Dear Mr. Fantasy, Take Me Out of This Gloom
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April 22, 2016

I've never been a fan of bugs, slime, bats, sulfurous odors, snakes or closed-in spaces with no light. Let me assure you that the hole I fell into--strike that--got thrown into...is far from airy and light. Come to think of it, the darkness is a gift because you can't SEE the bugs, snakes, bats and God knows what pressing in around you. But, of course, there IS that reassuring crunch underfoot and the whoosh of little wings and the smell of damp things that wriggle.

It took me a full five minutes to remember I had a wand tucked into my pocket and another minute or two to figure out how to keep it lit (it has something to do with not trying too hard or squeezing too tight).

This brings me to what I've been mulling over a lot lately. And that is...I walk around most of the time completely underestimating myself. Here I am, 50 years old and I don't seem to know myself. I don't have a grasp of my gifts, what makes me tick, what I want to explore within myself. In many ways I walk around each day up there above ground in broad daylight and I might as well be in a cave. It's like the inside of my head is the cave and I don't know what's there. The light's not on and I've forgotten I have a wand that can create light.

I am writing it here for posterity that I vow to turn on the light, so speak, in my own life. I vow to remember I have "a wand" or the means to illuminate my own thoughts and my own life from this point forward.

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[Nighttime on the Full Moon before Halloween: Phoebe, in a fit of hurt, bitterness and anger, has been quarantined by the tiny fairies that inhabit her island and fear her presence as a larger fairy who has never been properly trained or initiated into the world of fairydom. Fairies who have darker emotions can begin to act out their powers in a dark way and wreak havoc on their environment. For this reason, the tiny fairies encapsulated Phoebe, dressed as Alice in Wonderland for Halloween, in a fiery bubble and catapulted her into the air then down, down, down into a very deep rabbit hole.]

Phoebe lands on the ground with a thud.

Phoebe: That hurt.

There is an echo and the sound of dripping water like a leaky faucet.

In the dim light, Phoebe pushes herself up and dusts herself off. She takes a tentative step, then another. She reaches out and her hand meets with a wet, slimy wall. She recoils. Step by step, she walks along the wall until she steps on something that crunches and she emits a little shriek.

Phoebe takes a deep breath and pulls her wand out of her pocket.

Phoebe: Light. [she whispers]

Nothing happens.

Phoebe: Lumos? No, that was Harry Potter.

Phoebe shakes the wand like a thermometer. Nothing.

Phoebe (holds wand at arms length and creases her brow): I command you to light.

Darkness.

Phoebe: If you light up now, you can have dessert after dinner.

A tiny spark flies off the end of the wand.

Phoebe: Oh my gosh! I did it. Um...what do wands like? Sweets?

The tip of her wand glows green.

Phoebe: Okay, then. I will bake you an apple pie if you can help us get out of here. Deal?

The light from the wand grow brighter and brighter until its nearly blinding to look at directly.

Phoebe: Good boy. Let's see where this goes.

Phoebe points the light ahead of her, where the cave seems to continue, sort of like a corridor with the occasional bat.

Phoebe: Well, I guess we have to try.

Phoebe moves through the cavernous rooms that seem to flow one to the other, each looking more or less the same.

Phoebe (to her wand): I suppose I should give you a name, right?

The light from the wand pulsates.

Phoebe: I will take that as a yes. How about Freddy?

The light dims and little blue bubbles fall out of the end and float sadly toward the floor.

Phoebe: Not Freddy. Okay, how about Justin?

The wand turns pink and makes a raspberry sound.

Phoebe: Roosevelt?

The wand seems to sag.

Phoebe: You're right. Too pretentious. How about Spike? That was my cat's name once upon a...

The wand jumps out of Phoebe's hand and twirls in the air. Rainbows of light spout from the tip and it almost sounds like the wand is purring.

Phoebe: Spike it is! So Spike, Where do you think we should go?

The wand seems to pull Phoebe around so that she is facing where she came from.

Phoebe: Back there? That doesn't seem right...

The wand grows brighter and brighter still until, just 10 feet away, the silhouette of a rabbit appears, a 6-foot-tall rabbit standing upright on its two hind legs. Phoebe startles.

Phoebe: Whatever you are. Watch out! Spike is vicious. Make a false move and you loose an ear.

The wand tip curves around like it's looking at her and shakes its head like it's disappointed. The Rabbit cocks its head.

Rabbit: You're a bit late, aren't you?

Phoebe: Late for what?

Rabbit: Cause I would think you'd want to be there by now.

Phoebe: Be where?

Rabbit: You've been expected, I should imagine.

Phoebe: By whom?

Rabbit: I suppose I will need to lead you.

Phoebe: Yes! I would be ever so obliged it you could take me to the exit door to this cave, or at least help me climb out, if possible. You look strong. Maybe just give me a leg up?

Rabbit: Oh, no, no. You can't want to leave! Why would you want to leave where you are?

Phoebe: I don't belong here. I belong up there. [Phoebe points up]

Rabbit (shakes his head): The grass is always greener...

Phoebe: What?! I just need to get back home. I don't belong here.

Rabbit: Oh if you're here, you belong here. Make no mistake about that.

Phoebe (looks around): Well, maybe I should just keep searching on my own. Thanks anyway.

Phoebe begins to turn around.

Rabbit: Have you ever considered acceptance? Just accept that you are here and not there.

Phoebe: What good would that do?

Rabbit: For one thing, you'd feel better about being here.

Phoebe: I have a life up there. I have a gallery. Kids. I can't stay here even if it were the South of France. I have to find my way home.

Rabbit: Is it a life, or is it a prison?

Phoebe falters and makes a face like she's thinking.

Phoebe: It's a life.

Rabbit: Well, then why did you come here?

Phoebe: Not of my own accord. I did not choose this.

Rabbit: I will say it one more time, if you are here, you chose to be here. You can't come here unless you choose it.

Phoebe: Where IS here?

Rabbit: You mean you don't know?

Phoebe: Clearly not.

Rabbit: This is your subterranean subconscious. You can never escape your subterranean subconscious. You can go back up there, but you are always here. Whether you like it or not. I say, look around and see the possibilities. You could fix it up and make it kind of nice, don't you think?

Phoebe: I'm...I'm just going to keep looking for the exit. If you know where that is, then show me. Otherwise, I will be on my way.

Rabbit: You can't really "exit," as you say, but you can go back.

Phoebe: Great! What can I do to convince you to show me how? Old Spike here likes pie. Can I make you a pie?

Rabbit: Sure, I'm a pie.

The rabbit turns around and walks away. Phoebe looks around like she doesn't know which way she wants to go. Finally, she rolls her eyes and follows the rabbit, who seems to be taking her back to the place she landed. Ahead of the rabbit a small white light begins to grow. Phoebe follows the silhouette of the rabbit as the light gets bigger and brighter to the point it's hard to look into and she can barely make out the rabbit's outline. And suddenly, she is on the road next to her crashed golf cart.

Phoebe looks at the cart and runs her hand over the bumper, which now has a dent.

Phoebe: Crap. How am I going to pay for this?

A man's voice behind her: Maybe I can help.

Phoebe spins around to find Julian in his usual dark tee shirt and dark jeans, skin pale as ever.

Phoebe: You know, I'm actually glad to see you.

Julian: Really? [Julian looks doubtful]

Phoebe: Yeah. Really.

Julian: Huh.

Julian steps closer and leans down to kiss Phoebe. Phoebe wraps her arms around his neck and they kiss.

 

 

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