Daily Ritual Ch. 9

With every step Rosario took in the spirit world her surroundings became more and more dreamlike. She could recognise the edges, or the memory of what was still very much Central Park, but it was bigger and wilder.

This is chapter 9 of a series that starts here:

Chapter 1.

Previous Chapter 

Next Chapter

(bear in mind that this story was written before the pandemic, so if you see characters going outside and being close to each other do not be alarmed, it is set in 2019)

If you want nicer formatting or to read on the go, feel free to grab the PDF.

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With every step Rosario took in the spirit world her surroundings became more and more dreamlike. She could recognise the edges, or the memory of what was still very much Central Park, but it was bigger and wilder. The Trees were huge and bountiful and most of them had faces if you looked at them the right way. The forest was abuzz with the sounds of critters that should not be in the middle of Manhattan. And beyond, the sound of raucous conversation, an argument. Far enough still that she could not make sense of the words.

Suddenly the world went dark and she felt herself fall. She didn’t scream, to her credit, but she made a loud enough noise that Bren took notice and went back for her.

“Everything ok?” fae said

“I just, tripped on my hair and my feet.”

Rosario brushed her suddenly incredibly long hair aside and noticed her legs were backwards, she had reverted to her Ciguapa form.

“Oh fuck I knew I forgot to tell you something.” Bren said, helping her up. “You’re not going to be able to hold human form here, glamours won’t work on yourself or anyone.”

It was then that Rosario noticed Bren looked different too. Fae had long ears, and eyes that were a dark deep purple all around. Faer fingers were long and ended in very long very sharp nails.

“You’re, that’s what you look like then.”

“Yup” Bren said “What, why are you looking at me like that?”

“You’re beautiful”

Bren blushed

“First of all,” fae said “thank you! Second of all, we need to keep going. Can you walk?”

“Yeah I think so, I haven’t exactly been practising walking with backwards feet, but I think I’ll be fine once I get into a rhythm. So there’s no way to hold human form here?”

“Not unless you can separate, and that takes a lot of practice to master.”

“I didn’t even realise that was possible. Can you do it?”

“Yeah, but, shouldn’t do it right now. Come on we need to keep going.”

“Ok ok.”

Rosario took a few uncertain steps.

“Here, hold my hand.” Bren said. With her hand in faers she had a much easier time staying up and soon had gotten into a rhythm. They walked this way until they came to the edge of the treeline and peered out the side of a huge trunk.

In the middle, all around a huge bonfire, hundreds of creatures were involved in a heated debate. Rosario could see Satyrs, and Deer with huge tree branches for antlers, and big hairy men and women. She could see little people with long ears, little people with short ears, little people with fox ears, little people with no ears at all. She could see a group of beautiful people with long white hair, keeping to themselves. She could see a small hairy person in an expensive suit hugging a small hairy person dressed in furs and leather.

Currently the floor was held by a centaur making an impassioned speech.

“I think it’s time we reconsider the changeling question altogether.”

Loud cries of hear hear!

“I think we should go back to the way we did it before, just replace them, and kill the human children!”

There were more shouts of hear hear! but a lot of boos too!

A man with the head of a rabbit and deer antlers stood in the middle

“Are we forgetting the strides hybrid Changelings have made. They’re by and large the reason humans leave us alone. Subtle tactics. Going medieval on humans doesn’t make them leave us alone any more, and we were on the verge of extinction if it weren’t for the work of the changeling ambassadors.”

More cheers for the crowd.

One of the beautiful people stepped up now.

“This discussion is unnecessary. The changeling practice has one purpose that must come before all else, it is a treatment for the disease. “

The crowd was silent.

“Our priority” the beautiful person continued “should be maximising the chances that it works and continues to work, for our preservation.”

“A very good point from my sister from overseas” the rabbit man said

“And again, we see the right of the new way. Both the human and the person benefit from a cooperative upbringing, and humans don’t stick nails in their children’s toes any more”

Several noises of disgust and grimaces from the crowd

“And if we can reap other benefits from the cooperation, all the better.”

“Bah!” said the centaur ” I think my dear Mr Wolp has perhaps spent too much time amongst humans, he’s starting to talk like, what do they call it, a businessman”

Laughter from the crowd

“Humans” the centaur spit “they’re not worth the dirt they’re made out of. Every union of a human and a person devalues the person greatly, and counting them amongst our ranks dilutes our essence. They are tools to be used, livestock. And now their way of life is threatening our existence. Culling them would be the responsible thing to do, not your half thought out diplomacy. My people, for one, are tired of this humiliation.”

“And you speak for all of our people then, brother?” A different centaur stepped into the circle.

“And your little tirade has nothing to do with the situation you find yourself in amongst our own people.”

“How dare you?! You have no right to bring that up outside of our house”

“You and your dangerous rhetoric give me the right and the obligation. You would doom us all!”

Shouts from every side of the circle now.

“Order ORDER” Mr Wolp shouted. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves”

The crowd calmed

“Tomorrow, a select committee of us will meet with the changeling ambassador for New York and inform them of the discussion. A decision need not be made right now. Every viewpoint will be respected, yes, even the gentleman’s position that we should start killing human children, which I will remind you some of us never did.”

“Don’t think your mockery of me goes unnoticed rabbit man” the big centaur said.

Behind the trees, Rosario was watching in rapt attention. It only dawned of her after a minute that she was one of those children. If things had been different in her time she would not be here, she would not be part faerie or part human she’d just be dead. She turned around to look at Bren and that’s when she noticed that she was furious. She had a big scowl and was breathing heavily, and her eyes had gone from that deep purple to a deep red.

“Bren are you…” but before Rosario could finish asking Bren ran into the clearing

“I AM THE HUMAN AMBASSADOR FOR NEW YORK CITY! TALK TO ME!” fae shouted.

There were gasps, there were boos, and more than a few tsks from the assembled Audience. A tiny sylph flew down and said

“What are you doing here Brendan?” the winged creature asked.

“DO NOT CALL ME THAT”

“Child. what are you doing here?” The sylph repeated.

“I’m here because I am the CHANGELING” fae emphasised that word and looked right at the centaur as fae said it “ambassador for New York City. Now where are they?”

“They’re not here. This meeting is off limits to humans, your parents knew that.”

“But they’re in the city.”

“I will not say. You must leave child, you’re in enough trouble as it is. And you are NOT the ambassador for New York City. Someone else was chosen 3 months ago. You would know this, if you ever bothered to call home.”

“What?” Bren deflated.

“Go on, child, get out of here. I’ll come find you tomorrow and we may talk. “

Bren stood motionless as the whole crowd stared at faer. Rosario had also walked out into the clearing but no one had noticed in the commotion. She now walked up to Bren and grabbed faer hand

“Come on hon let’s get out of here.” she said and then the crowd took notice of her.

“Oh another changeling.” the centaur said. “You see how they flaunt our rules, how they place themselves above us. It’s that wretched human arrogance. Uppity whelp.”

“That’s enough from you, asshole!” Rosario shouted. “I’m sorry we disrupted your meeting everyone. We will leave.”

“Good riddance and be glad I do not kill you where you stand.” The centaur said.

“You wouldn’t.” Mr Wolp said “You’re all talk. Go on Children leave. We will decide how you shall be reprimanded at a later time.

Rosario nodded and started walking away with Bren in hand. Bren was moving quickly and She was having trouble keeping up with her backwards feet, but they made their way back out of the clearing and were almost to the opening when Rosario noticed they were being followed.

“Hold on a minute” she said and turned around.

“Hi!” said a beautiful person with blonde hair and grey eyes

“What do you want?” Bren said curtly.

“Well,” the beautiful person said, “I just wanted to make sure you were ok. Awful awful people in that meeting. Cletus, that centaur guy, smells awful. I’m down with humans though, and queers, queer humans. Which I can smell you are.”

“Uh-huh.” Bren said, skeptical.

“Seriously, I spent a bunch of time out with humans, it’s great, they’re so funny and cute. Anyways, my name is Kevin.”

“Kevin?” Rosario asked

“Well that’s my human name, but it’s good enough for now.”

“Nice to meet you Kevin, my name is-“

“Hoooold on. Remember, he’s a faerie” Bren interrupted “don’t go giving your name so readily”

“But he told me his.”

“He told you his human name. That’s different, that’s probably his human name this week.”

“No, Kevin I’ve had for a couple months” Kevin said “got it in Williamsburg from this cutie, oh you should have seen them! Hey why don’t we keep talking outside, I can smell that this whole debacle has you more than a little agitated.”

“Fine, fine.” Bren said sounding exhausted “just come along then.”

Once they had made it out through the gap, Rosario collapsed on the ground and Bren went and sat down next to her. They’d both returned to their glamoured human forms and behind them was Kevin, also in human form. A tiny blonde crusty twink. He had black piercings and a beanie and was wearing a black binder with a fishnet shirt, black jeans, and martins.

“Hey, you’re kind of cute.” Rosario said

“Why thanks!” Kevin replied as he squatted down next to them.

“So Kevin. Why did you follow us?” Rosario said, suddenly serious.

“I would also like to know” said Wren

“Well if you want the truth.” Kevin said “You smelled like fun. Two obviously queer changelings busting into the middle of the meeting like that. That’s some… what’s the word? chutzpah? you know what I mean. Also you,” he said pointing a long finger at Rosario “You my dear, stink of marijuana and I wanted to see if I could bum some.”

“That’s fair” Rosario said, suddenly at ease. Stoner recognise stoner.

“And there’s something else.” Kevin said whilst sniffing the air around her.

“I’m sure of it now, you smell of demon. That’s definitely something I don’t sniff every day, specially not from a changeling.”

“You can smell demon?” Bren interjected.

“Well of course I can. Love demons. Used to date one, see. Plaz was his name, he was the cutest thing.”

“Hold up hold up hold up!” Rosario said suddenly “You and Plaz? My Plaz? Plazhol?”

“You know him?” Kevin asked

Rosario erupted in raucous laughter.

“I am going to give him so much shit for this” she said.

To be continued.

Daily Ritual Ch. 8

shit, what should I do to prepare? Which talismans do I bring, do I bring any of them? do faeries care for astrological magic at all? Ok ok, I’ll just bring them all and ask Bren if any of them would be useful.

This is chapter 8 of a series that starts here:

Chapter 1.

Previous Chapter 

Next Chapter

(bear in mind that this story was written before the pandemic, so if you see characters going outside and being close to each other do not be alarmed, it is set in 2019)

If you want nicer formatting or to read on the go, feel free to grab the PDF.

*********************************************************

A whole week without a reply from Bren and Rosario was getting a little antsy. Her last message had been:

“cool, I’d love to hang out again too. When’s a good time for you?”

Rosario had been fighting the urge to send another text the last 6 days. She didn’t want to appear desperate or to bug Bren in any way, but she wanted to see faer. Also she was curious about the faerie conclave. The light on the edge of the sea was gone, but there was a weird glow hanging over Manhattan and she’d wondered if they were related. She was pretty sure they were. Maybe she could message again asking about that, that’s not desperate, that’s just good sense.

“Hey”

She wrote and sent. Well it’s a start she thought. She was about to type more when she got the reply

“Hii!! Sorry I never answered your last message, I thought for sure I had”

“lol, it’s ok. Just wondering if you’d still wanted to hang and wanted also to ask about the thing

you know the thing

the thing with the faerie stuff

the thing”

“Oh, the gathering. Yes I wanted to ask you about that as well, you said you’d come with me”

“Totally, I’m still down if you’re down.”

“Yes absolutely!! So. It starts tomorrow. Do you want to meet at my place at 8 and we can ride there together.”

wow, that’s soon Rosario thought, but she answered

“Sounds good to me, I’ll see you there.”

“Awesome, looking forward to it hon, see you tomorrow < 3 <#”

she called me hon Rosario sat there smiling like an idiot.

shit, what should I do to prepare? Which talismans do I bring, do I bring any of them? do faeries care for astrological magic at all? Ok ok, I’ll just bring them all and ask Bren if any of them would be useful

In the end Bren didn’t think any of them would be useful, but Rosario wasn’t sure fae understood the concept and she didn’t have time to explain it since fae seemed rather frantic when Rosario showed up and rushed her out the door to get on the train.

“So when does it start?” Rosario asked faer once they’d been sat on a Manhattan Bound D.

“Right at sunset”

“When’s that”

“I think it’s like 9:23 or something like that”

“that’s gonna be close”

“yup. ugh, we should have left earlier.”

“Will we get in trouble for being late.”

“Not exactly. There’s something I have to tell you, though.” Bren said

“Oh?”

“So, we weren’t exactly invited.”

“Yeah, you mentioned that.”

“Well, we’re kind of going to have to break in.”

“Ok.”

“That’s it, Ok?”

“Wouldn’t be the first party I crash.”

“You’re an interesting one, Rosario”

“Hey, you’re the one in a punk band.”

“Folk-punk, but I take your meaning. This is different though, it’s not like breaking into an abandoned building, it’ll be… spiritually dangerous.”

Rosario smiled

“You might recall the type of magic I excel at.” she said

“Ah yes of course, I suppose faeries are all wimps compared to the awesome power of demons”

“I didn’t mean it like that” Rosario said “I’m sorry. I just mean I’m aware of the risks and I’m willing to go through with it.”

“Ok, well… thank you” Bren looked pained

“Look there’s something I haven’t told you. I’m… we..”

“77 street. Transfer’s available to the 6th train. This is”

“Looks like this is our stop. I’ll tell you later. Let’s just go”

“Right behind you, faerie 1.”

“What?”

“codenames?”

“you’re having fun aren’t you?”

“What’s the point of magic if you can’t have fun?”

They got off the train and walked into the park. Central park wasn’t Rosario’s favourite park in the city by far, but she’d been here plenty of times at all hours of the night and it’d never felt like this before. Never mind the fact that if you looked up into the sky you’d see what could only be described as the northern lights but more colourful. Sharp streaks of coloured light kept cutting across the sky in front of the light show.

“So I can tell by the unbothered joggers that not just anyone is getting the laser light show” Rosario said.

“Yes, they’re just visible to the good people and people who’ve trained their vision. And Changelings of course. You see the narrower strips?”

“Yeah, what are those?”

“You’d call them Sylphs” Bren answered, of course every retinue has their own, they’re sort of here to watch, make sure nothing suspicious is going on. And keep everyone else honest.”

“what would you call them?”

“Huh?”

“You said I’d call them Sylphs, what would you call them”

“Well, it depends. Those there I would call Sylphs cause they’re English, but there’s others here that I can tell are from American territories and I’m sorry to say I never learned the name for them.”

“what about the ones from where you’re from?”

Bren said something that Rosario could not spell

“It means one who sings to the wind” Bren said after fae’d noticed Rosario’s perplexed look.

“anyways I don’t see any up there, but they must be flying around somewhere. I don’t see Serena anyways. She’s, um, my parents personal singer. And she would recognise me which I still haven’t figured out if that’s a good or bad thing. “

“You sure they’re here? Did you ever talk to them?”

“No. Listen, Rosario, I think I might’ve given you the wrong impression. My parents and I, we’re not, we’re not super on speaking terms.”

“Oh. Ok.”

“Yeah, that’s why this is so unorthodox and why I’ve been so unbelievably stressed out.”

“Hey, it’s ok.”

“Ugh, I’m just so mad. They usually at least tell me the important things, and this is, huuge on a whole other level and they didn’t tell me, and they didn’t reply to me when I messaged them and I don’t know if it’s because they’re mad at me for some reason or if they’re… unable to reply.”

“Hey, hey, look at me babe, you’re getting a little worked up.”

“Sorry sorry. Ok let me just, take some deep breaths.”

“you want I should roll a joint?”

“No thank you.”

“ok, do you mind if I do for me?”

“Go right ahead. We should sit down for a bit anyways, it will start soon and we should wait to come in after it’s been going for a bit.”

“oki”

Rosario got to work, pulling all her joint rolling supplies and sitting by a nearby tree. Bren sat down next to her.

“So,” she said whilst grinding some herb “there’s a lot you haven’t told me that’s coming out tonight. The stuff about the conclave, sure, but also this with your parents and the thing from the train?”

“What thing from the train?” Bren asked

“You said there was something you wanted to tell me, but then it was our stop and you never finished.”

“wha–? oh, that. I’ll tell you later.”

Rosario looked at her sideways.

“I’m sorry ok, it’s a very stressful night and I’m finding it… harder than usual to stay coherent.”

“It’s fine” Rosario lied “I’m just, I’m a little nervous. You know, I like you a lot. Like a lot a lot. And we had that conversation some weeks ago where you said you liked me too and I was so happy, but then, I don’t know. I guess it’s cause we haven’t, you know. Kissed or anything.”

Bren sighed.

“I do like you Rosario, but it’s, tricky. There’s more about me that you need to know and then maybe it’ll be clearer, but we have to sneak into a faerie pocket dimension in a couple minutes and now is really not the time to define our relationship or whatever.”

“Sure sure. I understand.” Rosario lied again.

“I finished rolling my joint.”

“Ok wait. Don’t light it yet, I just got an idea. Come here!”

Bren got up and started walking deeper into the park. The sun had already disappeared in the west and the lights were starting to come up but there was a spot that was still, dark, and that seemed, wider than it should be. In the middle there was a rock and Bren started walking around it keeping faer gaze fixed on a spot just above the rock.

“aha!” fae finally said and “come here!”

Rosario joined her around the small rock. It looked like a perfectly normal rock to Rosario, not particularly smooth or jagged, jutting out of the ground.

“Look up, come stand where I’m standing”

They switched places and Rosario looked up and tried to match the angle Bren’d just had. Finally she caught a glimpse of it. As if looking through a slight crack in the doorway.

“I see it!! Barely, but I see it. I can’t make out anything on the other side, though.”

“Good, good” said Bren “now take a puff of your joint and look again.”

Rosario did so, and as soon as the smoke entered her lungs and she started feeling the height she saw the crack widen, again as if an invisible door was opening. She took a couple more puffs until she could see, a much wilder version of central park on the other side. Busy thick with trees and wild growth, and in the distance, the glow of a fire and the clamour of people.

Bren stepped through the door easily, she grabbed Rosario’s hands and pulled her through. The first thing Rosario noticed on the other side was the sky, so full of stars. She’d never seen a sky so starry or one quite this colour. Back in the city the sky was twilight, tones of orange and red, getting darker and darker into night. In here the sky had all the same relative hues but they were tones of purple.

“I’ve seen this place before” Rosario said “In out-of-body experiences and journeys. This, this is the spirit world.”

“That’s amazing” said Bren “I wasn’t sure if people in your practice ever came to this place. We also usually come here only in our spirit selves. But when there’s these many spirits gathered in one place it becomes possible to get your physical body through”

“Bren this is amazing” said Rosario looking around, yes stoned, but more than stoned, in true awe.

“Well, remember we came here with a purpose.”

“Oh of course, of course.” said Rosario. She put off her joint and stashed the rest in a little tube. No point wasting a perfect half joint.

“Hey do you think anyone here smokes weed also.”

“Oh definitely. But I’m not sure we’ll have much time to socialise. Let’s get a move on.”

They started making their way slowly towards the light of the fire.

Next Chapter

Daily Ritual Ch. 7

“I know. Speaking of grimoires. Did you know there’s faerie grimoires?”
Plaz did something that can only be described as ‘spitting out his marijuana smoke’
“What?!”
“It’s true, I’ve been doing some research. Hey pass the joint”

This is chapter 7 of a series that starts here:

Chapter 1.

Previous Chapter 

Next Chapter

(bear in mind that this story was written before the pandemic, so if you see characters going outside and being close to each other do not be alarmed, it is set in 2019)

WordPress doesn’t allow css formatting on a free plan so feel free to snatch the pdf from the patreon if you want like, indents. If you don’t mind reading it like this. By all means. Read on:

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The days went by, Rosario and Bren were now officially TALKING, they were texting almost everyday. This was tricky territory for Rosario for a couple of reasons: first of all it was unpredictable when Bren would respond. It could be immediately after receiving her message or it could be HOURS. Second of all, Rosario had never spent this long talking to a crush before hooking up. Plaz would tease her about it.

“Bren and Rosario sitting in a tree, n-o-t-f-u-c-k-i-n-g” he said in a sing-song voice

“shut up you big dolt” she said, but she smiled

“fae’s really cute ok, and I’m finding it a relaxing change of pace. Waiting.”

“That’s cool. I’m happy for you, I really am” he said, passing her the joint back.

“You said you wanted to build a real relationship with someone, and i think, you’re doing that and that’s great. I still have no idea how I feel about the fact that it happens to be with a faerie.”

“Well, you know, love doesn’t choose.”

“You couldn’t have hooked up with a nice demon girl, I know a number of very available succubi.”

“Yeah and by now we would have fucked each other out and had a fight over the validity of pop grimoires and be on non speaking terms”

“Ok, just because that happened last time.”

“ahem” she coughed

“right, last two times. Whatever, like I said, I’m happy for you.”

“You know” said Rosario taking a puff in between. “We still haven’t talked about how you feel about me being one of the good people.”

“You’re right, we haven’t.”

“Well, how do you feel?”

“Weird.”

“Elaborate on that”

“heh. I keep veering very close to saying ‘you’re one of the good ones’ but I’m afraid you’d punc̣ OW!”

“well you knew it was gonna happen”

“Fair, fair. I guess. Well to tell the truth, I don’t actually know many faeries, we just have stories. ‘Don’t go in their circles’, ‘don’t look at them or you’ll go blind’, ‘you can tell them by their long fingers’ ” Plaz shuddered a little.

“You have these stories in hell? Those sound very similar to our folklore”

“Well sure. You have to understand about spheres. I mean, this is very simplistic, but if you think of it as spirits of the heaven, spirits of the earth, and spirits of hell. Demons kind of sort of can get along with celestials because a lot of demons used to be celestials. Some demons still get along fine with them in a ‘just cause our folks are fighting doesn’t mean we have to’ sort of way.

But Earth spirits, faeries, nymphs, pixies, dryads, we don’t know them. We don’t know what their business is. Both Angels and Demons have different things they want with humans, we relate to them in a human level, fae don’t seem to care. Can’t relate.”

“I guess that makes a sort of sense. It’s still, prejudice, and I thought you’d be above prejudice, being a gay demon and all.”

“There’s no such thing as being above prejudice, sooner or later you find a people you just can’t trust.”

“I don’t want to believe that.”

“Well, take if from a demon if you want. I mean it’s not like faeries are a racial or sexual minority. They’re a… a class of spirit.”

“They’re also not a monolith. Obviously, the existence of changelings show that there is some relation between them and human.”

“Yeah, a parasitic one. Bren said it… faerself. They didn’t use to ask for consent.”

“Neither did demons.”

Plaz was silent. Finally he said.

“Well what about you, how do you feel about all this?”

“I don’t know either.” said Rosario “It’s kind of funny. It’s like, well I don’t know if I ever told you why I became a goetic practitioner.”

“I don’t think you told me but I can guess”

“Oh yeah?” Rosario said, smirking.

“It’s cause we’re the coolest, obviously!” Plaz said, then started laughing, then started coughing.

“I mean,” said Rosario, taking the joint from his hand.

“You’re not far off. This is cashed by the way, should I roll another one”

Plaz nodded still coughing. Rosario started rolling another joint and continued.

“I thought it would be fun and edgy to summon a demon.”

“Yeah, and if I remember correctly you went straight for a big one”

“Go big or go home, is what I always say.”

“That was dangerous you know, trying to conjure Astaroth as your first conjuration, and did you even try to get a silver ring?”

“I was wearing a ring”

“A silver ring”

“I don’t know, I got it at Claire’s”

“Yeah, just be glad I interceded.”

“Yeah… come to think of it, why did you do that?”

“huh what?”

“Why did you show up?”

“I told you right? you got it wrong and accidentally got me instead”

“That’s what you told me when we met. And I never questioned it till now, but.. I mean we actually conjured Astaroth together last year, and I just, yeah I can see that I didn’t do things exactly right the first time, but why would you have come instead.”

Plaz sighed.

“Well the truth is, at the time I was well, I guess you could say I was Astaroth’s secretary.”

“Demons have secretaries?”

“Kind of. Basically, any two rate magician can find a grimoire and try to conjure a demon. If you’re a big one like Astaroth, or Cain. You wind up getting way more calls than you care to answer. You send someone else to pretend to be you. An experienced magician will be able to tell, most do not.”

“But you told me right away who you were.”

“Well that’s cause. I mean… one of the things you did “”wrong”” was you used cannabis as an offering. Asty doesn’t care for the stuff, but I do. I wanted to hang. I guess I forgot about my job.”

“Wow.”

“Please don’t tell anyone I told you. I mean it’s common knowledge, again, amongst experienced magicians, and demons alike, but the last thing we need is spellbook kiddies getting uppity. It’s for their own good too.”

“Yeah, I understand. Thank you for telling me.”

“I figured it was time. That’s another thing I like about you, which in general I would say is incredibly stupid, but it worked out for us. You’re very laissez faire. I couldn’t see you doing quote unquote proper Solomonic magic, which requires taking a very strong hand with demons.”

“It’s true, but why do you think it’s stupid” She said handing him the fresh joint.

“Because you can get hurt that way, specially at the beginning. Like Astaroth, being in her presence can hurt a human, if they don’t take the necessary precautions. Asmodeus, will outright try to trick you into doing all sorts of things. One way to avoid that is following the instructions of the magicians before you to the letter. Problem is, that guarantees your safety. It doesn’t exactly guarantee the demon will have a good time. Together we’ve been able to figure out better ways. How’s that book coming along by the way.”

“Uuuuuh.”

“You haven’t worked on it again have you?”

“No I haven’t.”

“It’s fine, you have bigger things on your mind. But some day it would be nice, the world needs some new grimoires, with properly credited demonic co-authorship.”

“I know. Speaking of grimoires. Did you know there’s faerie grimoires?”

Plaz did something that can only be described as ‘spitting out his marijuana smoke’

“What?!”

“It’s true, I’ve been doing some research. Hey pass the joint”

“Oh sure sure.”

Rosario took a puff

“Yeah, there’s a handful,” she said “they’re not as popular. I want to ask Bren what fae thinks about them.”

“Hmmm”

“What?”

“I don’t trust it”

“Oh come on.”

“I just, I don’t  know. I can’t see why a faerie would want to be helpful to a human”

“Well they are, there’s a whole like court of faeries that all they do is be helpful, they’re called seelie”

“hmm”

“what?”

“the whole seelie, unseelie thing is suspect to me to?”

“you know about it?”

“everyone who knows anything about fae knows about it.”

“well I would like to ask Bren about that as well.”

“When are you seeing… faer. Again.”

“I don’t know. I’ve been trying to schedule something but fae’s so… flighty.”

“Reminds me of someone I know OW!”

“You knew it was coming.”

“you’re really strong, have you been working out?” Plaz said smirking

“No not really.”

“hmm. Hey pass the joint back.”

“Oh sorry.”

He took a puff.

“So.. what do we do now.” He said

“I dunno. Do you want to do something?”

“Not really.”

“Want to do some magic? we haven’t done any in a while?”

“Maaaaaybe. Maybe not. I think I should just go back to hell for the night.”

“Oh, ok? Everything all right?”

“Yeah, I’m just tired.”

“Ok, take care man. I love you.”

Plaz looked startled

“You’ve never said that to me before.”

“Well, it’s true. You’re my best friend. I should’ve said it before.”

“That’s… I love you too, Rosario.”

Rosario smiled.

“All right, let’s not get all mushy now. We’re just friends, who love each other.” She said.

“It’s nice to hear though, thank you. Stay safe out there, Rosario, call me if you need anything.”

“Sure thing, dude.”

As he dissipated into a cloud of smoke, Rosario slumped back onto her bed. She took out her phone and thought about texting Bren again, she opened up Signal and saw her last message had been read, but not answered yet. She put her phone down again.

Next Chapter

Daily Ritual Ch. 6

“Can you see them?” Bren said, faer eyes were fixed on the horizon beyond the water.

“See what?”

“The Faerie lights.”

“What like, Aurora Borealis? At this time of the year? In this part of the country? Localised entirely within Brooklyn?”

This is chapter 6 of a series that starts here:

Chapter 1

Previous Chapter

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They arrived at the spot Bren had told her, right at the edge of the water. In front of Rolling Roasters, a diner type restaurant Rosario had been to once before.

“Hey we’re here what’s going on?”

“Can you see them?” Bren said, faer eyes were fixed on the horizon beyond the water.

“See what?”

“The Faerie lights.”

“What like, Aurora Borealis? At this time of the year? In this part of the country? Localised entirely within Brooklyn?”

“What?”

“Sorry, bad timing. No I don’t see any… oh wait yes I do.”

At first just out the corner of her eye, but as she focused her inattention she could see them. Not Aurora Borealis, but large columns of light at different points in the horizon, of all different colours.

“What is it?”

“It means they’re coming. It means there’s going to be a faerie council, the first one this century.”

“Whoa”

“It can’t be a coincidence, that we just met and now they’re coming here.”

“But why here?”

“Isn’t it obvious, it’s New York City, it’s a pretty good conduit. It’s just faeries in the area, Caribbean Faeries, Central and North American Faeries, And Western European Faeries. Others will undoubtedly be meeting elsewhere.

“I didn’t know who else to call, my family didn’t mention anything in advance. It could be they themselves didn’t know. And I haven’t actually met any other faeries or changelings in town.”

“I see. So what do we need to do?”

“Nothing. There’s nothing we can do, I don’t even know if we’re invited.”

“I don’t see a bloody thing!” Said Plaz who’d been silent this whole time, staring at the ocean.

“You wouldn’t be able to see it. It’s on the faerie spectrum.”

“Yeah, that sounds like a thing.”

“Ugh, did he have to come.”

“Well we were in the middle of our thing when you called.” Rosario said. She hated being in this position, stuck between two people who clearly disliked each other. But she wasn’t gonna dump Plaz for someone she’d just met, and she desperately wanted to know more about her place in the world as a changeling, so stuck she was.

“Listen up you two.” She said, suddenly determined.

“Bren, you clearly want my help and support in this situation. Well Plaz is my oldest and closest support system, we come together. Plaz, this is important to me, this gets at to the nature of my very being, I want to see this through. I’m gonna need you two to fucking cool it.”

“Ok yeeesh.” Bren said

“As you will mistress.” Plaz said bowing his head, Rosario thumped the back of it.

“Ow!”

“I mean it, smart ass.”

“Ok ok.”

“Glad that’s settled. So Bren, if there’s nothing for us to do, why did you call me?”

“I’m sorry, I was just freaking out a little bit.”

“Oh.”

“I’m not as cool as I can come across, I guess.”

“That’s ok, none of us are. When will they get here?”

“They’ll get here at different times, but it’ll probably take a couple weeks or so for everyone to get here. A lot of them are travelling by land or by sea. Though faster than any usual method, and some are flying I’m sure. There’s also faerie workers who can’t always travel with their faerie spirits who’ll be coming through more mundane methods.”

“I see. Um, will our… ancestors be coming.”

“I don’t know, I figured if mine were my human parents would’ve let me know somehow. As for yours, you don’t even know who they are.”

That’s right, she hadn’t told Bren about her encounter with her aunt. Hard to believe it had all happened in the same day.

“Actually I do know a little bit more about them now.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yes, I can tell you about it later. Do you mind if I stop to roll a joint right now?”

“I approve of this plan” Plaz chimed in.

“Go right ahead” answered Bren.

They found a spot to sit by the ocean. It was very windy so she had to be careful and use Plaz as a wind shield whilst rolling. It’s usually pretty safe to smoke weed in New York, but all it takes is one cop who wants to ruin your day for that not to be the case. Thankfully as a demon Plaz had a passive stealth field he could lift or thicken at will. One of those, people just happen not to pay attention to them kind of jobs. It was very useful for peace of mind in this situation. The joint rolled Rosario lit it and took a few puffs, then passed it to Plaz, the smoked in silence. He then passed it to Bren, who accepted it this time. This made Rosario smile. Bren started coughing and wheezing.

“Holly shit, you Americans and your joints, they’re so freaking strong.”

Rosario and Plaz burst out laughing.

“I guess you’re a bit Eurotrash after all.” Rosario said.

“Am not, am not just a big a pothead as you two!”

“I kid, I kid. Some of my best friends are Eurotrash though.”

“I’ll take Eurotrash over ameritrash any day.” said Bren and passed the joint back to Rosario.

“What time is it?” Rosario said.

“30 past eleven” Said Bren.

“Shit, we can still go to RR over there, anyone down.”

Vague signs of agreement from all the gathered.

“Cool let’s do it, and I can tell you what I found out about my parentage.”
They got dinner, and Rosario told her story for the second time this day.
“I’d say it’s entirely possible she’ll be here.” Bren said when Rosario had been done.

“There’s bound to be a Dominican contingent, but it’s not certain that every Ciguapa will be here.” She still budged the pronunciation but Rosario overlooked it.

“Will she recognise me?” she asked instead.

“Oh yeah, and you’ll recognise her. The faerie in you would react quite strongly.”

“I see.”

“There are no coincidences, that’s not how our world works.”

“Faeries never experience coincidences?”

“It’s more like we never treat them as such, we find a reason for it even if we have to invent it.

But I don’t think they would convene a whole council over this. Like…”

Fae fell silent

“what’s the matter?” Rosario asked

“I wasn’t the one who was supposed to tell you about you”

“Oh.”

“So it was a breech of protocol for me to do it, but like, surely it’s not the first time it’s happened? Surely it’s not that big a deal. I want to say that but fae folk, fae folk have different priorities than humans.”

“Ok, now I’m nervous.”

“Yeah.”

Now they were both quiet. Plaz interrupted through a mouthful of burger.

“Just don’t go then” he said

“What?” The fae said in unison.

“We can’t just not go” said Bren.

“You both said you hadn’t been invited so why do you assume they want you there?”

“That’s actually a good point” said Rosario.

“No, we can’t just not go. It’s too important.” said Bren.

“Well, Are other Changelings gonna be there?” Asked Rosario

“I really don’t know. I need to get in touch with my folks, they must know.”

“So why haven’t you?”

“I did, I emailed them. But it’s like 5 am in Ireland.”

“If this is such a momentous occasion you’d think they’d be awake for it.”

“Hahah you’d think wrong then, my friend. They don’t give up sleep for any spirit. I wish I could say the same.”

“I see.”

They sat in silence for a while. Rosario looked at the time on her phone, more for the look of it than anything else. It was 1:20.

“Shall we head home then?” She said, and received various nods and grunts of agreement.
They stepped outside and looked at the column of light again.

“aight then, imma head out. I wish y’all luck in your various commutes, I’m taking the hellway myself.” said Plaz.

“Good-Bye” said Bren, cooly, but not coldly.

Plaz pulled Rosario aside and whispered.

“sorry about third-wheeling so far, but now’s your chance”

“What, oh give me a break, we’re just gonna go home. Fae’s probably real tired.”

“If you say so.” said Plaz and winked

“Toodles” He said and disappeared in a cloud of smoke.
“What did he tell you?” Wren asked. “Did he warn you not to trust me.”

“No.” said Rosario. “He told me to put the moves on you.”

Bren stifled a laugh but it wasn’t enough, she started laughing heartily.

“Well” fae said “are you?”

“I don’t know” Rosario answered coyly “I’m not sure you’re ready for that.”

“How bout you just walk me to the subway station?”

“Sure, Rosario said. What’s your route?”

“hmm, D, to Atlantic, then the 3 or 4. Well I guess the 4 by now.”

“Cool, I also have to… Ride the D”

“Hah”

“Come on you.”
They walked to the station together. When they got there, unsurprisingly, they found they had to wait 20 minutes for the train. They got to talking.
“So I’ve been wondering, how long you’ve been in the states?” Rosario asked faer inside the station.

“Oh way long time. Since I was 10 years old.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, my parents sent me to live with my aunt, upstate.”

“How come?”

“It’s my destiny, well out destiny. A stipulation of the deal, my Sidhe ancestors wanted to come to the states, to kind of bridge the gap for our people in this country.”

“Your shy what?”

“Oh right. It’s complicated, but Sidhe is a preferred term for the Irish spirits otherwise known as faeries. Also a word of advice, don’t use that term at the gathering around the Neighbors. They really don’t like it. I’ve lived here long enough that I’m desensitized to it and I actually think it’s useful as a catch-all, but old habits.”

“I see how do you pronounce that again, Shyy?”

“Just say fair folk.”

“No I want to learn.”

“Ok, it’s like she with two Es. Shee, Sidhe”

“Sheeh.”

“Closer”

“Shee”

“Closer.”

“Sidhe”

“There you go that’s pretty good.”

“And how do you spell it.”

“It’s anglicized Sidhe.”

“Cool lemme write that down. So you’ve been in the states a while then. That explains it.”

“Explains what?” Oops, Rosario hadn’t meant to say that last bit out loud.

“Well you don’t sound very Irish.”

Bren laughed at this.

“Oh I suppose you’d expect me to sound like this then, eh lassie” fae said in a very exaggerated but not very good Irish accent.

“No, I have much of an accent it’s true, but people in Éire don’t generally have that thick of an accent either. Except maybe in the Gaeltacht.”

“What’s that?”

“Oh, that’s the part of the country where Irish is spoken more than English.”

“Oh interesting. Ah, here’s the train”

They got on the train, it was one of the older cars, the conductor said in their inscrutable not to New Yorkers voice “Manhattan Bound D, stand clear of closing doors.” and the train got moving.

“You don’t have much of an accent yourself either, isn’t your first language Spanish?” Bren said once they’d been seated in the mostly empty carriage.

“Yes, that’s right. And I don’t have much of an accent, though it jumps out in certain words.”

“Oh yeah.”

“Yeah, like I have to be very careful to say Yale instead of Jail, or like chair gives me trouble, and don’t get me started on shart.”

Bren snorted.

“Did you do that on purpose?”

“No.” Rosario was laughing too. “I really can’t. Shart, sha, shhh,”

“Chart?”

“Yeah that. Shart.”

“No come on Ch, Chart”

“Chart.”

“there you go. Now I wonder if there’s things I say where my accent jumps out.”

“I haven’t noticed any. But then, English is your first language isn’t it.”

“More or less more or less. We spoke equal parts English and Irish in my house.”

“Oh cool, so you’re fluent in Irish?”

“Tá”

“I take it that means yes”

“More or less.”

“Does everyone in Ireland speak Irish, then?”

“No, not really. Everyone has to learn some of it, but most people tend to forget it. It’s kind of like how almost every American says they took Spanish in High School but can’t even ask for the time now. Though it seems Irish is growing in popularity lately, in Éire and abroad, there’s even a Duolingo course for it.”

“That’s cool! You’ll have to speak some to me sometime.”

Bren then said something that Rosario wouldn’t even have been able to try to spell out. She just smiled at Faer.

“That means, ‘anytime'” fae said.

“That’s amazing.” Rosario said “Oh, here we are, Atlantic Avenue.”

They got off the train. Walked off the platform to the spot where they’d have to go in different directions.

“Hey, this was really nice, you know considering the circumstance.” Rosario said before they split off.

“I agree. I’m still really nervous, but I guess I feel a tiny bit better knowing there’s someone else in it with me. I’m really glad we met, Rosario”

“I’m glad we met too. Hug?”

“Sure.”

They embraced. Rosario’s heart was beating excitedly.

“I’ll text you tomorrow. Ok?” Rosario said.

“Sure.”

They went in their separate directions, Rosario had to wait 15 minutes for her train again, but eventually she made it home and fell asleep with a smile on her face.

To be continued

Read on! Chapter 7

Daily Ritual Ch. 5

At least a decade and a half ago, one of the first times Rosario had visited New York City, she and her brother had been invited to her Aunt Flor’s house for dinner. They made the mistake of grabbing a late lunch at a restaurant Downtown…

This is chapter 5 of a series that starts here:

Chapter 1.

Chapter 2.

Chapter 3.

Chapter 4.

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At least a decade and a half ago, one of the first times Rosario had visited New York City, she and her brother had been invited to her Aunt Flor’s house for dinner. They made the mistake of grabbing a late lunch at a restaurant Downtown and weren’t at all hungry when they showed up at Flor’s house for early dinner. She’d prepared a sumptuous feast with chicken, steak, rice, beans, fried plantains, and sliced avocados, and she’d looked so sad when they tried to imply that they wouldn’t be eating much of it. So they ate as much as they could and collapsed in their hotel room when they’d been done. Rosario vowed never to make that mistake again.

That’s why on Monday morning she got up at her usual 7 am but did not make her usual hearty breakfast and instead got by on a cup of coffee. She had planned to get some writing work done but she couldn’t concentrate. She tried to tidy up the flat instead.

When 11 rolled around she took the B train to Manhattan. It would have served her better and been less of a walk to catch the 2 or 3, but she liked taking trains that went over the bridge. She wasn’t in Manhattan very often and she never got tired of the view.

She walked from the Museum of Natural History stop to her aunt’s rent controlled apartment in the Upper West Side. When she got inside both her aunts greeted her warmly. It probably been less than a year since she last saw Flor, but it’d been at least 8 years since she’d last seen Nana. She hugged them each in turn, and was introduced to yet another cousin of hers she’d never met before. They never seemed to run out.

Lunch had been as extravagant as she’d expected, aside from Sancocho, a hearty Dominican soup that one bowl of would make lunch in an of itself, with its 3 different kinds of meat (the full dish calls for 7) and various starchy root vegetables, there was also rice, a leaf salad, fried plantains and avocados.

They had a nice lunch, they caught up, Flor showed her photos from her recent 75th Birthday bash. Rosario knew she couldn’t really broach the subject of faerie magic in front of of everyone, she hoped she’d get some time alone with her Tía Nana later. She kept giving her glances, but mostly she tried to genuinely enjoy the time with her family that she rarely ever saw despite living in the same city.

But of course, such family affairs then to get drawn out, there was dessert (Dulce de Leche), her aunts gave her gifts of cheap jewellery and money. And when it was finally time to go she offered to walk Tía Nana to the subway. She was so exhausted from the socialising and the food, she almost didn’t want to go through with it, but she knew it was now or never.

“Tía?” She said.

“yes, honey?”

“Did you… is it true that you used to do Santeria?”

Her aunt was taken aback immediately.

“No no no” She said.

“Latter Day Saints, I’m a Mormon.”

“Oh she said.”

“Not Santeria.”

“Ok…”

This was disappointing, to say the least. She thought to herself. One last attempt.

“So you wouldn’t know anything about Ciguapas?”

Nana sighed.

“I see. So you know.”

“Yep.”

“I wanted to tell you. But I was supposed to wait until you were eighteen and by then.”

“My mom wasn’t talking to you.”

“Right.”

“Was it over… this?”

“No No no no, you know what it was about don’t you?”

“All I heard is it had to do with money and Aunt Mindy.”

“Yes, your Aunt Mindy was… reckless, it cost her her job and very nearly cost your mother hers. That’s all it was, it had nothing to do with the Ciguapa, that whole thing was much earlier.”

“What happened.”

“Let’s find a place to sit down.”

They walked to the park and found a bench to sit in, then her aunt told her everything she knew.

“I was a Santera” she said.

“And I want to say I was pretty good. I healed a lot of people, I helped people get jobs, I made and broke careers with the help of the Orishas. But I had no reason to touch those creatures, the Ciguapas and the Galipotes, they’re not the domain of Santeria.

“But I knew about them of course, I’d seen them, when I had to spend long nights in the Bosque, and when you’ve developed your sense through the work. They’re hard to miss. We tend to avoid them.

“But one day I was tasked with a request the Orishas and the Saint would not answer. Do you remember. When you were a very small child. Being in the hospital?”

“Yeah, I remember, I must’ve been 5.”

“Yes. You got very sick and the doctors didn’t know how to help you. You were throwing up, dehydrated, they couldn’t get fluids in you quick enough you’d lost them again. Your mother, who’d never asked me anything to do with my work, suddenly asked for my help.

“I tried everything, every remedy, every prayer. I could see the spirits, clearly, walking away. I don’t know if they couldn’t help you, or if they just wouldn’t. But I was out of ideas. In the forest, fasting, she found me.

“She said she could see that I was in great pain, and she said maybe we could help one another. Her own child was sick. But, she said, the diseases of her people don’t easily kill us, and our diseases don’t easily kill them. If we brought you two together, both of you would live. You wouldn’t be the same. Rafi, and back then I still thought of you as Rafi,”

Rosario flinched at the mention of her dead nickname but she didn’t interrupt

“Rafi would cease to be Rafi, and Anacao would cease to be Anacao, but both of you would live on in what you would become. She was very clear that when you reach the age our people consider maturity I was to tell you all of this, and allow you to seek her if you wanted to. She said that is what had been agreed by her people to be the proper thing for these situations.

“of course I never did. And I never touched Santeria again after that day, but it worked. I said yes and the next day you were already a little better, and in a week you went home and you never had that problem again. You didn’t seem different, but I guess you must have been. You are different now.”

“If you’re referring to my gender, I don’t think those are necessarily related.”

“No of course not. The Ciguapa don’t have a gender like we do, they’re all the same. They have long hair so people think them women, but then, the Taino men wore their hair long and had no beards either.”

“I never thought of it that way.”

“I know you think I’m an old lady out of touch, but I’m a little more savvy than that, niña”

“Ok, Tía”

“Do you… do you resent what I did?”

“What? Of course not, I wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for that right? And who knows, maybe it’s helped me more than I thought?”

“How so?”

“Well, I do magic too, right? Well maybe you didn’t think of Santeria as magic, but I think it’s at least similar. And I don’t do Santeria OR Faerie Magic, but I seem to have a knack for enchantment anyways, and spirit work.” She kept to herself the fact that her favourite spirits to work with were the demons of the Goetia, she somehow thought her aunt wouldn’t approve.

“Oh I never knew that, that makes me really happy to hear, niña”

“It does? I would think you wouldn’t approve. Being as though you stopped practising.”

“I did because I was afraid, I thought I had dug a whole for my family that I couldn’t get myself out of, I never wanted to be in that situation again, and I didn’t know if my Orishas would answer me again. But seeing the confident young woman you’ve become. That gives me hope. Maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.”

“So will you do Santeria again?”

“Oh no. I don’t think so. I think those days are behind me.”

“Dang, I was hoping you could teach me”

“It doesn’t sound like you need me to teach you, you’re on your own path, and that sounds wonderful. Of course I’d love to help you if I can, but I think my Santera days are well behind me.”

“If I ever wanted to find her, the Ciguapa. Do you know how I could?”

“I suppose, if you did what I did. Fast for 5 days and 5 nights in the mountains north of Santiago, that might be enough. If you need more potency… well.”

“Yes.”

“I want you to be very careful.”

“Ok.”

“You can try eating some Yucca Leaves. They’re very poisonous so be very careful, but they should let you see the Ciguapa. Anacao’s mother. Her name is Jaca. Remember that.”

“I will.”

Tía Nana looked at her wristwatch.

“I really need to be getting home. So we should go catch the train. Was there anything else.”

“Well, Just one more question I suppose?”

“What is it?”

“Why Mormonism?”

Her aunt laughed.

“Haha, why it’s safer isn’t it? It’s just people. People can be dangerous yes, but they don’t hold a candle to what an Orisha or a Ciguapa can do.”

“That makes sense, I suppose.”

They walked to the Museum of Natural History station, her aunt took the C and Rosario waited around and took the B. When she finally made it home she was tired and needed to unwind. She hadn’t smoked weed at all since the day after the “revelation”. She thought about rolling a regular joint, and not summoning Plaz, but eventually decided she would really like talking to him. So she did her ritual. She ground the herbs, this time mixing mint and weed, and of course, the sigil. He was there before she was finished rolling.

“Wow you’re eager today.”

“Well what’s your excuse, we haven’t gone this long without talking since like year one.”

“I’ve been processing a lot of stuff, ‘member?”

“Not a very good excuse then.”

She rolled her eyes, and the joint. She offered him the first puff. He took the joint and lit it with his finger. An old trick he didn’t seem to use very often anymore.

“You know, all of my other subjects”

“subjects, hah!” she sneered

“Well the rest of them are. Anyways, they all offer weed, but it’s always worse rolled, worse quality, and even if they mix shit in they never get the ratio right.”

Rosario put out her hands in a generous gesture

“I aim to please” she said.

Plaz handed her the joint.

“So. You speak with your aunt?”

“Yup.”

“And what’d you learn.”

“Nothing actionable. I mean she told me where I could go to meet my faerie mother, but like, I’d have to fly back to the DR and I’m not about to do that.”

“You sure? I could take you?”

“You can?”

“We’d have to go through hell though.”

“That sounds unpleasant.”

“I mean a human wouldn’t survive it, but maybe a changeling would.”

“Maybe? the fuck do you mean, maybe?”

“Well, it’s not like it’s ever been tried before.”

“Let us take that option, OFF the Table.”

“Ok, excuse me for trying to be helpful. Do you have a different idea.”

“well my folks always pay for me to travel for Christmas, so maybe I find an excuse to fuck off to the mountains during… yeah that’s probably not gonna happen. Well, in any case, I don’t want to go right now, I don’t think I have to.”

“You don’t want to know about your heritage?”

“I do, but damn, like it’s too much all at once, I can’t just drop everything to pursue it, I still have deadlines, you know.”

“ah yes, your ‘job’ I’ve told you I can make you rich you don’t have to keep doing it.”

“Yeah, and I just have to pledge my soul to your boss in perpetuity, no thank you.”

“She’s pretty nice once you get to know her.”

“I don’t disagree, lots of love to Lucy, but I have different plans for my soul. Also, I happen to like my job. Now can we please get back to the matter at hand.”

“Right, right, so tell me more.”

She relayed the whole encounter to him with only minor interruptions.

“So yeah. I don’t know how I want to play it, but I don’t think I need to run into the forest and look for answers that way. I want to keep exploring, see what abilities I have and don’t have. Maybe journey on it and try to recover some of Anacao’s memories from before we joined.”

“And what about your crush?”

“I… I’m not sure. Fae hasn’t texted me and I don’t want to bother faer.”

“Oh that’s rich, when have YOU ever shown this much restraint.”

“Well this is different, this is the first time someone I’ve dated done… that to me. I’m usually the one in control, even with supernatural creatures, I’m the magician, the holder of the secret. I’ve never had my own secret revealed to me that way. And I’m afraid… I’m afraid fae might see me as a nuisance, especially if I try to talk to faer about the whole changeling stuff. I don’t want faer to think I want faer to take care of me or to teach me or anything.”

“Well why the hell not? Fae seems like precisely the kind of person to help you in this situation.”

“But… I want to be faer girlfriend, not her charge.”

“Girlfriend? Oh this is worse than I thought, I thought you just wanted to boink her.”

“Well that too, but… I don’t know what I want any more and that scares me. I’m not in control…. what the fuck is in this joint, I’ve never been quite so open with you.”

“Well, keep it coming I like it”

“You were the first to ever tell me not to trust a demon.”

“Oh that was then, we’d just met. We’re friends now. We’re not summoner and summonee.”

Rosario smiled at him

“We are, aren’t we.”

“Thick as thieves, you and I. This is cashed by the way.” He put the roach in the ash tray.

“I’ll roll another one.

“So, if we’re friends, maybe you’ll tell me what you’re supposed to be the demon of now?”

“Oh, pfft, I mean sure I guess you’ve earned that. It’s…”

Just then Rosario’s phone rang.

“Oh for the love of Satan.” Plaz said. Rosario reached for her phone.

“Oh fuck, it’s Bren.” She said

“And what does the faerie want?”

“Let me see.”

She answered the phone.

“Hiya! Oh… ok calm down. Ok We’ll head right over. Yeah me and Plaz, is that ok? ok ok we’ll come. In Sheepshead bay. Ok we’ll be there as soon as we can.

“Fae needs our help.”

To be Continued.

Daily Ritual Ch. 4

This is chapter 4 of a series that starts here:

Chapter 1.

Chapter 2.

Chapter 3.

WordPress doesn’t allow css formatting on a free plan so feel free to snatch the pdf from the patreon. If you don’t mind reading it like this. By all means. Read on:

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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.

“No”

“Oh, where you from, then?”

“Down Under”

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.”

Rosario shivered.

“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.”

“Good point.”

“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…”

“Yeah.”

“you told me he was gay, right?”

“Yeah.”

“It just doesn’t fit.”

“What?”

“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.”

“Ok cool.”

“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.”

“Oh, ok?”

“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.”

“Ok.”

“Well. Blood message me if you need anything, ok?”

“Ok. Thank you so much, Plaz.”

“Anytime.”

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.

Read on…

Daily Ritual, Ch. 3

This is chapter 3 of a series that starts here:

Chapter 1.

Chapter 2.

WordPress doesn’t allow css formatting on a free plan so feel free to snatch the pdf from the patreon. If you don’t mind reading it like this. By all means. Read on:

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“So… I’m a faerie?” Rosario said, clearly bewildered.

“No, she’s not” Plaz said.

“Don’t try to trick her with your, faerie wiles.” he added for good measure.

“Dude, could you stop being a massive racist for like one second.” Bren answered, clearly ticked off.

“Plaz, give it a rest, don’t make me banish you.” Rosario added.

“All right all right, because you’re my friend, I’ll hold my tongue. But I know what faeries look like and you ain’t it. You two look nothing alike.”

“Well you’re not European are you? So she wouldn’t be an Irish faerie, she’d be more of the tropical variety. Don’t look at her hands, look at her legs.” Bren said.

“What about my legs?” Rosario asked.

“They’re the wrong way around.”

“No they’re not, I’m just… what’s it called? Pigeon toed, they’re not the…wrong way around.”

But as they all stood there staring at Rosario’s lower half, it was quite clear to everyone that  she was indeed pigeon toed, but her toes faced broadly behind her.

“I.. I’ve never noticed that before.”

“Glamour so strong, it fooled even you.” Bren said. “I’d guess you’re likely not a full faerie, more of a changeling.”

“Changeling… I.. I need to sit down, this is too much.”

Rosario tried to start walking towards a a chair, but her legs were no longer walking in sync with the rest of her and she almost fell flat on her face, but Plaz caught here.

“There we go, let’s let you down easy.” Plaz said as he gently let her down to the floor. People were staring at them now.

“It’s ok, she’s just had a tad too much too drink.”  Bren said to the audience, which mostly continued to mind their own business.

“Let’s get you out of here.” fae said “Let’s go somewhere less crowded.”

They carried her out between their shoulders like she really was drunk, her feet making careful steps as she got accustomed to walking backwards to walk forward. They managed to flag down a green cab, against Rosario’s protest that she could walk she just needed some practice. Bren offered to pay for it. And they rode to Rosario’s apartment.

The stairs were another ordeal, but slowly and with the help of the faerie and the demon, they managed to get to the third floor. Once in Rosario’s room, they got to talking again, and Plaz rolled a joint (to calm his and her nerves).

“So, you’re saying I’m a tropical faerie?” she asked Bren.

“Right, I assume you all have a different term you use?”

“No, not that I know of. We don’t have like a generic term for faerie, but we do have… ciguapas. A mythological female creature, with long hair and legs the wrong way around.”

“Bingo, I’m sure that’s what you are then.”

“but.. I wasn’t born a woman. I mean, not even getting into if anyone is born anything. I wasn’t… assigned female at birth.”

“Well, does it say anywhere that… how do you pronounce that… “cigarpas?” are all afab?”

” Nooo, but…”

“Here you go.” Plaz handed her the joint, she lit it and toked it without missing a beat.

“And you said you thought I was a changeling? How’s that possible?”

“Yeah, I wasn’t sure about that, cause usually someone would have told you by now, we’re very careful about that today. But you said you didn’t know, and I believe you.”

“but… a changeling, how a changeling”

“what do you think a changeling is?” inquired Bren.

“Well” she took another puff of the joint and then tried to pass it to Bren

“Oh, no thank you.” fae answered. She handed it to Plaz instead.

“A changeling,” Rosario continued  “as far as I knew, is like a sickly faerie that is left in the place of a human child, so that the kid’s parents will take care of them.”

“See, that’s a common misconception. The faerie is not left in place of the child, they’re left with the child. It’s like a fusion or hybridization. The human and the faerie become one, so that the faerie might live on.”

“Huh?”

“yeah…”

They all sat in silence for some time. The joint changed hands a couple more times before being put out by Plaz, who was also the one to finally break the silence.

“You said you thought this would have been explained to her right? By whom?”

“This was all explained to me when I came of age by my family, but then again they’re all druids. I’m a changeling too, otherwise I couldn’t spend this much time above ground. I’m surprised  no one told you Rosario, didn’t your parents ever say anything?”

Rosario scuffed. “My parents, they don’t understand anything about anything. They’re not druids, or brujos, or anything of the sort, I’m the first person in my family to even take an interest in anything magic. Well, except my aunt but.. but..”

“Yes?”

“Well my aunt, she’s not really my aunt in the strictest sense, but she raised my mother together with her mom, after grandpa left. She’s a Santera, a type of Caribbean folk witch. Thing is, she and my mom had a falling out ages ago. They haven’t spoken since.”

“That’s it, that must be the reason. She probably wanted to tell you but your mom wouldn’t let her. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if you were the reason for their fight.”

“no no, it was much more mundane than that. Money, it was about money.”

“Well whatever it was. I suggest you find that aunt and ask her about it, she’d be able to tell you much more than I can.”

“I suppose.”

Rosario started grinding more weed. Then stopped to look at Bren.

“Thank you so much” she said “I know this probably isn’t how you wanted to spend your evening, taking care of a confused changeling.”

“No, it’s not, but what can you do” fae shrugged “It really sucks that you didn’t have someone else tell you this. Faeries have come a long way since the olden days, and we try to be a lot more mindful of humans’…” fae struggled, and stalled by spinning faer hands around “moralities?” fae finished the thought.

“but faeries still get sick, and we still need changelings to survive as a species. We just try to be a lot more… consensual about it.”

“One question.” chimed Plaz from the corner.

“Yeah?”

“How does this relate to UFOs and the whole abduction thing.”

“I always assumed that was you guys.”

“No, demons have never had that kind of interest in people, and we don’t fly around. I always thought it had to do with faeries cause it sounds a lot like the old faerie stories.”

“Yeah, but like I said, we don’t do it like that anymore. And anyways when we did we had a lot more class about it, and a lot more dancing. You never hear of abductees dancing. I always heard it was demons trying to copy us.”

“Well, it’s not.”

“Huh.” Fae shrugged.

“Beats me then. Must be something else.”

“Yeah.” Said Plaz, they fell to silence as the faerie and the demon processed this new information about the world beyond the world and their respective places within it.

“Anyways.” Said Rosario.

“I am EXHAUSTED.” She plopped on her bed.

“I should probably get going then” said Bren. “Hopefully I won’t have to wait 20 minutes for a train. Take care dear, message me tomorrow.” Bren went and gave Rosario a hugged.

“Thank you, again.” Said Rosario. “Here, let me walk you to the door.”

She was about to get up off her bed when she noticed her legs were still obstinately facing her back and said

“On second thought….”

“I’ll do it.” Said Plaz “You try to get some sleep.”

“Ok, thank you Plazzie.”

He smiled at her. They walked out of the room and closed the door behind them. Rosario turned off her lamp and closed her eyes. She didn’t think she’d be able to sleep after all the excitement of the night. But the last joint had been a very sleepy indica, and she was so tired that it didn’t take long for her to fade into sleep.

In the living room, Plaz was walking Bren to the door but stopped short of opening it.

“Listen.” He said.

“I don’t want this to come out the wrong way, I swear I’m not saying this just cause you’re a faerie, I’m trying really hard for Rosario’s sake, to get rid of that particular prejudice as quick as possible.”

Bren looked at him impassively. He continued.

“I worry about her, ok. She really likes you and I don’t want her to get hurt.”

Bren sighed.

“I like her too, it’s why I wanted to meet her tonight. It didn’t go as I expected.”

“So what will you do?”

“I don’t know. I’ll give her time to process. And maybe we’ll go out again, just the two of us this time. Also not trying to be offensive to you, just you know. Third wheels.”

“None taken and I understand entirely. Just… be nice to her.”

“You really care about her don’t you?”

“She’s my best friend.” Plaz looked towards Rosario’s door. Bren put a hand on his shoulder.

“You’re pretty nice.” Fae opened the door. “For a demon” fae said walking away.

“Right back at ya, faerie.” Plaz called out, and locked the door.

He walked into the living room. He thought about poofing out, but decided that he wanted to be here when Rosario woke up tomorrow.

“I’m sure she won’t mind.”

He plopped onto the couch. And in time, fell asleep.

To be continued….

Daily Ritual Ch. 2

punk show is the perfect place to go with a demon who doesn’t quite understand that fashion changes. He was dressed more for a sex pistols concert than anything else, with a shiny pleather overcoat, white under shirt, suspenders and doc martens.

This is chapter 2 of a series that starts here:

Chapter 1.

WordPress doesn’t allow css formatting on a free plan so feel free to snatch the pdf from the patreon. If you don’t mind reading it like this. By all means. Read on:

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The day of the concert they met at Rosario’s place to smoke a joint and take a couple bong rips before heading out. A punk show is the perfect place to go with a demon who doesn’t quite understand that fashion changes. He was dressed more for a sex pistols concert than anything else, with a shiny pleather overcoat, white under shirt, suspenders and doc martens. He’d asked Rosario what colour shoelaces he should use cause he knew nazis used to wear white but he’d heard they’d changed it and he didn’t want to accidentally signal anything. Rosario didn’t know either and after a bit of googling they had no answer so he just got black.

For her part Rosario wore a simple black dress and black boots with only a bit of heel on them. She enjoyed leaning back and just standing on the heels of her boots which were just wide enough that this wasn’t a very impressive feat.

They showed up to the venue, Plaz paid for both of them since he inexplicably always has money on him, and whenever Rosario asks where he gets it he just answers “demon business”. They got beers, and hung outside for a second since Bren wasn’t on for another hour and the band that was currently playing, an outfit of 3 white dudes called Flax Seed, was terribly uninteresting to both of them.

“So is she here? Point her out to me.” Plaz asked Rosario.

“FAE. And no fae is not here yet. Or possibly fae’s backstage.”

“ok, sorry.”

“You’ll just have to wait till faer band is on.”

“ok.”

“do you have any more green.”

“Yeah, I don’t know if we can smoke here though.”

“Those people are smoking.”

“yeah, tobacco.”

“so, if they can smoke tobacco, a far more disturbing substance, if you ask me, why couldn’t we smoke some grass.”

“The long answer is really long, the short answer is that tobacco is legal and weed is not.”

“I thought this was a punk bar.”

“yeah, but it’s my first time here and I don’t want to risk it.”

“Hold on, I’m gonna ask.”

“What, Plaz no!”

“Hey! do you know if it’s cool to smoke weed here?” He asked a random stranger in an against me t-shirt.

“Totally, just keep it in the smoking corner, which is over there.”

“Sure, thing, thanks, bud.

See, it’s ok.”

“Plaz I am mortified.

“Oh come on.”

“fine I guess.”

They hung out in the smoking area, passed around a joint to other smokers. And then it was time for Bren’s band to come on. So they walked inside. As soon as fae came onstage and introduced the band Plaz got really anxious.

“Hello everybody! How’s it going?!” Fae said excitedly. The crowd hooted and hollered in response.

“All right! We are Woodland Melody and we’re gonna play a few of our songs for you, how’s that sound?” more hooting.

Woodland Melody was a simple outfit of four people. Aside from Bren on vocals and guitar, they had a bassist, a drummer, and a violist. Rosario only knew Bren personally and so didn’t want to guess at the gender of any of the other band members, but she suspected none of them were cis.

The first song they played was a sort of slow moving, entrancing tune, that broke into a faster dance music. The verses alternated between English and Irish so Rosario only caught half of it. It was about people getting lost in the forest. She was jamming to it, but Plaz was getting more and more agitated. Finally he grabbed her and said:

“Ok, now I’m sure of it. Fae’s fae folk for sure.”

“What cause fae sings in Irish, faer family is from there.” Rosario responded, annoyed at the interruption.

“No, not because of that. Look around you. Everyone’s entranced.”

“They’re just jamming.”

“Nu uh, it’s more than that, the last band didn’t have that effect.”

“yeah, cause they sucked. Anyways, I don’t feel entranced, do I look it? It’s just good music.”

“you’re a magician, Rosario, one that’s had multiple demonic contacts. That might be protecting you. Demonic magic and faerie magic are like oil and water. Oh and those fingers.”

“Well, whatever, if you’re having so much trouble, just wait outside, I’m gonna stay and jam.”

Plaz didn’t leave, but he stood by himself leaning on the wall staring intently at Bren and back at Rosario, as if keeping guard. All of Woodland Melody’s songs had a similar feel, they made you think of partying around a bonfire in a meadow in the forest. Rosario danced with another girl, and by herself and before they knew it, the set was over.

“Thank you, everyone!” Bren said. “Find us on bandcamp, we’re Woodland Melody, and keep rocking out, whoo!!”

They went outside and Rosario texted Bren, to Plaz continued protests as he thought they should just leave now and Rosario should forget about Bren forever.

“Ugh, stop being so jealous.” Rosario scolded him.

“I’m not jealous, fae’s a faerie!”

“whatever, hush, here fae comes!”

“Hi, Rosario! thank you so much for coming! Did you like it? were we good?”

“Totally, I was totally jamming out, dancing, it’s great, you have a beautiful voice.”

“Thank you, thank you.”

“Oh, where are my manners” Rosario said ” This is my friend Plaz.”

“Nice to meet you, Plaz. I’m Bren.” Fae stuck out faer hand for Plaz to shake, but he refused, and he looked at faer with hell in his eyes.

“Oh come on!” Answered Bren. “I know you’re a demon, but since you’re hanging out with her, I thought you’d be cool.”

“Wait, what, how did you know that?” Rosario asked.

“Well it’s not exactly hard, faeries have good senses for this sort of thing.”

“See, see I fucking told you!” Plaz said.

“You ARE a faerie? I had no idea.” Rosario said.

“I thought you knew, I mean, you’re a faerie too after all”

“What?!” Came the chorused reply from Rosario and Plaz.

To be continued…

Read on! Chapter 3

Daily Ritual Ch 1.

        Rosario came home from work in need of Spiritual Guidance. She came into her room, dropped her backpack on the bed and set out about the summoning. She lit the middle candle of her altar, inviting the all mother, Satan, to watch over her proceedings. Just in case.

        Rosario came home from work in need of Spiritual Guidance. She came into her room, dropped her backpack on the bed and set out about the summoning. She lit the middle candle of her altar, inviting the all mother, Satan, to watch over her proceedings. Just in case.

        Rosario liked to think of herself as the successor to her aunt Tía Nana, who wasn’t really her aunt but had helped raise her mother. No one else in her direct family was particularly spiritual, though she was sure some of them had gone to Tía Nana, the family Santera, for advice or workings, they would never admit to it.

        There was one difference between her and her aunt though. Rosario didn’t practice Santeria, she didn’t know the first thing about it. What she practised didn’t have a name, chaos magic, maybe, but she loathed most chaos magicians she encountered. She’d cobbled together a practice out of random books she’d read, the internet, her other spiritual friends. And this practice had become super charged when she actually took the plunge and summoned her first demon.

        She was calling to him now, with their usual, daily ritual:

        She took a tiny strip of cardboard, two centimetres high by 7 long. In it she drew a sigil, the calling sign of her demon Plazhol. She rolled the cardboard into a tiny cylinder. Tight but with plenty of space for air to flow through. She picked the dried herbs from their tiny ceramic pots. Taking from the green and the purple, dried flowers. Delicately grinding them in a special herb grinder, etched with the symbols of her practice.

        She took the ground herbs and spread them on a small sheet of wax paper, together with the little cardboard “filter” she’d rolled earlier. And started rolling the wax paper around the herbs, as she did she said her incantation.

        “How do you feel about a lavender joint today, Plaz?”

        And as she finished rolling the joint. Plaz materialised next to her on her bed. He had the appearance of a young tan man. Light hair that looked bleached. Piercings on his eyebrows. Donning a sort of worn green jacket over a black t-shirt.

        “Sounds fresh” he said, rubbing his hands.

        He took the joint from her hands and lit it with a flame he sprout from his finger. He took a puff.

        “Damn, that’s good shit.”

        He coughed.

        “Strong, too, what’d you say was in this?”

        “Lavender” She replied. “a little bit of mint and then a new strain of indica my dealer got. I haven’t even tried it yet.”

        “Well be my guest” the demon said handing the lit joint back to her. She took a couple puffs before handing it back.

        “So, how’s it going today? You need something from me?” Plaz asked her.

        “Actually, yes.”

        “Damn, I was hoping this was going to be just a social call, what is it?”

        “I met someone”

        “Rosy” he said somewhat disapprovingly.

        “It’s different this time!”

        “That’s what you said last time”

        “Well, so what I can’t date people?”

        “You can absolutely date people, but usually, when you tell me, you met someone, you’re not about to date them, you’ve already fucked them and then something has gone awry.”

        “Well not this time, we haven’t had sex at all.”

        “Uh-huh”

        “We only kissed”

        “Yes”

        “And like touched and cuddled”

        “yes”

        “but with clothes on”

        “So what’s so different about this person?”

        Rosario thought about this for a second.

        “Well fae is–”

        “Hold on, Hold ON!” Plaz interrupted her.

        “They’re a faerie?!” He asked, alarmed.

        “No fae just–”

        “Listen to me Rosario and listen to me closely, do not fuck with faeries, literally or figuratively”

        “Fae isn’t–”

        “I’m a demon and I don’t even fuck with faeries, they freak me out. Their fingers, oh god those fingers”

        “Those are just faer pronouns, fae’s human, I mean I’m pretty sure fae’s human.”

        “Huh?”

        “Some people use fae and faer as pronouns, it’s a type of neo-pronouns, we’ve talked about these.”

        “Oh. Ooh.

        He sat down on the bed.

        “Thank Satan.” he said, he took a puff of the joint.

        “It’s cashed.” He said.

        “I’ll roll another one.”

        “Wheeweee”

        He sprawled on her bed.

        “That fucked me up.”

        “You’re such a lightweight.”

        “well, I’m sorry milady, I’m not exactly the demon lord of drugs.”

        “What are you the demon of.”

        “A different addiction, but it’s a secret.”

        “It’s gaming isn’t it? You’re a gamer demon”

        “I will never tell.”

        “How old are you? You’re always saying you’re pretty young.”

        “In demon terms, in human terms I’m ancient. You could not comprehend how long my life has been.”

        “try me”

        “I was old when your pyramids were young.”

        “Giza?”

        “excuse me?”

        “You mean the pyramids at Giza? In Egypt.”

        “sure.”

        “you know there are other pyramids.”

        “yeah? huh, the more you know.”

        “And that’s only 5000 years, that’s not that much. But I don’t even believe you.”

        “Listen didn’t you have something you wanted to ask me?”

        “Now I’m not sure, I thought I was talking to a font of ancient forbidden wisdom, but if you’re from like 300 years ago, I’m not sure you’re the right person.”

        “Well who else you gonna ask?” He said with a smirk.

        “Good point.”

        “And I’m not 300 years old.”

        “Sure.”

        “I’m much older, aeons older I’ve seen civiliz–”

        “Yeah yeah.”

        She plopped on the bed next to him, lit joint number 2.

        “I made this one a little lighter for your sake.” she said, handing him the lit doobie.

        “Thanks.”

        “I just. Want this to go well, you know?”

        “of course.”

        “And fae’s so cool. Fae’s in a band!”

        “You’re not exactly boring you know, Rosario?”

        “Yeah, but fae’s cool type of cool, I’m the weird type of cool.”

        “Well, what if that’s what fae’s into.”

        “Maybe?”

        “You’d be surprised. I’ve laid with many humans, of all genders, shapes, and sizes. And the number of times I’ve told them I’m a demon, only for them to say shit like ‘oooh, can I see your real form, ooh I bet it’s grotesque.’ humans are freaky.”

        “And, did you show them?”

        “Only sometimes. It gets old. Fetishy.” He grimaced.

        “Damn, I’m sorry.”

        “I happen to like my human form, it’s why I picked it. ”

        “I like it too.”

        “so is that it, you just need an ego boost?”

        “No it’s not that. It’s, well how long have we known each other. You and I”

        “you tell me, as you know your human years are like seconds to m–”

        “Ok, ok. Well, I think it’s been at least 2 years. Like today’s March, so yeah, 2 years. And how many girls and enbies have you seen me date in that time.”

        “At least a dozen.”

        “And it never lasts, what is it about me that wrecks relationships?”

        “Well there was that girl, you broke up with her over her, music taste?”

        “Right, Camila, she was too into dad rock, I couldn’t be in the car with her.”

        “And that person who you said their poetry was mediocre.”

        “That was mutual, they didn’t care for my papier mache recreations of n-dimensional topological objects.”

        “Well don’t you think you need to adjust your standards a little bit. And maybe take it slower. Get to know a person before you decide to date them, and move in with them, and get a cat.”

        “That only happened once and we were together 6 months, which is a record.”

        “Also, aren’t you dating someone right now?”

        “yes, Mildie, but we’re polyamorous and currently long distance. She’s in Florida.”

        “And what’s this new person’s name.”

        “Faer name is Brenta, Fae goes by Bren.”

        “Bren, huh?” He said, looking at the ceiling.

        “Well tell you what. How bout. How bout I meet this Bren, maybe I can advice you better then.”

        “I don’t know.”

        “Come on, we don’t have to tell… faem?”

        “Faer.”

        “We don’t have to tell faer what I am. I can just be your friend from out of town.”

        “You’re not proposing a Cyrano de Bergerac situation, are you?”

        “A whom what now?”

        “Never mind.”

        “So it’s settled.” He said

        “When do you see faer again?”

        “Fae invited me to faer show next weekend.”

        “Very well. I will see you then. Thanks for the smoke. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have souls to pester, I mean torture.”

        He tried to stand up off the bed, stumbled and fell back on the bed.

        “Or maybe not, maybe I wait a minute.”

        “Haha. Lightweight.” She goaded.

        “Hush.”

        “You wanna watch some TV.”

        “Sure.”

        She pulled an episode of Seinfeld on her computer and cast it to the TV.

        “This one’s really funny. It’s the one where George tries to name this couple’s baby.”

        “Costanza! Hahaha.”

        To be continued…

Read on! Chapter 2