nothing, just that you have got a sweet apartment. ” Something mournful passes through his brown eyes, and the scents around him twist and change. I keep a unfinished mental recollection, a palette if you’d like, on scents. And what Joel smells like– it is a scent I recognize…. regret and rememberance, a poignant combination that is more common than you’d expect.
“Alexandra would have approved”, he says, peering around. I rear back, a bit surprised; while Joel is two or three years older than Alexandra was, I never connected the two of them in any way or shape. “Yeah?” I challenge him.
He shrugs. His scent deepens… embarassment? “We were together for a full two weeks.” “But”, he continues, almost as if remembering who it is he’s talking to, “we were friends afterwards.Not best friends, but you know, friends.” We stand, the two of us, in my kitchen with a dead friend and a dead sister between us before it gets too hard. Eventually Joel clears his throat. “Anyhow I need to get going. Have a nice day”, he finishes in that way all civil servants have, polite and yet hurried.
I shrug; I don’t have the words to make him feel better.
An hour later I drag up the script that Isocrates have written, the script that we’re supposed to use for our play. A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I read parts out loud, skipping between the not-so-interesting parts and the actually interesting parts. “…bla,bla, bla… four plots…Duke of Athens… did Athens have a duke?……uh-uh a effing love triangle, that’s just great…..” I boil some water and make myself a cup of tea before my continued read.”…quarrel between the Fairy King and Queen, now that’s interesting…..a puck– oh that’s a proper noun…. Puck… a rape-drug, that’s not very nice…..a fight over a girl called Helena, that’s new, erhm, not….. The Fairy King steals the boytoy…”
I sigh. I thought Isocrates said that he would put more fights in it? I glance through the script til I find the list of roles.Shit. I am the Fairy King. And who else but Eiddwen is the Fairy Queen….
A sudden knock on my door disturbs my rant. I inhale… and relax. It’s Elena. /Or something that can mimick Elena to a degree where even your nose will be fooled./ I stop. That is a very, very frightening prospect. /But probable./
I open the door carefully. “Tell me something that only Elena would know!” It says something about our friendship that Elena doesn’t visibly react at my request; she smiles and takes it in a stride. “You had a crush on Emma Mattergren in fourth grade. You wrote her a anonymous love-letter on Valentine’s Day, and she flushed it down the toilet”, Elena recites with great glee. I open the door.
“You”, I fumble for words, for the proper expletive,” you just had to bring that one up, didn’t you?” Elena saunters into my kitchen rather than respond. She frowns and waves one hand in front of her nose. “Did you burn something in here?” “Nothing less than my dignity.So, what brings you to Casa Rune?” Elena shrugs. “I was bored. So I thought-” she halts. “Is that the script for spring-play?” I groan, and somehow taking that as a form of assent, Elena starts to read.
Minutes later, she looks at and laugh. Her laughter rapidly devolves into giggles. “I am sorry. It’s just… trying to imagine you as the Fairy King, with your eye-patch…” she starts to giggle again. I shrug. “Atleast my skintone will offset Eiddwen’s pasty pale-ass skin.” The humor leaves Elena’s face. “Eiddwen Mordecai is dangerous.” I think back on that party in the forest, I think back on a girl with the eyes of a goat, paper-thin skin and that feeling of horror dialed up to thirteen. “Oh I am not objecting that point. Not the least. Heh, I wonder what kind of clothes a ‘Fairy King’ wears?”
Elena gives me a decidly raunchy smile. “I bet Isocrates is going to outfit you with a codpiece. A jeweled codpiece in the colors of the rainbow!” “That”, I begin, before realizing this is just the kind of thing that Iscrates would do,” is…” “Is what”, Elena asks, with a particular glint in her eyes. “.. isn’t… I mean… yeah you’re right”, I say dejected.
“Promise me that you will take pictures?” “I promise”, I grumble, envisioning myself wearing a freaking codpiece.
“I just realized something.”
“You have got an apartment of your own-” “No”, I interrupt. “Don’t even think of it”, I finish. “But-” “The answer is still no, Elena”, I say, somewhat irritated. ” This would make a perfect-” “Still no.”
“Ah cmon”, she whines. “We could have a kickass parties here, free from grown-ups.”
“I don’t know…”