The Fairy was a Mouse . . . 

An Unfinished story
by my friend Toni Donelow Stewart 1961-2004


 

 

 Three Mice by Toni Donelow Stewart

 

 

 

 


Unfinished Story by
Toni Donelow Stewart

1961-2004


Chapter One

 

ou could almost see her wings when she would hover.  She was more like a hummingbird than a bird, or an angel. So tiny.  You do remember how tiny mice are, don’t you?  Well, when they are given wings, they are faster and even tinier looking, in my opinion.

            This one was definitely different than other mice.  She was a beautiful mouse-brown like all the rest but …those WINGS!  And when she spoke, you could understand her. Her name was Mytharyl and she said somewhere along the line that she came from an ancient world before she became a mouse who became a mouse fairy.  Mytharyl was beautiful with sparkling black eyes, and dressed in the most beautiful of gowns I have ever seen, the way it twinkled like starlight. She was truly magical and mystical.

            Now, you are wondering what business she would have with someone like me?  My name is Rendell, and I am just an ordinary man, I have my own shop at the south end of the city, nothing very ‘special’ about that.  Just a small shop of clocks – I even repair them.  I got the place from my uncle, years ago before they made digital clocks, you know?

            Well, I believe that Mytharyl was in her little high place up in the clouds and saw that I was lonely, and needed someone to fill my life – you see I had not a wife then.  I have one now, and her name is Aleigha.

I hope you have the time, I have noticed that the world is in such a hurry.  In fact, you might want to get some hot chocolate and sit by a fire and warm your bones while you listen.

            I was running quite late that day. I hadn’t gotten out of bed on time and it seemed to carry a “domino effect” throughout the entire day – everything was running late, late, late.  I am a clockmaker, so you know I am very conscious of the time, and it was slipping away fast that day.

            “Good Morning Rendell,” Mr. Mootson rang the bell on the back of the front door as he walked hastily into my shop.  I was in the back trying to fix Miss Figgels’ old timepiece – she had taken so long to get it to me and I finally held it in my hands.  It seemed that the very second I picked up that old thing, that Mr. Mootson walked in!  Wonderful ‘timing,’ I joked under my breath as I walked to the outer shop and greeted him.

            “Fine day it is Rendell, how are you weathering?”

            “Fine indeed,” I answered.  “For a man who’s still mentally in bed this morning. I woke up late Sir, I’m afraid that your timepiece isn’t ready as intended.”

            “Oh,” he looked surprised.

            “Clockmakers sleep through their alarms sometimes too, I’m afraid.”

            “Well, do you know when it will be ready then?” He asked, disappointed.

            “I should say by this evening or late tomorrow, Mr. Mootson.”

            “Well thank you then, I will be back late tomorrow afternoon.”

            “Yes that is fine, Sir.” I responded, as he turned and left.

            Getting back to my work, I was wondering what the hurry was for that old clock.  It just needed a spring I figured, though I hadn’t opened the case yet.  It was unique and unlike other clocks I had seen or sold, in that it was completely made of frosted glass on the outside. You could see the interior of the clock vaguely, and it was shiny and clean on the inside.  I hadn’t asked him where he acquired it, I simply could tell what was wrong with it by listening to it.

            I felt that I was fumbling on Miss Figgels’ clock, so sat that one aside and reached for Mootson’s glass clock.  Extraordinary! I thought, as I lifted it once again. 

I was intrigued on the opening of it.  The back slid off easily and was held in place by an elegant but strong tab.  But no sooner had I slipped the back of it off than I was startled nearly into  new creation by something flying out and buzzing past my head!  I didn’t know what could possibly be alive inside there, it was sealed completely shut and I doubted that Mr. Mootson had the wherewithal to break the seal himself at any point during his ownership.  I didn’t know what it could be!  But there was a light surrounding it, sort of fairy like but this was not a fairy’s tale, and this was not a fairy . . . or was it?

I think I was momentarily stunned because I just stood there looking at the clock, and wondering why I felt so strange.  Then the thing that buzzed my head swooped down and landed before me on the bench.

“Thank you, Rendell Galoshish Fink.”

Still quite startled, all I could mutter was “How do you know my name, and what are you doing in my shop?”  I was flabbergasted.  She was a mouse with wings and had a soft white glow about her. I had not only never seen a clock such as this; I had absolutely never seen a mouse like this.

Then I stuttered:  “You have w-wings and you are t-talking, and you are a m-mouse and you know my n-n-name.”  I don’t usually stutter or stammer or trip over myself if you know what I mean, but this was just …. Beyond words.

Her little voice was full of light and sweetness, it was musical. She knew I was stunned.

“Oh my Sir, please don’t be upset.  I am here to help you.”

“How can you help me? I don’t need any help.  Maybe I do though, mice can’t fly.”

“Well, I only look like a mouse; I’m not really a mouse anymore. I am a fairy.”

“Are you sure???” I stammered again.

“Quite sure.”

“Well I shouldn’t ask but why are you a fairy looking like a mouse? And were you trapped in this clock?”

“Yes, a long story that is. My purpose here though now is that I make the story of your life better. I am Mytharyl.”

“And how do you propose to do that?”

 


 

 Chapter Two

“I am not an ordinary fairy, Sir.  I am much like Cupid, in that I can see that you are lacking much love and happiness in your life by living it alone.”

“I’m doing fine, thank you little lady.” I snapped back, knowing she was right but not particularly welcoming any meddling or interference.

“Her name is Aleigha, is it not?” She asked me.

“How did you know?”

“I know.” She smiled again.

“Well, what can you do about this, you can’t make the woman fall in love with me.”

“No, that I can’t do – she must already be in love with you.”

“I see.”

“And she is.”

I stood quietly pondering, feeling my heart sink.  It was true that I had been in love with Aleigha for years uncounted, since I had known her since childhood, I could not remember when I started falling in love with her.

“But she is also married now,” I lowered my head. I hadn’t tried hard enough over the years, and Aleigha did marry someone else.

“No, that is over. You haven’t asked anyone for a long time, have you?  She lives in the north end beyond the Bridge, and misses you very much.  I don’t think she has much conscious memory since the accident.”

“What accident?” I felt my breath falling from me for a moment, and my heart sinking again.

“She was nearly killed, and her late husband was killed.  Only she and her son and daughter survived.  She was knocked very hard and will get better but it will take time.  She will remember you I believe, though she may not know from where she remembers you.”

“Oh I must see her for myself, can you take me to her?”

“Soon Sir, I would like for all of this to absorb in you.”

“I must get back to work then, when can you take me to her, little Mytharyl?”

“Tomorrow.  But don’t work any more today, I will fix all your clocks for you, including this one – there is nothing wrong with it at all, I wanted you to be the one to open it.”

“Thank you, you are too kind.” I felt relief, and truly needing the time for this information to absorb.

“I can take you home, Rendell, just close your eyes and we will be there in a flash of a second.”   She smiled and waved her sweet little arms.  She also produced a lovely dinner and sent me to bed that I could dream of Aleigha and her children. 

It was a dream of an evening itself, really.  Mytharyl made me dream of Aleigha’s life and in this showing of her life, I learned many, many things.  How Aleigha missed me for one thing.  I had never known it.  How wise a little fairy to give me this time to adjust!

Her children were named Peter and Alexandra and her last name was now Harrison.  I wondered how she would react to seeing me, would she really remember? She could only remember her children after the accident; she did not even remember Robert, her husband, whom the world called “Harry.”
            I learned that he was a good man and a good husband and father, and that he took good care of them during his life and after his passing.  He was honorable and good to Aleigha, I had no criticisms.  I did feel the pain inside her from the loss, however; she was barely aware of it herself, since she did not presently have any memory of Harry—only knowing what others had told her, and of the man her children mourned for.

“What excuse would I have to go to see her?” I wondered.  I assumed Mytharyl would answer that in the morning. It seemed Mytharyl had it all figured out!

I continued with the dream, as if reading a book or watching a story on the television. I was consumed and thrilled and shocked at the same time, but happy since I hadn’t seen Aleigha in all these many years.

I wondered also why the fairy? What made us so unique? I later found out that the fairy was in answer of a wish that Aleigha had made long ago, which was that she would see me again before life was over.  We were much older now, unfortunately, and well into the second half of life.  Her children were no longer children, and we were not old but no longer youthful.


 

Chapter Three

            The night passed by swiftly, the moments melting away like candlesticks.  The moon had been a full one, but I hadn’t noticed, for I was dreaming of the one I thought I had forgotten, but had never been able to turn my heart away from.  I felt young again inside, but on the exterior, I could see that I was just an old man, in fact, I was balding on top and my hair had been gray for many years.

            It was morning and I stood before the mirror, dressing myself, musing at what remained of my good looks, and hoping she would not be disappointed.

            “Mytharyl,” I wondered.  “What is your plan, meaning what business will I have to be at her house?”

            “You are to deliver the clock from where you found me.”

            “But that is Mr. Mootson’s clock.” I objected.

            “It is Aleigha’s clock.  Mr. Mootson has left you with her address.”

            “But he said he would be coming to the shop today to pick it up, Mytharyl.”

            “He has been called home to his own country, he will not be coming this day, no worry.”

            “I see.” I shook my head gently in understanding.  I didn’t know if she had arranged it or not, but Mootson happily got on the first train out of town, to head back to the land of his birthrights.  It was peculiar and curious, as much as the rest of this was.

            I looked at the tiny Mytharyl and questioned her again of her curious origins.  “And I am wondering what is so special about Aleigha and me, Miss Mytharyl, that a fairy, mouse fairy or not, should suddenly appear out of a fairy TALE, and wave her little wand to make sure we are happy together?”

            “For one thing, I don’t have a wand.”

            “Ahh,” I answered.  “That was figurative.” I winked. I couldn’t help my smiling.

            “Aleigha, Rendell, it is Aleigha.”

            “What of her?  She is just an ordinary woman, as I am an ordinary man.”

            “Oh it is her heart, and yours too that brought me here. And it is her ancestry.  She is of a lineage that has been served by fairies since the beginning of the world.”

            “They were not around while we were growing up? Or when her dear husband passed in that accident.”

            “No they were not.”

            “I see.”

            “Fairies haven’t got that kind of power over Time, or I should have turned back all the clocks.”

            “Yes.”

            “You could visit a past Time, and stay for awhile maybe in order to change current events but you would never be allowed to live back in Time.  We would have to go to a much higher power than the Fairies.” She explained.

            “I hope you don’t mind my natural curiosity.”

            “Just go with it, Rendell, let your fears fall away from you, it is in good spirit and the heart that guides you that I am here.”

            “Fair enough.” I grinned again.

            “And what will you do when you have accomplished your task? Will you live with us?”

            “Oh my!” She winced. “I don’t think so.  I am to come and go with the need, I have other duties in the Kingdom where I am from.”

            “Very well then.”  I hinted, as I was ready to go to Aleigha’s with the glass clock.

            “You must hand it to her yourself, and watch the memory of you return in her face.”  Mytharyl instructed.  Her voice was very direct.

            Just as I nodded my head in agreement, I was magically whisked into my car with the clock in a box on the passenger seat beside me.

            “Take the wheel, Rendell!” the tiny Mytharyl urged.  Knowing my shock at the swiftness of her magic, I blinked and took control of the steering wheel, as she had placed me in.

            “I surely will, you humans don’t adjust very well, do you.” 

            “Better than one might imagine.” I confided. “Do you have directions?”

            “Of course.”

            I was feeling quite pale and shaky as we neared Aleigha’s house.

            “Can you prove it to me that I’ve not lost my mind, Mytharyl?” I felt my forehead sweating.  I was being driven to the house of someone who was yet nearly a complete stranger after years of estrangement, and listening and speaking to a talking, flying mouse.  I was just wondering.

            “Rendell, relax.  This isn’t a fairy tale, it could be one yes, but it’s not, and no you haven’t lost your mind.”

            “How can I…trust?” I asked, holding the wheel more firmly than ever.

            “You must see for yourself, you haven’t lost your mind or your marbles, or anything else of the kind.  You are quite sane, sir.”  She smiled, standing on the center of the car’s dashboard, eyes always twinkling. 

I hoped.

            “You are to go let’s see…one more mile and make a right onto Bourbon’s Road. Hers will be the last house on the right, and I have an appointment, I will not be present.”

            “But Mytharyl, you should be there.”

            “I can’t change this, I must not be intended to be there, it is left up to you.  You will find your way to the door and she will know you.”

            “I see.” Being a little disappointed that my support crew was not going to be around.

            “Just go with it, Rendell, I will be back.  Make a date with her perhaps.”  She leaned toward me.  “Smile, I will be back, this is not the end of the story.”

            And with that, Mytharyl disappeared into the light, flying unaffected through the glass of the windshield, upward toward the skies, I could see, though it was all within a fraction of a second’s time.  Not even a moment, in fact.


 

Chapter Four

            I stopped the car in front of her house.  It was a nice home, of pleasant demeanor, and I could see that it was well-maintained, mansion-like but not quite a large sprawling mansion.  Nothing quite so arresting as that, thankfully..

            I held the box with the clock in it, in my hand and walked nervously toward the door, holding the paper where Mootson had written down the address.  Then I knocked.

            It was only moments that passed, I am sure but it seemed like forever as I stood there waiting, I could feel a gentle breeze brushing my face and the sun beginning to warm the earth as I stood there and stood there.  I then rang the doorbell that I hadn’t noticed at first.  I am sure it was merely seconds, not even minutes before the door swung open and the lady of my dreams stood before me.

            “And whom might you be, sir?” She asked, not instantly recognizing me as ‘the mouse’ had implied.

            “My name is Rendell Fink.”

            She was breathtaking and a sight for sore eyes to my sore eyes that hadn’t seen her for so long. Precious violet blue eyes and gentle brown hair turning to gray but I could see that despite her tragedies, that nature had still been kind to her face—for she appeared much younger than she was.  We were the same age.  Again, in the past day, I was stunned, because Aleigha was stunning.

            “Curious name you have, sir.” She mused, looking me over. “What business have you here, Mr. Fink?”

            “I am delivering a clock, for a Mr. Mootson.” I held out the box. “This is the address he gave me, I hope I am not mistaken.”

            “Oh that.  Mr. Mootson has taken permanent leave for his own country, he must have been getting that clock repaired for me as I asked him to, and it is mine.”

            “Then you are aware of it.”

            “Yes, yes I am, thank you. How much do I owe you? I can square you off with a check.”

            I handed her the box.”

            “There was nothing wrong with it, you don’t owe me anything.” I smiled.

            “Very well then, I thank you for your kindness in delivering it.” But sadly, I could see that she was merely following good manners, she was not recognizing me.

            “You are Aleigha,” I spoke, as I turned toward the door.

            “Yes, I am Aleigha, you know my name.”

            “You don’t seem to know me, I don’t understand.” I shook my head, sadly, still turning toward the door.

            “I have had all of my life’s memories knocked out of me in an unfortunate accident, sir, I don’t recall much.  You do look familiar but I do not know why.  This is common for me at the moment, I may be this way for the rest of my life, I don’t know.”

            “We knew each other from childhood,” I replied, “And that is why I seem familiar to you.”

            “Did we know each other in later years?”

            “Yes, I have always cared very deeply for you.  I wished to marry you, in fact.”

            She seemed a little taken aback, and breathless at that bit of information.  I was still a stranger, however.

            “But you didn’t marry me, someone named Harry—err Robert Harris, he was called ‘Harry’ by everyone, married me, I had his children.  I don’t remember him at all, however.”

            “Yes, I didn’t marry you, I was foolish and left the town for awhile and on my return, I heard the announcement of your engagement, and being an honorable man, I could only wish you the best and assume that you were going to marry the man of your hopes.”

            “He gave me two beautiful children, and looking around, I can see that it was a happy life.” She reasoned.

            “Yes, I can see that also.  Your Harry was a good man.”

            “Yes I think he was. I just wish that I could remember on my own.”

            “There is Time.” I reassured, and placed my sweating hand on the doorknob.

            “Don’t go, please.  I am sure you have to get back to your shop but could you stay a little longer?” She asked.

            “Certainly, in fact, my shop is closed for today.”

            “Very well then, would you be interested in coffee or tea, perhaps lunch later on? I do have servants here in the house though Mootson always answered the door for me, and is no longer here.”

            “My, you are doing alright,” I smiled.

            “Yes but I have lost so much memory, I think I’d prefer to be poor than to lose memory of the birth of my children, and the wedding to my husband, and to have lost the memory of my husband himself, completely.  It is torture.”

            “How long has it been, Dear Aleigha?” I asked, sympathetic to her new plight.

            “It has been several years now.”  She motioned me toward a small and elegant sitting room, where a low fire was burning in the fireplace, as it was no longer summer, after all. It was somewhat of a library, for as I sat down, I noticed that we were surrounded by books she had been reading.

            It was now that I could sit and simply gaze at her, not worrying about having to leave her presence for the time being.

            “Just one moment, I’ll be back, I will ask someone to bring coffee or hot chocolate, which sounds better to you?”

            “Either is fine, thank you, you decide Sweet Lady.”

            Her choice was the hot chocolate, by the warm fire.  The house was old and I realized, drafty, therefore the low burning fire was needed.  It was older than it first appeared, indeed.

            I was still very taken and amused at the same time.  This time yesterday I was fixing clocks, minding my own business, quite accepting of the life I had come to know there, and now things were changing rapidly—I was about to have hot chocolate with Aleigha, it was not to be believed!  It crossed my mind that perhaps I had actually “died and gone to Heaven,” like the old cliché, but no, everything was quite earthy and real in that respect.

            While Aleigha was out of the room, Mytharyl reappeared, out of thin air.

            “It’s looking well, Rendell,” she whispered, “She remembers you doesn’t she?”

            “Sort of, I think it’s more curiosity than anything.”

            “Well, I will go talk to her. She doesn’t know I’m talking to you though, so do not bring me up, please.”

            “I understand.”  I answered, watching the little mouse fly away, following where Aleigha had gone.

            When Aleigha returned, she was followed soon after by a servant carrying a tray that held our hot chocolate. She sat down in a comfortable-looking chair across from mine and we began to talk for hours and hours.  I had forgotten Time now, it seemed, as I could gaze into her beautiful eyes forever.  She wanted to know everything about me, and I asked what I could, but I knew, and I now carried many of her memories for her, thanks to Mytharyl.

            By the time I took my leave, we had eaten supper together there in that room and walked about the house for awhile in the afternoon to stretch our legs, and by evening’s passing, I felt that we had reunited after a long sleep.  We had made a date for the following day, and within 6 months, were married.  Aleigha’s memories have slowly returned to her like gifts in the winter-time when there are odd things about, like elves and merry old gentlemen. 

 

Unfinished! “To be continued!!!!”

Postscript:  Since Toni is not here to finish this, I will try my best to complete it as I think she might have (unless I can find a final draft of hers).  If you have any ideas for how you'd like to see this story end, please let me know.  Just brief ideas, please.  I need to finish it myself so that both the story and I have proper closure.  Thank you.  ~ Shirl A. Steward