SPG: December, Part 2/4

CeceliaIsaac_StPaulGrimoire

St. Paul Grimoire is an urban fantasy serial that updates weekly. Each month will cover a self-contained story told over four parts.
It will not be overly edited, and character arcs and plotlines could be adjusted with your feedback! Let me know what you think!

“Augh! The fuck is this?” Dakotah yelled in horror.

“You don’t like it?” asked Florelle.

Dakotah’s eyebrows arched. She sounded genuinely befuddled by his reaction.

The sprite still wore her white wedding dress. Dakotah was beginning to suspect the fact the dress was white and worn to her wedding was purely coincidence. That or she hadn’t had time to grab a change of clothes before running off. He hadn’t gotten much out of either of his new guests in the week they’d been at the shop.

And now this. Florelle had gotten to the stone cats who watched over his threshold– and done their hair.

One cat’s fur had been spiked with a green gel. It mewed and licked at its usually grey fur. The other had been shaved, the remaining fur styled to look like a lion’s mane.

His chill watch-cats, who had saved his life more than once. All dignity gone.

Pete’s laugh pealed from the open door. She’d come in with her backpack slung over a shoulder.

“They’re aDORable,” she insisted.

“Thank you, Hero,” Florelle said.

Dakotah, Phin, Pete and Val all looked at the sprite. Her reverent tone had been clear.

“Some hero,” muttered Val. She pushed by Pete and brushed by the front counter, decidedly ignoring the new grimoire. It was about sprites. She went straight for the back table where they liked to do homework. Pete and Phin, however, remained at the desk to talk to Dakotah about the violent fight that had happened at Central that day. They were only chased away when a customer strolled in.

Dakotah had had few customers in the month since officially reopening the shop. He left his friends to be attentive.

To Valene’s dismay, Florelle had followed. She was jabbering on about Phin and Pete being Heroes.

“You must be so helpful to the Guardian,” she drooled. “Do you see many amazing things? We sprites have been scattered lately, but even we heard of Sunil’s banishment.”

Val rolled her eyes and turned to her phone.

“We try,” said Phin, who had the grace to be embarrassed. They were figuring things out with Dakotah, they weren’t saving the day every minute.

Pete asked politely, “Where’s your husband?”

“Upstairs,” said Florelle with a shrug. “He reads a lot. I prefer to get my hands dirty, practicing my craft.”

Val snorted and looked up. “Your craft? You mean what you did to the cats?”

Florelle turned her chin up haughtily at Val’s tone. “I am a licensed cat stylist. One must take risks in order to stay abreast of fashion.

“I know about fashion,” Valene insisted. “And green gel is not going to be in anytime soon.”

Florelle smiled. “That’s why it’s a risk. If you want to have anything to do with fashion, you can’t look good all the time. That’s just following the trend.”

Pete watched with amusement as Florelle and Val’s argument turned into a detailed discussion of trends versus classic elegance versus pushing the envelope. Five minutes later they were still talking and Pete had started on her homework.

~*~

“See, sprites don’t wear white when getting married, so I took the style of a sprite dress, but sewed it of cobwebs and starlight–”

“Right,” said Val, not sure she understood.

“So it’s traditional but edgy. Then I sewed a matching outfit for my cat so I could ride her with style–”

“You ride cats?” Val interrupted.

“Cats are revered. That’s how I can make my living being a cat stylist, it’s a lucrative field. My glamour makes me taller and wider, but in my true sprite form I’m thin as a blade of grass and cats are the perfect size for riding.”

“So where is your cat now?”

Florelle pulled a sad face. “She ran in the opposite direction of the Sanctuary so my mum would get confused and lose our trail. It’s worked I guess, since mum isn’t here yet. But then, neither is Faunet.”

“Your mom didn’t want you to marry Obie?”

“Sprites have rules, you see. On everything. Who we marry and what we do for a living and how many books we have to read. Obie and I never liked all that, and when we met, we knew we’d break those laws for each other.”

“That’s SO romantic.”

The sprite smiled. “Of course, we can’t stay here forever, and my mum will find us eventually.”

“Dakotah will protect you,” Val said, a confidence of tone mixed with a feeling of uncertainty.

“Ay,” sighed the sprite. “In the old days it was easier, when the Seelie Court would mediate for us.”

Val shut the book she’d barely glanced at. “Why won’t the Seelie Court mediate now?”

“It has disbanded,” the sprite said simply. “Now we sprites are forced to interpret our own laws, and everyone disagrees on how to explain them. Some would say I’ve done no wrong by marrying Obie, since he’s above my rank. I’ve improved my station. But mum would insist he’s got no future. I myself don’t understand the laws well enough to argue for myself.”

Val glanced toward the front of the store. “Dakotah and I will figure something out.”

Later, Dakotah gathered his things and slipped them into his bag. Val waited for him to reach for the shop keys before sliding the sprite grimoire into her backpack. He’d never notice it was gone if she did some late-night reading. If anything held answers for Florelle and Obie, this book was it.

 

My novel TURQUOISEBLOOD is out soon! Learn about it here!

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