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- exclusive by Kalindi for the Fae News and City Report
The Gnome Rights Coalition today threatened further strikes as part of its ongoing campaign for equal rights in public facilities accommodations, “Equal Rights for Unequal Heights!” Uneasy Baltimore citizens may recall the overflowing orange sewage in Woodberry and the broken water main downtown, both results of the largely-underground gnome riots of 2013. Both Seelie and Unseelie queens worked together that year to broker a deal for more potatoes and more sick leave for the gnomes who keep our underground services running smoothly. The Gnome Rights Coalition has said to expect more flooding if this year’s demands are not satisfactorily addressed. This year’s campaign focus is on public toilets sized for our smaller denizens.
“I notice,” said Elder Grubhunter, an assistant foreman in the Gnome Pipe-workers’ Union, “That our larger brethren, the giants, have any number of larger toilet stalls sized for them. In fact, theirs have a special designation of ‘handicapped’ so that most humans won’t use them, leaving those stalls open for giants’ exclusive use. Meanwhile, I need to carry a stepladder everywhere I go in case I have to take a [bathroom break]! As it is, my aim is really stretched to its limits, and most times everything ends up on the toilet seat or the floor. Not my fault. And it all comes back to one thing: size-ism! Just because I can’t squish you into jelly doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to [urinate] in peace.”
Her Serene Seelie Majesty Queen Shaylea III of the Aubergine Faeries has expressed her sympathies to our smaller citizens’ plight, and has pledged to work to make the realm of Baltimore friendlier for everyone, regardless of size. In fact, we can exclusively reveal that the May coronation ceremony will feature both standard-size facilities and others sized to gnomes, pixies, and smaller pwca – look for the signs! Her Excellent and Supreme Unseelie Majesty Queen Naimah I of Amandari has suggested the gnomes should, “suck it up,” and relieve themselves wherever they feel moved to do so, if they can’t find a toilet that meets their needs. “After all,” remarked Queen Naimah’s spokesgoblin, “that’s what humans do.”
February's Fairy Tale readings included pirates, sea serpents and jellyfish, and a visit from Ariel, the little mermaid in her human form! The faeries are hoping you can bring your children March 28, when Fae Michele, Madam Make-Believe will be back! There are snacks! And usually balloons and/or facepaints!
On February 28th, despite the show (AGAIN), the local press came out also, and wrote this article: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/north-baltimore/ph-ms-faerie-tells-0305-20150304-story.html
Thank you to Larry Perl, writer, and Steve Ruark, photographer! Excerpt:
"It's beautiful," Calloway said when asked why she brought Fiona and Fiona's sister, Etta, 1, to North Baltimore to participate in Faerie Tells, a new, monthly storytelling and play hour at the Episcopal church. "It's creative. You get to run around and have fun."
Faeries have a place in Calloway's world view. When asked whether she actually believes in them, she said, "I do in a way. There are a lot of mysterious things that happen — and faeries are mischievous."
The Baltimore region's surprisingly robust network of faerie enthusiasts is making plenty of mischief these days, much of it at Guardian Angel, 27th Street and Huntingdon Avenue, where they are organizing a Baltimore Faerie Faire, believed to be the first urban festival of its kind in the city.
The fest is set for May 16, two weeks after the 24th annual Spoutwood Farm May Day Faerie Festival, May 1-3 in Glen Rock, Pa. — considered the faerie godmother of faerie festivals — and a month before the 11th annual Maryland Faerie Festival, which is scheduled for June 14-15, in Darlington in Harford County.
In response to concern over informal statements reported from the Corvid Convocation of Finance, Her Serene Seelie Majesty Queen Shaylea III conducted an official audit of the realm’s treasury today. She emerged from the tower ashen and clearly distressed, with news that, although the treasury is indeed flourishing, the Crown Jewels are missing and presumed stolen. Last publicly seen at the annual official coronation of Her Excellent and Supreme Unseelie Majesty Naimah I, a full four months ago during the Samhain revels, it is insisted by multiple witnesses that the jewels were duly returned to the Great Raven’s care immediately afterward.
Savvy citizens will of course realize that, without the crown jewels and the binding enchantments within them, power cannot be transferred from Unseelie to Seelie at the official coronation ball in May. This effectively leaves Her Excellent and Supreme Majesty Naimah I in power indefinitely. In light of the previously reported arguments of state between the two sisters in December, many within the realm suspect a duplicitous play – well within her character – by the Unseelie Queen to exploit a technicality and confirm all of the realm as her own without contest.
The more long-lived of our citizens will of course remember the last time such a power play was made. The Year Without a Summer, reckoned in mortal time as 1816, included frost in August and frozen rivers and lakes as far south as Pennsylvania, and marked the time when Queen Tenobia the Triumphant asserted her extended reign over the realm of New England, our neighboring realm to the north. Unless the crown jewels can be found before May 16th, coronation day, citizens of the realm can expect unseasonable cold, cocoa shortages, and increased incidences of hauntings, apparitions, and wild hunt sightings indefinitely.
Her Serene Seelie Majesty Queen Shaylea III has implored anyone with information to come forward, with 500 shinies as a reward for any information leading to recovery of the crown jewels. Her Excellent and Supreme Unseelie Majesty Queen Naimah I has released an official statement disavowing any involvement in the disappearance of the crown jewels and offering an additional 50 shinies for information that will lead to the perpetrator. This minimal effort at recovery on the part of the Unseelie is seen by many leading citizens as little more than a token effort meant to deflect suspicion from their own court in what many respected analysts are calling a blatant power grab. When asked to comment on rumors that Queen Naimah is attempting to seize year-round control of the throne, her courtiers merely snickered before giving their official statement: “Whatever. It wasn’t us, you can’t prove it, and we’re staying put until Twinkletoes gets her [edited] together and finds the crown.” Queen Shaylea III’s herald made an official reply on his mistress’s behalf: “Bless their hearts, with all implications thereunto.”
No doubt enticed by the promise of reward shinies, there has been considerable interest among the Magpie Court in the progress of the investigation. Queen Maggie has stated that her retainers will be personally reviewing security statements to determine when exactly the crown was stolen. Queen
Maggie’s official statement was: “If it got past Magpies, Magpies will find the shiny crown! It definitely got stolen by somebody we did not catch. We never let a shiny get away!”
A convocation of Corvids recently convened at the Cathedral of Mary our Queen on Charles Street to discuss the state of the treasury. The Great Raven, who as we all know guards the vault in the Bromo Seltzer tower, made his key opening remarks in High Corvid to open the meeting. Our translators report a positive tone and an encouraging note about the realm’s increased reserve of shinies.
Some suspicion remains, however, that the true state of the realm’s finances is less than robust. Small groups of Magpies were spotted at various places during the event, speaking in low hushed tones in a Magpie dialect of Corvid Cant, which translators could not fully understand. As the Magpies are employed almost exclusively as the Great Raven’s signature treasury guard, their distress is something savvy market-watchers take an interest in. As the saying goes, you will never get a shiny past a magpie! The snatches of conversation available to us indicate a heavy and distressing repetition of, “big/many shiny missing/hidden,” and, “secret dark queen.”
Has the Unseelie Queen been embezzling realm funds during her season on the throne? Could this be some trick of the Magpies? It is to be hoped that Her Serene Seelie Majesty Shaylea III will conduct a full audit of the treasury to confirm the state of the realm’s finances before her annual coronation gala, May 16th.
editor’s note: A convocation of Corvids is also known as a ‘murder’.
A free hour of costumed faeries reading, telling and listening to Stories! Yay! Juice, cookies, facepaints, and balloon animals were there for the first one January 24th. s well as several faeries.
Come to the Church of the Guardian Angel, the site of the first annual Baltimore Faerie Faire, in the Remington neighborhood of Baltimore. The Thrift store is open from 10-2 each Saturday, and the fairies will visit each 4th Saturday. February 28th (almost Spring!) March 28th (really truly Spring!) and April 25th, leading up to the Faire, May 16th.
Visitors to the Rawlings Conservatory got an extra treat this Winter, with numerous Green Man and Green Lady sightings at odd hours in the Tropical, Mediterranean, and Palm Houses, as well as the outdoor gardens. Twiddle Fletchenstaff, head of the fae gardening division, has been working extensively with the Green Outreach program to secure visits from the master and mistress of all green things, and he informs Fae News exclusively that their visits at this time are a positive sign in the process.
“I couldn’t be more delighted to have greeted the Green Man and his Lady as our guests at the Conservatory,” Mr. Fletchenstaff effused. “Of course they don’t announce their visits in advance. These are surprise inspections, to see if our operations are up to the Green Outreach program’s standards – but I’m confident that we have made a good impression.” Indeed, many agree with Mr. Fletchenstaff’s assessment.
Three dryads, who have grown considerably since the visits, confirm that each spent several minutes in company with the Green Man. It promises to be a vibrant and flourishing Spring for our plants at the Rawlings Conservatory!
Meanwhile, a human child named Alysha Coombs, age 8, confirms that the Green Lady spent nearly an hour lingering among the orchids in the Tropical House on January 12th of this year. Older humans of course dismissed her insistence about a green lady with green skin and leaves as hair with remarks such as, “Children have such imaginations, don’t they?” Clearly these grown-ups can’t even tell when they’re being interviewed by a brownie; one shudders to think what nonsense they’re peddling to children instead of the simple truth. We’ve seen what they peddle as “brownies” and find it beyond disturbing that children are coached to EAT them. Young Ms. Coombs, naturally, has been invited back in the spring for a special tour by Mr. Fletchenstaff himself.
As many of those sensitive to the turning of the year are no doubt aware, the Winter Solstice was a delicate and difficult time this year. As part of the ongoing dispute between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, the weather whipped back and forth from deathly cold to positively spring-like. There could of course be no doubt that their Majesties the Queenes were having Words of a most pointed sort.
However, those who were out at the exact turn of the year may have noticed the elf-lights bobbing about in Druid Hill Park.
Rumor has it that this was a mediating delegation of elves sent from the further reaches of the Kingdom of Apples. As mere subjects of the Realm we are of course not entitled to pry into affairs of state, but the calm and settled weather immediately following indicates that the delegation was successful in brokering an agreement.
According to Lilaea, a prominent limniad who resides in Druid Lake, she and her sisters (who form the local celebrated band “Sirens Wail”) provided musical entertainment for the visiting dignitaries, who were escorted home after the festivities through our complex faerie tunnel network that mortals insist on referring to as “sewers”. Neither Queen has yet released an official statement about the Solstice Truce, instead insisting that there is a redcap uprising in Western Cemetery that requires all of our attention.
When questioned by your intrepid reporter, both the local Penrose Nockers and the Gremlins Benevolent Association issued a firm statement that there have been no recent issues, beyond the usual. “You know redcaps,” stated one gremlin who asked not to be identified, “they’re always up to something – probably just letting off some steam.” This reporter is left wondering what exactly it is that their Majesties the Queens wish to avoid discussing with the press.
Nina Amaya is the director of the Baltimore Faerie Faire and the Aubergine Faeries. She edits submissions from reporters such as Star Reporter Kalindi, the Winged Storyteller. We welcome your submissions!