An entertaining day at work was so to speak – fulfilling. Meeting others, chatting about mundane matters and making jokes about the strangeness of the life circulation and odd jobs. One might say it’s a typical work day.
Orchid had her research packed in stacks each representing specific type of topic related to file which read “Erick Sparrow AKA Lazy Cat”. Not many knew she became his house mate just to figure out the strange occurrence of the logical irrationality. Sadly to say, Lazy Cat was her experiment patient from whom she drew strange information. It seemed all like the fine person, up until the point when Erick was expressing his involvement with this parallel universe and a strange person he in a way relates to.
At first it seemed like an appearance of alter ego with amount of false information plundered into his head by someone or something. But with every passing day this hypothesis started to clash and crumble as it was not supported by any reasonable explanation. Erick was really strange patient.
Getting ready, packing files, saving data, closing all. Then getting one long check across the office floor filled with cubicles, and after another deep breath – back to field work.
The daytime in café. Lazy Cat sitting at the table next to window making his own observations in a way and by the look of it fully lost in thoughts. I could only approach and act “normal”.
“Hey Cat, what are you thinking of?” – I asked.
He without turning towards me sighted: “These creatures remind me of story once we made up with Niko. It is a small tale about Fairy who ended up losing wings.”
“Fairy who ended up losing wings” – I repeated as I pressed “record” button on the voice recorder in my pocket.
“Yes, that Fairy… – Erick looked up at the sky, sighted and continued, – The Fairy who approached human and fell in love. It happened one day as we were observing the butterflies in garden through Nikos eyes. Just happened to mutter the story as butterflies were spiralling around flowers and trees, it just began. The Fairy grew up next to human garden. She lived her life fully.
But one day – in this marvellous beauty garden appeared boy. He liked to sit with his back against the tree, looking upwards, towards sky, his face pale a bit. He looked dazzling to Fairy and she tried her best to be unseen, yet observe the boy… This one sided love continued for years, and as Fairy and by now Young Man, were there – in the garden, in silence and solitude observing clouds passing by. Fairy was mumbling to herself, hidden next to the Man : “Oh, you look at the blue sky again, today clouds are more puffy, just like you like them. Sun sure is joyful today. Wind makes your silky soft hair a bit of a mess…”
Then Fairy fell silent as the dark fairy of old religion appeared speaking to her. Saying that she could turn young Fairy into human, so that this boy gets to know of her feelings, and at that, price shall be negotiated later after. Fairy agreed, and next day as He came into garden to the same spot he was respectfully using for years, appeared now Human turned fairy. She wooed him with her beauty and so the love at first sight was born.
They sat there talking about the sky and the time, but then suddenly Fairy of Old religion appeared as an old witch cursing the fairy to become butterfly and the boy to become fire. Whole love ended so quick with butterfly turning to ash from the flames unable to bear the pain and wish to be one with the fire – her love. Fire dyed out with ash in it, as rain suddenly came. A bit of a very sad romance. But I think that I and Niko have a crush towards such stories.”
Lazy Cat looked at me now, his eyes piercing into mine. Every time he looked in my eyes I felt as a stripped down person, with nothing on, even skin and bones were off. Like he looked into my soul – touching bare ends of me. That was a lot of pressure to put up with every time.
Then, as if something chipped inside, Cat looked out on the sky, having a bit of a dazed look now: “Let’s head home.”
Evening crept up quite fast, I was sitting in a conservatory, having tea and mulling over the lot of ideas. Morose at the end of the day. Erick walked into the room and sat in the chair. It was just plain silence for a while. Then as I turned my head to look at him – I found him asleep on the chair. Looking so peaceful.
I turned back to watch the scenery behind the glass wall. All eaten by darkness, just bit of moonlight peeking out from the clouds. As if demons and dark souls are trying to overtake the world, and moon shakes them off every time it comes out to watch the planet.
“It is a marvellous night, don’t you think?” – Voice of a woman striked me in surprise, I jolted to the side of the chair and searched for the source of where the voice came from. And there she stood – black and red hair, pale skin, strange clothes. She was half see through, like ghost. Right next to Erick.
This is abnormality. I have never seen anything like this. Even all the data I read and processed, studied, has nothing about such development.
Not sure what to do, I replied:
“It is indeed.” – My voice sounded like it belonged to someone else. So unrealistic.
“I know who you are Elyon. I know what you do. I just think it is about time I introduce myself to you. My name is Niko. I think Erick had said a lot about me already.”
I looked at her – stunned still by the frozen in time fact: that there is this ghost, in front of me – speaking. But it is quite a strange occurrence that I finally see… I see something that is eventually not within Erick. It is actually not him. It… Niko exists? That was not a possibility up until now. On a level of something unreal. Absolutely not true. But how?
“Don’t fear me dear. I am of no harm to you. Unless you threaten Ericks peace – that is when I am of harm to you.” – said ghost and smiled at me. She seemed to know that my research is not just keeping “tabs” on him.
“I am not going to harm him, – I finally got my voice back, – I am just…” – I needed to ease it out, in case things might get complicated.
“You are just researching him. Because you find his and mine stories – quite intriguing.” – Niko cut me off.
“Yes, – I breathed out, – I am researching him… And you as well, actually.”
At this moment I was not sure what to say, as it was now up to this creature to continue its story. Because I did question her existence and I still do. But seeing her is more than something odd and new. No science known can explain – This.
“So, would you like to ask questions? Anything?” – Niko in a way encouraged me with sarcasm.
I felt that this could turn worse if I ask questions of interest. The pressure of not making mistake was getting me anxious.
“What are you? I was full sure that you are Ericks alter ego, not something like this. What is your connection then?” – Some questions started to pour out of me; I had so much more I needed to ask, yet was quite unsure if that would be “fine”.
“I am more like a ghost in this realm, but I am a living being in mine. I am an actual human, with my life and things I do, with family and with problems. You could put it this way: I am in a way through wormhole of some sort able to communicate like this to you” – She smiled at me, then looked at Erick, -“As for Erick, I am a bit differently connected to him. We have a link that keeps us resonating to one another. Therefore we are like two parts of same mind just in two different places at the same time. Complex, in a way.
Like a voice in your head – he saw me and I saw him. We look through each other’s eyes. We listen through each other’s ears. We both are alienated in our own realms. I allowed Erick to have a walk in my body on my planet once – that was a lot of new experiences for him.He found it quite tough, but he keeps on going back, asking me to give him my body for few walks now and again.”
Niko walked to Erick and stroked his bed hair. Smiling she turned to me – looking at my reaction. Should I give a reply, or throw another question?
“So, he was telling truth all along… But that is just such an unusual occurrence. It is just out of place. How could this happen?” – I got up and walked closer to her. She stood beside Erick.
“Just happens like that. I might pull you to see… – Niko abruptly stopped, then looked outside. As if someone called her – she turned towards the hallway. – I have to go now.”
And just as I opened my mouth again to say something – she vanished in thin air.
Unsure of what just happened and how to digest it, my legs were taking me to bed. I think I am too morose right now to process any information. And this information is way beyond my understanding right now.
I left Erick, Lazy Cat, sleeping on the chair in the conservatory. I could swear when I was already passing through kitchen he woke up and said something, but I was already too far to make out words. It caught my attention – the fact that it somehow scared me.
It gave me chills and I felt like I don’t know person that stayed there – at all.
With these thoughts running through my head like bugs – I stood in my room looking around. Simple room: chair and table opposite the window, then very thick windowsill which perfectly can fit and hold my sitting bottom there. Bed in the corner of the room and an old dresser. It all is so common to me and became part of my life, but right now – it all is swirling into abyss of nothingness. Leaving feeling of absence of something. The important part that might help me figure out all I need to know. But where should I look for it? Where is this magical knowledge which will make me whole again?
Getting into bed, staring at the ceiling – like it will have the answer written in there. Am I just going insane or is this really the new reality?
Sky is shining bright with moonlight, stars are countlessly mimicking the blinking of one another.
“You will take her, right, Niko?” – Erick said as he woke up, hearing footsteps at the back.
Then, as the door of the room went shut – Niko appeared in front of Erick.
“She might be helpful, you know?” – Niko smiled.
“She might ruin our bond, you know…” – Erick looked Niko in the eyes.
Right now the ghostly appearance was hard, touchable and as real as Erick himself. Niko reached for Eriks hand, gripping it tight, her face drew closer to Ericks face. He could feel her breath on his cheek, as she spoke : ” You don’t need to worry. I’ll erase her if it needs to be done. You know I will.”
He closed his eyes, breathing out heavily.
“I know you will protect me.”
Erick turned to face Niko and kissed her. Sweet soft lips and burning hot tongue of hers. Unsteady breath, mesmerising gaze of half-closed eyes. Ericks hand reached her face, his palm cupped her cheek – as he kissed her passionately. Then he pulled himself away from kiss.
“I love you, my dear”, he breathed. He liked the feeling of her soft warm skin.
“I love you, dear Muse.” – Her voice stern and soft.
With these words Niko vanished again.
Erick sat looking at his hand, that moment ago touched her.
“You always leave that ash in my hand as you fly like the night moth. That bloody butterfly in the sky…”