I’m posting this a day early because otherwise I can’t post until Friday, and that’s just too late. This was published in the August 2011 issue of Pagan Edge and the theme was fairies, fire, and creativity. My naming choices are deliberate and probably not very subtle (although more subtle than in this story). This could also be thought of as a prototype “Nevermore” story.
Bridgette pulled into the garage after a long day at work. She opened the door into the entryway and heard a crash, as though a dish had just fallen to the floor. She sighed and walked into the kitchen.
The kitchen was unoccupied but the mess was obvious. At least three dishes had met their demise on the tile floor. A box of spaghetti had been spilled all over the central island. Every cupboard door was open. A bag of oranges was on the floor. A burner was on but there was nothing on top of it. She switched off the burner and wondered what the rest of the house looked like. “Kelly?”
Her teenage daughter was in her room, busily flipping through her Book of Shadows. She uttered words every parent dreads to hear – “Mom, don’t worry, I can fix this.”
“Fix what, Kelly?” Bridgette asked.
Before the answer came, Bridgette heard a strange, high-pitched laugh. Then the cat came tearing out of the bedroom, skittered on the tile floor, and dove down the stairs to the basement. The source of its fright was a small, sparkling orb of light about the size of a snowglobe. It was clinging to the cat’s tail laughing impishly.
Bridgette took a deep breath. “Kelly, why in the name of the gods did you summon a faerie into this house?”
“Well, Melissa’s coven did it a few weeks ago, and I thought I could, so she finally gave me the spell and I didn’t know it was going to be so much trouble,” she replied in one breath, scanning her book. She only had one summoning spell, which had summoned the faerie, and didn’t have any banishing spells.
“So you thought you’d try this by yourself before I got home?”
“I had it handled,” she snapped, switching to some of her reference books.
The faerie flew back upstairs, apparently having lost interest in the cat, and went into the dining room and started to pluck the petals off of the vase of flowers.
“What exactly did you summon?”
“A faerie,” she sighed.
“What kind of faerie?” Bridgette asked with more patience than she felt.
“I don’t know. Does it matter?”
“Kelly, go outside.”
“So I can fix this.”
“I can do this, Mom!”
The teenage girl slammed her book shut and stomped outside.
Bridgette took a deep breath and went to her room to get some supplies.
Kelly angrily paced back and forth. Half and hour passed and finally her mother called her back into the house.
“I banished it,” Bridgette said.
“Kelly, sit down. We need to talk.”
She slumped into a chair.
“You know you made a mistake.”
“Yes,” she said sullenly.
“And you’re going to clean up the house and pay for the things that got broken.”
“Why did you do this?”
“I thought I could handle it,” Kelly said.
“There are reasons I haven’t taught you how to summon spirits. This is one of those reasons. If you don’t set the right kind of boundaries, they can run wild.”
“I’m sorry about the stuff.”
“I’m grateful you aren’t hurt. These things can be dangerous. The next time you want to do something like this, please ask me first. I may not give you permission, but I will try to make sure you understand why,” Bridgette said.
“Now, sweep up the broken dishes so I can start on dinner.”
She fetched the broom grateful she didn’t get grounded, and she resolved to be more careful with spirits in the future.