“Why didn’t you tell me?” asked Tilly, a shocked and sad look on her face.
“There are some things one needs to find out for herself,” said Edith.
“I just never thought…”
“Thought that they were the ultimate predator? Vicious killers?”
“Yes, I never thought that,” said Tilly.
“Well they are,” said Edith calmly. “If they were bigger they could take down a full grown velociraptor. They never stop eating. They can fly backward, forward and upside down. They get almost one hundred percent of their prey and they do it, not by chasing it, but by knowing where it will be. They fly ahead and wait for the prey to arrive. They capture their prey, crush it and eat it. They have serrated teeth and their mouths open to the size of their head so they can eat everything they catch. They have thirty thousand eye facets and a three hundred and sixty degree view of the world. In other words, they can see EVERYTHING at the same time. They can focus on one thing and see everything else. Their wings work independently of each other, they can hover, eat while in the air and they can swarm. As I said, they are the ultimate predator and if they were bigger, all that would be left of us would be a few cave paintings because they would have eaten us before we could have done anything else. The larger ones still bite us and the babies begin killing immediately. Adults eat butterflies, when pressed, and they eat smaller dragonflies, if they have to. Most of the time they eat a lot of flies and misquotes.”
“How do the faeries tame them?”
“They don’t. They put spells on them. There’s no way to tame a dragonfly. If the spell breaks the dragonfly will eat the faerie,” said Edith. “It’s what they do.”
“What’s wrong with Tilly?” asked Chicago, dropping more ashes onto the counter.
“She just got back from visiting the dragonfly stable,” said Edith, scraping the ashes into the bin.
“Ah,” said Chicago, putting her arm around Tilly. “I’m so sorry. We are all shocked when we find out what they are, believe me.”
“But they’re so pretty,” moaned Tilly. “I just thought they were sweet and loving.”
“No Til,” said Chicago. “They’re killers.”
“You look beautiful this morning,” said Merlin, popping into view next to Edith. “What’s wrong with Tilly?”
“Dragonflies,” said Chicago.
“I see,” said Merlin reaching out to touch Edith. “Sorry Tilly, they would kill you in a minute if they were a bit larger.”
Edith slapped his hand away and grabbed a donut off the plate on the corner of the counter. “You always know just what to say,” she hissed.
“What?” said Merlin. “It’s true,” he continued, handing Tilly a donut covered with sprinkles, grabbing a chocolate covered one for himself. “They’ed kill all of us if they could.”
“Any news on the war?” asked Chicago.
“I have a meeting with the King of the Silver Court tomorrow at noon. We are going to discuss the issues.”
“What does that mean?” asked Tilly.
“It means he’s going to give me his demands and tell me what he wants,” answered Merlin, licking the frosting off of his fingers, then he grabbed Edith’s hand and tried to lick the frosting off of her fingers as well.
“STOP THAT,” said Edith. “You’re so needy for a wizard.”
“I’m not needy, I’m in love.” smiled Merlin. “Surely you know the difference.”
“Over a thousand faeries moved in last night and more might be coming,” said Edith, straightening the papers in front of her. “Blue Bell said they don’t want war.”
“The overwhelming majority of faeries do not want war,” said Princess Pansy, flying to the counter. “We don’t wan’t to enslave or live among humans.”
“I get that,” said the White Cat, leaping into Edith’s arms. “Humans break easily, they tear, can barely see or hear, they’re slow and they can’t fly or even leap to the top of a bookcase. They need to be warm and they don’t do well in the dark. Most of all, they have very few skills, other than their natural ability to destroy everything around them.”
“While true,” said Pansy, ” that’s not the point. The Faerie Nation doesn’t want war, the few faeries in power do. Those with power don’t care about what the rest of us want and if they declare war, the faeries will be forced to fight.”
“Is there any chance of averting the war,” asked Edith, staring at Merlin.
He shrugged. “There’s always a chance, no matter how slim.”
Pansy stepped forward and handed Merlin a tiny red feather. “When you meet with my father tomorrow, give this to him and tell him that if he declares war he will be fighting against the daughter he said he loved. It is difficult, almost impossible, for faeries to reproduce and it won’t work in his favor if I am killed by his own hand.”
“Pansy,” said Merlin.
“Do it,” she said. “My mother would never forgive him if I was hurt, or killed, and never is a long time where I come from.”
“Thank you,” said Merlin. “I will do as you ask.”
Pansy bowed and disappeared.
The White Cat rolled out of Edith’s arms onto the counter. “You people,” he said. “If you just napped more and played with mice you wouldn’t have all these problems.”
“He’s right,” said Chicago, laughing.
“Well,” said Merlin, “tonight is the last night of the convention, so the party should be spectacular. “In the meantime, I’m going to talk to the dragons and do some war things. Edith, my love, I’m wearing tight and torn blue jeans and a tight black t-shirt that reads MAGICK ROCKS, so if you want to coordinate your clothing…”
“Have fun with the dragons,” sighed Edith, shaking her head.
“The t-shirt is really tight, so are the jeans,” he snickered, “and I’m wearing my cowboy boots, just so you know.
Chicago and Tilly burst into giggles and Merlin walked away smiling.
Cat walked in and sat next to the White Cat. “Humans,” he said. “They live in the moment and are ready to party even though they are on the brink of war.”
“I thought I saw you go into the Philosophy Department again,” hissed the White Cat.
“I like it in there,” he said. “It’s quiet and I can read in peace.”
“I’m going to find a warm lap,” said the White Cat, standing up. “Want to come along?”
“No thanks,”answered the cat, rubbing against White Cat’s side. “I’m going to stay here and see what happens next.”