Short story fiction. Fantasy. Urban Faerie tale. Allegory. June, 2011. Parts one and two are also on this site.
I was writing down things I had figured out, because they’re spiritual lessons I need to remember. I’d realized many of them a long time ago, but wanted them in my journal to refer to when I needed them again. They ended up coming out as myth, a story to share. (It is Alethea’s story, in its four parts.) Within a few days, if not hours, of my finishing the tale (except for copyediting etc.), the story manifested physically. Since the story is about war, you can imagine that it’s coming into being in my personal life was an awful experience. But I find this profound and typical, as if the cosmos was saying, “Oh, you think you’ve learned the spiritual lessons that you wrote down? Well then, let’s make it harder for you to apply them!” I love my life, I truly truly love my life! And with that, onto Pt 3 of Alethea’s tale:
A blast of power slammed past Alethea’s head, missing by micro-particles. She ducked down and scrambled behind a bush. Peering out, hoping this would not expose her too much, she saw the source—the Unseelie Queen.
Alethea withdrew herself back behind protective covering. What the heck was the monarch doing here, engaging in a battle herself? Instead of sending her soldiers and unwitting human pawns, like usual? Something heavy was up. Something that did not bode well for Alethea.
She wanted to peek again but hesitated, less from fear of another blast than from fear of looking into the Queen’s face. She’d only seen it once before, but it had frightened her beyond anything she’d encountered in her long eternal life.
The Unseelie ruler was extraordinarily beautiful by human standards. Alethea had been shocked to learn that. She adored the mortal, sexpot actress Marilyn Monroe, and didn’t understand why another blonde was more highly prized—one with bland aristocratic emotionless features was desired beyond all other women.
Alethea didn’t like remembering the other time she’d set eyes on the Unseelie Queen. A young Alethea had made the mistake most Faeries do in their youth. She’d tried drugs, to find out why humans used them so much. She’d spent a weekend with humans in one of their homes, and started with marijuana, which clogged every psychic pore in her body, until she could sense nothing except the mortal realm. She’d felt lost, isolated from life, estranged from magic.
Her human companions said LSD expanded consciousness and opened the veil, so she tried that next. It tore her psyche apart, so she could sense of bit of the otherworld but, both during and afterwards, the drug left her without defenses and skills to make use of the experience. She knew she had become undefended prey in both worlds.
Mentally unbalanced, she convinced herself that heroin should come next. That is when she first saw the queen. After the heroin took effect, the sovereign Fey came to the threshold of the house Alethea was visiting. All the Queen did was stand at the entrance. But Alethea suddenly sobered, all her Fey senses saying that if the woman in the doorway ever got hold of her, she was done for. She would descend into hopelessness. She would live in depravity and be brutalized, from sheer lack of ability to care or change.
Looking into the Queen’s face just once made Alethea commit she would do everything needed to stay on her right path. So much for drugs!
But she’d never known, until now, who the woman at the door had been. Alethea suddenly realized, still hulking behind the bush, that the queen was the blonde archetype that human Americans worship, actually worship. No wonder so many became glamoured by her, became her pawns unknowingly.
I wonder if she’s a drug dealer. Alethea giggled nervously at her own joke, drew in a breath, then looked out from behind the bush.
Gone, the queen was gone. Alethea sent out psychic feelers. Yes, gone.
Then Alethea knew why. It had been a taunt. To draw Alethea into battle.
No, I’m not going to be frightened into a fight, when there is no need to fight. The Queen would never take me on by herself, she’s too much of a coward. I don’t care that she frightens me beyond all else, I will not fight. The Seelie Mother will keep me safe.
Alethea’s brave words did not run deep. They were contradicted by twisting panic in her belly. Fear made her shoulder muscles twitch and spasm. For the next hour, she remained on the ground by the bush, huddled and unable to convince herself she would be safe if she did not fight. Her mind flooded with terrible images of what could happen to her if no one stopped the Unseelie Queen. Her bones filled with dread of what might be done to her if she didn’t stop it.
Then she thought, “The Faerie Warrior’s Prayer of Release!” The chant had made all the difference avoiding a fight long ago, a fight that would have otherwise destroyed her. How had she forgotten it?
But she knew how. Faeries live a long time, long enough to forget anything, no matter how important, dear, or necessary.
But when Fey did remember, they remembered well. Every line of the lengthy litany returned.
She recited, “I deliver mine enemy into the care of my god. My god is a warrior leading an army. She will battle if needed. My god is a lover who might embrace my enemy, nurturing him, raising him up high to power and prestige, good sex, and many children.
“I release my enemy into my God’s care without intention that he be hurt or helped, lowered or loved, chastised or cherished, destroyed or delighted, made lowly or made great.
“I release my enemy into my God’s care, without rancor, hate, self-pity, fear, poor self-estimation, or lack of selfhood. I release my enemy into my God’s care, my spirit in the now and holding compassion, love, caring, and openness.
“What I hold for my enemy, I hold for myself; hold hate for him, I hold hate within my cells; it will eat me.
“When I release my enemy into my God’s care, I truly release him, then turn my being to the next moment.
“And I release him now.
“And now, I am now. I am in now, of now. Now. So be it!”
I have a spoken world album of my stories. (Heh, great typo, it was to be “spoken word” but I like “spoken world” almost as much.) It is called Bardic Alchemy.