Faeries and Such
FAERIES AND SUCH
Perception is in the eye of the beholder, sometimes no where the truth or reality. Many of those who know me think of me as a mature attractive woman. Some believe I am possibly a young beautiful girl. And then there are those who think of me as the perfect example of a vicious, vindictive, wicked, ugly hag. My life wasn’t always like this. It started out simple enough as my mom gave birth to a perfect, healthy, happy baby. I heard stories later on as friends, relatives, and of course my loving parents, said I was cuter and prettier than any Gerber Baby. Of course I didn’t mind at the time. I was too young to know what problems came along with being called pretty and cute. There were other disasters on the horizon in my life that none the family knew about. Of course how could they know?
He had tracked her kind for many years. He didn’t know what they looked like since they had many disguises, but one could tell. They were practitioners of the dark arts. They were spell casters, witches. It was by the god’s intervention he had chanced upon her. Even witch hunters must eat. He had left his horse behind in the area he designated good enough for a camp. Sheltered to one side by a small rock cliff, another side by lake, the thick growth of trees provided cover against any eyes unless they happened to walk upon his camp. By that time any bandits would be dispatched back to the gods. His accuracy with bow and arrow would make sure of that.
As he made his stealthy way through the forest he kept an eye for game trails along with any movement of any game. It was only moments later when he saw some movement. Silently he nocked arrow to bowstring without drawing it and crept closer. Best to bring down game with one arrow rather than wounding it and having to track it down as it fled. He wasn’t prepared for what his eyes showed him after he got past the last dense brush.
There were animals there alright, deer and rabbits in abundance. The trees were adorned with birds of all kinds. A figure was down on its knees digging roots up from the ground. She started singing in the most beautiful lilting voice he had ever heard.
“Your gifts of love fill my heart and soul.” She looked up and smiled at the animals and birds.
“Your gift of bounty for my needs carries me through the years.” She made some kind of sign across her face and breasts
“Your gift of giving me the knowledge of wisdom is more than I deserve.” She looked up to the sky and smiled.
She turned her attention back to digging up small tubers and bulbs of some sort as she kept singing.
He slowly stepped into the open area where the witch was digging. The animals and birds melted back into the forest. He readied his bow.
“Are you going to shoot me in the back?” Came from the woman kneeling on the ground.
“I take witches however I can. There is no dishonor in killing a witch.” He was disturbed that she knew he was there. It didn’t stop him from drawing his bow and letting the arrow fly.
The arrow sped through her cloak and on into the ground. She stood up and turned to face him. “You are an evil, misguided man Sir Bertand du Basaul. You are neither worthy of the title of Sir nor are you worthy of being a man. The eight women you have killed in the past were neither witches nor sorceress. You took them from their villages when you murdered them. Their wisdom and the arts of healing were no longer available to the villages they served. Many more have died because of those losses. Sickness spread in some villages. Others died because their wounds became infected and no healer was there to treat them.”
“You see me with all my friends around me and you immediately believe I am a witch. Thus in your mind I am automatically guilty of witchcraft and my death is justified, as were all those innocent women you have already murdered.”
“LIES! ALL LIES! IT IS NO USE WITCH! I KNOW THE TRUTH! I HAVE SAVED MANY FROM THE EVILS OF WITCHES! I WILL BE REWARDED FOR MY VALIANT EFFORTS.” Sir Betrand tossed his bow aside and drew his sword. This witch might dodge an arrow but his sword would end her witchcraft quickly enough.
She held up a wood staff. “And if I beat you what would that prove besides in your own mind you were right before you bled out on the ground. No woman could ever beat you, but a witch could because she is not really a woman but an evil demon in disguise.
He swung at her, fully intending to cut her head off her body. Sometimes it was the only way to kill a witch and make sure they stayed dead.
She blocked with her staff as she ducked and spun out of the way. Her staff was cut in half. Dejectedly she looked at the half she held in her hands. “Darn, that was my favorite staff too.”
“Okay, you miscreant bastard of a poor excuse for a man. I’ve tried explaining to you how wrong you are. Your stupidity seems to be ruling whatever you have for a brain.” She pulled a long slender sword out of a scabbard on her left side.
Sir Bertand had to laugh. Did she honestly believe that wisp of a blade was going to stand up to his broadsword? He came down with an overhead strike intending to bend or cut through her sword and her all at the same time.
Steel upon steel clanged through the forest in which only peace and bliss had reigned before. She didn’t try and match his strength, but deflected his blow off to her left as she moved right. Her sword tip was whipped back across his left thigh. His sword was too heavy to match her speed and useless in blocking against her quick slash.
She was fast as she kept moving to his left. His sword, in his right hand, was having to make the arc and the distance as he was turning, trying to block her next slash which cut across his left wrist. Blocking his flat swing she rolled her blade over on top of his and pushed down as she reversed direction and moved left. He had stopped his sword from digging into the grass. She was already to his right as he was bringing his sword back up. She slashed across his right bicep, ducking as he was bringing his sword back around and up as he tried to cut across her chest or face.
She slashed the tendons in his right wrist as his sword and arm was out to his right side before he could stop the swing. His sword fell from his grasp. He reached for his dagger on his left hip with his left hand. He didn’t have a good grip on it as it was pulled from it’s sheath. She slapped it out of his hand with the flat of her blade. Then she held up her sword aimed at his throat.
“Kill me witch. What are you waiting for? I’ll not beg for mercy from a witch.”
“I’ve already killed you. You’re bleeding out and haven’t got a clue. Know this before you lose your life. I am not a witch. I am blessed with powers you will never understand. All those bastard children you left behind in your hunt for witches? The seed will not be a boy for many centuries. Only girls will be of your linage until the evil that is in your heart which you left behind is finally washed out by the caring, love, and motherhood of each succeeding generation. Then and only then will a boy be born. He will inherit all the gifts of mine as a reprieve for the punishment I have placed upon you and your linage. Maybe the gods will forgive me for what I have done, for it is not our way to do this thing you have laid upon me. It’s not a punishment to be a girl. It isn’t right to take away the choice they could have had to be a boy or a girl.
Wiping his blood off her sword on his shirt, she slid it home in the scabbard, turned her back to him, went over and picked up her pouch where she had been placing the items she had been digging up and was walking away. “Goddess of life, I beg your forgiveness for what I have done. If I am to be punished, let it begin for I can not exist with a wrong in my heart and soul.
Bertand knelt down to pick up his sword with his left hand. He would chase down the witch and kill her. He was watching as a woman in flowing white gossamer robes appeared beside the witch and was walking with her. Now there were two witches needed killing.
She reached over and caressed Illana’s cheek. “Daughter, I do not hold you guilty of a crime for the taking of this one’s life. The many innocent lives he has taken or caused, has grieved me sorely. He has received his reward for his evil. I will return his soul to the birth of the girls you have cast upon his linage. In time he may become of a kindred spirit and nurture as those he has killed. As a female, each time he returns to mortal he will become a healer. If in time he learns to love and forgive then and only then will he be allowed a choice if he wants to be a boy or a girl.”
Illana reached up and pressed the other woman’s hand to her cheek. “Thank you, Vetra. Your kindness is a blessing. Your love I cherish always.”
The other woman disappeared. Bertand tried to get up off his knees. He couldn’t. He drove the sword into the ground and tried to use it to help push himself up. It was no use. He held on refusing to give up to the witches until his world grayed out. He fell over begging death to come quickly.
My sixteenth birthday was coming up and dad had offered to help me find a set of wheels I could call my own. He also laid down the rules I was responsible for all the associated costs of owning and driving said freedom mobile. My school grades in Lakewood Junior High? No problem as I was straight A's and a possible shoo in for Valedictorian or Salutatorian. I didn’t play football as it was a demanding sport taking time away from scholastics and serious study.
At five foot eleven inches I tried out for basketball. The end result was a lot of bruises and pain. The jocks liked to run over the tall skinny kid. I didn’t have a high enough shooting average for the coach to care about me so he ignored the intentional fouls as I was used for a tackling dummy in basketball. Maybe I should have gone for football? At least I would have padding. Their passing the basketball was line drives to my side or my back. Coach said I needed to stay focused on where the ball was at all times.
The last straw was when the jocks stuffed my school clothes into the wastepaper basket and took turns defecating and urinating in it. Of course I still had my gym shorts and tee shirt. Or not as I was in the shower when all this took place and those items were also in the wastepaper basket. All the towels in the bathroom had magically disappeared at the same time. There was only one item of clothing left in the shower, locker room. A blue and white cheerleader uniform from one of Lakewood’s most hated opponents, the Eagles.
Sighing I had few alternatives. I could stay in the locker room until school closed for the day. Maybe later I might find some of the custodians and get them to call my parents and bring me more clothes. Or I could put on the dress and go register a complaint with our coach and the principal. They were thoughtful enough to leave the panties that went with the uniform so my privates would be hidden. I doubted very seriously if that was the intention. It was always a good idea to take advantage of anothers mistakes. I learned about using opponents mistakes while playing baseball, chess, tennis, and a few other games.
After stepping into the dress I found it hard to get the zipper up as my body was still very wet and that dress wasn’t allowing that much movement for me to get my fingers on the back zipper. The panties smoothed out all my manhood after I tucked and pushed things back into places they don’t normally reside. I had watched programs on the net on how to do this. I tried it a couple times to see if it really worked or was another liars game.
After slipping on the sneakers they left me, I headed to the coach’s office. I knocked on the door once and walked in without waiting for an invite.
Coach Walker looked up at me and smiled. “You look really cute Audrey.”
Yes my parents went pretty far out giving me a name. They told me my name was shortened from Aethelthryth which meant noble, strength, all knowing and understanding. I figured that was far as it went until I saw my birth certificate which stated I was named Aethelthryth Rachelle Rider. I was told Rachelle meant loyal, caring, prefers to fight her own battles, but will always aid others in need. So I stuck with Audrey when anyone asked me my name, promising myself I would change it when I reached twenty one and was my own man. My name would change to John or Sam or Jake or…, any name with a lot of testosterone attached to it. I knew my parents loved me and meant well but they really were kinda weird at times. When I was born it had to be a blue moon or the dark of the moon or something for them to drop that moniker on me. If they had to get inventive with names why didn’t they drop one on my sister who was a year older than me? Sandy Louise Rider must have not been born under the dark of the moon or a full moon?
Smiling sweetly I gave Coach Walker my best female voice with a deep southern accent as I reached up and patted the side of my long hair, giving it a flip with my fingers. “Why that’s awful sweet of you Coach. I hope you still think of me like that when I file a complaint with Principal Brown. If this doesn’t stop I’ll move it up to Superintendent Hays and possibly the school board.” I didn’t tell him I also intended on contacting a law firm I had found on the net who specializes in these types of situations and does it pro bono.
Coach Walker stood up clinching his fists. “Why you fucking faggot! Your kind is destroying all our schools! The whole damn country is turning into a bunch of fairies!”
“And exactly what right do you have to tell anyone how to live or dress or what they desire to be or not be?" I shot back at him. "You think you’re the fashion, morality, ethics, police? Who appointed you? Or did you appoint yourself? You are claiming the right to judge how people should dress and act while you deny others that same right. Coach, you’re a bigot of the darkest kind. You hide behind your education degree passing judgment on all those who you don’t personally approve of as testosterone jocks or meek little submissive females.”
GET OUT! GET OUT OF MY OFFICE! DON’T YOU EVER COME BACK TO THIS CLASS! YOUR GRADE FOR THIS COURSE JUST BECAME AN F MINUS! NOW GET OUT YOU FUCKING FREAK!” His face had gone beet red as he was waving his hand and pointing at the door. His feet were slowly moving him around the desk toward me.
I figured if I didn’t flee I was going to get a beating I probably wouldn’t recover from. Sometimes the best part of fighting is to know when to run. I put that knowledge into action. I was happy the guys had left sneakers. When I hit the gym door, Coach Walker wasn’t that far behind. Nor did I slow down in the hallway which was full of kids in between classes. Coach Walker had murder in his eyes when I fled. From the sounds of shouting and feet pounding the floor behind me, I figured he was still trying to finish what he was thinking in his office.
Making it to the principal’s office, I didn’t stop and ask the secretary if he was in as I charged on into an empty office. My fate was sealed as Coach Walker ran in five steps behind me. Backing into a corner I brought my hands and arms up to protect my face and front of my body before he started hammering me with his fists. The left side of my head took a blow I couldn’t cover. Backed into the corner facing someone with massive strength, I was not going to escape.
Jennie had watched as the Eagle cheerleader ran by her into Principal Brown’s office. She was too surprised and not quick enough to stop her. Then Coach Walker ran past her into the office. Immediately she heard sounds of someone beating another person. She had heard it often enough. As she passed through the school grades when she was growing up, she knew exactly what it was. Jumping out of her chair she ran into the office and stopped in shock as Coach Walker was beating the poor girl with his fists.
“COACH, STOP! WHAT ARE YOU DOING! STOP! GET AWAY FROM THAT GIRL!” She grabbed his arm to pull him back.
He threw Jennie across the room as he kept pounding the girl in the corner. Jennie struggled to her feet, grabbed the largest book she could find on the bookshelf and baptized Coach Walker. He went down to his knees and then toppled over backwards on the floor out cold.
Jennie looked at the girl still trying to cover up her face with her hands. Blood was all over her hands, her dress. She grabbed her wrist. “Come with me. I’ll get you to safety while I call security.”
She led the poor girl out of the offices and down the hall to the nurse station. Ann looked up when she heard them walk in. She sucked in her breath. “My god, what happened?”
“Coach Walker has gone nuts. He was trying to beat her to death. See what you can do to help while I call security and Emergency Medical at Mercy.”
Ann wet a cloth and was trying to wipe some of the blood off to find where it was coming from. “Honey, what’s your name? Where do you hurt? Do you have someone we can contact? Sweetie, what’s your name?”
“Aethelthryth Rachelle Rider.” It was so heavily French accented both women had trouble with the name.
“Honey, I didn’t catch that. Tell me again, what is your name?” Ann leaned in real close.
“Illana, Je suis retourne a tort ce mauvais. Le batard n’a pas appris après six siecles” (Lllana, I have returned to right this wrong. He has not learned after six centuries)
Ann looked over at Jennie. “Did she say her name was Rider? Is this Audrey Rider? What is she doing in an Eagle cheerleader uniform? Why was Coach Walker beating on her?”
Jennie shook her head. “I don’t know. I’m sure it will all come out when we get to the bottom of this. I have security headed to the office to pick up Coach Walker. An ambulance is on its way to pick up Audrey.” Jennie wanted to hold the girl but she was bloody. She hoped Coach Walker didn’t figure out where Audrey went if he regained his senses before security found him.
“Ce corps mortel doit se reposer jusqu’a ce qu Aethelthryth soit complete” (This mortal body shall rest until Aethelthryth is complete.)
Jennie was shaking her head. “Honey, we don’t understand what language you are using. Can you repeat it in English?”
Audrey closed her eyes and leaned back on the table. She couldn’t be woken as Ann tried her best to get a response out of her. Both women feared the worst, a brain concussion. She was leaking blood in the brain cranium putting pressure on her mind. When waiting on an ambulance minutes seem like hours. It was only eighteen minutes before Emergency Medical was there in the nurse’s station with their gurney and their life monitoring equipment. Six minutes later they had Audrey hooked up monitoring all her vitals. If anything, everything was a tad low. Her heartbeat was so slow she could be in a zen trance. Her blood pressure on the bottom side. Her oxygen level good. Of course she was breathing through her mouth as her nose was smashed. By now the EM personnel were starting to worry. Everything was too normal. A brain concussion was suspected and was shutting everything down.
She was transported.
In the Emergency Room Dr. Linda Clark was busy checking vitals and ordered X rays of the young woman’s head as her clothes were cut off so they could check her whole body. She was no longer bleeding from her nose and ears. The bruising on her face, shoulders, chest, and sides seemed to have run their course as they weren’t darkening. Quite the contrary, they seemed to be diminishing.
“Pictures, the police will need proof she was attacked.” Dr. Clark checked the girls hands. No broken skin, bruising, or broken fingers. Looking under the nails they were all clean, no blood, no tissue. She hadn’t fought back to defend herself.
X Ray personnel came into the room with the machine. “I want to know what is going on inside her skull. Give me frontal and sides. Give me pictures of her body. I want to know where this girl is broken.” Dr. Clark and all the others stepped out of the room for the five minutes it took the X Ray team to do their job.
Dr. Clark was studying the pictures along with Doctor Allison Sharp. “I don’t see anything.”
“Neither do I.” Dr. Sharp leaned in for a closer look. Were they missing something? The girl was in a coma and couldn’t be awakened. What was causing it? “What’s her vitals, Linda?”
“Good, all good. If I gave a diagnosis on her condition, I’d say she had a bloody nose, bruising and that was it. Damn Allison, I just came from Intensive Care. I swear she has less bruising on her body than when they brought her in.”
“Her parents show up yet?”
Linda shook her head. “No one seems sure what her name is. They are walking on egg shells out there trying to get a name, afraid of calling up someone and telling the wrong parents we have their daughter. The report the school nurse sent in with her, she could possibly be Aethelthryth Rachelle Rider and everyone called her Audrey.”
Allison chuckled. “I wonder why they call her Audrey? Okay, it’s up to admin to figure out the legals, let’s focus on the girl’s medical. Why the coma? I haven’t a clue. I know you well enough to not ask if you checked for spinal.”
“I did, only so much can be done until we have a responsive patient. If she was awake I’d go through the whole test of feeling in the feet, toes, fingers. Hell Allison, I’m grasping at straws trying to figure out what is going on inside that girl’s head and why she doesn’t want to reconnect with us.”
“I wish I had an answer for you, Linda. Like you, I don’t have a clue.” Allison tapped the screen showing the X Rays. “There isn’t a damn thing there. I suggest running her through an MRI. Maybe getting your answer there.”
“I ordered an MRI when I left her room before asking you to meet me here. I have a beat up, normal healthy girl, who refuses to wake up. This is one we never studied in pre-med. Thanks for giving me your opinion on this one, Allison. I was praying I wasn’t missing anything.”
Allison smiled at her friend. “Linda, if they ever bring me in on a gurney, it's you I want in the ER room waiting for me. There isn’t a better, more caring, conscientious doctor in this whole hospital. In the whole city. In the whole state.”
Linda was waving her friend down. “Thanks for the confidence booster but my patient isn’t getting any better.”
“She isn’t getting any worse either. Remember hon, we make them stable, then we make them healthy. You have her stable. Give healthy a chance to come at its own pace. I know you’re frustrated with this one. Maybe you just need to find that treating both the patient and her doctor with a prescription of patience is what is needed.”
Linda looked at her friend and nodded in agreement. “I hear you. Mind if I call when the MRI comes in?”
“I’ll be there, you know I will.”
I was awake but I wasn’t. Had to be one of those dreams where they are so real one is caught on both sides of living and dreaming. She was by my bed. It was a hospital bed and room from the looks of things when I scanned the room.
“Aethelthryth Rachelle Rider, your time to awaken has been pushed forward by circumstances I had not foreseen. I was going to give to you your gift of all my knowledge on your sixteenth birthday. You are of my blood. You are of both human and faerie. You have been watched long before the day you were born. I am very pleased with you. Understand this, only females may carry the arts of knowledge, healing, strength, and caring comfort of a woman. As a male you had these, but not strong enough to show up in enough measure to attract attention. As a female you are now gifted with my gifts. Accept these changes as gifts and the blessings they entail. Understand why children look at you, come to you as their lives have yet to be blinded by the ignorance of mortals.”
“There is so much more. You will understand it all for the gift of knowledge is also yours.” She reached out her hand toward me.
“Your name?” As I held out my hand to accept hers.
“You know it already.”
When she took my hand I felt an euphoria the likes of which I doubt mankind has ever known. I was born again into a world of the knowledge and magic of faeries. “Thank you, Illana. Mother.” My arm dropped to the bed as I fell back asleep.
Another woman appeared beside Illana. “You have chosen your daughter well. I sense in her all you are. She is kind, caring, and yet a force of nature to be reckoned with.”
Illana turned an looked at her friend. “Vetra, I test the jealousy of all the other Gods when I say you are the best of all of them. Thank you for sparing my daughter’s life. I pray you stop me from finishing off that wretched man who almost beat her to death. You did not let her die. I am eternally in your debt.”
“Yes I saved her life. It is your gifts she is blessed with, which will allow her to flower into a woman and healer the likes of which this world has lost over the centuries. I ask you to not kill the man who beat her. His punishment is coming and it will be long and harsh. He will wish for death a thousand times a thousand before my enemy will be allowed to claim him.”
“The Grim Reaper always has wanted to shorten the waiting period. Thank you for making him wait. My kindness was sorely tested as I truly wanted to kill him.”
As the nurse came running into the room she thought she saw two women standing beside the young girl’s bed. She was mistaken since when she took a second look no one was there. The patient stirred and opened her eyes. “How bad am I?”
The reason the nurse had run into the room was that all the monitoring equipment had been turned off. As she looked at the patient, all of it had been disconnected from the young girl.
“Who did this?” She stepped up beside the bed, picked up the girls arm and checked for her pulse.
“Did what? How ugly am I?” Reaching up with my right hand because the nurse was holding my left one, I felt my face to check for bruising and bandages.
Cassiopeia stared at the girl. It was as if a different girl had been substituted for the one she had checked a little over an hour ago. Ugly? The girl was a raving beauty and that was without any makeup. Must be the effects of that possible concussion listed on her admittance records. Cass was caught in a quandary. She needed to notify her doctor the girl was awake and yet she needed to be hooked back up to her monitors. She left to go back to the nurse station. Karen could call her doctor while she hooked her back up.
Dr. Linda Clark was there in less than ten minutes after she had been told her comatose patient was awake. When she walked into the room she stopped dead in her tracks, turned around and checked the room number. Right room, wrong patient. “Where did they move my patient?”
“Doc, I don’t know what to tell you. This is your patient.” Cass was waiting for the storm she knew was brewing in Doctor Clark’s eyes.
Linda walked closer to take a look. Where was all the bruising, the cuts, the swelling? “What’s your name?”
“Aethelthryth Rachelle Rider, everyone calls me Audrey. How long have I been here? Have mom and dad been notified? I’m not going back to school if Coach Walker is still there. He’ll kill me next time. I’m surprised he didn’t do it this time. Someone must have pulled him off of me.”
Linda shook her head. All the answers and questions fit with what she knew when her patient was brought in. A recovery this quick was impossible. “Listen to me Audrey. You’ve been in a coma since the time you were brought in. I need to ask you some questions and have you answer me as truthfully as you can.”
“Okay.” My attention strayed from the doctor to the sheet covering me. I had bumps in the sheet on my chest. I was smiling when I looked back at the doctor. My dream wasn’t a dream. I felt complete, I was truly me for the first time in my life. I promised myself I’d have no regrets trying out the boy side first but this girl side was the right fit.
The doc asked a whole lot more than a few questions. When everyone was positive I was the boy…, girl registered as Aethelthryth Rachelle Rider in Lakewood school system, they called my parents and told them I had been taken to the hospital. The police and the school were notified that I was awake and speaking intelligently without any apparent harm to my cognitive ability.
My parents were the first to arrive. Sis of course was still in school and didn’t come. Mom skidded to a halt when she stepped inside the door. She was staring. “Aethelthryth?”
“Hi mom.” I gave a small wave.
Dad was standing there with his mouth open. “Audrey?”
“Hi daddy, it’s me.” My problem was, I had no idea all the changes that had been made. I had yet to see myself in a mirror.
Mom closed in and took my hand. “This is going to take some getting used to.”
“I’m sorry, mom. How ugly am I?”
“Ugly?” Mom had to cough that one out as it caught in her throat. “You don’t know?”
“None of the doctors or nurses will tell me. Coach worked me over pretty good until they saved me. It’s okay mom. I won’t freak out. I know it has to be bad.”
Linda touched my mother’s arm. “Mrs. Rider, we took pictures for our records and for the police files when your daughter was brought in. Of course you and your husband will be allowed copies. She was in bad condition. I was examining a girl who had been subjected to one of the most savage beatings I had experienced in a long time.”
She pointed at Audrey. “I can’t explain this. No one can. It isn’t in any medical books because it isn’t possible. She’s made a full recovery and we, the hospital staff, myself, had nothing to do with it.
“Daughter?” Janet was staring at her son. He was still her son although the soft feminine features he always had were now long gone. There was absolutely not a smidgen of doubt he had changed. He had the prettiest face she had ever seen. She noticed the tent in the sheets on her son’s chest. Doubt crept into her mind along with all those family tales told down through the ages. She didn’t remember the whole story but it had something to do with fairies.
“When can he go home?” Janet wanted her son home before family stories were questioned.
Linda winced as the girl’s mother kept referring to her daughter in the masculine. “I’m going to keep her overnight to make sure what we are experiencing isn’t a fluke. I’m going to request another MRI to check for abnormalities. If nothing shows up you can take her home tomorrow afternoon.”
My dad walked over to the uncrowded side of the bed and took my right hand. He noticed the long sharp nails, long fingers, and delicate hand he was holding. How long had it been since he had paid any attention and held Audrey’s hand? “Son? How you holding up?”
Dr. Clark winced again. What was wrong with this girl’s parents?
“Pretty good, considering, dad. I’m sorry to be so much trouble. It all started in the gym. I let my mouth say things I shouldn’t have said.”
Kevin gave a soft gentle squeeze to his son’s hand. Audrey always did have a soft almost feminine voice. Now there was no doubt. His voice was lilting, musical, calling everyone to listen to the voice of an angel. “You have never been a burden. If you said something, I’m sure it needed to be said. We’ll get to the bottom of this and straighten it all out. Don’t worry about it.”
A man and woman walked into the room carrying notebooks and recorders. “Detective Anders. My partner is Detective Johansen. We were told the patient was awake. We're here to ask the young lady some questions if her primary physician gives the okay.”
“I’m her doctor and yes you may question her if she says it is okay and her parents give their approval. These are the young girl’s parents.” Linda pointed at Janet and Kevin.
Kevin looked at the detectives. “Does my son need a lawyer?”
Linda cringed. This was ridiculous. She felt like shouting at the parents to call the girl, she, but she held it back.
Detective Johansen looked at the girl lying in the hospital bed. She had dealt with fathers like this before. They kept trying to project their daughter into their son. “Not necessarily. We have all the information from the school nurse, secretary, security and other personnel at the school. Your daughter was chased down and beaten by a very disturbed individual. We think it might have been related to her wearing an Eagle cheerleader uniform which set off the individual who beat her. A lawyer is yours or your daughter’s choice of course.”
“Eagle cheerleader uniform?” Janet was trying to wrap her mind around Audrey wearing a girl’s cheerleader uniform. This was going to take some explaining when they got home. Seems as if the explanations needing to be told were starting to stack up.
“Son?” Kevin looked at his son to see if he felt he needed a lawyer or not.
Linda gritted her teeth and almost growled as she hissed, “Girl. She’s your daughter.”
Janet coughed as her and Kevin’s eyes snapped down to look at Audrey. “Daughter?” She whispered.
I nodded my head. I didn’t need a mirror to confirm what I was any more than any girl needs one to check with her eyes what her body was telling her.
“Honey, you take over. I need to go sit down someplace.” Kevin was headed out the door.
That caused me to smile. No matter what society thought, women always were the strongest of the sexes. Guys might have muscle, but that wasn’t true strength. It was what was inside where the real strength resided and women had that in abundance.
Janet brushed the golden blond hair away from Audrey’s face before she looked at the detective. “I’ll agree to the questioning if my daughter consents.”
It was over in less than an hour. Everyone, besides my mother, had left us alone. Mom was sitting on the side of my bed holding my hand and studying my face. “I can’t begin to imagine what it is like to go from boy to girl in a matter of a day or two. How do you truly feel?”
“Everything matches now. I can’t explain it in words, knowing I am complete inside and out. Did you ever question why you were a girl or have doubt you were one? I’m a girl. I have no doubt I am one and it's right for me.”
Taking both her hands in mine I held on tightly. “Mom…, and you always will be my mom. Nothing will ever change that. I will always love you and respect you as my mother. I can see and feel things I never could before. I can feel in your soul when you gave birth to me. Promise you will never doubt me when I tell you something, for I can not lie. That was part of the package she gifted me with.”
“She?” Mom was waiting for an explanation.
“My other mother was here before you and dad came. She is a Faerie (pronounced Fay-ree) of health, strength and courage among many other things. She gave me her gifts along with the gift of becoming a female. Only as a female am I able to use the full extent her gifts she has blessed me with. I accept this with a burning desire I have never felt before.”
“Mom, I am a healer. She healed me so I could live and heal others in need. I can’t heal everyone in the world of all their problems though. I can heal those who are kind and deserving. I can sense that in people now. Doctor Linda Clark who was in here is a kind and caring doctor. She’s one of the best. She has cancer in her left breast, squamous cell carcinoma. I could smell it and feel it. Tonight when she comes in to check on me, I’ll ask her to hold my hand. I can kill and remove her cancer. A block will be placed on her DNA. No cancer will ever get a start in her body for the rest of her life. She will save thousands before she is through practicing medicine. I can sense all this. With one tiny little gift to her, thousands will live.”
Janet was softly crying as she studied her daughter’s beautiful face. “Thank you for sharing this with me.”
“Thank you for giving me life. My other mom, Illana saved it and brought it back again. I love you both with all my heart and soul. I always will until the end of eternity.”
“Go home and rest, mom. You’re tired. I’m freshly minted and don’t have a whole lot of reserve to be sharing or I’d remove your tiredness. I’m saving up for Dr. Clark tonight. That will drain me but it will be okay. I’ll be recharged before daybreak. Each following day I’ll keep getting stronger until I no longer have a need to stop sharing.”
In the wee hours of the morning, Illana and Vetra were watching their young charge sleeping peacefully with a smile on her face.
“She is blessed to have you as her mother, Illana.”
“It is I who is blessed, Vetra. She is a gift to us all, mortals and Faerie alike.”
The goddess reached over and hugged her friend. “I am blessed to know you both. How many gods have friends such as you? None, absolutely, none.”
Illana returned the hug and then her attention turned to Aethelthryth. She will need us both for she treads in a mortal world where her kind and magic is feared and hated by many.”
“Then let us not be laggards and shirk our duty. I promise a goddess’s wrath upon any who ever touch her again in anger.”
“Thank you Vetra, our daughter could not ask for more. Nor do I suspect with her kind and forgiving spirit she would even think to ask.” Before they left, Illana placed a white gossamer gown on the foot of the bed.
Vetra softly chuckled. “Illana, she’s mortal. She needs more than just the gown. Proper modest under things and all.”
“Oh? Of course, I forgot.” Girl panties, half slip, and bra lay on the bed beside the gown.
Vetra was almost laughing out loud. “Illana…, oh never mind. Your daughter is going to have the attention of everyone, and I do mean everyone, who sees her as she leaves the hospital.
That morning I cleaned up with a washcloth as good as I could in that small bathroom attached to my room. The underclothes and gown were on my body shortly afterwards. I was wishing I had makeup and perfume to complete the picture but…
Mom made a trip in with jeans, shorts and shirt by ten that morning. She stopped and stared when she walked into the room. Laughing, she tossed what she was holding into the trashcan. “I forgot I had a daughter. Well not really, but it didn’t register in my mind that my son’s clothes weren’t appropriate for my daughter. My god Audrey, you are beyond beautiful. I take it your other mother dropped off the dress?”
“Yes. Please don’t be jealous. I love you both.”
“I never could be jealous of someone who loves you as much as she must. Please ask her if we can meet sometime and talk. I’d love to meet your other mother.”
“She’s a Faerie, mom. She would be feared, loved, hated all at the same time if she appeared in public. I know what you are thinking and no she doesn’t have wings. God, where did our society get all those stupid fairy ideas anyway? One Peter Pan movie and all Faeries are tiny little things like insects with wings.”
Janet studied her daughter. “You’re so beautiful yourself. Are you now a fairy?”
“That is Faerie not fairy, mom. And yes, I’m one too now. It came with Illana saving my life and changing me so I could use the gifts she blessed me with. Mom, I don’t love her more or you less because of who or what I changed to. I love you both equally, please believe me.
“Of course I believe you. You never lied to me before. I don’t think you can lie to me now. I want a hug from my gorgeous daughter.” Janet held out her arms.
By one that afternoon my mother was back with makeup and perfume. She told me I only needed a touch of each as I was already exotic and attractive enough. I didn’t need to raise the bar any higher with makeup.
Dr. Clark was there along with a lot of the hospital personnel as they wheeled me across the atrium where people check in and out as friends and relatives wait for the good news or bad. She gave me a hug. “Never in my life have I seen someone recover like you have. I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t personally seen it myself. I’m sure no one else will believe it either. Hospital records will be amended after they try that son of a bitch who tried to beat you to death. The records will be needed in a trial as they were when you were admitted.
I hugged her back. “Thank you Doctor for all your kind and caring attention. I certainly appreciate what you have done for me.”
Linda giggled. “Done for you? Hon, this is all yourself and whoever and whatever other connections you have out there. I’d like to talk to you about this sometime, but I’m almost afraid of what you will tell me. Take care Audrey and don’t get into any more fights.”
“I promise I’ll behave from now on out. No more fights.” Looking around as the doc stood up I spied a little girl lying limply in her mother’s arms.
Quickly before they could stop me I was out of the wheelchair and standing in front of the woman. “Please, may I hold her.” I held out my arms.
Security was closing in. Dr. Clark waved them off. “Wait.”
The lady handed me her little girl. Holding her to my breasts and kissing her on the forehead, I sang softly a song playing in my mind.
Every sound in that huge room was turned off. No one spoke as they all looked at the young woman holding the little girl and singing with one of the most beautiful lyrical voices anyone had ever heard. The words and sounds weren’t any anyone had heard but it was all beautiful and soul soothing.
Four minutes later I kissed the little girl on the forehead and gently laid her back in her mother’s arms. “She will grow up to be an outstanding lawyer and judge. The world is blessed to have her among us.”
Dr. Allison leaned over toward Dr. Linda Clark. “What did I just see? Tell me something didn’t happen that medical science won’t be able to explain.”
Dr. Clark looked around the room. Everyone was staring at the young woman as she walked back to the wheelchair. “Allison, I think we all just witnessed something none of us will be able to explain. I hope someone thought to record her voice and her song.”
Allison slowly shook her head. “I never thought about it. Who would? We were all mesmerized by what we were witnessing.”
“Linda, I didn’t happen to just stop by. I want another look at your left breast.”
Linda felt chills run down her spine. “What did you see?”
“Dr. Clark, you of all people know better than to speculate on what is or isn’t before it’s confirmed. I want another MRI and X Ray.”
“How bad is it and how much has it spread?” Linda had been through this too many times with her patients to know this wasn’t just a follow up. Allison had seen something.
“More tests, Doctor and don’t try and analyze the data before we have something solid.” Allison reached out and pulled Linda’s hands into hers. She felt for her friend. The dreaded unknown and possibly the Big C was a scary monster no one wanted to face, doctor or not.
Tears escaped Linda’s eyes as she knew it was going to be bad news. She looked up to see her young unexplainable patient get in the van. Did she just smile and wink at her? Last night when Audrey asked to hold her hand she was singing so softly it was hard to hear her. Strange feelings spread through out her tired body while the girl was singing. Did she…?
Linda grabbed Allison by the arm. “I have to know. If I’m right those X Rays and MRIs you have from two days ago are not going to match up with what the next ones will find.”
Allison looked at her friend. “Something you aren’t telling me, Doctor?”
“Just a hunch, Doctor, just a hunch.”
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