I love stories about Fairies. Among my favorites are The Child Stolen by Fairies by Sheridan le Fanu and The Elfin Stories of Sylvia Townsend-Warner.
Fairies in Celtic and Eastern European traditions are far from the popular Disney Land version of Tinkerbell. Real Fairies are easily offended, given to stealing children, and taking revenge it offended.
They can sometimes be persuaded to intervene in human affairs but only at a price, often a cruel one.
The Fairie Tree by Kathleen Keyembe can take a place among the classic Fairie tales. Our narrator, Marianne, a young woman, we are delightfully tantalized by the suggestion she is not quite human, is sitting under a Faire tree when we meet her. I was hooked from the opening description of the tree.
"Its branches are gnarled like an old woman’s fingers, knobbed like her knees, and the trunk hunches down like she’s reaching for my house. Mamaw said the hole at the base of faerie trees is where faeries come out or rush in or leave gifts if it’s big enough, though I was too young to remember. She says I was fussy in any arms that weren’t hers or the tree, least ’til I got used to everything. When I was real little, Sister says she could always find me curled half in the tree if I’d toddled off, like I fell asleep tryin’ to find Mamaw’s faeries. Still, after she showed me, I was scared to sit in its big open lap for a time, scared faeries would rush on out and into me, and I would have wings beating in me and they’d fly me far from home, just buzzing along like a balloon through the clouds"
Marianne is very distressed today. Her sister had married a man she despises, without telling anyone in the family in advance. She is pregnant. Marianne hated him on first sight. At first the parents argue about the man. Marianne calls him the scarecrow.
Something terrible happens which cries out for revenge. Marianne calls out to the Fairies for revenge. An agreement is reached but the Farires demand a cruel payment.
I liked this story so much I read it three times.
Stories involving the occult only resonate with some, if you are so inclined read "The Fairie Tree" by Kathleen Kayembe.
"Kathleen Kayembe is the Octavia E. Butler Scholar from Clarion’s class of 2016, with stories in Lightspeed, Nightmare, and several Best of the Year anthologies; an essay in the Hugo-nominated anthology Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler; and previous publications with Less Than Three Press. She writes romance as Kaseka Nvita and lives on Twitter as @mkkayembe. A longtime member of the St. Louis Writers Guild, she organizes write-ins instead of movie outings and falls in love with the world every time she uses a fountain pen. You can find her in St. Louis running Amherst Writers and Artists writing groups, scribbling stories into a notebook with an odd little smirk, or playing obnoxiously sensible RPG characters who won’t let party members die." From the author's website. https://www.kathleenkayembe.com/
I hope to soon read her You Will Always Have Family: A Triptych