Tuatha's Children  

                                                                                 By Bert McKenzie 

                                                                                  Copyright 2011 

 

 

Date: Sat, 3 Sep 2011 17:09:19 -0400 (EDT)
From: BertMcK@aol.com
Subject: Tuatha's Children Chapter 17

Tuatha's Children
By Bert McKenzie
Copyright 2011

Chapter 17

Jeff looked up at Scott, not sure how to react to what he was just told.
The consort to the king of Tuatha just told him he wasn't welcome back in
the one place where he could be human.  He had risked his life as well as
the life of his lover.  He had returned to the human world and become a
vampire again in order to save the adopted son of the king and his consort,
and now that consort told him not to return.  He just sat in stunned
silence.

"What are you saying?" Willow asked.  He was sitting beside his lover and
had heard Scott's comment.  Jeff might be shocked into silence, but Willow
was angry.  He had begun to feel that Tuatha might be his home.  His father
had been a full blooded fairy and had come from the magical land.  He was a
half breed, but his fairy blood called to him and he felt at home in the
mystical kingdom.  And now he was told that his lover wasn't welcome.  "How
can you say that after all he has done for you?"

Scott quickly sat down opposite them.  "Listen to me for a minute.  It
isn't that I'm not grateful for all you have done.  I think of you as part
of my family now.  Of course I want you back, but I'm concerned..."

"Because he's a vampire?" Willow interrupted.  "You know that once he
crosses into Tuatha he will become human again."

"That's just it.  I'm not sure he will," Scott said.  "I had a long talk
with Alex before I came back.  He is worried about the transformation.  You
see, he's been through something very like this.  He says you get a second
chance, but not a third."

"Yes, he told me that," Jeff nodded.  "He said he couldn't come back here
to the human world or he would die."

"Alex contracted AIDS before he ever came to Tuatha," Scott explained.  "In
our land his disease progressed and he died.  He was allowed to come back
to life by some very powerful magic.  One of the conditions was that he had
to make one trip to the human world and back, but only one, and then he
would get his second chance at life.  But if he comes back to the human
world again, he will have to return to the afterlife.  He'll die."

"What has that got to do with Jeff?" Willow asked, totally confused.

"Alex thinks that the transformation magic that allowed Jeff to become a
human again when he came to our world is similar to the magic that brought
him to life.  Alex thinks that like him, Jeff was given a second chance at
life.  But in returning to the human world, Jeff again became a vampire.
Now if he returns to Tuatha, he'll just die.  As Alex said, the magic gives
you a second chance, but not a third."

"But he's just guessing at all this," Willow protested.  "He doesn't know.
He wasn't a vampire.  His situation is nothing like Jeff's."

"It is exactly like Jeff's," Robin said.  He had heard the conversation and
come back to speak with them.  "Magic is magic.  There are laws and rules.
You cannot bend those rules any more than you can bend your rules of
... what is it called here?"

"Physics," Scott supplied.

"Just so.  Now I know why my love was so quiet and so sad on his return
here.  I thought it was because of leaving our son behind in our homeland,
but now I see it was for the burden he carried.  He knew he must tell you
this."

"But you don't know..." Willow continued.

"No, we don't know," Scott agreed.  "But are you willing to take a chance
with his life?  If he crosses into Tuatha and dies, we can't rush him back.
Remember how we worried that when Jeff came back to the human world he
might become a 200 year old human?  We worried that all his years would
catch up with him and he'd turn to dust?  What if that happens now?"

Willow turned to his lover with tears in his eyes, and then collapsed on
his chest and began to sob.  Jeff patted him on the back.  He was too
stunned to have much of a reaction of his own, so he comforted his lover.

"We shall consult the wizard.  He may know, or have a solution," Robin
said.  "I shall not banish you on such a tenuous theory."

"I'm so sorry, Jeff," Scott apologized.  "We talked you into coming back
here to help us out and now I feel like we've trapped you."

"It was my choice," Jeff said quietly.  "Besides, if I have to stay a
vampire, I'll just make the most of it.  Life isn't all that bad.  There
are only a few things I have to give up, but look what I have in return."
He glanced down at his lover in his arms.

* * *

The plane touched down in London, refueled and then was on its way to New
York.  A number of hours later they were coming in for a landing at JFK.
It was early morning, the sun just coming up as they left the airport.
Craig had a special car waiting to pick them up and they hurried to an
apartment that Jeff kept in the city.  They pulled into an underground
garage and up to a parking stall.

"Mr. Jefferson," an older black man said with a smile.  "Welcome home,
sir."

Jeff got out of the car and gave the man a hug.  "Willie, it is so good to
see you again."

"Are you going to be staying long?"  Then he turned to see the others
climbing out of the town car.  "And Mr. Craig and Mr. Willow.  It's good to
see you boys."

"We'll be leaving again this evening," Jeff said as the Robin, Scott and
Rood climbed out of the car.  "But I expect we'll be back in a few days to
stay for a good long while."

"That's good to hear," the older man beamed.  "Willie will take care of
you.  You just leave it all to me."  He then escorted the group to the
elevators and smiled as he saw them into the compartment, reaching in and
pushing the button for the penthouse."

The doors opened and the group stepped out into a small lobby.  Craig
stepped to the door of Jeff's apartment, opening it and letting the group
in.  Craig's staff had prepared the place for their arrival, stocking the
kitchen with blood for Jeff and a supply of vegetarian fair for Willow and
their guests.  There were fresh flowers around the apartment and the drapes
were open over the tall windows showing the magnificent view of the city.
"This is a great view," Scott said, looking out the window.

"You can see the Statue of Liberty from the bedroom," Willow replied.

"But such big windows with the sun?"

"Special glass that keeps out the UV rays which are what causes the
problems," Willow answered.

Meanwhile Craig had stepped behind the bar that separated the kitchen from
the living room/dining area and began to prepare some lunch for everyone.
Willow joined him and they quickly set the table with a fresh salad, some
bread and an assortment of cheeses, and a fresh bottle of blood for Jeff.
Everyone sat down to a late morning meal.  Craig called his fianc‚ after
lunch while Scott took a nap and the fairies and Jeff sat in the living
room discussing their plans.

"We have left Casseldra and Jennifer in the dwelling that houses our
entrance to Tuatha," Robin explained.  "When your friend has finished
speaking with his lady, we shall have him talk with them.  Casseldra will
have her father meet us in this world and perhaps he may have an answer to
some of our questions."

Jeff shook his head.  "I'm not sure I want to get my hopes up if I'm just
going to be disappointed."

"Let us find what answers we can before making decisions," Robin replied.

Soon Craig was off the phone and excused himself.  He was going to hurry
home to spend some time with Angela before meeting them at La Guardia
Airport that evening.  Before he left he made a call and connected Robin
with Jennifer and Casseldra in Illinois.  Casseldra agreed to speak with
her father and get him to do some research.  He would meet them in the
human world when they arrived in the early morning hours that next day.

The day passed slowly and finally the sun dropped behind the horizon.  The
friends again took the elevator back to the underground garage where Willie
had a car waiting for them.  Their driver took them to La Guardia and the
met Craig and Angela, his fianc‚.  She had come to see them off.  She
was an attractive blonde with a stylish air to her, but greeted them all
like old friends.  She hugged Jeff and thanked him for keeping her
husband-to-be safe in all their many adventures.  "I understand you are to
be Craig's best man.  I am so happy.  He talks about you all the time."
Jeff grinned and thanked her for her understanding, letting her loved one
travel all over the world to help him out of his many situations.  They
then boarded a private jet and took off for Illinois.

The men arrived at the old Victorian house in the early morning hours and
were greeted at the door by Jennifer.  She led them into the drawing room
where Casseldra sat trying to mollify her grumpy father.  He did not like
to be at anyone's beck and call, but realized that when the king made a
command he had to obey.  The last place he wanted to be was the human
world, but here he sat in a human dwelling, waiting to talk with a night
walker.

"Old father, it's good to see you again," Rood said with a cheery smile.
He and the wizard did not get along at all.  Rood had often teased and
goaded the little fairy.

Elnar looked up at the captain of the guard.  "I see you are still alive.
I had hoped perhaps the night walker would have eaten you."

"Now you know fairies are poison to night walkers," Rood replied.

"And eliminated two problems at once," Elnar continued.

Robin sat in a chair opposite the wizard while the others arranged
themselves about the room.  Jeff and Willow stood side by side near the
door.  Jeff affected a pose of indifferent interest, trying his best to
look as though he didn't care what the wizard had to say.  "Lord wizard,"
Robin began.  "I know your daughter has given you our questions.  Lord
Jefferson is honored among our people and has gone to great lengths to
provide service to the throne.  All this he undertook as a personal favor
to me and thereby to all of Tuatha in rescuing the crown prince, Roon.  We
would prefer he return to the land and be one of our kingdom.  But we are
concerned that this might not be possible.  What can you tell us?"

The little wizard looked from the king to the vampire.  He squirmed in his
chair, and then began his explanation.  "When the night walker was
transformed from a human to a night walker, everyone in this world believed
he had died.  In reality his vibrational energy had simply slowed down to a
point where he appeared to be dead.  If you examine the body of a night
walker, it is alive; it just has such a slow rate of vibration that the
skin feels cold to the touch.  The lungs don't need to breathe in the same
rate as a normal living man.  Even his heart beats, but that beating is so
slowed that it swells to full then contracts again at a rate of perhaps one
beat per lunar cycle if that often."

Robin nodded.  "This has been explained to us before," he said.

"When the night walker stepped into our land, he was rapidly taken to a
faster vibrational rate.  He once again had the vibration of other humans
in our land.  This means he would again breathe normally and need to ingest
more substantial food.  In short, he would appear to be a normal human
being.  When the night walker returned to this land which has a slower
vibration rate than our land, he again fell back into the rate of his
previous life.  He again became a night walker."

The little wizard paused and looked around the room, then indicated Scott
and Jennifer.  "Normal humans, when they come to Tuatha, really change not
in their vibrational rates.  They speed not up to our world in the same
manner as has the night walker.  They seem to still be human, which
explains why they retain more of their animalistic natures and not the
higher natures of a true Tuathan."

"Let us not be insulting our human friends," Rood cautioned, but Robin
waved his hand to hush his guard.

"Since they change not at that intimate level, they are able to come and go
between worlds.  We too change not as much.  We are able to come and go
between worlds.  But some changes are much more intrinsic.  The change of
the night walker for example is a much greater change.  His first change
occurred when he became a night walker.  A great transformation took place
when he became human in Tuatha.  Going back to his world slowed him back to
the condition of a night walker again.  I would expect that he has
experienced some difficulty in this return.  I would imagine that his
turning into a night walker again was not a natural or pleasant
experience."  The wizard looked at Jeff with a raised eyebrow.

"You are correct," he admitted.  "It did seem a much rougher change than
the first time I become a vampire."

"And I would also expect that he has experienced a few other symptoms of
that difficult transition.  Perhaps he has felt sluggish, or has not
bounced back as quickly from any physical difficulty he has had."

Willow looked alarmed.  "You did have those problems," he said.  "But we
thought it was just because the UV rays were more intense in Colorado
because of the higher altitude."

"I know not what a UV ray is, but he would be able to recover less quickly
from some detrimental effects since his latest transformation."  The little
wizard smiled, grateful that his theory had been proven.  Of course this
facial expression only angered the rest of the group since he seemed happy
at Jeff's expense.

"Lord wizard," Robin said, catching everyone's attention.  "Our question is
what will be the result of our friend returning to Tuatha?"

All eyes turned to Elnar in curiosity, hope and fear.  The little man in
the enveloping blue robes sat for a moment in thought before speaking.  "As
it appears that my previous theories have been supported by fact, then I
must assume that my theories are following the course of logic."  He looked
directly at Jeff.  "Your body has slowed.  It was speeded up the first time
and then dropped down again.  If you were a sturdier being, like one of
us," he indicated the fairies, "you might survive another such transition.
But as you started out with a human body, I fear it would not hold together
for another such change.  If you return to Tuatha, your physical body will
try to speed up again and it will simply fly apart.  It will be as if you
are burning up from the inside out and in a very short time you will cease
to exist.  We shall not need flashweed for your funeral as you will
decompose so rapidly there will be little left but to sweep up the ash."
He again smiled at his analysis of the situation.

Willow fell onto Jeff's chest, sobbing.  Several of the others in the room
also expressed their disappointment and concern.  Rood however looked over
at the little wizard, sitting on the oversized chair with a big grin on his
face and grew angry.  He reached over and smacked the little man firmly on
the back of his head, all but knocking him out of the chair.  Rood felt
satisfied that the expression on the wizard's face was now appropriate as
the little man showed anger and pain, along with the rest of the room.

"Then that settles the matter," Robin said as he slowly rose from where he
was sitting.  "You are hereby banned from Tuatha.  I shall not have my
friend and one who has rendered our whole kingdom such a great service burn
up and decompose because of our land.  However, you shall be awarded our
highest honor and should you ever have need of any service or object that
anyone from our kingdom can supply, you need only send your partner with
the request and we shall immediately comply.  Of that you have my word as
high king, and you shall always have my friendship and loyalty."  Robin
stepped over to where Jeff sat, still holding his lover, and Robin knelt
before him, bowing his head and offering his right hand in pledge of faith.

As the group dispersed, some time later, Jennifer spoke quietly to Scott,
then found Craig and took him aside as well.  Willow and Jeff were sitting
on the comfortable furniture out on the wide veranda that surrounded the
front and south side of the house, quietly talking when Craig, Jennifer,
Scott and Robin stepped out.  "We'd like to speak with you for a moment,"
Jennifer began as the others took seats or leaned against the porch rail.
"Craig said you have an apartment in New York, but that your house had
burned down not too long ago, that you don't really have a home."

Jeff just looked up at her, but Willow was the one who spoke.  "We had
hoped that Tuatha would provide a home for us.  I guess we were wrong."

"Well, I had a thought.  Once upon a time Scott had owned this house.  But
then he moved to Tuatha with his lover.  Well, when he went there, he was
declared legally dead and his house came to me, so I legally own it.  But
over the last several years, it has been vacant because I've been living in
Tuatha as well."

"This has been a matter of concern to us," Robin interjected.  "You see,
this dwelling sits on a nexus which tends to be where the two worlds join.
Anyone from your world could come wandering into this unguarded dwelling
and end up in our world.  This has actually happened in the past.  At those
times we were extremely lucky, but it could have had serious consequences
for both worlds."

"Robin really needs someone to guard the entrance to our world," Scott
continued.

"And you could use a nice home," Jennifer added.  "What I'm suggesting is
you purchase my house."

Jeff looked at her in confusion.  "You want me to buy your house?  And live
here as some sort of guard dog?"

"It's a nice house and would make someone a nice home.  But it needs to be
lived in.  I can't do that if I'm living in Tuatha.  And I obviously can't
just sell it to anyone who might buy it off a real estate agent.  How do we
explain when a bunch of fairies come walking out of the closet upstairs?"

The thought of fairies coming out of the closet struck Willow as funny and
he began to laugh.  "This is quite serious," Robin said sternly.  "We
cannot have strangers occupying the gateway to Tuatha.  And as you are part
fairy, you would owe an allegiance to your estranged homeland."  Willow
sobered up quickly.

"I don't know," Jeff said.

"It would be your home," Jennifer returned.  "I'm willing to sign the
papers and Craig said your firm can draw them up quickly.  We'd even be
willing to pay you a small stipend to allow for access to the closet
upstairs, and the tunnel in the back of the garage."

"Wait, there's a tunnel in the back of the garage?" Willow asked in
surprise.

"This is a nice community, and it might be a good idea for you to have a
home out here in the Midwest," Craig added.

Jeff could see that everyone was pushing for the same answer.  He thought a
moment.  Why did he want to resist?  Was he just being stubborn?  It was a
nice house and it would be great to have a place to settle down with his
lover.  And it couldn't hurt to do another favor for the fairies.  After
all his 'father-in-law' was one.  He finally grinned and nodded his head.
"Okay, you got yourself a guard dog."

"Oh, maybe we could really get a dog," Willow said excitedly.

"Not such a good idea," Jeff replied.  "Dogs and cats tend to avoid
vampires.  They sense the differentness and the danger."

Craig smiled.  "I'll get on the phone and get the papers drawn up.  And in
the meantime, you're all invited to a wedding."

"Wedding?  Who is getting married?" Jennifer asked.

"He is," Jeff said, indicating Craig.  "I'm afraid he's been putting it off
because of all our little adventures.  But Angela isn't going to wait
forever."

"You know, there is a really nice back yard here with a rose garden and
everything," Jennifer suggested.  "Do you think your fianc‚ would be
willing to come to Illinois to get married?"

"If she wishes, we can even have the reception in the great hall, just on
the other side of the closet," Scott suggested, then looked to Robin for
confirmation, who nodded with a smile.

"That might be a bit much for her," Craig replied.  "I think it's going to
be enough of a shock to have a group of fairies attending the wedding.  But
before we start planning on having it in the rose garden here, maybe we
should ask the new homeowners."

"As your best man, what can I say?" Jeff replied with a grin and hugged his
friend.

"Think you we could have a double ceremony?" Rood asked.  Everyone looked
at him in surprise.  "There is a lady doctor in Tuatha that I have grown
awfully fond of and I was just thinking..."  He was suddenly surrounded by
his friends, clapping him on the back in congratulations.

"So tell me, my friend.  Who will be your best man?" Robin asked.

Rood smiled in his characteristic lopsided grin.  "Well, there is this
vampire in the land beyond the big sea.  Think you he would make the
journey?"  They all roared with laughter at the thought of inviting
Sidonio, Andre and some of the Italian vampires to a wedding in Illinois.
The laughter and congratulations evolved into a party of sorts that lasted
into the night, when suddenly Rood stood up with a strange look on his
face.

"What's wrong?" Scott asked, noticing his expression.

"I just had a thought.  Perhaps before we make many further plans I should
ask Sharon if she wishes to bond with me."  Every broke into laughter as
Rood made a quick dash for the stairway and the magical closet above.

 

 

 

 

 

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