Apr 22, 2013

T is for Taken by a Stranger

I fell in love with Lena when she won Eurovision. Not my favorite song of hers, but, well, I have an alphabet to follow.

Monica did a double take.

Despite the crowded city streets, she managed to step backwards till she was at the window again. There was a man on the other side of the glass in the small cafe, Bloom, the window words said, and there was an empty table next to him. She felt compelled to take it.

Monica walked in, bought a muffin just to have something to play with, and then filled the empty table.

The man wasn't paying attention to her, he seemed to be doing a puzzle in the paper, and judging by his frown The New York Times was kicking his butt. She tried to figure out what caused her to double back. She wasn't a crossword fan. The guy wasn't dressed as if he had cash, though he didn't look like a starving artist either. More like those trendy casual clothes start up entrepreneurs wore. Monica wasn't really into entrepreneurs though, too unstable of a job in a boyfriend, so what was it?

His looks? No, he wasn't good looking. Actually, calling him average looking would be a bit of a stretch. He obvious skipped the gym and not the sugar, his eyes looked a little too big for his head, and large Grecian noses hadn't been attractive for at least a thousands years.

Monica blatantly stared at him, trying to figure out what drew her attention to him. He didn't notice, which she was thankful for. She was always telling her coworkers staring was rude, even if she didn't really mind. But she had a feeling this coffee shop stranger wouldn't like to look up from his puzzle to see a woman staring at him as if written on his skin was the secret recipe for Coca Cola and she had ten minutes to memorize it.

By the time the man stretches and prepares to leave Monica hasn't really touched her muffin, her attention had been on him the entire time. It's only when his movement, and her desire to hide her stare, causes her to look outside that she realizes it's been hours since she first sat down. She's missed two focus groups she was supposed to conduct. Franticly, she fished out her phone from her purse. Ten missed calls from her boss, a few from other coworkers, and a bunch of texts telling her to get her ass to the office.

She's totally fired. Just because she was captivated by this random guy in a coffee shop. A guy whom she still didn't know why captured her attention. It cost her her job, she should at least find out why.

Monica followed him out the door.

Now no longer sitting, she could tell he was a confident person. Despite his weight and almost ugly looks he walked like a prince, shoulders back and head high. There was confidence in each step, the opposite of the introverted personality she had built for him in Bloom. He also seemed to have the ability to control other people around him. The human traffic split around him, providing lots of space to walk in without even the chance of a shoulder bump.

Was this what she saw earlier? Monica wasn't sure.

She followed him for a few blocks until he entered a night club. Monica paused across the street. A night club, really? And it wasn't even a nice one, there was just one bouncer and he didn't even look at the man when he walked by and through the doors. Plus the neon sign, reading The Court and the fairy next to it, were flickering. Monica bet the place was awful inside, full of cheap prostitutes, drunks, and lots of smoke. It was not someplace she wanted to be.

Still...

She crossed the street and the bouncer just glanced at her before she pushed open the door.

“You caught one today,” she heard a voice say as she entered. The man who she had been following was sitting in a tall plush chair, reminding her of a throne, and turned his head to look at her. He looked silly, but also right in his placement. There was a woman wearing a flowing dress holding a silver platter next to him, it had grapes on it.

“So I did,” he answered the first voice, still looking at her. “Wasn't even fishing.”

There was a round of laughter, all high pitched and nasally. One part of Monica's mind thought it sounded like nails on a chalkboard, another compared it to wind chimes. The club wasn't really set up like a club, there were a variety of personal corners and platforms, each with a chair of some sort in the center. Some were surrounded by pillows, others by rugs, and some just the bare floor. But all of the extra space was filled with people who kept looking at those sitting on the chairs. Some, like the woman next to the man she had followed, were acting as wait staff and holding platters.

“And this is why its amazing to be part of the Court,” the first voice continued. Monica didn't bother looking for it's source. She was still staring at the stranger she was taken by. “We can collect humans slaves without even trying.”

The man laughed and beckoned to her, patting one of the arm rests of his chair. Monica walked over and sat on it, not minding when the man began playing with the ends of her hair. “That it does Conan, that it does.”

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I know members of the Unseelie Court are usually thought of good looking, but the Celts believed that words had power and thus they called the fair folk 'fair folk' to avoid bringing the faeries to their doorstep.  However, I can also see faeries being in reality really ugly and Celts calling them fair to not anger them.

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