short story chapters
|It was Tuesday, early in the morning as Lyra bustled around her shop. She flicked her right index finger to set the potions in motion, causing their ladels to stir at a casual pace. Grabbing a feather duster she began to clean the shelves, trying to get anything that she may have missed the night before. Although rare, Lyra never knew when she might find something a little less exciting located in a corner she counldn't reach.
Since no one was within eye distance of her, as well as outside the store, she fluttered her wings and began to hover around. She couldn't understand why people just walked on their legs. It was alright, but she prefered to float around and scan the room with a broader view. She had always been that way, and it fit. Unfortunately, her wings stopped causing her to fall behind the counter when the door's entrance bell tinkled. A young man, probably early twenties with large glasses, a comic t-shirt, and jeans walked in. He seemed like a curious fellow, looking at every little object and shiny thing that caught the sunlight. He was about to touch a crystal point when Lyra squealed, "Don't touch that!"
She pulled herself up from behind the counter, walking around to be able to see him better. The gave her a quizical look and pulled his hand away from the object in question.
"Is there anything I can assist you with?" Lyra said, her infectiously bubbly charm filling her voice. The boy blushed for a second and nodded while shuffling his feet.
"I-I'm looking for a love potion." He said. Lyra raised an eyebrow. Sighing, she pointed to a card near a set of magenta bottles.
'Love Potions: These potions are a good friend when it comes to one night stands as well as a bit of romance for the lonely. Only works for one night. no exchanges or refunds acceptable.'
The boy smiled and grabbed a bottle and brought it to the counter.
"There's a girl I'm trying to win a girl's heart at school."
"And by win, you mean trick I take it?" Lyra thought it was very cute that he was going to try and play the vague game with her.
"Of course not! Its just difficult to get her to notice me when she's one of the preppy ones. Like, she is my goddess and I want her to know I'm here to be hers. "
"Wow, she must be a real winner to land such a...unique man such as yourself."
Lyra finished the sale and placed the cash in the drawer, hanging him his change. The kid smiled and dashed out the store, allowing the fairy to sigh heavily. She could already see where this was going to end up, and a box of chocolates wasn't going to help him any.
It was a time later that she had closed down for lunch, looking down the list that the demon fellow had given her. She had to remember where she knew him from. It was already strange enough that they shared the same last name, and he looked strikingly family. Could he be her brother? Although, the likelihood of that was slim as fae and demonfolk didn't really reproduce with each other. She placed her finger on the section that contained brimstone and dialed up a number she had in her little book of numbers by her register.
"Hey, Giles, do you have any brimstone lying around? I'd like to place an order for a large amount to fill my stock and I'd really appreciate it."
"Sure thing, Lyr. Anything else you need me to drop off, maybe some toadstools?"
"Nah, just the brimstone for now. Thanks a lot Giles, you're pretty sweet for a hobgoblin."
"yeah, well don't tell nobody. I don't need the guys thinking I've gone soft for a fairy."
"You got it then. So, see you in a few days?" Lyra laughed as she heard him rummaging around in the background.
"yeah yeah, in a few days. I'll try and come earlier if I get the chance, but you know me."
"Alright then hun. Take care." Lyra said, handing up the phone. Giles was a sweet guy for a hobgoblin, which was rare especially in this community. She had been going to him for matierials since she had opened the Amber Rose, and he has come in from time to time to buy back a few things to help with little spells here and there. Lyra was one to make sure her friends, and customers, were well taken care of in a time of need.
Needles to say, it seemed that the boy that had appeared earlier gave her a bad vibe, and she had the distinct feeling that was not the last time she would be seeing him. Her wings twinged with her nervousness.
"Sebastian!" Maya called from the other room. Sebastian groaned as he lifted himself off of the couch, yawning widely. The girl walked into the loft smelling of bathsalts and lavender, her aqua hair cascading in curls over her shoulders. She smiled at him, leaning down to kiss his cheek. "Mornin'"
"What time is it?" Sebastian sighed, sitting up to allow her a spot on the couch. She sat next to him and started tapping her fingers on his chest playfully. He smiled and kissed her forehead.
"its almost a quarter to 9. Sundown was at 6:30 today." Maya was very concientous of his need to sleep during the day, which was something that Sebastian greatly appreciated in her. Shy yet determined, Maya would do what she could to help if she needed to. Being a vampire/lycan hybrid wasn't easy for the man of 6'-4, with maroon hair and bright yellow eyes. He held the mermaid close and laid her head on his shoulder.
"Thanks babe. How much longer do you plan on staying up?" He lifted her chin to kiss her gently. She blushed and giggled warmly.
"I have the next day off, so I plan on staying up for a little while. Lyra wanted me to mix up a special bath just for her. Been having a really stressful week lately."
Maya was Lyra's best friend since the Great Horizon, and because she was the owner of the town's more luxurious spa, Maya would often go to the Amber Rose to gather herbs and other materials to make her waters desireable. In the process, Lyra had a place to run to where she didn't have to deal with haphazard spells and crazy customers, or whatever else ailed her. Recently from what Maya was told when she last spoke to Lyra, the fairy had encountered a demon who had placed an order for a summoning ritual. Maya knew that was already a stressful subject as it was, as well as he had apparently dropped down a large sum of money that would make a goblin's nose run with excitement.
"Well, it will be good for her. Plus, it gives you two some girl time while I am on business in the middle of the night." Sebastian yawned and then stood up, heading towards the fridge to grab a glass bottle containing a viscous red liquid. "Ah, cold and fresh. Babe, you always know how to take care of me."
"Well of course! I mean, the blood bank is near Lyra's as well as it is the only one that seems to ever have your particular favorite in stock. Since I can't donate right now due to needing some time to recoup from the last one, it was the least I could do." She said smiling. Sebastian winced a little bit. He knew that it was taxing on her considering that being a faery folk as well, she didn't have the resiliance a human did. However, she never gave up on him and would do what she could until she felt she could be of use. He couldn't express it enough that just having her and loving her was enough for him without her putting herself and her health in danger.
"Well, either way Maya, you're the best thing that's happened to me." He said. She blushed, his favorite sheepish grin appearing on her face.
"Even before the Great Horizon?" She asked. The Great Horizon had been the day of awakening for the magickal community. It was when the veil had suddenly broke and those who were sleeping spirits awoke. Sebastian nodded his head.
"Very much so. I was very lonely as a human, as well as what I am before I met you. I have had other partners before but none that could actually make me feel more alive than even back then."
Maya stood up from the couch and ran towards him, her beautiful amber eyes glinting as tears rolled down her face as she hugged him tightly. He could tell she had been lonely too, and especially after the change, it had been hard for her to cope without the proper facilities to understand what had happened to her body. Around the same time he could remember her meeting Lyra, who had fashioned a pendent containing enchanted ocean water that hung around Maya's neck. With it, she didn't have to consistently stay in the water. She was able to walk freely and do as she pleased without being sick or worse. Sebastian had thought that a very noble action, as it was the only one Lyra would do since it concerned metals that were painful for the Fae to touch.
"Things have changed since the Great Horizon. People are still taking their time to awaken, and some just don't have a clue." Sebastian took a sip from his bottle and rubbed her shoulders.
"Oh, that reminds me! I had a few people awaken during the baths yesterday. It seems to be one of the conditions for doing so. Or at least, the ability to spiritually relax is one. Bathing is just fun in general."
"Well,if you're still up by the time I get off work, we'll take one together. Gods know I've been needing some time to relax with my girl." he said, winking as he finished the bottle, tossing it in the trash and running to the bedroom to get ready. Maya shook her head smiling and began to clean the kitchen, preparing herself dinner as he ran out the door. She didn't know how she ended up with a guy like him, but personally she didn't really care. Her cards had been played by fate, and she was perfectly happy with them.
She fondled her pendant affectionately, tracing her fingers around the glass shape of a sea shell, the water within giving her a warm and comforting feeling. So much time had passed it seemed since the Great Horizon, that she had forgotten about her human years. For a moment she reminisced, remember the interesting times of not having magick and having to scrape by on what she could as a waitress. When she awoke all that changed, as she found great joy in opening up a spa and helping those who needed a boost of energy. There was nothing she could want with a wonderful job, and an even better man.
For the next several days, the boy who had bought the love potion returned, this time grabbing a couple of bottles each time. He kept saying that he's going steady and that she's really digging him, but Lyra got the distinct feeling there were some interesting shenanigans taking place. He no longer seemed awkward, or well as awkward as when he wasn't getting a woman's attention. However, a faint dark odor followed him, like sour magick. Unable to place her finger on it, Lyra watched from a distance and made sure not to stick her nose where it didn't belong. The end of the week had approached and Lyra had made sure all the ingredients were packaged properly when Blake entered through the door, the bell tinkling furiously.
Sulfur filled Lyra's nose, forcing her to duck under the counter for a second and cough. When she popped back up, Blake was standing there gazing at the packages all neatly stacked next to each other.
"What a wonderful job you've done. I knew I was coming to the right girl when I asked for your help."
Lyra became a little irritated at being refered to as a "girl". She wasn't that young and she didn't like being yanked around by a red horned idiot.
"I make it an effort to be good at my job and what I do." She said. She then pulled a large wad of cash from her apron pocket and then slammed it onto the counter. "I wanted to talk to you about this. What the hell are you playing at dropping two grand on my counter when two hundred and fifty is perfectly capable of covering the cost of your purchase?" She said, her face turning red as Blake imagined steam billowing from her ears. It was cute.
"I was mearly wanted to be generous. Consider it a downpayment on future services pending." He said with a cool smile. Lyra didn't buy it.
"I'm not sure I quite want your services to be honest. Not only does it seem sketchy you're going to drop this much money on me when you know well enough that its a whole lot more than an honest business woman like myself can handle. What are you playing at?"
"Calm down my dear. It looks like you need a bit more help when it comes to some of these materials and I couldn't help myself but to see if I could aid the cute fairy in her efforts."
Lyra blushed. Cute was not the term she wanted to be referred to by at the current moment.
"Well, why is your Boss to kean on you summoning him this way? I remember you mentioning he didn't like paying the travel fees, but considering that magickal distance is different from human distance, I get the feeling that he's just lazy."
"You're very astute." Blake said casually. "Yes, he is a bit lazy in his efforts but he makes up for it with progress. Not all great civilizations grew up overnight. They needed some time to rest and relax before they appeared so as to blend in with the rest of the world. We both know how that is since the Great Horizon." He looked down and noticed a small scar on Lyra's left hand. She immediately noticed he was looking at her so she quickly coverd her ring finger. "Were you married?" He asked quietly.
Lyra shook her head.
"Not that I am aware of. I remember waking up with my hand burning brighter than the sun. I realized that someone had placed the metal ring on my finger in my sleep somehow so I removed it and chucked it out the window. Not a nice trick to play in my opinion." She sighed, rubbing the scar, almost fondly, taking in the smell of smoked leather and charcoal. She didn't know why she enjoyed his smell so much. He laughed and walked over to the couch and sat down.
Lyra squealed angrily when he placed his feet on the coffee table.
"The hell do you think you're doing?!" She screeched.
"Relaxing" Blake responded cooly.
"I don't think so. Who knows where your feet have been, and that was not an easy coffee table to make you brute!"
"you should try something new." he said, ignoring her frustration. "The whole brewing potions thing is so medieval. You'd have a much easier time if you did something current. Everyone's going crazy over the gummy vitamins kick. Why not make some infused with your magickal goodness and sell them on the market?"
"Are you daft? Seriously? You want me to make gummies, and toss all my hard work out the window. The reason why my potions are potent is because of the time and effort I take to make them. I mean, I'm not going to sell a product that is going to cause a customer's life to go haywire, even if its something small. Give me one good reason why I should even take that suggestion with a grain of salt. Wait, speaking of which," she said, grabbing the container of salt and adding a dash to her currently brewing potion. Blake chuckled.
"Why are you so worried? Once they leave your store, its none of your responsibility to take care of."
"That shows what little you know. If I sell it, I am responsible. I want to ensure my customer is in the best care."
"But its not your problem."
Seconds later there was a loud crash as the front of the store exploded, the nerdy boy from before diving under tables and yelling at the top of his lungs. Lyra for a moment gazed at him with shock, soon followed by anger, and then quickly followed by fear as a young stantily clad woman walked into the building. She appeared young, her appearance altered only by the fact she had purple eyes, a snakes tongue, and small horns upon her head. Lyra caught wind of the woman's scent, and realized what exactly had followed the boy. He had apparently tried to tango with a succubi and she did not want to let him go.
"You're already going to another woman?!" She screamed, reaching down and grabbing the boy by the ear. "We're going home." she said, dragging him out the know destroyed entrance.
"I promise I won't use those for evil anymore if someone saves me!" he screamed, not liking the fact that the tables had turned on him. Lyra shot Blake an angry look and pointed out the hole.
"Now THAT is my business." She said, summoning her bag and quickly stocking a few items to help aid her in her efforts to rescue the dumbass. Blake looked at her in shock.
"you're not seriously going after them."
"Got a better idea?" Lyra had changed from sweet and nervous, to furious and determined. Blake scoffed and folded his arms against his chest. "Thought so. Well, while you're here lounging on my couch in my now ruined shop you can make yourself useful by cleaning up around her. I gotta go play round up." With a quick sigh and roll of her eyes, Lyra ran out the door, her sneakers making light taps upon the concrete outside.
Blake was beside himself as he sit in the now lonely shop. Irritated that the fairy had put him in his place, he began working furiously on cleaning everything, including fixing the damage front half of the building. That blasted fairy better be grateful when she gets back.