Dust danced in the light cutting through the windows. I was on a bed that had been meticulously made, up at the bottom of a pile of decorative pillows. There was a lot of lace. And it smelled like pumpkin pie, or more precisely pumpkin pie candle. There was an old teddy bear nestled in the pillows. It had an oversized button for one eye, obviously a mending attempt. Where the hell was I?
I realized that there was someone humming. Looking around I saw that I was in what appeared to be the empty floor of an old warehouse. Wood floors as far as the eye could see, old red-brick walls and pillars, floor to ceiling windows evenly spaced down the sides. The bed was against the back wall with end tables on each side. The place was around fifty feet across and a hundred or so feet long. The opposite wall had one of those cliché freight elevators.
There was a large wooden table that looked like it would take ten big dudes to even move. There were only two chairs at the table -- it could easily hold twenty five -- and one of those looked like it was coming apart at the joints; in fact one of the braces between the legs had come out of one side completely. They were both on the same side, beside each other. The table was full of what looked like various crafts. One pile was books and paper, another was cloth, and yet another was covered in tools and electrical scraps.
To the right there was a wood burning fireplace that looked like glowed a dull orange, I could see heat waves coming off it. Near the stove was a pair of oversized leather club chairs, a small table between them with a lamp on it. The chairs faced a large flatscreen TV sitting on a trunk. There was a thick rug separating the chairs and TV; an extension cord poking out the TV side.
Further down the right side there were five rows of double sided bookshelves coming from the wall to around the middle of the room. The window that would normally shine on that part of the room was covered in black fabric to block the light from the books. Lights had been hung in the rows to provide a hearty illumination.
On the left I found the source of the humming. There was a long counter against the wall with all the kitchen accouterments. A few feet away from the counter was a large island with a sink in the middle. The tops appeared to be made of polished concrete, and they were quite big; it looked like you could cook for around a hundred people with all the space available on the counters. There was a pot rack hanging from the ceiling over the island packed full of chrome pots and pans and utensils. Everything was restaurant quality and it was spotless.
Sitting at a tall stool with her back to the rest of the room was the young woman that had done this terrible thing to me. She was wearing a pair of large studio type headphones and eating a bowl of what appeared to be fruit-loops. She was humming and dancing in the seat.
She was tall, maybe six foot, but it was hard to tell with her sitting down. Her skin was a pale white, the even pale of someone who is trying not to get any sun -- you would be amazed how difficult it is to not get even a little tan; almost as difficult as being tan all year I would suppose. But the most striking feature was her hair. It was long, around mid to lower back, and it was red. Not orange red, but capital r Red. It was like a glowing coal, shifting colors from crimson to orange to an almost white and back again. It was the hair of a being with a strong magical field -- very common in the fey, not so much in humans unless they were channeling a lot of magic at the time.
According to the clock on the side of the bed it was early. 7:13 AM. How many days had I been out? Obviously I was in the girls home, altho how a girl like that could afford to live in a place like this was beyond me.
I wonder how long he’s going to sleep I can’t believe that worked I wonder how long till he wakes up man I love these fruit-loops I wonder if he’ll be able to talk this song is so over played but I don’t even care I should go drinking tonight man I need to get laid it’s been so long that guy at the movie theater yesterday was cute I should go see a movie if I leave and he wakes up will he be scared I should probably stay…
The incessant drone of thoughts was pouring in at an unrelenting pace. I realized that the thoughts had been there since I woke up, but I was tuning them out. Now that I realized they were there I couldn't help but hear them. It was like looking into the mind if an insane person. Who thinks about this much shit.
It should be said that pixies have a low level telepathic ability. Nothing special, just a thought here and there, but we're taught to control our thought broadcast. The last thing we want is some random vampire or psychic to pick us out due to some uncensored thought. So we learn to control it, it becomes second nature, like blinking.
I brought down my psychic barrier and thought as loud as I could send “SHUT UP!!!”
The flow of thoughts cut off, and she spun around on her stool.
Was that him he’s awake I think that was him
Yes, it was me. Please control your thoughts, you’re driving me nuts. I said.
Holy shit it is him he can talk oh my god that’s awesome how do I control my thoughts I cant stop I think I’m going to have a heart attack holy shit I cant stop thinking…
Stop, stop. Listen to me. Just stop sending them out. I don’t care that you’re thinking, but stop sending them at me. Look its easy, see you’re not doing it if I’m talking to you. You’re in a receiving mode, you do it naturally. Just think that you want to hear who else is talking, and you’ll stop broadcasting. I could see the white all the way around her eyes, they were blue by the way. She looked like she might burst a vein in her head if she strained any harder.
You don’t have to try so hard. You don’t try to hear people when you’re walking down the street. Just don’t try to send the thoughts out. Humans. Always trying so hard to be heard, not be alone in this big world, its a natural state for them to be broadcasting their thoughts for everyone to hear. Its kinda sad, really.
Tell you what, you talk to me out loud and ill talk to you like this. It’ll give you practice. Ok? I raised a furry eyebrow.
“uh, ok.” she awkwardly pulled the headphones off with one hand while leaning forward on the stool to the point I thought she was going to fall off. She caught herself at the last minute by placing her hand on the edge of the stool between her legs and straitening her arm. The headphones clattered across the counter -- I could faintly hear pop music coming from them.
We sat in silence for a few minutes, the ocasional high-note faintly intruding. She was right, the song was over played, but it was one of those guilty pleasure songs you would never admit to liking in public but sing at the top of you lungs when no ones around. I almost started humming, but caught myself -- a cat would never hum... not in front of you anyway. Cats are quite sentimental really, but you know how it is; keeping up appearances.
She was actually doing quite well keeping her thoughts to herself. Only the occasional word getting through.
“So what can you do?” she asked, eyebrows raising.
You bound us. You know damn well what I can do.
“I just wanted to see if I could do it. It wasn’t all that hard actually.” She said with a shrug.
It wasn’t all that hard? A familiar spell is not only complicated, but the components alone cost a fortune.
You must be a master of the art if this spell was easy. And rich; not to mention well connected. I crossed my paws in front of me.
She let out a tinkling laugh, “hardly a master. I actually just found out I could even do any magic a year ago. It was right after my grandfather died; this used to be his place.” she waved a hand indicating the warehouse. “He was always saying that I should have been able to practice since puberty, like most mages, but I never showed any sign of the talent.
“Then one day it all just kind of made sense. It was like all the lessons he had taught me growing up just needed time to stew in my brain. Pretty soon I was popping spells off left and right, but I could never get the components thing right, so I just stopped using them. Pretty wasteful, using all those hard to find things, when you can just do the spell without.”
Humans can’t do that. Fey can. Thats not magic, thats sorcery. Who the hell is this girl? There hasn’t been a human sorcerer in… well, ever. She’s got to be wrong.
Do it. She looked confused. Do a spell, I want to see how you do it.
“Um, ok. What do you want me to do?” she asked, a little sheepishly.
Hmm, a spell that needs components. Lets see… do a fire spell. Just a little one right outside the window there.
She hopped up and kind of skipped to the window, sliding to a halt in her ankle socks, a smile on her face. “I love this one! So much fun.” she flung open the window, it was hinged like a pair of french doors, and spread her hands to the sky. “Incendere venire!” It was barely a whisper. In contrast to the quiet words she brought her hands together in a forceful clap.
What happened next was amazing and beautiful and frightening. The air rippled away from her hands in a wave and for a second nothing, just the resound of the clap, then the night lit up like the noonday sun. A roaring white-hot fireball shot from her hands into the night and arched over the city. It took several minutes for the flaming ball to hit the water of the bay around two miles from shore.
“Holy shit!” she said, still standing with her hands together out in front of her. I couldn't see her face, but by the sound of her voice I would have guessed that her jaw was on the floor.
“Holy shit, indeed.” I said, out loud. I had stood up and walked to the side of the bed, staring out the window; though I didn’t remember moving. Must have been the shock.