I felt foolish, standing under the moonlight in a tiny clearing. I’d noticed it one day while hiking. The neat circle of stones enclosing mossy earth, silvery bell-shaped flowers dangling from stalks growing between them, was a perfect fairy ring. At that time I needed nothing from the Fair Folk, so I simply jotted the details in my journal.
Now, I was desperate. Waiting while the breeze whispered among the leaves, I suspected I was crazy. A distant fox barked. My eyes imagined movement in the shadows, seeing figures where none stood. An owl swooped overhead, hooting mournfully. I was ready to give up when a jaunty fairy approached, bowing. I was so startled, I barely managed to bow back.
“Our aid is rarely sought any longer…”
“I need a story, an idea, quickly. I hoped…”
“Ideas? Such a simple thing! Trust me, I will tell you ideas no mortal mind could imagine, and you shall give me… milk!”
“I’ll feed you milk until you’re ready to burst.”
He scrambled up into my jacket pocket. “Let’s go!”
I left him in my study and went to fetch a bowl full of milk. I was out of organic, but I doubted Fair Folk worried about synthetic hormones. When I brought the bowl, he lifted it and drank greedily. His chest seemed to expand, the filigree of his buckle snapped, his blue velvet jerkin split at the seams. He kept growing until he burst apart… perhaps the hormones did matter.
There are hidden dangers in attempting to deal with the Fair Folk. You have been warned.