Beyond the Veil for NYCmidnight Flash Fiction Challenge

Maggie’s worries about her sister’s wedding seemed to be unfounded.  It looked as though they might make it through the day without incident, when a familiar voice whispered against the back of her neck.

All of Gran’s tales of leprechauns and other wee folk had never prepared her for the likes of Aiden the Fair and Wise, as he liked to call himself.  It was traumatic enough being able to see beyond the veil between worlds, but he seemed to enjoy demolishing Maggie’s self control with childish pranks. 

“Why Maggie McGee, you look splendid in your wedding finery.  You should dress up more often.”

Maggie’s heart sank like a stone in the pit of her stomach.

“Congratulations,” he said as he took Liz’s hand.  “I’m afraid I’ve surprised your sister beyond words.  I only knew but a few hours ago that I would be able to come.  I hope you will forgive Maggie’s date for his poor manners.”  He flashed Liz a charming smile and kissed her wrist.

Liz beamed at Maggie.  “You never mentioned a date.  Maggie, how splendid!”

Forced to play along, Maggie found her voice.  “Liz, this is Aiden.”

Liz pulled him closer and kissed his cheeks.  “I’m so glad you’re here,” she whispered as she released him to the groom and his family.

“Maggie, I don’t know whether to be angry with you or proud of you.  How could you keep such a dark and sexy guy like that all to yourself?  I had to fight the urge to nibble his ear just now.”

“Liz!”

“You’d better hang on to that one.  His kind can’t be found just anywhere.”

“You have no idea.”

As soon as she’d seen him, she began to  tremble and break out in a flop sweat. 

“Do you get some kind of sick thrill from tormenting me,” she hissed at Aiden as he took his place next to her at the table.

“Why, Maggie, whatever do you mean?” 

“Do you have any idea how much self control it takes just to live a normal life?  Most of your kind walk around in full glory, assuming that the poor mortals are clueless.  My own kind would think I’m completely bats if I reacted to things no one else could see.”

“I could help you put aside all that anxiety for a while, Maggie,” he offered as he laid a hand across the top of hers.

A sweet, calming warmth spread from her hand across her body.  She immediately felt at peace.  Then the comfort became intense pleasure.  Maggie jerked her hand away from him.

“Stop that!”

“I was only trying to help.  You’re far too uptight and not enjoying yourself.”

“I was enjoying just fine until you showed up.”

“I meant the way you live your life in general.”

“I live my life this way because I can SEE you!  If you really wanted to help, lift this curse from me.”

“You know that I can’t.”

“Some all powerful immortal you are,” she seethed just as the Best Man rose to give the first toast.

It would be her turn next.  Her heart pounded fiercely against her chest and her hands broke out in a sticky sweat.  As she reached for a napkin to dry her hands, she realized that it wasn’t perspiration but a white foam coating her palms. 

She shot a hard look at Aiden.  He smiled and raised  his glass to her. 

A clean soapy scent began to permeate the air.  Her hands had broken out in a sheen of shaving cream.  She wrapped her napkin around her glass.  It only helped a little.  She barely got the first two comments out of her mouth when the shaving cream began to foam up around the glass and drip.  She carried on a moment or two longer as if nothing was happening.  Then the build up of suds became too much, and the glass slipped from her grip.  She blurted out something like “to the bride and groom,” and bolted from the table.

Aiden rose before Liz could and assured her that he would look after Maggie.  He found her on a garden bench outside the hall, her face buried in the foaming pile in her hands. 

She looked up at him before he could touch her. 

“Did you enjoy your little prank,” she hissed.

“You have no one but yourself to blame for that.  Your fear is so strong we can feel the atmosphere vibrating with it.  If I hadn’t been around, you would have most likely burst into flames rather than harmless soap bubbles.”

“So I guess you’re some sort of guardian angel sent to save me from myself?”

“Of a sort, maybe.  You won’t survive long as a seer if you keep trying to control every little element around you.  The beauty of life is in the unexpected.  Do you think your sister Liz would have met the wonderful man she just married if she controlled her life the way you do?

You aren’t broken or cursed, Maggie.  You are of a very rare and gifted sort, and you need to learn to embrace it, rather than fight it.  Take pleasure in what you are.”

He was going to go on when Liz came toward them.

“Maggie, there you are.  Everyone is asking for you.  The whole party was about to go comatose thanks to dear Ewen’s droning toast.  That little shaving cream gag saved the day.  They all want to know how you did it!  Finish cleaning up and come back inside.  We are about to cut the cake.”

Aiden smiled and with the slightest gesture, the sticky mess was gone and Maggie looked even more radiant than ever.

“What say you, Miss Maggie McGee, will you return with me and give life a try?”


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