anyone know how to import another blog to live journal?
I am not here anymore. I'm over here: http://wardancingpixie.blogspot.com/
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pixies are winged human-like creatures often associated with England and Scotland.
Pixies are variously described in folklore and fiction. In the legends associated with Dartmoor, Pixies are said to disguise themselves as a bundle of rags to lure children into their play. The pixies of Dartmoor are fond of music and dancing. These Pixies are said to be helpful to normal humans, sometimes helping needy widows and others with housework. They are often ill clothed.  Lack of fashion sense has been taken by Rachael de Vienne, a fantasy writer, to mean that Pixies generally go unclothed, though they are sensitive to human need for covering. 
In Devonshire Pixies are said to be "invisibly small, and harmless or friendly to man." Yet in some of the legends and historical accounts they are presented as having near human stature. For instance, a member of the Elford family in Tavistock, England, successfully hid from Cromwell's troops in a Pixie house.  A location in Devonshire associated with Pixies was the inspiration for Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem Song of the Pixies. 
Many Victorian era poets saw them as magical beings. An Example is Samuel Minturn Peck. In his poem "The Pixies" he writes :
'Tis said their forms are tiny, yet
All human ills they can subdue,
Or with a wand or amulet
Can win a maiden's heart for you;
And many a blessing know to stew
To make to wedlock bright;
Give honour to the dainty crew,
The Pixies are abroad tonight.
Belief in Pixies and Fairies is still held by many and their visitations are documented in obscure volumes of English and Scots legend. By the early 19th Century their contact with "normal humans" had diminished. In Drew's Cornwall  one finds the observation: "The age of Pixies, like that of Chivalry, is gone. There is, perhaps, at present hardly a house they are reputed to visit. Even the fields and lanes which they formerly frequented seem to be nearly forsaken. Their music is rarely heard."
Some Pixies are said to steal children or to lead travelers astray. This seems to be a cross over from Fairy mythology and not originally attached to Pixies. Thomas Keightley observed that much of Fairy myth is attached to Pixies by Devonshire mythology.  Pixies are said to reward consideration and punish neglect on the part of larger humans. Keightley gives examples. By their presence they bring blessings to those who are fond of them.
Pixies are drawn to horses, riding them for pleasure and making tangled ringlets in the manes of those horses they ride. They are "great explorers familiar with the caves of the ocean, the hidden sources of the streams and the recesses of the land." 
The Victorian era writer Mary Elizabeth Whitcombe divided Pixies in to tribes according to personality and deeds.  Another writer known only as Mrs. Bray suggested that Pixies and Fairies were distinct species.  Some find Pixies to have a human origin or to "partake of human nature" in distinction to Fairies whose mythology is traced to immaterial and malignant spirit forces. In folklore Pixies and Fairies are antagonists. They battled at Buckland St. Mary, Somerset. The Pixies were victorious and still visit the area. The Fairies are said to have left after their loss. 
Pixie mythology seems to predate Christian presence in Britain. They were subsumed into what passed as Christianity with the explanation that they were the souls of children who had died un-baptized. By the mid 19th Century Pixies were associated with the Picts. This is an improbable origin of Pixie mythology. Some 19th Century researchers made more general claims about Pixie origins, or have connected them with Puck, a mythological creature sometimes described as a fairy. The name Puck is of uncertain origin.
One British scholar took Pixie myth seriously enough to state his belief that "Pixies were evidently a smaller race, and, from the greater obscurity of the … tales about them, I believe them to have been an earlier race." 
Pixies are said to be uncommonly beautiful, though there are some called pixie who have distorted and strange appearance. One Pixie is said to have some goat-like features. Another is said to be coltish in character.
Before the mid 19th Century Pixies and Faires were taken seriously in much of rural England. Books devoted to the homely beliefs of English peasantry are filled with incidents of Pixie manifestations. Some locales are named for the Pixies associated with them. In Devonshire, near Challacombe,a group of rocks are named for the Pixies said to dwell there. In some areas belief in Pixies and Fairies persists.
In modern fiction the fantasy author Rachael de Vienne is probably most faithful to Pixie mythology, weaving many of its elements into her work. Other writers pay tribute to Pixies by at least using the name, though they often stray form the mythology. The myths themselves are so diverse that many different and interesting approaches to Pixies can be taken without damage to original sources.
In Holly Black's works, pixies are green-skinned, human-sized faeries with shimmering wings. They have a command of glamour and a type of power to charm or seduce others.
In Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series, pixies are one of a number of magical species that have been driven underground by humans and the pollution they have caused on Earth. Opal Koboi is the megalomaniac, genius pixie of Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception.
In Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels The Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky feature a race of fairies named "Pictsies," which are truly Pictish pixies.
In Rachael de Vienne's Pixie Warrior, Pixies are winged females with wings that color to show their emotions. They seek husbands from among humans. They are four feet tall on average, and have a gestation of two weeks.
In J. K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", Gilderoy Lockhart releases a cage of Cornish blue pixies into the classroom in an effort to teach the students how to defeat them in his Defense Against Dark Arts class.
In Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series, Rachel, a witch, works closely with Jenks, a pixie, to track down the missing, save various creatures, retrieve stolen objects, defend the defenseless, etc. Jenks, his wife, and large family live in, tend, and protect Rachel's garden.
Peter Pan (1953 film): In the Disney film based on the play by J.M. Barrie, Tinker Bell is described as a pixie but is actually a fairy. In the Disney versions she always uses "pixie dust" rather than the fairy dust in the play. "In Sir James M. Barrie's original play, Tinker Bell is traditionally staged as a flying point of light beamed from offstage. Animator Marc Davis' personification of her as a winged pixie with a very womanly figure was widely criticized as too sexually suggestive by Barrie purists, especially after it was rumored that she was modeled after actress Marilyn Monroe. Tink was actually modeled after Margaret Kerry, the actress who performed her live-action reference."  According to Barrie's original play: "Peter Pan ... explained, 'she is called Tinker Bell because she mends the pots and kettles (tinker = tin worker).' (Similar to 'cinder' plus 'elle' to get Cinderella)". 
In The Fairly OddParents The Pixies are dull, wear grey suits, speak in monotone voices, wear pointy caps and, unlike the fairies, treat magic like a business. Instead of wands, they carry cellphones. The Head Pixie (H.P. for short), Mr. Sanderson, and the other male pixies are all voiced by Ben Stein. The female pixies are not seen. This is due to them being named after pixels.
American Dragon: Jake Long: Pixies are featured as one of the mythical creatures in the show.
Winx Club:The pixies are bonded to the fairies at Alfea.
1. ^ Robert Hunt: Popular Romances of West England, 1881, page 96
2. ^ Rachael de Vienne, Pixie Warrior, Drollerie Press, 2007
3. ^ A Handbook for Travelers in Devonshire, 1887 edition, page 230.
4. ^ Shed (editor): Complete Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Vol. 7, 1854, page 24
5. ^ Ballads and Rondeaus, 1881, page 47
6. ^ The History of Cornwall From the Earliest Records & Traditions, to the Present Time, 2 vols. 1824.
7. ^ The Fairy Mythology, 1850, page 299.
8. ^ Devonshire Pixies, Once A Week, February 23, 1867, pages 204-5.
9. ^ Bygone Days of Devonshire and Cornwall, 1874, page 45.
10. ^ Legends, Superstitions and Sketches of Devonshire, 1844, page 169.
11. ^ Katherine Mary Brigs: The Faires in Tradition and Literature, page 179.
12. ^ C. Spence Bate: Grimpspound and Its Associated Relics, Annual Report of the Transactions of the Plymouth Institution, Vol. 5. part 1, 1873-4, page 46
13. ^  Walt Disney Archives 2008, Tinker Bell charater
14. ^  Project Gutenburg edition of public domain Peter Pan (Peter and Wendy) by J. M. Barrie, 1991, 2006.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixie"
I especially like this first illustation. This is from Book 4 of the How and Why Library (1948). This is the Maiden of Spring. She has no wings, but not all Faires do. She'd make a good pixie if she had wings:
This next illustration is from the same book. It represents the "insect fairy" concept. I don't like the insectiod fairy concept at all. It's a Victorian Era idea that is too far removed from Fairy Mythology.
Another blogger has posted a photo of her writing space. I'm not going to post a photo. I'd have to clean up my desk, and those piles of stuff actually represent my current research project. Besides, my office area isn't the most revealing space. All it shows is that my mind functions off organized chaos.
Probably the most revealing space is my bedroom. I keep a small bookcase within reach of my side of the bed. Some of the books on it have found a long-term home, but none of them are permanent except a Bible encyclopedia and The Oxford Classical Dictionary. The books that find a place there are books that I'm currently using.
I'm not sure what the titles reveal about me, but here's a description organized by shelf:
Top Shelf: A bound volume of The Christian Observer for 1807. A. E. Hatch's Handbook of Prophecy, Historical Sketches of Glamorgan (2 vols.); Eight books on fairies, five on regional mythologies, one on ghosts.
Second Shelf: The Vampire in Europe; Lawson's Modern Greek Folklore and Ancient Greek Religion; two histories of women; A History of Private Life, vols. 1 and 2; Rowe's The Elizabethan Renaissance.
Third Shelf: Froom's Prophetic Faith; Peter's Theocratic Kingdom; a biography of Isaac Newton; A Syntax of the Greek New Testament; a cookbook published in 1807.
Bottom Shelf: Three volumes of The Cambridge Medieval History; a pair of size 10 girl's shoes stuck between books; a box with some old coins; a history of the OSS; a book on the Johnstown flood.
So, what do you think?
I've been thinking about Pixie wings. I imagine them as rather large. They provide lift for a good size body. And even though my pixies are light weight with a bone structure more like that of a bird than a human, their wings would have to be large enough to lift them.
In many illustrations the wings are too small. I found this one in Burchill, Ettinger and Shimer's The Progressive Road to Reading (Silver Burdett, 1909). The picture is inelegant, and with a few exceptions my pixies don't wear clothes. I also don't see pixie wings in quite this fashion. But, notice the wing size on the fairy.
Here is another from the same source:
I keep going to the USPS web site to track the progress of my contract. ... That's probably compulsive behavior. But then, compulsive behavior is a Pixie trait.
My 33,000 word history book that I was going to self-publish has found interest with a traditional publisher, but they want rights I do not wish to sign away. So, we'll see. I may still self-publish. Interest will be very low. If it sold 500 copies, I'd be surprised.
It started life as an article for The American Society of Church History journal. It was supposed to be under ten thousand words. It kinda got outa hand.
I'm stuck on chapter one in my new work in progress. There is a sword. Okay ... Pixies don't usually take up any weapons. They use what Ya Sha El has given them, including their Hunt Teeth. But ... there will be a sword. I have a description in mind. Fine steel. (That's easy. The time setting is about 1925. So we can find the steel.) A sliver hilt. Gold inlay for a phrase engraved on the guard. ... I am torn about the reason for the silver hilt. The reason I wish to use conflicts with something in Pixie Warrior. I must either find a way around that, or use another. Oh ... the trials and tribulations! Oh, the mental agony.
I decided Janet Reid's blog is worth visiting regularly. She's an agent. Go visit her
I got another rejection, a nice one. It said they liked Pixie Warrior but that it wasn't quite what they published ... It came two days after I signed with Drollerie Press ... Sigh. Isn't it nice to be an almost published author?! (Don't you like "?!"? So expressive ... well maybe not.
but that's right ... someone liked Pixie Warrior enough to publish it.
And contrary to the opinion of some, I'm not particularly morose ... only moody in a dark fashion.
So, it's not as if I stood on a chair and yelled yipee or anything. Oh, no! I just emailed everyone I could think of and called every relative still living on two continents or something very like that. So, I yelled yipeeeee once. And very quietly. And I wasn't standing on a chair, either. And I won't confess to jumping up and down on my bed screaming, "They Liked IT. They LIKED IT! THEY LIKED IT!
by Rachael de Vienne
I lay a rose on my ancestors' tomb.
Ms. de Vienne,
Thank you for sending Dragon Sword:Call of the Pixie Warrior to The Wild Rose Press for consideration. It is with a heavy heart that I write this rejection letter. Your manuscript was a real pleasure to read! Your voice is unique, and your writing style is tight. The storyline caught my attention and kept me reading. Unfortunately, it does not fit into the Romance genre published here at The Wild Rose Press. The romantic elements in the story are few and far between, and there is very little conflict, tension, or romantic build-up between the hero and herione. The two characters fall in love within the first two chapters and already have a child in tow by chapter four. From that point on, the storyline definitely fits adventure/fantasy genre, not romance. The fact that the romantic couple are called "Father" and "Mother" throughout the manuscript also hinders the romantic elements in the story.
I think you are a very talented author with a real grasp on sensory detail, character development, and plot development. I would love to have you as part of the team at The Wild Rose Press. Your manuscript is so clean that very few editorial revisions would be needed if it fit our genre. If you decide to rework Dragon Sword:Call of the Pixie Warrior as a romance novel or have other manuscripts with a heavier romantic element, I would be delighted to receive them for consideration. Thank you again for your submission to The Wild Rose Press. I truely hope to hear from you again in the future!
The Wild Rose Press
Editor, Faery Rose
Reader comment: Excellent read, very entertaining and a lot
of fun....But not really Baen material.
By Rachael de Vienne
When you cough and you sneeze
The way you carry on and cry
I've made you green tea laced with
I've padded your nest with feathers and down.
It's hard when a Dragon catches a cold.
by Rachael de Vienne
Great wings darkened the sun
And shriveled the hearts of knights once bold.
Even the King's heart grew cold.
I've heard of this from times long past.
A Dragon's come to break his fast
I'm sorry, my dear,
The king said with a tear,
But he'll need a princess most tender
For his dragonly dinner.
Only roast princess will do,
It's always been said,
Maybe in a stew served with black bread.
So off the princess went dressed in her finest attire.
I might as well look good,
If I'm going to expire.
She found the dragon deep in a doze,
And to get his attention she knocked on his nose.
She pried open an eye.
It seemed to smolder.
She shook him and kicked at his shoulder.
What is it you want? he asked,
Having popped open both eyes.
I'm your dinner, I think,
Or maybe a snack.
Let me freshen up, and I'll be right back.
Hold on for a minute.
Don't go away.
You're my dinner?
Is that what I heard you say?
Yes, she said, with a cute little bow.
Just give me a minute to prepare,
And I'll be your chow.
What a preposterous notion!
Not to be at all a contrarian,
But we dragons are mostly vegetarian!
Our princess grew red in the face.
I've tramped all over to come to this place!
I've panted and sweated and kept up a good pace!
And now you say you won't eat me?
I'm sure you're very tender
And taste just like chicken,
But I'm in the mood for a peach,
If you're in the mood to go picking.
I really must insist you take a nibble or bite;
I'm quite resigned and over my fright.
Well, he said with a deep smoky sigh,
Maybe just a lick
Is something to try.
Out came his tongue.
It was pink and a bit thick.
Quickly enough he gave her a lick.
You're salty, he said,
But I crave something sweet.
Maybe you have a sugary treat?
The princess was disappointed not to be eaten
And determined not to be beaten.
She felt in her pocket and pulled out a candied plum,
And held it out between finger and thumb.
His great mouth settled over her hand.
She expected to be eaten,
But he only nibbled the plumb
O princess, he sighed, that was most exquisite.
If you were a dragon, I'd marry you this minute!
You're a spunky lass
And really quite brave.
It's too bad you don't have scales and live in a cave.
Well, she said after some thought,
If you have a warm cave, I wouldn't mind living in it.
There's no reason for me to go home.
My father expected you'd gnaw on my bones.
You're really quite nice
And have beautiful scales.
You're the handsomest Dragon in all of Wales.
So they were wed in a glen
And attended by pixies and mice.
For a princess who might have been pudding,
Things were most decidedly nice.
By Rachael de Vienne
Put me down you great hulking beast!
You just take your scaly wings right back to your lair
A promise of crumpets and scones won't trick me!
I can make these decisions without dragon-help.
I don't care who sent you.
Unhand me! Do you hear?
I won't do it you know.
The food and the fun aren't worth what comes first.
The Royal Nurse Maid
By Rachael de Vienne
My dragon's breath smells of cinnamon and smoke,
And his voice rumbles deeply when he laughs at a joke.
I love him deeply.
(He rocks me when I'm sleepy)
Were best friends and buddies,
And I know he'll never eat me.
All that talk about a dragon's appetite for tender Princesses
Is just slanderous
They'd rather eat an artichoke.
My dragon's a real gentleman.
He helps me make mud pies
And pretends to eat them.
He takes the blame when I get dirty,
He holds my crown when I am bathed
And discreetly averts his eyes.
Then he dries and combs my hair
And ties a ribbon here and there.
He looks me all up and down
And says with a critical frown:
"You are the fairest princess that I know.
Your smile makes my flame glow."
He is hard on the upholstery,
But he takes good care of me.
Sometimes he sneaks me cookies and tea,
And once he chased away a bee.
I don't know what I'd do without him
And his tender lullabies.
By Rachael de Vienne
I took that class in baby-sitting;
It seemed more fun than the one on knitting.
Besides, I've got lots of socks.
They taught me about 911
And how to help kids have lots of fun.
They even taught me about chicken pox.
I learned about CPR and changing diapers;
We all became expert wipers,
But we didn't learn how to fix broken wagons.
Sometimes I wish we had
Because a broken wagon can make you really sad.
But I really needed a course in Dragons.
Keeping a Dragon happy involves much more than a fresh nappy.
(That's a diaper, in case you didn't know.)
Or even a lullaby – no matter how sappy.
They prefer their sleep-time songs sung in Welsh.
Avoid spicy foods; it makes them belch.
The smoke from a Dragon burp is horrendous,
And that is not to mention the smell.
There are all sorts of rules one must know.
For instance, baby dragons shouldn't fly in the snow.
They catch cold, and their sneezes are tremendous,
As anyone can tell.
I'm thinking about writing a book on Dragon-keeping,
But I've been so busy cleaning and sweeping –
Besides, I caught the Dragon Pox!
If you baby-sit a Dragon be very careful;
They're extremely playful and often melt their toys.
That's rule number one.
The rest, I suppose, you'll have to learn on the run.
Rachael de Vienne
I saw a dragon in the park.
His eyes were green.
He puffed at me,
And I thought I saw a spark.
He hid in the dense trees,
But he looked at me as boldly as you please.
I thought I was a goner
Until I saw him kiss a lark.
So, bravely, I asked,
"Tell me Mr. Dragon, please…
Answer my question, will you?
But just don't sneeze.
Was that really smoke?
Or just something blowing on the breeze?"
He cocked his head and
Looked me up and down.
"My mommy doesn't let me smoke," he said.
And with that he lost his frown.
"You haven't seen her, have you?
I lost her somewhere near the zoo.
I've cried and cried all day.
Can I go home with you?"
I don't think I have any dragon feed.
Say, do you eat meat or
-- I smiled hopefully –
Maybe a big bowl off bird seed?
"I'd like some tea and cookies
If you have those, please?"
Well, you have to promise and solemnly swear
You won't sit on mom's best chair.
So I fed him cookies by the dozen
And lots and lots of tea,
And we made posters to fix to every tree.
They said, "Have you seen my mommy?
She's missing me."
A week went by and then another;
We were near despair
And running low on tea.
When we found his mother.
Or, I mean she found me.
A huge salty drop
--It must have been a gallon–
Hit me right on top.
And I looked up and up … and up.
There was a dragon with huge toes,
One, two, three.
It was taller than a tree.
“Say,” she said, “have you seen my baby? Have you?
I lost him near the zoo.
I cry and cry every day.
Can I go home with you?”
Unrevised first draft:
Feed the Goats
Some things are so soft that they defy touch. Between one's fingers there is only the hardness of self-touch, the feel of one's own skin. The softness of white ash and the softness of a child's breath are lost to reflexive touch.
The red wisp of a feather-like hair settled on John's pillow, and he perceived it just this way. In this small, deeply red fragment he saw worlds of beauty but with no way to touch it. The little fragment of hair winked from dark red to pale pink, to blue, to yellow and finally to a transparent wheat colour.
"Princess, are you shedding?" John continued to focus on the delicate little hair, but he heard her wings flutter.
"No. It's just that I got these stickers caught in my wing hair ... "
As much as could a child not quite three feet high and adorned with wings, she resembled a pretzel.
He patted his mattress. "Here," he said, "Let me help. You'll break a wing if you keep twisting yourself up like that."
"No, I won't. I'm flexible. Papa says I am."
She tried again to reach a spot high on her right wing. She signed and jumped up on the bed, fluttering her wings twice. "How did you know I was here?" she asked.
"Talath, you're not exactly the quietest child I've ever met."
As gently as his big hands allowed, he untangled stickery wild-grass seeds from soft wing-hair. "I hate these things," he said. "They get in my socks. Hard little buggers to get out."
She shifted to the right. "What's a bugger?"
John decided to avoid the question. "Does your mom know where you are?"
"I told her I wanted to talk to the goats."
He nodded, though her back was to him, and she couldn't see it. "Did you tell her which goats?"
"Did she ask?"
"No." Sha'talath paused and shifted to the left. "She was busy," she added.
"She was wing-colouring at papa."
Talath examined her foot, rubbing her finger between her great and second toes.
"Yes, she does that a lot. ‘Cept this time she was really doing it."
She hopped off the bed and stiffened her wings. "How do they look?"
They filled with shades of pink and purple and a splash of iridescent blue. She did a little turn. He was lost in their beauty for a second A grin crept over his face, and with it came a clear understanding of wing-colouring.
"So how serious is this wing-colouring stuff?"
She seemed puzzled by his question. Maybe, he thought, she was surprised he had to ask.
"Oh," she said, her wings turning a deep royal blue, "I'll probably have another sister soon."
"Ah." He nodded. It was probably time to change conversational direction. "Want breakfast?"
She nodded, and he led the way into the kitchen. In four graceful wing beats she fluttered up and seated herself in the middle of the kitchen table.
"We usually sit at the table, not on it."
"We don't use tables," she said. "We sit where we like."
"Well, you look comfortable enough."
He poured Cheereos into a bowl, added milk, and sat it in front of her. The spoon he sat beside the bowl went ignored. She gingerly pulled the little "o"s out of the bowl one by one and popped them into her mouth. Her wings coloured a deep emerald.
"Like those, don't you? They'll get soggy. You should use the spoon." He raised his and shoveled a rather large taste into his mouth.
Her eyes widened. He took it for surprise, but it wasn't. She fluttered off the table and climbed onto his lap. She opened her mouth and waited. He obliged by feeding her from his spoon and found himself slightly bemused. He was surprised how easily he could interpret her wing colours. The display she put on was clearly a cross between flirt and delight.
"You've grown a lot." In the two weeks, well twelve days, since she'd flown - bumped - into his life, she'd grown inches.
She looked up and into his eyes. "I'll be fully grown soon"
He envisioned her as the little mature woman her mother was.
Sha'talath seemed to reach into his thoughts. "No," she said. "I'll only be as tall as I'll grow. I ... I won't look like mama for a while. I am a baby, you know."
He nodded and offered her the last bite of Cheerieos. She opened her mouth for the spoon. The dramatic and really gorgeous wing display had to be deeply felt satisfaction.
She laid her head against him and gave him an intense hug. The Seventh Princess slid off his lap, fluttered her wings, smiled. She laid her head on his warm hand and said, "Good. You fed me with your own hand. Now we're promised. Now, let's go feed the goats. They're hungry."
"You offered me shoes, but I'm still a baby. We can be promised though. You fed me. We're promised."
"I'm a little old for you, aren't I? You'll grow up and find some handsome pixie boy to marry you."
She put her hands on her hips and gave him a look that is best describes as assessing.
"You have a lot to learn about pixies," she said.
Her tone was patient. "I'll have to teach you. That can wait. Let's feed your goats."
The Sprained Wing
By Rachael de Vienne
"I think you killed him."
"My wing's broken." She paused. "No, I didn't! He's still breathing."
"But look at the blood!"
John Robert Gordon, reluctant farmer and even more reluctant goat-herd blinked away mental haze and focused on a tiny foot. He moaned.
"See, he's not dead. ... My wing's really broken."
"Turn around. I'll look."
John groaned. He licked at his lips and tasted blood. His head hurt. He focused on two sets of tiny feet, one behind the other. Children. Children did this to him?
"I can't; it hurts."
"Stand still, will you?"
"It's not broken. I think you sprained your wing muscles."
John moaned again and rolled onto his back.
"Maybe he's going to die now."
"Don't be morbid. ... There is a lot of blood though. Maybe you should get mom."
"She's going to be angry."
"No, she won't. I can't fly. Get mom."
"What will you do about him?"
"I don't know. ... Get mom."
John moaned again. To him it sounded more distant than the little musical voices had, and it sounded hollow. He heard the flutter and then the beat of powerful wings. A stiff breeze rustled through his hair, and he finally and truly passed out.
It was the cold water that revived him; that and the sloppy-wet, pungent rag that applied it.
"Oh, God that's awful! John sputtered and spit. "Where'd you get that nasty ... that's a scent rag!"
"Swearing is uncivilized. My papa told me it is. You shouldn't do it."
"Your dad never swears?"
John sat up. Sitting he was still taller than the slender, winged and quite naked child.
"I heard him say ‘damn' once." Sha'talath fluttered her wings, and a momentary flash of indignant violet was replaced by shades of pink that matched her blush.
John tried to ignore her wings. They shouldn't be there. Neither should she be naked.
Her musical little voice lost its scolding notes. "I'm glad you aren't dead."
"Me too." He blinked.
"You have something in your eyes? I can remove it for you. I got a bug out of my sister's eye once."
"No, thanks. My eye's fine. I'm just not used to seeing little naked girls with wings."
"I am. I have lots of friends."
He rubbed the lump on his left forehead. It was still oozing blood, and he wiped his fingers on his pants.
"Who are you, anyway?" he asked.
"Don't you want to know what happened?"
"No," he said. "I know what happened. A drunk driver hit me, and I'm in a coma. So who are you?"
"Actually, you were feeding the goats. I flew into you. I'm not good at turns yet. So I smashed into you. I broke my wing. .... Well, I sprained it. And you fell and bumped that poor rock. I thought you died. I'm glad you didn't. Dead things tend to stink."
He raised his eyebrows.
She looked at her feet. Without lifting her head, she said, "I'm very sorry. I just wanted to ... I'm Sha'talath. I'm Ta' Sha El Nef. I'm a Pixie." She followed all that with a sort of curtsey.
"Any of all that your name?"
"Sha'talath." Her voice was very low and her wings turned a deeply embarrassed reddish-purple.
"Well you're a cute little thing." He touched his still oozing forehead. "I better clean this up. I'll get a doozie of an infection if I don't. Besides, now that I've been scrubbed with a soggy scent-rag, I pretty much smell like a male goat. So do you."
Without an invitation to do so, she followed him. He paused at the door and held it open for her.
"Bathroom's that way." He pointed to the left.
She hesitated, and he led the way.
He fumbled through the medicine cabinet and found some peroxide. She sat on the edge of the bathtub and watched. He filled the sink with hot, steamy water. She swung her feet and hummed. He unwrapped a bar of soap, something he'd saved from a night's stay in Walla Walla. (He had lots and lots of hotel soaps.)
She seemed more impressed with the wrapper than with the soap. She picked it up from the floor and studied the picture on the wrapper. "I like horses," she said.
"What? Oh, ya." The picture on the wrapper was of galloping horses.
He dabbed hot water onto his wound and winced.
"You have a license to fly, young lady?"
"Never mind. It was supposed to be funny."
He winked at her, and she tried to return the wink. What she managed was an exaggerated blink.
"I wonder if I'm a 'code blue'," crossed his mind.
When he was satisfied with his self-doctoring, he sniffed at his shirt. "I should take a shower. Probably should have done that first. You really managed to make me smell awful."
"I'm sorry," she said. "You were messy. All bloody. Mom says pixies need to be clean; so I cleaned you up."
"Didn't exactly work, but I appreciate the thought. Would you mind waiting outside while I shower?"
Why indeed? Was he comfortable with a two-foot high (almost) winged, naked child watching him take a shower, even if she was an artifact of a damaged brain and he was dying in a hospital? "I wonder which one they took me to, anyway?" he thought.
"Modesty. I like my privacy in the bath."
"I won't watch."
"No, you won't. You'll sit outside the door."
She hopped off the tub and reluctantly stepped just past the door.
"Say," he said, "you never asked who I am."
"Oh, I already know who you are."
It made perfect sense. Hallucinations always knew who was creating them, didn't they? He nodded and closed the door.
"You're my dad's cousin. You're John."
He drew the shower curtain, turned on the water making it as hot as he could stand it, and willed it all to go away. "I don't remember going to town. I wonder if a hunter shot me." No Hunting and No Trespassing signs did little to keep hunters off the river side of his property.
He let the water run through his hair and down his body. He watched the soapsuds gather around his toes and swirl down the drain. He didn't hear her. Perhaps she was gone? He wasn't sure he wanted her gone. She reminded him of his absent children. Spring vacation, Christmas break, a month during the summer. It wasn't enough. No, he hopped she was still there.
She was. With the water off, he heard her singing. "Talatha tala, summa com ah..." or something like that. It was very sweet, and a little mournful.
He had to slip back into his dirty jeans. He found her leaning against the hallway wall. She smiled broadly.
"Hold on a sec. Let me get some clean clothes on. Then it's your turn."
"A bath. You smell like a goat. I don't. Now it's your turn to ..."
"I can go soak in the river ..."
"In the tub, I think. With warm water and soap. You really do smell nasty."
- - - - -
So, "Shaw Talath (His interpretation of her name, which was close enough to work) what was all that other stuff you said you were?"
He soaped up a wash cloth and handed it to her. She looked puzzled.
"Rub it on you; rinse it off. It'll make you clean and pretty."
"I'm already pretty. My papa told me I am."
"He's right. Now scrub."
She did. And she told him what "Ta' Sha El Nef" meant. "All it means," she said in a very patient and somewhat pedagogic way, "is that I'm the seventh daughter of Sha'el and that I'm a princess. ... Can you please groom my wings? I can't reach them, and my sister's not here to do it."
He smiled faintly. He took the wash cloth and tried to gently wash them. She adjusted them so he could get both sides.
"Are my wing hairs tangled? They feel tangled."
"A bit. How do I untangle them?"
She reflected on that. "Maybe I should wait for my sister."
"Okay," he said. He was fascinated by the fine, downy hair that covered her wings. It changed colour to suit her moods, and It was very soft. To his touch it reminded him of his daughters' downy birth hair, but it was much more plentiful, It was, in fact, quite thick.
He dried her briskly. "We need to get you some clothes."
"Pixies don't wear them usually."
"You need some clothes."
She shrugged. He rummaged through the clothes his daughters left behind. Nothing would fit; nothing would go over those wings. He finally wrapped a soft knit winter scarf around her waist. She took it without protest. He found a pair of black patent leather shoes that his oldest had worn when she was a toddler, and held them out to her.
"Oh! I can't. If I take your shoes, we're married. I'm too young to be married."
"Yes. It's the way of Tanath. It's part of the bride-price. Momma got married that way. So, I can't. Maybe when I grow up. You are quite nice. Tanath married her cousin, you know. But I'm too young now."
The little innocent shoes took on an entirely new aspect in his hands. He gingerly set them on the dresser.
"So, how old are you, anyway?" As he asked, he wondered if pain medication was creating this delusion. "It must have been a very, very bad accident," he thought.
"I'm eight months old next week. I'm sorry I can't fly very well. My sister says I'm slow and clumsy." She hung her head. "I am, I guess."
"Don't worry about it. You'll learn in time. People, and pixies I suppose, learn at different rates."
She yawned and her tummy grumbled. They were familiar, child-gestures. He knew how to deal with the things they indicated. "Food?" he asked.
- - - - -
He shuffled the refrigerator's contents. "Let me see ... I've got milk, goat and cow. I've got hot dogs. I've got cheese. Want a grilled cheese sandwich? I've got Frosted Flakes. Do you like those? I've got an apple. It's a little mushy probably." He turned for her answer and was greeted by a very wide yawn.
"My gramma Mary Beth makes grilled cheese ‘wiches. I like them."
That made perfect sense. Mary Beth Stewart was his aunt. That would make her father his cousin. His cousin was the reason he was a reluctant farmer.
"I'm going to be gone for a while, John. I don't know when I'll be back. Watch the place for me." And John had agreed. He had no job. He needed to get away from, well, too many things. It was an income and a place to stay. And he knew how to run a farm. He just didn't care to. But here he was.
He cut the grilled cheese into quarters. "Crust or no crust?"
He sat at the table and she ate. What she did was take a quarter sandwich in each hand, hop down from her chair and climb on his lap. She fell asleep in the middle of her fourth bite, and he enjoyed the child-snuggle. It made him tear up, and it made him remember his own daughters. Except they were never quite like this.
- - - - -
John roused from the doze into which he'd fallen. His arms loosely held the Ta' Sha El Nef, the seventh princess of the High Queen's House, daughter of Sha'el. He looked up and into the crooked, pleased smile of, not a child, but a slender young woman.
The relationship between woman and child was plain. Here was mother, golden haired, large-eyed, and winged.
"Thank you for taking care of my baby," she said. "May I have her back now?"
Sha'talath woke to her mother's voice and wiggled off John's lap.
"I wouldn't hurt her." He felt silly for saying that and wondered why he said it.
"Oh, I know you wouldn't. We know you well."
"James is my mate, my husband. We know you."
Then to Sha'talath she said, "Tell your cousin thank you."
She complied with the same little curtsey-like gesture as before.
"Let me see your wound."
He let her examine it, wincing at her gentle touch. It hurt and burned. She pressed more firmly.
"You'll sleep after," she said.
And he did.
He woke in his own bed, a half a day gone to who-knows-where. There was no wound, no scar. Beside him were his daughter's fluffy winter scarf and her toddler shoes. Stuffed into the toe of one of the shoes was a child-scrawled note. "Dear Cousin John, Save the shoes. I'll be back. Your friend, Talath."
By Rachael de Vienne
Impotent flowers destroy worlds
With their beauty.
They breathe and reproduce.
They fill the dead spaces and sunder rocks.
They grow on graves, not caring.
They give their seed to the air.
They are poor parents but fertile.
They wilt and dry, but out last me.
By Rachael de Vienne
Soft breeze on my neck.
Warm breath in my ear.