Previous: In The Stranger's Midst
In the Mezcado House, except for the resonating sounds of the summer night, the guest room at the second floor was otherwise silent. Because she had cleared the room of most of its furnitures, it was now bare and roomy. In the center was a round Persian rug, and on top of it was a copper basin surrounded by a low wooden stool, a light coffee table with candles and a porcelain tea set, and a large turquoise article made as a bag stuffed with dried beans. Apple green and lapis lazuli floor lanterns, aesthetically set in threes in each corner, bathed all four walls with their soft light while scented tea candles on the coffee table and around the rug released the fragrance of lemongrass into the still air. Earlier, Noella had prepared the room herself for the visitor she expected. While she was waiting, she fell asleep on the floor.
Noella began to dream. In her dream she relived her activities that day. It was morning again, and Noella was at the grocery selecting from the crayfish on display. Then she was at the fruits and vegetables section, picking ripe mangoes and firm cucumbers. In a blink she was on her way home, carrying a big bag of groceries in her arm. There was a sound similar to wind chimes, and she was already at the front door. She thought the foyer seemed like a hall to another world. Noella dropped the keys on the small table.
In the kitchen she reviewed her recipe of the day. When she had woken up that morning, Noella had remembered her encounter with the apparation and she had decided to invite it over. It had appeared to her as a glowing breathing speaking magical cloud. We cannot change what already took place, it said. And You know how to conjure me. She did not know exactly what it was or what it meant, but she wanted to see it again. But how? she asked herself. Noella knew the recipe box would provide the solution. True enough, when she searched the box it almost threw a recipe card at her. It was the recipe for "Water Spright's Delight." She got her answer.
Water Spright's Delight
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cucumber
- 2/3 cup diced peeled ripe mango
- 5 ounces crayfish meat
- 4 slices whole wheat bread
- 2 curly leaf lettuce leaves
- 1 tbsp minced celery
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 2 tsp lime juice
Combine mayonnaise, cucumber, celery, coriander, and lemon juice in a bowl. Mix well. Add mango and crayfish meat. Coat by tossing gently. Chant while tossing:
"I conjure the Nymph of The Water,
May you find my gift attractive
Bless the present that I offer
It is you I call, you I invite
Come to me from where you live
Visit me, Oh Water Spright!"
Chill for half an hour. Spoon the spread on lettuce and sandwhich with wheat bread. Makes two servings.
It was three in the morning. Noella felt a cool breeze caress her skin. I must have left the shutters open, she thought as she pushed herself up. When she looked at the window's direction, she was surprised at what she saw. By the coffee table, sitting quietly on the low stool, was the visitant, sipping tea. She seemed like a young woman, about fifteen years of age. She had an oval, rather than round, face. She had eyes larger than Noella's, moss green, framed by thick, long, curly lashes. Her ears weren't actually pointed but they narrowed at the tips. Her high rising forehead and arching eyebrows, along with her small pointed noise and high cheekbones, gave her an ageless appearance. Her sleeveless silvery dress, marbled with cyan and lime, reached to her knees. Her feet, were hidden in the bile colored liquid in the basin. On her wrists and around her neck were trinkets made of small shells and tiny coral pink stones. Her skin was as smooth as river pebbles, but she had a light green complexion--the color of milky absinthe. And she appeared to radiate light. Flying above her head and darting from one area of the room to another, were a large number of shiny blue damselflies.
Awed, Noella covered her eyes and tried to scream. But like before, fireballs began shooting from her mouth. Damselflies changed directions to avoid destruction. The visitant stretched one of her hands out, exposing her palm. Then with a gesture similar to a toss, she deflected the fireballs coming at her and they all ceased to exist. "Do you always welcome guests with a blast?"
"I am the Water Spright, and while you were dreaming, I heard your call." Her voice was familiar, it reminded Noella of wind bells and of bubbling brooks, and gave her the impression of a thousand feminine giggles echoing. "Come closer, don't be afraid. I won't hurt you." the Water Spright had a sincere smile on her face.
Noella was still in shock, and although she was hesitant at first, she followed the Water Spright's command. The damselflies made way for Noella. She knelt beside her guest and admired her glowing face. "You look so beautiful," Noella meant it. "But I thought you were a talking cloud, like in my--"
"Like in your dream? It's usually how I appear in dreams. Do you prefer I revert to that form? No, I don't think so." she smiled again. The Water Spright seemed to smile everytime she finished a sentence. She had a smile that made her difficult to refuse. Damselflies hovered above them.
"How did you... enter my dream?" Noella was afraid her question would anger the Water Spright, but she knew she had to ask that question.
"Dream crossing, one of my abilities. I have quite a few. As you can see now, I can also visit realities. Oh by the way, the reason why I want to talk to you is because I want to help you." The Water Spright put her teacup down. One of the damselflies descended from its flight and rested on the Water Spright's cup.
"Why would you want to do that?" this time Noella was suspicious. A damselfly flew in front of Noella, and she almost batted it with her hand.
The Water Spright chuckled. "Let's just say, I'm like a fairy godmother. Well, except that I'm actually a water nymph and I don't turn pumpkins into bright red sports cars." she winked and Noella felt secure again. The damselflies around Noella flew away from her.
"How can you help me?"
"I'll start with your scream of doom. If my conclusion is correct, screaming triggers fireballs flying from your sweet little throat. I'd also blame it on the Dragon Stew. Oh don't feel guilty my dear! That one with the three men--yes, I saw it in your recurring dreams--was an accident. I can fix that problem. With your consent of course." A damselfly rested on the Water Spright's fair hair, making her look like she had a hairclip.
"You can take it away?" Noella was so excited she almost rose from her bent position. Her light blue eyes darkened and dilated. She wanted to stand up, fix her rumpled maroon sweatshirt and her creased cream cotton slacks, and start jumping with joy. But first, she had to wait for the spright's reply.
"Oh no sweety, I can't do that. I can't take anything away from you. And even if i could, I wouldn't want you to lose it altogether. You might need it to protect yourself. Trust me." Noella frowned upon hearing the Water Spright's answer. "But I can change it! So don't be sad now."
Before Noella could ask how? the spright tapped Noella's frowning lips with long pale green fingers. She then kissed Noella's hand and whispered:
"By the mist that rolls over the sea,
With the silver moon, my witness
Let your lungs be free of its fiery curse
That your hands may cradle a new gift!"
"What happened?" Noella really wanted to know. The Water Spright smiled and grabbed one of Noella's hands, and placed it on top of the teapot. "Watch, child!" Noella thought it was funny because she looked older than the Water Spright, but when the spright spoke, the spright was obviously wiser and more knowledgeable. The damselfly resting on the Water Spright's cup flew away. Noella was astonished when the Water Spright lifted the pot's lid. Because while it was already cold a few seconds earlier, it was now boiling hot after Noella's touch. Steam rose from the pot. Noella could smell green tea. "Practice my dear, practice. Practicing is the key to control your powers!" The Water Spright said.
But the Water Spright was not yet satisfied with her demonstration. She snapped her gracefully thin fingers and all the scented tea candles around the rug flickered their flames away. "Focus, Noella. Feel the heat in your hands." Noella closed her eyes and concentrated. The Water Spright took her wrist and passed her hand over the tea candles in an arc. At once, half of the candles around them were lit. When the Water Spright patted Noella's hand, small fireballs hurled themselves at different directions, some hitting the candles, most missing the target. Five of the little balls of fiery doom hit three floor lanterns, causing them to burst into flames. "Okay, I'm not really good at aiming." The Water Spright grinned before throwing ice crystals from her hand to kill the small fire.
When the Water Spright yawned, all the damselflies gathered around her flying lazily in a counterclockwise. "Oh my, I'm losing energy! I can't stay long, sweetheart. But before I leave, let me tell you something. We cannot change what already took place, but we can prevent similar events from happening. Pay attention."
- Respect the freewill. Always respect the choice of every entity you encounter. You may not use your culinary magick to directly alter or bend another being's conscious decision, even if your intention is good. Remember, the worst things can come even from the best intentions.
- Hold back the finger of pain. In whatever you do, you may not use your magick to inflict pain or cause harm upon any living being, even to avenge yourself. Your powers should be used to help other people, not to destroy lives. Of course, it's still your duty to preserve your life.
- Avoid getting killed. This is self-explanatory.
"Follow these guidelines and you'll hardly make mistakes, at least magically. What else? I guess that's all you need to know for now." The Water Spright stood up. The flight of the damselflies was now so slow, they were like swimming in water.
"Do you really have to leave so soon? If you must, then at least tell me how I can thank you, before you leave." Noella pleaded.
"Don't be silly, I won't go without my Spright's Delight!" The Water Spright magically transported the crayfish and mango sandwhich from the kitchen to her hands. "I took the liberty." she chirped. Then she folded the sandwhich in beige linen napkin, which she found on the coffee table, and prepared to leave. "Welcome to the world of magic, Kitchen Witch!" and before Noella could react, the Water Spright, along with the damselflies, was gone.
Next: Darkness And Salt Dough