"Can you see?" the man said, pointing. "There, where the cloud breaks. The wisp behind."
The woman looked to the sky. A curl of Parma violets was visible, just. Then it was gone. There was a sigh in the man's voice.
"It's been a long time since I've seen that exact shade of mauve, violet. Beautiful...." He let the sentence drift away, an echo as faint as the colour he had admired.
The woman caught the moment, and pressed it. She wondered if the man had too. No-one noticed.
Two men and another female blustered ahead; jolly hockey sticks and scoutmasters. The dogs hung back, preferring the company of dreamers.
"We are searchers", said the man, as though himself trying to
understand. "We are all searching, that's the important thing."
The woman agreed with him but did not say so. She had spent a lifetime searching. But that did not matter. If he had said, "We are chimney sweeps", she would still have agreed with him. She lifted her face to see the expression he wore and his head bent towards her in response.
When their smiles met, unseen violet thoughts and stars swirled, celebrating what they shared, before falling to the earth - a gleaming, purple wake behind their booted feet.
The long grass, damp from recent rain, did not rustle with the wakening of fairyland - and neither man nor woman knew, so precise was the mirroring of that smile, that it had fractured interfaces, exploded into worlds close by, summoned emotions in small, winged creatures, laughter faint beyond hearing, and like a peacock's fan a host of tiny eyes opened on the sight of the trail tapestried in purples through the grass.
"I will too."
"No, but, she's"
"Can too. Will too! And you're to help me."
Two tiny figures flew in ferris-wheel circles, pursuing the purple blaze born of the violet smile.
"They've made the lights!"
"But they're two times one!"
"No, no. If the lights are lit, then they're one time two!"
"No, no, no! She's one time two in GREEN! Not purple!"
"Yah-di-yah-di-yah-da-da! so? He's one time two in every colour of the rainbow!"
"Well, I suppose..."
"Ha! I told you so - listen."
On the hillside where the people walked - three exhausted putting the world to rights and two immersed in the delicate affairs of discovery - elfin music played.
The gossamer wrap fell, it seemed, from the deepening twilit sky. A curl of violets.
"Catch it! Just catch will you!"
"Oh, I don't kno-o-o-w!"
"See the shimmering! Oh, look, look! Quickly now."
They flew together, upwards, in a perfect arc, rods of light snaring either end of the cobweb weave and spindling it to fairy strength. The dance was begun in the world of men. Between and around the slow-walking seekers the fairy envoys threaded the hemp of wishing. The man and woman wondered, separately, at a momentary tautness in their stomachs and together freshened the pace in pursuit of their three companions in the near distance.
The tiny voices faded with all the company of fairyfolk, mischief and merry-making cast. Away into the close-by as wondrous and wondering as they had come, lights dimming to the colour of spent bluebells. What would the neither one time two, nor yet the two times one, conjure from such potent, fairy magic? Magic of which they did not even know they were possessed.
The woman awoke in the early morning, uncomfortable in her skin. In the big, gold mirror by the landing window, her back drew light from a silver-slated dawn. She stared over her shoulder at the reflection, lips parted, thoughtful. Like petrol on water, like starlings' wings, her aura spilled metallic greens and violets along the restless muscles.
When the man awoke from his dream of cloudscapes he was refreshed. He thought about the woman who had helped remind him of the important thing -that he was a seeker. As he stretched into the new day he was unaware of the many-purpled aura that rippled easily around him. He had never felt finer in his own skin.