Alex Santiago was, as you recall in the early bits, worn to paper thin. The harsh winter had pulled the plug on his mojo; he was tired. The experiences with the young Resident Mouse and his former student, Skeena of the Silver-haired Ravens hadn't helped. Not only were his hands missing the pockets of his favorite jeans and long sleeved shirt that fit him so well were now left with incisor signatures -- pairs of two small holes. The metaphor did not escape the former welder, and always magician. He was loosing things left and right. Now he had no idea where his mate was, and that should have been the worst loss. But the odd reality was ... he was happy for them. Twenty years of a particularly sweet partnership was gold. He loved Camilia, and would always treasure their life together. Was it done now? So unexpectedly over?
From wherever he was at the moment the sky was punctuated with star light, planets, constellations. Instinctively Alex looked west and found Makali'i the Pleiades clearly heading for the horizon. "She's hitched herself to them. She's got relatives there. I know she's headed home." Alex's voice was tender and clear. Speaking to no one in particular a milky gauze mottled with faded patches of red, a rose red almost pink swirled from the dark night. "A rose, a rose, only a dollar for a rose." That voice was familiar. With no hands it was impossible to swipe the tears that flowed. Between the two Santiago Brothers there had been a sister, Rose. She did not live long, only ten when she died. Too young and too painfully did she die. Alex never forgave God for that cruel act though never, never to any one did he voice this rage.
"Pent it up all these years?" it was little Rose who asked wrapping the gauze of her memory round and round the magician's limbs where his hands would have been. "A rose, a rose, only a dollar for a rose." The girl's voice was unusually deep for child so young, but, it was definitely the same voice that would tease and issue outrageous requests. "More Cremesicles!" after the ice cream truck was long gone from the neighborhood, or comical dance numbers that required her brothers be fitted with crinolines and pirate hats. That they both acquiesced at the time, and was such a strong emotion now that was the binding. His sister's ghost continued to chant and wind the gauze until Alex Santiago was right and truly cocooned. "Slash," with one upward motion the switch blade severed the faded red gauze leaving two bandaged stumps. The ends fluttered with the scent of something ... "A rose, a rose, only a dollar for a rose." But no it was not the smell of roses or flowers but the scent of melting iron, solder.
"Whose dream is this!" That voice was connected to yet another young girl from a time more recently connective.
"Dani?" Alex recognized his step-daughter's inimitable voice.
"Well, yes. It's me, my grandmother sent me. Said there was an ... "she paused to reckon the condition of her substitute father, the man she had come to love with no reservations. "Tutu said there was a once-in-a-lifetime photo op. But this is even a bit beyond the normal stretch of definitions even for my grandmother." The camera that had been Dani's inseparable accessory swung from her shoulder. She eyed the two pinkish wrapped stumps and wrinkled her sensitive nose to the smell of the solder.
"Any explanation that would make me believe this is not bad t.v.?"
"Nope. Not one word could explain what you see here. If you could just look through that Argus and capture the moment for us, maybe the ending to this story could seem a little more within reach." Alex felt himself reaching for the comfort of leaning into Camilia for reassurance. How odd that he had taken her so for granted.
The Argus tucked into the familiar place over Dani DeSilva's left eye. The two fit like sunrise out of the ocean's depth. "Click. Click. Click." For good measure Dani took a forth and then a fifth shot. If there was an advantage to being a photographer of dreams, these would be interesting images. Hoihoi.
In Hawaiian 'hoihoi' means 'interesting. Click here for more story to interest you.