After walking for another quarter of a mile they reached what they assumed to be Witch Pond. There was no sign to tell them this was the place, but it was a pond, surrounded by a swamp, with spooky dead wood trees all about, and certainly looked like a place any self respecting witch would pick for a home. Indeed across the pond they could see, half hidden by the forest, what appeared to be a perfectly sterotypical witch's hovel on the shore. It was as perfectly spooky as a picture on a Halloween card.
Quaraun wasn't noticing the pond or the hoval on the other side. He was too busy slumped over a boulder, vomiting. The poor Elf was not doing much better then he had been eariler when they had seen the sign post directing them to the pond.
"How long does this stuff take to wear off?" ZooLock asked Unicorn.
The priest was becoming increasingly agitated by the Elf's increased lack of sanity.
"No way to tell." Unicorn's bolsterous expression stilled and grew serious. "I did no see what he took or how much. I usualy monitor these things. Him small Elf. Do'na take much to get him gone loopy. Him too prone to overdose himself for me to trust him taking anyt'ing on hims own."
"He's done this before then?" ZooLock twisted several puce tentacles worriedly. "I'm not happy with the idea of him tampering with his mind. Think of how this effects the eggs... the poor Sacred Pink Jelly Fish."
"He be high almost every day."
"I've never seen him do this before."
ZooLock stared at the spaced out Elf.
"No. Him usually not take enough to make it act like this. He took too much of somet'ng. Would help if I knew what it was him took. It'll wear off after a while though. Not much we can do but wait."
"How long does it usually last?"
"Six hours! Six hours of this? What will that do to the wee ba... the Jelly Fish?"
"Ayha." Unicorn answered. "Six hours minimum. Twelve hours if he took other stuff same time, which he might have. Days, if he took a lot. Him took took much it could kill him or damage him. I has seen other take too much stays with them weeks. Un I t'ink the Jelly Fish the one what does it. Him did no take this stuff before him had Jelly brain ya know."
"Why do you give him anything like that?"
"Him in pain. It help. But I knows how to give him. I give him 'nough to calm him, Help sleep wid out de pain. Dis... dis, what we see now. Him take too much. Un what I give him. Even if him took too much, it no do dis. Him took some'ing else. I know not what. Many t'ing have dis reaction."
"What can you do?"
"To help him? Not much. Not when I knows not what him took. Just watch him. Try un keep him calm. Wait for it to wear off. Hope it not hurt him 'fore it does. Dis not good t'ing him did. Him no understand drugs. Him t'ink like child."
"You said he was in pain?"
"Him sad. Him lonely. Him miss him children. Un BoomFuzzy."
"But he killed his children and you are BoomFuzzy."
"Him loved his children. Him is tormented by what him done. I suspect him were quite high when him kill them. Him no good at no taking too much. When him sad him take too much. No realize it. Forget he take it, take again. When him very sad, him take many times too much. I left him once. Gone long time. We had fight. Him try to kill me."
"Tie me up. Put me on altar. Cut me gullet open. Him out of head bad then. I almost die. So I leave. No come back. Gone many months. Him badly regret what happen. Him much nicer to me now. Scared I leave again if him even raise voice. So him be very submissive to me now. Him were not so before. Him scared of himself now. Him knows him have problem, know not what to do. Him kill him best friend. Now him very scared."
"He killed someone else?"
"Him kill many some one else's. Him kill Moon Elves. Sun Elves. A Pixie village. Everyone in valle of Katopas. The Di'Jinn."
"He didn't used to be like this."
"No. Un him no remember what him do. Too high when him do it. Him see dead people after un no knows do it. If very scared. Him no want hurt people."
"Which bring me back to my question: why give it to him?"
"I already done tolds ya. What I give him, it no what make him do these t'ings. Him take other t'ings. T'ings I no give him. I tell him not to. Tell no do dat. Him no can stop."
"He didn't take drugs. Not before he met you. You're a drug deal."
"I Faerie. We all make these things. It no meant for none Fae to take. It no do to us wat it do to Elves and Humans."
"He shouldn't take it."
"Ya should no has put Jelly Fish in him head."
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"Ya Sacred Pink Jelly Fish is very unhappy at being implanted in him head, ya know? She wanted her freedom. When ya kidnapped her out of her ocean. She dreamed of escape. When ya kept her looked in a tiny bowl of water, she hoped to return to her sea. Now she trapped for eternity in the skull of an Elf. She can no stand it. It torture for her. She not born inside Elf body like ya was. She was feral Thullid in natural state. Ya took that away from her. It why she keeping ya in chains now. Yis be priest what put her in this Elf. She want ya to know what it feels like to have ya freedom taken away."
"I was not trying to hurt her. I never wanted to hurt her. I saved her. The rebels would have killed her. Putting her in this Elf was the only way to save her life."
"Ya killed the Elf. I t'ink she would rather have died instead. Only t'ing that keeps her going is trying to be the Elf she killed. And she having a hard time of that or t'is sort of t'ing would na keep a happening."
"And you don't know what he took?"
"Him were picking flowers. I did nae knows he was eating them as well. I could have paids attention to which ones he was eating, had I gone and thunk he would eat them."
"What might he have eaten?"
"Poppies most likely. We was in a field of poppies. Shit ton load of poppies back in that field. More likely was drinking raw tears, straight from the pod. Not as strong as if it were refined, but certainly different reaction from normal. Or Morning Glories. There could have been some morning glories out there. Right time of year for the seed pods on them too. A handful of those would has done this to him. Or mushrooms. Mushrooms is everywhere and him be known to grab a few of those from time ta time. And spearmint. Been seeing that everywhere. He could has been chewing on it all day. Who knows? All thems grow wilds around here. Who knows what else? I does nae knows this forest. All sorts of strange tings could be out here for him to nibble on and get wonky with."
"You do not suggest he just randomly eats plants not knowing what they'll do to him?"
"Oh fuck yeah. Him does it all the time. Always on look out for new plants to give him new highs. Him fucking wicked addicted to it in fact."
"And he does this frequently?"
"Aye. Every damn fucking day, him taking trips to the moon. Ya get used to it."
"Why have I never seen him do this before?"
"Well, usually I give him stuff and him does not go looking for it on him own. I knows how much to give him to keep him from going off fucking deep end like this, sos usually ya sees him just wide eyed and not acting too much out of character for him."
"So he took too much of something now?"
"Too much? Oh hell, yeah, too much of somet'ng and wrong time of day."
"What does time of day have to do with it?"
"In day time it impair him judgement, like what ya seeing right this now. I usually give it to him just before bed. Helps him sleep. Him too scared of sleep otherwise."
"He's scared to sleep?" ZooLock stared at the Elf. "How does one be scared of sleep?"
"Nightmares. Bad ones. Fucking pogo man."
"Pogo man? What's that?"
"I does no know. His dad murdered his mum when him was just wee lil pup of an Elf. Then him has murder of him four babies stuck in him head. And me fucking suicide does plague him every night. Him cling to me desperate to make sure I does no re-die on him again. Him no sleep well. Him go many weeks between sleep. So I make him happy dreams. Give him eggnog to send him to happy lands at night. This way him have happy dreams. Usually. I try to not give it to him during the day, on account of him get like this."
"That doesn't have anything to do with the things you do to him at night?"
"Aye. It does. That be a Yorhinbre bark. Oooh! Makes him all tingly in his balls! Gets him wanting to rub them on something to relieve the tension. Let's me rub me own balls on his. We both get to go to high heaven."
"Does he know you're drugging him so you can molest him?"
"Aye. It were his idea."
"Him like the drugs. Him like getting the tingles in him balls. Him like getting double fucked up his arse by a double dicked horse. Him like hanging by his balls from the ceiling."
"Heh ha! Ya should join us in bed sometime Squidy. T'ink of all de places ya could stick them tentacles."
"Why I never!"
Unicorn had let go of Quaraun and the Moon Elf wandered away from the road, zig-zagging back and forth along the edge of the pond.
"Hey!" Unicorn called out to the Elf. "Ya gets ya arse too close ya gonna fall in."
Quaraun wasn't listening however. He was too busy staring down at the pink and white lily pads growing along the edge. Unicorn trotted up beside Quaraun.
"Whatcha looking at?"
The pony stared down into the water, but saw nothing but lily pads floating quietly in the murky peat boggy muck that rippled along the pond's mossy edge. Suddenly Quaraun yelped and ran, stumbling across the road, and falling into the ditch.
"Oh fuck titties! What are ya doing in there?" Unicorn said as he trotted across the road. "Ya missed the pond when ya fell over. But ya fricking muckier here then had ya landed in the water."
"There is a fuzzy Swamp Shark after me," Quaraun said, terror dripping from his voice.
Unicorn looked back at the pond.
"There were nothing there," he said as he turned back to Quaraun.
ZooLock waddled over to the water and looked in. "Nope. Nothing here," he agreed with the horse.
"There's sharks in the water," Quaraun said as he huddled back against the tree he was leaning against. "They're falling out of the sky."
Quaraun pointed down to the water.
"Outta the sky?"
Quaraun nodded. Still pointing at the water.
"That not sky."
"What is it?" Quaraun whispered, his voice growing more fearful.
"It be water."
The Moon Elf's eyes widened even bigger then they already were.
"Why is it up there?"
Unicorn brought his face close to the Elf's and looked deep into his eyes. Quaraun's pupils were dilated so much that the blue of his eyes was no where to be seen.
"Morning glories be me guess," Unicorn said to ZooLock. "Look at what it done to him eyes. Him eyes get like that when him has had too many morning glory seeds. Not sure him know how to count or measure. T'ree hundred seeds is him limit. He prob'y ate way more then that."
Quaraun screamed again and grabbed hold of Unicorn, hugging the pony for dear life.
"They're after me," the frightened Elf wailed.
"What is?" Unicorn crocked between the Elf's strangle hold on his throat, looking around and seeing nothing.
"Sharks. They want my testicles."
"Oh boy. Here he goes. Sharks live in oceans. This here be pond. Swampy pond."
"They're Swamp Sharks," Quaraun whispered. "They're gonna take my eggs!"
"There be no such t'ing."
"They're covered with fur. We need to escape."
"Sharks don't has no fur."
"They're right behind you. They'll eat us."
"I sees nothing."
"You never do," ZooLock added. "Even if there was something there, you wouldnt see it. You're blind."
"Yis not helping, ZooLock."
"I saw them," Quaraun whispered.
"I bet ya did," Unicorn whinnied. "Ya gone loopy today. I does no doubt ya seeing a lot of t'ings right now."
"I see a meadow up ahead," ZooLock pointed out. "Perhaps we should get him over there. He can rest for a few hours. We can watch for danger from the hill and he could sleep off whatever this is he's on."
"Aye. Excepting him no gonna sleep. Him wide awake and ready to run at every sound. More so then usual. Him got lots o t'ing to run from around him right now. Not sure what him took. Mushroom maybe. Him seeing bad shit wanting to kill him, that not usual."
Unicorn turned back into his Humanoid form and reached he hand out to the fallen Moon Elf who was still sitting in the mud in the ditch.
"Come on, we sees a place ya can rest. No sharks to bite ya balls off over there. See?"
Unicorn pointed towards the direction ZooLock had suggested the meadow to be in. He couldn't see the meadow, but he assumed ZooLock to be telling the truth. Being almost blind, he couldn't really do anything else.
When they reached the meadow, Unicorn directed Quaraun to sit and rest rest. He sat down beside the Elf and watched as Quaraun, once again, slowly fell over and then stared up at the sun.
"There's no sharks on the sun," Quaraun said.
"Nope, not one," Unicorn agreed. "Ya balls is safe here."
Nothing else happened for quiet some time. Quaraun spent the rest of the day, laying on his back, intently watching the clouds drift by and pointing out the various monsters he saw jumping out of them, while Unicorn and ZooLock, tried to patently wait for the drugged Elf to come back to his senses.
Several hours slowly drifted past and soon the pink glaze of sunset was whispering against the big fluffy white clouds.
"There's a pretty, pink sequined axolotli up there," Quaraun said, pointing up at the clouds. His voice sounded clear and normal again.
"What a axolotli?" Unicorn asked.
"A white salamander that lives under the water."
"That was a full and complete sentence."
Quaraun turned his head and looked at the Faerie Horses sitting beside him.
"Why wouldn't it be?"
"Ya been gibbering about strange t'ngs all day, most of them not coming out in full sentences, half the time slurred up so much ya can no tell what words it was ya were intending to be saying."
"I took too much of something, didn't I?"
"Aye. Ya did."
Quaraun sat up and looked around.
"my head hurts."
"I bet it does."
"I feel weird."
"Yis still high. Just less loopy."
"I feel like I'm flying outside of my head."
"That not good."
"I feel like there's two of me, trying to break out and run away in different directions."
"What did ya take?"
"Nothing. I didn't take anything."
"Ya took somet'ing."
"I don't remember taking anything."
"Maybe ya forgot when sharks was after ya."
"Ya was out of ya head for a bit. A bit more then a bit."
"I feel like I still am."
"What ya feeling?"
"Like I'm falling. Like everything around me is a big black hole and I'm just falling and I can't stop. Make it go away. I want it to stop. I feel like I'm falling out of the sky. Forver ever and ever and I can't hit the ground. And there's blackness tring to swallow my feet."
"I tinks ya is still seeing tings."
"Make it stop."
"Make what stop?"
"I can't stop falling."
"Yis got ye bum sitting firmly on ground."
Quaraun looked down at the ground then ran his hand through the grass.
"I can see it."
"The ground. It's there. I can see it there. Why... I feel like I'm falling through it and it's not there. I can see I'm not."
"And ya can no remember what ye took?"
"I didn't take anything. I know I didn't."
"Maybe someting got in ya food? Ya eat any wild berries or plants or mushrooms. Anyt'ing that look normal, but may have not been what ya t'ought it were."
"I don't think so. Where are we?"
"Having a moment of quiet contemplation on a nice grassy knoll overlooking Witch Pond."
"Witch Pond?" Quaraun gazed out over the swampy pond. "What are we doing here?"
"Ya tells me. It be ya idea to come here."
"Ya was tripping quiet a lot this morning."
"Yes. I remember ... some .... of it. How did we get here?"
"We does what we always does. We walked. We kind of half dragged ya. Ya was looking at stars and moons where there were none."
"Yis feeling somewhat better if ya noticing the dirt."
"There's dirt on me."
"Yeah, ya kept laying in the road. Could nea get ya to stand up most of the day."
"I need a bath," Quaraun said.
Quaraun stood up quickly, then stumbled and sat back down.
"Yeah. Ya nay out of de woods yet."
"I need a bath."
"Ya will drown ya self if ya can not stand up."
"Help me bathe."
Unicorn helped Quaraun as he bathed himself. It always amazed Unicorn that this Elf who daily sought out a brook, pond, river, lake, or ocean to wade into and bathe himself, was also the same Elf who ran screaming in mortal terror from bridges, had a horrific fear of crossing water via fallen logs, avoided rain, and spent an inordinate amount of time worrying that he'd fall into inch deep mud puddles and drown.
“Tell me how it is," Unicorn asked Quaraun. "That ya be so fearfully terrified of every wee little thing. Water afearing ya more then most things. How does someone so terrified of water, bathe so much?”
Quaraun looked down at the water he was currently waist deep in.
"I am scared of water, but I'm more afraid of being dirty.”
"Ya is dirty this time, but what about all the other times?"
"Ya bathe every damn day. That ain't normal. No one else does. Ya know de Humans have laws against it. Exicute ya as a witch iffy ya bathe more then twice a year."
"I'm not a Human."
"Elves does no bathe this much ether."
"Yis trying to live in water, but yis trapped in body what can no breath under water, then eh?"
"I almost drowned once. I didn't know... I didn't Elves couldn't beath under water. I don't want to lose this body. Have to change Elves. This body is beautiful."
"It is that."
As they sit on grassy hill overlooking Witch Pond, which is actually a large swamp, edged with dead wood trees, Quaraun contemplated the events of the day. The ones which he could remember, that is. The murky water was covered with lily pads and cattails along the roadside edge. To the far side across the pond, he could see a beaver damn. Beaver chewed tree stumps stood here and there around the road side. Quaraun was sitting with his knees pulled up to his chest, his chin resting on his knees. Unicorn, in the form of a little black Shetland pony, was sitting beside the Elf, quietly munching on grass. ZooLock was laying on the grass to the other side of Quaraun and had fallen asleep.
"This is a nice place," Quaraun said quietly.
"It is," Unicorn agreed.
"Where are we?"
"I'd say ya has arrived at a vast, dark, foggy swamp."
This novel was originally written on: 2014 - 2016
This page last updated on: April 17, 2017