Out of the Blue
by Copper Rose
Taneevia migrated toward the pegs but her shield and sword fell short, and tumbled to the cloakroom floor. She dragged her weary body through the galley and then struggled to open the pantry door—in search of some ginger tea. She positioned the kettle on the heater, set it to boil. Heard a knock?
Listened; looked up and to the right. No, it wasn’t the sound of marauders sneaking around on her roof, an earthquake or an avalanche.
A voice? Did someone need rescuing, today of all days?
“Can I come in?”
What is this? Taneevia reached for her ribs to finger the spasms; razor-sharp pains had doubled her over after she’d put the dragons to bed. Again the voice. Taneevia shook her head, heard herself say, “Come in.”
“Good. My name is Mariah. I have been sent by Norah and Haron, your spirit guides. We have a lot of work to do. I’m sorry it has taken me so long to get here.”
Taneevia twisted toward the voice, the spasm still springing from a place in her ribs she could not see. If she hunched over, as though searching for crawlers, she was able to breathe, albeit painfully, through the back of her throat.
“You have a rip in your solar plexus, the space beneath your sternum where your ribs come together. We know you have been trying to repair it. We really liked how you sent those thieves to Pivondorf in the Epiphany of Personal Pain. I guess you showed them! How you locked your solar plexus when they threatened to enter without permission.”
Mariah plucked a feather from one of the folds of her flowing gown, and began drawing circles in the air. “Unfortunately, that maneuver is temporary. We will retrieve the key and unlock it so we can repair the rip. I am sending the Yellow Princess and the celestial surgeons to supervise the operation.”
Mariah adjusted her halo. “It has also come to my attention that you have been struggling with an allergy to wands.” Mariah drew three triangles in the air and sprinkled them with azure powder. “This is the remedy for that.”
Then Mariah handed Taneevia a studded leash. “Take this. Your struggle to determine who is a friend and who is a foe is obvious. What we observed between you and that woman from the Yob of Tary was quite unsettling. Brutus the Timber Dog will rumble when an enemy is near, so you will know which is which. It will be up to you to decide what to do.”
Mariah opened a portal that appeared suddenly, and reached inside. “We have been watching you collect tools to put in your tool chest but I noticed you lack compassion. I will appoint you some so they will like you better.”
“Yes, they are everywhere. Compassion comes in various colors. What color would you like?”
Mariah pulled a beautiful toolbox from the portal and started taking things out. There was a vise, which she showed Taneevia how to use. A forge and a hammer but Mariah discouraged those as they wouldn’t be as effective as other forms when it came to pricking. A sword. And then Mariah produced a small dagger. She called it a lancet.
Taneevia liked that. A lancet.
“I think your color is red with a touch of something out of the blue.” Mariah shivered with delight. “Yes, this color is a perfect match for you.”
Mariah showed Taneevia how to use the lancet, to prick the tip of her finger until a small amount of blood blossomed there. Only then would the compassion flow.
“And about that limp. I will have the Yellow Princess paint a softening substance on your knee so it will bend better. But it will be up to you to work on it. I have also suctioned out your colon. Don’t ask me about the tools I used to accomplish that.”
“Colon?” Taneevia wondered aloud.
“We are installing a REGULATOR and a MODULATOR so you will never fear excess again. And…” Mariah continued to search through the portal, “I have been instructed to inform you that the pain in your right shoulder is coming from a wound in your left shoulder. You have been carrying a knife in your back that goes all the way through to the front. It was put there by Pattray many lifetimes ago. She refuses to take it out. The pain in the front is phantasm-ing. Would you like us to remove it?”
“Are you ready?”
Voices mumbled as the celestial surgeons huddled around Taneevia in the galley.
“She is leaking a small amount of blue.”
“She has been out for what would be twenty minutes their time but she’s still on the line. Wait … she disconnected! She is losing too much blue! We must restore the blue! She will not survive without the blue! Transfuse now!”
Instruments clicked, circuits rerouted, shoulders tightened, brows were wiped and then, “The blue has successfully been restored. Beautiful … she’s coming to.”
Taneevia shivered and felt a cold wave wash over her. Everything felt different, and she thought she was in a tunnel but when she opened her eyes, she realized she was still in the galley.
“You won’t be tempted to look for Pattray anymore when you pass by her cottage. The reason you felt you had to look was because you have been wanting her to take out the knife.”
“But I didn’t know.”
“Yes, you did. Deep down. But no matter. Pattray is a stubborn one, and has not learned all of her lessons yet but she is trying in the best way she knows. She is dealing with grief and jealousy. She will rise to a new status once she completes the next level of grief. It will be unexpected, so don’t expect too much, too quickly.”
“And by the by, the reason your father didn’t go to the queen’s ball was because something bad would have happened to him.”
With a sweep of her arm, Mariah disappeared in a swirling fog—somehow leaving Taneevia standing in the dragon pen with a leash in one hand and a lancet in the other, and not a hint of pain in her ribs.
The fire on the heater flickered, sputtered, and died beneath the kettle. Brutus the Timber Dog snored loudly with his nose resting on his paws while the dragons rattled the bars of their cage, awake now and anxious to play.
Julie Eger writes under the names Julie Eger, A.J. Lawdring, and Copper Rose. She perforates the edges of the page while writing, believes anything is possible for those who believe anything is possible, and lives in Wisconsin with her husband and a black Golden Doodle. She has raised two sons and has been accused of playing well with others. Credits include seven anthologies at Clarendon House Publications, and numerous online journals and other anthologies. She also understands there really is something about pie.