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.”