Fic Prompts: Strange Magic Monday
He sees them sometimes, out of the corner of his eye. Just shapes at times, like spotting faces in clouds. Or sometimes it’s the scent of flowers – primroses, he thinks, and he’s not sure why he knows what primroses smell like – drifting on the breeze when there is no wind.
“Am I haunted?” he’d once asked his mother, when the wisps and the scents had given way to whispers.
She’d smiled in a wistful, faraway manner and said something about his father.
“Bog” King doesn’t remember his father. Not really. Sometimes he thinks of fiery blue eyes and a laugh that somehow reminds him of tree bark, but he knows those could just as easily have been the imagination of a lonely child.
He goes about his life quietly, avoiding the other children in town, who have always made it obvious that he didn’t fit among them. Instead, he spends his time among the trees, the animals. He’s saved a handful of toads, lizards, and insects of indeterminate origin while growing up.
As he gets older, sometimes his amphibian friends seem to change shape in the corner of his vision, taking more humanoid forms. They watch him with a strange mixture of reverence and confusion. His mother has complained about his “goblin army” infesting the backyard and tormenting the neighbors, but he swears he never set them on anybody. They just…do things when he’s upset.
Bog ignores it, goes about the business of growing up. He graduates high school, he begins college, and helps his mother plant a row of flowers – primroses – along the forest border. The sense that there’s somewhere he needs to be, that he and his mother aren’t supposed to be living in a charming little house in the suburbs, washes over him almost daily. It has since he was ten, and he figures it’ll fade in time. It doesn’t.
He falls in love. He makes mistakes. For once the whispers don’t help him, and Bog begins to retreat into the increasingly overgrown yard behind his mother’s house with only his absurdly long-lived animal companions.
He doesn’t begin to understand the true weight of his predicament until the day a winged girl with cat-like eyes stumbles into his yard, and the “amphibians” take vaguely goblinish shapes to chase her off.
That was the day Griselda King had to explain to Bog their…complicated…family.