The Shoe Thief

The Shoe Thief
by Beth

Rixva’s scales brushed the top of the mushroom ceiling. Even as a member of the smallest Demon clan, he was taller than these Trades Elves. Squatting to give himself some head room, he surveyed the workroom. The she-elf had more cunning than he expected.
Set in the center of the table, the shoe-form looked like a tempting bit to swipe.  Too tempting. His forked tongue sampled the air above the table, searching for a trap.
He smacked his lips on the caramel flavor: not a trap but a location spell. Something to lead the caster back to their lost item.  So the she-elf was tired of him stealing her stuff. He grinned. A challenge made the mischief making all the sweeter.
Now what to do?  The impish side of him wanted to steal everything but that shoe-form or better yet…steal the form and leave the beacon on the counter. But he promised to help his elf-friend win the woman.  And she just might be the companion his friend needed.
The first rays of sunlight streamed through the workshop window.  Itchy fingers demanded he make mischief while he waited for the she-elf to arrive. He chanted and a bit of wind lifted the lids off boxes of finished shoes. Another cast to devise a tower out of alternating horizontal and vertical boxes. Next he switched some of the shoes – putting two left shoes together, one red and one green. For the rights he mixed jewel-toned blues with creams. Other boxes, he changed the size on the outside, leaving the shoes alone.
He considered the flats of leather and velvet shoe coverings. From the top shelf, he rubbed a piece of leather between two of his three fingers. A soft buttery texture along with the gentle tingle of a protection shield met his exploration. So he wouldn’t be able to dump dye on it. Good of the she-elf to protect her most valuable items. Once he got lost in the joy of mischief he could not stop.
Rixva touched the material on each shelf until he got to the roughest material on the bottom shelf. The skins were tough, dry, and cracked. Used for making boots, not a commodity usually called for in the Amara-Tierra, the Faery Realm. These would soon be thrown out due to age. Perfect for a bit of coloring. Removing the lids from the powdered dyes, he magicked the sparkling red, orange, yellow, and blue powders into the air. A bit more casting and the colors were rubbed into the animal hide.
The muffled tinkle of the bell above the door followed by dainty footsteps on the wooden floor caught his attention. A last glance around the room and he vanished before the she-elf topped the stairs.
“I’m going to sic a sprite on the elf responsible for this mess.” The she-elf muttered as she unstacked boxes.
Strands of her straight auburn hair lifted from her head. For a moment, he thought her sea green eyes glowed but it had to be a reflection of the sunlight streaming through the windows. Still her bit of temper appealed. It showed there was more to her than her angelic appearance suggested.
            Satisfied with his bit of mischief, Rixva floated down the stairs and regained his appearance to let Stephan in. He placed a Mute spell around the bell so it wouldn’t jingle as the door opened. “It’s done. She’s upstairs cleaning up.” The irony of being quiet was not lost on him.  In Eysteinn, noise was a hallmark of his kind.
Stephan handed him a rust red bottle. His food for the day. A spell kept the magic in the Fae blood fresh enough for him to survive the lower Faery Realm temperature. He made a face as he swallowed the thickened liquid. It kept him alive, but was quite distasteful when compared to the sulfur-rich lava rock he consumed at home.
“Are you sure you want to keep doing this?” He worded his question with care.
A magickal debt would prevent him from returning home. He could question his friend’s actions but never offer the words “Thank You” to show his appreciation for the sacrifice of Stephan’s blood.
The elf shrugged. “We have a deal. You do a bit of work for me and I give you the blood.”
“You! You’re behind these tricks?” the she-elf screeched from behind them.
“Emmalyn.” His friend’s skin turned an even paler white as he faced the woman he loved. “I…I’m not sure what to say.”
“How about I’m sorry for making more work for you? Some of the shoes you spirited away were for private commissions.”
“I’m sorry.” Stephan walked over to the she-elf and took her hand. “I wanted an excuse to spend more time with you.”
The she-elf pulled away, gave them an angry glare, and paced around the small entryway.
Rixva intoned the return of the absconded footwear. “Here are your precious shoes.” The impeccably crafted merchandise hung in the air a moment before he floated them upstairs to their proper placement. “Stephan thought if he showed an appreciation of your work, it would catch your attention. His idea had merit over those dimwitted elves who sent you Lily Bells.” Sharp pointed teeth showed as he gave her a devilish smile. “Hives are never attractive.”
Emmalyn’s expression softened and she turned to Stephan. “You want to spend time with me?” At his nod, she asked, “Will you trust me to deal fairly with the imp?”
His friend gave the she-elf’s hand a squeeze and whispered, “Be nice. He’s had a bad time of it.” Then he left them alone.
“What is your hold over him?”
Women, even tiny ones, could be dangerous when angry. He hopped in place from foot to foot as she regarded him. Trapped by her gaze, he eyed the nearest window as a means to escape.
As she stood there staring at him, he sank to his knees in defeat. He owed it to his friend to answer her. “Nothing. He saved my life. I thought helping him catch your attention would be fun.”
“Why are you here? In Amara-Tierra?”
“My teleportation powers were stripped from me by the new Demon Lord. Then he banished me from Eysteinn.” He bowed his head. “I cannot go home to see my wife. My kidlets.” His voice cracked. Even though it had only been three months, he considered it a lifetime.
The she-elf walked past decorative wall cabinets and brushed the palm of her hand over blank space. She whispered an incantation and the wall glowed yellow before two doors swung open. She pulled out a dark red shoebox before saying a few words to close the hidden vault.
“These Brogue shoes should solve your problem,” the she-elf said as she lifted a pair of glittery reddish-brown dress shoes from the box.
He almost laughed. The she-elf should know it is impossible to cross the Realms with a pair of shoes.
A tendril of magic skated along his scales. It wrapped around him to form a cocoon and drew him closer to the table. Hope and a touch of fear filled him as he stared at the shoes with holes punched in the tops to form delicate flowers.
“Go on. Put them on.” Not just magic but true Power infused the words Emmalyn commanded.
He hesitated. Emmalyn hid enormous magic in that tiny form – she possessed remnants of magick from the Aesir gods. The thought of crossing the Realms with a pair of shoes no longer seemed so absurd.
She stared at him, dared him to deny the gift she offered. He leaned against the table and waited as it creaked and groaned. When it didn’t break, he stuffed his three toes into the confining leather and stood.
“Now, imagine your wife and kids and say ‘I want to go home’ three times while thinking of them. And don’t worry when the shoes disappear after you get there.”
He imagined his wife, her ears poking out with a few stray scales stuck at odd angles. His kidlets with their expressions of innocent child and mischievous wonder at the world at her side. “I want to go home.” Everything around him swirled throwing off his senses. “I want to go home.” His stomach lurched as his body moved through space. “I want to go home.”
“Daddy’s home! Daddy’s home!”
His children threw themselves around his legs as he appeared in the center of their cave. The heat from the rock floor warmed his now bare toes. Last of all, his wife walked into the room. The smile she gave him warmed his cold heart.
Maybe faeries aren’t so bad after all.

Share this article :

Post a Comment

Disclosure as Per the FTC Guidlines:
All books reviewed at Got Romance! Reviews have been provided by the Publishers or Authors for free. Got Romance! Reviews has not been compensated for any reviews.
Got Romance! Reviews does not own any images, book covers or portraits on the site.
Book Cover images are from the various authors, pubishers or Goodreads
Elvin Pin-Up art were acquired from Elvgren PinUp
Hilga Pun-Up art were acquired from Toilgirls
Elvin and Hilga copyrights owned by Brown and Bigelow
Copyright © 2011. Got Romance! Reviews - All Rights Reserved
Template Creater | Proudly powered by Blogger