Once upon a time, there was an Enchanted City. In that city lived four friends.
One Christmas Eve, the four friends were getting ready for the annual Fairy Games. Since the evil brother of Father Christmas took his iron grasp over the Enchanted City, stealing all of the children’s toys, the Fairy Games had been a distraction to entertain the children each year.
Creatures from all over the Enchanted City came each year to watch the fairies arrive in all of their beautiful finery, and see who can zip from one end of the city to the other first (without using their excellent public transport of course).
The race was the main event, but there were others. For example, they entered the human world and competed to see who could leave the dopest blessing for a child.
Kara, protector of all children, could bestow the gift of her kind, loving heart. Connor blessed children with intelligence, and cunning. And Markus’s forte was to offer the gifts of courage, beauty, and style.
There were other events, like elf axe-throwing, and races to see which websprite could connect two pieces of information the quickest. And there was an obstacle course. Of course.
But only the fairy who won the race was known throughout the City, and got to wear the champion's leather harness for the whole year.
Tonight, Kara was wearing a beautiful royal blue evening gown with a plunging neckline, a long silver cuff, and, of course, had a fresh cut. She was never known for being fast, but she knew the layered skirt would fly beautifully behind her as she raced, and for a fairy that was almost as important. As long as she could destroy something in the obstacle course with her flaming sword, she was happy.
Connor’s dress was white, like a bride’s, meeting him at the knee with a lace overlay. He paired it with white sneakers and a white bow tie. The ensemble was simple, but he spent the day fixing his brown locks to perfection. He knew he wass faster than Kara, but he was not the star of tonight’s show.
When Markus entered the room, everyone gasped. His black suit was perfectly tailored (they knew because he had been working on it for weeks, basketball sneaker pumping the pedal of the machine while he hold several pins in his mouth). His crisp white shirt was untucked and covered with a black blazer that let his dragonfly-style wings flutter behind him. And overtop, he wore his most prized possession: the asymmetrical leather harness that he won untold years before. For as long as anyone had known, Markus had been the fastest fairy in the city, and every day, Connor polished, oiled, and shone the harness to perfection.
“My love!” exclaimed Connor, flying up to him, arms open. “You look absolutely stunning, as always.”
Markus tugged his shirt down straight, lifting his chin. “I know darling,” he replied with a tender kiss. “As do you.” Standing together they looked perfect as they did on the night Hank the Hermit Wizard handfasted them together.
Luther smiled over at them, wearing a royal blue tuxedo that Kara designed herself. He told Kara that elves usually spent Christmas Eve in their pyjamas, but that simply wouldn’t do. Not on a night like tonight. Paired with a pair of Markus’s shoes, he was one handsome elf.
Kara was beaming up at her handiwork when suddenly,a familiar glowing orb appeared in the room.
Connor fluttered toward it. “Hank!”
And sure enough, the Hermit Wizard unfolded himself from his bubble.
“Connor. You look… cute.” Connor’s polite smile betrayed nothing of the fact that his mentor understood nothing about fashion.
“Thank you Hank. Come let me find you a decent robe.”
“No time. Actually I uh… I need to borrow your husband for a minute.” Connor stared. “No, no not like that. There’s a girl. From the human world.”
Markus’s eyebrows drew together in a frown. “A human girl? Why? Actually, how?”
“Says she got here through a black hole. Anyway, she’s looking for intel.”
“What’s she wearing?” It must have sounded shallow to Hank, but for a fairy this was important information.
“I dunno, a dress or whatever. Big afro.”
Markus nodded as if this were a sufficient description.
“Anyway she says she’s looking for the evil brother of Father Christmas.”
“... there’s a little human girl in a dress looking for the evil brother of Father Christmas?” Markus’s eyebrows shot up. “But… but why?”
Hank sighed. “Says she wants to do something about the toy thefts. For the kids. Look, you’re fast, right?”
“Markus is the * fastest * fairy in the Enchanted City,” Connor pointed out.
“Right, right. I know you got your thing tonight but do you have time to see if you can grab some intel? I’m so sick of this guy’s shit. Maybe you can help.”
Kara drew her flaming sword from its scabbard. “I’m coming with you.”
Markus grabbed Kara’s hand in his and in a flash they were transported to a highway, where fairies had already begun gathering to prepare for the festivities.
The little girl was indeed sporting a beautiful afro. * Trustworthiness .* Her dress was dark grey, covered in silver stars with a silk ribbon around the waist. * Innocence, tempered with strength .* Kara stayed back to keep watch while Markus approached.
The girl waved. Markus waved back.
“I’m Markus, and I’m the fastest fairy in the Enchanted City. What’s your name?”
“I’m Macie, and I like to play with my chemistry box.” She blinked. “You look like my Daddy.”
“I look…? Uh, pleased to meet you, Macie,” Markus replied with a formal bow. Obviously he had never been visually described this way before. Stunning, sexy, gorgeous, these were words he recognizes. But never had he looked like someone’s father. This girl’s world must be very strange indeed. “I understand that you are looking for the evil brother of Father Christmas.”
“Yeah, have you seen him?”
Kara smiled at Macie, admiring her boldness and bravery.
“Nobody has seen him, for quite some time, actually,” Markus replied. “The children’s gifts just... disappear every year. The only evidence he ever leaves is the smell.”
Kara shuddered. The evil brother of Father Christmas did indeed smell funny.
“Well you’re supposed to be fast. Can you check if you -” Markus disappeared with a * whoosh * and returned, descending with a flutter of his wings.
“I’m sorry Macie. I’ve asked everyone and nobody has any information.”
“Okay. Sorry to bother y’all.”
“Wait!” Kara sheathed her sword and floated over. She knelt down to the child’s level. “You have a kind and caring heart, Macie, so you don’t need my blessing. And you are brave, and beautiful, and stylish, so Markus has blessed you years ago.”
Markus finally caught on and with another * whoosh * Connor had joined them.
Macie scratched her head as Connor approached.
“Macie of the human world,” he intoned, a gentle cloud of fairy dust accumulating around his hand, “I bestow upon you great cunning and greater intelligence. May this blessing aid you in defeating your foe.” He reached forward and the fairy dust circled around the girl’s head like a halo, most of it returning to Connor. Ah. Already pretty smart, then.
“Thanks sir. Where can I get the bus?”
Markus pointed toward the nearest bus stop. “It’s two blocks that way.”
“Okay. Bye!” And with that, the little heroine skipped off. What a girl.
Kara sighed. “Do you think we’ve done enough?”
And Markus smiled back, radiating his usual confidence. “I think she already has enough.”