In Which Our Heroes Arrange a Rendezvous and a Titaness Objects to Being Given A Cutesy Nickname
(Desk Phone Rings)
Peri: Hello, Magic Support Department. This is Peri.
Magic Mirrors: Peri, Peri, on the phone,
At her desk and all alone.
Stay vigilant and be brave,
Turn your sight towards the grave.
Peri: Hi Magic Mirrors. Is this about whatever zombie Saffron dealt with earlier?
Magic Mirrors: Oh, so you already know?
Peri: Yeah, thanks for the warning though.
Magic Mirrors: Want to meet at ten or so?
Peri: If I can. I’ll let you know.
Magic Mirrors: Farewell Peri, we must go.
(Peri hangs up)
(Peri's phone rings)
Saffron: Hello Peri? That stupid kid messed it up.
Tristan: I’m so sorry. Frogs are slippery.
Peri: Saff, try to be a little more patient, it was his first time and mermaids are a sneaky bunch. And anyway, we still have a couple of hours before we have to get the frog back to The Academy.
Saffron: He has a name Peri. It’s Ira.
Saffron: Do not cross me little man.
Tristan: But I’m taller than you?
Peri: It sounded to me like Tristan was doing fine trying to trade for the frog before you came in and started stabbing them with tridents.
Saffron: Peri, do not contradict me in front of the kid, we need to have a united front raising this little screw-up.
Tristan: I have to crane my neck to look down at you.
Saffron: Why are men so obsessed with height?
Peri: Suddenly two hours seems like a really short time. Hey, any chance I can talk to the mermaids?
Saffron: Sure. HEY MERMAIDS, CATCH.
Peri: Wait, wait, WAIT.
(ambient underwater noise from here on out)
(Mermaids have three almost identical voices. Mischievous and taunting, but creepily musical.)
Mermaid 1: Hello?
Mermaid 2: Hello?
Mermaid 3: Hello?
Peri: Oh, this is waterproof? Nice. Hello Mermaids? Is Ivan okay?
Ivan: Prince Ivan, if you please.
Peri: Your highness, how are you holding up? Are all your limbs still attached?
Ivan: Thank you, yes. Apologies for hopping away, I was merely trying to put some distance between myself and the homicidal fairy.
(mermaids laughing in the background)
Peri: That’s a very understandable instinct.
Ivan: Is rescue at hand?
Peri: Rest assured your highness, we will get you free. Mermaids: what will you take in exchange for Ivan?
Mermaid 1: For our froggy?
Mermaid 2: Our lovely, darling froggy?
Mermaid 3: We couldn’t bear to be parted from him.
Mermaid 1: Couldn’t possibly.
Mermaid 2: Not for all the pearls in the sea.
Mermaid 3: Not for all the gold in the earth.
Mermaid 1: Not for all the diamonds in the mountains.
Peri: Not even for… I don’t know, cash?
Peri: Okay, okay, toss the phone back to the homicidal fairy please.
(crackling noise then static then silence)
Peri: Hello? Hello? Oh no.
(Peri dials a number on her mobile)
Saffron: Give me that. Hello? Peri? Those stupid sushi-butts ATE my phone.
Peri: Ate it?
Saffron: Well, took bites out of it then spit them out, it was GROSS.
Peri: I’m so sorry Saffron.
Saffron: Why do people keep saying mermaids are so pretty? They’re disgusting.
Peri: At least they didn’t eat the frog.
Saffron: UGH. What are we going to do Per?
(Peri's desk phone rings)
Peri: Sorry, I have a couple of calls waiting, but I WILL think of something. You two just keep an eye on Ivan.
(Mobile hangs up)
Peri: Hello. Magic Support Department. This is Peri.
Cassie: Hi Peri, it’s Cassie again.
Peri: *sigh* Hello Cassiopeia.
Peri: So what’s the problem?
Cassie: I just don’t know! I was granting a small miserable child’s wish like any good star would, but now it’s been eye-leaking for a while now and I remembered how you told me to call you when a child does that.
Peri: Yes. Always do that. Hold on, let me look up your last assignment….. It looks like this is the assignment I closed for Saffron this morning? What did the kid wish for?
Cassie: It’s exact words were “I wish I had my hamster back”.
Peri: The zombie!
Cassie: What’s a zombie?
Peri: Cassie, was the hamster dead?
Peri: Not moving? Possibly in the ground?
Cassie: Both those things!
Peri: Well, the good news is that Saffron managed to avert the zombie apocalypse, but Cassie you broke the reanimation rule again!
Peri: Cassie you have to learn the difference between alive and not alive. I’m scheduling you in for some biology classes at The Academy.
Cassie: Oooh, can’t you just give me wishes that involve making dresses and jewelry? I’m really, really good at those!
Peri: You are Cassie, you are, but it’s not festival season and we must all strive to improve ourselves.
Cassie: But I don’t need to go back to the academy. Professor Holle is so.. Brrrr! It’s just that I thought the hamster burrowed in the ground and took a nap, that’s all. It won’t happen again. I’m super good at biology, really!
Peri: That kid who made the wish. Boy or girl?
Cassie: I don’t like to label people Peri.
Peri: I’ll email you your course schedule later.
Cassie: Fine. Hey, me and Andromeda are going to the movies later. Want to come?
Peri: Sure. I’ll bring Saffron. Bye Cassie.
(Peri hangs up)
(Peri's phone rings)
Peri: This is Magic Support. Peri speaking.
Undine: Hello Peri.
Peri: Hi Undine, what can I do for you?
Undine: Just a quick question, if somebody made a wish on my well, but the coin dropped was a stolen one, do I grant it?
Peri: Huh. I’m not sure. I can ask Legal for you.
Undine: How about I grant it, but in a twisted monkey’s paw sort of way. That’ll teach em.
Peri: Let me call Legal. Hang on.
(Desk phone dialing)
Themis: This is Themis.
Peri: Hi Themis, it’s Peri with Undine. Stolen coin used on a wishing well?
Themis: Push the thief into the wishing well.
Undine: Missy I like your style.
Themis: *sighs* Fine. Grant the wish of the original owner of the coin. Distress Department can ID them. Regular rules apply. Don’t Call me Missy.
Undine: But I like Missy.
Themis: I’m sure you do, Undie.
Undine: Yuck. Okay, fine, bye Themis.
(Peri hangs up)
Peri: Hey Themis, would you say you’re good at getting people to do what you want?
Peri: Can you help us work out a negotiation with some uncooperative mermaids?
Peri: But a frog prince really needs our help.
Themis: I know about Saffron’s mentorship, and it’s just a first assignment. The worst that can happen is one F. I don’t mean to sound callous Peri, but I have more important work to do. I’m sure your people are more than capable.
Peri: *sigh* Alright Themis. See you at book club Wednesday?
Themis: You know I never miss book club.
(Peri hangs up)
(Peri calls Saffron on her desk phone)
Saffron: Yes Peri, my beautiful, wonderful rescuer?
Peri: Uh, I just called to tell you that Andy and Cassie want to see a movie tonight.
Saffron: Yeah, fine, I’ll need something fun to get rid of all this stress knotting up my wings. A comedy, okay? I do NOT want Andy to drag us to a tearjerker again. Can we get drinks with the Distress Department girls later?
Peri: You know I don’t drink Saff.
Saffron: Get something non-alcoholic and we’ll just have fun hanging out.
Peri: Hanging out with drunk fairies isn’t my ideal night out. How do the distress girl even drink or consume food anyway?
Saffron: They eat and drink the reflections of real world stuff. They don’t have to, but hanging out with drunk fairies is an AMAZING night out.
Tristan: Uh, excuse me? But what about Ivan?
Saffron: Oh Tristan. For a brief and glorious moment I forgot you were there. Shut up for just a few seconds, the grown-ups are talking.
Peri: (thoughtful) Huh.
Peri: Let me call you back, I want to try something.
Saffron: Well, hurry back.
(Peri calls Themis)
Themis: This is Themis.
Peri: It’s Peri again.
Themis: If this is about your negotiation issue, you know how much I hate time wasters.
Peri: It is, but if I know you and I think I do, then there’s two things I know you love: a well-paced, well-written political thriller with strong characters, and justice.
Themis: I do love those things. Carry on.
Peri: You have book club with me and some other girls Wednesday, right? What are you doing tonight?
Themis: The Distress girls have invited me to go drinking with them. Maybe that. Naturally, I didn’t give them my promise.
Peri: Tomorrow night?
Themis: Shopping with some of the girls from Finance. I could use a few more black blazers.
Peri: Right! We all know each other and hang out all the time. A lot of us have been friends since The Academy and some of us even before then. We all take it for granted that we can call on each other for support.
Themis: Are you trying to use sentimentality on me?
Peri: No no no! Just making a point. What if you were never invited to that first tea-party?
Themis: You mean like the young man who wants to be a fairy godparent?
Peri: Exactly. This is an extremely female-dominated field. The system is set up against him.
Themis: I do agree that this doesn’t sound fair, but helping him retrieve one frog won’t change -
Peri: Please Themis. Professor Holle is just waiting for him to fail.
Themis: Professor Holle?
Peri: Yes, why?
Themis: When is the assignment due?
Peri: We have less than two hours.
Themis: No, when is it due?
Peri: It just says end of the day. Classes are over in -
Themis: I can’t get out of the work I’m doing now, but if you and Saffron skip drinks tonight we can still have the frog turned in by midnight, the technical end of the day.
Peri: Thanks Themis! Uh, did Prof-
Themis: I’m needed elsewhere. See you tonight. My office. Ten sharp.
(Peri calls Saffron)
Saffron: That was NOT hurrying back. This Tristan kid is sooo boring.
Peri: I got Themis to help!
Saffron: No way! Themis? The Titaness with all the finesse? Those mermaids don’t stand a chance.
Peri: She’ll meet us tonight, we’ll have to skip drinks.
Saffron: Ugh, the little twerp cost me my girls night out?
Peri: We can probably still catch the movie, but we have to hurry right after.
Saffron: Right right, do you think Themis will bring her sword?
Peri: I don’t think she ever leaves without it.
Saffron: I’ll try to tell the Distress girls I can’t make it. You know how they are about “broken oaths”. You make sure this doesn’t interfere with half-pint’s bed time.
(Saffron tosses phone to Tristan)
Tristan: I'm sixteen years old - oh hello Peri.
Peri: Hi Tristan. You don’t have a curfew or anything, do you?
Tristan: I think I can get away with staying out late tonight. Everyone in my family is out of town for a jousting tournament.
Saffron: (background) Jousts are sooo fun, ideal flirting grounds. Why didn’t you go you wet blanket?
Tristan: Well, I had schoolwork and I don’t like situations where animals could get hurt.
Saffron: (background) pfftttt, killjoy.
Peri: Good for you Tristan. Can you meet me at the lobby a few minutes before ten?
Tristan: Okay, how will I recognize you in case Saffron can’t make it?
Peri: Well, I wear a black hijab, uhh.. Black abbaya today, I’ll probably stick with it, unless I switch to my sparklier one since we’re going out... and um.. Oh, I’m a being of blue smokeless fire.
Tristan: I should be easy to spot. I’ll be the only guy there.
Peri: Right. See you later.
(Peri hangs up)