The first time I heard Dee laugh, I told myself that the wings of certain faeries must take the shape of dark and delicious cackles. I was sitting at a writing workshop reading a story about a little girl who smashed her mother’s face with a meat mallet. Although the mother had deserved the savagery, many listeners could barely see me through the disapproval spilling out of their eyeballs. I shrugged, continued reading, and once done, I turned around and located the recent torrent of laughter.
There were still laughing tears in her eyes. She was smiling and pointing at me. Since that day, I’ve always thought Dee has one of the most beautiful smiles in the universe. One of those loud grins that make others want to join in and celebrate the miracle of just sharing the same world with the source of so much awesomeness.
If you had asked me that day, I would have told you that Dee was the happiest person alive. That I was sure everyone liked her, felt her warmth, was as amazed as I was by her jubilance, and most of all, that she loved everything she was.
But that is not the case…
Dee’s beauty is shrouded by a mother with the maternal sense of a petri dish, a sibling with a violent swing, a stranger who knifed her for a pound of cheap coffee, former lovers who pounded her flesh and bled her soul until she screamed for mercy they enjoyed denying… after all that, most might think that Dee is bitter and hopeless, but they would be wrong. She is bright, giving, friendly, and happy around those willing to entice her to sparkle.
When I planned All Hallow’s Grim: The Darker Side of Faerie, my intension was to share the story of a water witch who lured criminals into her New York City apartment in order to feed on their flesh. But for some reason, every time I was about to post the short story, my friend Dee would come to my mind. No, I don’t think she would feed on criminals—their flesh is probably too tough, anyway—I thought about her because I feel she is one of those beings made ugly by a society that refuses to see beauty in hearts that have been trampled by circumstances, but still beat.
She has gone through so much and then a little more… in her three decades of life, Dee has reasons to be moody, to glare at the world without provocation, to walk at the edge of society (and close family), and no reason at all to allow anyone into her heart. Yet, she does. And she loves her friends well and completely.
I had to write this before understanding why a short story about a murderous water witch just wouldn’t do. The fictitious tale is thrilling and a little bloody, so of course I will share it eventually, but today I needed to focus my energy on a single wish: I wish, I wish, I wish for my friend Dee to shrug out of society’s ugly coat, to spread her wings, and to look in the mirror until she can see just how much she truly sparkles.
I would love to share the miracle of Dee’s smile, but she doesn’t like to have her picture taken. But here is her foot—yes, her foot—mine is the one in pink and black, the sparkly pink belongs to the Little Princess, and Dee is in blue, black, grey and white. Now, I will ask you for something a bit, well, strange… close your eyes, channel the face of the most beautiful person in your heart, smile at their thought-formed-image, and then begin your comment to this post with “Dee, how I wish, I wish, I wish you could see your sparkles through Magaly’s eyes…”
And, of course, there is a giveaway...