I asked various faeries where Yonya was, and eventually found her on the Interstitial manifestation of Elgin Street. She smelled me before she saw me.
She turned her eyeless red head toward me slightly. “Imbingy. Speak.”
“I have spark for you, my lady.”
She ignored me and turned back to Ginza, the Japanese restaurant she was working on, covering the windows with three-dimensional arabesques that had been influenced by human graffiti. The adornments were only visible in the Interstitium, which is one of the reasons fae like Yonya tended to stay here. Her daughter, the fae lady Eventua, was hovering nearby, watching.
I cleared my throat. “My lady Yonya?”
She completed a swirl she was working on, filling it with spiraling grooves- working mostly just with her mind, but guiding the fine detail of the design with motions of her many appendages. The Interstitial Ginza had no door in the daytime, as it kept opening and closing, always in motion, in the Mundane World. Eventually she turned back to me. “What is it?”
“Spark. Ah, I have spark for you. Very good spark.”
With a flick of a finger the greater fae invited me to her lips.
She towered above me, her head so high I was forced to fly straight up eight feet. I hovered in front of her face and held her cheeks with my hands. Our lips touched, and I released.
When the prodigy’s spark entered her lips she spat me into the road. I bounced on the Interstitial pavement before I could catch the air with my wings.
“Where did you get that?”
I stood and brushed myself off. “A child, my lady Yonya! A genius, come to Ottawa!”
“Come back here.” She motioned to her lips again, her hair moving in waves behind her as though suspended in water.
I smiled, flew back up, and fed her some more.
She pulled me away and held me in her hand and shook me slightly. “Tell me!”
“A pianist. About nine years old. Staying at the Lord Elgin Hotel! He’s going to perform at the National Arts Centre in a few days. And I got his spark!”
“Where did you find him? At the hotel?”
“Yes! I snuck in—“
She threw me against the window of restaurant. Not hard enough to kill me, but enough for it to hurt. I slid down it, through the ephemeral adornments.
“When you find something with that kind of value to me, you don’t go pursue it yourself! You tell me! Immediately!”
I whimpered in pain and nodded. “Yes, lady Yonya.”
“Were you seen?”
I shook my head, holding my hurt arm gently in the other.
“If you’d spooked the family, they might have left Ottawa. Taken him to another fae’s domain!”
She raised her face to the sky and gave a siren call. It echoed off of the hard surfaces of the Interstitial buildings and trees. Faeries in earshot came flying, running, and crawling to us. In minutes we were surrounded by a menagerie.
“There is a prodigy pianist staying at the Lord Elgin. Imbingy, what room!”
“In room 625. Imbingy, prodigies have too much spark for you to drain in time. You’re going to have to lure him to the ingress weir at the statue, and bring him to me where I can drain him all at once. Off with you! And stay away from the owls!”
A faerie I didn’t know, who had the body of a raccoon but a human-like head, stood on her hind legs. “The owls won’t be a problem, lady Yonya. Word says they’re busy minding wildry problems.”
“With the Oversight Parliament occupied, we’ll drain this child of spark before they even hear he’s in town!”
“What if the Micean Council hears about it?”
“I’m not concerned about the mice,” she said, “We have them so busy chasing every little faerie I’ve spread around the city, they’ll never figure out what we’re doing until it’s long done. And it’s not as though a mouse can take me down.”
I bowed. “I couldn’t agree more!” Mice weren’t likely to kill a fae, but did mice kill faeries, like me, all the time. Even if Yonya didn’t have to worry about Councilmice, I certainly did. But it wasn’t in the fae nature to worry too much about her underlings.
I remembered something. “There are pigeons, guarding the weir.”
“Take care of it.” She turned back to continue working on her chimeral adornments.
“As you wish, lady Yonya. I know just the favour to call upon.”
It was time to go back to the Mundane world. I knew a crow wizard who owed me. Big time.