Kindness for a Fool

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Kindness for a Fool Empty Kindness for a Fool

Post  Winter on Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:45 am

So you want to know about the Fae? I’m gonna stop you right there – no, you fucking don’t. Nobody does, and if you disagree, I can think of some nice men with a padded room set aside just for you. We’re all fucked - all us Changelings - and the closer you get, the more you are, too.
Alright, so you’re really pushing this thing, huh? Fine – I’ll tell you a bit about us, and I’ll even sugar-coat it (you’re welcome for that, by the way).
So, imagine you’re walking home one night. Finished work for the day, had a beer with your mates, hopped the bus, and now home’s just down the road and around the corner. You cut through the park, like you do every night – but halfway there, you realise something’s not quite right. The trees are just a tiny bit too tall; you can’t quite see the house on your left; that cloud’s gone from over the moon, but the moon never came out the other side. You can’t even hear the traffic on the street behind you any more. All you can really hear is the wind in the trees – and somehow, it almost sounds like laughter.
Next thing you know, you’re a teacup. See, one of the Gentry had his old cup dropped by a slave; after all the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put it back together, he went out to get a new one – and that’s when he found you. So begins your hundred-year stint as a fairy teacup, filled to the brim every day with the most scalding hot tea you can ever imagine, not even left a mouth to scream in pain, because teacups don’t scream.
Then, one day, he decides he’s sick of tea. Coffee’s where it’s at now, so that makes you trash; after all, you’re only good for drinking tea. One can’t drink coffee out of a teacup; that’s not what it’s for.
So, somewhere in that pile of refuse – finally free of that burning heat – your mind begins to return to you; slowly at first, but then faster as more comes together. You gradually remember what it was like to have arms, legs, a face, and you claw your way back to being more-or-less human. You dig your way out of the garbage heap and stumble into the thorns. Somehow, some way, you find your way home. Good for you.
Of course, as far as your family is concerned, you never left. See, when the fairies take you, they leave something in your place – a copy, cobbled together out of whatever happened to be lying around. Now it looks like you, walks like you, talks like you... hell, it even fucks like you; just ask my wife. That kinda seems like a cruel joke, right? Yeah, well it’s not the worst part. See, when you come back, you’re different. This thing, this copy, this Fetch – it’s more you than you are, and probably has been for years. So, now you’re an outcast, alone in the world with no-one to trust (not even the others like you – half of them’ll toss you back to the Fae for little more than a pat on the head).
And then, as if having to build yourself a whole new life from scratch wasn’t bad enough, there’s always that niggling voice in the back of your mind – saying maybe, someday, that cock who took you is gonna decide that he kind of misses the taste of tea. Any day now, he might go to that trash heap where he left you, looking for his teacup – wanting it back.
Maybe even today.
See, even the new life you build for yourself after getting back isn’t really yours. It’s his. Everything you are is his, just as soon as he wants it back. You think you’re free? You’ll never be free. I think that’s why we call them Keepers – because no matter how far we go, they’ve always got their claws in us.
You’ve got to be kidding me. After what I’ve told you, how can you possibly think that seeing a real, live Fae is anything but the worst idea anyone has ever thought of ever? How can you be so – do you have no – alright, fine. I’ll tell you what; there’s a door to the thorns near here, and I’ve seen the Fae around there once or twice. You really want to know, I’ll tell you where it is – but you’ve got to do one thing for me. Promise me you won’t talk to them. I’m serious; have a look if you want, but promise me on your life that you won’t talk to the Fae – and whatever you do, do not go through that gate.
I’m doing you a kindness here, believe me.

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