So what do you do when you realize that you’ve missed your blog date? Um… when you’re running out the door to be supermom for the day, there’s not too much that can be done! Well, other than maybe share a bit of a short story I’ve been working on. I felt it might even be appropriate considering that the title, Lady of the Dance, fits so perfectly in with our lady scribes theme here. It’s not the full short (I promise to have that up on my website soon!) but I hope you’ll enjoy this first scene.
All my best!
Lady of the Dance
The lights flicker. There is a collective holding of breath from business class down through coach as everyone momentarily freezes. It’s the third time in the last hour, which is only one less time than every other hour in this six hour flight. These random power fluctuations seem to be the norm for this journey though no one, not the stewardesses, not the flight crew, nor the passengers can figure out the cause. I could have told them, but I am both uninterested and too miserable to care. Besides, I don’t really want to deal with their reactions. People tend to not want to believe such things like “there’s a gremlin on board” or, if they do, it tends to freak them out.
And that’s just what I don’t need, having to listen to a hysterical old-woman screaming prophesies of death.
The brief power dip evens out and the lights steady. There is a chuckle or two, embarrassment for their nervousness, then the gentle murmur of conversation resumes as if nothing unusual had happened.
I shake my head snapping back open my magazine. Humans. So resilient, so…blind. It’s a wonder they’ve survived as long as they have. Of course, I’m not much better. Whatever possessed me to challenge the status of my immortality by hurtling across the Atlantic in one of these flying deathtraps is beyond me.
The man sitting next to me leans in closer, his broad shoulder brushing my arm as he cups his hand around his mouth and announces in a low, tinny voice, “That was a test of our emergency crash system, in the event of a true crisis, the stewardess would be running in circles, oxygen masks would fall, and emergency lighting would illuminate the exits to lead the screaming passengers to their deaths via door number two.” He holds a crumpled package of salted nuts before me, speaking now in his normal dreamy tenor tone. “Peanuts? They’re good for all that ails you, unless you’re allergic, of course.”
Contrary to my rising anxiety levels, I smile, taking the offered cure-all. I do, however, resist the urge to look over at my in-flight physician/physiologist. Despite the massive amount of metal surrounding me, despite the long stretches of boredom that are only punctuated by the heart-pounding moments of gremlin induced terror, I’ve actually enjoyed this one and only time adventure. No small part of that is due to one Mr. McCormick’s charming smile and dry-witted humor.
Who would have thought a human could still amuse me. But he has. And because of this I will not disrupt the balance of our casual interactions. Which means I have to resist the urge to strike up a real conversation with him.
Resilient, yes, but not to the power of the fae. We smile at them, they smile back. We talk to them and they start to follow us around like puppy dogs. And a dance? Well, maybe it’s not all fae that have power in their dance, but I’ve seen how a simple jig can turn the grumpiest pessimist among them into Happy from Snow White.
I sigh, focusing back on my National Geographic magazine, even if it does promise to bore me to tears. Stunning photography aside, nothing can beat worldly experience and there isn’t a place between its pages that I haven’t been to. And eventually wanted to leave behind.
Five minutes of companionable silence later, the engines change their tune, dialing back to something short of sonic-speed. Soon after the captain comes on and announces that we are fifteen minutes out from our destination. We’ll be landing soon under sunny skies and with a warm breeze at our backs to push us in.
Might be a good thing, I think, as the lights flicker again. Doesn’t hurt to have a little bit of fate fighting the gremlins antics.
I turn to look out the window, watching the meld of violent ocean and rolling countryside grow closer, the details emerging, making the earth below look less like a diorama. Our flight is almost over, my journey just begun. In another hour I’ll be in a rattling steel box instead of a vibrating aluminum tube. Once upon a time I would have merely sifted across the distance, but time and technology has rendered that impossible.
This Here is not the Garden of Eden I thought it was when I disobeyed the queen’s orders to leave Underhill. The honeymoon is over. These blinders-on humans and their seemingly intense destruction of their own world are not going to be my concern for much longer.
I’ve found it. The way home.
Or, at least, I hope I have.