Here’s a passage from my post-apocalyptic adult hippie fairy tale, Alice, introducing Christopher and the white witch.
Rat a tap tap. Christopher knocked at the cabin door of Alice and Evelyn. He didn’t really have to knock but it seemed polite, in case they were making love or having an argument. Alice and Evelyn didn’t really have arguments but politeness doesn’t always speak to what is but to what ought to be. And it was written somewhere that lovers ought to make love and ought to have lovers’ quarrels from time to time.
Alice opened the door.
“Christopher,” she smiled. “It’s so nice to see you.”
“Were you making love or having an argument?” asked Christopher.
“No, we were just making sangria for the gathering. Would you like to cut the oranges?”
“Yes,” said Christopher, and in they went.
Christopher was a regular guest, so there was nothing unusual about his visit. He occasionally came and sometimes spent the night. Sometimes he came because he was making a new map and reassessing the territory. Sometimes he came to help Alice and Evelyn in the garden or with the water lines. With his sandy surfer hair and his clear hazel eyes, Christopher had a mild-mannered way that made him well-liked in New Arcadia. But there was a physicality to his presence too, an outdoorsy vitality, slim but solid, that was almost rugged. He had a light beard and mustache, but nothing like John Wilson’s mustache. Nothing. And Christopher was practical, too. It’s always nice to have someone practical around.
“Making maps and helping with the water lines go together,” he said.
“Why?” asked Alice.
“I can’t tell you,” said Christopher.
“Because everyone needs his own mystery.”
“That’s just the way Christopher is,” Evelyn would later tell Alice. As if Alice didn’t know.
Christopher lived across the woods. You have to bypass both the factory and the hamlet to get there. His lover, Freyda, would sometimes tell him, “Christopher, why don’t you go spend the night with Alice and Evelyn?”
When she said this, he knew that she had night work to do. Her night work was maintaining the music of the spheres. The fairies couldn’t do everything. The music of the spheres must always play, but now and then one must tune the imaginary instruments. “Sort of like an organ,” Freyda would say, her red locks cascading down in a flame. “But with many trap doors hiding tiny mechanisms that are constantly changing. Sometimes they change so fast, you open a door and fix something and before you can close the door it changes into something else.”
No one could verify exactly what Freyda meant because, of course, the instrument was imaginary. But one thing everyone could vouch for – keeping it tuned was the task of the white witch. The fairies couldn’t do it. Freyda was the white witch.