Every Friday I post a short story here in its entirety. It stays up for one week and then I post something new. When I do, the old one is taken down. So please enjoy the story of the week while it lasts.
Deidre frowned at the porch. Damn the pixies she had allowed to move into the floorboards.
They’d eaten through the joists and now she had to repair the deck without destroying their nest.
Unfortunately baby Mori had already fallen through and been bitten mercilessly.
Now Deidre had to find a way to balance her family against the pixies’ to keep both of their families safe, healthy and growing.
By Meyari McFarland
Deidre frowned at the porch. Damn the pixies she had allowed to move into the floorboards during the spring. As loathe as Deidre was to throw people out, the pixies weren’t exactly kind on other people’s structures. They’d gnawed most of the way through one support post, weakened a whole series of beams and just this morning little Mori had fallen straight through into a nest of very irate pixies.
She could hear him inside crying as Tyson smoothed spackle over his wounds. Not much else would work as a bandage for a baby dragon. Mori’s scales just weren’t strong enough yet for them to protect him against pixie bite. In a couple of years it would be different but for now he was as vulnerable as Deidre. Thankfully none of the other kids had gotten caught in the swarm. Pixie bites on the twins would have been nasty, worthy of a trip to the emergency room.
And a call to the exterminator, as sickening as that thought was to Deidre.
A plume of purple sparkles showered up from the hole in the deck. Tiny chattering voices echoed under the deck like there was an entire city living down there. Might be, honestly. Deidre had left the situation alone far too long.
“Hey,” Deidre called as she cautiously tapped a foot near the edge of the hole in the deck. “Need to talk to you.”
“Stay out!” a dozen or so of the pixies shouted up at her.
Three tiny heads, each as big as Deidre’s big toe, poked out. They had gossamer purple, pink and white hair, eyes as big as a button and mouths filled with teeth that could rip flesh from bone in seconds when they wanted to. Deidre rather liked having pixies around. They were happy to scavenge corpses so the pack could have real hunts instead of hunt and rescue games. It was good for the family, good for the overpopulated deer herds around town, and good for the pixies.
“Not coming in,” Deidre said. She crouched down, hands draped over her knees so that she could jump back if the pixies decided to attack. “Worried about the deck. Roof’s gonna fall if the deck goes, you know.”
The three pixies’ eyes went wide as their heads snapped up to stare at the porch overhead. They crooned and then ducked back into the cloud of purple dust drifting up. Must be upset for that steady of a flow of pixie dust. Most of the time they didn’t let that much go loose. It was their major source of money. Pixie dust worked as a perfect amplifier for most magical and combustion engines. A few fools even smoked the stuff though Deidre wouldn’t if her life depended on it. The hallucinations weren’t worth it.
“Fix the deck!” a dozen voices said as an even nine pixies flew up from the hole.
“Can’t do that with you living in there,” Deidre said. “Gotta tear the boards out, replace the beams. Put in all new posts. It’ll ruin your nest.”
The nine pixies, almost enough for a true full-mind, gnashed their teeth. Three more flew up to hover like hummingbirds with the others. Deidre let out a long breath, both relieved and worried. She’d only dealt with a full-mind pixie group once before and that’d ended up with a colony living under her deck.