Septimus Sitwell is one of the most important Elf characters to appear at the Hermitville Farm and Arts Collective in Puna, Hawai’i. Should my book ever become a movie, I would beg Benedict Cumberbatch to play this role! Here’s how I introduce the character of Septimus:
The Realm: On the Other side of the Gossamer Veil
Septimus Sitwell clapped his hands to his head and moaned! “By Varda’s Panties! Another migraine! Who in the human world just poured themselves a kundalini cocktail?”
There was no one to hear him, fortunately, as his blasphemous outburst would have caused his brethren to compose lengthy songs of sorrow asking forgiveness of the most Blessed Lady of the Stars. Septimus was alone, as usual. Elven Hermits generally are, except of course during weekly swap meets, jam making, wine guzzling, tea drinking, tabletop role play games, and Management of Immortal Melancholy classes. His fingernails were trimmed and buffed, his beard was like a film of sheer silk on his chin and cheeks, and he wore shiny black patent lederhosen with black and white wide-striped tights, spike heels, and a tight, sheer black t-shirt. All human-made contraband of course. Septimus had connections. And abilities.
The cost, however, was steep. It took a lot of concentration (as well as the correct use of The Book of Moons and the Alchemy of Time/Space) to tease and coax the molecules of human artifacts from one dimension into another, and then to reassemble them correctly. Septimus never forgot the time he summoned a liposuction machine (which were all the rage in fey realms that year—please don’t ask why) but ended up with a used diaphragm (in its case) and a copy of SCUM Manifesto by Valerie Solanas. Sure, there are collectors who do pay for spontaneous flotsam from the Mortal Coil, and Septimus easily found a buyer, but still, such a sad and sorry disappointment!
But, that’s what Hermits do, don’t they? Summon stuff from other realms and hope to Tulkas it comes out right on the other side. There are worse jobs.
However, like his brother Gingevus, Septimus suffered from a chronic case of emanation spillover from the human world. Though he hadn’t stumbled over any doppelgängers yet, he did know that there were certain humans who leaked the contents of their unconscious into his mind. He hated it when they did tantra or watched pro wrestling. Both gave him headaches.
“Oh well, what’s the use of robbery when nothing is worth taking?” Septimus said to himself. He didn’t know what this meant, exactly, but it was one of those mortal spillover phrases, and he kind of liked the sound of it. And the sound had a flavor. He liked that too.
He closed his eyes, hoping to ease the pounding pain in his temples, but this was not a day that would prove restful. Within moments there was a loud rap on the door, a sharp sound muffled by white gloves, and his eyes flew open. The sound had a flavor but the texture was wrong.
Septimus sighed, “Enter. Do.” Another sigh.
Note: Septimus uses a “spillover phrase” when he says, “what’s the use of robbery when nothing is worth taking?” This is a line from Adam Ant’s song, Stand and Deliver. Elves are fond of using human cliches and catchphrases as they provide a rich, synesthetic experience!
Second note: Sitwell is the surname of Edith Sitwell, author of English Eccentrics, the book that first alerted me to the existence of Ornamental Hermits.