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This story is my entry for the Monthly Short Story Challenge on the Sims Forum. For this month’s challenge, the theme is “Late.” Total word count is 1005.

Along with being a story submission, this will be a prologue to a larger piece I’ll soon be writing on this blog. I won’t give anything away right now, but I hope you’ll visit again to read it once I get it underway.


 

arifel

“It’s not like you to come in late for work, Arifel. I hope everything’s okay,” the voice of my colleague, John, said as I held my phone to my ear.

“Everything’s fine. I just have some personal things to tend to, but I’ll make the evening rounds at the hospital early to make up for the time I missed,” I replied, quick to reassure him. It wasn’t like me to be late for work, as I take my job as a physician seriously and don’t like to keep my patients waiting longer than necessary. Today, however, she needed me even if she didn’t yet realize it.

After ending the call, I shrank and rocketed into the sky. My wings carried me easily, but my heart was what navigated my flight to her.

 

adrienne-drinking-tea

I was captivated by her beauty as I watched her sip her tea. Captivated though I was, my temper flared as I discerned what I was seeing in her aura. That lowlife husband of hers had beaten her again, I knew it. I’d seen him do it before. She was alone now, but I knew he was to blame for the disturbance in her aura.

Her face wasn’t marred; the scumbag was always careful to injure her in places that aren’t visible. Said place today was her ribs. Black patches mingled with her aura, settling on her right side. That and her hand clutching her side when she reached for the teapot told me she had broken ribs that pained her greatly. As if that wasn’t enough to drive it home, her lips parted and I felt, more than heard, the agonized cry that escaped them. That asshole needed to be taught the facts of decency. Most importantly, she needed to be taken away where she could never be hurt again…and I was the fairy who would be taking care of business.

I couldn’t ease her pain openly, for it would ruin everything if I revealed myself to her too soon. I had to plan things carefully. I couldn’t be too hasty, but I couldn’t doddle either. My worst nightmare was finding her in the morgue as a result of a fatal thrashing from that thing she was married to.

I needed to distract her, to get her away from the table so I could add a healing potion to her remaining tea. Being a fairy had its perks and I gladly took every advantage I could. I shrank even smaller, making myself virtually invisible. Entering through the ventilation system, I made my way to the living room where I knocked some magazines off the coffee table. “Dammit!” she muttered darkly upon hearing the periodicals hit the floor.

It hurt my heart knowing it would cause her misery to pick up the magazines, but there was no choice. I comforted myself with the knowledge that she’d be feeling much better in a matter of minutes. I hated hiding my presence from her and wished with everything in me that I could do more to protect her.

I knew she’d take care of the fallen publications right away. The scumbag insisted on everything being in its proper place, and she would suffer horribly if anything was out of order. I’d seen him savagely twist her arm behind her back once when the floor hadn’t yet been buffed. It had taken all my willpower not to burst in and throttle him the instant she’d screamed in surprise and pain.

 

adrienne-holding-teacup

As soon as she turned her back, I quickly emptied the contents of the vial into the teapot and remaining tea in the delicate little cup. It was tasteless and odorless, so she’d have no idea she was under treatment, magical or mundane. I hid in the folds of the curtains when she reentered the kitchen and resumed sipping her tea. Elation flooded my very being as I watched the pinched expression leave her face. The black spots in her aura faded, making it return to its normal exquisite colors. A mixture of orange and yellow, her aura symbolized courage and kindness. Purple sparks dancing through it spoke of creativity and talent. The fact that her aura and demeanor hadn’t been taken over by the blackness of sorrow, fear, and bitterness amazed me. Calista knew she had every reason to be sorrowful, embittered, and scared.

“Strange. I thought my ribs were broken for sure.” Her soft voice brought sunlight to my soul. “If I believed in that sort of thing, I’d swear there was something in this tea. Too bad magic isn’t real. I could use some right now.”

 

adrienne-crying

Oh, my love, it’s real, and you’ll realize it very soon. I swallowed around the lump constricting my throat as tears began trickling down her cheeks. The pull toward her was irresistable. Remaining in my minute size, I brushed my lips against her wet cheek, tasting the saltiness of her tears. Do not weep, my lovely one, for this will soon be behind you. You will feel better and I shall love it if you played your special song on your piano.

Her fingers came to rest on the spot where my lips had just been. A puzzled expression momentarily crossed her features, then cleared. “I could have sworn…” She shrugged her slender shoulders then arose gracefully, all traces of physical discomfort gone. “Guess I’ll play a little piano. That always comforts me.”

 

adrienne-playing-piano

Telepathy was a gift I had never possessed, but my unspoken request somehow reached her. I watched hypnotically as her beautiful, skilled hands flowed effortlessly over the keys and she started to sing. Her clear soprano voice bewitched me and I could not move, save the fluttering of my wings to keep me airborne.

Her name was Adrienne, and she was a goddess…my goddess. I loved everything about her and longed for the day I could show her. Taking away her pain, offering her what little comfort I could, and witnessing the unleashing of her vast talent made being late for work worthwhile.