Chapter 7: Purple tea and a panda – a strange Lullaby
I finally got a pair of clothes. And underwear.
It, uh…It was very comfortable. Yeah, it was.
I sat on the only bed in the room, staring at the wall across me.
The wallpaper looked really pretty. There was a pattern of fleur-de-lis, uh, figures, I suppose. Do you call them that—I don’t know.
There was a chest put against it. It was locked by these ticking locks. The thing that you were supposed to turn – how do you call it? Damn it – were the… hands! Hands of the clock. Yeah.
Pretty funny, actually – at least the way that I imagine it, because you could have this code, like…Like 0945 and you’d have to set that time to open it. But if you’d have 2145 you’d probably have to turn it once…or twenty one times? Because one turn could be one hour so if you’d want twenty one hours then you’d have to turn it twenty one times. But wait – does the clock-lock – wow, they rhyme – follow the normal time and are you supposed to add up the hours to get to the code or do you just start from zero?
…Wasn’t I supposed to do something more useful?
I let out a shaky breath and fell onto the bed.
I put my hand over my eyes.
I didn’t want to cry – the thought of it made me want to hit myself. But being angry was only going to make things worse, too. I was scared, all right. I had to face it. To feel it.
But I couldn’t stay scared – that would be the end of me.
And I didn’t want to think about all these things that I already knew.
I groaned and put my hand from my eyes.
Wow, what were these golden circles above me? It felt like staring into two suns in the sky blue, well, sky. Or were they golden pools in the sky blue desert, unmistakenly beautiful: you had to drink from them, you simply wanted to drown in them.
Those were some fancy ass metaphors—What the hell is this girl doing to me?
I gasped and grabbed the blanket on the bed tightly. I quickly teared my eyes from the mesmerizing sight and sat up straight, the back of my tensed body facing her.
I could hear her let out her breath.
“I…I made you some tea,” she said softly.
I heard her pick up what I thought would be the tray with the cups. I barely noticed that she had walked up to me, until she handed me a little teacup, a nice flower painted on it. It took me a few seconds to have my hand take the cup from her. Then I kept it on my lap and I stared at the suspicious purple color of my tea and the smoke or clouds that seemed to rise above it, moving in circles, slowly.
I didn’t hear her walk again or put that tray down somewhere, but suddenly the bed moved lightly – apparently she had sat herself down on the other side of the bed.
“Think of an animal,” she suddenly said.
My body tensed. What? I wanted to say, but I didn’t – what if she’d turn around and come near? What if she would turn into some devil and toy with my feelings or worse - my body? (What if I actually pretended to be prostitute?)
“Or an object,” she continued, “then, look into your teacup.”
My hands around the cup turned yellow – if I had squeezed them tighter I’m sure it would break. What was that girl getting at? Was she trying to make me feel comfortable? Why? Or was she trying to make me feel like a fool?
I, uh, I shouldn’t do what she says. No. I definitely shouldn’t.
She is not to be trusted, I told myself. She’s just like that guy on the horse or worse – that evil dwarf with his talking bird. There was no guarantee that she wasn’t manipulating me, too.
But what if she wasn’t that bad…Wouldn’t I regret this?
I squeezed the cup even tighter – damn it, I just don’t know.
Then I heard a soft giggle. I resisted the urge to turn around…but I still moved my head a little in her direction. I caught a glimpse of purple smoke on her white, pale hand. And…were those wings that I saw? Awhh – it sounded so cuuutttteeee! O, my god – I could really cry of its cuteness.
I really felt like I had to see that birdlike creature or maybe it was just a bird – I didn’t care, I just wanted to see it—Quinn.
As if I hit myself across my face I turned back towards the wall. I’ve made the mistake to trust the people here before – I wasn’t going to make the same mistake again…Wow that sounded really dramatic.
I kept avoiding looking into the teacup in my hands, but the urge to look into it grew stronger. I thought I was exaggerating it again, but aarghh – I’m impossible.
I felt jealous of her laughter that grew louder and louder - she seemed like she had a lot of fun and I wanted to have fun too.
I felt stupid for feeling so conflicted, for feeling jealous and for not doing anything useful.
I felt like giving it a try. If it’d kill me, if she’d use it against me in any way – how was I supposed to know that now? This girl has taken me here and given me a pair of clothes and now a funny cup of tea. She didn’t seem unkind and so far she hasn’t done anything funny, so why would I worry about it – it was only going to make me go crazy. Enjoy this, Quinn, while you can.
I took a shaky breath and thought of an animal, like she’d said. I looked into the purple liquid and suddenly the clouds above it started to move very quickly, as if an invisible spoon was stirring them. The clouds rose higher above the liquid and it slowly took a form of something.
A loud yawn escaped from his light purple head and it took out one of his fluffy, stubby paws to scratch his face. Before he knew it, he had fallen on his butt, on the surface of the tea that was left, trying to reach his purple round ears again with those dark purple paws.
It was a purple freaking panda that sat on the tea. My tea. Right before me. And I wasn’t dreaming it.
It slowly realized that there was this gigantic human staring at him in awe and he slowly made his way to the edge.
Before I thought about it, I put the palm of my hand against the cup. It was struggling to get his lower body, his butt and his legs, over the edge. It kept waving with his one paw while with the other he was pushing himself up. I watched as he slowly got himself over the edge, clumsily, and he rolled over the palm of my hand, ending up sitting on his butt again.
I put the cup on my lap and reached out with my other hand to touch it. My finger was shaking as it neared him and I held my breath. Then I reached its chubby cheeks, but as soon as I had touched them, he seemed to disappear into smoke. When I pulled away my finger, it turned back into a panda.
“You don’t need things to be real to enjoy them. As long as you believe them beautiful or enjoyable, it’s enough.”
The girl bent and her head appeared before me. Smiling, she reached out to the panda, her fingers hovering above it. The panda reached up to them with his paws, but fell back on his butt each time.
“Though, I wonder, is that a good thing?” She put her fingers in its reach and as soon as it had touched them it dissolved into smoke again. And back into a panda.
She then looked at me, almost pinning me down with those really pretty gold eyes. “Instead,” she continued, “shouldn’t we just enjoy things that are real and stop living in our head?”
I didn’t say anything. I was…astonished? Taken of guard? Her words were so…I don’t know – just very true, I suppose.
She then smiled at me and turned away.
“You should finish your tea.”
And there was just something about her - something so strange but so calming that made me feel safe. I could trust her.
Yep, Lullaby is quite the weird one. What would she mean by that - you don't need things to be real to enjoy them? And can Quinn really trust her? Isn't she just as bad as all the people she met before her? Find out in the next chapter...
See you on the next page! Bye!
[PIC ORIGIN: http://static-ghost.deviantart.com/art/Raspberry-tea-302114422 ; made by Static-ghost]