Still Small Voice Part 1
Archie had gotten lunch from Granny’s but since he had a session with Henry Mills, he wasn’t able to eat it.
Presently he was sitting down with the boy wondering what in the world Henry was going on about.
A curse on the town?
Storybrooke was really a place called the Enchanted Forest?
His birth mother Emma Swan was supposedly supposed to lift the curse, waking everyone up?
And the real puzzler…
Archie was actually Jiminy Cricket.
According to a little girl named Juniper, a friend that Henry had met,
Jiminy Cricket was actually a man married to Little Red Riding Hood, whom supposedly was Ruby Lucas who was in fact her mother?
Despite himself Archie could feel himself blush. If only…
It all seemed… ludicrous…
He wondered for a fleeting moment if he would get a chance to ever meet this invisible friend of Henry’s and ask her if he were telling the truth.
“You’re still against me” Henry surmised, disappointed, yet somewhat empathetic.
“It’s not that Henry…I-just…Look” he said, his stomach flipping as he regarded Regina’s words from the previous night.
“Ok we’re done with this…”
With what? Archie thought “I don’t understand-”
“We need a new treatment plan… One that doesn’t involve my son thinking I’m some Evil Queen out to destroy the world”
“How does he think I’m hiding something terrible in an old mine?! How is any of this logical to him?”
“Your son has a very vivid imagination” Archie tried again. “I think it would be wrong to rip away the world as he sees it… I’d like to use it somehow to…”
“Sometimes I think you’ve forgotten” Regina growled.
“You-work-for-me. You’re-an-employee. And I can fire you!” she hissed.
Archie stood still, something in him feeling as if he was a dog being told no… as if he were supposed to be cowering in fear…
His instincts told him to resist, and fight back, but he stood still, waiting…
“I can take away everything. You will lose your office, lose your house, I can shrink you down to the size of a shrunken little creature…”
“And this…” she said, whipping out his umbrella which she’d somehow stolen… “will be the only roof over your damn head”
Archie continued to look at her stoically. Are you done? The voice in his head growled.
Trying to bite back a similar retort before her threats became reality, the psychologist chose his next words carefully…
“What would you have me do?” he asked, feeling his heart sink down to his shoes, his conscience in splinters.
“You take that dream in my son’s head” she scowled.
“And you crush it”
Archie took a deep breath. He couldn’t believe he was actually doing this…
“All of this…ALL of this… is a delusion”
Henry looked at him blankly.
“Do you know what a delusion is? It’s when you can no longer tell what’s real”
Henry looked confused.
“And now, I thought you’d outgrow this but it’s turning into a psychosis…”
Do you know what a psychosis is?”
Henry shook his head.
“It’s when you can no longer tell reality from fantasy… your fantasy has become your reality and if that continues… they will have to lock you away.”
“Henry for your own good you have to wake up.”
Henry was giving Archie the same look he had given Regina the same night.
Archie wondered what indeed was going through the boy’s mind at that moment.
“This nonsense must end”
Archie had a bad habit of looking over his glasses when he looked at Henry. Usually this only happened if he was trying to make a point.
Hopefully this action would be used to his advantage.
It seemed to have the reverse effect however, because as soon as he finished speaking, Henry got up, grabbed his bag, and left without another word.
Archie felt the agony of breaking his young friend’s spirit. He could only hope that Henry could come back from this…
Archie wasn’t so sure if he could…
Juniper loved helping Ms. Ruby with her chores in the diner… it was almost like back home…
She had been too young then to really help set the table for supper, and on more than one occasion she had dropped a cup or a plate, much to Mama’s and Papa’s giggling chagrin.
On those occasions she had usually ended up crying, while Papa would take her in his arms and twirl her around, much as he did outside when they were puppies. She knew she was always safe, always loved by both her parents…
Juniper was startled out of her fantasy by the arrival of a young man coming toward Ruby and trying to flirt with her.
Wait… who was this stranger?
A young man with dark skin came into the diner, and placed an order for some food.
While he waited, Ruby was wiping down the bar.
She had specifically told Juniper not to carry too many plates, so she wouldn’t drop them.
“So, what’re you doing later?” the young man named Billy asked.
“Oh, I don’t know” Ruby answered, her stomach flip flopping.
She was hoping to either go on a walk and run into Dr. Hopper, or maybe say hello to Mr. Bracings as he came to get Juniper.
“Why?” she asked with a smile.
Juniper gasped. Mam- er Ms. Ruby was deliberately flirting with this young man!
Billy turned to the little girl for a second.
Juniper gasped, her eyes flashing for a moment. It was him! The mouse man who had stolen Jiminy Cricket's dance at Cinderella's Ball!
“Hey, Ruby… who’s your little friend?” he asked, smiling at Juniper.
It took everything the little girl had in her to check herself, but she growled. She could feel her hackles rising.
“Oh, her? That’s Juniper… she’s Mr. Bracing’s granddaughter… she’s helping out for today”
With the dismissive way Ruby addressed her, and the way Billy was leering at Ruby made Juniper sick.
She wished she were home again… Mama…Papa…Jimmy…
How she hated the Queen for taking her family away!
Flooded with a familiar rage, Juniper lifted the plates over her head and slammed them down as hard as she could.
Several things happened at once.
JUNIPER! Ruby hollered, furious that she had been disobeyed.
Granny had come to see what had happened.
Billy looked embarrassed.
The other diners were startled at the loud noise and started talking at once.
No one noticed a small grey puppy scram out, or Pongo’s incessant barking as it ran down the street.
All except one…
Juniper caught up with Henry just as he made the decision to enter the mine.
He’d show Archie…
He’d show Emma…
He’d show them all!
Henry sniffed and made his first step when he heard a bark behind him.
Henry turned and noticed a small grey puppy behind him.
It wasn’t a normal looking puppy. It looked a bit like a six-week old German Shepherd puppy but nearly twice as big with a narrow nose.
Juniper’s turning into a puppy had seemed like a good idea at the time, but now, she wasn’t so sure. She turned and barked up at Henry.
Surprised, and excited, the little boy picked up the pup, cradling her close to his chest.
Juniper whimpered, missing having been held for a very long time.
Quickly he took out his book to the story of Little Red Riding Hood.
The story went that Red, as she was called was in love with a blacksmith’s son named Peter. They got married and Red was pregnant with a baby.
Unfortunately, before the baby was born, Peter died suddenly and mysteriously from a hunting accident….
Shortly thereafter, Red got in some trouble after her mother passed away.
However, just as she was cornered, she was suddenly rescued by a ginormous red wolf!
Juniper nudged the page with her snout and barked.
Henry looked at her.
’You know the wolf?” he asked. Juniper barked again.
Red Wolf- my stepfather.
Henry looked at her and gaped.
Hey, cool! I can hear your thoughts!
Juniper grinned, showing sharp puppy teeth.
She nudged his hand with her nose. Don’t worry. I won’t bite… hard.
Henry laughed and turned back to the book. With Red behind him, the red wolf looked vicious and hungry… it salivated. The next picture showed a wolf dead at the red wolf’s feet.
Mhmm… he saved hers and my life.
Henry did a double-take.
Then turned the page…