Witch-Girl – The Thing About Rainbows
“All things end,” she says, “it is the nature of things.”
The witch-girl sits upon the sofa.
She is dressed in a t-shirt (black, with the design of a large, pink heart) and panties (pink), and she is languid, slouched in one corner of the sofa, her legs stretched out across its surface, crossed feet dangling. She holds a bowl up in one hand, a long spoon in the other, and she is talking.
The demon notices all these things because they annoy him.
The sofa is there because she had stood, pointing at an empty expanse of floor, and said, “Bring me the sofa,” and so he had. It rests, now, in front of the large glass doors leading out into the balcony. The large doors are closed. He had been the one to close them.
He notices her dress because the very first time he had met her, she was half-naked (the bottom half), and that made him check, every time he sees her, that she was hiding what is meant to be hidden. In the week that they’ve spent together, he has learnt to avoid her after she showers.
He notices the way she sits because it looks as if she has no spine. This is particularly annoying to him, because her posture represents her, encapsulates her very soul as a cooler would encapsulate a heart, with air-tight completeness. Her posture represents her essence, and her posture says: lazy.
He is very concious of how lazy she is, because people need to move things through the world, and her way of moving things is, well, him. “Bring me cereal,” she would say, then “Bring me milk for my cereal,” and, after that, “Bring me chocolate sauce for my milk.”
But more annoying than all of this: the talking. She is talking now.
The demon sighs.
Sitting in the sofa, in front of the large glass doors, the witch-girl is eating her cereal, enjoying the dance of the lightning. It comes and goes, she says, like those little moles you have to hit with a hammer. I hate those moles, she says, dirty little rodents.
The demon’s eyes track the long spoon she waves through the air as she rambles on; it is sending bits of cereal and drops of milk all over his freshly mopped floor.
She moves her head, to better see the reflection of the demon in the glass.
“You should smile more,” she tells him, her long spoon pointing at his reflection, “Hurricanes are such fun!”
He forces a smile, catches his own reflection in the glass: the word “rictus” springs to mind.
But she is no longer looking at him. She is intent on the hurricane without, and she is talking about moles.
Not for the first time, the demon thinks: The stories are right. If you’re bad, if you don’t do as you’re told, you end up on Earth. Earth isn’t so bad, someone would say. Have you been there? someone else would ask. No, but I know someone who did.
This is Earth; where a slip of a girl holds your heart hostage and moves through your world, making a mess for you to clean up, talking as she does so. And you can’t ignore her, at least not fully, because she gets annoyed if she wants something brought and you do not bring it. You do not like it when she is annoyed, she can get very snarky.
He feels homesick. He misses the red sky and the different quality of the air. Most of all, he misses the sounds; every last sound of home; each of them distinctly, joyously, not of a girl endlessly talking.
“Of course,” he says, unsure of what he had agreed with.
But his subconscious, now so finely tuned to her whims, causes him to reach out and dab his fingers into a small tub of white goo; stage make-up. He looks in the bathroom mirror and sees the spot that she is pointing out, and rubs the white across it.
He meets his own eyes in the mirror and he sighs.
He turns to her, she is looking him up and down, appraising the spread of the make-up.
And then her head jerks to a side and she squeals.
He turns to where she is pointing. A cockroach is climbing up the white-tiled wall of the bathroom.
“Cockroach!” she spits, with a vehemence.
With alarming alacrity, she picks up a toothbrush from the sink, and points it at the roach. A bolt of electricity crackles forth, roasting the insect. It smoulders for a moment, tumbles down.
She tosses the toothbrush back into its cup. That’s my toothbrush, the demon thinks. A wisp of smoke curls from the toothbrush’s tip.
Her attention has returned to him.
“You look like a plaster gargoyle,” she says, and nods with smug approval. She, herself, is dressed in white, and has covered her exposed skin with make-up.
“Sorry about this,” she says, “but some camouflage is better than none. You should get some clothes as well. Maybe you can buy some on the Internet. Do you know how to use the Internet? I’ll show you.”
The witch-girl stands in front of the large glass doors leading out to the balcony. The sofa has been returned to its place.
She gestures at the door. The demon, with the small sigh of the put upon, slides the door open for her.
She points. Without the balcony, pass the glass and steel of the neighbouring skyscrapers, a rainbow arcs across the pale blue sky.
“Do you see it?” she says.
“The rainbow?” the demon asks.
“Yes. The bridge across the sky. Do you know what’s on the end of that bridge?”
“Asgard,” the demon says, a little pleased to know the answer.
“What? No. That’s just a myth, silly.”
“Thor, bouncing around the sky with a giant hammer? What are you, like twelve? Big demon wanna ride a unicorn?”
The demon is silent. She turns around, looks up at him.
“Aww,” she says, “I’m sorry. Don’t look so sad.”
She pats him on the arm and turns back to face the sky.
“Come on, now,” she says, “Let me ride on your back.”
With her arms draped over his shoulders, his hands behind his back, supporting her weight, the demon hops a few times on the balcony. He almost feels droplets of the white make-up spluttering onto his clean floor, still partly wet from the rain.
Satisfied that he has her weight evenly distributed, the demon leaps up into the air, giant wings flapping heavily as he takes them into the sky.
Higher and higher they ascend, and then she is pointing.
“Can you see where the rainbow ends?” she asks him.
The wind is rushing, loud. He shouldn’t be able to hear her. But her voice is as clear now as it is in his dreams. Magic, he assumes.
“I see it,” he says. A spot vaguely out to sea.
“That’s where we’re going. You’re going to say that the rainbow will move while we move,” she tells him.
“The rainbow will move while we move,” he obliges.
“Ahh, but I figured it out! Fly towards it, as fast as you possibly can.”
The demons fixes on the spot and starts to zoom towards it, picking up speed as he descends.
“The rainbow only moves while we’re looking,” she explains, “So all you need to do, is to not look!”
She hugs his head, covering his eyes.
The demon screams, “AAAAGGGGGHHHHHH!!!”
The witch-girl screams, “AAAAGGGGGHHHHHH!!!”
They speed towards the sea as the descent of a giant seagull, white and fast.
The demon is wading towards the small island, the witch-girl upon his shoulders. Behind them, the white make-up leaves a smoky trail, curling across the waters.
The island is small, it’s entire span easily fitting into a small turn of the head. It is dominated by a single palm tree. Behind the tree, behind the island, the rainbow reaches upwards into the sky.
“Where is this place?” the demon asks.
“Leprechaun,” the witch-girl says, with the same vehemence she had earlier used to address the cockroach.
Moles, roaches, leprechauns; the demon thinks. There’s a pattern here. She doesn’t like small things that move.
The demon straightens up, his hand resting upon her white raincoat, which he had just finished tying over the top of the pot of gold.
The pot’s rightful owner, the leprechaun, is similarly bound.
The witch-girl is sitting on the beach near the leprechaun. She is talking.
She is telling the leprechaun how his moving rainbow is clever, but that she is cleverer yet; the word “quantum” comes up again and again, along with “double slit” and a cat of some sort. She’s telling him that she managed to catch his cat. As she talks, she cups up handfuls of sand, letting it dribble out of her hand into the leprechaun’s overturned hat (green).
The demon looks around; there isn’t any cat.
His gaze catches that of the leprechaun, struggling to speak through the gag. The leprechaun’s eyes are full with tortured pleading. The demon nods, he understands. He understands well what it means to be a captive audience. In that moment, the demon feels bound to the leprechaun though the experience of shared pain.
“I’m sorry,” the demon mouths. He really means it, and he hopes that the leprechaun could see the earnest sincerity in his eyes.
Aloud, he addresses the witch-girl, “Stacey.”
She turns to him.
“It is done,” he says.
She nods, stands up, then walks over to the demon, in the process spraying grains of sand onto the leprechaun’s face.
“Let’s go,” she tells the demon, “Is the weight too heavy?”
“I’ll manage,” the demon says.
“Good,” she says.
“Back to your apartment?” the demon asks.
“No, no,” she says, “the thing about rainbows; they have two ends.”
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