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Fantasy Urban Fantasy

Esmerelda parked her broom and hopped off, running her fingers through her dark, windswept hair. Pointing her warted chin, she marched over to the front of the coffee shop where Hettie stood waiting.


“Morning, Es,” said Hettie, smiling. She was bald, with skin as green as the lily pads down by the pond. She wore a black cloak with a name tag pinned over her heart. “Heard good things about this one.”


“Hmph,” huffed Esmerelda. She wanted to go to the cafe on Wycamore Road, but Hettie insisted they give the new shop a chance.


Hettie wagged her finger. “Don’t be judgmental.”


“I’m not judgmental. I just have high expectations.” Esmerelda snapped her long fingers and a small red notebook appeared in her hands. “Nothing good ever comes from these things.”


“Well, now you’re just being rude.”


Esmerelda rolled her eyes and turned to the shop. It was a small cottage with cobblestone walls, two circular windows on either side of the wooden door, and smoke curling out of the chimney on the roof in wisps of gray that matched the dreary sky.


“Cozy,” said Hettie. She pulled a blue notebook and pen from her pocket and jotted something down.


“Hmph.”


A sign with GODMOTHER’S NOOK written in crooked handwriting hung on the door, and Esmerelda noticed a small flap right below it, labeled “Employee Entrance.” She groaned.


“Quit your whining and get inside,” said Hettie.


Esmerelda shot her a dark look before pushing the door open.


A series of fireworks the size of thimbles exploded in front of her eyes and she yelped. 


“Oh, how lovely!” said Hettie, writing in her notebook as the fireworks faded.


“Lovely?” snarled Esmerelda. “They could’ve singed my eyebrows off!”


“Well, they do need a trim.” Hettie laughed at Esmerelda’s hiss.


“Welcome, witches, welcome!” squeaked a voice to the right.


Esmerelda blinked away the brightness of the fireworks still swimming before her eyes and scanned around the shop. Chairs and tables of all shapes--from the size of an ogre to that of a mouse--sat in the corners, holding plush pillows and blankets. A few bookshelves lined the walls. Grass covered the ground, bursting with swaying flowers and trees with twittering birds hopping between branches.


A few butterflies flew in front of Esmerelda’s eyes and she tried to swat them away.


“Hello!” said the voice again, and Esmerelda looked over to a counter on the right. Compared to the rest of the shop, the counter was bare and colorless, with only a cash register on top. A small chalkboard with four lines of writing hung on the wall behind.


Behind the cash register fluttered a tiny bright light.


“Er--hello,” sniffed Esmerelda. She pointed her chin higher and strode over to the counter, Hettie trailing behind her. The bright light came into focus and Esmerelda gritted her teeth.


The creature wore a bright blue dress with matching heels, and her wings were purple and blue and orange. They reminded her of a fading sunset.


“Welcome to Godmother’s Nook!” piped the fairy, swooping excitedly in a circle.


Esmerelda cleared her throat. “Thank you,” she said stiffly. “We run the Broomsticks Blog and--”


The fairy put her hand to her mouth and gasped. “The Broomsticks Blog?! My favorite! Goodie!”


“Er--yes. We’d like to feature your shop for the first week of fall, if that's alright.”


“Of course! I'm honored, so honored!” The fairy wiped a tear and Esmerelda suppressed the urge to roll her eyes.


"Right. Could you tell us about some of your drinks?” she asked instead, opening her notebook and clicking her pen.


“Certainly, Miss!” The fairy flew up to the chalkboard and pointed at the line of writing on the top. “We have four specials today, ladies. Four! Our first is the Cardigan Cappuccino, made with sweater-weather-in-the-mornings and needs-shorts-in-the-afternoons. Also, a touch of nutmeg.” She winked.


“I assume it’s iced at the top and hot at the bottom?” asked Hettie, scribbling in her notebook.


“Right-o, Miss! Hotter than the dragon sauna down the road!” The fairy clapped her hands and danced in the air.


“Next!” snapped Esmerelda. She wanted to leave as soon as possible; the fairy’s squeaky voice made her tinnitus act up.


“Yes, of course!” The fairy flew a couple of inches lower and pointed to the second line of writing on the menu. “Our most popular: Pumpkin Patch in a Cup! Made with pumpkin spice.”


“How is that any different than every other pumpkin drink?” grumbled Esmerelda.


“Well, Miss, when you finish it, you’re instantly transported to the pumpkin patch closest to you!”


“Wow!” said Hettie, he eyes widening to the size of saucers. “That’s--that’s some magic. I don’t even know if I could do that.”


“Seems like a liability issue,” said Esmerelda. Hettie shot her a warning look and Esmerelda shrugged.


“The next drink?” asked Hettie, smiling at the fairy barista.


“The Fall Frappuccino!” sang the fairy as she fluttered down to the next item on the menu. “Made with fallen leaves and an ogre’s amount of caramel!”


“Yum,” said Hettie, writing in her notebook. “And the ratio of leaves to caramel?”


“Why, the same as the ratio of unicorn horns to cyclops eyes!” The fairy giggled so hard she appeared to vibrate in the air.


Hettie laughed.


Esmerelda groaned.


“And the last there, fairy?” Hettie asked quickly.


The fairy soared to the final listing on the menu. “My favorite: our Curled by the Fire!”


“I love a good latte,” said Hettie.


“What’s in it?” asked Esmerelda.


“Just a dollop of flames and a dash of apple cider.”


“Why’s it your favorite?” asked Hettie.


“Oh, you’ll just have to see.” The fairy looked dreamily into the distance and sighed.


“Sounds suspicious,” huffed Esmerelda.


“Sounds magical!” said Hettie. She glared at her witch partner, who glared back.


“And that’s it, ladies!” The fairy didn’t seem to see the witches’ exchange, and she glided back to the register. “What’ll it be?”


“We’ll try one of each.” Hettie slapped some gold coins on the counter and the cash register popped open. The fairy pointed at the coins and they floated into the drawer. 


“Four specials, coming right up!” The barista flew to a spot under the menu--another flap, similar to the one on the front door. This one was labeled “The Kitchen.”


Hettie sighed when the flap snapped shut after the fairy. “You’re impossible.”


“I’m practical.”


“Whatever. Come on, let’s find a seat.” They found a table with two witch-sized couches in the corner by the door.


“Some great stuff for the blog,” said Hettie, scanning her notebook after settling into her couch.


“Sure, if people want to find themselves in a random pumpkin patch, or whatever ‘Curled by the Fire’ does to you,” grumbled Esmerelda. She crossed her arms.


“I think it’s genius.”


I think it’s ridiculous.”


Hettie just shook her head and continued to read through her notes, while Esmerelda impatiently drummed her fingers against the armrest of the couch.


“Four specials, at your service!” called the fairy from the flap under the menu. She whizzed over to the witches and pointed at the table between them. Four mugs suddenly appeared, two filled with orange-colored liquid, one filled with a dark brown froth, and the last filled with a swirl of reds and yellows.


“Yum! Thank you!” Hettie grabbed one of the orange drinks, and Esmerelda gritted her teeth and took the other. She looked at it apprehensively before bringing it to her lips, and almost jumped at the crispness of the apple cider that seemed to fill every inch of her body.


“Mm, pumpkin!” Hettie said. “I’ll only drink half so I don’t go off into a pumpkin patch.” 


“Very smart, Miss, the closest pumpkin patch is four blocks away,” said the fairy.


“Yes, I don’t want…”


Hettie’s voice began to fade and Esmerelda stared at her in alarm. The green witch still opened her mouth as if she were speaking, but Esmerelda couldn’t hear her. She couldn’t even hear the whining of her tinnitus.


All she could hear was crackling. It sounded like...like the crackling of a fire.


A warmth washed over her and she couldn't help sighing dreamily. Cozy, Hettie had said earlier. Cozy.


Suddenly, a book popped out of the drink and landed on Esmerelda's lap. She stared at it in surprise. On the cover was a witch sitting at a computer, and the title read “15 Tips for Bloggers Trying to Make it Big.”


She looked over at Hettie and the fairy, who were smiling at her. She blinked at them. The fairy gestured toward the book and Esmerelda found herself grinning. She couldn’t remember the last time she smiled so big.


The witch sank deeper into the couch, opened the book, and basked in the quiet. She began to read as the drink and the crackling fire warmed her.

October 10, 2020 15:54

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39 comments

Ray Dyer
16:54 Oct 13, 2020

Absolutely love this story, Leilani! It's so sweet, and funny, too! I love the name of the blog, and this line jumped out at me: “Seems like a liability issue,” said Esmerelda. Hettie shot her a warning look and Esmerelda shrugged. Just cracked me up. And I have to admit that I heard the line, "I'm practical," in Maggie Smith's voice. It's just a great, succinct line, with that air of correction to it that is just perfection. LOVE the humor and the fun in this one. Thank you so much for sharing it!!!

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Lani Lane
22:58 Oct 13, 2020

Thank you so much, Ray!!! Also, I was really channeling strict (yet softie at heart) Professor McGonagall so I LOVE that you picked that up haha!! :D Also, I see that you've written a new story--will read it soon!

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Ray Dyer
00:32 Oct 14, 2020

That is AWESOME - you can't beat Maggie Smith!!!

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Zea Bowman
22:50 Oct 12, 2020

Woah, this was a great story! I really liked how you used fantasy things that either don't exist or we don't use in real life (such as fairies and gold coins), but you incorporated them really well! I enjoyed reading Esmerelda's grumpy comments, and how Hettie responded to them. Keep it up! P.S. Congrats on the marriage! Hope it was (or will be) the best day of your life!

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Lani Lane
22:57 Oct 13, 2020

Thank you so much, Zea! I appreciate you reading and commenting! And thank you for the p.s. :) Just eloping in the mountains for now as we had to push the big wedding to next year due to COVID, but it should be nice! :D

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Zea Bowman
00:03 Oct 14, 2020

That stinks. And of course! I had fun reading this!

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Kylie Rudolf
02:10 Oct 20, 2020

I LOVE stories like these! I love to write fantasy as well, and it is really hard to make something new without feeling that you have copied someone. And making something like witchcraft modern day? So cool! Very original!

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Lani Lane
14:52 Oct 20, 2020

Thank you so much, Kylie!! I see you have a couple stories up--I'll add those to my list to read! :) Are you writing any of the prompts for this week? They're so fun, and offer a lot of opportunity for fantasy!!

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Shae Greyfeather
11:41 Oct 19, 2020

Esmeralda was my favorite character in this story

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Lani Lane
14:47 Oct 20, 2020

Mine too! :)

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Echo Sundar
19:09 Oct 18, 2020

Wow! I love how you made this a fantasy story! I love the fairy and the witches who were complete opposites of each other this was a really fun read and I really think you could win!

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Lani Lane
22:50 Oct 18, 2020

You just made my whole day, Rachel! Thank you so much! :)

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Noel Pine
12:55 Oct 18, 2020

Amazing! This story is so cool! I like how it’s in a world we’re pretty much anything is possible! It’s got me thinking, “if the coffee can teleport you, what can a donut or a good book do????”

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Lani Lane
14:15 Oct 18, 2020

Hi, Noel!! Thank you so much for reading and for your comment! Your question makes me want to write a sequel to this story. 😀 I see you recently joined Reedsy—WELCOME!! I can’t wait to read your story, adding it to the list! And I also see that you’re big into tea-drinking—same. Getting an Earl Grey prepared as we speak. 😉

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Noel Pine
14:54 Oct 18, 2020

Yeah, that would be awesome to have a sequel! If you make one I will definitely read it! Thanks! Yeah just joined this last week. It’s a really easy and awesome way I can practice my writing! Oh yeah, Tea is amazing! Really helps clear the mind, especially on a cold day!

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16:52 Oct 17, 2020

I love your story! You are such an incredible author! I hope your wedding is incredible! :)

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Lani Lane
14:20 Oct 18, 2020

Hi, Felicity! First of all, THANK YOU for liking all my stories!! I see that you just joined Reedsy and already have three stories in—I will be reading those today, can’t wait! 😊 Welcome aboard!! I love your bio, by the way. I’m a Ravenclaw, Erudite (gross, I know, but I love reading and learning and knowledge lol), and District 4 (I’m a water girl even though I live close to the mountains!). And thank you for your wedding comment!! We just eloped—had to push the big wedding to next year due to COVID—but it was a magical experience all t...

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Rayhan Hidayat
03:26 Oct 11, 2020

It’s impossible not to smile when reading this! I love how it’s a fantasy world but blogging and coffee shops are still a thing. And all those magical drinks, just so creative. The pumpkin patch thing is so beautifully random. Keep it up!! 😙

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Lani Lane
17:40 Oct 11, 2020

Thanks so much, Rayhan!! Don't write a ton of fantasy so trying to get into it a little bit. :) Appreciate you reading!

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Molly Leasure
01:14 Oct 11, 2020

Well, that was a fun ride! I loved your characters, they all had such distinct personalities and Esmerelda was a hoot. I want to try some of those drinks...I'd love to cozy up next to a fireplace right about now! Buckle in for this list of things I noticed (Sorry!!). "...It was a small cottage, with..." You can keep the comma, but you don't really need it there. "...sat in in the corners..." An extra "in" ;). "...and trees, twittering birds hopping between branches." Just need a "with." "...sweater-weather-in-the-mornings, and needs.....

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Molly Leasure
02:02 Oct 11, 2020

PS you successfully healed me enough to write a story ~ so it's all thanks to you!

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Lani Lane
18:29 Oct 12, 2020

YES, thank you thank you thank you!! OOF, had a lot of errors in this one, facepalm. Will get those fixed right away!!! I'm going to read your story right now!! :D

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Molly Leasure
19:27 Oct 12, 2020

It's okay!! Everyone has their stories that need a little helping hand sometimes! Plus, they weren't big fixes at all~so no worries! C:

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Molly Leasure
00:11 Oct 13, 2020

ALSO, I just saw you're getting married. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! :D

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Lani Lane
22:55 Oct 13, 2020

Thank you!!! We're just eloping in the mountains--had to push the big wedding to next year due to COVID. But I'm excited, it should be really nice!! :)

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Molly Leasure
23:13 Oct 13, 2020

That's still reason to celebrate though!! The mountains are a wonderful place to elope--aesthetically pleasing!! :) I'll keep my fingers crossed for good weather!

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Lani Lane
23:18 Oct 13, 2020

Thank youuuuuu!!! :)

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A.G. Scott
18:00 Oct 10, 2020

I smiled all the way through! I found this week's prompts pretty boring overall, but of course, the writers on this site will find a way to make anything worth reading, and you've done that here. (Give me the fire drink my tinnitus is so bad D: ) Alternate titles (probably not as good as Lina's) - Bog-Witch with a Blog Itch - Special I also went way off the rails with this prompt if you're interested in that sort of thing.

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Lani Lane
18:02 Oct 10, 2020

Oh my goshhhhhh the Bog-Witch with a Blog Itch is hilarious and I think I'm going to find a way to make that a story from that in the future. Or you should. Either way, that needs to be a Netflix movie right now. Thanks so much A.g., as usual!!! You story is on my list, hope to get to it today!! :)

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Lani Lane
16:05 Oct 10, 2020

Caught between "Godmother's Nook" and "The Broomsticks Bloggers" for the title of this story. Any suggestions would be appreciated! Edit: And the new title is 'Brewing' instead, shout out to Lina Ozz for the suggestion! Check out her stories, she's a queen: https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/lina-ozz/

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Zilla Babbitt
01:00 Oct 23, 2020

Here for the critique circle :) This is so sweet! I like the heartwarming descriptions of the shop, and the final sentence is just perfect. If I were you I'd try to shy away from clique descriptions of the witches, like warty nose and dark hair. That's my only critique. Keep it up!

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Lani Lane
01:02 Oct 23, 2020

Thank you for reading and commenting! Kept it obnoxiously obvious on purpose--but I can see your point. :)

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Zilla Babbitt
01:14 Oct 23, 2020

Welcome :)

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Lina Ozz
16:27 Oct 10, 2020

I LOVE THIS STORY SO MUCH! So fun, unique, and absolutely creative. I loved how you provided such a fantastical twist to a seemingly very general prompt. This literally made me so excited for fall, and the descriptions swept me away into this wonderful world. The only thing your story makes me sad about is the fact that this coffee shop doesn't actually exist. A couple very minor tweaks: "Pointing her warted chin out, she …” Should be: "Pointing her warted chin, she..." "Esmerelda blinked the brightness of the fireworks out of he...

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Lani Lane
16:41 Oct 10, 2020

Great suggestions!!! I'll make those changes, thank you! I laughed at my mistake "ff course" lol so dumb. AH I LOVE THAT TITLE. Ok, I'm using it, thank you so much!!! And it just relates to witches in general. Love it!!

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Lani Lane
16:44 Oct 10, 2020

Also, had a question for your brilliant editing eye--is this line too cluttered? "Compared to the rest of the shop, the counter was bare and colorless, with only a cash register on top and a single small chalkboard with four lines of writing hung on the wall behind."

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A.G. Scott
17:35 Oct 10, 2020

If I may butt in—yes. I'd split when you start talking about the wall behind, since you're no longer describing the counter (which you've introduced as the subject of the sentence.)

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Lani Lane
17:44 Oct 10, 2020

Perfect! Exactly what I needed, thank you! I'll mess around with it. :)

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Lina Ozz
13:01 Oct 11, 2020

Agree with A.G.––good catch!

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