The Lordly Ones
H. St V. Beechey
Wherever did you get the idea that THEY are tiny creatures with gossamer wings? You’ll be saying next that they sit on toadstools and flit around in the dusk like mosquitoes. The things you saw probably were mosquitoes. THEY are far more perilous beings, and if they are outside your experience you should count yourself lucky.
They are not Elves. Elves, by contrast, are positively benevolent, and they, you must admit, can hardly be described as friendly to the human race. Even the Elves fear the Lordly Ones, and it takes a lot to frighten an Elf. Fairies? Don’t make me laugh! THEY are no laughing matter. Few humans have looked on them and lived to tell the tale; and those that have, are often described as mad.
I have been silent about my experiences for a long time, but now I feel that I should put them on public record. I greatly fear that The Lordly Ones are about to return. The signs are ominous.
I can’t explain the physics; perhaps it is a mistake to talk of the metaphysical in terms of physics, but my guess is that we live in parallel dimensions. When the two are juxtaposed, They slip between, to visit us. Perhaps They can even arrange the juxtaposition. I don’t know. Let us hope not.
Who are the Lordly ones? Think of all the Terror stories that go under the name of Fairy Tales. The stories came from somewhere; perhaps race memories; warnings handed down in folklore.
A terrible though has just struck me. Suppose Belief acts as a pheromone. Suppose WE are the key to their access. It scarcely bears thinking about. If that is the case, I sincerely hope that you will scorn my story as the ravings of a sick mind.
Nevertheless, 1 have a compulsion to tell it. Perhaps even the compulsion is of their doing. I will start at the beginning.
They were charming people. Let me qualify that. He was charming. She was enchanting. Have you ever thought why we use those words? Sometimes our words are chillingly literal, but we hide the brutal truth behind a screen of euphemisms and cliches. He was charming because he Charmed me. She Enchanted me! That is their stock in trade, their business. That was when I learned the meaning of mere mortal.
It started off very innocently, or at least so it seemed.. I was hiking on the moor. As I was looking at a dolmen, standing stones from prehistory, I saw two figures. They appeared from nowhere, or so it seemed, but I quickly rationalised that into believing that they must have been standing behind the stones and had emerged while my attention was momentarily diverted.
The setting sun must have dazzled me. I could have sworn that they wore glittering robes, but when I looked again I saw that they were dressed as ordinary hikers. We must share the same tastes, even their Brand-names were the same as mine. We bade each other Good Evening.
I spoke first, something inconsequential about the weather at this time of year. They answered in the same vein, their accent and intonation immediately acceptable and familiar. I learned later that mimicry is one of their strengths. Even if I had spoken in Cantonese, they would have responded in kind. They have that wonderful gift, so valued by humans, of making one feel one has known them for years. Instant familiarity; and with the familiarity a warmth, a feeling not of love perhaps, but devotion. They are a very dangerous people.
Why then, do I display such hostility? When did my disillusionment take place? Not soon enough, I am sad to say; not until I. in my enthusiasm for my new friends, had led others into their clutches. 1 was like a convert to a new cause in my eagerness to introduce my new friends to my old acquaintances. And one by one they disappeared.
The first to go were a fun-loving couple named John and Sue. They were eager for experience and willing to get into anything. They quickly took to the lordly pair, whose names even now I dare not invoke. If anything, 1 felt a little jealous of their instant rapport with the pair. They were invited to a Dance, while 1 was not, not having a current partner. “It is for couples only. I am sure you understand.” I understood all right, or thought I did. If it were that sort of party I certainly wouldn’t be allowed in alone. They were never seen again.
Nowadays I suffer from Guilt, but in those early times I had no reason to suppose anything strange was going on. In the sort of free flowing lifestyle we led, we often lost track of people. But the increasing number of disappearances could not go unnoticed long. I began, however unwillingly, to make the connection.
I sought them out, the Lordly Ones, but once in their presence, the magic took hold again. They shared my concern, they said. They asked me to join them that weekend. We called the expedition The search for Missing Friends. That weekend was to last for twenty years, (our time).
Those of you familiar with the story of Rip van Winkle will know that a night spent with these special people can prove to be a very long time indeed to those at home. It was the same for me. We found the missing people all right. They cavorted in reckless abandon in an unending dance, swooping and whirling like leaves in an eddy of autumn wind, to the unceasing music of pipes and drums. Their expressions were fixed in a rictus of desperate ecstasy. They were lost in the moment, in the music, in the dance. Yet, in their strained features could be seen a tiredness, bone deep; A sadness beneath the fixed smiles.
I tried to speak to Sue, but she seemed not to know me. I tried with John, with Bob and Carol, with several others I knew well, all of them Mispers on the Police records in their home towns. But the dancers would not stop and ignored my attempts to communicate.
“Join in, Join in, Join the dance,” the Lordly ones commanded. But for once, naked fear proved stronger than their blandishments. I summoned my will, and with all the power I could muster, I cried the word HOME! The scene swam before my eyes and I felt dizzy and disoriented.
I found myself cold and shaking on the moor in front of the Dolmen. When I got to the village, 1 discovered that nearly twenty years had passed. No one could explain my so-called amnesia, or why I didn’t appear to have aged a day since my disappearance. It took ages to sort out my affairs and for the sake of my sanity I didn’t try to tell my story until today.
There have been several accounts in the papers recently about the unexplained disappearance of a number of young people, and reports of a fabulous couple that organise Raves. They sound familiar and it is time my story was told.
© Copyright H.St V.Beechey December 2003