What a hag is not, and my apologies to Ancram

The fourth installment, folks. While I still don’t have a title, I do have a setting. Hooray for every small victory, right?


“Twinkle,” Sledge said in warning, her voice pitched low. “We have a job to do.”

“Well, she’s not making it easy.”

Sledge flitted beside the blue orb, her glow muting and coalescing into the shape of a female. A winged female. “Think of what is at stake. Don’t you want to go home? I do.”

The red lightning ceased and Twinkle turned a lighter shade of blue. “Very well.”

Morgaine relaxed.

Sledge stayed beside Twinkle until he was the shade of a summer’s day at high noon before flitting in front of Morgaine’s nose. “Well? Are you ready?”

Morgaine’s eyes crossed. “Ready? For what?”

Sledge sighed and turned back to Twinkle. “You got your wish. Are you happy now? Our hag is stupid.”

You’d rather she’s stupid. I was hoping for epilepsy.”

The scowl returned to Morgaine’s brows. “I am not stupid. Or blind. Or deaf. Or a hag.”

Pearlescent lightning flashed in Twinkle’s nimbus. “So there’s still a chance you’re epileptic?”

Morgaine’s voice dropped a few hundred degrees. “No.”

Both she and Twinkle yelped as Sledge head-butted them in turn.

“Twinkle, focus. Remember the job?” Sledge turned back to Morgaine. “You’re a hag because you summoned us. You want a name to go with the title? Earn it. Start by getting out of bed because we have to go.”

Morgaine swung her legs off the bed. “Where?”

Sledge heaved a long-suffering sigh, then spoke very slowly. “What. Did. You. Wish. For?”

I’m going to see Mother! She slid into a pair of bunny slippers beside her bed. “What? Now? But it’s the middle of the night.”

“Daytrips are for sissies.” Twinkle flitted to the crystal vase of fresh-cut flowers on the ivory-inlaid rosewood table at the foot of her bed. “I think this will do, Sledge.”

“But it’s the middle of the night in New York City.” Morgaine glanced in the mirror, noting her pillow-crushed curls. “And I can’t go anywhere looking like this. Nurse would kill me.”

“At least it’s not Ancram.” Twinkle shuddered. “Nothing’s as bad as Ancram.”

Sledge flitted around her head for a moment. “Looks fine to me.” She flew to the vase. “Is your bathroom floor perfectly level?”

“I think so.” Morgaine approached the vase of lush, odorless hothouses roses. “Why?”

“Grab the vase and meet us there.” Two glowing puffballs flew to the bathroom. The pink orb hovered for a moment. “Well? Hurry up, night’s wasting.”

Morgaine grasped the vase with both hands and made her way to the granite-tiled bathroom adjoining her bedroom. By the time she got there, Twinkle and Sledge had gotten the lamb hide bath rug out of the way.

Twinkle flew by her right ear. “You need to smash it. Hard.”

“But –“

Sledge flew to her left ear. “Listen to me. I know this place nowhere near as dangerous as Ancram, but it’s dangerous all the same. Not just for you, but for all of us. If you want us to grant your wish, you’ll have to do precisely what, how and when we say. If this is beyond you, then return to bed and pretend we’re just vivid dreams induced by excessive nocturnal lactose consumption. Your choice.” She flitted away. A tiny fairy foot tapped the air with impatience. “Well? We don’t have all night.”


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