I’ve been writing micro and flash fiction for essay contests the last couple of months and this one came to mind on a 5:40 AM walk with my dog. I know the Letters to Loretta series will be taking up most of my posts here, and they will always be available in the category link I created for them. This page is first and foremost creative writing. Enjoy!
The professionally manicured lawn on the corner of Waverly and Longfellow was routinely sprayed down in order to eliminate any weeds or imperfections. The homeowner – a proud, portly fellow – stood like a jiggly lawn ornament and canvassed his property with great prejudice. Everything, as far as his sweaty eyelids allowed him to see, was green.
Except for the front right corner.
A ring of aggressive and resilient mushrooms popped up on the lawn and refused to leave. No amount of weed killers, trips to Home Depot, or manual mushroom extraction could keep the fungi at bay for more than a few hours. That’s why we’re here.
“Son of a bitch.” Marshall reached into the inner breast pocket of his blazer and pulled out a pack of cigarettes.
“I thought you quit.”
“I did.” He blindly slapped the pack onto his palm a few times. Like riding a bicycle, I thought. Marshall flipped the box open and picked a cigarette from the dozen or so left over since the last time he quit. He pinched it delicately between his lips and returned the pack to his blazer while his free hand fished around for a lighter. So prepared. He never really quit. I looked back down at the mushrooms.
“On a front lawn, no less. Very suspicious.”
“Must be a turf war,” Marshall replied. He inhaled his cigarette like an old lover and blew her out, smooth and steady. Marshall hated fairy rings.
“Reckon we should call the new guy down,” he said.
“Who? Gallagher? Green horns have no business meddling with fairies. They never take them seriously.”
Marshall only scoffed. He wanted to get a new guy on a fairy case ever since our last rookie went into a ring and didn’t come back. Cocky. I’m not sure if he just didn’t like new guys, or if it was his way of fighting off the guilt of that morning.
“Three years,” Marshall said. “Three years since a rookie came on a fairy ring case.”
“They don’t have the experience to withstand them -”
“Pssh.” He waved his cigarette hand. “Don’t tell them your name. It isn’t hard.”
“It’s more than that and you know it.” I raised my left hand in front of my face and gave Marshall a reminder of why we stopped bringing new guys on fairy problems.
He grimaced a little at the sight of my hand. We’re together on the beat of magical and mythical management almost every day, but Marshall never really looks at my hand unless I make him. Three fingers – gone. Munched right down to the bone from those tiny, magical assholes. Marshall shut up and looked at my pointer finger and thumb.
“Well,” he said, “nobody told you to go in after that rookie.”