Coffee Chaos

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Everyone has a Murphy's law day, but it usually doesn't result in a chai latte magically blowing up in your face.

I knew I shouldn't have taken Marvin's shift.

The morning started out fine. I was curled up on my couch with a good novel in hand and my cat Tribble lounging on my feet. It had been a rough week at the Muse Cafe (yes, we all know, cliche). We were short staffed, our coffee machine had broken down twice, and the neighborhood religious acolyte was at it again, condemning all those with magic to the bowels of hell. Frankly, I've met witches with more love and compassion than the local church-goers. I mentioned that once to our friendly acolyte and won myself a 1st class ticket to Satan's fiery bosom.

So I was looking forward to a relaxing day off when I got the dreaded phone call. Marvin, one of the two fae who worked at the cafe, had come down with the flu.

Guess who's the other fae.

Naturally, I wished him a quick recovery and promised to be at the cafe licketysplit.

Tribble didn't buy my tone. She wisely hopped off the couch as I ended the call and hurled the phone across the room. A flick of my finger caught it before it smashed into the wall. I magicked it back to me, grumbling.

The downside to being a fae was, when equipment was powered by magic, at least one fae, witch, mage, whatever, had to be present to keep fueling the stupid machines. It saved on electricity and seemed to make the drinks more perfect than usual. But it was such a pain in the ass when someone called off.

I put on my cheery pink shirt with Muse Cafe scrawled in gold across the breast. A pair of pants, boots, and an apron later, I was out the door with my purse in hand. I magicked the lock shut (a real advantage when you forget your keys) and took the local subway out to the shop.

I was lucky I could finally ride the subway again. For a while there, most transportation had some kind of iron. Fae and iron do not get along. As the fae population grew, alternate transportation methods were created. Granted, many fae could bibbity bobbity boo their ways to work, but I wasn't one of them. And my wings? Hah! Between smoke emission from cars, telephone wires, and rather unfortunate birds, flying wasn't pleasurable in a busy city.

You only need to inhale a pigeon once to ground yourself.

The downside to the subway, and having a large fae population, was that you were surrounded by a lot of magical energy. And when that kind of energy grew too strong, bad things were bound to happen. Fae can be feisty people, and I'm allowed to say that since I am one. We can create our own magic, but we're sensitive to the powers around us too, and that can rub fae the wrong way, especially if, say, a single water fae is surrounded by fire fae. Their magic doesn't mesh well.

I sat off to one side of the subway. Already I could feel the building magic on the opposite end. I looked up from my kindle app and spotted a water fae trying to distance herself from three male teens. She avoided their hungry glances, but they kept getting closer and sending off little vibes of fire magic to annoy her, something intangible to the human eye, but I could see it. The three teens were hormonal idiots, and I sincerely hoped the water fae gave them a piece of her mind.

When she finally snapped and sent a magical shield to shove them away from her, well, let's just say I now understand the expression, "and then the fire nation attacked."

The trio moved as one, eyes, hair, and fingertips lighting up with flames. The few humans in the subway car with me shrieked and ran to my side.

So much for a peaceful ride. This was why you were careful about which subway you chose.

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