Remember those old stories about Faeries? I’m not talking about gay folk (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I’m talking the mysterious magical folk, the ones that modern lore has reduced to tiny elves baking cookies or working at the North Pole. Yeah, I’m talking about the inspriation for faerie tales.

However, the original faeries were powerful beings, only vaguely human, and as beautiful as they were cruel.

In a lot of the old stories, some dumb lucky human would stumble, at night, into a circle of mushrooms or something, or be lured into a forest by a glimpse of some alien exotic beauty, and come face to face with an enigma: faeries. There would be riddles, or dancing, or seduction… and somehow he’d come away with gold. Lots of gold, enough to make him and his descendents richer than a clever pirate, certainly richer than a king or other lord or lady of the time.

He’d escape, and plan revenge on his enemies, or benevolent dreams of rescuing a maiden, or whatever turned his crank. None of it mattered, however. He’d haul his bag of faerie gold back towards his village or the castle or whatnot, thinking that this morning was the turning point in his dreary life.

But as soon as sunlight, rather than the fickle and changing moonlight, touched all this glittery wealth, the illusion was revealed. All those coins and jewellry would crumble into sticks and leaves. He’d be left with worse than dirt. All gone. He’d been fooled into thinking that faeries were dumb enough to let a stupid mortal vanish off some of their treasure. Silly mortal.

Sigh.

Some relationships are like that. Under certain, controlled conditions, everything seems fine. There’s laughter, fellowship, familiarity. Good times, had by all involved.

But when the cold light of reality is allowed to touch the friendship… poofta! Nothing but twigs and dead plants and scraps of spider silk. Maybe even a spider or two, to add a poisonous bite to the lesson.

Why is that? What makes a son of Adam think that he can battle a denizen of an eternal race that thrives on uncaused effects… and win? When he knows, from stories told by friends and family, and even from direct experience, that such a creature is not to be trusted, not to be believed? When he knows that to allow faerie gold into his life is to invite chaos, and giving someone so untrustworthy any power over him at all is to wish pain and confusion on himself?

Life. It’s a funny ol’ thing… ain’t it?