“Problem Child,” by Tami Veldura, appears in Stolen by the Fae, the 6th volume in the anthology series A Procession of Faeries.
Pane nudged Kipt with one bony elbow. “You’re sure about this? It’s bigger than normal.”
“Big enough to count for two infants, I bet,” said Kipt. “And probably old enough that its head won’t flop around. Humans babies are oddly fragile.”
Pane glanced at the bed, then back to Kipt. “Well?”
“Quiet, I’m thinking.” Kipt had been drawn to stealing this child because of its size, but now that he was here, he had doubts. Faeries could draw the veil aside with a thought, but humans couldn’t even sense it, let alone move it. Infants could be brought across because they were small, like carrying a bag, but this child—a toddler, the humans called it—might be large enough to cause problems.
But he was behind on children and was sure this one would count for two, at least. It was worth trying, anyway.
Pane crept forward and lay the changeling down on the bed beside the human. It was smaller than the human, more bone and less fat. The changeling had grayish-green skin, Kipt had been told once, while humans ranged from pink to darkest black. To his eyes, this one was a medium brown. Like an opal. The two didn’t match, even in Kipt’s limited color vision.
The changeling wiggled to face the sleeping child and touched its face with long, thin fingers. All at once, its natural glamor took over, and suddenly there were twin human children on the bed.
“Ok,” Kipt said. “You grab the arms. I’ll grab the legs. Then we both draw the veil at the same time so we can bring it through.”
“I’m not sure—”
The human child’s face scrunched as it fussed in its sleep. The changeling mimicked it.
“Too late, grab the arms!”
—from “Problem Child,” by Tami Veldura, in Stolen by the Fae
Tami Veldura is an enby/aro/ace author of queer fiction. They have published short stories in anthologies Fresh Starts, Hauntings, Love Among The Thorns, Love Is Like A Box Of Chocolates, Street Magic (a Diamond Quill Book Of The Year winner), the magazine Galaxy’s Edge, and they are a contributing member of the scifi magazine Boundary Shock Quarterly. They publish new work every month, crossing every genre, but always featuring queer characters and found families.