The Fairy Faith

by Font Bookfarthing

"I saw the chupacabra right after I took a bite of my peanut butter and honey sandwich."

"Where was it?" I asked. "What was it doing?"

"It was in my hand being eaten." I paused while the comedian took a moment to compose himself. "I'm sorry." The man smirked as though he had said something amusing. Unfortunately I wanted his help, and had to smile to maintain his little illusion of comedy. And then he recovered his composure and went on with his eyewitness account. "It was just standing over there by that tree, Miss Forrester," he said, pointing. "And at first I thought it was some little kid in a costume. But then I could just tell, you know? This wasn't no costume. This was somethin' real. You know how in the movies you can tell the difference between when they use a real gorilla or when it's a man in a suit? This was real. It was about five feet high. It had spines on its back and little wings under its arms. It was real ugly too, with glowing red eyes."

The man and his wife were only the second and third people to whom I'd ever spoken who claimed to have seen el chupacabras. But then being the host of the radio show "Paranormal Planet," this was business as usual.

I thanked them, put my recorder back in my backpack and then made an obligatory check of the immediate area. We were soon joined by a consultant I sometimes used. He called himself the Medicine Man. His driver's license and more importantly, his family said that he was a Arnold Fitzpatrick, a former lawyer from Los Angeles. He, on the other hand, claimed that he was merely inhabiting the body of Arnold Fitzpatrick. His two-hundred year old spirit had been able to take over this particular body because the spirit that had previously inhabited it had been found unworthy by some vague and un-named higher forces. And so the Medicine Man was free to use it until it wore out and died.

The Medicine Man had no questions for the eyewitnesses. And so after they left us, he sat down on the ground, pulled out a pipe and proceeded to smoke. It was a special mixture of his own devising, combining marijuana, dimethyltryptamine, and possibly one or two other chemicals with which I was unfamiliar. I didn't get too close, as I wanted to avoid getting a contact high, and so still be able to drive myself home later.

After several minutes he was good and stoned. He was flying higher than a communications satellite. He spent the next twenty minutes rolling around in the dirt, moaning and laughing. And when he finally came back down to Earth, he didn't look up at me, but he called my name as he lay in the dirt, "Angel. The fairies tell me that they know what happened."

"Fairies? Okay," I said slowly. "And how do I get a' hold of them?"

He smiled. He nudged a pebble with his finger and gazed at it with a look of wonder on his face. Then tears began creeping out of his eyes.

So I felt I had to remind him of the conversation we had been having a couple of seconds earlier, "Can you tell me how I can get a' hold of these fairies?"

He bugged out his eyes, picked up his new friend the pebble, and he sat upright. "Yeah, I knew you would ask that. I asked them this question. And they told me they would be happy to meet with you at this exact spot later tonight to discuss it."

It was about four thirty in the afternoon. I had plenty of time to go home and then come back by midnight. "Okay. Thanks for your help."

He nodded vaguely at me, then turned back to the pebble, now sitting in his open hand. And I left.

#

I returned at sunset. The Medicine Man had since gone again. I was alone in the woods. Or was I? I immediately noticed some figures through the nearby trees. They were dancing and singing. But they were shimmering and moving in what looked like slow motion. It was like I was watching them through a distant heat haze.

And then one of them was suddenly standing right in front of me. How long had she been there? It was almost as though she had been standing there all along and I simply hadn't been conscious of the fact. At first glance she appeared to be a little girl. But after second glance, her features didn't actually seem to be either old or young. She had long bedraggled, florescent, almost translucent orange hair, and wore a thin, flowing dress with bright pastel colors that shimmered like oil in water. She looked at me with two of the most enormous eyes I had ever seen. She had pointed ears and a glow about her.

She looked down at my trousers, "Holy golly! You don't have any legs!"

I looked down. I was in my "field work" outfit: leather jacket, baseball cap with the call letters of the radio station where I worked, hiking boots and army camouflage trousers. Was she trying to be funny? Her wide eyes grew wider in wonder. She squatted down in front of my legs. I held still, no idea what she was about to do. And I watched her as she reached out a tentative hand. Then very slowly, she passed her hand right through my legs....

She stood up to face me again. "My name is Faith," she said in a little tiny squeaky voice like a five year old girl with a cold. And she wrapped her arms around me. But this time her arms didn't go through me. It was a warm and genuine embrace. And it had a slightly familiar, comfortable feeling to it. Like hugging an old friend.

"Angel," I said as she took my hand and dragged me over to the rest of the fairies. We moved in slow motion... and I don't know why.

The rest of the fairies sat in a circle in a clearing, singing and playing flutes, bells, a sitar, and even a didgeridoo. The music they played went beyond mere sound. It vibrated my body. It felt like a massage. I could feel each note as they played it. The sounds ran up and down my body like hundreds of sensual, tingling fingers. A chill of pleasure shot down my spine. And I even felt myself get a bit wet with pleasure. At first it made me dizzy. But I soon got used to it. And even to quite like it. The fairies all swayed in time with the music. They seemed to be feeling it too. I had the sudden feeling that I was at an orgy rather than a concert.

Faith moved into the middle of the circle and began to slip out of her dress. She began performing the most erotic dance I had ever seen. Faith herself was singing a single note, and her voice began to resonate through my head and into my mind. The vision soon enveloped me. There was nothing that existed beyond the sensual image of the little fairy dancing before me. She swayed, swinging her head around and around, her long hair with the orange sheen began glowing brightly, and it flew out like a flag in the wind. Her glowing body was beautiful, smooth and perfectly proportioned. Her long, thin breasts too swayed magnificently, gracefully.

My breath became labored. I rocked back and forth, consumed in the passion of the moment. Faith was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. She was perfection. And then I suddenly had an orgasm. A big one. A long and slow one. It went on and on, minutes, perhaps even hours moved by, until I lost all sense of time and I was simply in a universe of pure, timeless ecstasy. I dissolved away. There was nothing left of me. My body was gone. My mind was gone. And all that was left was ecstasy itself.

#

I was lying on the ground next to Faith, our limbs draped across each other. It was still night, and the other fairies had long since vanished. Upon seeing that I was awake, Faith whispered, "I never knew it would be like that."

"You've never been with a woman before?" I asked.

"I've never been with a human being."

I looked deeply into Faith's large eyes. They were really very large eyeballs. They seemed unnaturally big the more I looked into them. And the hue of her skin was not like any human skin I had ever seen before. It shimmered slightly. I reached out and caressed her liquid smooth shoulder.

Faith smiled, squeezed her eyes shut, and sighed blissfully. "I wish I were a cat," she said. "Then I could purr."

I kissed her. I held her tightly. And very shortly we were making love again.

#

The next morning I woke up in the freezing cold forest valley all alone and totally naked. Faith was gone. Presumably back to fairyland or wherever it was the others had gone to. If they had ever been there, that is. Maybe I hallucinated the whole thing? Maybe I had suffered some form of contact high off of the Medicine Man's pipe smoke?

It was only after getting dressed and back into my beat up old Jeep that it occurred to me to be only slightly annoyed that I had completely forgotten to ask them what they knew about el chupacabras.

#

Several nights later I woke up in the middle of the night to see two enormous eyes staring at me from across my pillow. I wasn't startled, even though I should have been. But somehow I had known, perhaps on a subconscious level, that I would find her there in my bedroom when I opened my eyes. "Hello, Faith," I whispered.

"I've done a bit of research on your people," Faith whispered back. "Apparently the common trend is to only make love with the opposite gender."

"That's a myth. Don't worry about it," I told her.

Faith's eyes lit up, "Really?"

"How did you find where I live?" I asked.

"I just did," she said simply.

We began kissing. It felt right. Like I was a ping that had finally found my pong. I ran my hands through her hair, drove me tongue into her mouth. I quickly lost my way in ecstacy once again.

#

Faith had been staying at my house for several days when I came home one afternoon and found her watering a new bird of paradise in the front yard.

"She wanted to come home with me," Faith said, referring to the plant as I got out of the car. That was the word she had used: home.

"Well," she went on, "I suppose I have started to think of this as my home. I'm not actually very popular with the other fairies. My family doesn't exactly approve of my lifestyle."

"Because you're a lesbian?" I still wasn't entirely sure what to make of Faith's sexuality.

"What is that?"

I didn't know if that was meant to be a joke. "Never mind," I said. "My dad feels the same way about me."

Faith stepped slowly up to me and flashed me a couple of hurt puppy dog eyes. "Do you mind if I think of this as my home?" she asked in her squeaky little voice.

I brushed a stray strand of orange hair from the side of her forehead. "No, I don't mind."

"So where did you get the plant?" I asked after a moment's hesitation in which I realized that I was standing at the edge of an emotional precipice.

"From the front yard of one of our neighbors."

"Faith, we don't have any neighbors." We lived in a cabin on the outskirts of the community of Beachwood in Northern California. Our only neighbors were pine trees, squirrels, skunks, raccoons and deer.

"Well, he's about a thirty minute walk down the road," she pointed to the north. "Anyway, the two of us discussed it and decided that she should come home with me."

"That would be Mr. Stewart. He agreed that you could just dig up his plant?"

"No, I didn't discuss it with anyone called Mr. Stewart. I discussed it with Gertrude," she said, touching the plant lightly.

I sighed. Either Mr. Stewart had agreed, in which case it was all good. Or he didn't know, and wasn't likely to recognize this one bird of paradise as his own when passing in his car. Gertrude could stay.

#

It was a couple days later that I finally remembered why I had wanted to talk to the fairies in the first place. I found Faith in the kitchen eating out of a bag of chocolate chips. "El chookapooka?" she asked, laughing. "And what precisely is that?"

"You don't know?"

"No, I've never heard of the thing."

"Someone told me that you did. How about I take you to the location where one of the things was seen?"

"Okay!" she shouted enthusiastically. Wearing only a large tie-dye T-shirt, she ran out of the house and up to the car. After I convinced her to put on some pants, she asked, "Can I operate the machine this time?"

"You mean the car? Do you know how to drive?"

She laughed at how silly I was being. "Oh, aye, of course I can." She stood at the driver's side, looking down at the door. "How do you open it again?"

#

"What about eye-witnesses?" Faith asked when we were in the same spot where the couple had seen the "goat sucker."

"There were only two people, and I already spoke with them. They said that it was about four feet high..."

"Have you asked them?" she said, cutting me off, pointing into the woods.

"Whom?" I asked.

"These trees must have seen something. They don't move, you know. If they're here now, then they were here a few days ago. I'll just ask them what they saw."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

Faith made a "Tf!" sound like I was some kind of idiot and turned to the nearest tree and then just stood in front of it.

I waited for her to stop staring at the tree and do something that was actually helpful. But she kept it up for five minutes. Finally I couldn't wait any more. "I think it's time to go," I said.

She hesitated a moment longer, eyes on the tree, and then joined me. "The tree saw the whole thing," she said. "And there's a body over there behind those other trees." She lead me through the foliage some thirty feet away. There we found the remains of a deer. There were some scratches and one large puncture wound. And that was it.

"Well... it looks like el chupacabras to me," I pronounced.

"It's not called a chookapooka or whatever," Faith said. "It's called a gargoyle."

But before I could begin to question this new information, she went on, "Gargoyles, you see, are the ancient enemies of the fairies. We are spiritual and they are completely physical, with no spirit. And they're just the most awful people really.

"We only ever run into them here in your world, which is the half-way point between our worlds. Although we fairies are spiritual, we can still will up a sort of physical body. But not enough to visit their realm, which is entirely physical, thank goodness. And they are just the opposite. They have a physical presence only, but no spirit. And they can come into your world. But since fairyland is entirely outside the physical realm, they aren't able to enter our home."

"So you don't have a physical body?" I asked.

"Not... really."

I reached out and took Faith's hand. "Then what am I holding?"

She rolled her eyes and said to me quite sarcastically, "You understand, don't you, that all physical matter is merely a manifestation of thought. It's really a simple matter to will up this physical body. But the longer I hold onto it, the harder it is to stop it again and go back to fairyland. That's why my family doesn't exactly approve of me. I visit your world regularly. And the more I come here, the more difficult it is to go back home again."

I had so many questions they were practically coming out of my ears. So I had to prioritize, "All right... how about you tell me what you know about these gargoyles."

"Oh, they're beastly things," she said taking the bag of chocolate chips out of her pocket and emptying it into her mouth. "Long ago when they first met you humans they were supposed to protect you from evil. But you never really hit it off. So they went back to their own world. These days they stay there most of the time. They're scared of you because of your guns and things."

"I knew they were real," I said enthusiastically. Faith's word alone may not have been proof, but when you spend your life researching things like ghosts and bigfoot, it just feels pretty good to have another person say they believe in it also. "I've always suspected that there's far more to the universe than what most people believe."

"Oh, but there is," Faith smiled, taking my hands. "Much, much more. There are things so beyond the physical, it's like... well, I don't wish to be condescending, but quite honestly the universe in all its glory is simply beyond the human ability to fathom. You would be like a starfish trying to discover what makes the sun so bright. Or like a flower attempting to read 'The Naked Lunch'. Some of your people though, like you yourself, are just starting to open your minds and accept that there is more to the world than merely physical. Unfortunately your senses are strictly physical. Taste, touch, sound, smell, all those things are physical. Even light... bouncing off your eye, sending a signal to your brain to tell you that something is there. So your people have become hypnotized by your own senses into thinking that that's all there is. Try explaining a rainbow to a worm. She'll think you're bonkers. You will only ever see fragments... edges of the non-physical realm." She leaned in closely and said very seriously, "And be grateful for that, my Angel. If you had no filters, and your mind perceived everything... you would go mad."

She stopped there, hesitated a moment, put her hand to her stomach, and then threw up the chocolate chips.

#

I came home from work and I found Faith stretched out on the couch, clutching her stomach and moaning in agony. "What's wrong there, sweetie?"

"I don't know," she said verbally. Her eyes however were pleading with me to make it all better.

I sat down on the edge of the couch next to her. "Can you tell me what you've been up to while I was out?"

"I was just eating." I glanced at the coffee table in front of her. It was covered with crumpled candy wrappers, empty tortilla chip bags and crushed soda cans.

"I was gone for nine hours. Is that all you've been doing... eating?"

"No. For a little while I had some diarrhea. I didn't like it much. But I found that since it's so much like pooing, I can just use the toilet for that. Except that it does hurt a bit more."

"Yeah, I know. Sweetheart," I scooted closer to her and looked at her seriously. "You have to stop eating so much."

"But that's part of the reason I come into your world."

"Okay. But when you eat so much garbage, your body reacts badly."

She frowned at me. "Can't you just fix it?"

"Sure, I can fix it. Stop eating garbage. There, it's fixed."

She frowned and rolled away from me.

#

The next day I stopped at the drugstore on my way home from work. I bought a small stuffed dog for Faith in the hopes that it would cheer her up.

It didn't. When I got home and showed it to her, she scowled. "What is that thing?" she asked, making no move to touch it.

"It's a doggie," I said encouragingly. And just to make it clear, I made embarrassing little barking sounds.

She reached out a tentative finger towards the horror before her, then pulled back before actually touching it. "It's dead," she complained.

"Well... it's not dead. It was never alive. It's a toy."

Her face was now frozen into a scowl. I could see that the toy dog wouldn't make her happy any time soon. "I'm guessing you don't want it?"

She kept her eyes locked onto the thing in my hand and shook her head in slow distaste.

I thought about pulling its head off right in front of her to make her feel guilty. But she was so touchy, I was suddenly afraid of any overreaction on her part. So I just got up and walked away, unalive toy in hand.

#

The next morning I crawled out of bed, shuffled down the hall into my office and sat down at the computer to check my email. But I just stared vacantly at the computer screen. I tried for several minutes, but just couldn't concentrate on any of my messages. There was a nagging feeling that something was missing.

Faith!

I got up and looked around the house; but she wasn't anywhere to be found.

There was no note either. Within minutes I was running around faster and faster, in a genuine panic. I checked cupboards she couldn't possibly fit into. I ran outside the house, calling her name into the trees. They didn't answer. Or if they did, I would have needed Faith to interpret them for me. I suddenly realized that I had found that quirk endearing. I needed her back!

I had to look farther afield. I jumped into the car and peeled out. I stopped off at the commune about a quarter mile down the road where the Medicine Man lived. I found him sitting cross-legged under a tree in the front yard. His face was painted with his own mishmash of American Indian styles. "The fairy," he said to me before I could ask, "She has gone home."

"You've seen her!?"

He shrugged and said, "She has gone home."

Well... at least she was all right. I exhaled and sank down onto the lawn next to him. After gaining control of my breathing and wiping away the teas, I said, "I need to see to her."

He nodded. "I can assist you." He picked up his "peace pipe" from the ground next to him, "Smoke this. It will help you to leave your body and enter the land of the spirits."

I took the pipe. It was a long American Indian pipe with feathers on the far end. "Um, now?"

He shook his head. "Take it with you. You must do this in your own space."

I nodded. "The land of the spirits, huh? And that's where I'll find her?"

Again he shrugged.

That was clearly the best I was going to get out of him. "All right. Thanks."

#

I put the pipe to my lips, lit the contents of the bowl and inhaled. It had been a few years since I had last partied, but this was worse than anything I had ever smoked before. There was a nasty, plasticky taste in my mouth. I had to fight the urge to vomit. And then I forgot what it was to vomit. I also forgot what it was to have a mouth...

I suddenly felt my head swell up, like I had stood up too quickly, or like it was a balloon filled with a mixture of helium and elephant farts. I had trouble focusing. A chill ran through my body, and passed out through my toes, like ten little rockets. And then my body went almost completely numb. Slightly tingly... but numb at the same time.

I drifted out of my body. Not in any direction. But more into a new frame of mind... like waking up.

And I emerged into fairyland....

The sky was dark, with a glowing ground below. It was like a clear summer night with a bright full moon. In fact it was a fluorescent light. Nearly everything was glowing blue, indigo, violet or ultraviolet. The surrounding grass, bushes and towering trees as well as the small birds, and squirrels all glowed. I looked down at my body... which wasn't there. But there was a light in the shape of my body. I was transparent. Everything was transparent. Like it was made of glass. But that would have suggested a hard surface to everything. Things were almost like glowing smoke just hovering in the shapes of plants and animals. I moved my hand-shape through a nearby tree-shape. They passed right through one another with no physical sensation whatsoever.

And there was music in the air... But it wasn't the sound of any musical instruments created by human beings. It was almost a wind. It was nature. It was the universe, the natural universe just humming.

A bunch of bubbles floated by right in front of me. But they weren't just bubbles. I somehow knew that they were more than that. Whatever they were, they were actually alive. So I waved to them with my hand-shape.

The bubbles then changed their course, came back to me and surrounded me. And I remained still. There was a oddly comfortable feeling, like meeting long lost friends. They floated around and around my body-shape, hesitated a moment, sent some good vibes at me, then continued on their way, floating in a trailing formation.

I stood on my own again. But not truly on my own. I felt a connection to everything around me. The grass, the air, the trees, the distant birds and insects, the bubbles, whatever they were. Everything was alive, and it was as though these things were all a part of my mind.

Faith had been right: she was a fairy and this was fairyland. I guess I had only half believed her until I found myself actually in it. And even then it was dream-like. Everything was different here. I was fully conscious, but I was feeling a euphoric giddiness that was strangely similar to sex. There was an intimacy between myself and every living thing around me.

But it was time to find Faith. I looked around... and easily determined in which direction I would find her. I didn't know how I had done it. But I knew that I was right. So off I went.

I moved like I was floating above the surface of the ground. It was as though this was a bad special effect, with the landscape moving by at twice the speed it should. And in no time at all, I found the fairies themselves, glowing bright yellows and oranges.

They were semi-translucent, like the vegetation all around us. Like I was. Perhaps we were all ghosts.

A glowing fairy came forward and introduced herself: She was Faith's mother. Actually mother wasn't quite the right word. But then we weren't even using words. We were just wired up together.

And then Faith just appeared in front of us.

The rest of Faith's family surrounded us. They made it clear that they didn't approve.

So Faith and I moved off together by a small lagoon. There were frogs nearby, glowing different shades of green and pink. I stuck my hand in the water. I could feel nothing physically. But it was like I knew what the water was thinking. It was alive. And it was just sitting there in its own hole in the ground.

I turned to Faith. I pleaded with her to come back with me.

But Faith told me that this was her home. There's a connection here that she couldn't give up easily. She belonged here. And her family wanted her to stay. She had long been the black sheep of the family. And she thought it was now time to grow up.

I wasn't sure what growing up had to do with living with me. I was hurt. And Faith and all the nearby fairies and plants and animals felt that hurt. The land itself cringed at the bad vibes I was sending out. And I suddenly felt bad that I was hurting them... which made them feel even worse. Which made me feel worse! Which made them feel worse! We were like two mirrors pointed at each other, sending out bad vibrations into infinity.

And then it popped! I let out a sort of non-physical sigh.

Faiths's mother came over to us then. She explained to me with infinite patients and kindness that human love wasn't like fairy love. Fairies were in tune with every part of their world. They could feel what every other living thing felt. They weren't spiritually isolated like human beings were. Like I clearly was.

Faith agreed hesitantly.

But then I pointed out that human love was stronger. It had to be. Because humans have to fight through the isolation of their world. We had to deal with the physical as well. But that could be a positive thing too. We were able to touch each other in a way that fairies never could in their own world. And we humans had found a way to express our love physically.

Our conversation went around and around. The bad vibes continued. And it was my fault.

It soon became clear that neither was going to convince the other. Faith would have to stay in her own world. And I would have to stay in mine. It was time for me to leave. A goodbye would be too difficult for me. So I slunk away as best I could.

With every gliding step, I thought that I should be staying. Maybe I could be happy here. There was a beautiful telepathic connection to everything and everyone. But it wasn't my home. I could never touch Faith here. If I stayed here, I could never again hold anyone I loved. I just couldn't part with the physical act of love. That's part of what it is to be human.

I popped myself back into my body. Except that my body had been moved...!

I felt instantly sick to my stomach and my head was throbbing with the most god-awful headache I had ever had in my life. My limbs were sore, my throat hurt, my eyes stung, and I felt like I had a bad sunburn.

I tried to look around, but I had trouble focusing on anything. I saw vague reds, oranges, yellows and a burning white sky, so bright it hurt my eyes even to glance at it. The ground was hot too... like a hot pavement in the middle of the hottest summer.

I couldn't concentrate. I needed to figure out where I was. I shielded my eyes as I tried to scan my surroundings. But all I saw was more glaring bright lights. I had the impression that I was on the surface of the sun.

And then I was suddenly jumped me from behind. I was knocked over. I turned and punched and kicked. Through the glaring lights I saw that I was facing two chupacabras! They jumped on me again. Their claws tore into my flesh, but I shook them off and ran blindly with the nasty little creatures in hot pursuit. With every stride, pain shot through my legs and up my spine. My body was just one big lump of agony.

After mere seconds, they tackled me again and dragged me down flat. There were more of them this time. I couldn't tell how many. All I could see from my vantage point on the burning ground was a forest of stumpy legs standing over me and kicking me.

When the kicking was over, a large number of clawed hands grabbed my arms and began dragging me along the hard, hot ground. I knew that they were chupacabras, but for some reason my brain just didn't want to let that piece of information to connect. I felt bruise after bruise form on my body as they pulled me along like a toddler dragging a blanket.

I was taken into an enormous structure of stone. It almost looked like someone had simply poured concrete from the sky and let it congeal into a vague castle shape. We entered through a large hole in the side of the castle-shape. Once inside, it was less hot and less bright. In the main hall was the king of the chupacabras... or perhaps I should call them gargoyles.

The material of the building looked like concrete, but was shaped like melted wax. I was shoved onto the floor of a cavernous throne room. The king, sitting in a lumpy, rocky throne, was one big scary son-of-a-bitch. His skin was scaly and gray-green. Black slime dripped out of his nose and ears and the corners of his bulbous red eyes. He had a pot-belly larger than any sports fan's I'd ever seen. "What is your name?" he bellowed in a voice that I can only describe as sounding like Jabba the Hutt on helium.

My muddled mind had trouble figuring out if he was addressing me, or even what the words that came out of his mouth meant. That is: I knew what he meant, but it just didn't make sense to me. I could not focus my mind clearly on anything. Finally I shook my head to try to clear it, and blurted out, "Angel. Angel Forrester."

The king began speaking at length. I had to really concentrate to understand him. He spoke English, oddly enough. But it was almost as though I had forgotten what the English language was. He seemed to be saying something about my crimes. He mentioned laws and penal codes, violations and blasphemy. He then got more specific and said something about cavorting with the fairies whom they hated for having no religion or law. He then leaned in closer to me and told me how much he respected human beings because we had both religion and law, and therefore he was going to be lenient with me. He rose slowly to his feet, removed his rag-like clothes, and reached for his genitals while his aides dragged me closer to him....

I fought. I kicked out and struggled, but most of my strength was already gone. In the end, I could do nothing to stop him. I simply wished I was dead.

#

After being sexually molested by the brute, I was taken down into what looked vaguely like an empty shopping mall parking structure. Like the outside of the building, there were no straight lines. It was all very organic in shape, yet as hard as concrete. I was surrounded by rats and bones and puddles of something semi-liquid and bubbling.

The place smelled like a prostitute's used underwear. Or at least what I would guess a prostitute's used underwear would smell like. It stung my eyes and my mind. I was flung into my own little corner of the enormous dungeon and then simply left there.

I lay on what I presumed to be the floor. Up and down weren't really distinctions I could make with my conscious mind anymore. I only figured out it was the floor because I was sticking to it.

And then I threw up. The convulsion made my head feel like it was about to burst. I felt some of the vomit which had lodged itself up my nose. And I felt like some of it had come out the corners of my eyes as well.

I continued to lay in my puddle, every part of me aching and throbbing.

I began to lose all sense of where I was and what was happening to me. I soon began to lose all sense of who I even was. I felt like one big open sore. I was a painful and bleeding hemorrhoid on the butt of life. I was an egg in a frying pan. All I knew was pain. The whole thing was even worse than waiting in line at the DMV.

It almost felt like this entire experience was simply dream. Like I was in the middle of one of those nights where you drift in and out of sleep, and have trouble distinguishing between dreaming and waking. And then I began to believe that that's all that was happening to me. Maybe I had been ill or had been in some kind of accident. Perhaps I was merely drifting in and out of sleep while my body cried out in pain. I could only hope that one day the nightmare would end.

Waking and sleeping took me. I was like a piece of driftwood in the tide, going back and forth. And eventually, as I lay there in my corner of filth, I had a vague impression of Faith. I fantasized that she picked me up and threw me over her shoulder and carried me away. Every movement was agony. My muscles were sore. My skin was sore. Even trying to think was somehow uncomfortable.

The gargoyle king leapt on us. I could barely see Faith grab him. Or was I still delirious? Faith wrestling with the gargoyle king? She was only a tiny little thing. And the gargoyle was a big, fat monster with savage, sticky-out teeth and claws.

I tried to lift my head to see what was happening. And all I could see was Faith keeping her arms wrapped around the creature who continued to bellow in an ear-splitting, chalkboard-scratching shriek.

And then he suddenly dropped. Faith let him go, and he fell to a blob at her feet. Faith then picked me back up and carried me away.

And then I passed out.

#

I woke up in my own bed. Had I merely been dreaming? I looked around. Everything seemed perfectly normal. But then there was suddenly a light floating in the middle of the room at the foot of the bed. It solidified into the shape of a woman. And ageless, beautiful woman in a long, flowing gown. At first I thought it must be the Virgin Mary and that I had died. But then I recognized her as Faith's mother.

She stepped up to me and put a hand gently on my forehead. It felt a tingling surge through my body.

She removed her hand and looked down at me. "You must understand that we can only enter your physical world through an act of concentration. We will a body into existence," she held out her hands to display her own form standing before me. "But Faith has done more than this. Your world is both physical and spiritual. But where you went, where those creatures live, in physical only. We cannot go there... unless..." She leaned closely to me. Her energy went from gentle to almost threatening. "Faith used so much energy to create a physical existence for herself... that it is now permanent. She can never return to her home." If she was trying to make me feel guilty, it was working. "She must now stay in your world. I will hold you responsible for her well-being."

I was still weak. I could only look her in the eye and nod.

She lingered several seconds, looking deeply into my soul. She finally nodded slowly and backed away. And when I blinked, she vanished.

Faith then walked into the room in the space where her mother had just been. She held two turtles in her hands. "Aren't they lovely? We can make a pond for them to life in. I shall call them Francoise and Pierre." And I found myself on the verge of tears. Anyone else would call this girl crazy. But I found myself smiling. I found myself thinking that if she could stay here and be this special every day until I die, then I would die happy. I found myself in love.