The Pathetic Dyspathetic
Written by Rebekah Postupak
Her mind was seized with a sense of magic so intense she sneezed. And sneezed again. Saphron howled in misery and chucked a silver stiletto at the wall where it left a pointy little dent. You’d think after six months in Akdira she’d have enjoyed at least one day of respite, but alas. If someone so much as changed a neighbor into a newt, Saphron’s nose would burst in a flower of tickles. Mid-level spells sent her to bed with dizziness, and full-blown High Magic performed within a twenty-mile radius caused painful, violet, fabric-staining hives. Akdira was neither magic-free nor anything like the idyllic community promised in four-part harmony by the singing travel brochure (“True Paradise for Ag-ed Folks/With lives that aren’t so hot/Come rest your spells, O Wretched Ones/Whose Magic’s Gone to Pot”).
“You’re going to live with old fairies?” groaned Saphron’s elf friends when she’d told them. “Within a month you’ll die of utter insanity. Or worse, boredom.”
“Plus, they smell funny,” said Saphron’s six-year-old neighbor, a squeaking phoenix whose tail feathers hadn’t budded yet.
“Take gravy. They’re dry and stringy, if you ask me,” sniffed her butcher, whom she hadn’t asked, as the butcher was a smallish dragon whose rather public history included several embarrassing encounters with fairies.
Saphron had only grit her teeth at the doomsayers and finished packing her purple-splotched gowns. Magic was a part of everyday life everywhere; there was no escape, no matter how severely allergic one was. This retirement community offered her her first glimmer of hope.
Sadly, a glimmer was as far as it went, as it turned out elderly fairies are exactly like young fairies, except deafer and moodier.
“Helb be,” said Saphron later that sneezy morning, sneezing again and blowing her nose violently.
The fairy doctor, an elderly, bald female wearing an emerald-studded tiara, frowned and stopped her examination. “I am not sure what you think I can do for a spluttering non-old non-fairy.”
“Iz nod od burpose,” protested Saphron. “Subbudy just walked dru drees.”
“That’s hardly your affair,” said the doctor, stuffing her tools—which appeared to be limited to a croquet mallet and an umbrella—quite forcefully back into her black bag. “I should hope the citizens of Akdira feel at liberty to walk through trees, or fly to the moon if they wish, without securing your permission first.”
“Ub course,” Saphron said hurriedly. “It’s only—I fear deir bagic bight kill be.”
The doctor, now at the door, paused. “Kill you?” She hummed in interest, filling the room with sparkles.
Saphron sneezed. “I cad barely stand ub. And I’b albost cobbletely burble.”
“Hmm. You’ve tried potions?”
“Yes. A dightbare.”
“You’ve tried Earth, I presume?”
Saphron stared. “What?”
“Earth. The unmagical world.”
“Dere’s ad udbagical world??”
“Foolish child. Here’s my travel agent’s card. Call him.” The doctor adjusted her tiara and smiled, a real smile, and hope glimmered again in Saphron’s heart.
Perhaps, at long last, there would be peace for this sick, exhausted yeti.
500 words exactly, inspired by this week’s Finish That Thought flash challenge and incorporating a variation of the mandatory starting sentence and optional three Challenge words (gravy, umbrella, stiletto) within the 500 word count requirement.