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Deep and clear

Derek felt the small woman he’d rescued from the saloon’s loving embrace. His arms folded around Fallon for a long time, she seeming to melt into his heart, face pressed against his chest. From above them, many, many men and women descended the steps of the amphitheater, approaching from all sides until they began to crowd and form a circle around them. Obviously, they had been moved by his heartfelt singing, too.

Their guide lady stepped forward. Her eyes wide, and face open, compassionate and loving, saying, “Thank you for sharing your pain with us Derek, that was very brave.” Derek didn’t feel to say or do anything, as he saw people begin to lay their hands on each other’s shoulders until those nearest connected with the guide, too. The way they looked, eyes wide and caring, without a hint of self consciousnesses, seemed deep and clear as still lakes he used to come upon while riding in the mountains.

Looking steadfastly into Derek eyes, as they stood with Fallon holding her hand, the tall woman extended her own palm, placing it flat on his chest, saying, “We feel your pain.” A faint, yet clear sound of a flute type instrument played, it’s music drifting up the mountain from the cities entrance, like a blanket of peace falling upon all. To Derek it sounded like an invitation, and it drew upon his heart strings.

Untying the knot

The Fey, men and women, kept coming silently, each putting their hand on the shoulder of the person before them. More and more, until what looked like several thousand of them, gathered around, filling the round, concentric steps of the amphitheater. Then, as if on queue, all bowed, and Derek felt relief begin to flow into him, a releasing of his heart, as if someone gently untied a knot, tugging at it, coaxing it to losen. He felt the joy of Momma singing in the cotton field, just as the sun peaked over the trees on the west side in the morning, the other workers joining in, cadence and harmony doing the work for them. He remembered Pa, a mountain of a man, big hands on his small ones, showing him how to mend a chair as the sun went down. He remember swimming with the other kids, black and white, down at the river, looking at crawdads, finding pretty rocks for his collection.

“I feel you, ” Derek whispered, reaching out and putting his hand on the guide’s outstretched arm as he bowed his head along with all the rest. “The pain’s leaving.” All those feelings of needing to run, of having to be constantly busy or numb just fell away like icicle on the eves in the winter sun. The regrets over thing’s he’d done didn’t matter anymore. In their place he felt acceptance, peace.

May we come in?

Closing his eyes, in his mind, he felt the Fey at his door, politely knocking, asking, May we come in? That opening had been shut for so long, he didn’t even know if the hinges still worked. Stepping towards it, he put his hand on the knob, but stopped, looking and bringing his hand up to his face. His fingers were delicate, palm smooth. Curious, Derek thought, they looked like his hands as a child way back on the plantation, before years of hard labor had made them strong and calloused. Sighing, looking around at his home, then with joy and expectation, turned the nob, pulling back the door as, sure enough, it creaked and complained. Derek invited all the Fey in, apologizing for his messy house as they filed through.

As each entered inside, they hugged him, kissing his cheek, telling him what a good, brave boy he was. They weren’t strangers any longer, they were family, for he knew each one intimately now. The women cleaned, the men arranged. His house was surely a mess, and long ago he’d just given up in despair trying to fix things, but they all seemed full of energy, knowing just what to do, making him feel hopeful like.

Looking into all the Fey busy in his house, he felt peace as he became clean, arranged, renewed. It felt like his house was finally his home.

Opening his eyes, years of stress relaxing from his face, a murmuring of excitement rippled through the Fey as they all let go of one another, clapping loudly, smiling and saying in unison, “Welcome.”

Derek grinned ear to ear, hearing himself say “Thank you, I understand now,” then laughing out loud, he stepped forward, heartily hugging the women and men nearest to him. “I don’t exactly know what just happened, but I feel really good,” the former scout said to those around him. Everyone was happy, saying how honored they were to know him. How pleased they were that he was one with them.

What just happened?

After the Fey began leaving, Derek saw Brenzel come around and stand, looking concerned. “What just happened?” Brenzel asked, glancing back at the Fey disappearing over the lip of the stadium.

“I don’t know,” Derek said shaking his head in wonder, “all I know is that I feel good, like they fixed something inside me. I felt all of them in here,” pointing to his head, “and in here,” he patted his heart. “They are good people.” Derek looked a his blond friend, her face concerned for what seemed like, to him at least, no apparent reason. He felt clean, fixed up, better than he had in years.

“They spoke to you in your mind?” Brenzel persisted.

“Yes,” he replied, not seeing her cause for worry, “they were Fey. Why is your face all scrunched up like that?” he asked, curious as to why she should seem unhappy.

“Never mind,” she said turning and looking up the stepped sides, “I…I’m happy you feel better.” Then grabbing his arm, she said, “Derek, why are you talking different?”

Surprised, Derek said, “What do you mean?”

“You don’t say s’s, like I’s or you’s any more. You always used to talk with s’s all the time. You talk proper now.”

Let’s go for a swim!

Seeming not to hear her question, Derek suddenly said, “Let’s all go for a swim, I haven’t swam in years. I used to swim with the other boys and girls down by the river. You want to come? Why don’t we all go swimming!”

“Where?” asked Fallon, looking over at the waterfall from the mountain, “It’s icy cold!”

“I know of a place, it’s not far from here. The water’s really warm. Come on it will be fun!”

Fallon, nodded, saying with a confused look, “Okay, but how’d you know that?”

Derek, looking forward to splashing about, said, “I don’t know…” Turning, he said to his still puzzled friend, “Come along, Brenzel, it’ll be fun!”

“No, you two go along, I’ll find you later.”

“Suit yourself.” Derek swept Fallon up in his arms, swung her around in a circle, setting her back on her feet as she giggled. Patting her butt playfully, making her jump a little, he said, “Let’s go, Darling.”

Fairy Night Songs