“I seek guidance,” I said to The Phantom, “and thus arrive the flute player, the iris, the osprey and The Blue Deer – stewards. Caregivers are stewards; stewards are caregivers.”
“You forget me,” he said. “Am I not your steward?”
“I don’t know,” I answered. “I can but imagine.”
Dusk embraced us now, at the window here in the blog cupola. The Blue Deer lifted its head, sniffed the air, and then walked off into the woods. I pulled the window shut, picked up my purple and white iris the Phantom had picked for me and we headed down the winding staircase, I behind the Phantom. In case I stumbled I hoped he would catch me. If I went first I feared he would push me. I didn’t want to flatten my iris.
When we reached the foot of the stairs, I thanked him again. We parted there. I lifted the iris to my nose. The stem had a nutmeggy smell, like his hand.
“What is your name?” I called after him.
“Moriarty,” he called back.
~ fin de siècle ~