Friday, January 20, 2017

Jay Drew and the Case of the Crimes That Wouldn’t Be Solved

Jay marches into the hotel suite and throws a hat onto the table with a sulk. The hat looks like the one Sherlock Holmes has in stories despite being bright yellow: I don’t ask where he got it, or from who.

“Kiddo. Something wrong?”

“Solving crimes is really hard, Charlie!”

I resist the urge to turn on the TV. We’re on the eighth floor, so the odds are good any sirens I hear might not involve Jay. It’s at least possible that none of them do, but he has been on his own for over two hours so I wouldn’t bet money on it. I set the book I was reading aside. “Jay. You can do bindings like nothing else in the universe. How is it hard to solve crimes?”

“Lots of them don’t want to be solved at all,” he wails.

I pause. Mentally back up a few steps. “You – ask the crimes if they want to be solved?”

“It would be really rude to solve them otherwise,” he explains.

“People normally solve crimes by finding and following clues.”

“Oh! I don’t do that. Clues are just traps to throw you off guard,” he says.

“Clues are traps?”

“Like in Clue, because you end up thinking wrong-things even if they make sense cuz clues lead you away from stuff you should be really seeing and a smart criminal would leave lots of clues so they never get found at all!” He beams proudly at that logic.

“So instead you ignore clues and talk to the crime itself.” I can’t help myself. “What if it doesn’t want to talk to you?”

“Who wouldn’t want to talk to a Jay?” he asks, honestly baffled.

“What kind of crime did you try and solve today?” I ask slowly.

“I found a dead end street and I asked why it was dead and! helped make it not dead, but that wasn’t a crime so I found a wall that didn’t want to have graffiti and the graffiti didn’t want to tell me who wrote it and that was all kinds of rude-face.” He thumps down in the chair beside me.

“Ah. You might want to talk to Honcho about this?”

“But then he might solve crimes for me and – ooh! I just sensed another one,” and Jay vanishes a moment later.

I text the wandering magician. The text includes several rude and urgent words. And then I turn on the tv. The news anchor is explaining that the station can’t field any more calls or tweets at this time regarding the state of Cloverside Road. If nothing else, Jay has probably solve the crime of people not watching the local news. I send a text to the number the fae gave me over a year ago, with just the word ‘Adventures.’ They’ll pinpoint the city we’re in and send someone to cover up Jay’s enthusiasm with glamour. Hopefully.

All I can do is hope Jay doesn’t try and solve a true crime, or run into one.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Trying To Schism

“So. I’ve been patient like a Jay, but that’s not patient like a human and it’s time you went away.”

Heh. The sickness laughs like a shuddering cough. You invited me in. I am here.

“Charlie was getting sick like Honcho and I didn’t want that. So I took you into me and now you have to go. There’s you there, and me here, and that’ll be a schism.”

No. There is no laughter now, just a hunger that has taken away hunger.

“I did warn you. It’s important to warn, you know,” I say firmly.

You called me.

“Uh-huh. But I am huge like a Jay.”

Laughter, tinged with things that aren’t jaysome at all. That is the only reason why you are not dead.

I roll my eyes at that, and I can do it like a champ because I learned it from Charlie. “Nope.” And I reach, in a way that isn’t unbinding at all. “Hi!”

I stare at me. Me blinks. I’m twelve, staring at me at eleven, and somehow it’s a memory and not one as well. “A sickness. You break time for this.”

“I bend it. Jaysomely,” I inform myself.

Future-me flinches. The world goes funny. There are things I’m not allowed to know about the future, for all sorts of reasons, and future-me reaches and kills the sickness with a single snap of fingers and tricks I haven’t even learned to do yet.

“I called it into me. And destroyed it,” he says, and his – my smile – it’s not me at all.

I flinch back, making it a flinch-fest. I want to say he doesn’t have to be like this, to do a binding on myself, but this me is older and deeper and other things as well too.

“There is no schism between us,” I say to me. “I wish there was.”

I stare at him. At me. I have words, but somehow I know they can only make me hurt more. “Thank you,” I say.

The smile is almost an echo of jaysome, and then I’m gone back to the future.

I go back inside, and my tummy is growling for real food but I head into the living room instead and watch lots of TV and try not to remember how not-jaysome I become.