This was a bit of an experiment. I’m sure the grammar nazis will have much to say about my punctuation. I’m still one week behind my weekly challenge…
“Omg girl, where have you been?”
“You’re not going to believe this. I was having a salad at that sidewalk café on Main St…”
“Oh, did you have that one with the kale and quinoa?”
“No, I like the one with the spinach and strawberry vinaigrette.”
“That’s really good, too.”
“Anyway, I was just digging in when this cute guy throws himself into the other seat at my table. He grabs a roll of silverware off the next table and gets a forkful of my salad.”
“Rude! Wait, how cute was he?”
“He looks like Ryan from All My Friends.”
“Oh yeah, he’s hot.”
“Pretend we’re together for a few minutes and I’ll make it worth your while.” He says.
“Did you tell him to get lost?”
“I would have, but then, these other guys come running down the street. One stops right in front of us. I can see a gun in his jacket.”
“Did you cover for the guy?”
So, he whispers in my ear, “Pretend that I’m telling you something flirty.”
“I kind of smile and giggle. The guy with the gun finally moves on.”
“Thanks.”, The guys says, sitting back in his chair.
“Then he throws a twenty on the table and runs off.”
“Twenty? That’s making it worth your while?”
“Well, I didn’t even have time to care about that. The guys with the guns came running back. The one that had stopped before looks at me.”
“Where’s the guy that was sitting with you?”, he asks.
“Um…he went to the bathroom?”, I say.
“Wait, why did you cover for him?”
“They had guns. I didn’t want to seem like I was a part of whatever was going on.”
“Oh, that’s smart.”
The guy says, “Bathroom? I have reports of a man matching his description running out of the other entrance.”
I say, “Well, he told me that’s where he was going.”
Another of the guys, comes back and says, “We’ve looked at camera footage from three different businesses. It was him.”
The first guy says, “Ma’am, I’m not sure how you fit into all of this but, you’re going to have to came with us.”
I say, “I’m not going anywhere with you. What’s going on anyway?”
The man pulls out his wallet and shows me a FBI badge. He tells me, “I’m agent Rice. The man that sat at your table was Heathcliff Ross. He’s an international jewel thief. We’ve been chasing him since his bus pulled in yesterday.”
I say, “Okay, so what does any of that have to do with me? I mean, the guy just sat down and asked me to play along.”
Rice says, “Ross is very good at hiding his identity. He’s so good that none of us have seen his face. You have. He doesn’t usually leave witnesses like this. We need to get you somewhere safe.”
“I’m sorry but I have to get going. It’s my friend’s dog’s birthday.”, I explain.
He says, “Your friend’s dog? Ma’am you’re in danger?”
“Hold up, did you explain how important Mr. Tinkles is? And how his pool party birthday is the bash of the whole summer?”
“I tried. Before I knew it, they were loading me and my salad into a van.”
“Wait. Why the salad?”
“He ate some of it. They wanted his DNA. They grabbed the fork and napkin, too.”
“Was the van like the ones on tv? Was it full of cool equipment and computers?”
“No, it was just a windowless van with benches along either side. Agent Rice sat across from me. I couldn’t see where we were going, but we were going fast. I almost slid off when we hit a sharp corner. Then we slammed to a stop and this other guy gets in.”
Rice says, “Emily, this is Stanley. He’s a sketch artist. I need you to tell him everything you remember about Ross.”
“You gave them your real name?”
“I had to, they went through my purse when we got in the van. They saw my license. So, I start to tell them, just like I told you. Agent Rice sighs at me.”
He says, “We need a description.”
I say, “I just did.”
Stanley says, “He looks like a guy from a tv show, isn’t a description.”
I say, “Well that’s not my fault.”
Rice says, “Maybe it is. Maybe you think Heathcliff Ross is cute and want to help him. Maybe you are actually his accomplice and that’s why he showed you his face.”
I say, “That’s crazy. You think I might be an international jewel thief?’
“He starts to say something, but it feels like we hit a bump. The van shook so hard, I banged my head on the wall. The van rocks a second time and Stanley gets knocked on to the floor. Agent Rice goes up front to see what’s going on.”
“He tells us to Hang on to something because we’re being rammed.”
“Rammed? Like in the movies?”
“Yeah, except movies don’t show how much it hurts. We were thrown around the van. I landed on Stanley twice before I just stayed on the floor. The salad is going everywhere. Finally, the van spins, I almost throw up, and we hit something really hard. I sit up as, the back door opens, and this woman is standing there with a gun.”
“Come with me, now.”, she says to me in an accent.
“Not so fast, Malta.” Stanley says.
“I look over at him. He has his own gun and it’s pointing at the woman. I think, I’m about to get in the middle of a gun fight. The only weapon, I have is the fork that I’m sitting on.”
“What could you do with a fork? I mean, she had a gun.”
“You know that I took those self-defense lessons at the gym.”
“MY trainer didn’t mention forks but, I wasn’t going to get kidnapped without a fight.”
“You go girl.”
“Well, I have my fork ready but, Agent Rice comes out of nowhere and tackles the woman. They both go flying back out the door. Stanley and I both go to watch. They’re fighting in the dirt.”
Malta says, “We just want the girl.”
Rice says, “You know I can’t let you have her.”
She’s out of breath as she punches, “We’re going to get her one way or another.”
“I jump when I hear a bang and Stanley falls back into the van. It takes me a minute to realize that he’s been shot.”
“Not Stanley, he’s my favorite. Is he okay?”
“I don’t get a chance to find out because, someone grabs my shoulder. My self-defense training worked because I turn around and aim for the face with my fork.”
“Did It work?”
“Yes, I get the guy right in the eye. He’s screaming, I’m screaming, and there’s blood everywhere. The fork is just stuck there. Suddenly, there’s a lot of FBI people and an ambulance. Agent Rice leads me to a car and lets me clean the blood off my hands.”
“Well that was dramatic.”, he says.
“Dramatic? I guess if you work in the FBI, you see this kind of stuff all the time but, I don’t. It’s a lot more than dramatic for me.”, I say.
For the first time ever, I see him grin. He says, “Even in the FBI, I don’t see people get stabbed with forks, very often.”
Another agent comes over, she says, “Malta and the others got away but, we have Morris in custody. He’s on his way to the hospital. Stanley is too, he should be alright. It was just a flesh wound. The good news is, Morris is already talking. He says, someone is paying them to get something back that Ross stole. Ross told them that he would trade them for the girl.”
Rice says to me, “Wait here, I want to talk to him myself.”
“He locks me in, like I’m some kind of criminal. At least he leaves it running so I’m not hot. That’s when I saw the time on the clock and I realized that I was totally missing your party.”
“Why didn’t you call me?”
“They took my phone with my purse. It was still in the crashed van. All I had on me was the twenty that I’d shoved in my pocket. Anyway, Rice comes back and gets in the driver’s seat.”
“Morris didn’t have anything to add. I’m taking you to a safehouse.”, he says.
I tell him, “Just take me home. Ross doesn’t know where I live or anything.”
“Malta and Morris are very bad people. They’re a lot more dangerous than Ross. They will find you.”
I say, “Well can I have my purse and phone?”
He says, “The van is already on its way to the yard. We’ll get it later.”
“You know, the last person who tried to kidnap me got stabbed with a fork.”, I say, trying to sound brave.
He smiles, as he says, “I’ll be careful.”
“He drives us to Fairhope.”
“That gated community where the mayor lives?”
“Yup, Rice just punches in a code and the gate opens. Then we pull up to a driveway with its own gate and code. The house is a mini-mansion.”
As we pull into the garage, Rice says, “This was a mafia Don’s place. On paper the house was auctioned off after we put him in jail.”
“The place is huge. It’s all done with modern furniture, not my taste at all.”
“Ugh. I hate that, you’ve got to have a little personality in your house.”
“This place looked like a showroom at a furniture store.”
Rice says, “Make yourself at home. There’s plenty of food in the kitchen.”
I say, “is there a shower and maybe something I can wear that’s not covered in dirt from the van and Morris’s blood?”
He says, “There’s five bathrooms and six bedrooms full of stuff upstairs. Help yourself.”
“You should have seen this place. Each room I looked in was bigger than the last. Most of the showers were big enough to have a party in. Then, I find the closet. It was full of designer clothes, all in my size. And, all the way in the back was a secret door to the most amazing bathroom I’d ever seen.”
“Did you take any of the clothes?”
“Most of it was way out of date but, I found a few things that I wanted. When I come out of my extra- long shower. I wrap myself in the softest bathrobe ever and I hear shouting from downstairs.”
“Where is the girl?”, I hear.
“I sneak to the top of the stairs. Malta and two guys have Agent Rice tied to a kitchen chair.”
“Tell me, you found a window to jump out of.”
“No, I started trying to think of a distraction, so I could free Rice.”
“Well, while I was standing there, a hand covers my mouth.”
“I need your pants.”, Heathcliff Ross whispers.
“What?”, I whisper back.
“That twenty I gave you, I saw you put in your pocket at the restaurant.”
“Well, I realized that I had my distraction. I turned sharply, and he went tumbling down the stairs. I had to hold on to the bannister to keep from falling myself. He landed right at Malta’s feet.
Malta asked, “What are you doing here?”
“In the minute that everyone was looking at him, I snuck down and hide behind the loveseat. From there, I could untie Rice without notice.”
Ross says, “Looking for the girl. If I get to her first, I owe you nothing. With all the noise you alerted her, she’s probably long gone now.”
Malta says, “Or she’s behind that couch.”
“I looked over and saw that there’s a mirror right next to me. I stand up as the two bad guys run at me. Agent Rice jumps up and tackles both of them. One gets knocked out right off but the other puts up a fight. Malta comes at me from the other direction. I manage to dodge her. Rice is now fighting with Ross. They knock into me and I fall on Malta. I hold her down until Agent Rice finishes with Ross. We’re just tying them up as Rice’s backup shows up.”
Agent Rice says, “I can’t believe Ross risked so much just to get you.”
I say, “Oh on the stairs, he wanted the twenty he gave me earlier.”
“I go up and get it out of my pocket.”
“So, did you figure out what was so special?”
“Yes, it had the number of a locker at the bus station and the combo for the briefcase full of jewels that was in it. I spent the rest of the night at the FBI headquarters. I finally got my purse back and a ride home about an hour ago.”
“I kind of think you just made all that up because you didn’t want to come to my party.”
“Fine then I guess you don’t want the dress I found for you, or meet Agent Rice.”
“I’ll be there in ten minutes.”
I’ve fallen behind in my weekly writing prompts, with a bit of writers’ block. Hopefully, this conquered it and I’ll be back in my groove. Happy Halloween!
I should have known better than to wear wings to a Halloween party. The left one was handing by a bit of glittery fabric and the right was bent flat against my back. Why was I even dressed like a fairy anyway? This was the first year that I hadn’t chosen something scary.
The clock on Brianna’s mom’s mantle struck 7, not exactly the witching hour, but I was ready to go. This had been Tanner’s last chance with me and I found him in the basement, with his tongue down a sexy witch’s throat.
The huddle of smokers on the front porch slowed my dramatic exit. Brianna called after me.
“Don’t leave, Aubrey. He’s a jerk.”
“Your pointed hat is still askew.”
She reached up automatically.
“Brie, I’m mad at myself. It’s Halloween and I’m sitting at a lame party waiting to see which girl my boyfriend will cheat on me with. See you at school.”
The streetlights on Britney’s block had been the victims of mischief night. Her street was lit only by jack-o-lanterns and porch lights. Groups of trick-or-treaters ran up and down the street. I remembered the fun of dressing up and getting to be out after dark, mixed with that feeling that anything could happen. That’s what I was missing.
The wind sent swirls of leaves flying down the sidewalk. The gate to the park creaked open. Usually they locked it at dusk.
“Well, are you just going to stand there all night?”
He was tall, at least 6’. Stick thin, he was dressed like a scarecrow, with his face painted like a jack-o-lantern.
He smiled, his teeth white against the orange. “Sorry I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“I think you did.”
His grin grew larger. “Yeah, maybe I did. I can’t help myself. It is Halloween, after all. So are you coming, or not?”
“The party; the real Halloween party. Come on, I’ll show you.”
He grabbed my hand and slipped through the open gate.
I stopped, trying to pull my hand back.
He turned. “What’s wrong?”
“I don’t know you. I’m not just going to follow you into a deserted park.”
He laughed. “Ok, don’t come. It makes no difference to me, but you were the one wishing for a true Halloween.”
“How…how did you know that?”
He just laughed and left me to make up my mind. I stood there, every warning that my mother had drilled in me flowed through my head. The scarecrow’s laughter mingled with others. It was just another party. I shook my head and stepped through the gate.
Coming around a bend, I saw the scarecrow was talking to a man with long curly horns jutting straight from his forehead. In the dark, the park looked different. The I realized that it was different.
“What did you do with it all?”
He turned to me. “With what?”
“The playground. The slide is gone. You have a band playing where the swings usually are. The only thing you kept was the picnic table. How?”
He shrugged. “It’s Halloween. I’m Guy, by the way, everyone calls me G.”
I hadn’t noticed the horned man leave until he came back over, fumbling with some plastic cups. G grabbed two and handed me one. I eyed it suspiciously, until G took a sip of his. The drink was warm and tasted a bit like apple cider, there was something flowery that I didn’t recognize. I started to relax but I wasn’t even tipsy.
The horned man brought a cup to a woman covered in feathers, wearing an owl mask. A violinist joined the flutist and accordion player. The music grew louder, a group of girls started dancing around a fire. I wandered over, G trailing me.
The girls looked about my age. They were dressed like true storybook witches. Two of them stopped dancing as we approached.
I said, “Nice costumes.”
“We like yours too.”
“Mine was a lot nicer earlier.”
One reached out a brushed my wing.
“It looks fine to me.”
She was right, my torn wing wasn’t hanging as low, the folded one was standing, and somehow the body glitter that I’d brushed on was sparkling in the firelight.
“Come dance with us.”
I handed my drink to G and let the music take me. One song blended into another, then another. We danced like they didn’t care who was watching. Finally, the music slowed, and I was in front of G gulping down my now cold drink.
“Thanks, I needed that.”
I squealed as a purple furred monster came out of the shadows.
“I’m sorry. You just look awesome.”
“Thank you, pretty fairy.”
G said, “Maurice, how did your evening go?”
“Good. I scared lots of people. More than last year, even.”
“That’s great buddy.” He held up his hand for a high five.
G led me over to the picnic table to refill our cups. I looked over at Maurice talking to the owl faced woman.
“So, he’s been running around all night, scaring people?”
“Well sure. He’s a monster. It’s what they do. It’s what they all do.”
“Right, those girls I danced with are real witches? And he’s what, a real vampire?”
“I’m more of a spirit of Halloween. I send the others where they’re needed. Maurice was down at a charity haunted house. They were in need of a really big scare.”
“What about me?”
“Oh well. I don’t usually get personally involve but, I heard you ask for better Halloween. What’s better than spending the night with real monsters? And the gate opened for you. It wouldn’t have done that, unless you belonged with us.”
I raised my eyebrows.
“Are you calling me a monster?”
“Here that’s not an insult.”
I looked around at the others with new eyes.
“I guess not. It makes me really wish I’d gone with a different costume.”
“I don’t know, I think fairy suits you. Let’s go see what you can do.”
He waved over the horned man.
“Bret, are you up for one more trip out?”
“Sure G, let’s go.”
G took my hand and we followed Bret out of the park. Two mothers were walking with some little trick-or-treaters. One was pushing a stroller. G stepped in front of them. My mouth dropped open as they passed right through him.
They were all rubbing at goosebumps on their arms. One little princess took her mother’s hand as they headed to a better lit street.
“How?”, I asked.
‘Sometimes, there’s an explanation for those unexplained cold spots.”
“I knew it. My parents always said it was just my imagination, but I knew there was more.”
He smiled. “Of course, you did. Now watch.”
A group of boys, they looked about twelve or thirteen, were throwing rocks at one of the working streetlights. Bret had stepped into the shadows. The boys noticed him one at a time; saw his glinting horns and glowing red eyes. Bret’s growl echoed off the houses. They screamed and fled.
Bret whooped in triumph. “All five, did you see that G? Usually, there’s one non-believer.”
G said. “I saw. Now, Aubrey gets a turn.”
The neighborhood had quieted down. The treaters were home, sorting their candy. We walked down the middle of the street, Bret telling me stories of his best scares. We were approaching two people leaning against a car. I realized it was Tanner and Brie. We stopped right in front of them, completely invisible. They were holding hands.
I asked G, “Just how long were you watching me?”
“Most of the evening.”
“I don’t need revenge or anything.”
“They need a scare. Bret would be happy to do it.”
Brie pulled her hat off. “I can’t believe she called my party lame.”
“Don’t worry about it, babe.”
Did he just call her babe? How long had they been together, anyway? Before I knew it, I was standing in front of them. G hadn’t told me how, but I somehow knew what to do. I sent leaves swirling around Brie feet. She looked up and around. I felt my smile grow into a grin. Tanner was oblivious but, Brie would react to a subtle scare.
She inched closer to Tanner. He threw his arm around her.
“Did you feel that?”
I leaned around and blew gently on the back of her neck. She flew off the car.
“You…you didn’t feel that?”
She slid her arms around him and put her head on his chest. She couldn’t get away from me that easy. I knew enough about fairies, to know what a glamour was. I imagined myself in a hooded cloaked and wished to be visible. She saw me over his shoulder and screamed. Tanner turned around, but I was gone again. I walked back over to G and Bret.
“You guys are right. This is fun.”
G said. “I know that you aren’t about revenge, bur I enjoy it.”
“What are you going to do?”
G took my hand and made us visible. He led us to Tanner comforting a hysterical Brie.
“Hey guys. What’s going on?”
Tanner looked at me, then noticed G. His eyes narrowed at our clasped hands.
“G. After I left. I ran into him and his friends. Hey Brie, is everything okay?”
“No, I saw a ghost. A real one.”
Tanner said, “I don’t think I’ve seen you around G. Where do you go to school?”
“I’m not from here. I guess you could say that I’m home schooled.”
“And, you just met Aubrey?”
“Yes but, we’re already great friends.”
I smiled as G put his arm around me. Maybe I was a little petty.
Brie said, “Tanner. Who cares about Aubrey and that guy. I just saw a ghost.”
G said, “I’m hoping she and I will become even better friends.”
Brie let out a little squeak as G’s eyes started to glow.
“Tanner.”, she said.
Brie said, “That’s it, I’m going inside and putting garlic on my window sill.”
“That’s vampires.”, I called as she stomped up her driveway.
“So, I’ll see you at school Tanner.”
As we passed Bret, I said, “He’s all yours.”
G and I were sitting on my front porch.
“I guess you disappear at sunrise.”
“Not really. Enough people Halloween all year, that I remain corporeal.”
“Sure. I’m not as strong as the stupid Spirit of Christmas.”
“I don’t understand why. She just spends her time curled up in front of a cozy fire, drinking hot chocolate.”
“Well, that does sound nice.”
“Just kidding. So…um if I want to call you; maybe get together for a monster movie?”
“Step into a shadow and say my name, if that’s really something you’d like.”
I surprised him with a kiss. His surprise lasted for just a minute, then he was kissing me back.
I woke with my mother shaking me.
“Why are you sleeping on the porch swing?”
“I just sat down for a second, I must have dozed off.”
“How was your evening?”
I ran my tongue over my lips. They still tasted like him, all pumpkin spice and apple cider.
“It was the best Halloween ever.”
I spent a long time looking for the right prompt. in the end I just wasn’t feeling any of them. So that’s what I wrote about. Hopefully, my muse and I will back at it next week…
The cursor blinked impatiently at me as I stared and stared at the blank page. I’d been sitting at my computer for hours. Just a few years ago, there would be an overflowing wastebasket of paper yanked from my typewriter. Hitting the backspace button wasn’t nearly as satisfying.
Too many half-baked ideas were running through my head. This was not the time for my muse to take the day off. Whenever I got even a little stuck my muse would give me that gentle nudge or slap on the head. . I’d gotten used to my ideas flowing into words onto the page Our partnership was beautiful, until she decided on a day off.
Once, I realized that she was gone, I tried to get by without her. She wasn’t the only one with ideas. Two hours later, I had to admit that I was very, very wrong. I wasn’t sure when she would come back. It was time for drastic measures. I sighed and made the call. I needed a temp muse.
Suddenly, a slippery idea anchored itself. The story of Digger, the peaceful garden gnome unfolded like it was supposed to. There he was, taking care of the plants; nurturing seedlings and clearing out weeds, with a smile. Oh, there’s the neighbor’s dog to provide a little conflict for my story.
Wait, when did Digger get those muscles? Did he just growl at the neighbor’s dog? Are those rose thorn daggers strapped to his newly bulging biceps? When did I write that? I would never write this.
Stop! Leave Digger alone. Next muse please.
Okay, let’s get back to the friendly gnome. The dog escapes the angry gnome unscathed. Do you have to pay for therapy for a fictional dog? Back to the garden plants. Wait, what’s happing now? Nothing? Nothing is happening because Digger has strung a leaf between two stems and he’s using it as a hammock. And the gnome is napping. Seriously? Next muse!
What’s this? Since when does Digger have a girlfriend? She’s climbed into the hammock. Oh, that’s cute. They’re going to nap together. The affectionate little gnome wrapped his arms around his girlfriend. She leaned down and slipped her tongue in his mouth as her hand…Wait! What’s happening? What’s she doing? Oh god, I’ll never get be able to get that image out of my head. I can’t do this.
None of these others will do, I need my muse. Yes, she’s over-caffeinated and tends to send me down crazy paths that only amuse her. And, she disappears for long periods of time. Sometimes, she has to be bribed with chocolate or coffee. Did, I mention that she likes coffee?
What if she never comes back? What if I’m stuck like this? Think of poor Digger. He’s just going to be stuck with his girlfriend in that hammock, forever. Oh, there you are. Where have you been? Coffee? You left me for a latte? And you’ve brought me one too? At 10:00 at night? Who needs sleep anyway?
I must admit this weeks prompt was difficult. I had some personal stuff to take care of and couldn’t write every day like I wanted. I also started with Autumn as a prompt but couldn’t quite get the feel of the season. I’m going to do a Halloween story at some point. Meanwhile, the prompt for this one is the title. I’m pretty proud of it and may go back to continue it…
Strong wind rattled the windows of our cottage so hard it woke me. It was still dark, but the waves crashing against the rocks told me that it was high tide. Morning would be upon us soon enough. I quietly slipped from the room, trying not to wake my sister.
I sat outside with my meager breakfast and watched the sunrise. If I was going to accomplish my goal, I’d need to be gone before my family woke. The goblin market was dangerous and my father would certainly try to talk me out of it.
Something had to be done. My father had been coming home with empty fishing nets for over six months. The little bit of washing and mending I did wouldn’t support us when the savings ran out. I had one hope. I folded one of my mother’s shawls into a bundle and set off.
The market was tucked in a valley, between the gold and silver mountains. The goblins only came down to set up the market when the moon was full. It was said that you could get all sorts of goods, both magical and not. I was only going for one thing, a wish. You couldn’t get the wish granted right at the market but, you could buy a marker for one.
I arrived just as the goblins were setting up. I’d been here once before but, the squat green creatures still unnerved me. I wandered from one stall to another. I passed by the ones selling weapons, jewelry, and food. I found what I was looking for nestled between a book shop and a table full of musical instruments.
He was a young goblin; his coloring was still bright and his eyes were sharp. There was barely hair growing from his ears. He’d still be a bit green at bartering. My mother could trade a bag of dirt for a bag of gold. She taught me everything she knew.
I looked over the tray of rings, he had on the counter.
“Ah, the lady has taste. What can I show you?”
I giggled shyly, at the complement.
“I’m looking for something special.”
“You’ve come to the right place.”
He untied one from its place.
“This one matches your eyes.”
I slid it on, the stone was a similar blue to my eyes. I smiled at it. Then I sighed loudly.
“I can get a ring anywhere.”
“True but, these rings are elvish. Each one will grant you a different power.”
“Power? Ooh. My friend Ana has one. Her hair can become whatever color she wants.”
“Yes. You want the pretty ring, yes?”
I held up my hand, considering. Then let out a heavy sigh.
“This is very pretty but, I’m just not sure. As I said, Ana already has one. What do you have, that’s not a ring?”
“I see where you’re going with this. You want a spell. Maybe there’s a boy? Yes? You need something for love?”
He pulled a tray from under the table. He handed me a small glass vial.
“Feel free to smell it; very fresh. It was made by a very talented witch. It’s never failed.”
It smelled like a peppermint flower.
“That is fresh.”
“A dab on you, a dab on your intended and he will be yours.”
I said, carefully. “it’s just that I don’t really have an…intended. What if I was wishing for someone?’
His expression closed. “You want a wish?”
“Do you have one?”
“Wishes are expensive. You think, you have something worth one?”
I pulled my mother’s shawl. I’d chosen it because I knew it wasn’t her favorite. The goblin’s eyes widened. The nostrils on his flat nose flared.
“Is that what I think it is?”
“A fairy silk shawl, knitted in one of the old royal patterns.”
He looked at me with suspicion.
“Where does a human girl get this?”
“My mother worked for the royal family in her youth. She was given many gifts. Its fine enough for the trade.”
“Hm, maybe I have a wish, maybe I don’t. What else do you have?”
“What else? That shawl is in perfect condition. How do I even know that you have a marker?”
He glanced around then flipped the tray of rings over. The markers were chips of wood painted with strange writing. They were warm to the touch and much heavier than I’d thought. He was already fingering the shawl. It would have a price tag on it before I even left the stall.
“So, it’s a deal?” I asked.
“Yes, yes take it.”
“I’ve never used a marker. Does it work if I’m just holding it or do I have to rub it?”
“You simply say the incantation written on it.”
I looked at it again. I could read a bit of Elvish and every child in school knew their runes. This was something I’d never seen.
“What does it say?”
“I can sell you a translation but, I must warn you, it’s much more expensive than the wish itself.”
“What? That’s…that’s cheating!”
Suddenly, a horn sounded.
“Dirty mushrooms, it’s the guard!”
About a dozen of them stalked down the main aisle, their large horses kept anyone from leaving. Their thick leather armor gleamed in the sun. A motion caught my eye and the rings were in front of me again. The goblin glanced at the wish I held. Our eyes met. There was fear in his. I slipped my hand into my pocket and dropped the wish. I casually picked up the potion vial.
“What goes on here?”
I turned and looked up. I’d heard elves were tall but he towered over us. His eyes were blue glass and his white hair had been trimmed almost to his scalp. His mouth in a grim line that made me wonder for a moment if he’d ever smiled. The little goblin stuttered incoherently.
“We are making a trade.”, I said, holding up the vial.
The guard ignored me as two more dragged the goblin out of the stall and held him between them.
An older goblin stepped from the growing crowd of onlookers.
“I’m the magistrate here. What is this about?”
“There was a complaint of illegally procured wishes. This is the stall number listed on the complaint.”
The official looked at the young goblin. “Tarr, is this true?”
The terrified creature tried to bow, hanging by his arms.
“Please, sir. I…I have no wishes. Check my manifest.”
The elf said. “There’s no need for that.”
He motioned to his waiting men and one slid down from a horse. As the guard approached, I realized that it was a woman. She pulled off her helmet and stood in front of us.
“If there are any wishes, Ozra will sense them.”
He nodded to the warrior and she walked behind the counter. I held my breath not daring to think about the object in my pocket. Ozra held her hands over the merchandise. She went straight to the ring case and flipped it over. The magistrate glared at the prisoner.
“Tarr? What is the meaning of this?”
“I…I didn’t know those were there. You must believe me. This isn’t even my stuff. Gunnar. Gunnar took sick and was too weak to make the journey. He asked me to come on his behalf.”
The older goblin looked at the guards.
“He speaks the truth. It is Gunnar that you seek.”
The guard said, “Pack all of this and take him.”
Ozra had closed her eyes again, her lashes fluttering.
“Wait. There’s something else…”
She took up my mother’s shawl and held it to the guard.
Her voice whispered in wonder, “Avi.”
He grabbed it and sniffed himself. He turned to Tarr.
“This doesn’t have a price tag yet. Where did you get this?”
The little goblin didn’t even look at me. “Please sire. I’ve had so many customers today. You can’t expect me to remember them all.”
“Perhaps a good lashing will jog your memory.”
I couldn’t stand by and let it happen. Wish or not.
“It’s mine.” I said, sounding braver than I felt.
Suddenly, all eyes were on me.
“Yours? Where did you get this?”
“It was my mother’s.”
“Where did your mother get it?”
“She worked for the royal family. It was a gift.”
He stepped forward. Stony faced, he hissed. “That is a lie.”
I stepped forward too. Our faces were inches apart. “My mother was not a liar.”
“I wasn’t calling your mother a liar. I was calling you one.”
“And you are nothing but a bully.”
He stood up straight and grabbed my arm.
“We’re taking you too.”
My thoughts went right to my father and sister. They didn’t’ even know where I’d gone. They’d be frantic if I didn’t return by sunset.
“I’m not going anywhere with you.”
I pulled my arm back as hard as I could but his grip was a steel vise. He yanked back. I suddenly found myself airborne and crashed into his hard chest. A wetness seeped into my shirt. My anger and fear melted away. I felt…what was it I was feeling? He let go and I was cold and alone. I looked into his deep blue eyes and into the deep well of his soul.
He looked down at his chest a wiped at it.
“What is this?”
He raised his eyes to mine and gently brushed the hair off my face.
“Beloved. Has someone been rough with you? Tell me who. I will slay them.”
Yes, I’d been struggling with someone. I was forgetting who. A quiet voice in my mind insisted that I was forgetting many things. I focused on that feeling, pushing all others to the side. It hit me like a splash of cold water. I released the guard’s hand. When had I taken his hand? I forced myself to stare at the ground.
Through gritted teeth, I said., “Tarr?”
“Did Gunnar tell you how long that love potion lasts.”
I heard everyone around us react. Tears streamed down my face. I missed him that much. If I looked at him, I knew it would be the end of me. His hand found mine again. I tried to concentrate on what was being said.
Even his growl was music to my ears, “Love spell?’
I said. “It was in the vial, I was holding. It smashed against your armor.”
“My brother, the captain of our squad, can’t have fallen under a simple love potion.”
It was the magistrate who said. “Gunnar’s potions are known for their potency. They must both be strong-willed and powerful to be able to resist as much as they are. I only have a small knowledge of the stuff, myself. Usually, you just apply a dab. I… I don’t know what an entire vial will do.”
My love’s strong arms wrapped around me from behind. He began to kiss down the side of my neck, sending shivers down my spine. I So many people. Why couldn’t they leave us alone?
Ozra said. “We can see what it does.”
“Begging your pardon, Mistress but, this is just the beginning. It hasn’t even gotten into their system yet.”
“And the antidote?”
“A love potion is meant to run its course. Only Gunnar would know of another way to break it.”
Ozra stood before us. Avi growled at her.
“Relax brother, I’m not going to hurt her. What’s your name, girl?”
Name? How could I think of something so trivial when he was kissing down the other side? I moaned softly. He responded with harder kisses. The voices faded into the background again.
The magistrate cleared his throat. “I believe that’s the lust starting.”
Avi ran his hand down my side. I leaned in and rubbed against him.
Ozra said. “That’s enough of that.’
She nodded to two of the guards and they moved as one. Ozra pulled me to her and the guards wrestled Avi to the ground. I struggled but I was no match for elvish strength. We watched as two more guards joined the fray.
Finally, Ozra said. “Avi, stop or I’ll kill her.”
Sure enough, I felt something sharp against my throat. I tried to hold very still. Avi looked up in terror.
“Ozra.” He whispered. “please.”
“I will not hurt her, if you promise to behave like our leader and not a besotted fool.”
He nodded and shook off his would-be captors. They all stood and brushed themselves off. Ozra sheathed her dagger but didn’t loosen her hold on me.
Avi began to give orders, deliberately not looking in our direction. Tarr was put in chains and led off and the magistrate oversaw the packing of his booth. I didn’t take my eyes off my love the whole time. I tested my own guard once or twice but she remained vigilant.
“I understand that you can’t help it but you are only going to hurt yourself if you persist, so try to have some patience.”
Finally, he came over to us. Ozra tensed as he cupped my cheek.
“I don’t even know your name.”
“Brenna, you will come with us to find this Gunnar?”
I would go anywhere with him. “Yes. Of course.”
He smiled as if he’d been fearing a different answer. He turned to give an order. Without his eyes on me, I was able to think.
“Wait.” He turned back to me. “My family, they don’t know where I am. If I don’t return,,,”
Avi called, “Micah.’
The guard was nursing a bloody nose but stepped forward.
“Yes, Lord Avion?”
“Go to my lady’s home and let her family know that she is fine.”
Ozra said, “Ask the mother about the shawl.”
I said. “My mother has been dead for many years.”
Ozra said, “Ask the father about the shawl. He’s liking to know more than Brenna, here.”
She gently but firmly led me to the horses.
Avi stepped in our way.
“Where are you taking her?”
Ozra sighed. “Relax brother. It’s best if she rides beside me into the mountains. We need you keeping a clear head. I swear, I will keep her safe.”
He embraced me and breathed in my scent as I did with his. Ozra was pulling at me but his arms tightened. His lips found mine. I marveled at the softness. My hands slid behind his back and landed on his ass. He consumed my senses. Gentle but firm hands pulled me away. I whimpered at the loss. Ozra was once more holding me against her. Avi was running his hand over his hair watching me.
“This will be more difficult than I imagined.”
Ozra said. “Just stand still. I know you can do that. She and I will ride at the back of the line.”
He nodded, our eyes never breaking contact. Even as she led me away I turned.
“Well this is going to be interesting.” She said. I finally turned from him and looked at her.
“My brother has never been in love. He has always felt that he doesn’t have room for it in his life.”
“Well then he and I have one thing in common.”
She looked at me as we both climbed into our saddles.
“Brenna, with the stolen fairy shawl and a wish in her pocket, this is going to be a most interesting journey.”
So this is week 6 of my word prompt challenge. I based it on the image above. Still having a hard time meeting my word count goals. I love the touch of humor in this one though…
The wedding had been a grand gaudy affair. My mother and my now mother-in-law had planned the whole thing. There wasn’t much you could do against two queens. My new husband and I were simply there. I was just glad that it was over. Now I just had to get through my wedding night.
My cheeks hurt from the fake smile I’d had plastered across my face all night. Why shouldn’t I be happy? I was marrying a complete stranger. We’d had a few well-chaperoned, very awkward meetings and he seemed nice enough. Too bad I had to kill him.
It wasn’t anything personal, I was just doing my job. Assassin’s blood ran as deep through my veins as the royalty did. We’d been killers and thieves for centuries. It was my grandfather who had found himself sitting on the throne. He’d found that it suited him and his purposes, so kept it. I’d been trained by the best, to be the best. I’d been trained for this task.
Prince Destrin was apparently the only thing keeping the kingdom from rebelling. It was a civil war that both sides wanted. So, I found myself sitting at a vanity on my wedding night planning murder, as the maid prepared me for bed. It had taken four people to get me made up. My next wedding dress was going to be a much simpler garment.
“I can do the rest. Go start the bath.”
She bowed and went to start the fire to heat the water.
“Would you snap at me too, if I said that you’re in a foul mood?”
Dez, as those closest to him called him, was relaxing on a sofa across the room. He’d already removed his outer tunic and boots.
“My mood is not foul, I-I’m simply nervous. It is my wedding night after all.”
He looked embarrassed and ran his hand through his dark wavy hair. I wondered what the curls would feel like wrapped around my fingers. I’d admired his hair from the start.
“Look M’Lora, I know this is our wedding night but, I’m not going to make you do anything that you don’t want to do.”
My eyes widened. From what my sisters had told me about their own wedding nights, I’d expected him to have torn my clothes off by now.
“Am I…don’t you want me?’
His eyes widened. “No! I mean yes, I do want you. But, I’m not in the habit of forcing myself on a girl. Vows or not.”
“That’s really good of you.”
The prince had a lot of good qualities that I’d discovered. He was kind to everyone. He was very smart and always seemed interested in what I had to say. He had a nice relaxed smile that he gave everyone. He flashed it toward me.
“Now, if you are wanting to consummate our union…”
I laughed. “Consummate our union. When you get all romantic like that, how can a girl resist?”
He laughed too. I took a deep breath. I’d known that I would probably have to bed him. I’d been prepared for it. I was both relieved and disappointed to think that I could say no. I looked at him. I wanted him. I’d wanted him from the moment I met him. I could imagine killing him without at least one encounter.
I stood up and held my hand out to him. “Let’s do this.”
He laughed. “Now you’re the one spouting poetry.”
The kiss was gentle, at first, testing my boundaries. I opened my lips to him and he took the invitation. His had crept up to let down my hair. I gently pushed his hand down.
“Let me.”, I said. He watched as I pulled out the clips that my sister had twisted in. He didn’t notice the elegant butterfly pin that she had so careful hidden in plain sight. I let my hair tumble down. Along with the front of my dress. I stepped out of it and looked at the prince. His eyes burning and lusty.
He picked me up and carried me to the large bed.
“My turn.” He said, as he pulled off his undershirt and pants. Years of horse riding and swordplay had honed his body. My stomach tightened as he crawled toward me.
Then he was on me. His lips trailing down my neck. I moaned. His hand slid up my chemise and found a breast. He was hard against my leg. I wanted this, needed this. Killing him could wait. I breathed in his scent. I heard the sound of a far-away door closing. I’d forgotten to dismiss the maid. Suddenly I sensed movement. Someone loomed over us.
“Look out.” I cried, pushing Dez off me and plunging the sharpened hairpin into the intruder’s throat. I followed through, pushing him backwards and tackling him to the floor. I pulled the pin from his throat and shoved it through his heart. The gurgling noises that he been making slowed and stopped. I slowly looked up and across the bed. My beloved husband was white as a ghost. My wedding undergarments were covered in blood.
“Is he dead?”
“You killed him.”
“He…he wasn’t the first person that you’ve killed, is he?”
I stood up. The prince came over and looked at our assailant.
“Was he after you or me?”
“I don’t know, probably you.”
“That hairpin. You were going to kill me with it. Weren’t you?”
I sighed. “That was the plan.”
He crossed the room and sat back on the sofa. I’d been covered in more blood than this before and hadn’t cared, but there was something about the way he still looked at me. Like he didn’t hate me.
“I need a bath before someone comes in.”
He watched me as I walked to the waiting tub, pulled off my soaked clothes, and climbed in.
“There has been rumors and stories of one of the royal families. We just didn’t know who.”
“Well now you do.”
“Why M’Lora? Why me?”
“You’re negotiating a peace that those in power don’t want. With you gone, our mother can rule until your brother is old enough to take the throne.”
He leaned against the beck of the seat and looked up at the ceiling. “My mother. I should have known she’d be behind this somewhere. I guess that’s how you were going to not get in trouble for my death. Is the whole palace in on it?”
“Don’t get paranoid. Only your mother and a few guards loyal to her are part of the plot.”
“And your family.”
I laughed. “My family doesn’t care. My mother owed yours a favor and she thinks I needed practice.”
“I’ve killed plenty but never on such an intimate level.”
He looked at me and smiled.
“You saved my life.”
I sighed. “Yes, I did.”
“Does that mean that you, at least, like me?”
“I’ve always liked you. Killing you, that’s just following orders.”
“It would be poor taste to pull the pin out of that man’s heart and put it yours. Maybe, I’ll just smother you with a pillow.”
He got up and came over. He pulled up a stool.
“I have a better idea. Why don’t I hire you as a guard? You’re already my wife. Unless that was a sham too.”
“No, we are really married. They wanted me close, in case I wasn’t able to do it tonight.”
“How long have they given you?”
“They haven’t really. I’m sure they expect it to be done soon.”
“Hear me out. Your murder attempt was thwarted by the other murder attempt.”
“To cover for you, I’ll have killed him. This will give us a day or two, to figure out the rest.”
The more he talked, the less I wanted to kill him. It had nothing to do with him being naked.
“You have my word. No murder attempts from me, for at least two days.”
He smiled and helped me out of the bath. Wrapping a large towel around me.
“Now I’m going to ask you to do something that you’ve probably never done.”
He was right. I sat in bed screaming. For help. The guards that ran in were definitely not expecting the scene we’d set. I sat up in bed with a blanket pulled up. Dez, with his pants back on, stood over the body with my bloody hairpin in his hand, He launched into the complicated story he’d concocted.
Essentially, it was what really happened except he was the one who killed the intruder. We sat on the bed as more guards came in. Then the captain of the guard came in. All of them scratched their heads at their price’s story.
Once the body was removed and the maids cleaned up the mess, we were finally left alone. I fell back onto the pillows. I couldn’t remember having such a long day ever. Dez fell back next to me. We both quietly examined the canopy. I looked over at him.
“They underestimate you.”
“The guards, your mother. I’m not sure any of them believed your story.”
“Maybe I’ve earned a bit of respect then.”
“No, but that’s fine. It works to our advantage. So would it be poor taste if we continued where we left off?”
He turned to me surprised. “Oh, um…”
“Never mind. I…forget I asked.”
“No, I had just assumed that was part of the act.”
“I told you that I like you. The question is, do you trust me?”
“You made a promise. I trust you to keep it.”
I smiled. “Well husband, let’s do this then.”
He laughed. “So poetic.”
I was still laughing as he began to kiss me.
This weeks writers prompt came from a tweet “There’s a girl on my flight carrying a very fancy tiara in a box.” I made it to 2000 words but I was a day late. Which means I’ll do a second story sometime this week.
“This will be the most important delivery, you’ve ever made.”
“What is it?”
Fairy Godmother stepped back revealing what sat on her desk.
Teeny gasped. “That’s not a wish.”
Teeny was the only pixie among the elves and sprites that usually worked for the Fairy Godmother. They delivered, granted wishes all over the world. Occasionally, the rulers of the various courts would ask them to deliver other things.
“No. We’ve been entrusted with the task of getting Princess Daffodil’s tiara to her coronation. I’ve assigned you the task. Somehow, you are the only courier I have, that has never lost or damaged anything.”
Teeny could believe it. The elves were swift and didn’t hesitate in pulling out their bows and swords to protect whatever they were delivering but, they were not careful in keeping it in one piece. Sprites had a tendency to trade and barter their deliveries. Teeny peered up at the tiara. It was a delicate masterpiece of filigreed silver, an oval moonstone set at its peak. It sat upon a black velvet pillow and was housed in a large glass box.
Fairy Godmother said. “. I’ve booked you a seat on a plane. The coronation is in Dublin. That’s too far for you to fly with such a heavy object.”
Pixies had the ability to change their size. Most being able to get as large as a human twelve-year-old. Teeny could only get about half that. Her parents had encouraged her to get this job to build her confidence. So far, she’d only been given easy runs, not exactly ego building.
Fairy Godmother continued, “This will be a dangerous mission. As soon as the princess is crowned, the Seelie Court will rule. There are more than a few creatures that don’t want this to happen. Also, the case is enchanted. Only the princess may open it. And no spell can touch it. So, you can not shrink it or change it in any way.”
Teeny looked at it again. She’d have to carry it, just as it was.
“I understand, Fairy Godmother, I’ll do my best.”
“I know you will.”
The box wasn’t cumbersome but there was no mistaking what it was. Teeny was able to glamour herself to look like a short teenager. Her long hair in an updo and she draped a dress in a garment bag over her arm.
Fairy Godmother’s headquarters was above a mailbox store. Her sister Ione and Ione’s wife Sami ran it. They both watched her come down the stairs.
Sami’s eyes widened. “Is that what I think it is?”
“What do you think it is?”
Teeny got a bad feeling. “Why do you think that?”
“Because its glowing.”
Teeny groaned. “No. Everyone with the Sight will know exactly what it is.”
Ione said. “Isn’t the ceremony in Ireland?”
“Yes. I’m on my way to the airport now.”
“Well your cheerleader glamour will work on some.”
“I’m supposed to be a be a beauty pageant contestant.”
“Oh well, all of those humans are the same.”
‘So, I’ve got to get going.”
“Good luck, honey.”
She stepped onto the street. Her phone chimed, the ride to the airport would be along any minute. Meanwhile, she was getting stares. Most fae avoided the city but, this one had a large amount of parks and greenery. Teeny watched everyone with suspicion. A black SUV pulled up in front of her. She climbed inside. They were already moving down the street before she looked at the driver.
“Dalton?” Teeny squeaked.
“Hey Teeny. How’s it going?”
“What are you doing?”
“What do you think? I need to take that package from you.”
Dalton was the traditional monster-under-the-bed. At full strength, he stood over seven feet tall. He was covered in a thick burgundy fur. Great tusks jutted from his flat face. He’d always been nice to Teeny, but this was the first time she was carrying anything of value.
“I..I can’t let you have it.”
“I don’t want to hurt you but, you’re not getting on that plane. Look there are others waiting for you. Creatures that don’t care about your well-being.”
They were leaving downtown. He turned onto the highway. It seemed like he was really heading to the airport. Teeny looked around. The sunroof. Her powers would allow her to fly through as if the glass wasn’t there. She just had to get the seatbelt off and make the leap without him grabbing her. Dalton had no powers other than brute strength. If he got ahold of her, it would be over.
“I’m glad that you don’t want to hurt me but, I don’t feel the same about you.”
He laughed. “Come on Teeny. What could you possibly do to hurt me?”
Now she was mad. “You know what? I’m going to get away from you and I’m going to get this crown to the princess in time for that coronation.”
“Hit me with your best shot, pixie.”
Suddenly, the garment bag flew off the seat next to her and plastered across the windshield. Dalton let out a shout. Then he was trying to drive and pulled it down at the same time. The vehicle began to swerve. They could hear screeching tires and horns blasting. Teeny had already loosened her seatbelt. She held tight to the box and leapt. She was out and airborne in seconds. She released her hold on the garment bag just in time for Dalton to avoid the guard rail.
She breathed a sigh of relief and headed toward the airport. If she made it onto the plane she’d be safe. Airplanes had been built with protections and anti-magic charms. She just had to get there. Shadows blocked the sun above her. Wraiths. Little more than shadows, they were swift and vicious. If they got ahold of her they’d rip off her wings and laugh as she fell.
All three of them had her in their sights. The one that flew up next to her smiled with big white teeth.
“I didn’t think you could be out in the daylight like this.”
“It’s true that we are greatly reduced without the blessings of the darkness but, we have more than enough to take out a snippet such as yourself.”
There was one on each side of her and one above. This was going to be tricky.
She smiled at the one to her right. “Bring it on.”
The two at her sides closed in as she stilled her wings. She heard them hit each other and felt the wind as they tumbled to the ground. She free fell a few feet before fluttering her wings. Below, the two wraiths were struggling to untangle themselves. The airport was less than a mile away but she still had one wraith to handle. She darted up passed him. He took the bait, abandoning his friends. She flew as high as she dared. He was right behind her. She flew through a cloud hoping it would hide her for a moment. Her arms were getting tired from holding the box, her wings were getting tired from flying with the extra weight. Fairy godmother had been right, she would have never made it on her own.
Trying for the element of surprise one last time she stopped and turned, flying towards the ground as fast as she could. The wraith threw out his hand to catch her but she was just out of reach. As she neared the ground she spotted a familiar SUV barreling toward the airport. She changed direction and zoomed right at it. She slowed just enough for the wraith to get a foot closer. She was so close that she could she Dalton’s nostrils flaring. She flew closer still heading straight for him. His anger turned to surprise as he realized that she was charging right at him, the wraith on her tail. She skimmed the hood and pulled up at the very last second. Her toe hitting the roof.
The wraith wasn’t as small and fast. As she turned back to the airport, she laughed at the SUV pulled over with the wraiths legs sticking out of the broken windshield. She followed the signs to the loading zone for her airline. She was so close.
The automatic doors whooshed as she landed on the mat in front of them. The artificially cool air welcomed her. She headed for the ticket counter. The agent greeted her warmly.
“Hi honey. Traveling by yourself today?”
“Um yes ma’am. My…um…family couldn’t make it to see me win this baby.”
“Oh, isn’t that lovely. Congratulations.”
“Well, everything seems to be in order.”
A feeling of dread went through the lobby. The usual noise of the crowd died down in a wave. A wave that was moving closer to her. She’d never felt it herself but she knew exactly what or who it was. One of the Unseelie Court’s highest-ranking lieutenants. He was one that wouldn’t care what happened to her. The spell he’d placed over the mortals had overtaken the ticket agent.
She grabbed the ticket and ran. She passed the line for security, the guards frozen. She ran faster. She could practically feel her lungs working. The corners of the box digging into her palms. They were just starting board as she hit the gate. She bounced nervously, waiting for her row to be called. She was so close. Finally, she stepped onto the plane and settled into her seat.
She wrapped her arms around her prize like a teddy bear and rested her cheek on the cool surface of box. She’d made it. She sent out a quick text to the Fairy Godmother before they made her turn off her Wi-Fi.
A pair of fierce elves in Seelie Court livery, met her as she stepped off the plane. She felt very small walking between them. They led her to the tallest elf she’d ever seen. A look of relief crossed his face as he took her in. She was suddenly glad that she’d thought to freshen up in the restroom. The glamour had held but underneath, she’d been a mess.
“Good afternoon, lady.”, he said, as he took a bow.
“Um…good afternoon.”, she said, bowing awkwardly back.
She tried to hand him the tiara but he refused it.
“Not yet. Your quest isn’t quite finished.”
“Quest? No. I’m just the courier.”
He smiled. “You must deliver it to the recipient, herself then. We must go quickly. It will be starting soon.”
“What is? Oh, the coronation. I…I can’t. I’m just a small pixie.”
“Don’t worry about that.”
She held tight to the box as they drove through the city and out into the most beautiful countryside that she’d ever seen. They drove until the sun began to set. They stopped at the edge of an ancient grove of trees. She could hear the murmur of a large crowd and the brightness of a bonfire glowed over the tops of the trees. The tall elf led the way.
She’d never seen such a large gathering of fae. There were creatures that she’d never seen before. All seated around the fire on rows of benches. Conversations stopped as she followed the elves. They watched as she was led to the center.
The princess was as beautiful they’d said. She held her hand out to Teeny.
“Ah, there’s my knight now.”
She looked around but saw no knight. She did see a face that she recognized and stopped in her tracks.
“Fairy Godmother? How-how did you get here.”
“I flew myself.”
“I don’t understand. Why would you make me go through all of that, if you were going to be here anyway?”
She smiled. “The crown had to be delivered by a brave knight. When they asked, I could think of nobody braver or more noble than you. You were my knight.”
The princess said. “She’s actually my knight. Come bring my crown.”
Teeny stepped in front of the princess as the others were doing. She held the box up to her. The princess lifted the lid of the box and pulled the tiara off the pillow. She set it on her head and everyone cheered.
Teeny found Fairy Godmother afterward.
“You did well. I’m very proud of you, Teeny.”
“Thanks. I just hope I don’t have to do it again.”
“Really? I know that you got this job to prove yourself. I imagine this run did that. But if you want to stay on, I just received some requests for you.”
“What? They want me?’
She smiled. “I told you yesterday. I can think of no one better. When we get home, we’ll take about a raise.”
Teeny smiled. “I’m going to need some hazard pay, then. I lost my favorite dress in Dalton’s car.”
Fairy Godmother laughed. “I’ll see what I can do.”