Friday, November 16, 2012

"Fairy Godmothers, Inc." flash fiction: "Petalphobia"

Thanks, Wikipedia!
One of the defining traits of being a geek is the need to know all the little facts and stories that don’t make it into the movie, novel or comic series. I’m a super geek, which means I can’t stop the need even when it comes to my own novel. So I’m collecting here all the super-short stories (flash fiction, I believe their called) and other little bits that emerged when I wanted to explore more of my world than could successfully fit in a novel. This first bit is a memory from Kate’s childhood, and came of me wondering what it might be like to actually be related to classic fairies.


Kate was 12 before she met any of her full-blooded fairy relatives. A distant cousin was graduating from flight school, and his parents had apparently invited everyone who might be at all willing to give their son a present. Her own parents, surprisingly, had decided to go.

The obsession they’d all had with plant life was disconcerting, to say the least. The students had worn magically-enlarged helicopter seeds on their heads instead of mortarboards (this was fairy flight school, after all), and everyone had insisted on at least one major piece of floral wardrobe. One woman had an entire skirt made out of petals, making her look like an enormous peony who had gotten lost and wandered into the event.

Later, Kate discovered that this woman was her great-aunt Peony. “What a remarkably … uncolorful child,” she had said, bending over close enough that Kate was choking on the petal skirt. Her parents didn’t seem to notice, so Kate took matters into her own hands and fought her way free. The skirt, which hadn’t been magically protected, ripped as easily as any normal plant life would.

Kate fell backwards, staring up at the now horrified-looking old woman. Her wings hurt, she hadn’t had anything to eat but candied petals for two full hours, and no one was around to yell at her. “Your skirt looks like a goat’s been chewing on it,” she told her great-aunt, not feeling guilty in the slightest.

Thankfully, the more flowered-covered relatives ignored her for the rest of the evening. For the next six months, though, Kate couldn’t help but feel nervous every time she got near a peony.

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