Chapter 1: C'est la Vie

Chapter 1: C'est la Vie

A Chapter by Yuvia Chairez
"

Every first full moon of the fall season, Ethan would bake butterscotch cookies in the middle of the night and leave a full tray out on the window for the fae to find...

"

  Fairies: A host of supernatural beings and spirits who exist between earth and heaven. Both good and evil, faeries have, at various times in history, been blended and confused with witches. The word fairy comes from the Latin term, fata, or “fate”…

 

Once Every Blue Moon


I

 

“C’est la vie”, said the old folks, “it goes to show you never can tell…”

 

Every first full moon of the fall season, Ethan would bake butterscotch cookies in the middle of the night and leave a full tray out on the window for the fae to find. This would make the entire neighborhood homes beam in cheerful light and often made his neighbors dream of fairy tales and adventures in far-away places. He would start the endeavor by telling Peaches and Biscuit the story of how the Crowley family had first arrived to Kingston and had built Crowley Manor, a beautiful Queen Anne style home with a spectacular rounded veranda that covered most of the lower level façade, with Palladian windows on the third one. It had a large domed roof supported by simple columns and sturdy balusters and there was a central bay window above the veranda that gave a nice view of the entire surrounding neighborhood. The garden was big enough to keep Peaches and Biscuit " two beautiful Golden Retriever dogs in full contempt, but too small to keep the pony that Ethan had dreamed of having since he was a little kid. He kept trees around the garden fence, most of them apple and peach trees, and a small flower patch with lavender, poppies, and primrose (where Peaches and Biscuit were not allowed to enter but somehow he always found them sleeping in) next to the backdoor.  After he told the story, he would then proceed to bake the cookies he would leave for the fae and then he would settle down in front of the T.V. for the rest of the night or until he eventually fell asleep while the infomercials showed how he could make his abs of steel or how he could improve his sex-life with the use of an odd-looking pump that cost 59.99 plus shipping and handling.

 

At thirty-two, Ethan Crowley thought he would have a different life than the one he was living. When he was younger, he had made a blueprint of his life which included going to Africa and runaround with those people who save the animals from hunters and poachers, marrying Farrah Fawcett and having eight kids (two girls, four boys and a set of twins), and discovering something so important that humanity itself would not be the same afterwards. So far, the closest he had been to Africa and Farrah Fawcett was via the posters he had on his bedroom walls (the Africa one was particularly cheesy as it had a sunset and the silhouette of a giraffe with the words “Your talent is God’s gift to you” written in golden, fancy letters). As for the invention, he was convinced that whatever he could muster in his B+ mind had already been thought of, laughed at, and tossed to the bin of stupid ideas by other, brighter people. No, Ethan was not in Africa, he was not married to a movie star, and he was not the genius inventor of the family. He worked at a pet hospital as a pet-nurse during the week and on the weekends he loved to take Peaches and Biscuit to small trips to the lake or just hang around the house, working on the flower pad, watching T.V., and (on special occasions such as the first full moon of the fall season) bake cookies he would leave out for the fae.

 

He wasn’t sure, however, if it was the fae or the dogs the ones eating the cookies.

 

It wasn’t as if Ethan believed in faeries, but the memory of his grandparents and Amelia was kept alive through the tradition of leaving food out for the “good folk”. His grandfather would sprinkle thyme on windows and doorframes while singing gadflykins, gladtrypins, gutterpuss and cass, come to us fairily each lad and lass. Amelia, his twin sister, would laugh at the sound of those words. She was a cheerful and delightful girl, with bouncy ebony curls and bright almond eyes who could brighten up a room with her sole presence. She loved to hear her grandfather tell the fae’s stories, often dressed like a backyard fairy using her pink tutu dress and tin foil to make frilly wings. Their mother would use stems from the lily of the Nile blooms to make excellent wands and the frail flowers to make necklaces Amelia would then wear until they dried and fell. He would pretend, like any older brother, he didn’t like the stories and he would often tell Amelia that faeries weren’t real to which statements Amelia would often react with anger and tears because it was a well-known fact that faeries died when people ceased to believe in them. He would then apologize profoundly and swear (spit in hand) that the faeries lived in their backyard and that they came out dressed like fireflies to dance in the moonlight when the year’s wheel turned.

 

Amelia was only seven when the wheel turned for her and Ethan would feel her ghost following him all the time after that, particularly during the spring, when the flowers bloomed and it seemed as if the entire garden came to a magical rebirth.

 

“This old tabby came to my house this morning again. I thought you said you gave it to that nice family in Toronto.”

 

Ethan smiled politely. Beverly Swanson was eighty-seven years old and always wore that bright-flowered hat with her big, bug-eyed sunglasses on Tuesdays, even if there wasn’t sunny outside. “I did, Mrs. Swanson. I think she must’ve walked.”

 

“Well that’s some journey. I can’t have her at my place, not with George and his arthritis acting up during the winter. Can you take her in and find her a good home again? This time tell her to stay there.”

 

“Of course Mrs. Swanson,” Ethan said taking the tabby in his arms and turning to place it in one of the pet carriers behind him. “How is George?”

 

“Grouchy. Cold weather makes him want to pee every other hour and makes him get up from the mat near the fireplace to do his business in the yard. He’s all achy and winy from the arthritis, but that old mutt doesn’t lose his sense of decorum, I’ll give him that.”

 

“Be that as it may, you still need to bring George in next week to get his yearly shots, okay?” 

 

“We’ll be here, dear, don’t you worry about that. So, how is your grandfather?” Beverly asked as she took several doggie treats in the bowl they had there as a courtesy.

 

“The same he was last month, and several years before that: dead.”

 

Beverly looked over the glasses’ frames. “Are you sure?”

 

“I’m pretty sure. I was at the funeral home the day he died,” he said, as if proud of it.

 

Beverly growled and slowly shook her head. “So young,” she muttered under her breath and walked out. Ethan followed her with his eyes until she disappeared across the street. He then turned to the cat. “That is not your home anymore and you know it. Why do you keep going back there when you know they’re going to catch you? Might as well just move your furry little kitty a*s here and save yourself the trouble.”

 

The cat blinked and meowed.  He chuckled. “Nice try,” he said, “but I can’t take you in either. Sorry pal: you’re just going to have to settle for a warm blanket and free food " for now.”

* * * * *

It was well after ten when Ethan heard the door bell and had the familiar knot in the pit of his stomach that formed whenever Julianne was near. They’d met a couple of years back, when she and her daughter Bee moved into the old Brown Home across the street and he offered to help with the moving van. Julianne was in her late-twenties and worked as a designer in one of the few agencies still left after the economic break, and every time Ethan felt her close he could hear “the Yellow Rose of Spanish Harlem” in his head for no reason whatsoever. Then, his nose would begin to smell cinnamon and chocolate, and his heart began to skip beats, right before his stomach made knots that made him feel uncomfortable and rather embarrassed. When he opened the door, he tried his best to hide all his emotions, to silence the noise in his head and to focus on Julianne standing there with a pot between her hands.

 

“Hi,” she said offering the pot, “I made hot chocolate. Do you want some?”


“Sure, come in,” he said, stepping back. Julianne entered and followed Ethan to the kitchen, where she placed the pot on top of the oven and then sat at the kitchen table as Ethan pulled out two mugs and poured the chocolate for both of them.


“I love this house,” she said dreamingly, looking around in admiration. “Every time I walk in here it feels as if I’m walking into a dream.”


“Try living in it " it’s not as much fun,” Ethan said sitting across the table and placing both cups on top of it. Julianne took hers and engaged herself in that warm feeling you get when you smell the soft aroma of hot cocoa, the one that says that everything is going to be okay, no matter how bad things are. Ethan pretended to drink from the cup but never did; he was extremely allergic to chocolate but thought it might be rude to refuse the one Julianne had brought obviously because she needed to tell him something so important that it needed the sweetness of cocoa to buffer the blow.

 

“Is it good?”  She asked leaning forward in her chair.


Ethan nodded. “It’s probably the best cocoa I’ve had in recent history. Now, tell me what is knitting in that head of yours.”


“What do you mean by that?”


“I’m saying that it’s not usual that you leave Bee all by herself in the middle of the night "”


“It’s not the middle of the night and she’s sleeping!” Julianne snapped. They both stared at each other in silence for a couple of minutes after that. Ethan leaned back on his chair and crossed his arms over his chest.


 “So, are you going to tell me what’s going on or are you just going to stare at me for the rest of the evening?”


“I locked the door before I came here, okay? I’m not a total irresponsible mother.” She said looking down at the hot cocoa still in her cup.


“I never said you where.”


“But you implied it.”


“Sorry.”


Julianne sighed. “No, Ethan. I’m the one who’s sorry. I’ve been edgy all day " even with Bee. I practically barked at her for leaving her jacket on the floor. I " I need to ask a favor.”


“Shoot.”


“I need you to take care of Bee for a few days. I have to go to Vermont and take care of some not-so-good family issues. I would take Bee with me, but… like I’ve said; the visit is not a pleasant one.”


Ethan smiled and took her hands into his. “You know it’s not a problem. I like having Bee around.”


“I’ll bring her by Friday, after school?” Julianne said quickly, her eyes beaming with hope, “I’ll be sure to talk to them and let everyone know you’re picking her up and everything. She’s got ballet class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and she eats almost anything if you put it in between two pieces of white bread.”


“How long will you be gone?” He asked raising an eyebrow.


Julianne looked mortified. “I don’t know. I hope to get everything done and over in less than a week, but it might take longer.”


Ethan smiled kindly. “Just call every evening and make sure she doesn’t miss you as much… we’ll be right here waiting for you, okay?”


“Thank you, Ethan.”


“You’re welcomed, Julianne.”

 

Around six o’clock that Friday afternoon, Julianne was saying goodbye to her daughter Bee through the window of a taxi car that pulled away slowly and then it just seemed to disappear in the middle of the street. Bee was a chubby seven-year-old girl with dark hair and olive-green eyes who loved animals and loved to help Ethan tend to his small garden. Bee often found herself looking out to his yard from her bedroom window just in case she saw the fireflies that Ethan told her were faeries in disguise, living amongst the flowers; when she did, she felt all warm and fuzzy inside, and her days seemed to be better for it. That was why she loved Ethan, his dogs, and his garden: because no matter how mean the girls at school were at her, they could never see the magic she saw every time the moon shone brightly in the night sky.

 

“I’m going to go buy some pumpkins tomorrow,” Ethan said as he tucked her in bed that night. “I’ll be doing some decorations and I thought you might like to help me.”


“Oh yes, I would love to!”


“Then it’s settled. Good night, Bee.” He kissed her good-night and walked to the door, leaving a night light on just in case.


“Ethan?” He heard her call before he closed the door.


“Yes?”


“Have you ever seen a fairy that’s not in disguise?”


Ethan chuckled. “Sure have,” he lied. No need to burst a bubble on a child’s illusion, he thought to himself. He could see Bee’s expression through the dim lighting: her face beamed with excitement.


“Do you think I’ll ever get to see one?” she asked.


Ethan nodded. “Sure,” he said. “If you believe in their magic and charm with all your heart, faeries come to you and grant you wishes.”


“Did the fairy you saw grant you a wish?”


“Yes. She granted me the most awesome wish of all.”


“What was that?”


“Good night, Beatriz.”


“It’s Bee.” She chuckled. Ethan grinned and closed the door. Bee turned in bed and held her teddy tight. As sleep began to take over her, she couldn’t help but to be curious about the wish Ethan asked for and if, in fact, it had come true.

 

 


 




© 2010 Yuvia Chairez



Author's Note

Yuvia Chairez
I added what was left of chapter 1. I hope you like it...

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Reviews

A friend sent me here. This is the great start to an amazing story.

I am wondering if you are still working on this? And if you are, what type of feedback are you interested in?

Posted 12 Months Ago


Looking good. I hope some of the more observant reviewers find your work and read it because this is really good.

Posted 12 Months Ago


It's a great story,the characters,words and the story itself.It's very unique and wonderful.

Posted 3 Years Ago


This was a great first chapter for the book! The imagery is good, as is the dialogue and characters! Very realistic. I really like this so far! I feel as though something big is about to happen! Something magical or something like that. :D

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on January 15, 2010
Last Updated on January 19, 2010
Tags: Fantasy, faeries, magic, moon, cats, love, romance
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Author

Yuvia Chairez
Yuvia Chairez

moon city, Mexico



About
I am somewhat... err... what's the word?? Oh yeah ------ nuts. Influences: My Sister, the Ramen life, Jhonen Vasquez, Sara Segfovich, Arturo Perez Revertez, JK Rowling, Julio Scherer Garcia, GABO,.. more..

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