This is my entry for Anna Meade‘s Fairy Ring Contest – a piece of flash fiction (300 words or less) on your (fictional or not) first-person encounter with a faery, goblin, or fantastical being of your choice… Here goes!
The Little Helper
The fairy door was a gift from a patchouli scented, bead-wearing friend. It was made of wood, about four inches tall, with an arched top and a pink door handle in the shape of a flower. I scoffed when I saw it, but she told me to place it against the skirting board in one of the downstairs rooms and it would let the fairies in. Right.
Not long after I’d placed the fairy door in the hall, I got up one morning about an hour after my husband had left for work to find the place hoovered, dusted, scrubbed and smelling of a fresh woodland scent. I assumed he was feeling guilty about something I didn’t yet know about, so I didn’t bother to mention it. What surprised me more than his uncharacteristic spurt of cleaning, was that he’d plumped the scatter cushions, which he frequently told me were a ‘pointless frivolity’.
When it happened again, I knew it wasn’t his handiwork because I more or less caught the culprit in the act. I’d come downstairs earlier than usual that day, just in time to see the small door standing open and a dainty twig-like figure poking their tiny tawny-haired head out. It caught sight of me about the same time as I caught sight of it, and we both froze. I’m not sure which one of us was more alarmed.
But I knew what it was at once: A Brownie. One of the little helper fairies that just love to clean up. We didn’t speak, but it smiled shyly at me and I nodded in recognition. From that day onwards, I always left a doll’s house sized plate of chopped nuts outside the little door; and I never had to nag my husband about the cleaning again.
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The competition is now closed 🙂 Well done to all the winners: Matt Lannigan, Steven Watson, Kern Windwraith, Daniel Swensen and Fan Favourites, Ruth Long and McKenzie Barham (you can read more about the winners here) Well done to Anna for the organising, judging and many encouraging comments to everyone. I loved this competition!