Secret of a Son.
The darkness of the night felt like a dead man’s touch on my skin. As I breathed in, I felt it burning my lungs with ancient evil, mysteries and magic. It made me nauseate, it felt as if my own body was trying to suffocate me. My eyes sprang open as the lightning sailed across my window. Thunder followed like an old man. I walked over to the window and stared at the yoghurt crescent moon. The clouds bagged it within a few minutes. As the first drops splashed on my face I went back inside and pulled the sheets over me. As time hurried past I fell asleep.
I felt her breathe next to me. Her skin was so soft that when I felt her face my fingers slipped. I kissed her on the cheek.
“Good morning” I said “It’s time to take your medicine”
“Mmmm…honey that can wait till the sun comes up cant it? Come on…hmm…hold me” she mumbled in my ear.
“You have to take your medicine” I said.
She looked at me then with her light brown eyes. No matter how dark it was they always seemed to have a light of their own. She got up, and I handed her the capsules, the tablets and a glass of water. She popped the medicine in her mouth and washed it down with the water. I took the glass and kept it on the dressing table and she put her head on my chest. I put my arms around her and held her tighter. Then all I could hear was my heart beat and her breathing.
The weather was raping the world outside. And she was kicking and screaming. I had not been asleep for long I figured, as the red digital numerals displayed only an hour past. I tried to swallow and found it excruciatingly painful. Instead I spat onto the carpet. Even in the dark I could see the colour of blood. I got up and walked over to the sink rinsed my mouth and went into the attic. The chalk marks were still there, but faded. Candle wax was all over the floor. And at the far corner just underneath the window sill was the trunk. This was the second time I had climb up to the attic.
We had come back home after going out for dinner. The restaurant was her choice. ‘Le Casserole’ the epitome of European cuisine it said. Even though I hated eating out she liked dressing up and ordering dishes she couldn’t pronounce. Still, I must confess we had a great time. We made love twice under the tipsy influence of wine. Even after two years, the magic had not left our veins.
“Darling…” She whispered.
“Yes?” I said.
“Give me a baby…”
The trunk was open. I was kneeling before it. When I looked inside I could see the darkness seem to run deeper than its bottom. I reached inside and rummaged in its depths. Presently my fingers felt something cold. They closed around the object and I picked it up. It was a glass jar just a little bigger than a jam bottle, with its lid tightly capped on. I felt the tremble in my fingers extend to my hand and eat away like a cancer through the rest of my body.
He was a nice little boy. We were visiting my wife’s parents in Ireland at the time of his seventh birthday. It was a little cottage on the cliff near the sea on the southern coast. Most of the surroundings were meadows and little woods here and there. We let him play out most of the time. There was not too much trouble he could get into there like in the big city. For over a month things were just calm like the deepest crevices of the sea. I caught up with my reading. My wife was enjoying it so much I could almost feel her radiate. In those late autumn evening’s we used to sit on the porch drinking stout and playing cards. It was on one such day that our son came back home with a stranger. At the time we didn’t not one of us notice a thing.
I held the jar with two trembling hands. I felt like an addict who hasn’t had a dose in months. As the lightning illuminated the attic, I saw the tiny blue eyes looking at me pleadingly. Its little wings were fluttering furiously behind it back. I held it up to my face and spoke to it.
“You have brought much sorrow to my home” I said.
I could see it moving its tiny mouth but over the pouring rain no sound was audible from inside the jar.
“Had I but known that my son had hidden you in our house…I would have freed you”
The thunder resembled a drum roll of a musical.
“But you stole my happiness. You took from me the two things that mattered to me the most. And in hope of revenge I kept you in this jar, in the dark, in this trunk for a year. But I feel your magic working slowly yet effectively against me. I cannot kill you. I don’t think you can be killed. So, I am going to let you out. On one condition. Nod your head if you agree…”
I waited in anticipation. The creature did not move.
“Nod your head or I swear I will find a way to kill you!” I screamed.
It looked at me expectantly and then nodded its tiny head.
“When I let you out…you must promise to unite my soul with my wife and son. Not on the other side of this life. But on the other side of your realm. If you lie and will not keep your promise…I have spoken to the right people in regard of your capture and the destruction of all your kind. Not one of you will live again to bring misery and misfortune. You! You we’re stupid. You don’t mess with the magicians of the ninth order! But you didn’t know I was that. You thought we were just another bunch of people to toy with? So…will you keep your word?” I waited patiently for the creature to reply.
After a few seconds that seemed like hours it nodded it head. I saw the desperation, the malice and the acceptance in its eyes. Without another word I opened the lid. And it shot past me like an arrow and started circling me. Then it hovered above me. With a hand it reached inside my head dragged out my soul. As it ate me I saw my wife and son running on the lush meadows of Faerie to greet me. And the last thing I remembered as a human was what my son told me when we got back from Ireland.
“Dad can you keep a secret?”
“Sure.” I remember saying.
“I caught a Djinn.”