Tripping the Green Fairy

 

can can 1

To the audience who watched us upon the stage we must have appeared carefree, smiles of red wax plastered to our faces, legs high in can-can kicks. We moved in synchronicity like mechanical scissors while the orchestra led a bombastic dance.  The men clapped and cheered, often losing their oculars as we stretched our thighs. exposing loins beneath fish netted garters.  Our breasts jiggled like soft melons. The Moulin Rouge was a playground. But not for me. Oh no!  I was no better than a trained pony, a paid concubine who did all but the prurient deed itself in my tiered skirt and high heels.

Monsieur Toulouse attended the cabaret nightly, perched at his table side stage, top hat askew.  He was, apparently, a very important person for he received not only the best seat in the house, but the best of service. It was later that I found out he had been commissioned to design a series of posters.  He sketched constantly, ever bent over his charcoals and parchment, stopping only to sip his absinthe which was brought to him in jar sized glasses with regular replenishing.  Monsieur Toulouse carried a cane and — strange as this may sound —  he sipped from the cane as well.  Later I was to discover he had hollowed  out the middle and filled it with absinthe also, so as to never be without the beverage.

lautrec pd

Monsieur Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec ingested liquor as if it were the very air he breathed. Yet for some inexplicable reason he never appeared intoxicated.

As for his commissioned posters, he took no interest in them. It was portraiture that  he considered his true art.  And so it was one rainy evening that Monsieur Toulouse approached me on Montmartre and asked if I would  consider posing for him.  I  did not like the idea. Toulouse was a spooky, peculiar little character. It disturbed me to even speak to him.  I refused but he persisted, approaching me every night until finally out of sheer exhaustion I agreed.

I followed him to his chambers which  served as an art studio.  Large water color drawings and half finished canvases filled the room, which reeked of oil and turpentine.

Toulouse asked me to disrobe. This was not offensive to me as I knew he often painted nudes. Can-can dancing had made me free with my body and I had no qualms nor embarrassment as I removed my garments.

can can pd

Toulouse, however insisted that I must have something to calm me and offered his liquor.  This was ridiculous and I told him so. “Brigitte!  Mon cher!  I insist,” he said, handing me a flute of green absinthe.  It looked so pretty, shining with an odd, preternatural glow. I  became quite mesmerized with the sight of it and I could not refuse.  Upon the first sip it was so delicious that I quickly finished it off.

After drinking the liquor I immediately felt lightheaded and dizzy. Silently I cursed myself for accepting this peculiar man’s peculiar hospitality. I knew well the dealings of his sort!  He was known to frequent the street girls , dirty and syphilis ridden. I was much better than that, certainly! If he planned on procuring any service from me, he’d pay for it,  and he’d pay handsomely,whether he drugged me or not.

It was then that the dizziness subsided and there appeared in the room an entity. She was female with green skin that glittered like the dewdrops at dawn and chartreuse hair that sprouted from her head in tendrils. “Coletta!” Toulouse greeted her, as if this were the most ordinary of circumstances.

green-fairy- 2 pd

 

I’d have thought this was a hallucination, but I pinched myself to make sure I was awake, then realized if I’d had the wherewithal to pinch myself, how inebriated could I be?   The woman he called Coletta pulled  a vile from her pocket. She shook it, unscrewed the top and poured to her hand what appeared to be glittering grains of sand. She sprinkled them upon me. My eyes and head burned in fever. The room appeared blurry but I saw Toulouse throw away his cane. He commenced to dance with the green woman, both of them waltzing around the room as some orchestra played through the open windows.  They then tumbled to the bed, pawing one another and laughing the laugh of the insane. The ringing of their voices was the last thing I heard. The two immersed in bed sheets like white waves of an ocean was the last thing I remembered seeing.

When I awoke I was on the stage of the Moulin Rouge. I snapped myself alert, for I was now dancing the can-can in line with the others!  My skirts were green. I kicked my legs higher than I remembered ever kicking them. I looked for Monsieur Toulouse  but he was not seated at his usual table.

During my break I asked the manager what had become of Toulouse. “Monsieur Henri?”  He arched his eyebrow as though I had uttered some obscenity. “Why, he passed away last week!  You stood graveside at his very funeral!  Brigitte, are you quite well?” He looked at me, narrowing his eyes as though I were some strange creature. “You do not look  like yourself.”  He advised I take the rest of the night off. That, of course, was ridiculous!  I had never felt better in my life and I told him so!

Later that night, my body craved absinthe and I ordered a carafe from the Maitre d’.  Upon drinking it I felt my legs go weak and rubbery. The skin on my hand turned a shade of  dark emerald, the exact color of the liquid.  My hair sprouted in tendrils that fell down my back. It was then I heard the voice of Coletta. “My duties here at Moulin Rouge  are done Brigitte,” she said. “You will now carry on and you will be quite good at it.”

I was confused. “But what are my duties?” I asked.  Coletta smiled. “Only to assist our good clientele in the tripping of the green fairy,” she answered. “You are adaptable. You shall soon master this talent.”  She curtsied and then vanished into a stream of green glitter.

Coletta was right. I adapted well to my new duties which sometimes involved life and sometimes involved death.  I never danced the can-can again.  I never felt more carefree.

Forrest Green Fairy Girl pd

 

This post was inspired by the Daily Prompt Carefree

 

 

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44 comments on “Tripping the Green Fairy

  1. Did you write this… that was so invigorating in a way only a fantasy story can be. How did you think of it, and what meaning does it have? I understand it’s open to interpretation but I’d really love to know any background at all. Thanks for this piece!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your kind words! Yes, I wrote it 🙂 I think it came out of an obsession with Moulin Rouge/ Paris etc… Absinthe was actually banned for a number of years and people did claim to see green fairies while drinking it haha ( or so I have heard) Thanks for reading! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. poeturja says:

    Wonderful story ❤ (sequels to come?)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. dornahainds says:

    Talk to me about Grim Fairytales. This is -Deliciously Wicked!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. as the verdant faerie i really dig this story. thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I found myself lost inside the story. It was wonderful how engaging and well put together it was. It is always a good sign when I can lose myself entirely in a story. Great immersion!

    Great story!

    Cheers! ^_^

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow, thank you so much! That is a great compliment. I kinda got lost in it too as I wrote it, haha 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it!!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I do that. Xp It made the Quote Challenge difficult because I tend to ramble when I am in deep thought, so I’d be trying to make a point and go back and read it and be like, I wonder if it makes sense? It is easier to focus (for me at least) when I’m telling a story rather than writing a personal blog etc.

        It is like this comment for example. I will start rambling and then I have a small book written in comment form. I will leave this as is. I love your writing though.

        Cheers! ^_^

        Liked by 2 people

      • Feel free to ramble! It makes sense. Glad you are liking my stories & thanks for the great comments 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Why thank you! ^_^ I’m glad you don’t mind my rambling. I also should say your welcome and no worries on the commenting. I love reading others work, and when it really engages me, I try my best to comment in some way.

        There are times I only have time to like something, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I wasn’t enthralled by it. I was likely just in a rush. I won’t give a like to something if I don’t like it. It sounds silly to say this but there are plenty of people who will like something without ever reading it.

        It is unfortunate, because they are missing out. 😉

        I will of course continue to read your writing. I quite love it and hope you keep it up. (I honestly have no doubt you will).

        Cheers! ^_^

        Liked by 1 person

      • Again, thank you so much! I wanted my stories to be genuine entertainment, so genuine likes and comments really mean a lot to me 🙂

        Oh yes, I will keep it up. The ‘writing master’ beckons, haha (as I’m sure you know!) The blog-o-sphere is really a great gift. Thanks again for reading and for all the great comments. Glad to know you were enthralled 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Oh I quite know about writing and muses. Mine is extremely persistent. One might say torturously so.

        Cheers! ^_^

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Absinthe is Tinkerbell’s favorite drink!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Vicky V says:

    I loved the description of the dancers – especially their thighs! Beautiful story 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. theword36 says:

    This was VERY good! Belongs in a book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, thank you so much! I am really touched. This is your kind of story — Paris and all, eh? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • theword36 says:

        Yes. You know these days I don’t know where the Paris love started. It seems many other folks never think of it! But you clearly read through some of the good old stories… I can see just by reading you!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Yes — the stories, the sentimentality and the MENTALITY. This is why a time machine is my dream… 🙂 Thanks again for reading so many posts, wow, I really do appreciate it!

        Liked by 2 people

      • theword36 says:

        They were good posts! I feel like all the other times I looked over at your blog I kept seeing poems and short posts -which I dug too! -but then all of a sudden I had it arranged differently so I was able to scroll through the posts easily and boom the stories came out! Which were very epic stories!! WordPress is arranged in a difficult manner for me lol I love the site because it shares the work but the format gets me .

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ah — I am glad the stories revealed themselves to you and that you liked them so much 🙂 WordPress does take some getting used to for different sites. I am still trying to configure things…

        Liked by 2 people

      • theword36 says:

        If I can ask who are your favorite authors?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I have many favorites! Shakespeare, of course 🙂 I also love Anne Rice, Neil Gaiman, F.Scott Fitzgerald, Tennessee Williams and Jack Kerouac. Some lesser knowns are Tanith Lee, Graham Joyce, Anthony Burgess and Freda Warrington. For kids’ literature (which I read a lot!) I love Holly Black, Donna-Jo Napoli and of COURSE Lewis Carroll! Thanks for asking, I never tire of my favorite authors!

        Liked by 2 people

      • theword36 says:

        I have sometimes thought that I ought to try kids literature, and maybe even writing It, but I’m never sure. Recently I have been reading Lewis Carrol a bit and had never read him before. I read a few chapters from Anne Rice once with the vampire story. I can definitely see how that has influenced you. If you like Kerouac do you also like Burroughs? I started with Kerouac but then flew off to Burroughs. Anthony Burgess liked him a great deal. One of the Burroughs books I have here has a blurb from him.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I think it is fun to try reading and writing a bit of everything, that is how we find out what we like! 🙂

        Anne Rice to me is like the absolute MASTER. I just love her. I like Burroughs, but for some reason I have a hard time getting through his books. I also love Ginsberg for poetry. Burgess and Burroughs were both of the same ilk — a bit experimental and off beat in their writing. Really interesting people 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • theword36 says:

        He has a straight forward Book of essays called The Adding Machine which is quite good. His earliest work was straight forward. I agree that he’s a very strange read. I do a lot of experimental pieces but I don’t post them because it’s so odd. These days I think I got too carried away with “non fiction” like I write on the blog. In the past I wrote only fiction. Imagine I once swore I would never write non fiction? Then something made me start and I went crazy… I was strictly poetry, silly screenplays, and stories for the longest time. However I find I write far more frequently now that I allowed myself to do non fiction. What do you think?? Is it a mistake?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think there are no mistakes in writing. You just write what pours forth, what’s in your heart! I think we need all of it, non-fiction, fiction, poetry, etc. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • theword36 says:

        I always thought that too but what I find interesting is that very few authors of modern times seem to ever write non fiction. It’s like it’s become verboten. I really thought of it like that in the early years of my experiments. It was actually why I became intrigued by Vidal and Burroughs as a bit of a package like I did when I just so happened to find them. They both seem to have commented – and this is especially the case for Vidal- on the real world whilst at the same time writing fiction. Do you have any opinion on this im just curious to see what anther writer thinks ?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Regarding non fiction, Au contraire! Non fiction is being written and published all the time (just take a look at NYT best sellers, etc.) People have a huge appetite for it in our world, believe me! Although I have not read a lot of Vidal, I do know both he and Burroughs (and Kerouac, for that matter) wrote a type of quasi-fiction which was like Art-imitates Life- imitates Art. Very interesting in my opinion! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • theword36 says:

        Yes you’re right it was often like that. Burroughs just sort of slips essay sort of material into his fiction constantly. You’re right about the non fiction. I read too that is actually more popular and likely to sell. I think I phrased it wrong. What I meant to say was that a lot of folks who are considered currently popular fiction authors don’t write non. Kerouac is a fantastic example of this actually. He comments on society but he only does it through fiction. But this is kind of hard to understand sometimes for the average person. Like his ideas go over their head. They never talk straight forwardly , it’s always a little …foggy. So basically it’s like is an artist a failure if he just says I will write a straight forward essay? Instead of speaking through a character? I remember my friends for example , when I used to write many songs , they always used to tell me “I don’t see what the sense is sometimes. It’s a lot quicker to just say the thing outright. Song is just confusing .” In a way they’re right. I’m sorry if I ask too many questions I hope I don’t bother you .

        Liked by 2 people

      • Not too many questions at all, I think it is a fascinating conversation!

        Kerouac, you know, he was enormously popular in the 50’s, 60’s from On The Road, but today, most people do not ‘get’ the book, or worse yet, do not even know it exists! I find that most good ideas are usually complex, so however that complexity gets expressed is good.

        Kerouac wrote of what it was like to be of the Beat Generation but he wanted to do it through alter ego Sal Paradise. Now-adays no one even knows what it was all about haha. But nonetheless he did a brilliant job and OTR sold very well back then.

        So again I still think it is just important to write what is in your heart. That will find a mode of expression, whether abstract or concrete 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • theword36 says:

        Kerouac was the start of a lot for me. I still very much remember precisely how I found him. In a way that book led to everything. When I was young I read the poetry book American Prayer by Jim Morrison. From there I became very interested in the music of the Doors. One day while researching Jim I came to find OTR had been a massive inspiration for him. Having always loved novels and having been forever open to them despite their age I went ahead and read it. I was then introduced of course to not just the Beats but a whole splattering of US culture around that time period and then from even earlier. It’s sadly true that many people now in my generation have abandoned this old stuff. Most people I meet now would have no idea who I was talking about if I referenced WSB or Kerouac etc. I find most people only want whatever is the latest and the newest thing, which I personally find odd. I love new too , My recent piece is about the girl Azealia who is basically brand new being from 2011… But most people just can’t move at all beyond it it seems. They’re trapped with new new new. For me digging into old stuff helps put the new into far more context. I’m glad you don’t mind my questions. It’s very fun to talk to you:) I love corresponding . Thanks for your great replies!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks, it is fun talking to you too 🙂

        I think Morrison had a big fascination with the Beats. He had a poetry book called The American Night, a term which I think was coined by Ginsberg in Howl.

        We are very much living in a world of NEW (although sometimes the new to me just looks pathetic haha) I am on Goodreads also, where we discuss books, and I only have like 2 friends there who even KNOW Kerouac!!! It amazes me. I agree with you, the old helps us explore the new. The old is a part of the new also 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • theword36 says:

        I find it odd that so few people on there would know Kerouac. For me this is really all what ultimately became a big part of the fun: Not necessarily always creating new art myself but rather analyzing what the old art meant exactly. In the current culture I think being an actual player is a bit of 2 sided sword because we still aren’t really at the point yet where we have learned how to accept the existence of an anonymous or even “brief” artist. So what happens is these great artists kind of get consumed and spit out by us but they often never really understand much of society at large IMHO. Jim Morrison is the perfect example. He’s had an enormousssss effect on society. But he really wasn’t even hanging out in it too long himself. Even his last 5 years when he was in the Doors, he was kind of caught up in a big wave, not seeing “the society” as it truly was anymore. Ive always found this fascinating. He kind of stopped growing as a person at 20 years old and you can see it in his work IMHO, as good as it is. The same kind of goes for Kerouac too since he was the center of the storm. Ginsberg wasn’t as famous on the other hand so he went on for years afterwards and had a far more intimate understanding of society which shines through…. and yet, sadly, was almost not able to comment on it as massively as Kerouac! It’s hard to explain maybe its confusing but I’ve always found this fascinating. In fact if you know Bukowski I actually find him to be the most interesting phenomenon of all in a way, because he wasn’t even actually famous at all until literally the VERY end. His poetry isn’t much of a glorious or brilliant read but that’s the precise catch of it: It’s the most brutally honest of all and stays that way basically until the last bit of it where he starts explaining how he’s finally reached Olympus. He was right there on that ground level basically the entire time. When I first discovered Bukowski I felt like I was reading the conversations I overheard of relatives. With most of the other artists. I instead often feel like I am getting a look into some world that very few people know or understand. I think movies made this all the more worse. They cut off conversations. I type too much LOL

        Liked by 2 people

      • Well, I think we need all those artists, long lives, short lives, they all leave some kind of impact… Jack and Jim, maybe even more so because they died young. And Allen went through many changes, finally becoming a bit of a Zen figure (which is how Jack wanted to be viewed, ironically!)

        Movies, now that is a whole different story! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

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