This is chapter 3 of a series that starts here:
Patreon doesn't respect formatting when copy pasting so feel free to snatch the pdf from the bottom of the post. If you don't mind reading it like this. By all means. Read on:
"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."
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.."
"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."
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.
"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."
"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....