Hello everyone. Thanks for coming back. During the past four weeks we’ve all been playing with my mini-series on the five senses. However, since Valentine’s Day is this weekend I decided to write a short story for the occasion. Next weekend I’ll be back with the fifth and final part of the mini-series.
If you know me at all, then you are not expecting a romance, certainly not a typical one anyway. This is an odd little story I jotted down on impulse, but I hope you’ll enjoy it.
The narrator made one previous appearance here at Teagan’s Books in a short story called Kokopelli’s Daughter. It’s just a little flight of fancy.
Kokopelli’s Daughter and Valentine’s Day
Moments after sleep blanketed my tired mind, my eyelids sprang open. I shot out of the bed and ran toward the kitchen in a state near panic. As I skidded around the corner I flipped on the light switch. I stumbled to a stop at the calendar that hung beside the refrigerator. A moan escaped my lips when I saw the date — February 13th, but only for a couple more hours.
How could I have forgotten? Being Kokopelli’s daughter I unconsciously exert a unique magic on Valentine’s Day. It’s a very tricky sort of magic too. My father is a music spirit, but also the eternal trickster. The magic of that genealogy is a dirty trick forever played on unsuspecting people through me. The joke is also on me as often as everyone else. It’s uncontrollable, and it gets stronger and stranger each year.
The picture on the calendar should have been a good enough reminder. A bewildered boy holding one heart-shaped box of candy, greeted by two identical girls — it was a painful reminder of one year’s disastrous Valentine’s Day. That year desires doubled on one side of a couple, but were cut in half on the other. I was surrounded by angry twosomes… not to mention my own overly amorous date.
Another year I happened to be in Japan on Valentine’s Day. I had no idea the gender roles for were reversed there in that women bought chocolates for men. The magic that surrounded me on that day wreaked havoc, and not just roles, but men and women themselves were reversed for miles around me.
After that year I made a point of taking myself to some remote corner of the world on Valentine’s Day. Yet somehow the date had escaped me. The best I could do would be to simply get as far away from civilization as I could manage in the short time remaining before midnight.
I jumped into a pair of jeans and threw on a leather jacket. I ran out of my “painted lady” Victorian home on Haight Ashbury. I hurried down the stairs and vaulted into my yellow 1928 M-Type MG Midget.
I headed the Midget up the coast to Highway 101. Even if I “helped” the car travel faster, I couldn’t get far enough away before midnight. However, at least humanity would only be on one side of me. The ocean would be on the other.
When the clock struck twelve, I felt it deep inside without even looking at my watch. I pulled the MG off the highway and walked down to a deserted beach. Sitting down on the sand, I gazed up at the cloudless sky. With a groan I saw that fate conspired with magic to make things worse. The moon was full. There were formations on the face of the moon that some people referred to as the “rabbit moon.” However, I knew the truth of that. The shape on the moon was not a rabbit, but Kokopelli!
I glared at the luminous orb. Soft chuckling emanated from the heavens in return to my spiteful stare. Then the trickster appeared beside me.
“Do you know, hija,” my father began. “It was the twisted magic of this night that brought your mother to me.”
I answered with a silent gaze, waiting for him to continue. I thought of my mother, Themis, the Greek goddess of Justice. The odd mix of my parents gave me constantly warring impulses. Because of Themis I was forever compelled to see justice done. Yet my nature was also to be a trickster like Kokopelli.
“Play for me, hija. Play upon the beautiful flute your mother gave you,” he urged offering me the flute I had left at home.
“You play far better than I could ever hope to play. If you want music, then play for yourself,” I said irritated. I turned my head toward the moon which was suddenly and suspiciously devoid of “rabbit” like formations and shadows. Abruptly his duplicitous intent sprang with clarity to my mind. “You would have me bring her to you! Themis would never forgive me,” I admonished my father.
“If you play for me,” he urged purely devious. “I will mix my greater magic with your accident riddled, enchanted emanations. You could have a Valentine’s Day the likes of which mortals can only dream,” he pressed and then smirked when he saw the sharp expression on my face. “And by dream I do not mean nightmares. How hurtful that my daughter would think such of me,” he added with such a preposterous pout that I rolled my eyes.
“No?” he asked again proffering my multi-colored flute.
My answer was a loud snort. Kokopelli began to play the flute himself. He danced slowly on the beach as he played. Fish began to summersault out of the ocean, flipping seafoam into moonlight glittered heart shapes before they splashed back into the sea.
I felt movement at my side. Turning, I was stunned to see my mother beside me. Themis smiled at me gently, but fire smoldered in her eyes when she turned toward my father.
“Just one dance,” she whispered. “Just this once.”
Kokopelli and Themis danced. The flute appeared on the sand beside me. Though it was untouched, the music continued. I knew their dance would soon progress to movements no one wanted to see their parents make.
I strolled down the beach and out onto a jetty. I heard the loud noise of something large as it slapped the water. A great fishtail with scales shimmering in the moonlight, arced down to again slap the water.
Music from my magically played flute wafted to my ears. I rolled up the legs of my jeans and strolled into the ocean. Hundreds of tiny fish jumped into the air, also making heart shapes in the reflected light of the full moon.
I continued to walk and soon the water was hip-deep. Then the large shimmering tail slapped the surface again. A merman beckoned to me playfully. I looked back down the coast and saw that Kokopelli and Themis still danced.
The magic that was part of me twisted fitfully on Valentine’s Day, but my father’s enchantment was holding things in place, at least for that span of time. So I decided to seize the moment.
As I took the merman’s hand the tune of the flute trilled.
I hope you’ll come back next time for the fifth and final installment of the mini-series on the senses.
Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
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