I’ve been back on this site for about an hour, and you’ve already got me hooked. I hate you all a little for that -_-“ I kind-of want to dedicate this to Battery who’s still hanging around, and to Yoshi who just left. I also want to dedicate to LEPrecon Girl who dragged my sorry bum back here. Thanks to all of you.
I don’t really know what the sun represents. I think it was dreams. It feels like dreams. Mostly it’s Seasons of Love, though.
In other news, I can’t find the Bold or Italics. I’d like some help with that.
Warnings: Character death. Cursing. Showtunes.
Anything that sounds/seems completely irrelevant, is likely a song lyric. They’re from “Seasons of Love” from RENT.
How do you measure, measure a year in a life?
They lived on the Surface- years of laughter, and dopey smiles, pretending the bad things never happened, and pretending that their world of playing in the forest, or by the river or in the dining room with the chandelier the size of a Mini Cooper was reality and not a distraction.
Holly pretended she wasn’t a traitor in blood, name, clothes and language. She pretended she didn’t think in Gnommish, and that her clothes weren’t the clothes of a child, and sat in the middle of the lawn in a Disney Princess bathing suit working on her tan. After a few years the Kelps stopped calling and she started to get frown lines. But it was the life she chose, and, damn it, Holly Fowl doesn’t give in to anything.
Artemis wasn’t old yet, but it would be a lie to say he was young. He still played with his young wife, when the sun was out and the Irish grass sung like a Siren’s call to bare feet. Sometimes he thinks she taught him to live, but he knows that he hasn’t got much longer, and damned if he’s going to waste his Golden Years plotting which lives to ruin and mourning the loss of money. The day was for family, and barbeques, and talking with Myles about how impressed Mother would be with their slightly wrinkled polo shirts. The nights were for crime; especially his biggest sin of all: his theft of Holly.
Foaly called once in a while, and Holly would sit on the counter for hours with her legs curled under her, talking into the cordless piece of plastic. She jabbered, and chit-chatted and she was still playing pretend: She’s Holly Short, Recon’s loveliest flyboy, and the spunkiest girl to survive being kidnapped by that damn bastard Arty Fowl.
They know it’s not true, and she agrees to a physical because her bones ache, and her frown lines are deep and her hair is getting lighter. And, for Frond’s sake, she’s only 100!
The tests came back bad, and she’ll never be able to look in a mirror again. She’s pacing a hole in the carpet, barely able to keep from screaming.
Damn it, he’s supposed to die first! How can she leave him?
He walks in on her, and he’s concerned because usually she’d be out playing grass with her nephews, or reading a book somewhere he can’t fathom her climbing to.
“Is everything alright?”
Fairies are very susceptible to sunlight. They’re nocturnal, and it’s the way of nature that they don’t usually see the sun. The sun actually harms them, slowly draining their magic, so they lived by the light of the moon when the lived on the surface.
Holly Fowl was never a woman who went by the natural order.
She was being bleached- from her now-pale skin, to her ashy-red hair to the dull green of her sparks of magic.
The way Artemis saw it she was wasting away. The sun was like the bacteria of a disease he couldn’t cure, no matter how many sleepless nights he took, or how many equations he scribbled in his carpal-tunneled chicken scratch.
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee…
A year turns into six months, and she starts worrying about the things she’s never done. Her bones are frail, and her magic is gone and when she jumps off a tree “to fly again” they need to bring to the emergency room.
Somewhere in the part of his brain Artemis has decided it’s a bad idea to listen to, he wonders if her mind is fading too.
Holly stumbles around the manor with the unfamiliar weight of a cast, and the unfamiliar ache of a broken bone. She’s never had one for more than an hour, and it’s more of a novelty than an encumbrance.
So, when it becomes three months she’s paler than she’s ever been, and she still won’t give up the sun.
“I’m going to die at high noon in a lawn chair!” She’d say defiantly, to anyone who asked why she was still outside. “The sun is a gift, and this is the price!”
If anyone asked, though, the price was too damn high.
In inches, in miles, in laughter and stife…
Finally, the day came when she was pale as the bones taught beneath her skin, and her hair was the color of a washed out piece of red cloth. It was depressing.
Finally, the day came when she couldn’t get out of bed anymore and someone had to carry her to the bathroom, and bring her food.
Finally, the day came when she started talking about how they treated her “like an invalid”.
Finally, the day came when she was an invalid.
Everyone knew the day was coming when Holly wouldn’t be around anymore.
She stopped being able to sit up in bed, and whenever someone walked in the room they’d shut the curtains a little tighter closed. Soon the room was dark, and when someone walked in the room, they were faced with a disturbing sight-
A small woman, the size of a child, with sickly white skin that had the fairest hint of a sunny brown, sickly white hair, big hazel eyes that looked worn and a big smile. “Hi,” this ghost of a woman would say, swathed beneath blankets she didn’t need because it was April, and she should be out singing in the rain. “Are you here to visit? Would you open the blinds for me?”
And someone would, and Holly would feel like a watered plant, especially if it was the moon. But usually she just felt energized by the sun.
“When I was a child,” she’d tell her visitor, whomever it may be, even if they knew the story this woman whose laugh lines crossed her frown lines was about to tell, “When I was a little fairy, I’d always dreamed of the sky…”
One day she didn’t wake up.
Artemis stopped working when he heard the news, and just stood in place until the messenger left. Then he sobbed, and broke things, and damned the world because nothing was permanent.
He cried for weeks, went to therapists he wasn’t honest with, and started eating her favorite foods. He spent time outside, in a lawn chair at high noon just watching the clouds with his grandnephews in his lap wondering what he was thinking about.
He started thinking about how blessed he was for his tears- he had someone to love. About how blessed he was for the sun- Holly did not have one as a child.
He knew one day he’d go to the doctor, and the doctor would say: “You have a year left”, or “You have five years” or “Mr. Fowl, you should take more care for yourself”. And, it would be okay, because if Holly could do it, he could- and at least he got to see the sun.
How do you measure the life,
Of a woman or a man?
In truths that she learned,
Or in times that he cried,
In bridges he burned,
Or the way that she died.