From the murk, a pair of eyes appeared and swam towards Ado and Fefe. A slim girl clad in a white gown with a colourful ring of flowers decorating her hair, stepped lightly from the mist and smiled. She moved a little to one side and waved her hand in front of her nose as if dispelling a noxious smell.
The cage crashed out of the wall and landed with a crunch onto the ground startling Ado from his mild reverie. Fefe leapt up and held on tight to Ado who put his arm automatically around Fefe’s shoulders as if to protect him.
“AarrrraoARAR!” roared the being inside the cage.
A boy, more or less the same age as Ado, his hair dishevelled, his face red, had attached himself by hands and feet to the strong vertical bars, roaring and yelling, spittle spraying everywhere and tears of rage and frustration falling from his closed eyes.
“Oh, do stop being melodramatic, Ragnoor” said the slim girl, “the cage is, at this precise moment, unlocked.”
The boy stopped what he was doing and climbed abashedly down from high up on the bars, pushed his way out of the cage and stood meekly beside the young girl.
“My name is Serena,” she presented, “and this is Ragnoor. We are serenity and rage; in Ragnoor’s case, closely allied with exasperation. How do you do,” she said politely. Ragnoor scowled at Ado and shook his fist at Glamorgonia.
Serena continued, “Ragnoor gets cross very quickly because he is so impatient and often allows himself to be frequently immersed by the luxury of his frustration. But, with a little understanding, he can be quite nice sometimes.”
Serena laid a calming hand on Ragnoor’s shoulder and, after he had scowled in her general direction, he appeared to calm down. Taking a deep breath that was punctuated with blubs he said, “Trouble is that Serena is so damn calm and in control and it’s not fair. I should be like that. I know that being angry and cross all the time makes my face red, my hands sweaty, my teeth grind and brings me out in ugly red spots, but I can’t help it, it’s all so unfair!”
Glamorgonia, her hand held up to form an auditory barrier in front of her mouth said, in Ado’s direction, “Ragnoor is too quick to judge. He considers himself the perennial victim and, because of that, he cannot denote when someone is not attacking him. He was a frequent companion of Fefe until circumstances enabled Serena to construct the cage of tranquillity – only a temporary measure one hopes. Just until Ragnoor can control his temper, something I am sure you will be willing to assist with.”
The comment, protected by an acoustic barrier that was ineffective to Ragnoor’s keen ears, resulted in an instant liquescent rearrangement of his features; his face turned bright red, his fists clenched tightly and even the roots of his hair sprang, electrically charged, to preparedness. With all his reactions centred on earthquakily thunderous anticipation, he wasn’t aware of Serena guiding him gently to the entrance of the cage and, with no resistance, he entered the enmeshed confines then unconsciously grasped the bars in a forceful embrace and began to shake himself in raw frustration, “It’s not true, it’s not true!!” he keened, his eyes closed and his voice tearful, “You don’t love me!!”
Glamorgonia held her hand to her mouth, “Oh dear,” she muttered, then more audibly, “Of course I love you Ragnoor. More, I understand you and wish only for your wellbeing.”
Her words had the same effect of animation as dried leaves on the back of a dead frog and Ragnoor’s mood seemed to drop like a bottled heaviclonk as it plummeted into the untold depths of a bottomless ocean.
Aware that whatever she could say would have solicited a negative reaction, Glamorgonia looked kindly at Ragnoor and Serena and said, “Thankyou Serena and Ragnoor, we can all see that you two are well suited and I am sure that, with your help, Ado has every possibility of rapidly appreciating the subtleties that effervesce within the convoluted universe that surrounds anger and patience.”
Serena smiled brightly at Ado and Fefe and, carefully touching Ragnoor’s bloodless fingers, stepped towards the eye-cloud wall, disappearing slowly in the mist. As her form evaporated, the cage; not needed – at least until the next time, slowly dissolved and Ragnoor stumbled blindly after her, tears of frustration lubricating his steps.
Before Glamorgonia could move again, two wrestling figures tumbled out of the wall. They were laughing and joking, and it was a few moments before they became aware that they were being observed.