Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Fairy Tale

When you return to school for a conference, you bump into one of your old professors, who is rambling on excitedly about a new discovery. He asks you to follow him to his office—he has something he wants to show you. What is the new discovery? Why is your professor so excited? Write this scene.
Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

The Fairy Tale
It was his hands I noticed first. Age spotted, wrinkled hands that trembled wildly.
“Professor, are you all right?”
He looked up with wide, lost eyes that seemed to float past me to distant thoughts.
It was as if I had roused him from sleep.
“Margaret? What are you doing here?”
“I’m here for the science conference. Don’t you remember?”
“Never mind that. I have something to show you!”
He lead me to his office, where I had sat so many times grading papers. It was just as I remembered it. Simple and plain, every corner reeking of sterilized surfaces. There was only one difference. In a jar on his desk sat a creature. A creature I’d never seen before, but read about enough to know it’s name.
The professor had discovered a real fairy.
I crept closer, peering at the creature with narrowed eyes.
It’s tiny body looked like it had been dipped in green pain. Wide, intelligent eyes stared up at me, it’s face twisted into a snarl. The fairy moved desperately around the jar at blurring speeds. It only stopped after crashing into the glass with a thud. With a growl, it flicked it’s eyes to me.
The look it gave me was of pure, murderous contempt.
“This changes everything! Don’t you see?” the professor said excitedly. “This creature is old, very old. If we can learn about it’s realm—no, not learn—travel to. If we can travel to it’s realm, we could change the life cycle of humans forever.”
The creature seemed to understand the professor, moving closer to the glass and beckoning with a tiny hand.
“See! It wants us to go!” he exclaimed, pressing a wrinkled hand against the jar.
“Let’s just take some time to think about this,” I said, a sense of foreboding creeping in.
It wasn’t an inviting look I saw in the creature. It was treachery. As if in response to my thoughts, the creature snapped pointed teeth at me, before it’s mouth twisted into a wide, wicked smile.
“I don’t have time,” the professor said, sadness creeping into his voice. “I don’t want to die. I have so much to do still.”
Tears sprung into his eyes.
Suddenly, he was nothing more than an old man afraid of dying.
He gave me an embarrassed smile, red tinging his cheeks.
“Could you get me a tissue? I feel like a fool for blubbering like this.”
“Of course,” I said with a nod.
I was halfway across the room when I heard the crash. I spun around, but was too late.
The jar lay shattered on the floor and the creature was gone. The professor gone along with it. On the desk was a tiny pastry with a note attached.
A treat to calm the frightened
Desire crashed over me. I wanted nothing more than to taste the pastry.
With two fingers, I picked up the treat—and dropped it into the trash can.
I’d had enough fairy games.


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