I wrote a thing, an urban fantasy kind of thing. I may keep writing this thing. Please read and tell me what you think of this thing. It’s probably best to listen to the Tragically Hip’s Phantom Power and/or Trouble At The Hen House while reading this.
1233 words in length.
This is a story about a pixie.
And Gord Downie.
And the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
And the Winnipeg Jets.
And living in a small city in the middle of the Canadian prairies.
Sure, four of those things sound like the normal, everyday things you’d expect to hear about any story. As a matter of fact, you’d tend to think that the story might be a touch boring if you didn’t include the first. Though, there are those who listen to the Tragically Hip, live in Saskatoon, cheer for the Riders and the Jets who would beg to differ.
Simply put, this is a story about a pixie. One pixie in particular. Her name is Anna. At least, that’s the name she gives to all of her friends. It’s impolite to ask for a pixie’s name, after all. Oh, and she is a pixie. A down to earth (sometimes), honest to goodness pixie. Complete with wings and a penchant for dusting things in glitter. Pixie dust, really.
You might sit there thinking to yourself, but aren’t pixies really small. Some are, most don’t get bigger than 4 and a half feet tall. Even at their tallest. In Anna’s case, she’s a rather tall sized pixie, with long red hair with way too many curls that she’s taken to dying purple from time to time just because she feels like it. She’s a tad pudgy, but she doesn’t care, and when she smiles the field of freckles on her cheeks seems to shine. She’s a Jets fan, and a Rider fan. She likes the weight of the jerseys when the air is crisp and cool. And they match the rings she wears. Four on each hand, each given to her as a gift, and if you ask nicely, she’ll tell you all about them. Whether you believe her or not is another matter.
Anna works at a bookstore, one of those side street places, just off Broadway that sell older books, even ancient editions of Reader’s Digest and National Geographic. The kind of book store that sells the old crime noir novels, huge stacks of old Harlequin romances, and even some of the more erotic fair that the store owner keeps threatening to recycle but never gets around to it.
I guess that still doesn’t answer the question of what’s a pixie doing living in Saskatoon in 2015. Sure, that just described where she works and a bit of what she looks like. But yes, Anna is a pixie, the kind you find in fantasy novels or tucked away somewhere in the pages of the Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual (2nd Edition, Combat and Tactics, Skills and Powers). Yes, she is that kind of pixie. She has a command of magic, she can flutter and fly when she wants, and she has a love of music and games.
She works at the book store because the local comic and games shop just wasn’t hiring. Before the book store, there was a game store that specialized in trading card games like Magic the Gathering, Marvel Overpower and the like, along with the traditional table top games. She used to be the hostess for the weekly games night. Sadly, that place shut down because the owner was less than honest with respect to his books. And he also managed to assault three young girls, as he attempted to coerce them into his car. Anna stopped him, then quit her job. And then Canada Revenue and the RCMP came for him.
So now, Anna works for a small book store just off Broadway, not far from a locally owned coffee shop that she frequents. This is how pixie’s exist in the year 2015. The work, drink coffee, pay bills, cheer for the Riders, and listen to the Tragically Hip. This is Anna’s life, a pretty mundane and boring life, save for the fact she’s a pixie.
On this day she’s getting her apartment ready. Because her girlfriend is finally moving in with her. Natalie. That’s the only name you need to know. And yes, Natalie’s a pixie as well. Actually, wood nymph is a more correct term. Natalie has lived in West Central Saskatchewan since before it was known as Saskatchewan. Or the North West Territories. Before Columbus, actually. Perfect fit, really, because Anna came across the ocean on one of the first boats to bring colonists.
Natalie is taller than Anna, by about half a foot. She’s more slight than Anna and can’t fly like Anna, but she has long, raven black hair, and a deep reddish brown skin that if you look really close almost looks like bark. Natalie works for the Mendle Art Gallery, in particular in the conservatory as she tends to the plants and makes sure their healthy. Natalie actually went to university to prove she knew a great deal about plants. Four years at the University of Saskatchewan, and another two at the First Nation University in Regina.
But today, Anna was flitting about her apartment, moving furniture and cleaning and dusting (do you realize how hard it is to dust when sometimes you trail pixie dust behind you?). Her apartment was big enough for one, and not too bad for two. But Anna’s focus was on the living room where the large bay windows were that faced east with a bit of a southern focus. With no other buildings obstructing the view of the river and downtown, it would be the perfect place for Natalie to greet the day.
So she cleaned, and chase her cat out of the way, and listened to Phantom Power by the Tragically Hip. At midday, she took a break and had a coffee while she read the paper online. She’d be ahead of schedule, because Natalie wouldn’t be done work until 5:00pm. As scheduled, Natalie will get a ride from her manager to her old apartment, pick up all the things she needs (Natalie has a rather easy time with only two duffle bags and a backpack with a Canadian flag sewn into the back of it), and then drive over to Anna’s place.
The pair had talked about this for months. Their friends said it was about time, as the two had been dating seriously for five years. Anna still remembers the first thing Natalie said to her. They were standing in line at a Tim Hortons when Anna caught Natalie staring. Embarrassed, Natalie only said “I really like your freckles”. Anna replied with “I really like your bark”. No one ever described Natalie’s skin like that, but instantly she knew Anna had seen what Natalie is. Anna could sense it, and would whisper to her “Don’t worry, I have wings,” and followed it up with just a hint of pixie dust falling from her hand. They ordered coffee and sat in that Tim Hortons for hours. Good thing they both had the day off.
As her mp3 player switched from Phantom Power to Trouble At The Hen House, Anna started making lunch. Her usual, tomato and cucumber sandwiches some yogurt and strawberries and a tall glass of orange juice. She never tired of it, and always picked up her fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from the Farmer’s Market down on 22nd. Her cat, oddly enough named Pixie, had her usual tin of tuna. Only four hours now, four long hours, and Natalie would be here.