Crystal Throne

                                                                                 By Bert McKenzie 

                                                                                  Copyright 2010

 

Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction.  Any resemblance to any real
person alive or dead is coincidental and unintentional.

CHAPTER VI

     The ringing bell interrupted them.  The two men had been sitting
opposite each other around the kitchen table for a good part of the
morning.  Scott had patiently listened with rapt attention to the very odd
tale his guest had related.  The hypnotically mellow voice had actually
transported him to a strange land that appeared to exist by physical laws
not quite like our own.  The visual spell that the visitor's words could
weave was so completely engulfing that Scott felt more like he was watching
a movie than listening to a fantastic story.

     The persistent ringing jolted his senses back to concrete reality,
like a hammer smashing a fragile crystal globe.  He rose from the table
feeling a strong resentment for the intrusion.  "Help yourself to some more
coffee," he offered.  "I won't be long."

     Jennifer stood on the porch, trying to peer in through the frosted
glass panels of the door.  Scott turned the knob, opening it just wide
enough to look out.  "You didn't call me like I told you to," she said.

     "Yeah, well . . ."

     It was obvious that he was trying to keep her on the porch.  "What's
going on?  Can I come in?" she asked.

     "Well, okay, but just for a minute," he said, stepping back and
opening the door to admit her.  "I've got to get ready to go to work."

     "About that," she said as she entered the foyer, "do you know what
time it is?  I went by the shop and Troy said you hadn't even called.  It's
after ten."

     "Well I was up kind of late," he ventured.

     "You look like you haven't even been to bed."

     She turned and headed toward his kitchen.  Scott was beginning to get
annoyed with her habit of making herself so at home.  "Jennifer, Jen!" he
called after her as she charged through his house.  In a moment they were
both standing in the kitchen.  They were alone; the mysterious guest had
once again disappeared.  The table still held the remains of their
breakfast.

     Jennifer eyed the dirty dishes, and the two coffee cups and blushed.
"I . . . I didn't mean to intrude.  I mean I didn't know you had someone
over," she stammered uncomfortably.

     "It's not what you think," Scott said.

     "It better be what I think," she replied.  "If it isn't then why else
would you have had breakfast for two?  And where is your friend, anyway?
I'd love to meet him.  I didn't even know you were seeing anyone.  You
never said anything."

     "Look, the timing just isn't right," Scott explained as he led her
back toward the front door.

     "Oh, sure.  I understand," she said, giving him a knowing wink.  "I
expect you to call me later with all the gory details.  And don't worry
about the shop.  I'll tell Troy to handle things till you can get in."  She
smiled patronizingly at him, and then she left.

     Scott returned to the kitchen and began loading the dirty dishes in
the dishwasher.  He felt strangely disappointed.  Once again he was alone.
The man had vanished.  And he hadn't even finished the fantastic tale he
was telling.  The more he thought about it the weirder the story sounded.
He began feeling a little relief at being rid of the odd stranger.  The man
was probably an escaped lunatic who would have taken the next available
chance to slit his throat.

     Just as he was closing the door of the dishwasher he heard the sound
of water running through the pipes.  Somewhere else in his house, someone
was running water.  It could only mean one thing.  His guest hadn't
disappeared again, but was still around somewhere.  Scott went out into the
main hall and listened closely.  The water was running upstairs.  He headed
up to investigate.

     The door to the large bathroom was located directly opposite to the
bedroom.  This room, too, reflected Scott's personal decorating touch.  The
room was all ceramic tile and glass brick with several large, hanging
baskets of green plants strategically suspended out of the head room.  As
he came down the hall, it was obvious that someone was taking a shower.
The door stood ajar.  Scott looked in and could make out the blurry
silhouette of the man behind the distorting textured glass of the shower
stall.  On the floor, in the middle of the room lay the tattered shorts the
man had worn.  Scott went into his bedroom and lifted his green velour
bathrobe off of the hanger behind the door and crossed the hall back to the
bathroom.

     The water stopped as he was hanging his robe on the hook beside the
shower door.  "I brought you a robe to put on," Scott said as he turned.
The stranger opened the shower door and stood there, outlined by the light
of the glass brick window at his back.  Scott couldn't help but steal a
glance at the nude body standing so near, and for an instant he forgot to
breathe.  The man did indeed look like Michelangelo's David come to life,
his smooth pale skin stretched tightly over firm muscles pulsing with
golden life.  He seemed to be the picture of physical perfection from his
straight Roman nose and classical facial features, to the width of his
broad shoulders, the firm pectoral muscles, his tightly corded stomach
dropping down to a thick patch of curly blond pubic hair surrounding his
genitals.

     Scott blushed and quickly looked away as he handed the man a bath
towel.  "Thank you, Scott Quartermain," the man said as he accepted the
towel and began to dry himself.  Scott quickly turned and crossed the hall
to his bedroom.  He realized he was trembling as he sat on the edge of the
bed and tried to calm himself.  Taking several deep breaths seemed to help.
He got up and began searching through his bureau, looking for some old
clothes to give the stranger.

     "Forgive me if I embarrassed you."

     Scott looked up to see the man standing in the bedroom doorway.  Even
now, dressed in Scott's robe he still exuded a naked masculinity.  "You
didn't embarrass me," Scott lied.  "It's just that I'm not use to . . . I
mean, you were . . ."  He didn't know how to finish the thought.

     "I am not ashamed of my body," the man said as he toweled his hair.
"I often forget how uncomfortable you people can become when confronted
with the natural.  Forgive me."

     "It's okay," Scott said.  They stood looking at each other for a
moment.  Scott felt awkward with the silence and felt that he had to say
something.  "You . . . you have a very nice body," he finally managed.

     The man's smile lit his face like clouds revealing a hidden sun.  "You
are embarrassed by my nakedness and yet when you have nothing to say you
compliment my body.  How contradictory you are."

     Deep down inside Scott thought he should be offended by this
statement, but he had to admit it was accurate.  The smiling face made him
feel good inside until he laughed at himself.  "I guess you're right," he
grinned.  "Pretty stupid."

     "No," the stranger said with a sudden look of seriousness.  "But very
human."  He sat on the side of the bed and continued to towel his long
hair.

     Scott stepped quickly across the hall, grabbed something, brought it
back to the bedroom and held it out to the man.  "Here."

     The stranger looked perplexed at the odd device.  "What is this?" he
asked.

     "A hair drier," Scott answered in amazement.  "Here, let me," he said
plugging the hand held machine into the outlet by the lamp, and taking the
towel from the man.  He reached over and picking up his brush from the
bureau, snapped on the drier.  The man started at the sound it made, and
then reached out to feel the stream of warm air blowing out of the muzzle.
He smiled in obvious delight.

     "You have harnessed the breath of a dragon," he laughed.  Scott
laughed too, and started to brush his hair while directing the stream of
warm air.  He suddenly froze, his blood chilling in his veins.  He snapped
off the power to the drier.

     "What is wrong, Scott Quartermain?" the man asked turning to look at
him.

     "Your ear," he mumbled in reply as he pulled the hair back with the
brush.  The man's ear, rather than having a normal shape, curved gently up,
the top coming to a point.  It looked exactly like Mr. Spock from the
television, only this was flesh and blood and cartilage, not a plastic
prosthetic.

     "Oh," the man said very matter-of-factly, "that is why I wear my hair
in this fashion, to hide them."  He turned his head and pulled back the
damp hair, revealing his other ear.  They were a perfectly matched set.
"This is natural for my race," he explained.

     Scott looked at the brush in his hand.  He could see it shake and
realized he was trembling again.  "It's true," his mind screamed silently.
"The whole story is true."  Turning the power back on, he covered his fears
in activity, brushing and combing the damp curls.  The stranger sat in
silence, enjoying the attention.

     The blond locks finally dry, Scott turned off the machine, walked to
the bureau and sat the drier and brush down on its top.  He kept thinking
of those strangely shaped ears and those piercing green eyes.  He looked up
and saw them in the mirror burning into his soul.  He clenched his own eyes
tightly shut and hung on to the furniture as the room began to revolve
around an off centered axis.

          * * *

     Scott was crying.  He had no idea how long he had been doing this, but
he had apparently flooded the room with his tears.  He was soaking in the
warm, salty water, up to his neck.  He gasped and tried to contain the
sobs, and tried to remember why he was crying in the first place.

     Slowly, reality began to return to him.  But this only brought on
renewed tears, because he remembered that he was crying for the loss of
reality.  He was hopelessly insane.  As each sob racked his body it took a
little more with it until he was finally silent, spent and exhausted.  He
only wanted to sink into the salty water and drown in oblivion.  As he
relaxed his body a hand grasped him firmly, pulling him up, not allowing
his head to sink beneath the water.

     "Scott," a voice called his name from far away.  "Scott, hold on," it
said in a commanding tone.  He reached out in the darkness and grasped onto
the firm arm supporting him.  Slowly, his mind began to clear and he opened
his eyes.  Looking deeply into him were the piercing green eyes of the
stranger.  "Scott, are you there?" the voice asked.

     With a last, gut wrenching sob, Scott caught his breath and regained a
manner of sense.  He was stretched out in his bathtub, soaking in relaxing
warm water.  His guest was kneeling beside the tub, holding him and keeping
him from drowning.  "Scott, can you understand me?"  the man asked.

     Scott managed a feeble nod.  He tried to rise and in the process,
splashed water everywhere.  The man patiently helped him up and out of the
water, and then grabbing a dry towel began to rub him down.  Scott tried to
protest, but was too weak to do more than stand, barely allowing his
skeletal frame to support his body.  The man quickly wiped off the water
and then wrapped him in another towel and led him to the bedroom.

     Lying on the bed, Scott managed to say, "I'm sorry.  I don't know what
happened to me."

     "You were on a mind journey," the man replied.  "I have seen it
before.  It happens when one is confronted by an unacceptable reality.
Many of your kind are not as strong of will.  They would not return as
quickly as you have."

     Scott looked up at the man in the robe sitting on the edge of the bed
beside him.  "You really do exist, and all you told me was the truth," he
marveled.  "You really are a fairy.  And you come from another world."

     The man smiled down at him, confirming his realizations.  "I came from
Tuatha in exile, and now I seek a way home."

     Scott felt the rise of hysterical laughter.  "It's just so ironic," he
managed.  "In my world I've been called a fairy.  If those people could see
what a real one looks like," he began to giggle.

     The man grasped him firmly by the shoulders and gently shook him.
"Scott, stay here with me.  You are dangerously close to leaving on another
mind journey."

     "No," Scott managed.  "I'm alright now."  He forced himself to sit up,
still feeling slightly dizzy.  "Let me get dressed," he said, trying to get
up.

     "What wish you to wear?" the man asked, helping him up.

     "I can manage," Scott replied, opening a drawer and taking out a fresh
T-shirt and pair of jeans.

     "Have you nothing else like this?" the man asked, rubbing the sleeve
of the robe he was still wearing.  "This is proper clothing, loose and
unconfining."

     "That's just a bath robe," Scott replied, finding another pair of
jeans.  "Here," he said offering them to the man.  "You can wear these."

     The fairy stood and dropped the robe on the bed.  Scott looked quickly
away.  "I am sorry.  Again I forget your fear of my body," the man said.

     "You don't understand," Scott replied, his back to his guest.  "I'm
gay."

     "I am happy, too," the man said, not understanding the reference.

     "No," Scott continued.  "I'm a homosexual."

     "I know not what you mean," the real fairy answered.

     Scott turned to look at him.  He was now wearing the jeans.  They fit
his body like a second skin, a bit too tight in all the wrong places.  "I
like guys," Scott explained.  He was greeted by a blank look of
incomprehension.  "I like guys better than girls," he continued, feeling
his face color.  The man only shook his head, not knowing what to say.
"You turn me on," Scott finally managed.

     Slowly, he could see a light of understanding in the eyes of his new
acquaintance.  "You are a natural reversal," the man said.  His
understanding look slowly turned to one of astonishment.  "And this is why
you fear my body?  I would not couple with you forcibly."

     Scott looked at the beautiful man standing in front of him, only
inches away.  "I . . . I'm not afraid of your body," he stammered.  "When I
look at you, I get aroused," he tried to explain.

     "It is not fear of me, but fear of yourself, then," the man said in
comprehension.  "You wished to hide this from me.  But why?"

     The question took him quite off guard.  "Well, it's just that
. . . you might . . . be offended or embarrassed."

     "Embarrassed by love or offended by nature?" the man asked gently and
laughed.  His face smiled back at Scott's consternation.  "I am flattered
by your interest.  You have not embarrassed me or yourself.  If I were of
your world I am sure I would be happy to be your lover, but we are of
different races.  It would not be right."  Scott only colored all the more
at this statement.  He had not intended to let the beautiful man know how
he felt, but when it slipped out, he had never been so gently and politely
rejected in his life.  He turned away, tears coming to his eyes again.

     The man reached out and turned Scott to face him.  "Weep not," he
said, gently touching his fingertips to Scott's cheeks.  "A dolphin may
love an eagle.  Although they cannot nest together, yet their love can
still exist."  He gently hugged Scott to him.  He was only a few inches
taller than Scott.  The man took Scott's face in his hands and gently
kissed his cheek.  The kiss slowly faded from one of tender compassion to
one of emotion charged intensity.

          * * *

     The two men lay side by side on the bed, the stranger on his back
looking at the ceiling, his eyes focused on invisible, far away sights.
Scott lay on his side, facing the man.  He reached out and gently brushed
the golden curls back and away from the man's ear.  He gently stroked the
soft, golden hair as he marveled at the otherworldliness of the man's
pointed ear.  As he watched he noticed a clear, sparkling trickle of water
snaking down over his companion's temple.  It was a tear escaping from
those fierce green eyes.

     "Robin," Scott used the name for the first time.  "What's wrong?" he
questioned.

     The man rolled onto his side to look at Scott, and smiled.  "I like
that.  I like the sound of my name on your lips."  He then heaved a sigh
and laid back again.  "We have acted wrong."

     "But it was beautiful," Scott protested.  He had never had an
experience that was so sexual and yet so spiritual at one and the same
time.

     "Scott, I have bound you with your name, and I have given you my name
for you to bind me.  We have even joined bodies to seal the binding.  Yet
we are of two different worlds.  This is wrong."

     "A dolphin can't love an eagle, I know Tevya," Scott said remembering
a similar line from Fiddler on the Roof.

     "Tevya?" Robin asked.

     Scott rolled over and got up from the bed.  "Never mind," he said
quietly.  "Look, it was wonderful but it was only a roll in the hay," he
said callously.  "Don't get so serious about it."

     Robin sat up, looking surprised.  "You say this means nothing to you?"
he asked in amazement.

     "Nothing," Scott said pulling on his jeans.

     With lightning quickness Robin bounded out of the bed and grabbed him,
almost knocking him over as he was struggling to get dressed.  They locked
eyes, and Robin's face, a picture of confused concern gradually relaxed.
"You lie," he said as he looked into Scott's heart.  "I forget the deceit
of your world.  But how you can say this to yourself, and me . . ."

     Scott was visibly shaken.  He sat down on the foot of the bed.  "I'm
sorry," he muttered.  "Years of practice I guess."

     Robin sat beside him and gently took his hand.  "My poor little
dolphin."

 

 

 

 

 

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