Written for a Halloween Writing Contest. Genre is “Urban Fantasy”. It’s sort of like Dresden Files, Peter Pan, and Midsummer Night’s Dream had a baby, with Jordan Peterson playing midwife. It is Chapter 1 of a full length novel I’m “working on”.
Halloween night. The perfect time for a summoning. Or ordering bags of your favorite candy from Amazon and hoping your house get’s TP’d (which, this year amounts to an act of charitable giving).
It’s time to get some answers, and maybe start to fix whatever the heck (waves hand in circular motion) “all this is”.
Summoning is pretty simple. Make a circle on the ground (chalk is easiest). Set the mood with a few or as many of the items that remind you of your intent as you can. Invest it with a drop of blood. Concentrate really hard on who or what you want to appear there. Say their Name three times and pull really hard like you’re Luke Skywalker trying to get the light saber out of the ice and then hope to God you have the mental fortitude to maintain concentration to keep the being physically bound within the circle. Bigger the being, stronger the circle needs to be; it’s more art and psychology than science (actually its specifically not science. It’s magic). Whatever you do, don’t break the circle.
“Tinkerbell. Tinkerbell. Tinkerbell.”
Snap, crackle, pop, and there she is. Six inches of blazing light zipping around like a banshee venting her fury (yeah, being summoned always pisses them off) with pyrotechnics that make Michael Bay look like an amateur. So beautiful… Stay focused! Just because she can’t get to you physically doesn’t mean she isn’t already in your head.
She freezes in mid-air, spinning around to face me, balanced on one leg, toes pointed to rest delicately on what looks like an illuminated manuscript painting of the sun floating flatly a foot above the ground. Smile spreading mischievously across her face.
“Good evening Andrew.”
I’d stumbled across this particular pixie some years ago. Kids, don’t try this at home, but you can go fishing for fae and hope that whatever you happen to call doesn’t completely outclass you and eat your brain. I’d realized that there was zero chance Walt Disney was making it all up, and was probably “in the know” like the Brothers Grimm before him. So I picked a being he portrayed as powerful, but also mostly benign, and hoped he wasn’t too far off. I was in no way disappointed.
“Good evening Tink.”
She nods her head demurely, and I relax a little now that her initial anger at being summoned has faded and we are no longer fighting a battle of wills. She begins to zip more calmly around the circle examining the focus items I have set around the edges just outside the chalk lines. As she nears them the candles change hue slightly (neat trick…) and the flame grows a little. If I cared to, I could have gazed into the flame and caught glimpses of things.
She zips from the little pile of miniature pumpkins, across to the giant Russian sunflower head, and then over to a painting of Peter Pan, at which she oddly turns an angry bright red all over, stomps her foot and sticks out her tongue. The nearby candles flare greatly and I catch a glimpse of a man in a woman’s arms in one and a woman gazing coldly at them from another for just a moment, before she turns to give me a flat sorrowful glare.
“What is it you require?” She asks, and then zips off across to a beloved stuffed koala that used to keep me company in my crib as a child. “Oooh!” She squeals in delight a little shower of dust sprinkling out (there’s the stuff!) while she dances and spins, exclaiming, “But you would have made such a lost boy!” And as quickly as the exclamation had come it was gone again and now she’s standing gazing longingly at a little pile of dark chocolate salted caramels.
Faeries are unpredictable and have the attention span of a gnat. Which is odd, since they’re immortal… But I guess when something with a lifespan that would measure in comparative eye blinks wants to talk to you, it’s probably hard to pay them much mind at all, especially given all the billion year old relationships you have to maintain. It was honestly shocking she even remembered my name from one summoning to the next, but maybe it had something to do with our bargain.
“Pixie dust.” I hold up a nearly empty leather bag and give it a little shake to indicate my poverty. Happy thoughts and a little magic dust and you can fly. Tink here is my source.
She rolls her eyes, “Surely that’s not all.”
“Pay up Tink! We have a deal.”
She gives me an unamused deadpan glare and begins to hop, fairy dust showering down in a little ring all around her. “There. Good?”
“Actually, one more thing…”
“As expected…” She smiles guilelessly, “what else?”
Gulp. Those teeth and dimples. I feel bad brining it up, but still, I’ve had enough! “What is going on!?” I yell at her, a little more angrily than I had intended. Actually, I hadn’t intended to yell at all. But seriously! What is going on?
She freezes with the stillness of a house cat intent on a rabbit, and some part of my brain sounds an alarm that it can’t decide which she reminds me more of.
“I thought so.” I nod, tight lipped and determined.
“Whatever are you talking about?” She says through her frozen smile, barely affecting any of the faux innocence she’s going for.
“Give it up Tink. The world is falling right the hell apart. Global Pandemic, riots going on over 100 days now, choice between a clown and a vegetable for president. What. Is. Going. On.”Continue reading “Titania”