Rhiannon is a fairy with an unmentionable passion. Her parents are embarrassed. She thinks her boyfriend is either a fetishist or an idiot; she doesn’t know which is worse. Join her in a flight to the Hollow that could change her life.
The Fairy Mechanic is a 1500 word romp, that doesn’t take itself too seriously, about a girl caught up in the wrong kind of love.
As Rhiannon stood she stretched out her wings, knocking a bowl of pebbles from the shelf next to her.
“Can’t you understand it’s not what I want?” Her hands trembled with frustration.
She felt heat from fireplace in the air greased with steam.
“You should be proud of your enchantment,” Rhiannon’s mother got to her feet.
“It wasn’t my enchantment mother. It was yours.”
“The trolls were very jealous when I told them.”
“I fumbled through, those kind of spells are not my forte,” Rhiannon said, looking down.
Her father snorted into his wine.
“You just need practice,” her mother said. Her father agreed with a nod, pointing his wand; tip crackling.
“It’s not what I want to do.”
“That’s where the money is,” Rhiannon’s father twitched his arm and a pixie who had been listening by the window burst in a shower of sparks.
“There’s more to life than enchanting mundanes,” Rhiannon’s voice was quiet.
“You’re still thinking about being a mechanic.” It wasn’t a question. Rhiannon shrugged. “What there is to teach I don’t know, it’s all just iron anyway.” Her mother laughed.
Rhiannon saw her sister cover a smirk with her long fingers.
“You don’t give a damn what I want.”
“We all make mistakes dear,” her mother smiled. Father grunted.
“I’m going for a walk… All this,” she gestured around her, “is sapping my life force.”
As she darted out of the window she sensed Brokk behind her. She’d forgotten he was there.
“Have you got my wand?” he asked.
“Hurry up. I just want to get out.” She said, wrapping a scarf of dry leaves round her neck.
The two of them fluttered into the avenue. Frost smothered the trees leaving a day brighter than polished silver. Rhiannon’s wingbeats reverberated; fast paced between the brances.
“Yeah,” she barely moved her lips or looked at her boyfriend. As she reached into her satchel to get her gloves she felt the parchment. She pushed it down and sealed the bag.
“It’s good to get out,” Brokk said.
“Why are you always like this when we go anywhere?” Rhiannon asked, tucking her hair into her hat.
“Your family are all so… peculiar.” Brokk’s tongue fumbled through the last word.
“No more peculiar than yours,” Rhiannon muttered. “And do you have to drink so much?” Her eyes settled on him.
“You’ve been on the fairy wine all day.”
“Well that’s not how mum will see it.”
“Ahh, Mrs mushroom steeped.”
Rhiannon cursed under her breath but it emerged as nothing more than a vapour puff.
Their wings bruised the air as they fled the clutter of mushroom houses. On the side of the valley Rhiannon drew a deep breath and arched her wings. She didn’t look back.
“What’s that?” Brokk asked, pointing up the path.
It took her a few seconds to recognise the regular shape amid nature’s disorder; a transit van parked against a tree. The bonnet was scattered with leaves and tongues of paint reached down to taste bracken and fern. Its wheels had sunk into the mud and frozen.
“A transit with diesel turbo.” Rhiannon’s brow was furrowed.
“You’re the expert.”
“You don’t have to be sarcastic.”
“Make it work,” Brokk said.
Rhiannon swept down, the backwash from her wings swept debris from the top of the vehicle.
“The bonnet doesn’t open– probably frozen shut.”
“I enjoy watching you work on human vehicles.” Brokk was speaking quietly, his voice was gentle. Had he only just worked out that she was in a mood?
“I didn’t know you cared.”
“That’s unfair. Just because I don’t like the touch of iron doesn’t mean I don’t respect you.”
“Hello you two… Am I interrupting?”
Rhiannon turned sharply when she heard her sister’s voice above her.
“I didn’t see you flying up.”
“It got worse after you left,” Tanya said, eying the van.
“Your sister was going to…” Brokk began.
Tanya landed on a frozen puddle and tried to open the van’s bonnet with the end of her wand.
“It’s locked. Why would anyone lock a transit van?”
“It would probably open if you actually used latch.”
Tanya looked at the van and shuddered. “Come on you two, let’s get moving.”
“Wait, I’m going to open it,” Brokk said.
The wand looked clumsy in his gloved hands. He swung it from above his head. The spell poured over the metal and dissipated with a hiss. Trolls on the mountain scattered.
“Come on; let’s fly off the honeysuckle jelly we just ate.” Rhiannon turned away from the machine.
“Where are we going?” Brokk asked.
“Bracken Hollow. Last one gets the first round in.” Her wings carried her up the side of the valley and over the stream; she was flying faster than she was comfortable. In her pocket she griped the parchment, tight in her fist; wringing the life from the sigils.
An explosion of pollen met Rhiannon as she entered the Hollow. It swirled in the rustling conversation that hung in the air like autumn. She headed for the barrels in the stump of an oak tree. By the time her sister and Brokk arrived there were three goblets of nectar half filled with golden meditation. Her companions flew down into the hollow, breathing hard. Brokk pulled the bonnet of knitted troll’s bane from his hair and stuffed it into his satchel.
“It’s not that bad,” laughed Tanya.
“Only teasing. Mum conjures some pretty horrible things.”
“You say what you think don’t you.”
“Yep, no point in messing about. And you’re buying; you got in a after me.”
“That’s only b…”
Before they reached Rhiannon, she half turned, pointing to a moss wrapped stump at the edge of the clearing where sunlight gushed in.
“I’ll bring the drinks over when they’re done.” The landlord’s grin was as big as the holes in his wings.
“You OK?” Tanya asked as she sat down.
“I don’t know why I came here.”
“The Hollow?” asked Brokk with a frown.
“Don’t be such a bloke,” said Tanya shaking her head.
“They make me so mad.” Rhiannon pulled the parchment from her pocket and put it on the stump. “Every time they make me so…” Her words were sharp.
“They don’t mean it,” said Brokk.
“They bloody do,” Tanya said.
“And how come you are so calm?” Rhiannon shifted her attention to Tanya.
“You get away with everything.”
“They don’t notice me.” Tanya adjusted her tiara as the barman arrived with their drinks. She watched the nectar writhe in the goblets; turbulence settling into slow oscillation.
“What have you done with your life?”
“Oh thanks,” said Tanya, sipping her drink and sitting back, brows perched high.
“Why don’t they nag you?”
“About what?” asked Tanya, then added in a whining voice, “Tanya why don’t you stop working in an acorn sizing factory and go into something useful like rosehips?”
“You gather toadstools,” said Brokk.
“For risotto, I barely break even,” said Tanya, her smile wide. Rhiannon took another sip and stared out of the window.
“So are you going to tell me what’s on that parchment or…”
Rhiannon scooped out some of the sparkle from her goblet and held it up to the light; the sounds of the hollow seeped into her.
“I’ve been offered a position in the garage.” Her words fell like dead bats next to the crumpled parchment.
Two sets of lips teetered on the rims of almost empty goblets.
“You didn’t say anything.” Brokk frowned, setting his drink back down.
“You’re going to take it,” Tanya said.
“I don’t know.”
“Iron’s not my thing but you… You have that thing going on.”
“I like the way it feels but I don’t know…”
“If you should stay here and make love potions?” Tanya downed the last of her peach nectar.
“They won’t approve.”
“Oh Rhiannon, grab it by the anthers. You only get one go at this.”
“But what if I…”
Tanya pulled a gold coin from her pocket and slid it to Brokk.
“The next round’s on me.”
Rhiannon watched him walk to the barrels and settle on a toadstool, waiting for the landlord’s attention.
“He’s so. I don’t know. Sweet but…”
“He’s a effeminate troglodyte,” said Tanya.
“I have to tell him… Will you be OK getting back?”
“I’ll be fine. Just take control.”
“Thanks.” Rhiannon almost smiled her sister smoothed down her wing.
“I’ll tell him not to get one in for me.” Tanya turned and Rhiannon followed her gaze. Where Brokk had been there was an empty toadstool. On the bar two goblets of peach nectar stood guard over a polished gold coin.