No one but she saw the creature fluttering beside Leroy’s ear. It was two inches long, with sepia skin, close-cropped, curly hair and pointed ears. She was clothed in a purple daffodil, with two golden antennas. Diaphanous wings protruded from her back.

In the blink of an eye she took hold of Leroy’s left ear in her tiny hands and bit it – hard.

Leroy howled and batted his ear— the faery dodged his groping hand with lightening speed. He turned his head, searching for source of his pain. “What the – ?!”

A wide eyed Glenda and Henry drew closer together…

Now three more faeries joined the fray: one with onyx skin, clothed in red rose petals; another dressed in white lilies, her complexion the color of brown sugar; and a third coconut colored faery wearing peach fuzz.

They zoomed over the heads of Henry’s goggle-eyed tormentors like enraged mosquitoes, biting and clawing.

“What are they—?”

“Ow—!” The reddish brown boy cried, as one creature sank her sharp little teeth into his nose. They took off howling up the street, pursued by the creatures.

“Come on!” Glenda shouted. “Let’s get out of here before they come back!”

They raced east towards their brownstone.

“What— are— those— things?” Henry gasped as they ran.

Glenda shook her head. “Don’t— know!”

As they rounded the corner he appeared: a monster with purple skin, long powerful arms, and pointed ears. They screamed.

“Hush up!” Lazare hissed. Henry and Glenda clutched each other and screamed even louder.

The creature vanished.

Reluctantly, they released one another. The creature was gone. Only their neighbors remained, standing about or sitting on their porch stoops: staring at the youngsters as if the two had lost their minds. With trembling fingers Glenda took the key hanging round her neck and opened the door of their apartment.

Lazare reappeared in his shelter, huffing and puffing from the effort. My magic is weak in this world!

It had been hard enough to glaze Glenda’s and Henry’s neighbors’ eyes over so they wouldn’t see him. But he couldn’t be expected to keep the children quiet as well.

I’m lucky only they saw me! Another moment and Isis would’ve have had my hide!

The troll shook his head in frustration and pulled a box of moldy chocolates from beneath his blankets. The sweets would replenish his magic— besides filling his gut— but he couldn’t go back. Not without the children.

The moon will be high ‘fore my sorcery returns, Lazare grinned, but no matter. I know where they live.

Glenda and Henry sat at their kitchen table. “We gotta tell Mama,” gasped Henry he was still out of breath from running. Carlotta was still at work and wouldn’t arrive until 5:30 PM.

The dark girl shook her head. “Uh-uh… it’ll worry her.”

Henry screwed his face up incredulously. “You for real? What if that thing comes back?”

Glenda stood reached into the cabinet and pulled out a jar of peanut butter. She opened a loaf of bread, took a knife and two plates and began making sandwiches for their afternoon snack.

“Fine,” she said. “You tell her.”

“Lynn— ! You ain’t gonna back me up?”

Glenda put the knife down and locked eyes with her brother. “Nope. Mama’s got enough on her mind trying to take care of us.” She took two glasses opened the refrigerator and poured milk into each glass. “Besides it’s probably just some dope head dressed up in a costume.”

“It looked real to me!” Henry replied stubbornly. It looked like a… a troll! Yep that’s exactly what it looked like!”

Glenda placed Henry’s milk and sandwich before him. “Well there you have it,” she said reasonably. “There’s no such thing as trolls!”

“Yeah… what about those other… flying things?” Henry persisted. “Those weren’t folks dressed up in costumes!”

Glenda sat down at the table, and gazed at her brother earnestly. “OK you’re right, but let’s not tell Mama yet. I don’t wanna bother her. Let’s think about it first— ”

“Our books!” Henry exclaimed. “We left our books!”

Glenda hit the table in frustration. “Dang!”

At that moment there was a rapping at their door— like a barrage of pebbles hitting the wood at once.
The children locked eyes.

“Don’t open it Lynn!” Henry hissed.

Together they crept into the living room… Their school books were stacked neatly on the coffee table…

Copyright 2010, 2012 Valjeanne Jeffers all rights reserved
This story has been published in LuneWing and Genesis Science Fiction Magazine.


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