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

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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