I ran my tongue over my needle teeth and decided to give this addled human fair warning.
"Call me Fallen."
"Call me Fallen."
Suddenly she looked as if she were about to cry. "Oh, I know you think me slow. And I am. But I still know that faeries are dangerous."
I stiffened, and she waved a weary hand. "Don't worry, Fallen. No one else sees you like I do."
I closed my eyes. How truly unique. The only one in this generation who could see me as I was. And she was a lunatic. How utterly fitting. It was a situation that screamed to be rectified. I shook my head. No. To yield to my nature towards a mind-bruised waif was beneath me.
And unimaginative. Clover mistook my frown for worry. I wagered she made many such mistakes.
"Actually, Fallen, I don't think any of the doctors paid much attention to you. I mean, the way you looked when you came in. I didn't think you were going to make it. That hit-and-run driver must've been going ninety."
She shook her head in wonderment. "How does a faerie get nailed by a car anyway?"
"On purpose I would wager. My memory of the incident is denied me."
"Do you think me an ungainly cow that I could not elude a bulky vechicle of steel?"
She pouted. "I am not an ungainly cow."
I sighed. "Do not make the mistake most mortals make. It is not all about you."
"I thought you were my friend."
I drew in a breath and my temper. I kept forgetting the girl was addled. "Clover, you are thinking of me in human terms. That is a fatal mistake. Nor I am fae or elf or sprite. I am Tuatha de Danann."
She squinted as if trying to see my words in the air. "Which is?"
The door flung open before I could speak. A mass of muscles masquerading as a man strode in. Clover looked terrified. I could taste her fear. It was thick in the stale air. What was going on?
I sniffed. The human smelled wrong. His eyes blinked too often. Clover started to edge away on her bed whimpering.
My eyes became slits. Was he the one who had fondled me? I felt the fury rise cold within me. I looked to his fingertips. They were not smoldering. He was not shrieking in agony. No, he was not the one. Then why was the field mouse so terrified of him? And why did he move as if his body were some ill-fitting garment?
He even moved his eyebrows oddly. As if something else should have been sprouting there instead. I watched fascinated as they quivered as if alive.
"So patient Jane Doe is awake?" The words came out frail and wet as if from a throat unaccustomed to forcing out air to make sounds.
I smiled, running my tongue along the edge of my sharp teeth. "Doe, a female deer."
Clover giggled despite her fear, "Ray, a drop of golden sun."
I nodded to the blank-faced doorstop of a human. "That is your cue to say ‘Me, a name I call myself.’ By the way --"
I smiled like a wolf. "You can call me ... Fallen."
The human not only looked a bull but obviously was as smart as one. He seemed bored to distraction. I thought about making that bored to death. Then he noticed the small hole in the thick window.
"Th-That's impossible! That glass is unbreakable."
I smirked. "Obviously."
"Oh, a smart-ass, huh?"
"Unlike you, my brains do not reside where I sit."
He turned to the window again and muttered, "That glass simply cannot be broken. How did a hu --"
He stopped and glared at me as if I had somehow tricked him. I ignored him. I studied the glass with all my senses. I went cold deep inside. He was right. On a level which cannot be put into human terms, it was a solid mass. I should not have been able to pierce it as I had.
Unaided that was.
I murmured, "Gaia as well as Abbadon?"
His eyes dismissed me as if I were bad meat. And for all I knew that was exactly what I was to him. He turned and walked in his odd way back out of the door.
He muttered under his breath, "What do they expect us to learn from the insane?"
He spun about. His eyes reflected the dim light in the room like a snake's ... but without as much warmth.
"Group therapy is at midnight."
Clover whimpered, "Not group therapy."
I smiled. "Midnight. My favorite time of day."
He closed the door behind him. At the sound of the bolt slaming home Clover shivered. Words penned by Kyoski came to me.
The snake slid away,
But the eyes that glared at me,
Remained in the grass.
Clover turned her own hollow eyes to me. "W-Who is Abbadon?"
This time it was I who shivered. "When Question warred against Answer, he was Question."
"Who won the war?"
I grew cold and looked inward into my own darkness. "The jury, as you humans say, is still out on that."