Not that humans are banned from fae shops, but our species don’t mix well. After the war between humans and several mythical species, humans became known as ‘sore-losers' and stirring up trouble with the fae.
When I pass the window for the fae coffee shop, I decide to suck it up and enter to avoid the increasingly cold weather. There is only a younger fae couple sitting off to the side ignoring the world around them. How I wish to have a partner that would focus on me in the same manner that the couple portrays; all smiles and big eyes.
The woman fae behind the register peers down at me and flutters her wings behind her, “What can I grab for you?” She put on a slight smile after she speaks in the fae language, which she probably only used to intimidate me.
“Just a sweet tea if you have one,” I order in the fae language. The woman quickly accepts my order with a slight flutter to her lowered wings.
Unlike the other parents in this town, mine love the fae and were insistent that I learn their ‘native tongue.’ Hence why our house was so much closer to the fae shops than the human shops.
After only a few moments she places a tall cup in front of me, “That’ll be thirty dollars.”
I keep the surprise off my face as I pay. I would’ve left right away to check the price on my receipt, but as I turn toward the front of the shop rain begins to pelt down on the dirt road outside.
The flu that was making me sneeze periodically was enough of a pain without adding in the cold rain.
The rain quickly starts to fall, encouraging fewer and fewer people to stop into the shop.
Fifteen minutes go by, and my drink is nearly finished. My breathing comes easier, and I feel more rested as I watch the common sight of rain against the shop windows. For once, I'm not bothered with the need to return home, and so I sit calmly in the fae owned coffee shop.
I tilt my head back to catch the last few drops of my sweet tea. Now completely finished, I look at the cup and realize I no longer feel sick or sore.
I’m walking up to the counter before I can stop myself. The barista looks at me skeptically.
She speaks first, her mouth pinched into a thin line, “No refunds after you’ve finished your drink.”
My mouth gapes open at her statement, and I shake my head, “No, no that’s not why I came up,” I take a step back and look from the empty cup to her, reminding myself to speak in the fae language, “I was just curious what was in the tea. I came in feeling sick but now I feel… well... not sick.”
I blush and the fae woman just nods in understanding, “I thought you knew,” she looks behind her at her coworkers who made the tea, but they merely shrug, “This is a fae coffee shop,” she beings, “all of our drinks fit the needs of the consumer.” At my surprised nod she continues, "You aren’t sick anymore because he added healing herbs to your tea.”
“Oh,” I blink in surprise and look at my empty cup before looking back to her and smiling, “well, thank you.”
She looks shocked at my genuine happiness, but nods and smiles kindly towards me. She begins wiping the counter in front of her and I can tell she wants me to leave. I turn around quickly and nearly crash into the man that I didn't hear enter the shop.
Or more correctly, the fae man behind me. We both startle, and while I take a step back his wings flare out behind him. The action makes me giggle, but instead of retreating his wings he keeps them on display.
“I’m sorry,” I stumble out between giggles, “I didn’t mean to startle you.”
The fae man looks affronted and watches me with a glare as I side-step away from him. When I am almost completely around his massive wings he shifts them slightly so a gust of wind knocks the empty tea cup straight out of my hands.
“Hey!” I hastily pick up the cup as the fae man steps forward and orders his drink.
When I stand up and point a finger at his back, I am finally able to see the design on his wings. The fae have ranks among their kingdom, and I just so happened to run into a warrior.
I should’ve walked out of the shop. I would’ve walked out of the shop on any other day. For some reason, I couldn’t make myself leave, “For a fae warrior you aren’t very strong,” I laugh sarcastically when he stops ordering his drink, “Next time. Try to knock me on my ass.”
He doesn’t turn around. Instead, he chuckles, the sound deep and reverberates throughout the empty coffee shop. “Sounds like you had a shot of courage in your tea today.”
My cheeks redden. I look down to my coffee cup, but I can’t understand the scribbles on the side.
Perhaps if the fae gave me a healing herb, they could also give me something for courage. Despite my embarrassment, I try to find something to say, wanting to have the last word.
When the fae warrior continues ordering after a moment, my anger builds in my chest. My plastic tea cup is flying toward the back of his head so fast, it takes me a moment to realize that I was the one who threw it.
The cup hits the fae warrior squarely on his head before clattering to the floor. There is a deathly silence that looms inside the store before the warrior turns around, the glare on his face promising punishment.