Sometimes small villagers come over to my estate to play. I have especially good grounds for play, romp and frolic. Some of these small villagers cannot play on their own lands because there are fiery beasts. They have no staff to eradicate the beasts so they travel to my estate for outdoor relief. They often bring toys with them. When they depart they sometimes leave these toys behind.
Some says it’s just forgetfulness on the part of the tots. Some say it’s sorcery on my part or of Those with whom I collude. Luring children into my enchanted realm so I (we) can play with their toys. I (we) neither confirm nor deny but I (we) always give them back; the toys to the tots, upon their return.
It’s true that I sometimes I play with these toys when I find them forgotten after the mayhem of young goodbyes. Sometimes the Unseen Others who cohabitate on my lands also play with these toys, so I understand the whispers of our conspiracy. Our cons’ piracy.
It serves as equal parts lark and ritual. I’ll look out the window to find the toys moved around the estate far from where I left them. Other times I stumble across them left in strange places as I walk in the gardens. This hauling vessel was left behind a fortnight ago by ruddy lad who runs out of his shoes and oozes trails of snot upon life and limb.
It keeps turning up in places I didn’t leave it so the Others and I are using it to exchange certain items, such as magic, mystery, music, and the like. The Others who currently occupy the grounds are particularly fond of show tunes. They like songs which tell stories. After I finish my turn with our yellow plaything I’ll sing a song into the bucket, the cab, the grooves between the tires and leave it for Them.
I’ll know when the Others are gathering the songs because I’ll hear the music coming back to me across the grounds in odd moments and interludes. Like scent carries on the wind, so floats tunes of people who will not be slaves again or carefully taught to hate all the people their relatives hate. Six bars here, four there, as I go about my business.
In return They leave me seeds of truths, next steps, riddles, and maps. Or we simply exchange treats. They don’t care for money; pennies and such. They always send back the money. I’m not a fan of bones but I try to listen anyway. Bones hold rhythm but no notes. Food seems to be a proper offering for Them as long as it is whole. Nothing cooked. And sometimes I don’t understand what I’ve been left but I keep it for a while until I do.
And when I do, I don’t always like what They tell me. Mostly because I don’t want to dis-believe things I’ve already decided are true. They debunk my known truths, especially around the dark moon (new moon). I think They must overhear me speaking to the villagers or observe me writing and then want to correct me when we are alone. Such as the time They told me the all we have is now maxim isn’t true at all.
You know the one. The past is gone and the future hasn’t happened yet, so all we really have is right now. I believed this. It sounded right to me. There was solace in the exercise of detachment and focus only on the present moment. It’s a fine meditation tool. I repeated this as truth. I wrote it. I preached it. They say no. They say the past might indeed be gone but we still have it. The future obviously hasn’t happened yet but we still have that too. We’re still in it. It’s still mine. Still ours. Now is not all.
Other times our exchanges are less philosophical. I once asked why Southerners use lick as a unit of measure. As in, I didn’t get a lick of sleep, or make a lick of sense, or after I fixed this thing it didn’t drip a lick. All I got back was reminder that my favorite unit of measure is a shit-ton. We often don’t speak for a while after such a trade.
Tonight They will gather with me around my Samhain fire and we will practice our prayers in Scottish brogue for the passing of our Sean. Con’s piracy to invite his Folke to make the trip across the pond and know our comfort. To be our comfort. The permeable veil becomes a flag. And until the Snot Monster returns again, we’ve got toys. Come play.