Throughout the next week, Janet had an immense amount of tests during her classes and couldn’t find any time to visit the man in the brook. To ease her mother’s squabbling; she studied hard and hoped that she had passed her exams with flying colors. On Friday, her homeroom teacher handed out showcase signups to all the seniors, mentioning that it would be at the last month of school and that there was going to be a large number of representatives from numerous universities. This could be the perfect opportunity for me to catch a college’s interest, Janet considered as she signed up and perhaps to up my chances of earning a scholarship. She clutched the paper close to her heart and hoped that when the time came, she would be ready. The loud bell rang throughout the school signaling the restless students that the weekend had begun.
After a normal supper with her mother, Janet began to gather supplies for a not-so-normal man whom she hoped was still at the creek. The site had said she needed blood, a black animal and an expensive type of vodka. Since those items were rather hard to come by, she settled for her black stuffed teddy-bear and a small bottle of Jack Daniels that her mother had stashed in the cupboard. As for blood, she would prick her fingers with a knife when she got there. Stashing all of her things into her backpack, Janet headed out with a fierce determination. She would give her offerings to him and let him teach her if he knew how to play. She wasn’t nae to believe that the nix in her creek was all faith trust and pixie dust and refused to be fooled into drowning into the water.
When she got there, the man was nowhere to be seen and so, Janet settled on one of the rocks and began to wait. After thirty minutes or so, the teen pressed her knees to her chest and looked at the water with a dozy stare. Maybe their meeting was just her imagination, she thought, but it just seemed so real. Maybe she was going crazy because she sure felt like it. Then the thought dawned on her that maybe she should go ahead and lay out the sacrifice and it would lure out the nix. Janet set out the items on the shore of the creek and grabbed the small knife before pressing it lightly against the palm of her hand. The knife gleamed with the setting sun’s rays and it looked more menacing than when she had used it at the dinner table only an hour earlier. Janet closed her eyes and let out a soft sigh before biting the inside of her cheek and pressing the blade firmer against her skin.
“Stop it!” scolded the nix that had just appeared right before her.
Janet merely blinked at him and took the utensil away from her hand. The fair man had a stern look on his face as he cleared his throat loudly and rested his arm on her rock.
“What were you trying to accomplish with that little stunt, miss? Scaring me out of his pitiful mind?” he almost growled in his throat.
“I didn’t mean to.” She retorted quickly while scooting back from the frightening yet beautiful man. That same fear that she had experienced earlier started to creep its way back inside of her and she receded back from the fair man, backing out her plan.
“Wait.” The man pleaded, “Please, don’t go. I didn’t mean to frighten you.”
Janet stopped and looked at him, at last seeing the desperate expression etched into his face.
“I’m Fosse.” he said with a slight bow of his head.
“Fosse what?” she responded.
“Just Fosse, miss.”
She didn’t know why or either how but the name seemed to fit the man and she returned the bow awkwardly and replied, “I’m Janet.”
Fosse already knew her name but he decided to humor her by giving Janet a courteous smile.
“So what brings you back to the creek?” he inquired politely before adding, “Last time you ran off.”
There was a tint of anguish in his last sentence and guilt caught a hold of Janet’s conscience for scampering off and treating him unkindly.
She sincerely apologized. “I’m sorry, you scared me back there.”
“Am I that frightening? Foreboding? Daunting?” Fosse asked sadly as he lowered his eyes from her gaze.
Janet shook her head and retorted, “Well, it’s not everyday that a man pops up out of a brook and drops back into it.”
“That is quite true,” Fosse muttered and smiled benevolently. “But you didn’t answer my question. What were you doing?”
Janet fumbled with the tail of shirt and awkwardness reddened her cheeks as she answered, “I read that if you offered a black animal, some alcohol and three drops of blood to a nix, then they would teach you how to play the violin beautifully.”
For a moment, the fair man only looked at her peculiarly before throwing his head back and laughing into the sky; his amusement resonating through the trees like an echo.
“You shouldn’t believe everything you read.” He paused for a moment and eyed the items on the shore. “But I’ll take that whiskey there.”
Janet rolled her eyes and tossed the bottle to him. She frowned some and finally popped the question to him. “But will you teach me?”
“Teach you what?”
“To play the violin.”
“You know how to play the violin.” he snorted smartly.
“No-No. To play better.”
“You play very well.”
Janet pulled at her cropped hair and shut her eyes tightly before letting out a groan of frustration. How was she to get through to him?
“Do you know how to play?” she slowly insisted.
“Yes,” Fosse said.
“Do you play well?’
A slow grin appeared on his face as he responded, “Yes, if I do say so myself.”
“But will you teach me how to play?”
“But you al-”
“No, will you teach me how to play the way you do?” she interrupted before he could continue.
The fair nix stopped in his tracks as he knew that he had been bested and pulled himself onto one the rocks by the shore.
He nodded slowly and extended a finger at Janet before she could say another word and reproached,
“I will teach you under theses specific requirements. I will not play the violin myself and you have to show me how much you want to my tutoring. Only then will I instruct you.”
Fosse’s words made her spirit sour with hope and she retorted back rhetorically,
“I would give my life to play the violin beautifully.”