Fairies and witches work together in The Veil. Elara and Leda were two such partners, creating and transporting magickal moments for only the most deserving human lovers. These lovers were often without physical partners, and this is what made them so deserving. To speak a language nobody hears is a heavy load to carry in this world filled with so many other burdens.
Elara was named for one of Jupiter’s moons and Fate conspired to introduce her to the fairy sprite named Leda, another of Jupiter’s moons. They were once both young enough to laugh about this, but now they were older, wiser, and funnier than that. Elara in particular had developed a long list of experiences which made her as wise as a crone without yet burdening her physical body with the consequences of age. Leda was unlikely to ever fully mature as long as she had any choice in the matter. Together they gifted the world with their talents and took a good deal of joy for themselves.
Once upon a time there was a special man in Elara’s life, but he was gone now. They had conceived a child together under a cold Ice Moon, and she had given birth under the Hunters Moon. Both were Friday the 13th, and her son was given over to Mother Earth as soon as he was weaned. She missed him terribly. She was grateful, however, that she learned more about love in that short time with her son than in the rest of her years put together.
Leda, on the other hand, had no inclination toward love. What she enjoyed was anything that was fun. Laughing. Playing. Floating. Teasing. Tether Ball. She was in awe of her friend’s wisdom, but she was happy to stick with what she knew. She could ride a bubble farther and higher than anyone else. She could do back walkovers on a single blade of grass. She could sing the alphabet backwards. She could braid the roots of a dandelion together. But she could not picture herself in a relationship. No Not Ever. At dawn and dusk, she could be found doing what was the most fun she could imagine. Sneaking into the beds of men and tickling them with her wings and her kisses.
There are times when a seven year old is just not capable of understanding the joys that can be associated with the bubbles in an adult beverage. This is why our friend Lady, who was six and a half years old now and sporting curly red hair and an abundance of freckles, was left to stir the potions meant for very young people in playgrounds.
Wiser witches of more advanced experience were left with the manufacture and distribution of Love Potion Number Seventeen. The carbonation provided by Seventeen created bubbles that were smaller and stronger than the other potions. Specialized bubble rider sprites directed these bubbles to private parties in undisclosed locations. These bubble riders were the ones responsible for the dreams that awoke people at dawn with a smile on their faces and a strange sense that they had not been alone in their dream. The potion is provided almost exclusively to women who have a longing to describe their feelings to a man but don’t have the words. Alternatively, the recipient, almost exclusively a man, may not have the comprehension to understand the words if spoken.
Many of us have known a person in our lives who provides that spark of heightened liveliness. There is often no logical explanation for it, only a solid conviction that life has been elevated to a higher, nearer and more approachable plane. It is an awakening and a sensual experience that lasts many months beyond the initial taste. Even the sprites are forever changed after one of these experiences. Some of them refuse to leave and get themselves or their host in hot water, flattening the beverage and leaving them stranded without transportation home.
These are the sprites to watch out for, because they are highly educated at this point and can get bored sometimes when they have nothing exciting going on around them. These are the fairies that play tricks on you, not because you deserve it, but because they insist that you remain joyful until death.
Never forget that if it does not come from love, it is not magick. No spell or potion, fairy or prayer can cause a wish to come true. There is a sliver of time, however, at dawn and at dusk, where those wishes that could go either way on the scale are more likely to become happily fulfilled desires. These are the moments you are most likely to catch a fairy perched atop a bubble, headed directly into your hopes and dreams.
Before that happens, an arduous but exciting learning process occurs for the fairies involved. They meet in places where Believers are gathered, although they are rarely caught among the humans. Academy hours are strictly enforced during festival hours and animal feeding times. The goal of any graduate is to never get caught, but to leave a distinct impression that she might have been there. Recent graduates tend to be more playful and tickling. More experienced bubble riders float on the carbonation in alcoholic beverages like beer and champagne. In between those stages are the experimenters. They ride bubble juice – Sprite is a favorite.
Every spring around May Day, at festivals all over the world, classes are held for fairy sprites, as well as the witches who brew the potions, and the Bubble Dispatchers who arrange transport. That’s me. I am a wish dispatcher, or Wishpatcher, as we usually say. I arrange for the right bubbles to pick up the right sprites to transport to the right places for the work that needs doing. It’s tough work, but it’s great fun. We usually have a harvest festival in the fall, just to tell our stories from the previous year. Sometimes the snow fairies can’t wait that long to tell of their winter escapades, and we have another slumber party around the Vernal Equinox. I suspect this is not just a local tradition….
What I like best about my job is that I don’t do requests. You can’t call or email and tell me your wish. I do consider your wish if it’s for someone other than yourself, but you can’t call or text with that request either. I sit perfectly still and listen to the dreams that float on the breeze. The ideal candidate is a relatively happy male who sleeps soundly and dreams in color. He is unaware of our existence or our visits, and if he is one of the more arrogant ones, he will boast among his friends that his brain makes the best dreams. Sometimes he will be less arrogant than afraid, which men tend not to admit. He will claim he was bewitched by a spirit who stole his conscience.
He doesn’t know the Jiminy Cricket is on our team.
The first bubble rider sprites were spontaneously created in a cast iron cauldron, over a dying fire of oak logs and ash. They neither appeared by accident nor on purpose, and came alive when a witchy love potion was left simmering for an extra 69 seconds while the witch was daydreaming.
A love potion over a hot flame always brings bubbles to the surface, but on this occasion, while the witch’s mind wandered, the bubbles became airborne, revolutionizing the transport and packaging of love potion numbers 9 through 29. As the postal service also came to learn, air mail was cheaper and more efficient.
Now this first crop of bubble riders, having had no formal training, were exceedingly difficult to control. They chose their targets based on their own childish criteria, often finding themselves trapped under down comforters large dogs and curly wigs. Extrication was sometimes impossible, and ultimately most returned to the witches for disciplinary training. It became so sought-after – for witch and fairy alike – that a highly competitive Academy was established to ensure an appropriate education.
Over time, bubble riders have become the primary resource for the transport and delivery of the love potions made by witches. While black cauldrons are still used almost exclusively, the vials are no longer necessary, and because of the delicate sprite wings, white magick has replaced black. A clean and airy potion is created from the symbiotic dance between witch and sprite fairy. Compared to the dark and heavy potions of old, these newer potions are nearly impossible to detect.