Jewel Beth Davis and
Russ McIntosh

Reflections of a Night in Dreamland
Jewel Beth Davis
Inspired by a piece of art by Russ McIntosh

I stare into the pool at my reflection. All I see is a wavy blue face staring back at me. The water lines move in little ripples across the reflection. The sun lights up the changing surface of the water. It’s disconcerting and relaxing at the same time. Dreamlike. I gaze at myself in a disassociative trance.

At this moment, I hope I’m on mind changing drugs because then the wavy lines on my face would make more sense. I’m not sure whether the lines are from the water or my age. If this is what my face looks like, I definitely do not want to look at the reflection of my body in the pool water. I rise on shaky legs from my kneeling position at the edge of the pool. The strings of my bikini top hang down my sides like external seams. At least the ones around my neck are still connected. I fumble in my backspace with the strings and eventually get them tied. Then, I dive in, enjoying the anonymity the pool affords me.

How much pot did I smoke last night? Did I smoke pot? I feel hung over though I didn’t drink anything; at least I don’t think I did. And I have a lingering memory of some strange occurrences. It’s vaguely uncomfortable. I sink to the bottom of the pool to try to call the memories back. Nothing. When I can’t hold my breath anymore, I swim up again and break the surface.

And there buzzing around my head is that damn fairy. Like a gnat or a horse fly. I seem to remember it being here earlier. It is the size of a hummingbird and has numerous feathers on its back. Creepy.

“Would you just freaking leave me alone? Get away from me,” I say as I roll into a back float.

The fairy just circles my head smiling sweetly. It’s tough to know whether it’s a girl fairy or a boy. The face is very feminine, sweet and soft, but the hair length and body are masculine.

“So,” I say, as I float like a dead log across the pool. “Are you a girl or a boy fairy? You’re either a gay male or a dikey female.”

The fairy’s laughter is like little tinkling silver bells. “Silly,” the fairy says, “Fairies don’t have genders. We can’t procreate.”

“Well, I didn’t ask you to have sex. I just wanted to know…oh, never mind. What’s your name?”


“Well, that could go either way. Gender wise. I knew a guy once named Sandy. His whole name was Sanderson S. Herman, III.” I wait for a response but none is forthcoming. I’m a little curious about this particular fairy attaching itself to me. “Were you here with me last night?”

“Oh yeah,” Sandy says in a high shrill voice. “You were quite popular last night.”

Shit. I groan. Still, I’m not surprised. “I don’t want to hear it. Whatever it was, I’m pretending it never happened.”

I stand in the shallow end and climb out of the pool. Sandy flies just above my head. I swat at it with one hand. I wrap a thick blue and white striped towel around me and though I’m on firm ground, my insides feel like I’m still in the water, or I am the water. Everything is still moving. Everything is transparent, with sunlight dappling the surface.

I sit down at the white circular metal table that is poolside, trying not to make any sudden moves or the watery sensation might develop into fully formed nausea instead of a vague queasiness. I squint and screen my eyes with my hands.

“So, I don’t remember seeing you before. You waiting for someone? Someone in the hotel?”

“Boy,” Sandy says. “You’re a big one, aren’t you? You’re the size of a small planet.”

“Screw you.” I look up. “I’m not that big. I’m normal sized. I don’t know who you’ve been hanging out with.”

Sandy snorted. “I’m here to protect my investment. That’s what I’m doing here. That’s all. And it’s a good thing I am, or you’d be floating in that pool right now. Face down.”

Investment? What can this little schnook possibly be talking about? I tried to think back, remember what I’d done last night, but everything was so hazy. Did I have a performance last night? Tonight? Was I supposed to be somewhere? Crap. What kind of stuff did I take last night?

“I didn’t know you guys did that–invest. I thought you just flitted around and made pests of yourself.”

“Yeah, well, I invested in your recovery. In your future. And if you don’t pull yourself together, I’ll get nothing.”

Double shit, it was one of those fairies. I knew about them. They attach themselves to some lost soul and try to bring them back from the brink. Am I really that far gone? I don’t need to think long about that. Apparently I am.

“Well,” I say, “You don’t have to worry about me. I’m doing fine.”

“Oh,” Sandy says. “It’s no bother. It’s what we do. Like Santa Claus, Clara Barton, or…”

“Mother Theresa?” I say.

“If you like.”

I’m beginning to feel furious. What right has Mini-Sister of Mercy to stage an intervention? This is a pest of the highest order. You don’t see me butting my nose into anyone else’s business. Live and let live is my motto. Live free or die. If I only have one life, let me live it as a… I can see I’m getting carried away at this point. I try to breathe slowly but my head is banging, my stomach hurts, I’ve got vertigo, and if I move too much too quickly, I might puke. I just want to sleep for a week and deal with the consequences later.

“Look, Fairy…”

“Sandy.” It smiles serenely, which pisses me off even more.

“Look, Sandy,” I emphasize its name. “I don’t care what your name is, who you are, or who hired you. I don’t care about your neurotic desire to help. I just want you to take off. Vamoose. Sayonara. Hasta luego.”

“Sorry. No can do. I’m here to stay. To save you from yourself.”

The damned fairy drops down closer, next to my eyes, and sprinkles some sparkly fairy dust in them. Within seconds, my head clears and I no longer feel pukey or tired. Maybe this isn’t so bad after all.

But I’ve thought too soon. Suddenly I’m remembering everything. Everything I’d done last night and for several nights before. It is horrifying and painful. Each memory burns me as it comes faster than the next. I see the things I took, what I drank, the men, the women, the sex acts, the excesses of every variety, the devastation of my life. I scream for it to stop but it keeps on and on, searing into every cell in my body. I pray for oblivion. I beg for death, which is preferable to this pain. Finally, after an indeterminate length of time, it stops. Oblivion comes and I sleep. When I awake, I feel…what? Clean. I distinctly hear the words in my mind, “Just a little housekeeping.”

My eyes snap open and I look around. The fairy is gone. In the distance, I can almost hear the sound of laughter like tinkling bells.