Friday, 14 January 2011

Ethereal Pt. 4

She awoke from her feint, her slender body in an L shape against the wall and floor. After all, a magic carpet just spoke to her.

"Mom, are you alright? This is my friend, Ethereal."
The red and golden-tasseled carpet sat uprightly bipedal on the bed. "We actually first met in the rug store not too long ago."
"Oh?" She reached for the purse for a cigarette. "Yes, nice to meet you. Is that a Persian name?" The cigarette nervously rolled between her fingers.She lit it like a candle.
"It's just a name, a description. And it gives me the ancient touch my clients appreciate. I'm a dealer in dreams moonlighting as a travel agent and pilot. And I don't charge. Your son Francis has been kind enough to open his eyes to the world. And if you must know, I took him to see the Grand Canyon, which he otherwise would not have know the beauty of if cooped up here. Don't you think that's nice?"

The mother took a long drag and stare at the directionless smoke. "Yes, I suppose that's nice."
"It was wonderful, mom."
"Now, you mentioned this terrible ordeal of divorce. Why is that?"
"It wouldn't exactly be polite--"
"These aren't normal circumstances. And your boy is not anyone's boy, he's yours and he should see the world, feel the world, feel the pain, feel the joy. That's what fulfills a human being."
"How would you know, you're a magic carpet." Her usual air of resentment came into play.
"I was once human, aeons ago, when magic carpets were equivalent to supersonic jets and Saturn V rockets. This was put on me as a curse, but the true curse is that the witch who cast this upon me was afflicted with the dissatisfaction of seeing me use my new form for good. See, I was powerful as a human and she couldn't simply banish me into something small, like let's say a frog. I had to become something befitting, yet in her eyes still degrading."

Francis was thoroughly enjoying himself. "When was this? Were you a king?"

"I wasn't a king, but I was important in my time. A general. The only general who cared less about war and more chores with less than your average bore. I was greatly revered by the people until I failed them in battle. And for that I was exiled into this form. One of the side effects is immortality, which is ironically what the king wanted most. And yet he banished me into. Things tend to work themselves out."

"Francis," his mother took a piece of tin foil from her purse and enclosed the cigarette butt. "are you ok, dear? Do you want some water or tea?"
"No, mom, I want to hear the story."

"Very well Francis. Wanting knowledge is what has kept me nimble for so long. It takes a lot out of a carpet to fly. And without all the people I've met and the sights I've seen and wisdom seeped into the fibers of me, I wouldn't have made it this far. Always listen to what people have to say, especially you're parents, and then when they say it immediately think about whether it's true or not. I've taken many people many places and they all've told me different tales about all the places that people wish and don't wish to go to. Just because you hear something, doesn't mean you have do it."

"Oh, do you? Why do you suppose your mother asked you if you wanted something? Perhaps you're too young for that awareness, some might say, but you have to pay attention."

His mother stood against the wall with folded hands. "I've told him that."
"But have you taught him that? Francis, I want you to think about the little things, the precise movements of the subconscious and even the imprecise lunges of the nervous heart."
"Why?"
"Because that's the most interesting part of the adventure. The people. There's an old travel slogan that one day you'll laugh at and then stop yourself from laughing at. "you come for the sunshine, but you stay for the people." One day."

His mother's face drooped. "Is there a point to this?"
"Do you mean that philosophically or alphabetically? Perhaps you mean what's my end here?"
"Nothing so crass, I just--"
"Yes, we all just. It's alright. My purpose is simply to tell the tale and turn the tides that rise in the minds of those who might delight in rhymes." The carpet twisted as if to stretch and crack his bones if he had them. "And when you have a magic carpet to guide you, these things take a remarkably short time."

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