Somebody Told Me

A short story by Signe Hammar

The man walking down the small countryside road was a wizard. He was very old and some might have called him wise. Unlike so many of his other walks, the wizard had a goal this time. He was going to see the fairies. The reason he was on his way he had forgotten, but he hoped they could remind him. The wizard quite fancied to walk, he used his favorite walking stick and the weather was lovely. Though his knees did hurt, they always did now a day. I’m getting old.

Since the wizards turtle Tootle had died the wizard had been feeling very lonely, Tootle had after all been over 150 orbits when he passed away and the wizard had known him all his life. He was thinking that he might get a new turtle, but would that be betraying Tootle? Something in that thought felt familiar, but it was a gloomy subject and the wizard decided not to think of it. After all, the day was very beautiful.

However, when the wizard reached the forest his knees was all but killing him and he sat down on a big rock. Like all wizards he attracted animals. He wasn’t exactly sure why, but he had the theory that they just wanted to talk. Most wizards were very good listeners. On this particular day though, he wasn’t feeling very chatty. The wizard could hear the rumor of his presence being spread in whispers through out the forest. Somebody, Somebody, Somebody they where whispering. A small mockingbird flew up to him and he looked up slowly, he was till feeling tired after the long walk.

“Are you who they say you are?” the bird asked in a beautiful high pitched voice, fitting her small pretty grey body.
“I am Somebody,” the wizard answered solemnly, “the wizard.” He added after a moment, who knew, this mockingbird might be especially dim? The mockingbird just turned away and started singing, as if to prove that she was not dim but rather, a lovely singer. As if the two things were at all connected, just look at Jennifer Lopez, the wizard thought.

When the wizard decided he’d rested enough he stood up and started to walk towards the lake. That’s were the fairies usually where dwelling. He figured they must like the sound of the lake because they could never take a bath in it, their wings would never recover.

On his way one of his good friends Snake the snake wriggled up to him.
“Sss-omebody,” Snake said in his raspy voice, “where a-rr-e you off too?”
“I, my dear friend, am on my way to the fairies.” The wizard answered politely.
“Sss-ee you la-ater th-een.” Snake wriggled away, he’d had a quarrel with the fairies some years ago.

The lake was glistening in the sun light when he got to the glade of the forest in which it lay. Two fairies in small gowns and with small wings so thin they looked almost too fragile to hold them up were flying above the water. Though you could barley see the actual fairy as they glowed so brightly they where more like shimmering green and blue spots. To the wizard it looked more like bobbing than flying.

“Excuse me ladies.” The wizard said out loud, he was always polite. Almost anyway, he confessed silently to himself. “I have a matter to discuss with you.”
“What is that?” The green fairy asked flying up to him. He had to squint with his eyes to be able to see her face. She was perfect beauty with her green eyes and her blonde hair.
“I was almost hoping you could tell me that,” he said with some uncertainness in his voice, fairies weren’t always as nice as people who hadn’t met them thought. “You see fair lady, I seem to have forgotten it.”
“Your name old man?” the other, blue, fairy demanded when she joined them. This fairy was perfect beauty as well, though a different kind, with dark blue eyes and brown hair. The wizard could not make up his mind of which one of them was prettiest. Why did they have to be pretty? It is disorienting, the wizard complained to himself. “I am Somebody,” the wizard said, “but something tells me you knew that.”
The blue fairy laughed, it sounded like a mean laugh to the wizard, though maybe he imagined that, surely fairies wasn’t that mean.

“We know all there is to know in this forest old man. On the other hand, our knowledge is sparse about the world outside. Tell me Somebody, where is Nobody? I haven’t had the pleasure of his company for so long now.” The blue fairy got a very secretive look on her face when saying this, the wizard didn’t like it.

Then a streak of sadness crossed the wizards mind at the thought of his kin, Nobody.
“Nobody disappeared 50 orbits ago.”
“50 orbits?” the green fairy said, sounding very surprised. “Are you sure it’s been that long? I’m getting old” The wizard wasn’t sure he’d actually heard that last part, but decided that even so, it was none of his business.
“I sure haven’t seen him for that long.” The wizard was tired now, fairies where always so self absorbed. “Now do you know why I came here?” Polite might not be the way to describe his use of language anymore.
The blue fairy rolled her eyes, not very nice, the wizard had at least tried to be polite. “Just get a new turtle,” she said with a sigh and flew away, a very stuck-up flying style, with the other fairy flying gracefully, and equally stuck-up, after.

Hmm... The wizard thought as he strolled away. Maybe I will.