She thought of herself as ugly, a cow even.
Later, from her perch above, she watched her bathe, thinking, If I was only that beautiful. Xia and her cat. Always the cat, even in water. Sky, land, water — didn’t matter. Sometimes she believes she is the cat. I can’t leave, Myrtle thinks. I love her too much.
“All done!” came the call from below. Then she moves toward her clothes, cat still glued to the shoulder. Another constant, let’s call it. Myrtle watches everything with great interest. She use to not be this way. There was Ted, there was John — his twin, granted, but still another person. Then Harry the Lie Detector Magician. He hooked her up one day after much pestering. “Who do you love?” he asked her with great sincerity, tricking her. “You?” she answered basically as a question, making the meter jump. “Try again,” he said with some venom. Zimmy of course. Forbidden love. But then Zimmy changed into Xia. Soul shift. She use to not be this way.
“Tell me that you love me, Xia,” she said, looking over. 1/2 sincere, both knew. Xia was playing this game too. She’d learned from the best (Zimmy).
“Of course I love you, Myrtle. You’re my bestest friend in the world, even closer to me than Zimmy.” Myrtle knew Zimmy didn’t exist any longer physically so he really didn’t count. She said so.
“Oh, Zimmy’s around. I just saw him fiddling with that portal, trying to get that thing to work for *real* this time.”
Myrtle had watched *Xia* mess with the so-called portal on the porch over there just before she came for a visit. There was no Zimmy. Not any longer. Okay, she’ll play along. “Zimmy’s a good brother to you.”
“*1/2* brother,” Xia quickly added.
“1/2 brother,” Myrtle calmly corrected herself.
“He taught me everything there is to know.”
“I *know* you know.”
Silence between them. Xia’s feet daintily kicked the old wooden fence marking the border between their properties, reminding her that she needed to return home soon. But — so lonely over there. Only Zimmy. Like talking to a mirror sometimes, she lamented. They were only 1/2 kin to each other blood-wise but still so close that their skins almost overlapped, blood shared and then some. “Come over here,” he said just earlier, before the visit started, patting the rug below the non-blue ball.
It took about 5 days, but Xia, slowly but surely, began to think of Myrtle as a mom. *Her* mom. Zimmy’s too. This baffled Myrtle. She decided to retreat into the interior of the island for contemplation, to a parcel some call the Abyss. Maybe the term was applied later, after what happened to Myrtle. Myrtle became… dark after that.
While gone, she rented her place to an orange being. All Orange. Not useful any longer, the elves retreated back into Philip, their creator after all, if not a Dark Lord. They’d forgotten who their actual father was, and that he had been living amongst them all this time. Everyone absorbed the inevitable fall together. Dancing Chuck looked on at the mess, wondering how the heck he was going to put all these pieces back together. In the end, Zimmy became intermixed with Xia and visa versa. And Philip became part fish, part tall tale himself, the stuff of legend; many books and documents written about him. When Myrtle returned from the Abyss and kicked All Orange back to greener pastures… well, we better save some of the story for later…