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February 26, 2024

When Fairy Tales Come Alive 35

By Lydia Manx

The heavily pierced and tattooed kid behind the counter who had been ringing up the coffees and espresso drinks shouted out that he was going to take a break. One of the two that I had figured out had to be Eddie's trolls shouted out, "Smoke something for me while you're out there, Tig."

The kid named Tig, which couldn't be his real name, and despite the array of ink colors and silver and gold jewelry he wore, blushed and said, "Ah, man. I gave it up cause of Pops."

The troll laughed and said, "Yeah right." The scoffing tone wasn't even hidden, but poking at the now-defensive boy.

"Matt, knock that shit off. I told you I did. My Pops is dying and asked me to give up the smoke at least until he was cremated. Fuck dude, you know that." A slight snarl and Tig was out the door.

Matt shrugged and said, "Whatever."

He looked around and casually said, "Rena, you're up."

Thus I had Eddie's ladies lined up.

Now I knew which of the 'youths' was Matt, so automatically the other one who'd captured my attention had to be Bob. They both appeared to be in their mid-twenties and sported clean shaven faces; slightly shaggy hair on Matt while Bob had nicely-shaped light brown hair. They didn't look as I remembered them, but they both gave off the troll vibe of having cloaked their actual appearance to blend in with the humans. The two women I had scoped out, and now knew which was Rena as she sauntered to the serving side of the counter top ... and that made Adrienne the pouting chick standing in the back of the room. They both had their own pretty girl look going without being over the top.

Slowly sipping our espressos, both Eddie and I kept our mouths shut and just tried to be invisible. There weren't many humans left in the store and I could see the four banished friends were tight. Whatever anger and jealousy they'd had when I'd seen them in their world was long gone, and there was a laid-back posture to the way the four lounged around and watched. They kept constantly looking to each other when nobody else was looking. I think Eddie or I was putting them all on edge. My pendant was nestled between my breasts beneath my shirt so they shouldn't have been able to 'smell' anything on me, but Eddie still had the god-like sculpted features and a slight glow to his eyes if he was looked at closely. And they were looking around the café pretty damn closely.

We were saved more scrutiny when two under-dressed bimbos tottered into the coffee shop. They were glowing also, but not like Eddie. Their youth was vibrantly illuminating their heavily oiled skin. The air that spun past them into the chilly shop was scented with coconut and salt. They didn't have pocketbook puppies, but were wearing high heels, very short shorts and half tops. I could vouch for a bikini top on both of them in lieu of bras, but sincerely doubted they were wearing much more than tans beneath their tiny cotton shorts. Possibly thong bikini bottoms but that wasn't necessarily the case. Both Matt and Bob turned immediately to stare, while Adrienne glowered and Rena went over to help the two girls order. She stood quietly and waited for the girl to order.

"Um, like do you make Frappuccinos?" The slightly taller of the two said in the flat Valley girl tones that meant she truly didn't see Rena in front of her. She was busy glancing out of the corner of her eyes to see if either Matt or Bob had noticed her. Hell, I doubted anyone every missed her. Even had she been fully clothed she was a stunner. I pegged her as late teens, possibly college age. Definitely under twenty-one from the way she moved. A few years in the bars and she'd gain an edge missing in her current state. Her friend wasn't ugly but not the same class of beauty that was currently the rage. She was a slight bit curvier and I could see that she thought she wasn't as beautiful as her friend. A bitterness had begun to line her lips ever so gently; that would overwhelm any prettiness once she clocked a few more years in life. The taller one smirked down to her friend while her eyes flashed to Matt and Bob. She was definitely used to getting anyone she wanted, and was making sure her companion saw what she was trying to reel into her web.

Rena had yet to speak a word, but instead waited for the girl to focus back on her. It wasn't happening right away because a chirping sound suddenly filled the air, and the gal ordering pulled a small cell phone out of the front pocket of her shorts, to my disbelief. I wondered at the kid's own magic because I wouldn't have figured a dime could be inside her pockets.

"Oh, Maggie! Where the hell are you? I mean, girl, you are totally missing the scenery!" She squealed while clutching her friend's shoulder and sharing the phone. For all the attention she was seeking she could have put the call on speaker, but then the dramatic flips of hair and eyes would have been over the top. The girl had to have her props.

Maggie's reply was perfectly audible to all of us in the café and probably all the dogs with good hearing within a half mile radius. "Carolina! You totally ditched me. You and Shelby ran out of school like two hours early. You know, so totally both know that I like have to take that stupid ass math class or I will be totally sitting in summer school baking in all the wrong ways. Bitch." Maggie's voice was nasal and extremely high pitched.

Shelby, the other gal now named, made a show of sticking a finger down her throat and rolling her eyes before piping up with, "Mags, dearest. You suck at math and are so going to summer school. Prepare to be pale and stupid for the rest of the year." There was a gloating tone to her voice and her grin was definitely mean, and she was pretty much uncaring of the fact she was probably hurting the other girl's feelings.

Maggie responded, "Shelby, I totally didn't call your fucking cell. So bite me and then go have another piece of cake so you can totally not fit into your clothes." The taunt hit deep from the rapid flush of anger that rolled over Shelby's face and I saw the blow set her back a step.

"Bitch." Shelby muttered and looked away with tears just on the brim of her eyes. Carolina was oblivious to the by-play of her friends but instead glancing around to see if she was being noticed. She was, but not in the manner she thought. Rena looked ready to reach across the countertop and snatch the cell out of Carolina's hands, while I could see a field of energy building around Adrienne that didn't bode well for anyone in a ten foot circle from the lady. Matt was amused and Bob looked like he was trying to figure out how to separate the two and take one of the bimbos for his own. And I wasn't sure if he wanted to cause pleasure or pain as both elements made up his gaze. He was a troll after all, and their appetites weren't always rational in my world.

Then I chanced a glance over at Eddie and saw that the scene unfolding in front of us was actually feeding something inside his twisted mind. He wasn't even focused on me for a change, but rather somewhere in between everyone in the room. The normal humans were tuned out so noticeably that I guessed one of the two women had cast a quick spell. My heart thumped and I could feel my pendant glowing beneath my shirt. Yeah, there was some sort of neutral spell that had been done without me even seeing it. That alone sent a shiver of concern running over my body. I usually could feel the strong focused buildup of the caster's energy and yet it wasn't in the café with a single source. I resisted jumping up as I concluded it wasn't just one supernatural that had cast the spell, but rather all four of them working together. That had served to dissipate the normal burst effect of a spell.

I could see that I was going to have to be very careful to hide the fact I wasn't being manipulated and controlled by them. Eddie's unfocused eyes made him appear to be under their spell, but I knew my eyes were lively and aware. I dropped the sunglasses perched on the top of my head back onto my nose and turned my head towards the doorway and the view of the street. Nope, nothing to see here folks, I was not watching the drama, just zoned out like the rest of the patrons. I watched Rena out of the corner of my eye and saw that she'd glanced at Eddie and I and from her lack of reaction we might have passed her test -- for now. The bimbos weren't at all bedazzled in any manner by whatever had been spelled, but instead they were posturing and shimmying for all to see. This was so not good.

Tig popped inside, not noticing the girls as he went behind the counter saying, "There's a killer set of waves brewing out there. You guys wanna hit the waves?" His face was open and friendly yet he didn't glance once at the girls but instead was directing his conversation to the trolls.

Both Matt and Bob dropped their predatory stands and said, "Sure. Why not?" Breezy tones from Bob, and Matt nodded his approval.

I found it really peculiar that the trolls weren't staying or even looking at the two girls. It was then that I saw the girls give each other glances, and horror etched their faces. I definitely felt the purr of energy building up, directed mostly by Adrienne, and her eyes were locked onto Carolina's. Carolina suddenly looked mechanical and her smooth moves were gone as she rapidly said, "Go to your math class, Mags. Got to get coffee. Bye." Not waiting for a reply she ended the call and turned off her phone.

Shelby whined, "What the fuck are you doing? You turned off your phone." The horror on her face would have been comical had it been in a movie, but I felt tingles of more power racing over the room and saw the other patrons begin to pack up their belongings and head out the door nearly in complete silence. Eddie and I were the only two left. Bob and Matt rushed out the back with Tig and said they'd be back in a few hours. Rena called out for them to have fun, and it was then that she noticed that Eddie and I were still inside the nearly empty store.

Eddie was still not completely with us as Rena approached our table, leaving the two girls frozen by the register. The lack of conversation allowed me to really hear the background music being piped into the room. The jazz instrumental seemed darker than usual, and gave off a sinister strum of potential changes. I found it distracting and that was intentional. I caught a smirk fly across Adrienne's face as she noticed my shoulders raised with the tension. I consciously relaxed, knowing my eyes were hidden and more than likely giving off my hunter status. Eddie's eyes weren't full blown glowing gems but getting there. He still wasn't focused on the here and now but otherly. It wasn't a good time for him to be off planet in my opinion, but short of stabbing him with a spoon I couldn't see any way to bring him back to the real world.

Rena stopped in front of us and asked, "Isn't there somewhere else you should be?" Her voice was soft and filled with magic. That woke Eddie up.

Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2015-08-31
Image(s) © Lydia Manx and Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
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