I was going to tell you the best methods of getting rid of the fairy usurper in your house, but I decided to let Agnes, formidable nursemaid to The Blood List’s hero, Barnaby Nightingale, fill you in on the gruesome details (including poisoning it with foxglove tea – above). The baby’s mum, Frances, is not too happy with what she hears…
‘The fairies will not stand to see one of their own hurt, so if the changeling child is threatened they will at once rescue it, returning the original human baby that was stolen.’
‘Go on,’ John said.
‘The first method is to hold the baby over a fire.’
‘No!’ Frances shrieked but Henry’s mother shushed her angrily.
‘Heat and fire are anathema to the changeling and it will fly away. The second is to force foxglove tea down its throat. In a human child this would burn out its throat: the fairy will simply…’
Frances didn’t hear the final part of the sentence.
‘Henry!’ she shrieked, ‘What madness is this? Get her out of my house!’
‘Your house?’ snuffled Henry’s mother, ‘You are wed now, girl, the house is Henry’s.’
‘Hush mother,’ Henry said, then for the first time he looked at his wife and his face crumpled, ‘You must have noticed something wasn’t right, Fan? He won’t look at me. He shows no interest in his surroundings. He looks so… so strange.’
‘If you heat a shovel until its red hot,’ Agnes went on, ‘Then shovel the creature up in it, it will at once leap off and run away. I know a woman who saw such a thing happen with her own eyes.’
So there you go. But for health and safety reasons I couldn’t recommend any of the above methods. Plus I’ll be arrested for incitement to baby-scalding. He probably isn’t a fairy anyway. All babies tend to be foul smelling and evil-tempered. I speak from experience. I’d like to say they get better with age, but, well…