As we started across the grassy meadow, a swarm of Pixies flew at us as if we had conjured them up by speaking about them. I didn't recognize any of them, but that was hardly unexpected with so many new visitors arriving daily. The pixies hovering around us now were wearing the suspenders and soft pointy shoes common among Pixies from the High Region of Faery.
They buzzed around us, a few of them landing on our shoulders.
Alexander, never a fan of having Pixies use him as furniture, spun on the spot to thwart a fair-haired boy from settling on him. His quick movement caused the sledgehammer to smack into another Pixie, sending her spinning to the ground. The tiny fae let out a collective gasp as they stared at her motionless body.
Alexander's eyes grew wide with shock and remorse. The ringleader, a boy with brown hair and a hook nose, flew up in front of his face and shook an accusatory finger at him.
"You KILLED her!"
"I'm sorry! It was an accident. I didn't mean to hurt her." Alexander's complexion paled as he turned to me, silently begging for help.
"Don't you yell at my daddy," Sophia said, shaking her finger to mimic the angry Pixie's gesture.
I ran toward the fallen girl, but Sophia got to her first. She crouched over the Pixie, blocking my view. When she stood again, the dazed but otherwise unharmed Pixie was sitting in her cupped hands.
"Look, she's just fine," Sophia said.
"How did you do that?" The ringleader fluttered over to Sophia, examining her up and down. "What are you? Are you a fae?"
"No, I'm a little girl." Sophia looked at her father, uncomfortable with the boy's sharp questioning. "That's my daddy."
"Not a changeling? My lady lost baby, not long ago. Looking for a changeling." He circled her again, inspecting her from all sides before nodding. "Changeling. But too old to be My Lady's."
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