In which Mr. Pimms Decides to Stage a Rescue...

(Part III of Mrs. Pimms Finds a Fairy)
      In affable credit to Mr. Pimms, the true nature of Mrs. Pimms' room did not phase him.  Rather, he decided to take it as a helpful hint that all was not right for Mrs. Pimms.

        The question was: how was it not right?

        Bracing himself ever so slightly, Mr. Pimms began to go over Mrs. Pimms' room, looking for clues.  Several volumes with titles referencing immortals, fairies, and the Fae were stacked neatly on her tidy worktable.  As there were no other books off the shelf, they seemed a good place to start, and when he picked up the first, he saw that there were pages marked.  This did not surprise Mr. Pimms; in fact he found it re-assuring that his tidy, orderly wife was much the same in her capacity as a—he couldn’t bring himself to say ‘witch’—as she was as his wife.
            As he went through all the marked sections in the books, he started to get a very clear picture of what his wife was up to: she had gone looking for fairies.
            But where?
            Mr. Pimms grabbed the stack of books and carried them into the living room.  He sat in his armchair and poured over them.  And by the end of his research he knew where Mrs. Pimms had gone—and also why she hadn’t come home.
                                                                       *     *     *
            Mr. Pimms arrived at the clearing on the edge of the suburban village.  He had triple-checked the books, and it was the only space big enough and mostly hidden from public view.  Mrs. Pimms and he had happened upon it years ago on an evening stroll that took a curious turn off the beaten path.  If it had a ring of mushrooms…
            Yes, it had one.
            It had been the right kind of day, on the right kind of night, and Mr. Pimms had no doubt that hours before, Mrs. Pimms had stood in the middle of the fairy ring before him.  Mr. Pimms took all of this in stride.
            He pulled a small pocket knife out of his trouser pocket.  Opening the blade, he walked into the center of the mushroom ring.  The moon was still casting light on the ring, though it was now waning and would not last long.
            It was now or never.
            Summing a wave of great courage, he put the blade of the small knife against the palm of his hand, until it pierced skin.
            Stifling a yelp, he pulled out the blade, and let large drops of blood fall on the ground.
            ‘Fairy King, I summon you.’
            They were the words one of Mrs. Pimms books had suggested he say, as it had suggested the rite he had performed.  And now he waited.
            Suddenly a small sprite with a crown of flowers on his head appeared in front of Mr. Pimms.
            Mr. Pimms blinked.  He couldn’t help it.
            ‘Why do you bid the Fae come at your demand, mortal?’ said the Fairy King.
            ‘Um,’ said Mr. Pimms, ‘Well, the book, it said… and I thought… but then…’  It was all a bit much to be standing in the middle of mushrooms with a gaping wound discussing matters with a flying tiny being.  But Mr. Pimms rallied.  ‘Now see here, you have my wife, and I want her back.’
            The fairy king, small as he was, arrogantly looked down his nose at Mr. Pimms.
            ‘But not the child?’ came the response.
            ‘Ah ha!’ said Mr. Pimms fiercely.  ‘So, you do have her!’ Then his face changed.  ‘Child?  What child?’
            The fairy king merely shrugged his shoulders.
            ‘You know the price for your wife, I think, if you can bid me attend you.  Mortal for Mortal.  Are you willing to pay it?’
            These words that caused so much grief to Mr. Pimms were spoken with nonchalance by the fairy king.
            Mr. Pimms nodded.
            ‘So be it,’ the fairy king said, and snapped his fingers.
            (to be continued…)


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