Mika Oldman loved her Canadian life. She gave blessings and gratitudes in all that she did every day. There were bake sales where her recipes from the old country brought smiles and jealousy from the ladies auxiliary. There was laughter in helping the volunteers clean up the highway. The near impossible hauling of chairs for the fund raiser to help the disabled Johnson child. She did not mind the cold dry winters, and within a couple of years, the neighbours began to worry if they didn’t see her rosy apple red cheeks as she would shovel their sidewalks.
Everyone in the town knew that the Oldmans were generational entries into the Canadian army, John Oldman being the latest was sent overseas for peace keeping duty. There were letters from the grade 5 class to him, they kept him comforted between the rounds of artillery. The sounds and vibrations kept him up through the long tense darkness. The fates were with him, when he spotted the unnamed village.
Two days later, he lead the twenty women and seven children out of the village, limping with three rounds in his leg. She stayed with him, changing the cloth bandages, and kept his forehead cool through a feverish night. Even after they got to safety and parted, she knew that they would be together. She found the way to him, and found him in the hospital filled with British accents and bleach sterilized hallways. He said that he was less of a man without the leg and that he would have to stand on his own. She said she could wait, but it was her that helped him through the therapy. Three days later after the briefing at the consulate, she found him again. Nervous kisses in hallways and a hushed question and surprising answer. Within an hour, there was a priest and papers. She said yes. She truly believed that the fates had brought her together with her new husband.
That was six years ago, but she held a small sliver of fear deep down. The fear came from the threat that took the men in her village. Some nights, he held her. Trying to ease the sounds of the screams from her ears with gentle shushing and holding. Those nights were getting further and further apart. Most of the nights were filled with breathless tired smiles in their too small bedroom. Muscles strained and sore from the work renovating their house, and the new room for the nursery.
It wasn’t a surprise that everyone in the small town saw the government car escort the dignitary to the Oldman’s front door. Word had circulated that there was a problem with Mika’s citizenship, favors were called in, grandmothers had passed word to relatives, which in turn maneuvered into the halls of parliament. But things had changed since the war. The gears of favors didn’t spin the same way, and the gazing eye of inspection fell back to John Oldman’s service record.
“Mrs. Oldman, there seems to be a problem with your citizenship.” The pasty white hands steepled at the hawklike nose, offset by the extreme navy color of the mans suit. “During times of crisis, certain things can be overlooked, and we want to make sure that everything is set right.
She didn’t mention anything, just raised an eyebrow and brought the tray around with the cups of coffee, tea and juice. The man took the small glass of juice, looked at it with a frown then set it in front of him. His hand moved it further away from his presence as if it were a dead rat. “I do realize that your new child will carry dual citizenship as he was born here in Canada. But your marriage at the Consulate is being brought into question.”
She set aside the tray and held her hand up for a moment. Crossing to the fridge, she wrote something down on a list, and then taped it to the kitchen door. She frowned for a moment and wrote something else on the paper and then taped it to the porch door. The man shivered for a moment. Only a hint of a smile crossed her face.
“I’m sorry, must be the prairie winter. We are doing all that we can Mika, but there are obligations which must be fulfilled through my office.” The man took a tentative sip of the juice and then his eyes opened in horror. He tried to stand, but found that he could not move. Looking down, he saw the circular pattern in the hardwood kitchen floor.
Mika stood away, then set to tidying up the kitchen. “We all have our duties. My husband has his to this fine country I call home. And Canada has been welcome to my people. Mine is to this house and family I have made. A moment, Sir?”
She took out a fresh loaf of bread. Cutting the crust on the one end, then taking a dollop of honey from the small brown pot, she set it on the kitchen table. She added a glass of milk. The man eyed the combination for a moment, then took the tiniest morsel of the bread and devoured it with inhuman abandon.
The man’s eyes narrowed and shifted. Iris shifted to a catlike slit with yellow fury. “What have you done, mortal?”
“Grandmother taught me well, I recognized your breed. You are bound to my will by word on the door, and by my gift.” She took down the horse shoe from above the doorframe and brought it closer to the man shaped form in the chair who squirmed at the sight. The black suit swelled with the shifting form. “I see now that it wasn’t bullets that brought me to John, it was meddling. You left the forests and glens. The harmony of plants and life forgotten to declare war on us. You show up here, speaking of my child.”
The form flinched and silently screamed as the cold iron sizzled on his cheek.
“Lets talk about the plans your kind have. For us… mortals.”
Mika Oldman by Pearce Kilgour is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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No invading fey forces were actually harmed in the making of this flash fiction story.