Fairy Rider by Leonie Roderick
Elva leads him, like in the old days, to their favourite place. Only this time it’s for real. They walk through the thick undergrowth and he can hear the brushes crackling underfoot and feel the branches brush his arms as he passes them.
She takes him to the little stream in the forest. When they were children they liked to splash around in the water. With the light of the moon shining down on the pool, it looks dark and mysterious. But the evening breeze is cool and Dream-Girl’s presence has a calming effect on him.
He stretches out on the grass, his hands folded beneath his head.
Elva sits across from him, within touching distance. She has kicked off her shoes and sits with her feet dangling in the water.
“I talked to Peacy today. I hope you’re not angry with me. I told him more than I wanted to…”
“I know. I was peeking again. I was missing you – your companionship. It was going to be only a tiny peek to see what you were doing. When I heard you talking to Peacy I dropped everything and listened. How easily we are fooled! We think people don’t know what we’re up to, but they do. I realised today that Peacy and his people know more than we thought they did. We are lucky they preferred to keep our secret. They knew about me – all this time we thought I was safe and hidden away, they knew! They are quite wonderful to have kept quiet about it and for so long!”
“Why did your mother give money to Peacy and his family, when his father died?” Dillon asks
“There are times when I can feel grief or a deep sadness. It bothers me and then I usually peek. They were not the first ones we helped and it’s not always possible but we do what we can. This time it was possible and we lightened their burden. We can’t take away pain, but when it’s possible Mom always gives money if it can make it easier for them. When Peacy’s father died I told Mom about it and asked for her help. She gave them the money, because we have more than enough.
“I’m glad you were there for them.”
“You did well when you took them in. It’s going to cost your parents to educate Peacy and after him there will be his brothers and sisters. You have a very soft heart, Dillon. I even like your parents’ idea of starting a home industry. It’s going to work out. And it could develop into a big enterprise. I think that is what your mother has in mind. She could help them as a family to be financially independent. It’s a way of providing work for a lot of people.”
“Did you hear when I asked him for an identity for you?”
“I heard and saw the cousin he was talking about. I then peaked into this cousin’s life. This cousin is a good man and will help us.”
“I boldly told him you would take on a black name and family for your new identity. I should have asked you first. I’m sorry for taking over and taking matters into my own hands.”
“I can run interference, Dillon. I could have stopped you when you were talking to Peacy. I didn’t, because I liked the idea of being free and unafraid.”
“Can you really stop me?”
“When I don’t like what people are doing I can make things difficult for them. I’m not supposed to do it, but I can.”
“How can you do that? Make things difficult, I mean?”
“I could have given you a blinding headache – the mother of all migraines. You could have collapsed and the conversation would have ended there.”
“You can do things like that?”
“It’s against the rules, but it’s possible.”
“Oh, those famous rules again…”
She laughs delightedly. “Yes, the rules! What are people without rules? We will be a lot of hooligans, dancing naked around fires, without our rules and laws.”
“Well, maybe we won’t dance naked around fires but we can only live in harmony when we follow society’s rules.”
“How can I contact you when I need to talk to you? There may come a time when it may be dangerous to talk to you in any other way than the usual and ordinary ones we humans have used for years. We may have to act in haste…”
“Dillon, you can always contact me through your thoughts.”
“Can you teach me how to do it?”
“It will be easy for you because I have your number.”
“You have my number?”
“Dillon, it’s like a radio wave- length and I can listen in to you. It would be clearer if you could clear your mind.”
“Clear my mind! Clear my mind, how?”
“Look at the water, or think of a colour – now wipe it out – empty your mind. Then slowly form an image. If you want to contact me, form my image in your mind. Try it!”
Dillon dutifully looks at the water trying to clear his mind. All of a sudden the black of the water in the moon light looks rather sinister.
“No, don’t think of the water as a changing object or being sinister. I used the idea strictly as a means to help you. Think of it as a solid thing which will help you to clear your mind. If that doesn’t work think of a colour. Black is good or white. Only when your mind is clear, form a picture of me in your mind.”
Dillon concentrates to clear his mind in imagining a landscape of white on white, and then forms a picture of his Dream-Girl. He can see her as she is looking at this moment – so perfectly beautiful.
“Thank you for the compliment! Perfectly beautiful, are you sure? I’ll get conceited,” she teases him lightly without opening her mouth or letting a sound escape from her lips.
He grins. “But you could read me even when I didn’t know how to contact you,” he states silently.
“Yes, only because I know you and am focused on you. I know what to listen for.”
They sit in silence and Dillon tries out this new way of communication. Actually it’s an old way for her. She has been contacting him like this for years. But for him it feels, he is accomplishing a very new and difficult task.
“There is something you have to know. When the scientists of The Incentive come, you will have to use a more conventional way of letting me know there is danger. They may have one or even more people with them who can read thoughts that are being transmitted. If they have a really skilful person, he or she will tap in to our minds with the ease of taking candy from a baby. I won’t be able to contact Darling, but as I now know my own way I shall go to our den in the baobab tree. I’ll take one of our horses, because I think it will help to hide my body heat as you told me. As you once told me we can be sure they will come with the latest and the best equipment that is available and this infrared detector will only be one of the many modern and technical things they will use. These people have some of the best minds working for them and they will have the best of the best equipment and access to the newest and most modern technology. They are not to be dismissed or forgotten for a second. They are the enemy with capital letters.”
“How shall I contact you? We might not have the time for more convenient ways. The telephone is another way they can listen in to any conversation they choose. If I ride over on Darling it might be too late,” Dillon declares
“Yes, it could be a problem as it would be impossible to read your mind. What shall we do?”
“We can use the ordinary telephone and a sort of code only we know of.”
“A code? Like; be aware, danger is on its way! It will never work. The bad people are highly intelligent and they will smell a rat!” Elva tells him.
“I presume your mother will answer the telephone. I’ll ask her if I can come over to research something in the library. I could mention a math problem or ask for an object, one you will recognise immediately. I’ll give Peacy my cell phone and he could call me and let me know if he sees those bad people. I’ll give him another code. He could tell me he is looking for medicine for Darling – or something like that. Then I’ll phone your mother and ask if we could use your library to do some researching. I will only think of the problem and not of you. Good old D.N.A. would be a good subject. When I phone, you will know it’s time to get away and go into hiding.”
“Yes, it could work. Will you tell Peacy not to think of me at all but to block me out of his mind?”
“I think at this moment his brain is filled to capacity with school problems and girls. To make things easier for him I should tell him to make up his own Dream-Girl and think only of her.”
“Thank you, Dillon. You have given me so much…courage. Courage is a wonderful gift and I now believe there is hope. I believe we shall win and I shall live a normal life.”
“There is a slight problem,” she says after a few seconds.
“Another problem? Aren’t the bad people enough for now?” he teases her. “You are sure keeping me busy.”
She laughs as he hoped she would. For a moment she has sounded afraid and nervous.
“’ll have to stop contacting you and peeking into lives. If the bad people are on their way and they are watching they would be able to find me.”
“I’ll miss you and our conversations…”
“I’ll peek from time to time. It will just be a short pin prick.”
“Will the bad people not find a pin prick?”
“Pin pricks are normal. People do have the intuition to read other people’s minds. Usually it goes with stress or danger or when something bad happens. Haven’t you heard people say they knew something was wrong or that someone has died or there was an accident or a loved one needed them? We were all born with the ability, but we never developed it. It’s only a few of us that are born with the full capacity and insight. We are the freaks…”
“You, a freak? If you’re thinking badly of yourself I can only say: Please deliver me from the normal…”
“No wonder I chose you. Even when we were toddlers a saw you as a grand person…”
“Grand? Now I’m the one who is flattered…”
“The two of us can start a new society: How to build up people and give sincere compliments…,” she teases.
“How glad I am to be here. When I think how I nearly refused to visit my parents… It’s scary to think I could have missed meeting you. You could have been only my Dream-Girl for ever.”
“Don’t even think it. I was on my way to let you know I was waiting for you. It was a question of a few weeks.”
“When I arrived you let me stumble around in the dark, looking for answers.”
“Only because it was good for you…”
“Gee, the answer people give when they know they’ve done wrong.”
“No, not at all. I would never have let you think I was an easy conquest or acquaintance. People rarely see things they acquire without input as worthy – and I am as worthy if not more than any person. Freak or otherwise, I like to think of myself as such.”
“You’re the most worthy of all the people I know.”
“Thank you, Dillon.
“I’ll see you tomorrow, D.G.”
“Why do you call me that?”
“When you have a new name and identity it would be a big mistake to call you Elva. That name is too well known. I like my name for you. I thought of you as my
Dream Girl or Fairy Child. For years it was the only way to think. D.G. is the shortened version of Dream Girl.”
“I like being called D.G.”
They sit in silence – a comfortable silence like only people who like each other, can.
After a long while she asks softly:
“Tell me about school? I tried to form pictures when I peeked but I’m afraid my idea isn’t even close. I got the impression that there were times you were embarrassed and didn’t know what to do when you were younger. And then all of a sudden it looked as if you came into your own.”
“It was difficult for me to find my rightful place. At first I was seen as a nerd…”
“Is a nerd a bad thing?”
“Well, it depends whom you are asking. At first I was seen as a loner and a looser and then I was seen as a nerd, mixing with only my other nerdy friends. Luckily for me, I was good in sport and that made me adaptable. I floated between the two groups – which meant I wasn’t really one of the nerds, neither was I one of the jocks. I felt I was left on the brink and didn’t fit in. Then, just when I thought I know what was expected of me and I could handle the situation, my parents moved and I was sent to live with my grandmother. That meant I couldn’t really participate in sport. I was left in the wind…”
“I’m so sorry, Dillon. I saw how angry you were and didn’t really understand why you were feeling so angry.”
“But that is the past. Now I know where I’m going and what I want.”
He smiles to himself in the dark. He has come home and knows his place in this specific time in history. He was meant to come here to find his Dream Girl. Wait until the boys back home see D.G. He will be known as the guy with the most beautiful girl. Suddenly he feels ashamed. Never in all the years did he spare a thought about her life!
“I sound like a spoilt brat. Here you are always on the outside and never part of any group. You are the most amazing person I’ve ever met. You are amazing,’’ he insists. ‘’You were alone and lived in fear most of your life and you never complained, or got angry.”
“But things are going to change for the better – then I’ll make up for it.’’
Yes, he can see it. The shadows will disappear and she will live in sunshine.
Suddenly he feels ashamed. She never asked for much, never demanded even the most natural thing under the sun; namely light. She took what was given to her and made the best of it.
They fall into a companionable silence.
“There is one thing that I worry about. I don’t want you to lose participating in sports.”
“Oh, I forgot to tell you. The school here has invited me to participate in their sport meetings. I think it was Mr Baltimore who told the school and then they invited me. Why do you think I’m running to meet you? I need to keep in practise.”
“I’m glad. I like you as you are. This makes you what you are.”
“Thank you, you are my Dream Girl. You could never be anything else.”
After a long while he rises in one smooth motion and pulls her to her feet. Together they walk back to where the horses are waiting for them.
Bending down, he kisses her softly on the lips…
The kiss is like a butterfly touching down on a fragrant flower, soft and non-threatening.
Then he helps her to mount.
Getting even closer 😉