Mistica Chronicles

Welcome to Issue 73

Villainess Winning Entry

The Feast of Giving has always been time of warmth and happiness for Genie. The red and golden leaves, the first nip of chill in the breeze, the eternal smell of cinnamon, she loved it all. But most of all, she loved the time she spent with her father. As far as she was concerned, those days could last forever. Nevertheless, Genie would soon find that this holiday was particularly memorable.

“What do you mean he has Stonelock? Only old Gargoyles get that!” Genie blurt out at the news. She could hardly believe her ears at first. Sure her father had been limping, and his movements had been more stiff, but he was still in his prime. He couldn't be sick! She refused to believe it.

“Now, Genie,” Her mother soothed in her usual stone-cold voice. “Your father is going through alot right now, and needs your su--”

Tears stung her eyes. “This all your fault!” Genie accused. “If you didn't make him work two jobs this never would've happened.” The young gargoyle then spun around and fled to her room before she could be punished.

For the rest of the month, she remained in isolation, never once stirring to partake in usual activities. Bobbing for apples, the turkey run, even the food fight went unacknowledged by the heart-broken child, until one morning.

She awoke on the day of Giving with something new stirring in her stone heart. A fresh desire and hope vibrated through her body. Today, she decided, in the spirit of the Holiday, she would give her ill father the best Feast of Giving.

In the early hours between dawn and morning, Genie busied herself with cleaning the house and setting up the dusty decorations. She prepared the turkey, mashed the cranberries, and mixed the stuffing. By the time the first drop of sunlight filled the kitchen, she had nearly finished with the meal. All that was needed was the fabled Cinnacorn Pie - her father’s favorite.

“What are you doing?” Her mother’s voice called out, as she shuffled into the kitchen.

“I am making dinner.”

The expressionless woman looked around at all of Genie’s hard work and blinked once. “You have made a mess.”

Genie puffed out her cheeks a little and turned her face away from her mother as she searched for the last ingredients. “I will clean it up when I am done, Ma.”

“And when will that be?”

“Once I make Dad’s pie.” Genie retorted.

There was silence as Genie measured and tossed in the ingredients, but she could sense her mother drawing closer like a haruba stalking her prey. Sure enough… “You are doing it all wrong.”

“How’s that?”

“You have to start all over.”

Anger surged through Genie’s heart at her mother’s monotone words. She swore she turned a dark purple at the very thought. Faster than she could contain herself the words bubbled to the surface and spilled out of her mouth. “I am following the instructions! So I do not need your help.” She spun around, waving the whisk. Only too late did she realize she had gotten some of the orange pulp on her mother’s face.

The women looked startled - well as far as Genie could tell, which was hard for even her. Slowly, she moved her claw to her cheek and removed the gunk. And to Genie’s surprise, it got flung right back at her.

Before either of them knew it, they were scooping up large handfuls of pie filling to toss at each other. When they ran out of the filling, they moved onto the cranberry sauce, the stuffing, even the gravy! The whole kitchen became a battle scene of flying edible projectiles. All Genie’s hard work came undone.

“What is going on here?” Her father’s shocked voice stopped both in mid-fling.

Genie’s face quickly became flushed. Words tumbled out of her mouth, but they fell on deaf ears. Belly-rumbling laughter filled the room as her father threw back his head and laughed. When he came to several long seconds later, a grin was splayed across his face.

“Well this looks like a proper Feast of Giving.”