“No time,” I think as I reach back into the car for a weapon, any weapon. But what kind of weapon do you use to fight a six and a half foot tall man throwing blue energy bolts at you?
Okay, so, he probably isn't a man. Give me a break here - something that looks like a man, a very tall man at that, is hurling deadly energy blasts at me. I know they're deadly because the ones that have missed have fused chunks of the parking lot gravel into, well, fused gravel. Luckily for me, he seems to be looking for something and I'm no more than an annoyance to be brushed away.
I don't want to be brushed away though. I rather like me and the little life I lead. Sure, I could use some more money, maybe better looks, a nice car...
“Remington!” yelled Alyssa. “Now would be a good time.”
The bad energy guy was turning toward us and his right hand was glowing with crackling, blue plasma. I only have time to reach in to scoop up a handful of small pebbles and slide a golf club out of the 1930s canvas and leather Wilson golf bag I keep behind the driver's seat. Not just any golf club mind you. This beauty has a hickory shaft, leather wrapped grip and a hand-forged head. It's a Hendry and Bishop niblick.
Hendry and Bishop, Ltd. was a golf club company in the first third of last century. One of the biggest in the world for a while. Big, in this case, didn't mean shoddy though. Take this club – the hickory shaft is still straight and doesn't have any cracks, the leather grips are original and the metal head is a deliciously perfect with a dark brown patina. It takes years to acquire that kind of patina.
Time slows down like a car crash as his hand swings forward. It's not just everything slowing down, it's slow and fast at the same time. As his hand swings forward and a blast of energy leaps from it, I toss the pebbles in the air. As his blast collides with the pebbles, there's a thunderous boom like a wave crashing on a rocky shore and the blue energy vaporizes into a light mist.
“How...” Says Alyssa. She's looking up at me from the ground. Her eyes have that look. You know the look you get when people discover that you're not just a bumbling idiot? No? Well, I get it a lot.
“What did you do?” she asks.
I mean give me some credit. I'm not gonna just lob some pebbles at a pissed off Faerie. Yeah, I sort of figured him for one of the Fay, but I wasn't sure till just now. That was Faerie Fire or I'm a monkey's...oh never mind. Just trust me, it was.
Anyway, witch's stones are stones that have a hole naturally worn through their center. They look a bit like Lifesavers, which in a way they are. Witches hang them about their property for protection. I found mine along the beach. Hence the whole wave crash thing with the energy blast.
I could explain this to Alyssa, but we've got big problems now. You don't just knock down a Fay's Faerie Fire without him noticing. I could feel his rage pulsing. If there's anything the Fay don't like, it's mortals using magick.
“Wizard!” The whites of his eyes were flashing red.
I have just enough time to aim the handle end of my golf club at the Fay before he tosses another blue bomb our way. Aged hickory makes a really nice wand and wands are handy for focusing power. I plant my feet and feel the warm, earth energy flow up at the same time he hurls a blast our way. I'm just able to deflect it. My wrist, elbow and arm scream with pain at the blow. There's a lot of energy being thrown around. This is one powerful Fay.
If he keeps tossing Faerie Fire at us, we could be toast really soon. Again we get lucky and he charges forward with a yell.
He can probably tear me apart with his hands. Contrary to what you may have heard, faeries aren't cute and delicate. They are pretty darn strong. As he rushes toward me, I flip the club around, pull back and swing it at his head. There's a dull thud as the club connects with his head. He gives me a startled look and falls with a thud.
Alyssa is looking at me with wide eyes.
“Scottish iron in this club,” I say. “Faeries don't deal with iron real well and this is hand-forged, Scottish iron. Don't think he was expecting that.”
“Faeries don't deal...” I start.
Alyssa is looking at me like I'm nuts. I'm used to this, a lot of people have this reaction, but this isn't how I had hoped the day would go. I sigh to myself and try to think of the best way to explain all this.
Most people go their entire lives without ever having to know there's more to this world than what we see. Few people ever have any dealings with supernatural beings and those who have usually find a way to rationalize it away.
I know this isn't going to go good. It's too bad, I really like this girl.
“That,” I say, pointing at the dead Fay. “That is a Faerie.”
“Well, actually...not so much anymore. But, yes...”
“I think I want to go home,” says Alyssa.
Told you it wasn't going to go too good.
Alyssa pulls open the passenger side door and climbs in. I draw a circle on the ground around the dead Faerie and mutter a few protection words. I'll have to come back later after I take Alyssa home and figure out this mess.