When they arrived back at the house a few tables were sat up in the yard, in the wide part where she had performed tricks the night before. A few dozen people were scattered among the tables, and blue ice filled boxes sat open.
“Ayy!” Some drunken cheers rang, as they got out with the pizza.
“Friday tradition,” Nicole said. “And we celebrate new arrivals too. Hence the beer being proper, and all.”
“It’s got alcohol it’s proper enough,” Greg said, as he grabbed the pizza from Nicole. He kissed her cheek after, and then repeated the ritual with Annabelle. The booze was strong on his breath, and the party started easy. Before long music came from the garage, and a few people danced.
“Nicole?” Annabelle asked, unsure of anyone else. “I need to practice earth dances?”
“No, not happening not even a chance,” Nicole said. She dipped her pizza in red sauce. “I dance worse than you.”
“I will,” Greg said, and then nodded to his wife. It was hard to tell in leprechaun years, but she was clearly a lot younger than he was. At least a few hundred years, if she guessed right. She had teased up blond hair, and spoke with an accent unlike the rest of the clan. “Chelle is here to keep an eye on these arthritic things.” He wiggled his hands.
“That ever stopped you?” she asked, and Annabelle could see where Nicole got her sweet voice in the woman’s laughter. “Go on dear. You’re safe with me, and Nice out here.” She stood up, and he grabbed her arms, spinning her into a tighter embrace. He held her hand aloft in one of his, and put his hand in the small of her back.
“I know this one,” she told him. “Not that I’m complaining, sir.” She remembered her manners since she had previously threatened the old man.
“Not at all, dear.” He switched giving her another spin, and then clicking his heels. “Fix that song off that new stuff, boys.” A raucous tune, with lots of pipes, and strings laced with lyrics began. They danced until her feet ached from the sandals, which wasn’t long. She rejoined Nicole, who was busy with another beer, and Chelle took her place. As she watched the couple Annabelle was glad the old man had kept his hand to himself. The girl clapped, before she sat down. Quite a few people ‘awed’ and one or two asked when their turn was.
“Might do a few sparks in a bit,” she said. She felt oddly out of her element in the spotlight. She wondered if that was the clarity with which she saw the crowd now, or the uneasy feeling she got when she saw the window was dark. The same one she thought she heard Greg’s voice from last night. Only dark one in the house, as the leprechauns, and a few other Odd folk played.
As the night wore on she felt a little better, and she headed to the little container house in back to change to one of her winged shirts, and fly around a bit. She wanted to give the leprechauns a good show, to thank them for allowing her to stay, despite her bad arrival, and obvious misgivings. Her kind wasn’t well liked, among the other small folk, and it was something she never really expected from anyone.
She dropped the tape on the bed, planning to roll it up later. She fit the other shirt on over her wings, and leaped into the night sky. Her body shrank again, and she shot forward. She pulled a hard right at the garage door, and shot up throwing green, and gold sparks in beat with the music.
Her glasses had shrunk with her, and she she saw her flight path with new clarity. She was able to fly lower, and ringed Nicole in a perfect green, and silver crown inches above her brown hair.
At home in the sky, more than in her clunky feeling big body her heart was free. She felt like a fool, with the odd jerky motions she used on the ground, but when she flew the Fairy dances, there was no limit to her. As she spun fire sparked in rainbows around her, she showed all assembled what range her element carried. The dance ended with a spin, and she started a new one, to the strange music mixed with the cheers of her new friends.
They were singing for her, some of them, and their cheers made the dance easier with every voice. She stuck to lots of green, for the later dances, and spelled out the names she knew between them. She drew a group of pink hearts around Chelle, and Greg. The drunk from the garage last night asked for a white heart, and she obliged.
When she was too exhausted to fly she ate pizza, sitting on the edge of the table, legs dangling.
“You were beautiful,” Chelle said.
“Those were all happiness, and luck dances,” she said a huge grin stuck to her face.
“Thank you,” she said, then gestured at the two-story house. “We’ve never been blessed here, it was wonderful of you.”
“I’ve never even heard of a fairy dance like that,” Nicole said. She cut another corner off her pizza, and handed it to Annabelle.
“Just hocus pocus.” Nicky grabbed a few slices of pizza, and set them on a plate. She hadn’t even seen him arrive. His cheeks were red, and he seemed half-focused. “Don’t need it.” Nicole looked puzzled at his words, and he shot her an odd look.
“Crawl out of that cave?” his father asked. He was packing himself a pipe bowl, and his face was dark, everyone went quiet at his words. Annabelle felt like she was in the middle of a duel, but there were no swords, just stares.
“Crawling back now,” he said. “Don’t fuck all the boys ta sleep, might need them your last boyfriend’s da’ shows,” he said. His voice was all cheer as he spit the words at the fairy with a smile. He was a lot like his dad, she could hear it in his speech, and see the old man’s hard edges in the younger’s smile. He stumbled a bit, as he started to walk away.
The lot had exploded with yells. A few defended her, but Annabelle was disturbed at the number who seemed to side with him, catcalling until Greg slammed his fist into the table, making all the plates, and bottles jump. Everyone stopped at once, and a few muttered apologies. Nicky grabbed a for some beers, his pizza dropped, and he almost fell before someone caught him. The other leprechaun dragged him inside the house.
“Smells like he finished the distillery,” he called, and everyone laughed. Annabelle didn’t forgot the tension as quick as everyone else, but the party started again, like nothing had happened.
“Ignore him,” Greg said, his voice sounded about as sober as his son. “His pride is stung. Always had more pride than brain. It’s not his fault, family tradition, miss,” the old leprechaun puffed from his pipe.
“Yeah,” Chelle said, her rosy cheeks lit up. She sat a beer next to her husband, and jumped as he thanked her with a pinch.
“Pourin beer, is the only time she gives good head,” he quipped, some cheered, and a few loud calls.
“Pa, that’s my fuckin’ mom eh,” Nicole said as she threw a napkin at the old man.
“She’s my wife, how do you think I feel?” Everyone laughed, even Chelle as she knocked her husband’s hat off.
She relaxed, but every so often she would glance up. The window was still dark, but he was in there, she felt his eyes.
“Want to go do some reading?” Nicole asked quietly after a bit had of time had passed. The leprechaun stumbled a bit, as she stood.
“Yeah,” Annabelle answered quick. She said her goodnights, mostly to Greg, and his wife. A few people called for them to stay. She zipped around, spelling ‘Night’ again, and added a shamrock, that made her a little dizzy, to the bottom.
“You’re awesome at that,” Nicole said. “Not just the spelling, but the whole colors, and layers. It’s like a fireworks show, but really close, and pretty.”
“It’s just some dances,” she said with a wave. She danced a bit more though, as they made their way to the back of the lot. She swayed in front of her friend lighting their path as they walked.
“We’d sleep in the house, but they’ll be up ‘til dawn anyway. Likely.”
“It’s fine, I like this room,” she said.
“No one likes this room,” Nicole said. “It’s not even a room, it’s an old shipping container.”
“It’s a warm place to close my eyes, and I’m grateful for it.”
“Easy to please,” she said, and collapsed onto the mattress. She shrank a bit, but she must have been a lot drunker than she looked, as her clothes stayed normal size. She tugged the blanket up, and rolled over, lost in her now oversize shirt. Annabelle flew around the tiny room, the air warmed quickly as she darted around.
She thought she would be more tired, but she just ended up sitting on the pillow, her phone in front of her. She pulled up the internet screen again, and sat cross legged in front of her the giant screen propped against the wall. She started where she had left off, in the page, the screen opened to it on its own. After she read it through a few times, she pushed her palm against one of the blue words, and started
“He wasn’t always that angry,” Nicole said, Annabelle jumped banging her head into the phone’s screen. She ended up clutching her head, and laid on her side. The phone lost it’s balance, and landed on the tiny fairy, nearly covering her. Nicole laughed, and brushed the phone off. “You klutz.”
“You scared me! I thought you were sleeping.”
“Think I can’t handle a little beer?”
“You were snoring,” she replied with a laugh.
“Where are your glasses?” she asked squinting.
“I took them off, they were hurting my face.”
“Get used to them. Be awkward, not seeing stuff.”
“Were you talking about Nicky?”
“No, the other guy that called you a whore.”
“A few of them did,” she said. “I heard them before Greg silenced them.”
“They’re just drunken, an’ everyone always loved him. Saint Nick, or whatever they call ‘im. Wanted him ta be head of clan, after Pa’s gone. Those idjits woulda cheer’d if he said to stuck their dicks in a car door. ”
“He won’t be head of clan? I thought sons were always the next leader?”
“Not always. Glane, she was a hella good leader. No one even remembers ‘er. He doesn’ wan’ it though. Even before all tha’ stupid stuff.” Annabelle figured Nicole might want to tell her what ‘tha stupid stuff’ was considering her drunken state. She decided to change the subject though, before the girl just blurted out. “‘Ran off with a’ Elemental lady.”
“You don’t have to tell me,” Annabelle said. She flew up, and pulled the blanket higher on her friend. “You should get some sleep.”
“Naw, he loves elementals. I mean Fairies too. Merfolk, when he can. He loves ‘special ladies’, he used to say. Jus’ called ‘em special. Said they all were. I don’t juge, I mean I was with Eric all that time.”
“It’s fine Nicole. Not all of my type are good folks.”
“‘Snot fine. You’re nice, all the time, and so fun to just chill with, and he picks out your glasses with the little stars, and then treats you like that?” Nicole tossed the blanket down, and Annabelle grabbed the end, and flew it back to her. “No type is all good folk. Just all folk, and everything else is a person.”
“You put together such nice words.”
“Thanks.” She closed her eyes. “We can call him a dick, in the morning, if you wanna,” she offered.
“We’ll see,” she said, and then curled under the blanket. She grew to match Nicole’s size, so she wouldn’t have to worry about waking up under the leprechaun, and tried to relax.
It was a long time though, before she could sleep. Bits of the night played across her mind. She tried to clear them, but all she could remember was the words, and they held her peace out of reach.
To be continued…
Well, that’s part six. Almost at the end now guys. Hope you’re all having as much reading as I am writing. Next bit out tomorrow.