"That's what I have to do?"
"Yes, a small offering, and your biggest desire shall be fulfilled."
Crystal stood there twiddling her thumbs, eyeing the sparkling fairy. All of a sudden the act itself frightened her.
"What's the matter? Don't you trust me anymore?"
"Oh but I do. I just-"
"You built my fairy house and invited me to stay," the flying creature told its host. "I thought you wanted my friendship and company."
"Oh I do!" The young woman rushed to cup the little thing's feet. With tears in her eyes, holding on tightly, her heart skipped a beat before adding
"Please, don't get mad at me. You're just so perfect, I don't want anything to come between us."
The fairy, a female apparition, shone its blue light onto Crystal's features. It saw the fear in her eyes. Faking a smile it said
"Oh Crystal, I love you so much! Don't worry, I'll never leave you!"
The woman sighed, then laughed nervously, tears running down her cheeks.
"Thank you! Thank you so much!"
"So will you make the offering?"
"Yes… Ok, I will."
The creature smiled flashing minuscule razor like teeth, then clapped and sparkling dust scattered everywhere.
"Oh Crystal, I'm so happy you want me to help. I wish to see you live a full life, not the one you're experiencing now."
"Yes, I know. I want that too." Her words came out sad and her gaze dropped to the dirt.
"So tomorrow is- "
The thing was gone. Crystal stood alone, in her pitch black yard. Only the chilling wind kept her company.
She stepped inside a tiny, filthy house and sat down in front of her computer. Lighting up and dumping a full ashtray on top of another, Crystal stared intensity into the blinding light. Her CRT monitor glowed bright, revealing the insane amount of clutter this woman had in that house. She typed in the lake's name and set a course from her location. It was a twenty minute drive. She already bought duct tape. Her living room carpet laid flat, the only thing not cluttered with objects. In her rundown pickup truck, a 20 kg bag of cement was neatly secured with rope. Crystal checked to see if she remembered the name correctly. Yep, that's the one. A whole bottle is more than enough.Tomorrow she would get her hands on the stuff. The young woman closed her tabs, then she switched off her VPN. Her new friend suggested to sign up for a free trial. She said this will help me out a lot. If I do any research on my computer, I must destroy my hard drive before completing the fairy's task.
Crystal was instructed to buy a low tech phone, without GPS or internet access. She learned how data was used to identify individuals and understood the importance of leaving minimal digital footprints. Her life was never the same since she read a book and built a fairy house.
She unplugged her PC, grabbed a screwdriver from a kitchen cabinet and disassembled the hard drive. Meticulously, the young woman took it apart, unveiling a set of metal plates. She thoroughly scratched all the surfaces, then beat up everything with a hammer and tossed it in the trash. The garbage truck would come by this evening. Exhausted, she poured herself a glass of whiskey and took a sip. Exhaling in relief, Crystal silently eyed the half empty bottle, then carefully capped it. She knew booze would hide the taste and smell of medicine. Her guest will never know until it's too late.
Drinking made the young woman relax, thoughts of guilt slowly drifted away. A wave of heat swept across her body and forced Crystal to lie down. She reached for her phone and checked the time. Leave the phone inside your house that day, the woman said. How fortunate for Crystal to have stumbled upon that woman. Sandra. No, Sabrina! Yeah that's it, Sabrina.
The woman was about the same age as Crystal. She had star tattoos on her forearms, big circle earrings, and intricate jewelry said to be blessed by spiritual people. Sabrina always wore black. Sabrina shared details about her newly found good fortune with Crystal. Sabrina revealed to her the book on fairies.
Crystal dialed the number. No answer.
I wonder why she's not answering. I could really use her advice on this. Tossing her phone on the sofa, she got up and grabbed the book. It's cover was pitch black, cold to the touch. She turned page after page, slowly reading, scanning the text for keywords. Crystal wasn't entirely sure why the fairy demanded such a hardcore act, in order to grant her wish.
The word sacrifice popped up over and over again. She is so delicate, so friendly. Why this need for sacrifice? Crystal suddenly realized she was shaking. Sweat gathered on her forehead, her chest rapidly rising. She had difficulty swallowing. The young woman panicked. What am I doing. I can't go through with this, I just can't. This doesn't make sense -
All of a sudden, her cellphone rang. Startled, she held her breath. Crystal eyed with terror the small device that shone a pale green light from within the couch cushions; an unknown number.
"Hello, who is this?"
"Crystal, how are you?"
"Who is this? Answer me," she demanded.
"It's Sabrina, remember? I gave you the book."
"Sabrina, yeah. I tried calling you but no one answered. And now when you called back it said unknown number so…"
"Sorry about that. Can't be too careful these days."
"How did you know it was me? I didn't give this number to anyone yet?"
"I recognized you right away. I'm happy to hear from you." Her voice sounded insincere. "What's wrong? Is everything alright?"
"No, it's not. Look Sabrina the book… It worked. The fairy finally appeared and after a while we became friends and-"
"That's great! Congratulations!"
"No, wait it's not that simple. She wants me to kill someone! "
"So do it."
A few seconds of silence passed between the two.
"Do it, Crystal. Offer the sacrifice, and make your wish come true."
Crystal stood motionless, and silent. She felt powerless. All the young woman could do is listen mesmerized to what was said on the phone.
"You deserve this, girl. Look at your life, the way it stands now. You live like a barn animal, in filth. You're poor, can barely pay the bills. Don't you want money, real clothes, a nice house, a fancy car? Stripping for strangers ain't gonna buy you all that, sugar. Plus, your looks are fading. In time it will only get worse, believe me. "
Crystal trembled while fat tears rolled down her face. She just stood there, whimpering. When silence finally fell, the young woman found strength to ask
"What if I do it, and then end up hating myself?"
Now the tears poured from her eyes, as an uncontrollable tremor rattled her insides. She felt terrified, helplessness.
"Oh, Crystal. Don't worry, sugar. The first time is always hard on everyone."