The Girl with Someone Extra
By LuAnn Williamson
“Must you leave so soon?” Bridget, frequently called Gidget, due to her small size, tried to put just the right tone in her voice. A question that sounded sad but not needy.
“Yes, Dear,” His moss green eyes sparkled as if trying to blink back a tear. “It’s a long drive back home. It always seems longer to drive back because I miss you all the way home.”
“Why did I have to fall in love with someone from Des Moines?” Gidget made the city name sound mockingly disgusting.
He bent over to kiss her. She brushed a russet colored curl from his pale, creamy face. “Why did I fall in love it someone from Omaha?” He pretended to say the name of her city as if it was something awful.
“Because I’m a bonnie Irish lassie?” she fluttered her eye lashes over her icy blue eyes.
“It’s those freckles that get to me,” Colin teased.
As a child, Gidget had hated her freckles because they made her stand out. Now she loved them for the same reason. At least her red hair had turned out to be a warm chestnut, not the fiery red of some of her cousins.
“That’s it,” Gidget acted like she’d make a wonderful discovery. “I only fell in love with you because you’re Irish.” A smile danced across her ruby lips. But that was the reason she’d fallen in love with Colin. She’d constantly known that she needed to marry someone Irish or least Celtic. But she’s struggled to prove that wasn’t a bit racist but only wanted to date someone with Gaelic heritage.
Colin stood up and adjusted his pants. He reached for the coffee table.
“Where are my keys?” He kept looking around the area, picking up the magazines and the Sunday paper.
“How am I supposed to know?” Gidget asked. “They probably fell off and under the couch.”
As her guest lowered himself onto the floor, she heard the giggle. It was a high pitched sound that most people couldn’t hear. But excellent hearing was also a gift from her Irish heritage.
Gidget lowered herself onto the floor, on the premise of helping him look, but in reality, to get closer to the source of the laughter. She knew she’s been graced by another visitor. This visitor would keep herself hidden until the ordinary human left.
“What a pity,” she announced. “I was going to make cookies this afternoon. But now I won’t have time if I have to if I have to look for keys.” She heard the gasp from the direction of the end table.
She stood up, dusting off her hands. “Are you sure they’re not in your pocket?”
He scowled and patted his pants, sending his coins giggling.
“You might have put them down the kitchen,” she told him. “When you gave me the change for the ice cream you bought for me.” She pulled him into the kitchen. “Did you put them on the counter or the table?”
Together, they checked the kitchen, dining area and even the freezer where the ice cream carton was stashed. Once she heard the faint clicking of the keys, she led them back into the living room.
She pointed to the keys, lying as obvious as possible in front of the end table. She tried to stifle a giggle but some sound came out as she pointed.
“I checked there,” Colin said in frustration.
“Of course you did,” she said with the same humoring tone she’d use on a child.
“You know you don’t play fair?” He told her.
“How’s that?” She tried to draw closer for a kiss but he held her back.
“You tell me as I’m leaving that you’re making cookies. Now I get to spend the whole drive home thinking about what I’m going to be missing.”
“You poor dear,” she smirked. “I saved a couple of cupcakes to tide you over during the trip.” She brought out a baggie with two pink frosted treats which she handed him, with a blue flowered paper napkin.
“Next week, it’s your turn to drive,” Colin said as he kissed her freckled forehead. Then he was gone, without a sad look back.
“A promise is a promise,” she muttered to herself as she walked into the kitchen and started to pull down the flour and sugar from the cupboard. “And this is one promise I’d better keep.” There was nothing worse than a fairy with a pique. She didn’t want to contemplate the damage she would find over the next few days. She’s only made this mistake once or twice in her childhood. Once, she’d found all of her shoes with tiny holes punched in irregular patterns. It looked like someone had taken a toothpick to them. But Gidget knew it was the mark of a fairy sword. They were made from Goblin steel, stronger and lighter and much sharper than the finest human technology. Another time, she found her prom gown covered with small rips and tears. Gidget had spent the entire evening, late into the night, carefully covering the rips with hand embroidery. She’d gotten so many compliments for her gown. So that little spiteful act had backfired on the family fairy.
Even though they’d long upgraded to modern ovens, the first cookie baked was a tiny one, called the “fairy’s share.” Except for this family, the fairy was real.
Once the small cookie was baked and cooled, Gidget carefully put it onto a tiny plate in the doll house she kept in the kitchen. She poured milk into the small goblet and fluffed the miniature napkin. She poured herself a glass of milk and put the cookies on a plate for herself and sat down in the seat in the dinette. She didn’t need to wait long. Fairies had an incredible sense of smell. She’d have known about the baking project, even if she’d been visiting another family member in another city.
This time, her visitor was in what Gidget thought must be her true form. But even she didn’t know for sure since Fairies had the ability to shift shapes more or less at will. She was slightly bigger than a Barbie doll but smaller than an American Girl doll. She had the curves of a woman. This time she was dressed up. Pink dress with neon orange sleeves, blue skirt with three kinds of lace around the hem in pink, red and purple. Fairies did not share the fashion sense with humans. A crown of multicolored flowers wove around her silver blond hair. A big, mischievous grin was on her tiny face.
“Your Majesty,” Gidget had learned that was the safest form address. She wasn’t entirely sure what her visitor’s real position was in the Fae realm. She bowed her head low.
“You call that a courtesy?” a tiny, very high pitched voice complained.
Gidget scowled but stood up, grabbed her jeans, in place of a full skirt. She dipped low but did not take a knee. She hoped that would do since repeated curtsies got hard on her knees in a hurry.
“It will do, for today.” The tiny voice said.
“That was kind of a dirty trick you played on poor Colin,” Gidget told her diminutive guest. “It was mean to hide his keys.”
“I was doing you a favor,” her voice squeaked. “He couldn’t go home if I took his keys.” There was a self-satisfied tone to her voice that Gidget could recognize.
“He needs to go back home for the week. He has to work. He gets up early.”
“Early, Pearly,” she scoffed. “When are you going to introduce him to me?”
“Hopefully, never,” the human’s voice dripped sarcasm.
Don’t you have a squirrel to harass? Maybe another Elven War to start?”
“Elves are boring. Nobody cares anymore what little scuffles they get into.”
“I’ll remember that the next time I want a favor and you say you have a war to start…or stop…or whatever.”
The fairy made a face that reminded Gidget of a three year old human.
The tiny creature swiveled even smaller antennae that were partially hidden behind her hair and flowers, just above her pointed ears. She picked up her cookie in both hands and took a bite.
“Keep making me cookies like this and I’ll be your best friend forever!”
“Or until the next time I really need a favor. Then you’ll be nowhere to be found.”
“Make me these cookies and the world will be at your feet.” She drained her goblet of milk. “Got anything stronger?”
“I’m out of wine.”
“You lie!” her face wrinkled in anger. “I smell it!”
“We had wine with dinner last night. Like two adult humans do sometimes. And we drank all of a small bottle.”
“I don’t believe you,” the fairy said.
Gidget got up, walked the few steps to the recycling bin and pulled out the empty glass bottle, holding it upside down.
“Got some whiskey?”
It was Gidget’s turn to scowl. The one thing worse than an angry fairy was a drunken fairy. She bent down to pick the doll sized cup. She carefully rinsed it but only shook it dry; hoping any water would dilute the whiskey. Carefully, so carefully, she poured exactly one drop. All she could do was hope that her uninvited guest would get bored and leave before she got drunk.
“These cookies are my favorite?” the tiny female announced. “What kind are they?”
“Peanut butter. Don’t they have peanut butter in Fairy Land?”
“No peanuts in all of the Fae Lands. They’re worth their weight in gold.”
Gidget smiled. She’d heard the same proclamation about chocolate chips, sugar frosted, brownies. When she was much younger, Gidget left bits of chocolate in the same doll house, hoping to find gold left behind. Disappointed, she discovered that fairy logic didn’t work that way. She had found presents, of a sort. Once, a wren feather, the most common bird in the area, once a single grain of wheat and another time, there was a flower in the vase on the table of the doll house.
“I’ll give you a peanut when you’re ready to leave so you don’t have to carry it around.” The human said to her.
“Walnuts?” She wasn’t sure she’s heard properly. There was a walnut tree in the next yard, three more within the block.
Gidget pulled the sack of walnuts out of her cupboard. She put a large piece of nut on the plate when the cookie had sat. The tiny female wrapped both arms around it. She blinked and nodded and poof, she was gone.
Gidget sighed, blowing an auburn curl off her face. She put the remaining cookies into a plastic storage container.
No telling when she’d be back. It could be two minutes, two weeks or two months. It had been almost two years once and Gidget had dared to hope her fairy God Mother had lost interest. But time didn’t work the same on the other side of mists.
She picked up all the dishes, washed them and put them in the drainer till the next time. Whenever that would be.
Gidget had just away her dinner dishes and sat down on the sofa when she heard the familiar high pitched voice.
“Guess what? Guess what?” The fairy squeaked as she materialized in front of Gidget.
“What?” Gidget tried to draw upon the last reserve of her patience. She’d planned to watch the news, and then get ready for the week. She hadn’t planned on dealing with a well-meaning but highly misguided supernatural creature.
“Oh no,” the tiny creature said, then giggled. “This is going to cost you!” She slowly got bigger till she was the size of a small human child. She held out of goblet to Gidget, who took it. This was no plastic glass from doll’s tea set. No, this was a work of art, sparking in the evening sun. Gidget was willing to bet that the jewels that had expanded along with the goblet and its owner were real and worth a small fortune. That along with the ill-fortune that would befall anyone foolish enough to attempt to steal it.
“Beautiful,” Gidget said breathlessly.
“Thank you,” the tiny face blushed. “It’s just a little trinket I won from a Leprechaun in a card game.” She waved her hand with the magic wand in it. “Better fill it up before it gets bigger.” She held the wand in what Gidget remembered as the ready position.
She stood up and fetched the bottle of whiskey from the cupboard. There was no point in arguing. The vessel would get larger and larger and the creature would stay the same size, but determined to finish the contents. The results were bound to be disaster, no matter the exact outcome.
“I was at the beauty shop, getting my wings tinted,” the Fairy took a sip of the offered drink.
“Getting your wings tinted?” Gidget felt her eye brows rising. “Is that really a thing?”
The fairy, known by the name of Barielle, enlarged herself slightly, fluttering her wings. Finally perching on the coffee table. Barielle has always had wings that were a transparent very pale green, iridescent, resembling grasshopper wings or dragonflies.
Gidget bend over to get a better look. Her wings now had spots of chartreuse and magenta. She was totally baffled as to what to say. So much for the Irish gift of glib speech to have deserted her now.
This was definitely time for a fortifying drink. Gidget poured herself a shot.
“It’s a work of art,” The words came into her mouth as soon as the alcohol touched her tongue.
“Anyway,” the fairy took a gulp of her drink. “Anyway. I was talking to my second cousin’s third cousin.” Gidget had long ago given up trying to keep up with fairy genealogy.
“Here’s the news!” Barielle took another swallow. Gidget was getting frustrated at her stalling.
“Ready?” She held the goblet up to her lips, looked at it then decided to set it on the table. “This is the thing…” She saw Gidget scowl at her. “Your new boyfriend…Colin O’Leary…his family has a fairy Godmother of their own! You don’t have to worry about introducing me. He’s got one of his own!”
The fairy took another deep sip of whiskey. “I’ve got to go now. I think I have another war to start.” With a wave of her wand and a flutter of wings, she was gone.