Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena

Opening the Cage

Opening the Cage

There was a flutter of dragonfly wings; a fairy landed on Zhanh's desk, bowed low, and said, "Inquisitive April Moonflower at your service."

Zhanh's mouth quirked sideways and he said, "Almost certainly not at yours, but say on."

The fairy seated itself tailor fashion and asked, "Why do you keep Fiddler in a cage?"

"Because he's a rapist."

"He's a ghost."

"He's a unicorn."

"He's still a ghost."

Zhanh sighed. "He's still a rapist. If I don't cage him while I sleep, he will invade the dreams of every woman in the county, and have phantom sex with them, and bitter experience has shown that this will result in a mob at my door with torches and pitchforks."

"I have slept in the cage. I wasn't raped."

Zhanh raised a skeptical eyebrow. "You're a fairy. No gender, no genitalia."

"We did have sex, though."

Zhanh gaped. "No gender. No genitalia..."

"Dreamwalk shape shiftiing for both parties."


The fairy smiled. "I've come to think of myself as female. It's odd, but it suits me."

Zhanh shook his head. "And you are making this assault on my sanity because..."

"Fiddler hates the cage. It's like being sealed in a coffin. And I am fond of him, and don't like him to be unhappy."

Zhanh thought for a moment. "I had the cage made because there was no oath he could swear that I would believe from him, because there was nothing I could bribe him with, and there was no harm I could threaten him with."

The fairy smiled again, and there was something predatory in its-- her-- expression. "He likes my company. Craves it, I think. He may be in love with me. I am the only female who has ever come to him without magical coercion, and I can leave any time I want to."

Zhanh stared hard at the fairy as he sat back in his chair and dropped his hands into this lap. After a while, he said, "You can't be 'Inquisitive April Moonflower' all the time."

The fairy grinned happily. "Inq."

Zhanh nodded. "Well, Inq," he said, "I think we can work something out."

Paul Haynie

It's been two and a half years since my last piece of fiction, and I have been working on this thing most of that time. Its roots go back further than that. Fiddler the dead unicorn was introduced in "Knives and Fiddles", and Zhanh is also Plimsoll from that story, and was introduced in "The Oakbridge Oak", from more than three years ago. I am trying to bring MANY fragments together into a single whole, and with this (which only took about an hour to extrude, once I FINALLY solved the design problems) things may be moving again. Zhanh, Fiddler, and Inq certainly have a lot of stories in them; the big problem is editing out all of the extraneous information that gets in the way of actually telling the story.
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