Episode 88 - Fairy Lights

[Dial tone]


ROSLYN: You've reached the Love and Luck Podcast.





KANE: Hey. I've been watching Ricardo trying to learn to relax a bit more with Dognerys, and... I've been thinking, I should be trying to improve, too.

I'm still... I'm still more anxious now than I was pre-hate crimes. Even though I didn't go through what Ricardo or Michael or Helen did, I... well. You know I didn't handle the whole "making people feel hurt and afraid" thing very well.

I'm like... obsessively worried about anyone getting hurt now, even more than I was before. And it's... kind of silly sometimes. I know that.

So I was thinking that something I could work on is the fairy lights. I know Helen and Mira love having them up, but I'm always so worried about them starting a fire that I don't let them stay up for long, and... this is something I can fix. On two fronts.

Victor already pointed out to me that you can get LED fairy lights now, which are much, much less of a fire risk. So that's step one. And step two is... just fucking trying to get over myself. Facing my fear, you know? I've already been sort of working on that, I mean... we put the lights up for Helen's birthday, and I managed to handle that okay. So... clearly I'm capable of getting over this particular thing.

So... I'm going to ask Helen and Mira if they want to go fairy light shopping with me. And then... then we'll put them up. And I'm going to try and learn to like them. Not just accept them, but like... really try to like them. Because they are pretty, and they do look lovely on our back wall. I'm just... never able to appreciate them because I'm always worried so much.

So... yeah. That's today's task, I think.



[BG SFX: Tram noises]

KANE: Hey honey! We got fairy lights! We were going to get blue ones, to match the bar stools, but then Helen pointed out blue light isn't great for our circadian rhythms, so... we got some nice warm yellow ones instead.

We're on the tram back now, shouldn't be long. But if we're still not there when you get up, well, that's where we are.



[BG SFX: Light traffic]

KANE Hey, so... I just nipped outside for a bit, so I could have some privacy to leave you this message.

Helen can do more than just emotional magic, I think.

We were putting up the fairy lights together, and I was telling her about how my Mum used to tie knots in string and stuff for good luck, and that's why we have the knots on the back of the door. And I was wondering out loud if you could imbue electric cords with good luck the way you can with string and rope.

And... she cheerfully says, "well, let's try!", and then she loops the cord over once before putting it up. And Jason, she... I could feel things changing. I could feel this... warmth and love being bound into the cord. And when it touched itself again on the loop, it was like it snapped into place.

I tried to ask her about it, tried to tell her that it was clear to me that she was doing something magical, but she laughed at me and made a sarcastic comment about being a magical girl. She still doesn't believe she can do this stuff, she just... [Frustrated sigh] I honestly don't know how to show her that what she's doing is very, very real.

[Sigh] I don't know where to go from here with her. But I do know that she did something, because the back of the bar feels different now. Warmer. Safer.

I don't think it's like our wards exactly... while there is an element of drawing people in with our wards, with our beacon, this isn't quite like that. It's not stretching out at all the way our wards do. It's just... contained. To this little space at the back of the bar. Where it's warm and cozy, kind of like an emotional fireplace.

Oh god, fireplace. I wish I hadn't used that example. Now I'm going to be worrying about magic fires. Ugh.



HELEN: [Relaxed] Hey Papa Bear. Thank you again for putting up the fairy lights today. It really does make the whole bar feel more magical, don't you think?

[Laughs] Well, you probably do, I know you seem to think I'm magic too. Which is very sweet of you. You're almost starting to make me believe it.

I love this place so much. And the people in it. I've never felt safe the way I do here. That's the real magic, you know. Having somewhere I feel safe and cared for... I feel like I'm allowed to be vulnerable here without worry.

That's really special, Kane. You've built somewhere very special.

Anyway, I should sleep. Thank you again for the lights. I hope you start to feel as safe around them as I do.



JASON: Hey... hope you're sleeping well. Everyone else has gone to bed too, so it's just me.

The bar definitely feels different. Warmer and cozier as advertised. Tom and Brandon dropped by earlier tonight, and they both commented that the bar feels even nicer than it used to. So... yeah, Helen seems to have built an emotional fireplace out of fairy lights, like you said.

Which is incredibly cool, incidentally. I know it's all a bit anxiety inducing for you, but honestly, our girl did string magic with electronics. She's like some kind of technowitch, that's fucking awesome.

[Laugh] Ah I love you, and the lights look beautiful. See you tomorrow.


[Cassette noise]

JULIE: Well, the ultrasound still says you're a girl, and I'm still 100% sure that it's wrong. I'm not sure why this discrepancy exists, but... well, I guess we'll find out who's right eventually.

I'm pretty sure it's me, though.

Anyway. Priya's been wearing the ribbon I tied for her a lot lately, even to work. She says it helps her feel less fragmented with grief, because it reminds her how much I love her. It's made me wonder what else I can do.

I dug out this old book my mother gave me years ago... it's about macrame. Which is a fancy word for decorative knot tying. I've been going through it, trying to learn a few simple things. Things I can craft as gifts for people without it being suspicious or strange.

I haven't had a chance to experiment that much with it yet, but I have some high hopes. I've already figured out I can pour gentleness and caring for people easily into the cord, and if someone else holds it or wears it, it does calm them and make them feel more comfortable.

It doesn't seem to really take hold until there's a knot or a join in the cord, though. It doesn't have to be a knot, it can just be a loop or something, but there has to be some kind of... closed circuit. It has to be... complete, somehow. Even if I build more onto it later, it has to have some kind of finished foundation. Even a simple one.

I can make cords that soothe pain, like I did for my friend that I told you about a few weeks ago... but the effect seems limited. I can't seem to maintain it for very long if I'm not actually touching the person I'm soothing. And if I am touching them... I wear out quickly.

So... I'm still not sure what all this is or where it's limits are, but... I'm learning.



ROSLYN: Love and Luck is written by Erin Kyan, and produced by Passer Vulpes Productions.

Kane is voiced by Lee Davis-Thalbourne. Jason is voiced by Erin Kyan. Julie is voiced by Nic Rummery. Helen is voiced by Ashe Connor. Credits spoken by Roslyn Quin. Recorded by Kermie Breydon and Eris Barnes. Additional sound effects thanks to Kyle Evans.

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