Archive for September, 2015
Merlin shoved a crisp peanut butter cookie into his mouth, raised his left hand, mumbled two or three words, crumbs falling down the front of his robe, and made the domed ceiling of his room disappear. The dragons flew toward the opening and began to circle. He drank an entire cup of Orange Daisy tea and poured another. Then he began to pace. Every now and then he dragons called to him, just to let him know they were still there. He waved at them and walked through the shadows they cast on the walls and floor.
“Any news?” asked the White Cat.
“Not yet,” said Edith.
“Dali painted a picture of Tilly with tulips falling out of her mouth and a kangaroo and baby elephant in the background. All of them look as if they are melting.”
“I saw it,” said Edith. “He wanted me to hang it right here,” she said, pointing to the wall next to her. “I told him it was too….”
“Someone is lurking in front of the door,” said the cat, jumping off the counter to the floor, his tail swishing back and forth. “Smells funny.”
“Get back,” hissed Edith, reaching under the counter. “Move!”
The white cat ran behind the counter and peeked around the corner, as Edith walked toward the door, the baseball bat held tightly in one hand. She reached for the doorknob just as the door opened and a young girl, her wings pink and perfect, bumped into her as Edith swung the bat, taking out half the doorjamb.
“I claim sanctuary,” said the girl softly, stepping inside, eyeing the splintered wood.
“What?” said Edith, her heart pounding.
“Sanctuary,” she repeated. “I claim it.”
“But you’re a faerie,” said Edith.
“Yes. I know that.”
“Well, of course, you know that,” mumbled Edith, lowering the bat. “My name is Edith.”
“I’m so very pleased to meet you Miss Edith. I am called Pansy Willow Tree. I’m from the Silver Faerie Court.”
“Are you hungry?” asked Edith.
“No,” smiled Pansy. “But thank you for your kindness.”
“I haven’t done anything yet.”
The White Cat sniffed at the faerie’s legs and the hem of her tunic. Then he wound around her a few times, rolled onto his back and began to purr.
“I saw the dragons circling,” said Pansy. “I knew Merlin would be here.”
“Why would you think that?” asked Edith suspiciously.
“I came to help.”
“Help with what?”
“I want to help Merlin stop the faerie’s from subjugating the human race.”
“MERLIN,” shouted Edith, once again.
“Yes, yes,” he answered, his slipper slapping against the heels of his feet. “What is it?”
“Three uninvited Fae were at the party,” said Edith. “Cheshire saw them.”
“How did they get through the wards?”
“I thought YOU might know the answer to that,” said Edith, a sharp edge to her voice.
Tilly snickered and looked down at her feet.
“What’s so funny?” asked Merlin, rubbing his face with his hands.
“You two are like an old married couple,” said Tilly, grinning. “Except for the old part.”
“She won’t marry me,” sighed Merlin. “Believe me, I’ve asked her enough times.”
“Really?” said Tilly, surprised.
“Really,” he nodded.
“WHAT ABOUT THE FAE?” said Edith loudly.
“CC,” said Merlin.
The cat became visible immediately.
“CC?” asked Tilly.
“That’s what he calls him,” said Edith. “It’s short for Cheshire Cat.”
“Got it,” said Tilly.
“How did they get in?” asked Merlin, staring at the cat.
The cat gave him one of his famous smiles and then started to lick his paw.
“Fine,” said Merlin, lifting his hand. He made a quick sign in the air and the cat sat up and started at him. “How did the uninvited Fae get into the bookstore?”
“Can he teach me to do that?” whispered Tilly. Edith glared at her.
“Alice brought them,” hissed the cat. “The Mad Hatter helped her.”
Merlin and Edith started at each other. “How?” he asked the cat.
“Hatter wrote a new chapter to Alice’s book and she stuck the pages into the last chapter when she was here last month.”
“How is that possible?” asked Edith, in hushed tones.
“It isn’t,” said Merlin. “I’ll give you one more chance to tell me how they got in and if you don’t answer me truthfully you will find yourself on an ice floe with no way to get back to civilization.”
“Fine,” said the cat, huffily. “It was easy. They just walked in. The Fae have been working on a new glamour, one that fools magick into believing they are human. Last night was a test.”
“That can’t be good,” said Tilly, looking at Merlin.
“Understatement,” said Merlin, distractedly.
“Well, you can just put new wards up,” said Edith. “New spells, new wards and everything will be fine.”
“Worldwide,” said Merlin. “No one is safe.”
“But you can do it, right?” smiled Tilly. “I mean you are MERLIN, after all.”
“Send the dragons to my rooms,” he ordered. “Edith, I need tea and something sweet to eat.”
Tilly ran from the room, tripped over the fringe on the oriental rug in the next room and fell into the lap of Dali. He woke with a start and said, “I will paint you melting from embarrassment, red, with tulips falling from your lips.”
“Whatever,” said Tilly, taking off once again.
“Can you do it?” asked Edith, staring at Merlin.
“I can,” he said. “I just hope I can do it fast enough.”