The directions we found on the internet were indeed correct this time. Finally, we had discovered the key to identifying a real Faery mound and gaining entry. Just as we’d always dreamed since we read the book Celtic Myth in sophomore year of high school. It had been decades of saving up money for the trip and preparing for the attempt.
Of course, you had to go to Ireland to find an authentic one. We’d known that, and the story of how we got to the mound would take longer than this blog’s post size will allow. Suffice it to say that when the instructions in that old book proved useless, we spent a considerable time in the one square meter of land where we could find signal googling to see if anybody else had tried. There were several candidates and we tried each one, going back to the data signal when each one failed. Of course, we found the answer on a decade and a half old Tumblr post on a blog that had been deleted, so what we were actually reading was a screenshot on Mastodon. And we’re not sharing the secret here, it’s too dangerous to you.
We got in. We snuck in.
There was music and dancing and feasting and pretty much everything the old books tell you about. What they don’t tell you is that the Fae only speak a form of ancient Gaelic that isn’t written down anywhere. Somebody else might speak it, but we never met them. Fortunately, their food seems to be a solution to the communication gap.
So we boldly approached the buffet table that they leave out for mortals who they hope would arrive one day and do what we were doing, and looked over the selection for something our autistic body could stomach. Ah, Irish soda bread! We took a slice of that and a knife and generously buttered it.
We looked around as we slowly brought the slice of bread to our mouth, to see if anyone was watching. They were not. Every noble was deeply engaged with their neighbors, laughing and chatting away just under the sound of the music.
The song was “Hook’em Cow” by Boiled in Lead. Probably our least favorite song by that band, but probably chosen just for this occasion.
We always liked Boiled in Lead. Though, we’d mostly stopped listening to their music since our vessel had transitioned for some reason. And they were never a big enough band for Twitter to bother sussing out whether they were secretly problematic or not. We briefly thought about googling them to see if anything had been written on an obscure blog somewhere, to see if Nazi’s liked them or not. But that would mean going outside again and we decided it didn’t matter. The band was stuck in here now for all eternity, after all. With us.
We shrugged and took a bite of the bread.
The music stopped.
Every eye was looking right at us, including those of the poor mortal musicians.
“How would you like to serve us, mortal?” one of the more femme looking nobles asked.
Fae had not spoken in English but we’d understood faer just fine. The bread was working.
We grinned as we masticated the delightful food. Then we swallowed. They all waited while we did this.
We reached for a jug of wine to pour into one of the goblets on the table, calmly watching as the liquid rose to the top of the cup. No need to skimp here.
Putting the jug down, we looked up and spoke in our own language, Fenekere, “Genorema gega ‘uu ‘ekalo’o fefafa.” It’s a clunky language, but it’s the first one the Linguist had invented.
“You understood us,” we spoke in English, “We know the bread works both ways.” Well, the understanding did, not their rules of hospitality – we were flagrantly flaunting those. Then, after a moment of tense silence, we translated for the sake of the readers, “You will protect us from our children, the humans,” then added, “In return, we’ll give you access to our inworld. It’s much… bigger,” we gestured around us, “than this.”
The band looked really confused.