She arrived back at Esmra’s wondering if Raina was home. Tallulah, who no one had much time to meet or even know, was already gone, leaving Esmra more time to herself and her usual duties.
Esmra was up as usual in her kitchen, sipping a cup of coffee. Amelia strolled in, laid her large purse on the old kitchen table. “Coffee? That isn’t like you?”
Esmra smiled as she set her dated coffee mug down and nodded over to the stove. “Pancakes.”
Amelia smiled and grabbed a plate and filled it up with blueberry pancakes and a cup of joe. “Tastes good. When did you break tradition?”
“Well, Tallulah likes coffee sometimes, she got me started before she left. I already miss her. But I know I will see her again when she comes up for Halloween. She always writes me a letter, and her pretty penmanship is something I never grow tired of. So, have you talked to Raina?”
Amelia, who had been enjoying a mouthful of pancakes, stopped chewing. Leaving a ball of pancakes in her cheek and mumbled, “Why?”
Amelia poured them both another cup of coffee. “Well, I am concerned with her. She doesn’t seem to be herself. Is there something going on?”
Amelia set her fork down on her plate and let out a sigh after she gulped down the pancakes in her mouth. “Well, sorta.”
Esmra just stared, waiting for an explanation.
“Esmra, I can’t tell you. Raina would be so angry.”
Esmra raised her eyebrow and crossed her arms.
“Fine, I will tell you. When I was cleaning out your closet, I found some odd box. I didn’t know what it was, but you said that I could have what I wanted, right?”
“Well, I kept the box and put it up. Raina found it and didn’t tell me until after.”
“After what, Amelia?”
“Well, after she said this box was to summon something. She had a spell. And...”
Esmra’s eyes widened. “Did this box have strange writing?”
Amelia said, “Yes.”
Esmra shook her head. “I forgot. What happened? Did you all summon Pandora?”
Amelia shouted, “You know about that?”
“Of course! I just forgot that box as in there. That box has been in my family for near a century, I think. I have never messed with it. There is a story with that box, and it was never to be opened or anything. Generations back, they gave it to my family’s coven for safekeeping from the fairies. It was Selena’s. The fairy queen. She had daughters; one of them was Pandora. She banished her for consorting with a demon.”
“Esmra, you knew about this? All this time?” Amelia reached across the table and took her by the hand.
“Yes, but what you two have found is dangerous. We need to find Raina. That fairy is more than likely not the fairy you believe her to be.”
Amelia gasped, “What do you mean? And I never in my life ever believed that fairies were real. I mean, we are witches and I believe we are gifted, but seeing something as surreal as that, I am still blown away. How come you said nothing to us about this?”
“Amelia, not all witches can see fairies. I am someone who can see them at all times, even if they make their selves invisible or hide through glamour. People see them, but not in the way of their true appearances. I said nothing because it isn’t something that ever came up. We all have our secrets.” Esmra said while she ran her fingers across the rim of her cup.
Amelia said, “Well, I could see her, but Gabe couldn’t. So, I guess I have that ability?”
Esmra snickered, “Apparently. Fairies are tricksters and so are demons. I understand that Selena never wanted Pandora free to roam. There is another realm for the fairies. It is like the underworld, and they connect it to the dark realm in a way. It is the place where fairies can be sent through banishment or if Karma the nymph takes them there. It is not like the underworld the Egyptians believe, but close. The real Pandora could never be released by a witch unless she has some other power.”
“Like what kind of power?”
“Well, seeing or communicating with the dead. Raina or you would have to have some kind of special power, like a necromancer. Some fairies are necromancers. They can commune with the dead, help them to the other side. So can humans, however, it is rare. The only way that Raina could have had that kind of power, she would have to be a necromancer. She is gifted with spells, but I have never heard of her saying anything about this. Have you?”
Amelia shook her head. “I haven’t. She tells me a lot but said nothing like this.”
Esmra sighed, “The demons I don’t associate with, ever. But all I know when that box was handed down to me from my mother while she was on her death bed is that box has evil associated with it. Why generations before we have some agreement to keep it is beyond me, and I want it gone. I also keep a sacred stone for the fairies, but that is another story.”
Esmra left Amelia seated at the table while she poured another cup of coffee. “Selena had a truce with demons years ago. The fairies remained neutral between the spirit guides and the demons. When a human would lose their life, if they were lost then the fairies would help the ghost take the next step. It was either reincarnation, they moved on as a spirit guide or the demons came to collect. All the fairies did was help deliver, good or bad. They never interfered beyond that. When Selena found out that her daughter consorted with a demon, she was in a rage.”
“Esmra, is that it? Do you know about Pandora and this demon?”
“Well, I do know about the story, but I have never shared it with anyone.”
“Oh please! I want to hear it!” said Amelia.
“Okay, but it is a very long story, and we don’t have a lot of time, really.”
Amelia frowned. “Please?”
“All right, but it is long, so I hope you are comfortable.”
There at the table, Esmra chose to share the story with Amelia, the love story between a demon and a fairy.