Faerie Ring

“Pixies?” Drake asked when Gwen walked into the store, her hair a truly remarkable shade of purple that seemed to glow.

“Pixies,” she said darkly, beelining for the minor curse breakers in the back of the shop. It was his best seller. “The little pests set up a Ring right outside my back door and cursed me when I stepped into it when I took out the trash this morning!”

The lesser fae were a nuisance, but generally not powerful enough to be a real danger. Fortunately, the greater Fae were rare. “I have some repellant too, if you want it,” he offered, and laughed when the woman snatched it out of his hand and dumped it into her growing basket of supplies. “Big yard, huh?”

“Decent,” Gwen said. She was a witch, and a frequent customer of Drake’s magic shop. “I’ve been putting in my annual herbs. The basil is lovely this year.”

“Bring me a few bunches of herbs and I’ll let you have first pick of the next crystal shipment,” he offered in reply. Nearly half his business was in trade. “Pixie wings too, if you happen to come across them.”

“No I don’t want to kill them,” Gwen admitted finally. “Well, I do, but not like that. Kill too many and you get a Red Cap sniffing around.”

“True,” he agreed. His shop and the apartment above were warded against the lesser Fae- not much would stop one of the greater ones if they decided to be a problem- and he knew he problems of the predatory tier of the common ones. Red Caps were a particular problem, since they could and would hunt children if they could. “You hear there was a Rusalka down in the river by the park?”

“No, tell!” Gwen said, depositing her haul on the counter for him to ring up. “Oh I could use a coffee with Prosperity too. Job interview this afternoon.”

“Sure, no problem,” Drake agreed, loading everything into Gwen’s canvas bag after handing back her change. He made the coffee quickly and delicately sprinkled glittering honey dust on top in the shape of a prosperity rune. “Yeah, turns out she’s one of the good ones. Saved a kid who fell in. Don't think we even would have known she was there except for that.”

“Not a lot to do about a Rusalka except be polite,” Gwen agreed as she opened the counter curse and poured the little packet of herbs over her head with a muttered word. The herbs dissolved, taking the vivid purple with it. Done, she took the coffee and made an appreciative noise of pleasure. “What are they doing about it”

The river spirits could be very dangerous when they were offended, but not all of them hunted humans.

“I think her section is getting cordoned off to keep stupid people away from her, but she seems happy to hang out in the park. Rumor has it she’ll babysit sometimes,” Drake supplied. He didn't really think that was a good idea, but some parents had a strange opinion about how dangerous the greater Fae were, and what they would do for the possibility of a Fae blessing on their child. “If she doesn't eat them, we’ll be seeing a lot of water magic around here soon.”

“Could be worse,” Gwen said, shouldering her bag, coffee in hand as she left. “Could be a dragon!”