…the drop eggs on other creatures just for the hell of it.
Amnesia & Magic
After a few seconds, I recognize who it is: my grandmother, Fawn. Well, actually, I only recognize her because I’ve seen old paintings and a couple of old photographs of her as a young woman, which is how she looks now.
She’s not beautiful like my mom, but she’s very pretty and much taller than I expected. She’s slender, not very busty and her hair hangs in braids nearly to her waist. She looks a whole lot like my Aunt Mari.
“Hello, Little Fox. Bet you weren’t expecting this.”
She’s grinning that crooked little grin I remember so well. She sits down on a stump in front of me, a stump that wasn’t there a second ago. Dreams are cool like that.
“Hello, Granny. You look good.”
“Yeah, I do, don’t I? Everybody on this side looks their best. You ought to see your grandfather. Boy, what a fine looking man he is! Always ready for a lay down in the grass, too, just like when we were young on the other side.”
Other side? So, I’m dreaming about Heaven? Granny looks at me and then laughs.
“This is only partly a dream, sweetie. It’s mostly a meeting so you can be prepared for what’s coming.” She pats my hands and I feel six years old again.
Wait a damned minute! I never said that stuff about dreaming out loud!
“You read my mind? You can do that over here. Or in dreams. Or wherever the hell we are?”
She laughs some more. Now she’s holding my hands.
“Oh, yeah, thoughts and words are pretty interchangeable here. Of course, I could always read you like a book. You’re too much like your papa for me not to.”
Yeah, she was right on that count. Of all us kids, I was the most like Dad, stubborn, curious, reckless, cunning and fast on my feet. I got my smarts and my ability to read people from Mama.
Granny gently squeezes my hands now.
“Time to tell you what I can, Little Fox. You’ve got a dream about you and Bill coming up soon. Hubba hubba!”
I’m blushing. Granny always was a risque old gal.
“So you know you’re carrying some big magic and you know the names of the book and the ring. That’s good, but there’s more you need to know.” She’s looking much more serious now.
“You know about how the Elves came back to our world a hundred years ago. You know how the white people found out that Magic lived in the Elves, and how some humans could channel the Magic to cast spells. You know history after that. Most elves lived in the North, so when the South would not free slaves, the government used Magic to make them. Black folks were freed and nobody cared much about hating them anymore, because every eye was on the Elves and how to use their power. Same for Chinese, Mexicans, Irish and the rest of us. No time to worry about skin color unless it was green.
Sounds good, and it was, but not for the Elves.”
Granny’ right, the world changed almost overnight, and not always gently. There were wars, spying, magical battles and we won’t even get into how things were between those embracing Magic and those who controlled the various religions.
“But what the humans, and I mean damned near all humans, didn’t know is that some Native Peoples…us here in North America…some folks in Ireland & Scotland…certain groups across Europe…had known the Elves would come back. Hell, girl, we’d known it for five thousand years. We remembered them from the last time they were here back when we lived among them. It was back then that we made a pact with them. Now, it’s time for you and a few others to fulfill that pact.”
You know, when this is all over, I’m going to take Holmes and Watson and we’re going to jump into Honey and I’m going to drive to the middle of nowhere and rent a cabin and live in No Responsibility Land for a few weeks.
Granny unbuttons her blouse then, and without a trace of embarrassment lifts up her right breast (which I have to admit looks way perkier than you’d ever imagine a granny breast looking) to show me a “Y” shaped scar. At that point, you could have walked up and strangled me, no trouble, because I was dumbstruck. I have the exact same scar under my right breast. It’s always been there, all my life. My parents told me it happened when I was a toddler and I fell on a sharp stick.
It’s not a big scar, maybe half an inch long, but it’s way lighter than the rest of my skin and it has never gone away. It also dawns on me now that nobody, not even Bill, who knew that territory well, has ever commented on it since I was little and my parents told me about it. Nobody. Not even me.
Again, Granny chuckles as she read my mind.
“Nobody mentioned it because nobody ever saw it. You could see it, but you didn’t mention it to anyone because it’s a secret mark, made with Old Magic. It marks you as one of our line. Your cousins ‘Netta and Susie have it, too. We always mark three, in case the first choice gets killed. Gotta say, you came close more than once, Little Fox. Good thing you survived, because ‘Netta is as good as white these days and Susie is way to fat for all this running around.”
When I take that vacation, I’m bringing a case of tequila with me. Maybe two.
Granny buttons up her shirt and continues.
“Way back, when the Elves were about to leave our world for awhile, they had this big meeting and read some signs and stuff. They saw the future and knew that the humans would steal their Magic and cause their people to weaken and die. They decided to create the ring and the book and put a whole bunch of Magic into them. It cost them dearly.”
I have to ask her. “How dearly, Granny?”
She looks very sad as she says, “When the Elves came back in 1835, the total world population was three hundred thousand. Before they created the ring and book, it was over six million. Most gave up their lives to put Power into those two relics.”
Over five and a half million lives, freely given up. Why?
“To save their people and maybe ours. See, the book has been picking up Power over the last century. Every time an Elf, Mage or Wizard dies, their Power goes into it. That’s a bunch of Magic, right there.”
“But what do we have to do with it? Were we just keeping the book & ring safe?”
“Oh yeah, we did that, although it was really easy for the first four thousand nine hundred years. Nobody could detect it. Once the Elves came back, we had to move it around pretty often. We were selected, we Daughters of Teena, to guard the book and produce the Bringer Forth, which is you. Some of the original daughters traveled to far off lands and married into other tribes of Native People. They did that because, well, because they had to to make the Prophecy work. And now you have the relics and by dawn on the day after tomorrow, you’ll have used them and then things will be ok, one way or another.”
I love Granny, but she does take forever to get to a point.
“Yeah, ok, so I’ve got a day and a half to get to Mount Shasta and, I assume, read this book while wearing the ring? Is that right?”
I may have said that in a less than calm voice.
Granny nods. “Yep, that’s pretty much it. Well, you’ll also have to speak to the Oldest One and maybe shoot a few people. Oh, and you’ll need to trust your gut a couple of times when your head says the wrong thing. And that Elf boy, don’t let him get out of your sight.”
She pats me on the head then.
Well, sweetie, it’s time for me to go. You’ve got a naughty dream to get to and I’m supposed to go “berry picking” with your grandpa. Heh heh…“berry picking”. Good luck, Little Fox. I love you.”
She starts walking away and I want to run after her, but the forest is slowly changing into a room at the Hotel Coronado in San Diego. All I can do is watch, but then she turns back for a moment.
“Oh yeah, honey, make sure you put on the ring as soon as you wake up.”
And then she and the forest are gone and I’m in a fancy hotel room with my ex husband, a bottle of champagne and silk sheets.
I’m thinking Granny is right about this dream.