FEYLAND: Shady Side Jobs
(c) 20006 By David Ian
I always wince when I enter a fey place. Ever since my Patron gave me the ability to see their entrances, which are normally hidden from Mundane eyes, and ever since she taught me how to enter them, I’ve never gotten used to it. I think, purposefully, you’re not supposed to get used to it. Never for a Mundane, that’s for certain. It’s that feeling that a small hand, definitely a small hand, suddenly appears on top of your head and scrunches your whole body down to about thirteen inches that gives me the willies. And then there’s that condescending pat on the head by the disembodied hand that’s just the slightest of irritations. But don’t get me wrong. I’m not one to look a gift newt in the mouth. I’m very honored my Patron showed me how to walk among the fey.
Which is why I decided I might look a little less conspicuous if I donned some fey clothing once I “sized down”, as it were. So I went to a brownie tailor shop. I understand that brownies make the best clothes, if not a little more sensible than some of the more outlandish spritely outfits that some fairies wear. I think I’d look ridiculous if I didn’t wear anything that wasn’t on the conservative side. So I found myself at “Buster Brownie’s” and after going through the unsavory transition, decided to have a look around. It didn’t take me but a few seconds to make my first faux pas.
“Is this all you have? Vests?”
“Something unusual about that?”
“Well, no. But, just vests?”
”No different than some Mundane store that sells only shoes, isn’t it?
I couldn’t argue with the logic.
It was then I noticed two other fairies come in. It wasn’t so much that they looked different, more like that they didn’t look any different, and took great measures to not look any different. If that makes sense. It didn’t make any sense to me, either but there we are.
“Nice place ya got here, Buster.”
“Can I help you two?”
“Ol’ Buster here wants to know if he can help us, Sparky.”
“Help us. Yeah, Glimmer, he can help us.”
I couldn’t help but noticing that the proprietor of the shop was getting a bit over fidgety, which can be a hard thing to notice in a fey, actually.
“Uh, I’m going to be closing up, soon, so—“
“He’s going to be closing up, Sparky.”
”That’s all right, Glimmer, it will give us a chance to talk real private like, then, eh Buster?”
“Look, what do you want? Can you make it quick?” Buster was actually sweating. I never thought I’d seen a fey sweat before.
”He wants us to be quick, Sparky.”
”I can be quick, eh Glim?”
”You don’t want Sparky to be quick, that’s for sure.”
This was apparently something Buster didn’t want. “Well, what’d you come here for, then?”
“Word is on the street that you’ve got yerself a little side business, Buster. Isn’t that right, Sparky.”
“That’s right, Glimmer. Word on the street says so.”
“No, you got it wrong. I’m just a simple tailor. Vests a specialty.”
“Looks like an exclusivity, to me, Sparky. Vests as far as the eye can see”
”I got some other tailoreds that’s not vests out back if you are interested. Can I… interest… you?
This got my interest, and made a mental note to myself, but for now, it seemed I was being ignored for the whole exchange so far and I wanted to keep it that way. Seems like being a Mundane has SOME advantages.
“We understand that you’ve been doing a little distilling on yer own, Buster.”
”Me? No. Nothing like that. I’m just a brownie, how could I --?”
”Are you calling Glimmer a liar, then, Buster? Is that my understanding?”
”No! No! Not at all.”
“Now, we got this vial from a boggle, and when Sparky here got done with him, he gave up yer name.”
”He must’ve been mistaken!”
”Now, when Sparky goes about gettin’ answers from boggles, boggles don’t give him mistakes. You catch my meaning?”
“He gave you up, Buster. Seems “Buster’s Brew” is getting rather popular ‘round these parts.”
“Now, we don’ mind you gettin’ into some side business—“
“—Cept for selling to boggles, hardly a reputable clientele, is it?”
“—and there’s the 10% alchemy tax.”
”Yeh, there’s a bit of accounting issue going on there.”
“I’ll, I’ll get that fixed right away. You have my word on that.”
“You do that, Buster, that’ll be good an’ square of ya. But that’s not why we’re here, is it, Sparky?”
“Wouldn’t make a house call just for some accounting error, Glimmer. Not likely.”
“You’re NOT? Then why are you here.”
“We’ve been hearing some disturbing things ‘bout how you go on making yer stuff.”
“None of it we believe, of course.”
“Can’t believe everything you hear from boggles, can you?”
“No! Uh, no you can’t. Er, what are they saying?”
”Well, I’m not one to go around spreading unsubstantiated rumors, but—“
“—What Glimmer is tryin’ to say, Buster, is that some of your distributors are sayin’ that Buster’s Brew is made with real glitter blood from fairies.”
“WHAT? Are they mad?”
“That’s what we said, Buster. Boggles must be mad to be sayin’ ‘Buster’s Brew is made from glitter blood, taken from beheaded fairies at a full moon.’ “
“It’s a tough market, though. Always lookin’ for an edge to make a sale, aren’t they?”
“I’ll, I’ll, I’ll retract all my bottles, and fire all the boggles I used. Believe me, I never thought they’d—“
”—You never thought. But what’s the Fey Inquisition gonna think, eh? That’s the point we’re making, aren’t we, Sparky?”
”Couldn’t have been thinking, using boggles, Glimmer Magic Inquisition’s .”
“Not very smart, eh,? Now, look here, Buster. We like you, don’t we Sparky?”
”Sure, we like you, one of our pals, isn’t he, Glimmer?”
“What do you guys want?”
“Personally, we like Buster’s Brew. Quite like it, hey Sparky?”
“In fact we like it so much, we want you to make it for us from now on.”
“It’s like we’re partners, hey Buster. You’d like that, wouldn’t you?”
“P-p-partners? Uhhhh, sure. Who wouldn’t?”
“Now, I told you he’d be reasonable, didn’t I, Sparky?”
”Downright reasonable he is, Glimmer.”
“Right, well, you take care of that boggle problem, and you pay those back taxes, and we’ll keep the Magic Inquisition off your back. Now how does that sound?”
”Just, just fine, actually.”
”And we’ll send a representative ‘round to tie up all the loose ends. Until then, Sparky an’ I will help ourselves to a vest to celebrate, an’ we’ll be on our way. Cheerio.”
And the two made their way out the door as promised. I looked helpless at the proprietor who seemed to be entirely recovered from the little scene I witnessed.
“Go ahead, take a vest for yourself, too. I’m celebrating.”
”Celebrating? You just got the shakedown.”
”Shakedown? Are you joking? I just got FRANCHISED!”
I’ll never fully understand fey ways.
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