This is chapter 4 of a series that starts here:
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At about 10 am Plaz was awoken by someone coming into the room. He looked up from the couch and saw Rosario’s flatmate. A young bearded man with short black hair. He was clad only in boxers. He had a soft melodious voice.
“Whoops” he said
“Sorry, didn’t mean to wake you.”
“That’s all right” said Plaz “I’m Plaz, I’m friends with Rosario.”
“Yeah I figured. ” He walked towards him with his hand outstretched.
“I’m Antonio” he said shaking Plaz’s hand
“I got in pretty late last night and you were passed out. Sorry about…” He gestured broadly to his undressed body
“My outfit.” he finished.
“That’s all right, we’re all blokes here.”
“Right right. You’re Australian then?” Antonio asked.
“Oh, where you from, then?”
Antonio stared at him, but Plaz gave him a disarming smile. He dropped the subject.
“I’m just headed to the toilet” he said. “It was nice meeting you.”
“Likewise” Still smiling.
At length, after the flatmate had completed his business and retreated back to his quarters with nary a nod to his guest, Rosario herself came out of the room. She was pleased to see Plaz had spent the night.
“Well she said” through a curtain of long straight hair that she’d not had the night before.
“The legs are back to normal, at least, but then this happened.”
“Wow” Said Plaz, sitting up on the couch, making room for her to sit next to him.
“That’s gonna be fun to manage.”
“I figure it has to be easier than my usual curls, even if it’s 5 times as long.”
“Can you cut it?”
“I haven’t tried.”
She reached over to grab a pair of scissors from the coffee table. Snip snip snip. But it was no use. No sooner had the locks hit the floor than the hair had grown back to it’s usual unruly length.
“Nope.” she said defeated.
“Makes sense, I guess. Faerie magic, not so easily thwarted. Unless… we could try cold iron scissors.”
“From what I know of Faerie lore, that might work but it will also probably hurt a lot. And like… where the fuck am I going to find iron scissors.”
“Anyways, I’m able to glamour my legs to normal. I just have to not think about it. If I can stop thinking about the hair maybe I’ll stop seeing it. And feeling it. Oh god, eating’s gonna be hard. I should get like a butterfly clip or something.”
“Here’s a crisp bag clip” said Plaz helpfully.
“Gee thanks… this place’s a mess to be honest. I really need to tidy up.”
“I met your flatmate.”
“Oh yeah, what’d you think.”
“Pretty, but not my type.”
“Too beary, huh?”
“Not even that it’s just…”
“you told me he was gay, right?”
“It just doesn’t fit.”
“I don’t trust an ostensibly gay man who wears underwear that ugly.”
“Oh don’t judge. Also he might hear us.”
“Oh blast, really?”
“Nah, he’s probably still passed the fuck out.”
“Wanna go in my room and smoke a joint.”
“You know, I’m not usually one to turn down a wake and bake, but I think I’ll pass. I kind of want to go home.”
“Just wanted to make sure you were okay, first.”
“Well.” She said, opening her arms wide. “here I am. If you can call this ok, I guess I am ok.”
“What will you do, will you call Bren?”
“Not today. No. I think.. I don’t know how fae feels, but I need some space. I need to process this shit. This is, what, like the 5th time my life’s been flipped turned upside down. Which I guess. I was right side up before but not any more. And she’s not the one who can give me answers. ”
“Then, your aunt?”
“Yeah, but like… also not today. It’s Saturday. All I want is to get high and like watch Netflix or something. I need a break.”
“Well. Blood message me if you need anything, ok?”
“Ok. Thank you so much, Plaz.”
They got up and hugged and then Plaz vanished in a plume of smoke which was terribly inconvenient because, unlike in her bedroom, the fire alarm in the living room had a full battery and she had to hurry up and turn it off. She told a bewildered Antonio she’d burned some eggs, in the kitchen and she was sorry, and he was still too sleepy to investigate further.
She retreated to her room, to do her daily ritual solo this time. And to relax. And to think. She rolled a joint but didn’t light it. “This calls for some sky” she said to herself.
She climbed the stairs to the roof of her building. Stepped out into the brightness, and was received by a cool breeze. She was on the third floor, not a very tall building. Brooklyn sprawled in front of her, and in the distant the comforting sight of the Manhattan skyline.
She ascertained that she was alone (she rarely encountered anyone else up here) and she sat in the corner and lit up. It was never as nice to smoke on her own, but at least she had the sky and the few clouds for company. Last night was actually the first time she and Plaz had spent that much time together. Usually he came for an hour or two, they smoked a couple joints and then he was out, back to hell, or elsewhere on Earth. She never asked questions about who else he dealt with or what hell was like. And he never brought it up.
Brae wasn’t the first time she’d met a faerie, but faerie was such a broad term, she’d probably met some her weirdar hadn’t identified, and no one had ever identified her. Angels were easy to peg, so were demons. She’d met a wood nymph once, in Tennessee. And plenty of human witches and magicians. She’d love that her life was so full of the strange, she loved being part of the world that wasn’t hidden at all, but which few people saw, out of lack of interest.
She didn’t realise how much of that world she was. She preferred thinking of herself as a link, a border crosser, someone with one foot on each plane. This was all still true, her balance had just shifted on her backwards pointing legs.
She dialled her phone.
“Hola Tia” She said.
“Yeah it’s me, Mile’s daughter” she continued in Spanish.
“Yeah I know it’s been a while… Oh you know it’s all good… No I haven’t seen him lately… Mom’s doing great… Would I like to come over for lunch? Sure! Yes… yes I’ll skip breakfast that day… hehe… One question though, is Nana going to be there?… She is!… great! I’d love to see her too. Ok, I’ll be there Wednesday. Thank you! Ciao!”
She hung up, finished her joint in the quiet of the city, which is the sound of cars, the chatter of people, and the occasional siren.