(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.
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
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 three 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 with the blood. 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…’ Suddenly it was all a bit much to be standing in the middle of a ring of mushrooms and a
gaping wound in one's hand discussing matters with a magical being. But Mr. Pimms rallied. ‘Now see here, you have my wife, and I want
The fairy king, small as he was,
arrogantly looked down his nose at Mr. Pimms.
‘But not the child?’ came the
‘Ah ha!’ said Mr. Pimms
fiercely. ‘So, you do have her!’ Then
his face changed. ‘Child? What child?’
The fairy king merely shrugged his
‘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...
be continued next Sunday…
Part I found here:
Part II found here: https://www.fairystoriesandothertales.com/2022/03/in-which-mr-pimms-becomes-involved.html)