Surely the weasel would return to the island and seek me out. I knew only that she had traveled a great distance away to this “art school,” over the cerulean expanse of seawater to a place I couldn’t reach.
All manner of creatures migrated: birds, butterflies…but did humans number among them?
Every flutter of a butterfly’s wing, every petal drifting on the breeze, every screeching, thick-furred creature…all of them reminded me of her and how much she had loved them. Nowhere on the island was free of her memory.
If I had neglected to hide from her that day, would she return to me now–or perhaps never have left? I thought of Isla then. If I had dared to reveal my heart to Isla all those years ago…perhaps neither she nor Darius would’ve been banished from the fae, stripped of their wings. They never would’ve been caught with a human girl, as I could’ve helped them spirit her away, back to where she belonged.
But then the weasel would never have existed. It was strange, to realize I might be responsible for her existence, or at least some small part of it.
I attempted to coax new life from her favorite flowers in hopes of luring her back…
But not even a multitude of delicate, fragrant blooms were enough.
Even the cliffs themselves reminded me of just how close she came to toppling over the edges.
And the random assortment of nonsense left out on rocks (for no reason I could fathom) reminded me of her as well.
But I had no reason to see her again. She hadn’t returned…nor had Darius.
And then the wind–or perhaps it was little more than a breeze–caressed my ear.
Yes, butterflies migrated. And a fae had just as much in common with butterflies as with humans, if not more.
The runty flaxen-furred weasel had always loved butterflies, and in this compact, lightweight form, my wings could carry me far…and over vast expanses of cerulean seawater.
Albeit at a rather disappointing pace. How could I know where to find her, after all this time? Perhaps it was the wind. Or perhaps it was an overheard conversation between her sire and dam about “why the hell would she even need an RV, Byron? I always regret asking, but what were your parents thinking?”
But I found it all the same.
Naturally, I couldn’t stay as a butterfly forever, even if I desired–and I most certainly did not. So I traded my wings for the unfortunate guise of a human. But she had been unreasonably fond of that form, hadn’t she?
As all humans must, I was able to secure rather drab, lifeless shelter. But the sight of flowers brightened it somewhat, and perhaps would brighten her smile as well, were she to see them…
Until such a time, I lived alone. And ate alone.
And slept alone.
She wouldn’t have fit in such a small bed with me regardless–not that I ever entertained such a prospect.
And I would sleep far better without that overgrown wolf pup watching.
The weasel’s littermate had no reason to fear. I only watched her from afar. Watched over her, as Darius would want. As Darius still wanted, because he was no doubt alive.
While not as sturdily built as many humans, her hips were certainly some kind of natural wonder. Did humans lay eggs? If so, she would be able to lay a great many without discomfort.
Fae didn’t rear their own young, but I couldn’t imagine her ever letting her own progeny out of her sight. Hers and Darius’s. Even from afar, I could witness her maternal instinct. Why else would she take in such a misbegotten, hairy creature?
She liked to paint with it outside, while the creature itself stared at birds or made puddles on her lawn.
Would she truly rather be close to that than…anyone else?
The soil was so dry here–no wonder her garden was such a terrible disappointment. How could she have left all the flowers of her home behind?
But there were flowers even in this sun-tortured place. Human shelter required funding, and so I secured myself a “job” as well.
It was my understanding that the vast majority of humans hated these jobs. However, I was surrounded by flowers, and could never be truly unhappy here.
Did the weasel still appreciate flowers…? If she did, no doubt she’d love this place as well.
But she never entered the shop, no matter how many times I thought I saw her pass by.
Some humans had a greater understanding of and appreciation for flowers than others, and I served them all to the best of my ability.
Demeaning for a fae? Undoubtedly. But the flowers spoke to me, as they always had.
It would seem that humans lacked familiarity with even simple words, as “we’re closed” had little effect on many of them.
“I need a bouquet for this agent friend of mine whose client’s stomach burst on the set of some cooking competition,” the female human said. “I think he was a guest judge–not that it matters anymore.”
“I don’t think–”
“It needs to say ‘sorry, but I’m not that sorry, because he was kind of an asshole and everyone’s secretly glad he’s dead.’ Do you have anything like that?”
“Perhaps I could–”
She slid her darkened glasses down her nose. “Hey, handsome, you’re stunning. Actor or a model?”
I stared at her. “I fail to understand your question.”
She sighed impatiently. “You an aspiring actor or an aspiring model? Or singer. Don’t tell me writer, because I won’t believe it for a hot second.”
“I am most certainly none of those things.” I couldn’t tell her I was a fae.
“You expect me to believe that?” She shook her head. “In this town, everybody’s something. Or trying to be something. So what are you?”
I couldn’t tell her I was the guardian of a sleeping king’s bride, either. “I…”
“A man of mystery. I like that. And my agent friend will probably like that too–and he’s currently one client short.” She leaned closer. “You have any acting experience?”
Well, I’d spent a great number of years passing for a human. I nodded.
“Fantastic. There’s this new show I’m working on–ridiculous piece of shit, but what isn’t, these days–in need of some extras who look good with their shirts off. Maybe even some bit players if you’re lucky. I’ll hook you up with my agent friend–so hand over your info before you help me with those damn flowers.”
I had no choice to surrender all of my relevant contact information to the pushy human. Would it be so terrible if I were to achieve a measure of recognition, as the humans with their faces plastered everywhere managed to do?
Perhaps she would see me, and remember me, and seek me out once more… Being close to her would make things easier.