Only in Dreams
by Sly Squirrel
©2002 Sly Squirrel -- all rights reserved
It's starting again.
I can see it happening as if it were the first time, can see the fur slowly crawling over my body, feel my face morphing and shifting, sense a large, bushy tail exploding from the base of my spine. As I look around the park no one is paying any attention, but a quick glance to the right brings me face-to-face with a smiling Jervis.
Why can't the visions just leave me alone?
He was right there! Nothing had gone wrong. I hadn't left him after all! His arms were open to me, his body quickly transmuting like mine. Finally he had forgiven me! With a chitter of glee I ran over to grab his fairy body in a tight embrace. I knew I'd never leave him again...
But with a bright flash of light I fell through him, landing on the ground with a thud. The fur sank back into my skin, the tail retracted, my face snapped back to it's masculine human shape. Why did he have to torture me so? A tear streaked my cheek, and I continued to amble through the park.
I had to leave him, I tried to convince myself of that for a year, but it just came down to my own anxiety. I knew I loved him, I knew he loved me, but still I left. Things like that weren't done where I came from; in fact, they were considered wrong.
But he loved me, and I loved him.
The fact that I loved him sent a guilty lance through my spine, a cold, numbing lance that lodged itself deep within my heart and didn't let go. Each time I met that fairy in the park I felt a mixture of pure joy and a punishing self-hate. Whenever we went into public I begged him to transform me; at least in a different body I didn't have to put up with everyone's demeaning glares.
Eventually it came to be too much. One day I just hopped into my car and drove off, letting my wanderlust take control. In those six months I went wherever the wind took me, visited all the bars I could find, talked to every woman that would listen, tried to convince myself that I was normal.
I never saw Jervis again.
Well, I didn't physically see Jervis again. But the visions started soon after I left, torturing visions of Jervis sitting on this park's fountain basin, crying his cares away, trying to piece together why I left. Those visions brought up punishing feelings of remorse. I didn't want to hurt him...
And he didn't want to hurt me. He loved me, and I loved him. But I had left, and I knew I'd see him only in dreams from then on.
Everywhere I look painful memories erupt. To my left is the old oak tree we used to snuggle in late at night in our squirrel bodies. A little ways down the bricked path, a bridge we sat on while we gazed at the stars. And to my right...
No, it's too much. There was the fountain where we first met. The visions come back again, this time I can almost hear him beckoning me with a soft whisper. I walked over to the fountain, tears flowing freely as the sound became clearer and clearer.
"Vince!" he cried from the tree, "Vince, it's me!" I panned around the fountain, trying to find where the next hallucination would come from. He was sitting at the base of the fountain, a gentle smile on his face. With a wink he patted the seat beside him, and I begrudgingly sat down. I knew what was going to happen next; I sniffled and looked into his deep blue eyes and tried to keep my composure. In a few seconds he'd be gone again...
But he reached out and grabbed my shoulder, the warmth radiating through my body. Dreams couldn't reach out and touch someone! That meant it had to be...
"I knew you'd come back," he whispered in my ear. My blood ran ice cold for a moment, but a beautiful sensation came over me. I knew what I had to do.
"I... I... I didn't mean to hurt you, Jervis, I was just scared. Scared of what other people would think." The tears started to flow freely, dripping on the marbled fountain base. The soft swish of water came forth from the base of the thing, covering the conversation in a homely ambience.
"I know," Jervis replied, "and that's fine. Let's just enjoy the moment, okay?" He raised his fingers into the air and winked. "Are you with me?"
I smiled. "You know I'm with you all the way."
With a wink he snapped his fingers, and the beautiful sensation of fur came over me again.