This is a continuation of the adventures of Etoile the fairy and the Gutter Sprite.
Here’s the beginning of my flash fairy tale. I’m combining two flash fiction challenges today #BlogBattle and Sunday Photo Fiction. It isn’t Ground Hog Day, I did post the Sunday Photo Fiction story but I felt that Etoile needed a few more words to really bring out her sparkling, mischievous personality. Enjoy
Etoile urgently traced a pattern of stays and sheets with her willowy hand. The indentured firefly was bound to her index finger being made one with the artist and her masterpiece. She outlined the rigging of the great frigate, bringing it alive with sparks of luminescence, creating a mirage that appeared to sway against the rough sea.
The mural would cost Etoile dearly, for the tiny gossamer fairy had bartered with the moon and coerced the wind, risking the currency of her soul in order to raise the life-sized ship from the thin night air. With a finishing touch she spun the sounds of clanking halyards and the snap of sails.
“Let the Gutter Sprite top that,” she threw down a challenge vowing to win this year’s top prize at the Annual Fae Arts Festival. Careless to a fault, her debts would come due, but she refused to accept a hundredth defeat at this her last competition.
The Gutter Sprite’s Oasis
By Tracey Delaplain
Genre: Flash Fairy Tale
I shall pixelate you, Etoile” shouted Luna as she sunk beneath the horizon, yielding the day to the sun in defeat. “You promised,” her voice being swallowed by the mountains. “I didn’t actually promise, fairies can’t lie, I just implied that I would pay for the extra illumination,” Etoile answered and flitted beneath a rose petal where the last moonbeams couldn’t reach her. “No one will make a pixie out of me,” the tiny shimmering fairy announced with a huff of bravado.
“Firefly, come, we have but fourteen hours of sunlight and we must find a way to repay the moon. She did not much like my fairy gold and she can be so crabby at moonset. Pixelate indeed! She wouldn’t do it, would she?” The firefly lazily buzzed out of the amulet at Etoile’s waist, “Hmm? Yes, I believe she will. You are broke and you seem to be confused as to what constitutes a truth versus a lie. I’m afraid you are the Gutter Sprite now and you’re a sore loser too.” Etiole frowned remembering her defeat at the hands of her frenemy. Not only had she lost the outdoor illumination division but she had borrowed the moonlight to fuel the illusion without permission, leaving the moon in a snit.
“You have to admit that Fleur’s art project was stunning this year. She deserved to win, again,” Firefly continued adding fuel to the fire. He loved to see Etoile seethe. Her wings would pucker and her tiny brows would furrow giving her the look of a water nymph.
“Any fairy can conjure up an oasis; a couple of palm trees, a bit of blue water and a few fish. I created a Man o’ War out of sea air.”
“Your ship sunk!”
“It was the winds fault. He promised a fresh breeze last night and delivered a squall.”
“His word is apparently at least as good as yours. Even fairies can’t control the wind. You should have adjusted your sails.”
“Whatever,” she fumed remembering Fleur’s winning entry.
The oasis had been surrounded by a legion of humans wearing swirling silk gowns and bejeweled turbans. Some sat astride strange golden animals with humped backs while others lounged on the backs of snarling ebony colored cats. Waterfalls spilled from thin air into a pool of shimmering silver. There were fish in every color of the rainbow.
Firefly interrupted her thoughts, “The fairy judges really enjoyed the feast of sugar threads spun into puffs. Kind of a dirty trick I’ll admit, but what a great idea; clouds of pink sugar.”
“You aren’t helping, Fly. I will get even with her but first we must deal with the moon.” Etoile declared.
The firefly yawned, “Let me sleep while you scheme.” Fireflies are known to lose interest quickly.
“Wake up. If I am pixelated then you, my sparkly friend, will be made a common house fly.”
“You wouldn’t dare.”
“I have a mind to do it anyway.”
“Fine, I’ll help, what’s left in our stores?”
Etoile unzipped her tiny backpack and emptied the contents onto the dew speckled grass. She picked through the bits and bobs: goose fluff, one antenna, a mouse ear, pixie snot, a tiara and a kitchen sink. Her tiny fairy brain whirled and sputtered finding no simple solution. “Hmm, we may need to borrow a few elements,” scratching her fairly tiny nose. “What does Luna want, besides my head on a pixie’s body?” she asked.
“What does any moon want, fame, fortune, love, beauty?” he suggested, flitting around Etoile’s left ear making it twitch. Etoile batted at the firefly making him laugh and buzz away.
“The moon is cold, aloof and….. VAIN! That’s it. We will give her the illusion of beauty, she’s so jealous of the Sun’s set. Tonight when she rises the sky will be red and we will weave the clouds, draping her in gossamer threads of gold and silver. We can borrow a few illusions from the Gutter Sprite’s oasis. She won’t notice, besides she will be off gloating at the Fairy Art Ball. The wind will help; he has a short memory and is easily fooled. We will adorn the evening sky with new constellations of panthers and camels, you can paint those. Do you think lightening would be over the top? Does Lightening owe us any favors?”
“Uh, no but when has that every stopped you?”
“Oooh, I bet Luna would love those pink sugar clouds. I just know that all will be forgiven.” Etoile laughed, her eyes shining with revenge, “The oasis will be destroyed and the Gutter Sprite will finally be defeated.”
Firefly sparked and sighed, “What could possibly go wrong with that plan?”