Steal away to the wild world of the Fae!
In the darkest dark of night
The faeries come to see the sight
A sleeping child, sweet as can be
Its cheeks red as stolen cherries
They whisper, then sing the child a song
It stirs, and smiles, and slumbers along
Faster than the eye can see
They swap it with a sickly Fae baby
In the morn, the parents find the sight
Of a babe who looks like their own…but not quite
Stolen by the Fae, the 6th volume in the anthology series A Procession of Faeries, contains sixteen stories based on the mythology of the changeling, in which the Fae steal a human and replace it with one of their own kind. Sometimes their motivations are good…and sometimes they are not good at all.
A man in “The Replacement,” by Ron Collins, has always felt different. He finally discovers the truth about his past, and it is not at all what he expected.
An elderly resident disappeared from the care home in “Honeysuckle and Blue,” by Karen L. Abrahamson. But how did he manage to get out through the locked doors? And are the wanderings of Posey, a dementia patient who’s over ninety years old, related?
In “The Bonds of, Like, Sisterhood or Whatever,” by Brigid Collins, Alyssa has the best big sister ever. So sure, Alyssa is a fairy changeling and Linn is human and isn’t really her sister, but whatever! The only real problem they’re facing is that they need a singer for their band, otherwise they won’t be able to compete in the high school Battle of the Bands. But maybe they could bust their other sister—the one Alyssa was swapped for—out of Faerie and she could join the band…
Poppy, a sixteen-year-old changeling, enters the Faerie realm in search of her real parents in “Family Fair and True,” by Dayle A. Dermatis. But in Faerie, the adage “Be careful what you wish for” takes on a whole new meaning.
Over twenty kids have been found dead in Olivia Wylie’s “Hybrid Vigor.” It looks almost like they drowned, but not quite. Can the Ard Ri of the Good Folk, who is part Dratsie and part Human, find the murderer before the latest missing child is killed?
In Leah R. Cutter’s “Fairy Traps,” Old Fairy Smithers is a terrible gardener, and not at all fun. But worse than that, she’s stolen a human baby! Terrence’s parents don’t believe him when he tells them about the baby, but can’t allow Smithers to put the human-fairy pact at risk, so he’s going to have to take care of things all on his own.
Someone has replaced the faerie ambassador’s baby with a human child in “Bait and Switch: A Crossroad City Tale,” by Rebecca M. Senese. Faerie Maeve Hemlock, lead detective in the Spells and Misdemeanours Bureau of Crossroad City, is called in to investigate, and finds there is a lot more going on than it appears.
Bug is stolen from his home and taken to the Dark Court on orders from the Queen of Faerie in Anthea Sharp’s “The Bug in the Dark Court.” Will his older brother realize he’s been replaced by a changeling and save him, or will Bug spend the rest of his days trapped in the Faerie Realm?
In “Hunter by Night,” by Annie Reed, Colton’s happy life shattered into a million pieces when a changeling kidnapped his pregnant wife. The police never caught the kidnapper—difficult to do when a changeling can shift their appearance to look like anyone—so now Colton scours the city at night, hunting for that one creature who robbed him of everything that made life worth living. But what he hunts down this night will change his life forever.
A feral cat is given the chance to spend 24 hours in another form in Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s “The Destroyer.” Can he use this opportunity to vanquish the destroyer?
Behind on his quota of stolen human children, Kipt decides to take a toddler instead of a baby in “Problem Child,” by Tami Veldura. To his horror, he learns why faeries only steal babies.
Carol and her husband tried and tried to have a child in “Two Pies out of One Pan,” by Thea Hutcheson, but she remained barren. Finally she asked Brigid, the Tuatha Dé Danaan goddess of the hearth, for a miracle. But miracles do not come for free.
Deb Logan’s “Flutterbies and French Toast” takes us to a world where when children born to survivors of a pandemic reach the age of five, they develop strange and inexplicable powers which they cannot control. To protect their populations, governments around the world are locking up children. Rick and Jennifer decide to go into hiding to protect their daughter…but at what cost?
A haunting magical melody draws Queen Simone out of the Faery Realm and into the human world she once was a part of in “Street Song,” by Leslie Claire Walker. The song triggers violence in the streets, endangering innocents—including humans she loves. Can Simone find the source and stop the music before it kills?
Butler buys some old books from a woman who claims her husband made her daughter disappear years ago in DeAnna Knippling’s “Estimated Value.” There’s no way of knowing what really happened to the girl, of course…or is there?
In Jamie Ferguson’s “The Wishing Thorn,” Leah never believed in her Irish grandmother’s stories about trees granting wishes, but after having her life turned upside-down, she decided to see if the stories were real after all. She chose to make her wish of a blackthorn: the tree of warfare and ill omens, and the keeper of dark secrets…