An Excerpt from Unexpected

Much like yesterday’s Kiwi Quotes post, my delightfully harsh fairy has been somewhat edited in this excerpt to make it safe for work.  Enjoy!

Doug walked out to the tree in his backyard.  He wasn’t sure how to find Kiwi when she didn’t want to be found, but he figured he’d just hang out and wait for her.  Since Guava’s surprise visit a week ago, Kiwi hadn’t said anything else about her sister, and Doug knew the unwelcome visitor hadn’t made his friend leave this tree.  So he figured she’d come back eventually.

He sat against the tree with his book for a while, enjoying the weather, but after a bit his back started to hurt.  Eyeing his lawn, he settled on a patch of somewhat soft grass and lay on his back, pillowing his head on his hands.  The warm sunshine felt good on his skin after his day inside an overly cold, air conditioned building.  Letting his mind drift, he dozed off.

“What are you doing?”  Kiwi’s voice from above him startled Doug awake.   She was hovering about three feet above him.

“Waiting for you,” he replied.

She snorted.  A moment later she flew down and unexpectedly landed on the end of his nose.  He crossed his eyes playfully, pretending to try to look up her skirt.

When she realized what he was doing, she shouted, “Hey!” and kicked him in the nose.

“Ow,” he said as he rubbed his nose.  He hadn’t expected her to have that much power.   “I was just teasing!”

“You still deserved it,” she said, crossing her arms and hovering mid-air.

He sat up, crossing his legs.  “Fair enough,” he said.

Distracted, Doug forgot that he’d come out here for a reason.  Kiwi, however, did not, and she flew over to land on his knee.  “So why are you waiting for me?”

Doug looked down at her, puzzled by her question for a split second before he remembered his initial goal.  “I need your advice, and maybe some help.”

“We’ll see,” she said, a touch suspiciously.  “What’s going on?”

“My friend Stanley is acting really strangely,” he said.  “I think it might be something to do with the woman he’s started dating.  Veronica.”

Kiwi thought for a moment.  “Stanley’s the super nerd, right?  The skinny, pasty one who clearly spends way too much time playing video games?”

Doug was a touch offended by her description of his friend, but she wasn’t wrong.  “Yeah, that’s him.”

“So how is he acting strangely?  I mean, is he just acting like a nerdy guy who’s finally getting laid, or is it something more than that?” she asked.

He’d thought a lot about how to answer this question, because he’d known the fairy would need a good description of Stanley’s behavior.  He still struggled a bit, even with his preparation.  “He seems really tired, you know, like he’s not getting enough sleep or maybe not eating enough.  He’s very, I don’t know.  Maybe the best word is listless; he doesn’t participate in conversation unless directly asked a question, and he’s been dragging his feet a lot and is always looking down.  He gets his work done, but a lot more slowly than he used to.”  He paused, thinking about what else she might need to know.  “This all began after he started dating this new girl; one day he comes in all excited, floating on air and bragging on her, and the next he was acting a little off.  It’s gotten progressively worse since then.”

Kiwi had been listening intently while Doug worked through his description.  For a moment she stood still on his knee, thinking.  Finally she looked up at him.  “Sounds like a succubus,” she said, shrugging.  “I’d say goodbye; there’s nothing you can do once a succubus gets her hooks into a guy.”

Doug was horrified.  “Are you serious?  There’s nothing we can do?  He’s just going to die?”

“Pretty much,” Kiwi replied matter-of-factly.

“How long does he have?”  Doug asked, a touch of panic in his voice.

She answered, “Once a succubus gets a guy, he’s got a week, maybe ten days tops.”

That startled Doug out of his fright.  “That’s not right.  He’s been dating her for about three weeks already.”

Kiwi looked surprised.  “Really?  And the weird behavior has been going on that long?”

“Just about,” Doug said.  “It was only a couple of days since they first met that it started.”

“Hmm.  Not a succubus, then.” Kiwi seemed intrigued.  It disturbed Doug a bit that she was approaching this as an intellectual puzzle rather than a human being he cared about, but he wasn’t going to alienate her by pointing it out.  He might still need her help to save Stanley.

He interrupted her thinking by asking, “What else could it be?”

The fairy launched into her now-familiar professorial mode.  “There’s a whole list of female-impersonating monsters who lure men with sex and then give them some horrible torture or death, but most of them are tied to a specific location.  I mean, unless he’s been hanging out by Russian lakes recently, she’s probably not a Rusalka.  The Yuki-Onna doesn’t confine herself to Japan, but it is way too warm for her right now.  And he’d hopefully notice the tail on a Huldra.  Plus they’re all pretty much trapped in one forest or another.”

Doug’s face had whitened a bit.  “All of those are real?” he asked.

Kiwi moved her head in a non-committal way.  “More or less.  I’ve met a Rusalka; let me tell you, the waterlogged spirit of a drowned girl is not a great conversationalist. I’ve only heard of the other two.  My sister claims to have seen Yuki-Onna once, but she’s got a really strong imagination and her eyesight is questionable.”

He’d thought wrapping his head around the existence of fairies was tough.  Doug shook his head to bring himself back to the conversation.  “So if none of those are possibilities, what else could she be?”

“That’s tough,” Kiwi replied.  “I mean, from what you described, it definitely sounds like Stanley’s new girlfriend is draining his energy in a more nefarious way than a typical human female.  But honestly, I’d need to either see her in person, or see how he’s behaving, to really be able to tell you.”

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tammy
    Dec 03, 2012 @ 07:20:57

    Enjoyed that a lot!


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