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PHEE - THE CHILD  
phee the child  comp 2  

PHEE STORY 3
A miasma of despair was inside of Phee leeching away her life, she condemned herself as shit, rubbish, warthog piss, disguised as a human being.
The wild King was distraught, he hugged her and declared his love, his care, his devotion. His words were not enough, they were in the land of feelings and although the King could glimpse them, he could not hold and shape them to his bidding.
Phee’s self denigration was taking over her life, her world was turning grey, shot through with misery she viewed her coming death as the best present she could imagine.
The King was being pulled apart. ‘Phee, is there anything, anything I can do to help you’
She turned to see the King. ‘As it is for me, if you see and believe I am, know me, find the land I live in and caress me.’
The King shook his head, these were ravings. ‘Phee I don’t understand, you are living in this land, how can I find what is already here?’
Phee was trying her best but it is hard to give directions when the looking counts more than a map. ‘If you know me then show me, can you see me really truly. See the all of me, see what I truly am.’
‘Phee I can see you, you are right in front of me.’ But Phee had closed her eyes, he was talking to himself.
‘See the all of you? So the King stripped off her clothes, he examined every inch of her body. He used a magnifying glass he combed through her hair checking every strand. See the all of me? he had seen the all of her but there was no magic change occurring.
He stretched his legs, went for a walk visited the kitchen, a chicken was being sliced, see the all of me. The king was a man of courage but even he quailed at the action he was planning. He fed Phee a sleeping draught then slit her open. As his eyes adjusted to the dark he thought he saw a movement. He shut his eyes then opened them again, Yes he could see a figure there, a young girl, ragged and uncared for. He reached for her but talons raked his hands. She crouched outside a house, warm lights glowing from the windows. It seemed that no one was looking for her, or maybe nobody knew she was there. She was worthless, a nothing thing, unwanted and despised. The king rapped on the window some people came to see, then he caused a lightning flash but the people inside did not see the girl.
He grabbed the girl though she tore at him, took her back to the palace. He called for his handmaidens, told them to wear strong gloves then clean and dress the child.
‘Your majesty we will do whatever you ask but we cannot clean what we cannot see and we see no child.’
‘No matter fetch me some warm water, soap, and clean clothes that would fit a child. The king washed and dressed the child himself. He bought her to his dining table but she would not sit, she scurried to a corner and sat wary. A problem child a sorry thing, wild, suspicious, and joyless.
A trouble shared is a trouble halved, or saying something like that. ‘Guard would you ask Doctor Septus to join me.’
The old magician shuffled in, he cast a look at the child as he entered.
The King was glad of that. ‘So you can her?’
‘Yes your majesty, although there are many layers that hide her.’
‘Concealing spells?’
The magician shook his head. ‘No not spells, spells would be easier, the child is in a state of flux, torn between a deep need to be seen and a strong resentment that she might be known at all.’
‘Could you make a spell that would allow others to see her?’
The King passed a flask, the magician poured a glass wasting time, he wished that the child was not here, the King did not realise the danger he was in, that child could doom with gloom, or bring a brightness that would rival the day. ‘I can your majesty but if I may be so bold I doubt that is the best way to go. People need no magic to see the child, all it requires is a desire, a wish to see the child and then the child will be seen.’
Septus left, the King sat at the table thinking. The child watched, then furtively began to crawl away. The king was quicker, he hauled her to the table and sat her on it facing him. Feral eyes stared into his. He pulled out his knife and made a movement as though to slit her throat. She did not move, not a blink, just those eyes staring into his.
Could she speak, would she speak. ‘I am King of this place what is your name?’
She studied him, then unexpectedly she said.’I have no name, you are the first person to ask me that.’
Some hollow place in the King opened up. ‘But what do you call yourself, you must call yourself something?’
‘Shit, I call myself shit.’
The hollow place pulled his heart down to it. He could not help himself he held the child close to him. She was rigid, as cold as the dark can make you. The King sat her back on the table. ‘You can call yourself what you like but I shall never call you Shit.’
‘That elderly man, the magician tells me that people can only see you when they have a need to see you.’
The child seemed interested. ‘You see me, did you need to see me?’
‘You will never no how muchI need to see you.’ The King was in a territory of shifting sands, one wrong step and the child would close the connection and he would be left out in the cold again. I can bring you many things, what would you like?’
The child played with her fingers, then lifted her head. ‘As it is for me, now here in this place. I desire that you find me, know me as I am please.’
She was a child but she was more than a child. ‘Are you a demon, are you a witch, are you a sad and lonely little girl?’
‘If you know that, where am I too. Its not the asking me its the knowing you should find in me.’
Her words were like mist, they flowed around with currents that moved their meaning. ‘I found you in my love, who is sick with some kind of poisoning she is making in herself. She told me to see the all of her, I looked inside and found you.’
‘Is that all, did you call ahead, make an appointment.’
The King carried on. ‘I have belief that the genesis of her condition is somehow to be found with you. I thought if I could know you then Phee could be healed. But it seems not that simple. Know you? Would you give me a clue please?’
‘As it is for me, stand alone and forget yourself, search inside
for your inner bride she should have the answer.’
The King began counting his breaths, then went down the steps to look inside. He found Phee but she was no better. ‘Dear Phee don’t give up hope I have seen the all of you, I found inside a sad and lonely girl. She says I need your help to know her.’
Phee spoke to him from a world away. ‘If you’re looking for reasons this time of the seasons, why begin just now sir? She may be blue, but take my cue its an average sort of saying that your doing. There’s no clue there for anyone, when in despair you can find your need to know, then you will find what is needed.’
Back with the child the King repeated. ‘When in despair I can find my need to know.’ The King thought of tearing the child to bits in order to find her. He looked at her, she was a plain, nearly ugly little bitch, no wonder no one wished to see her. And that defensive sullen mouth.
The child sat at the table while the king paced around the hall. Then without warning the King grabbed the child and flung her on his back, he dropped to all fours and started running. ‘Hang on, we’re in a race, the other horses are chasing and they’re gaining.’ The King ran around till he was exhausted and slumped on the floor.
The child looked down at him. ‘Did we win?’
‘Yes darling we won, it was close but we beat them by a neck..’
She looked at him and twiddled with her hair. ‘Am I as you thought me, a mess, an ugly thing, without a doubt no one would want to see me.’
The King bashed head on the table, his face actually turned red with embarassment. ‘Shit!’
‘That is me yes, what do you want of me?’
Want of me? Want of me? What did he want of her? Was she just a bridge to the older Phee, was he starting to see, to feel her as a real child?
She hopped on to the table. ‘As it is for me sir, as you say it. My desire to know is tempered by a feeling thus. Is this a game for you, just a play that makes a lark for you to be involved with. This story time vanish bitch, who is she do you care at all? Think well and wisely please, you’re playing games with me and I don’t like it.’
The King lifted himself up and sat down next to her. ‘Child you’re alone in the dark, no one can see you, nobody wants to know you. Darling please take a chance that somebody is willing to reach out and wish to be your friend. Its been bitter for so many years, don’t hold on to resentment out of spite.’
What would she actually like to do? The King led her outside, they climbed trees, they swam in the moat, played hide and seek, ran, jumped, until they were both were exhausted. Back in the hall the King was starving. He ordered food, tore into it with his hands. ‘You must be hungry why don’t you eat, its good.’
She leaned over to smell the food then turned away. ‘As it is for me sir. It is not those vitals that I need, my needs are more, you have nothing here that will feed me. Unless you can find me truly, I cannot be fed by you.’
The King clenched his hands, he made a fist he smashed the plate against the wall. ‘Damn you its all bloody riddles, why can’t you just say something definite?’
The child stared at him, a single tear appeared.
The King took a breath to calm himself. ‘Okay I can share your inner name, you can call me shit but people do get angry, much of the time they’re being angry with themselves.’ This was going the wrong way he started again. ‘I apologise young lady for my ungracious outburst.’ He knelt before her, that look she had could stop a charging beast. ‘Did you enjoy our games?’
She closed her eyes to slits then opened them wide. ‘If so when, count to ten. Very much your honour, was like a light for me. I’ve never seen such brightness, Never known such a time without despair. Shall I go now sir, now you have finished playing with me I have no purpose here.’ She started to walk away.
‘Stay.’
‘Why?’
‘Because I want you to. No not that, because I need you too.’
She turned. ‘What is that sir, a need, why do you need an ugly bitch like me, surely you have better companions than this sad thing.’
If this girl ever turned her hand to poker she’d be rich. ‘Child, Shit, whatever. I have a need, I have a care. You see this space it is my heart, I have pangs here that tell my care for you. I ask you please to stay. I could order you and the men at arms would bar that door but I have a need that you would want to stay here to be with a friend.’
The child faced him. ‘As it is for me, fair of face or shit sir. You are a funny fellow, ugly is as ugly does and those that know the asking are the poorer. See me then transformed, I have many faces and the one I wear right now is for you alone.’ And she passed her hand across her face and a smile appeared, everything lifted, she was like an angel come to earth.
The King was dazzled at the alteration. ‘If others could see you would they see you like this or before?’
‘As the other, it is not their turn, they have not earned a together change like we have.’
The King bowed. ‘So I am honoured?’
‘As it was and will be, yes sire you are. By this face you find me.’
The King closed his eyes and gave a silent thanks that he had reached the child at last. ‘Now that we can be friends will you stay here?’
‘As it is for me I prefer to be here too, I have come to like you much. But there is a family, a home to be, a place for myself inside.’
‘But will that family ever see you.’
The child shook her head. ‘As it is for me, there’s a longing that they might but I fear to say there’s nothing changing there. I will still be outside the door getting scraps of light to hope me.’
The King pulled back the shutters, it was still dark outside, this night was lasting long. ‘That is a drear prospect. My friend I will come to you when time allows. Whatever happens you can be assured that you are not alone any more. Let us create a shelter for you unseen except by us. A bed, some books and a fire. But I would ask one favour, I have a longing that you no longer name yourself as Shit.’
The child tasted the word again then spat it out. ‘As it is for me, if you say I wish it too. I love you more than hope itself, if you ask of me then I do agree.’
The King travelled back with the child to the place of the family. Together they gathered branches to make a shelter from the storm. They stood back to admire their work, the child turned to the King and they embraced. Dark turned to light, the King was holding air, the child and the family were gone.
The King returned to the real and carefully mended the wound he had made in Phee. Lay by her side, asked with trepidation how she was.
‘As it is for me, my name is shit don’t you know. As for me there’s nothing worried to be, there was a joke held me down but somehow now it has left its crease, the darkness there has passed. But still my lord I would ask you this; when and where do we play the horse riding game again?’