“She’s old enough to learn about responsibility, Mr. Capricious. Spare me your blather on childhood fun. She’ll be grown before you blink twice. When that happens, I’ll expect her to have her wits about her.”
Marietta wore a familiar grimace, one John had carefully studied for ten years—a sum of time that somehow managed to contain a miserable eternity. Perhaps, one day, his beautiful wife would learn to smile at the twinkling of the moon as it danced through the branches of the oaks of Briarwood Forest. He smiled, vowing to taunt her until she remembered the intrinsic value of mud pies.
“It’s not a fire-breathing dragon, Dear, it’s a fairy tail. Look at Kirrell’s face, she’s having so much fun.”
The condescending grunt Marietta released had also become an all too familiar expression.
“Don’t you remember, Love, when you took a fairy by its tail and spun it around until it got so dizzy it gave up all its wishes? What was it you wished for, Marietta? Do you remember?”
She expressed a long sigh and lifted her face to the sky. John could almost see the pictures flashing through her mind as she raced into yesterday to retrieve the entombed gifts of her youth.
“Tokamel, my Pegasus. He was majestic, that one. No finer steed ever graced the skies of Amarron. None ever. He bore the wings of independence—a servant to no man. I loved him so.” She lowered her chin to her chest and dawdled with the stem of a daisy she’d been de-petaling. “I think he’s retired now, in the meadows of Merrimore. Can we visit with him soon?”
The thought of Kerrill clinging to Tokamel’s mane was almost too much excitement for one man to bear.
“If we begin the journey tomorrow morning we’ll arrive by the new moon,” he said, careful not to smile too large, lest his wife see that his heart burst with joy. Once magic has graced life, in the way it had graced the lives of John and Marietta Glee, it’s a haunting thing to watch it dwindle and die—a brilliant delight to observe the sparks of its rebirth.
“Kirrell’s fairy tail has gone out, John. Did you bring more?”
“Enough to last until time spins the last waltz.”