The door shook with a thunderous knock.
“Yeah, coming,” grunted Derek, half-expecting a cold-call salesman. He swung the door inward, ready to tell whoever to shove off, but the two-inch man suspended on iridescent blue wings in front of his face blew the thought clean away.
“Sorry,” the creature’s voice piped, impossibly loud. “Sometimes the magic amplifies things a bit too much, you know.”
The hovering man wore a pair of dark blue pants with a matching hat, a pointed weapon on his back, and nothing else. Derek’s eyes widened, and he drew back.
The fairy held up a sparkling cage, inside which curled a lumpy something. “Delivery of one Miniature Elephant, as ordered.” He shoved the cage into Derek’s hapless hands.
“I didn’t—” he began, but Finn’s high-pitched shriek of excitement resounded along the hallway, followed by the child himself.
“It’s here, Pa!”
“What’s here?” Finding something to focus on, Derek’s eyes narrowed at his son. “What did you order this time? You know money’s tight!”
“Oh my God, Pa, you’re gonna love it,” squealed Finn, squeezing his tiny body between Derek and the front door. “You know how you always wanted an exotic pet?”
“I found him on eFae, on sale, too…” Finn continued to babble, examining the sorry-looking purple creature inside the fairy’s cage.
The courier swooped in front of his delivery. “Payment, please.”
“Oh, right.” Finn held out his hand without looking, enraptured by the elephant.
“Do you, Finnegan Morgan, accept the terms of this agreement: to care for the creature here delivered, to maintain its good health, to provide a safe and loving home, and to pledge your soul for fifty years should these conditions not be met?”
“Yeah, yeah.” Finn waved his hand.
“Wait a minute!” Derek shoved forward, but the fairy moved faster. With a dart, his spear pierced Finn’s second finger, collecting the child’s single drop of blood. Derek’s lunge grabbed only the flash of sparkling light the courier left behind. “No!”
Finn ignored them both and unlatched the hovering cage, which also disappeared. “It’s okay, Violet,” he murmured to the elephant, cradling it in his arms.
He ducked around Derek’s outraged body, heading inside.
“How could you do this? Accept a twisted contract from a… fairy?” Derek’s throat closed tight, and his head swam. Dizzy, he attempted to follow.
In the kitchen, Finn fed a peanut butter sandwich to the newly christened purple elephant. “Don’t mind Pa,” he said, in-between breaking off bits of his abandoned lunch. “He’ll come ’round. Maybe I should have asked him first? But it seemed a good idea. And he always says he can trust me. I’m sure he’ll calm down soon.”
He smiled the smile of innocent ten year-olds everywhere. The miniature elephant looked at him with what could be called intelligent understanding.
Finn fed him another piece of bread. “I can tell we’re going to be friends. It’s fate.” He giggled. “Or maybe it’s fae.”
Hope you enjoyed this little bit of flash absurdity. Originally intended for the AWC Furious Fiction: August 2020 competition, I hadn’t quite gotten my head around the idea and, sadly, abandoned the competition that month. However, in editing, I have kept the constraints for which this piece was written: less than 500 words, the use of a sandwich, the words dizzy, twisted, lumpy, tiny, and exotic. It was also supposed to be funny.
I suppose my brand of comedy tends towards the black.
Speaking of competitions, I will be participating in #IWSGpit, the first pitch party of the year on Twitter, and my first ever pitch party. The aim is to garner the attention of an agent and/or editor by tweeting a short, catchy line or two about your book. Since January 20th looks to be a tense day in the US (where the pitch is based from), this party may or may not pan out. I think it will be good practice for me, nonetheless, and hopefully a distraction from the day’s events.
Do drop me a message on Twitter if you are also participating and would like a retweet. The event unfolds over 8am-8pm EST, which unfortunately is most of my night, but I am happy to help others when I am online. All the best to everyone this week, and here’s to a peaceful remainder of January. Or, at the least, let’s hope the excitement is positive.