May Day has been celebrated since Roman times with dancing, baskets of flowers, and bonfires. In this collection of May Day stories, Rogue's Angels--Christine Young, C.L. Kraemer, Rosemary Indra and Genie Gabriel--continue the celebration with humor, faeries and falling in love.
Highland Miracle -- Christine Young
Sean hit the side of his head. "I'm hearing things." Meet my true love, a soul mate, find a miracle in the highlands...?
Who the devil am I supposed to be trusting? There isn't anyone around. I'm the sole person in Central Park. But he leaned forward, inching his way closer to the portal of the crazy machine. He'd be pure loco if he stepped inside but Bandit seemed fine. The dog had disappeared a couple of times into the darkness only to return again, sit down and bark at him.
I can do this.
He stood half in and half out, inhaled deeply then stepped inside. Behind him the door clanged shut. He jumped out of his skin at the realization he might be trapped.
The quiet was eerie then suddenly lights began to blink and something hummed. It was as if the machine had sprung to life. His nerves sizzled and terror crawled down his spine. He searched the room for the dog.
Bandit sat on a chair in front of a panel of buttons and blinking lights. It appeared the dog meant to drive this contraption. But drive it where?
Oh, to his one true love, to his soul mate and a miracle. Sean let out a loud roaring laugh.
Praying it wasn't too late, Sean turned to leave. But the door was shut tight, and he couldn't find another way out. Banging on the door did not make it open. He ran his hands up and down his arms in hopes of warding off the deathly chill seeming to take over his body as well his senses.
Bandit jumped from his perch and sauntered to the wall where he pulled down a handle and dog food poured into a bowl.
Well, at least the dog wouldn't starve.
"Please sit down and fasten your seat belt."
Sean jumped and looked around for the source of the voice. His heart raced as if it was going to run right out of his body.
Defying the Odds -- C.L. Kraemer
In a meadow east of Eugene, Oregon
Bram ambled up the roughly hewn stairs to the willow lounge chair located at the front of his home. He pulled the scrimshawed pipe from his pocket and filled the bowl with his favorite blend of black cherry tobacco. The paced routine of loading the ivory bowl with fragrant leaves and tamping them firmly into place was one of his favorite after dinner rituals. Withdrawing a matchstick from the inner pocket of his vest, he struck the sulfured end against a river rock he'd placed on the root of the towering oak that served as his home.
The fading evening sky showered the mountains in hues of gold and red. Pushing away the light, a blanket of dark blue velvet sprinkled with luminous star points soon prevailed. Bram puffed smoke rings at the darkening heavens.
"Evenin'." A scruffy black and tan terrier mix meandered up and, after circling three times, lay next to the chubby gnome.
"Evening, Silas. How's the family?"
"Well, thank you. Daisy announced we're expecting--again."
Bram chuckled into his beard. "Congratulations."
"Humph. I'll be glad when we're both too old to care. I came over to ask if there are any jobs in sight. I'll need to be working as much as I can now."
It seemed he got one batch of kids out of the house and another was on the way.
Silence stretched between the business partners. Bram pulled deep draughts on his pipe, blowing the smoke away from his friend. His eyes were drawn to the large block of light spilling from the picture window of the behemoth on the hill. The Saun clan, night elves whose callous actions nearly destroyed the fae population of the meadow and surrounding forests, owned the out of place monstrosity.
Bram squinted his eyes to focus his vision on the methodical movement that broke the beam of light. He could just make out a figure pacing rhythmically in front of the casement. Unable to ascertain which of the night elves was engaged in the determined striding, Bram was sure of only one thing…if the night elves were restless and unhappy, the rest of the valley was in trouble.
Love in Bloom -- Rosemary Indra
Mattie Harrison sat up in bed when two golden lights floated down beside her. The shimmering lights from her fairies caused excitement to bubble within Mattie in anticipation of their visit. For as long as she could remember the two fairies were her constant companions. Tonight she had something important to ask them.
Cara sat cross-legged on Mattie's pillow. Kendra adjusted her green dress several times before she too sat down. Mattie looked down at her small friends then crossed her legs in front of her mimicking the way they sat.
Every so often Kendra's wings fluttered. Mattie knew she preferred playing than sitting still but tonight Mattie needed someone to talk to. Like always Cara listened quietly as Mattie described her day and her plans for tomorrow.
When the fairies stood, their transparent wings flapped as they started to take flight. "Can you stay a little longer?" Mattie asked quickly.
Cara gracefully bowed her head and moved closer to the little girl. "What's troubling you tonight lass?"
A smile touched Mattie's lips at the sound of the fairy's soft voice. Cara had brown hair similar to her own. She always had suggestions and Mattie felt calm after talking to her.
They'd visit every evening when she went to bed to say goodnight. Mattie had asked her father for a nightlight not because she was afraid of the dark but so she could see the fairies easier without scaring them with the bright overhead light.
"My dad is very lonely." Mattie knew what she wanted but all of a sudden she didn't know what to say. She looked at her friends. "Can you help me find a wife for him?"
"Mattie it's bedtime. Quiet down," her father's voice carried down the hallway. "Tell your friends to go home."
Cara tapped her index finger against her lips and looked thoughtful.
"He doesn't believe in fairies," Kendra whispered. "That might be hard. He doesn't have faith in us."
"We haven't even started and you're already negative." Cara put her hands on her hips then glanced at Mattie, "You have to remember a non-believer doesn't like interference."
Feeling disheartened Mattie's lower lip started to tremble. She'd given this a lot of thought. After much consideration, Mattie knew she'd needed help to find a wife for her dad.
"We'll see what we can do." Kendra looked at Mattie her expression softened. "We'll help you."
No More Poodle Skirts -- Genie Gabriel
Life seemed much simpler when all a girl had to worry about was keeping her bobby socks and the pompom on her poodle skirt a brilliant white. Daphne Madison wiggled and gyrated into panty hose that seemed determined to twist around her like a boa constrictor squeezing its prey.
A modern woman was expected to have it all--a husband, a family, a career--with never a wrinkle in her face or her confidence.
Daphne zipped up her dress and drew a shaky breath as she stared at herself in the mirror. The form-fitting pink dress wasn't as comfortable as her skirts, and the high heels shoved her feet down into the pointy toes.
I can do this, Daphne reassured herself. She hadn't even been born in the fifties, but it seemed like such an innocent time. If she could pretend to live in that time, surely she could live in the current millennium.
Something doesn't seem just right, she thought, as she fastened a strand of pearls around her neck. However, she refused to wear the short skirts she had seen on television programs. The pencil thin skirt that ended just above her knees was as daring as she would go.
She slid her arms into the pink jacket that matched her dress and considered herself once again. Something still seemed amiss. She settled a pink pillbox hat borrowed from her sister on top of her smooth blond hair. Better.
White gloves restored her confidence even more.
With another deep breath, Daphne swept down the stairs to garner the reaction of her family. She knew her adult son, Ryan, would be of little help but to offer a gourmet breakfast gleaned from the latest cooking show on TV. A meal Daphne knew her jittery nerves wouldn't tolerate.
Her sister wouldn't be stirring yet, but Linda would be organizing the house for the day. She was the mother of Daphne's daughter's husband. Did that make her and Daphne sisters-in-law? No, that wasn't quite right, and thinking about it made her brain hurt.
She gave her head a slight shake. It didn't really matter. Linda was quite practical and had motivated Daphne out of her fantasy life. She would know if Daphne was dressed appropriately for her job interview.
"So what do you think?" Daphne turned slowly as she entered the kitchen.