One more Friday flash. A quick piece not at all inspired by the fact that my child is at last returning home after a month at sleepaway camp.
You weren’t thinking about your partner or your child when you made the wish. You should have been, but who wouldn’t wish to live forever? It’s what people have sought throughout the ages. Your wish was granted; you’d join the revels in the fairy realm and live forever.
So they took you, away from this world, to the fairy realm and the revels there. So you dances, you frolicked. You drank sweet nectar, ate ambrosia. You thought you’d stay for a day, return to your family.
The moon rose, the moon set. And again, and again.
Through it all you dance, you eat, and you drink. Finally, you realized that even if this iss life eternal, it isn’t really a life. SO you leave, walking back towards your home and family.
You leave the glen where the fey held their revels, you walk through a dark forest. You remember to stay on the path, confident that it would leave back, back to your world. The path always leaves home, for those who stay on it. This you believe.
A year passes. You forget the sound of your partner’s voice.
You reach the end of the forest, find yourself at the edge of a trackless desert. Surely home will be on the other side. Surely.
You walk, navigating by the inconstant stars and the memory of your child’s eyes. Bright blue eyes.
You’ve learned your lesson from the revel, resist the temptation to pause at an oasis and drink. You’re hungry and thirsty.
Ten more years pass before you leave the desert. You forget the color of your child’s hair.
You come to the ocean, build a raft of driftwood. Home must be nearby. You push off into the sea and drift.
Twenty years pass, and then another twenty. You forget your partner’s voice, the color of your child’s hair.
You forget your own name.
You drift until, in the distance, you spy a lighthouse. Its beacon is blue, the color of your child’s eyes. The only thing you remember.
On the shore, beyond the beach you find a small house in which an old, old person sits watching the sea. Their eyes are blue, the blue you remember.
You great them. Tears well up in those blue eyes as you embrace, and as you realize that you did it all wrong. They should have wandered, you should have stayed home to wait.