The fairy landed atop the skull, the best place for telling stories near the village. A group gathered round, mostly her friends, ready to be entertained. She took her time settling in, oiled the delicate gears that controlled her wings, feeding her crow a crumb of bread she had picked up on the way. She knew that a few minutes delay in telling her story would only increase her the girls’ anticipation, and by god did she have a tale to tell today.
“Aye, so remember I was telling ye about the job up in Leven I heard about? So I went up there this mornin’, just checking the place over, seeing how the land lies.” The fairy dusted some dirt off her tophat and twisted a lock of hair around her finger, a nervous habit. She loved being the center of attention, but what she had seen had scared her. She needed to warn the others.
“There was a whole line of folks, all shapes and sizes lined up at the gate in front o’ this huge stone building. I swear I even saw a troll, and you know nothing brings them into town. So I wander around a little, they’re all talking ’bout the gold, the gems, the food. Of course that was a wee giant, probably the littlest at home that only gets the leftovers. Anyway, ain’t none of ’em seem to know what they’re lined up for. No talk of what they’d be doin’, just what they’d get.” It had bothered her, the lack of details. Folks should know what they be getting into. The world was nae as friendly a place as it used to be.
“Wonder what’s behind those gates, behind that building, I asks myself. And not a one notices as I fly right through those bars to take a peek. It made my skin crawl, it did. They were keeping ’em back there in huge cages. The folks looked healthy enough, and nobody was complaining none, but their eyes looked blank as the lairds wandered around, staring in at them. I wanted to yell, ya bas, let ’em go! But no way am I going to get myself caught, so I head straight back here. You listen to me. Promise. Be careful and keep an eye on the bairns. Somebody’s building themselves a collection.”
An branch snapped and she and her audience quickly vanished into the nooks and crannies of the woods. Her eyes widened as she saw a man walk past, carrying a net. Aye they would need to be careful. Seems someone was determined to add a steam fairy to the zoo.
Dottie at Tink’s Place has a Monday Morning Flash Fiction challenge that I’m enjoying. Each Monday a new picture prompt will be posted and if you choose to participate you post your story on Friday – 350 words, give or take. This one is actually last week’s picture though, I had just never gotten around to writing anything for it until today. You’ll have to head over to her blog to see today’s picture.