A collection of four urban-fantasy romance stories,
featuring tales from the files of the
Fairy Godmothers' Union, True Love Local
More Light and Whimsical Magical Fantasy from Naomi Stone: Sometimes True Love needs a little help. That’s where the Fairy Godmothers’ Union, True Love Local steps in. ‘Mission Improbable is the story of a couple in trouble - until a fairy godmother helps them to see each other a little differently… In ‘Unmasking' it takes a fairy godmother’s interference to get Rosalie the right costume to wear to the Comix Convention where she and Steele can each discover the other's true identity. ‘Switcheroo' and 'Switchertoo' tell the stories of two college room mates with very different lives. A fairy godmother's magic allows them to learn what they need to know to improve their love lives by stepping into one another's shoes.
from the files of the Fairy Godmothers’ Union, True Love Local
When Dan Barnard answered the door his dark hair was still wet from the shower, but he was almost fully dressed (missing only his shoes and socks). He stood there in his wet hair and stocking feet, clad in jeans and an oversize purple sweatshirt blazoned with the sigil of the Minnesota Vikings, while the cold November wind slipped past his visitor to invade the house. It was no one he knew.
“Yes?” He snapped. He bit back what he was
thinking ‘what the hell do you want at this hour? Particularly since
‘this hour’ was nearly noon. He didn’t want to explain his
schedule to every stranger who came by.
The woman on the doorstep had neatly coifed silver hair and very sharp blue eyes behind a pair of wire-framed spectacles. She was dressed in a conservatively-cut cloth coat. She smiled pleasantly in response to his greeting.
“I’m sorry I’m so late.” She
told him. “I was unavoidably detained, but I’m sure we can still
set things right.”
What? Dan remembered his manners. “I’m sorry, but I wasn’t expecting anyone. Who are you looking for?”
“You’re Dan Barnard, aren’t
you?” Her eyes dared him to deny it. “Husband of Eleanor
“Yes; but, we’re not expecting anyone.”
“No one expects me.” She assured him. “I’m Eleanor’s godmother, Philomena. Are you going to leave me standing out on the porch in this cold wind?”
Daniel stepped back, admitting her to the house. “Sorry. Eleanor didn’t say anything…”
“You two haven’t been talking a lot lately, have you?” She handed him her coat. She wore a tailored gray suit beneath. The cloth had an odd shimmer to it. Silk?
“No. I mean,” What business is it of yours? Is
what he meant. He settled for asking, “Why would you say
“Because it’s true.” She replied, taking a seat on the living room couch. ”Would you happen to have some coffee hot?”
“I was jut going to make some.”
He said, “But I don’t even know your name. What makes you think you can come waltzing in here, talking about my relationship with my wife?”
“Don’t get upset, dear. I’m here to help. I would have come sooner, but, as I said, I was detained. Otherwise I would never have let things come to such a pass.” She tsked. He’d never heard anyone actually tsk before. She went on, “Hardly talking, all this simmering resentment, no sex in over a year…”
“Hey! That’s our personal business!”
“It certainly is.” She told him. “This marriage is in deep trouble. But don’t worry, I’m here to help. Oh, I take mine with cream and sugar.” Philomena nodded toward the kitchen.
Dan sputtered. “Who are you? No offense, but I didn’t ask you for any help with my sex life.”
“Of course not, dear. You don’t have to ask. It’s my duty, as well as my pleasure.”
“I’m Eleanor’s godmother.” She reminded him. “Why don’t you get us both some coffee and we’ll sit and have a nice chat about it like civilized people?”
Dan stood and stared at her. In doing so he noticed that the strange shimmer wasn’t just confined to her clothes, it was part of her. Her face, her hair, her arms and hands, everything about her was a little brighter than the world around her.
“Sure.” He muttered. He must be losing his mind. He made a hasty retreat to the kitchen.
~ * ~
They had a formal coffee service in the dining room’s hutch, something that they generally used only over the holidays, or when hosting a party. Dan got it down now. And when the coffee was ready he brought it out on a tray. Along with the silver coffee pot there were silver creamer, sugar bowl and spoons
“Thank you, dear!” Eleanor’s godmother accepted the cup he filled for her, and helped herself to the cream and sugar.
“You’re welcome.” Dan sat, wondering how he was going to get rid of his visitor. He had little enough time for his own new, original work. Ell expected him to put a priority on scanning and formatting-for-print his older work and that of the other artists they worked with, so it could go into their catalog. He didn’t have time for complications like this.
“Ell will be down at our shop.” He told the older woman as she sipped graciously from her cup. “You can catch her there…”
“Of course. I’ll find her after we’ve
had our chat.” She set her cup down and leaned forward attentively,
“You know our Eleanor is under a spell, of course, and I’m just
here to tell you how to break it.”
Dan choked, sputtered coffee, grabbed a napkin and started mopping up. “What?”
“A spell. You’ll have noticed, of course. She’s not the woman you married…”
Like the opening of a floodgate, the words came.
“No. She’s not. The woman I married was fun. Ell’s all about the work these days. She’s always dealing with customers and suppliers, or managing the accounts. She treats me like I’m an employee – and not a very important one. And she’s let herself go. She’s put on weight. Her clothes are all business clothes or the ones she wears to do chores around the house…”
There was the tsking again.
“Just as I thought.” Philomena said. “A
very pernicious spell. Well, I can help you.” She turned to rummage in a
large Coach bag at her side, and pulled out a compact mirror in a gold case.
She handed it to Dan. “Take a look.”
Dan opened the lid and turned to the mirror – only to start back at the hideous visage he saw in the glass. “Jeeze! What is it?”
“That’s the way you look in Eleanor’s eyes these days, like a beast – a selfish brute that cares only for its own pleasure and leaves filth and destruction in its wake, for her to deal with.”
“But - ”
“I know. That’s not who you are. It’s the spell, distorting her vision so that she sees the worst while ignoring the rest. You’ve just got to break the spell.”
“How do I do that?”
“You still love her, don’t you?”
He hesitated. He hadn’t been feeling either loved or loving lately, but he thought of the woman she’d been when they married. He thought of how she’d believed in him as an artist, and encouraged him. How she’d worked with him to market his visions, and formed a company that branched out to support other artists, too. She’d believed in the worth of his visions when no one else had, and she’d devoted herself to making the art work to support them both.
“Yes.” He said. “I suppose I do.”
“Well, the answer is as simple as a kiss, and as
difficult as anything.”
She took the mirror back from his hand, and held it between her own. A soft glowing light fell upon the compact’s golden case, as if a sunbeam had penetrated the gray November gloom to reach it there.
“The next time you’re with Eleanor and she’s acting like a taskmaster or drudge, look at her in the mirror – you’ll see her as she truly is. If you kiss her then the spell will be broken. She handed the case back across the coffee table to Dan.
“Thanks.” At a loss for anything more to say, he took the compact.
“You’re welcome,” she said, standing. “Now I really must be going.”
“I’ll get your coat.” He turned toward the closet.
He looked back, but she was gone.
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