Never Make Eye Contact

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At the idea of lying in bed longer, my hand instinctively slammed down on the wailing alarm clock. The combination of lumpy hotel pillows and Pete’s disgust with people being late eventually had me crawling from my covers. Knowledge of why this meet was urgent, before flying across country, would have been nice. However, this wasn’t the case. Could the authorities really be tapping his phone?

Stumbling through the darkness in my underwear, I located the kitchen and turned on the coffeemaker.  After a few gurgles, steam rose, and it was time to enjoy. When finished, I tracked down the telephone to call Pete. The phone rang a few times before the answering machine started.

“You’ve reached Peter Bryson with Bry-Tech Corp. I am unable to answer your call right now.  Please leave your name and number after the tone. Beeeep.”

“Hey, it’s me. Just woke up–“

“Oh good. I’ve been waiting for your call, Kate,” Pete jumped in.

“Pete? Did you just fake your own voice-mail message?” I asked, startled.

“Yeah, I can’t risk having anything recorded at the moment.”

“Ummm … Okay. Anyways, what time are we meeting?”

“I’ll be there in five.” His voice was quickly replaced by a dial tone.

“Pete?”

I placed the phone down then began scurrying around the hotel room, trying to get ready before Pete arrived.  I just managed to pull my pants on when there was a knock at the door.

“Kate, it’s me,” said a familiar voice.

“Coming.”

I peeked through the hole to make sure it was him. All the talk about authorities freaked me out. I immediately recognized his curly orange hair and thick rimmed glasses, and unlocked the door.

“Long time no see,” we said, embracing.

“So, where are we going? I didn’t know what to wear.” I twirled around, showing off my t-shirt and jeans ensemble.

“We’re not,” Pete responded curtly. “I brought what you need to see.”

“Oh, here, have a seat.” I pointed at the burgundy couch shoved up against the wall close to the bed.

Pete walked over and plopped down, placing a large suitcase on the table in front of him.  He carefully pulled out a small carrying case.

“Come here,” he said.

I hesitated, a bit afraid of what might be inside the cage. As I reached the table he flipped it to face me.  A slight buzzing sound projected from within, like the sound of a hummingbird in flight. Curious, I knelt down.

I couldn’t quite figure out what I was looking at, it appeared to be a giant butterfly rapidly fluttering its wings, hovering.  At one point, the insect turned sideways and I saw that it was, in fact, an over-sized butterfly.

“A butterfly?”

“I really need you to open your mind, okay? Can you do that? You’re seeing what it wants you to see. I know you can do this.  Just try.”

“What it wants me to see? Um, alright.”

I didn’t know what Pete was talking about, but I shut my eyes to clear my mind. Breathing in, I pictured myself slashing through the inside of a cardboard box with a knife. When freed from the confines of the imaginary entrapment, I took another look. This time what I saw was unbelievable; a miniature human with wings.

She was the size of a stapler with long flowing black hair. Her body was wrapped in a leaf and a plethora of colour splashed out from behind her. How can this be? I turned to Pete, “Is this some kind of computer enhanced illusion or something?”

“She’s a Pixie. That’s why I couldn’t say anything over the phone.”

“A pixie?” I  was laughing at this point. “Like the kind we all read about as children?”

“Yes, that kind,” Pete said, annoyed. “You’re the only person I trust, so listen up. I found her in a cave I stumbled on in Nunavut when I ventured too far from camp.  I was a little out of it from the cold which is why I think I was able to see her in natural form.”

“Right …”

“I captured her and brought her back to study. She seems to have some kind of glamour ability that blocks us from seeing her true form if we believe nothing out of the ordinary exists in the world.”

“Mmhmmm …”

“It appears the legends are true, except for one thing.” Pete looked around the room quickly. “She’s a hybrid.”

“Let me get this straight,” I said, narrowing my eyes. “You found a pixie-hybrid tucked away in the caves of Nunavut while on an exploration.”

“Yes, dammit! You can’t deny you’ve seen it too.”

“Okay, okay. You understand that, even as your best friend and fellow geologist, this is overwhelming.”

“I know.”

“A hybrid with what?”

“Make direct eye-contact, you’ll see.”

I got her attention by tapping the cage.  Hearing the noise, she spun around.  The blue in her wings glowed against the grey backdrop of her surroundings. Our eyes locked and she immediately started to vibrate; her expression went from indifferent to angry, her forehead crinkled and her tiny hands clenched into fists.

*POOF!*

An explosion of green shot out as the leaf burst from her body. The sound of a fast-forwarding tape filled the air as the little creature violently pinged off the walls.  In a split-second, she was gnawing at the bars in front of my face. She had transformed into an aggressive, minuscule flying wolf; a were-pixie.

“Don’t get too close, Kate.” Pete said, lifting his arm to show the small bite marks.

“Whoa!” I watched as she snarled and bit at the metal door. “Does she ever calm down?”

“Stop looking at her.”

“So, she’s a were-pixie thing?”

“Yes, and I believe there are other creatures out there.”

“Hmmm … When do we leave for Nunavut?” I asked, smirking.

Pete’s mouth quirked into a smile, “I knew you’d be on board. We’ll leave first thing in the morning.”


Author Notes

4 Comments for “Never Make Eye Contact”

Tim Hillebrant

says:

HI Anisa!

I loved this! I was very much reminded of the Charles DeLint, an author who writes fantasy very similar to this. I’d love to see you take this somewhere- I like the premise you set.
And besides, I want to know if more were-pixies live in Nunavit.

Tim

says:

This is a wonderful bit of storyline! By the end, I was really wanting to go on this search hunt with them for hybrid were-pixies! Love the fantasy/mystery venue.

One nit:
“I hesitated, a bit afraid of what might be inside the {cage}.” (You describe Pete bringing out a small carrying case. Should this be case instead of cage? Or, as I read further, add something about a cage being in the case? Just kinda threw me off.)

Write On!
Becky

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