The First Night of Spring

 

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Dog Rose moved silently across the lawn of the small park, heading towards the locked gates on Manor Road. Tonight he would take his route around the terraces houses that lined the streets around Manor Road. This was one of his favourite routes but he hadn’t travelled it for some nights.

When he reached the gates Dog Rose simply gave a shiver of his body and he passed right through them. For a fairy like Dog Rose it was easy to shift the reality of his body and pass through any solid object; but that was barely one of his talents.

The humans were still arguing about when spring actually began for centuries now and they still couldn’t agree when it was. But the fairies, like Dog Rose, always knew when spring began, and it was tonight. Dog Rose intended to mark the night with something special.

This had been his area for centuries now. He had lived here ever since he’d been brought into this life. Back then there had been a whole community of fairies living here and he’d relished their company. Back then this all had been open countryside, long narrow fields with thick hedges and full orchards. Over the following decades and decades Dog Rose saw the city slowly and relentlessly take over this area. He saw the fields turned into factories and streets of terraced houses. Now the only open areas were the patches of grass and neat parks in the east end of the city.

As the area changed, swallowed up by the city, the other fairies had left or drifted away. They had said the city was no place for them but Dog Rose didn’t agree. As the city grow around him he found his new environment fascinating, there were so many new opportunities here, so many more chances for mischief as more people came to live here and the new buildings went up.

As the other fairies left more and more Dog Rose found himself on his own, and the more he found himself alone the less pleasure he found in creating mischief. For the last handful of decades, since he had been left here alone after White Daisy had left to find the countryside again, he had barely committed any mischief, there was no pleasure in it any more.

Though he hated to admit it, Dog Rose was lonely and longed for company.

It had been raining during the day and the pavement Dog Rose moved over still had the odour of moisture. Even at this late hour of the night, the streets were still not dark, light poured out onto them from the houses and street lights that lined them, but still Dog Rose was not concerned. He could easily make himself disappear if anyone came along whom he didn’t want to see him.

The boy was there again, sitting out on the flat roof of the extension to his home, the last house on Livingstone Street. The boy was still staring up at the night sky, his legs stretched out in front of him, his body slumped down in sadness. Dog Rose had seen him many times before, he had even struck-up a kind of friendship with the boy, appearing in the guise of another youth.

Unseen, Dog Rose drifted up to the flat roof and with a shiver of his body turned himself into the youth, the one the boy had seen before. Then he walked around the roof to the boy and sat down next to him.

“Hello,” Dog Rose said.

The boy turned towards him and Dog Rose saw that the boy’s face was swallowed with a large bruise. Seeing Dog Rose the boy’s face broke into a smile, though it was limited by that bruise.

“You came back,” the boy said. “I haven’t seen you in days.”

“I’ve been occupied but I’d never not come back, not to you. What happened to your face?”

“My dad found another gay mag’ in my bedroom. He said he’d beat the gay out of me, this is what I got. God I hate the bastard, I wish he was dead or I was dead or a million miles away from here. I hate it.” A tear appeared in the corner in his eye as he spoke.

“Why don’t you leave, run away?”

“I’m sixteen and I’ve got no money and no nothing. I’m stuck here until I can get a job or something.”

“You could run away with me?” Dog Rose said.

“You’re no older then me, you got any money or anything?”

“I’ve got something better,” with a shiver Dog Rose cast off his disguise, his body falling back into its true form. His skin glowing silver, his blonde hair falling over his tunic with its matching britches, and his translucent wings rising out of his back.

“Oh God,” the boy whispered, his face filling with delight.

“Come with me,” Dog Rose said.

“Yes,” the boy replied.

Dog Rose lent forward and placed his mouth over the boy’s. In a deep and passionate kiss Dog Rose drew out the human spirit of the boy and breathed into him new and magical life. It was a kiss of love and new life, the same kiss that Dog Rose had received when, centuries ago, he was first drawn into this life.

****

Dog Rose led Lichen, his new companion and the first new fairy in this area for decades, back up Livingstone Street, at an almost break-neck speed. With delight rushing through his body, Dog Rose was taking Lichen to start a night of mischief. They would light this area up with their mischief and Dog Rose could feel Lichen’s excitement bubbling over as they ran along hand-in-hand.

****

The next morning the body of Gavin John Richey, a sixteen year old youth, was found on the flat roof of his home, in Livingstone Street, East London. They could not determine his cause of death, the pathologist eventually said it was heart failure, though his body showed the evidence of the abuse he’d suffered for years. The police soon discovered that the abuse had been at the hands of his father, Malcolm Richey, a man with a long reputation for his angry temper and acts of violence.

The local area was alive with opinions when Malcolm Richey was arrested for his son’s murder, many people said they had seen it all coming, even when they had not.

Malcolm Richey's forthcoming trail filled the local newspaper but for the area’s residents it competed for their attention with the strange outbreak of poltergeist activity that was suddenly plaguing their local streets, as if two mischievous spirits had suddenly found a new life there.

 

Drew Payne

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