3-F The Pale Cold PotionMature

Tyree stood in the sunlight streaming through the big windows that lit the hall to the cafe. Lyn said to her, "Can you believe that guy? He offered to pay me to hang out with crazy people."

Tyree's tone of voice had not changed to one of camaraderie. "Maybe you should take him up on it. I have a question for you. Your period late?"

Tyree was wearing an assortment of golden bracelets and they clanged loudly as Lyn cleared her throat. "No…Jesus Ty. I just told you I have cramps."

Tyree's graceful tableau was over. She was leaning over the washer, hastily turning screws and nuts. "Didn't your momma teach you anything? What else?" She stopped to look at Lyn. "You’re not throwing up, are you?" She pushed her heavy glasses up on her face.

"No! I'm not throwing up. I'm not pregnant!"

Peter looked up from a magazine across the room.

The power blinked and dimmed and the fluorescent lights zapped out, though the afternoon light filtering in from the cafe windows was sufficient. The washers and dryers fell startlingly silent. Lyn stood as before, with her arms encircling her body, the body that spoke a foreign language, the body that deceived her.

Tyree stood in the path of the light streaming from the hall to the cafe. She reached into the shadows and took Lyn’s arm.

“It’s just a blackout, Ty. No need to freak out. You think you’d be used to them by now.” Now that the power was out, she was going to abandon her laundry for sure.

She expected Tyree to reply with something about the impact it would have on his new investment. Instead she said, “Lyn, have you been painting?”

At first she replied, “Yes,” then thought of the mural hiding on Ty’s wall. “No! Why?” The sunlight reflected off of Ty’s glasses, so her eyes were hidden behind two dark mirrors.

"Broken people want broken things.”

Tyree traced her finger in the air, outlining who knows what. “A child in your womb. The pale cold potion wears a crown. Don't go chasing serpents, trying to fix—” she looked at Lyn. “Bloody hands in a black room, your hands, your blood. I see.. borrowed words and secret skeletons, a body falling. Writing…You are not the person you watch. I hear…Elevator feet."

"God, Ty! You have been smoking too much wacky weed! Elevator feet? WTF." She analyzed her arm for broken skin. Ty removed her glasses, as if to better see what wasn’t in front of her.

Ty looked up, as if she could see this before her, in this very room "Don't paint, Lyn. Something out there, a force, I can feel it. Something you connecting with when you paint. You got to stop painting all together." There was sadness behind her chunky glasses.

"And if I don’t?"

But Tyree’s eyes were in that place again, and her response was not to what she has asked.

"Then you'll be the one broken, bones cracked and consciousness eked away, caught in the miserable garden of your mind, locked in the serpent hole, dying three times. It’s a great big knot of fate, looking so big in my mind, like big enough the whole world depends on it." Tyree looked at her: "Don't go Lyn! It all begins today! I have a very bad feeling!"

Many faced choices like Lyn’s: to journey down the dark alley, to return the wink, to take the leap. Many are called, but most choose safety and familiarity. And those people were mostly better off. If there was one lesson her dreams had taught her it was to ignore the warnings, full speed ahead. Sometimes you land on your feet but you always get what you deserve. But dreams lied; reality had proven it. Maybe that was why she didn’t trust them, thought the warning eyes were onto something. She thought again of Appa’s desk, and tugged at her sleeve. But the dreams had been gone for so long, as had that feeling of freedom that comes with total disregard for one’s own welfare. The return of her childhood dream had awakened something in her. Lyn knew she wouldn’t heed Tyree’s strange warning. Whatever home held in store for her, that’s where she was going. 

The End

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