Pixie Pandemonium

Submitted into Contest #87 in response to: Write about a mischievous pixie or trickster god.... view prompt



Zef giggled while Effie sighed. The two were perched on tree branch awaiting a victim for their current illusionary prank. It was standard fare. A bog had moved into the area and they had spelled the surface of his home to appear like it was still a grassy field and not the swampy marsh thing it had become.

Zef, her best friend since they were pixlings, giggled again. Mere months ago, she would have been in the same laughing, high-spirited mood. But lately…lately, the normal zing of excitement from a prank about to be pulled or a heist about to be enacted was gone.

And in its place was this horrible gummy and bleh feeling inside her. Her heart thumped loudly, not in happiness of a job well done but in regret, and guilt for what she had done. And she didn’t understand why. Pixies didn’t regret. They didn’t feel guilt. They were mischievous and misleading. They specialized in trickery and thefts.

Effie had tried talking to her parents but they had said it was just a case of doldrums and once she got back into the swing of things, she would be perfectly fine.

Which is why she and Zef had decided to pull a trick. Something to bolster her spirits. But if it was supposed to make her feel better, why did she feel worse? “You know, we’ve been here for hours, maybe we should just give up for the day.”

“Give up?” Zef gave her a disbelieving look. “What are you talking about? We’re pixies. We don’t give up.”

“But it’s boring just sitting here. Besides we’ve done this trick how many times? We already know what’s going to happen.”

“It’s not boring.” Zef protested. “It’s a classic.”


“Besides, look,” He stretched an arm out, pointing to a spot in the distance. “A victim!”

Her heart twinged. Blast. Why couldn’t she be excited to see a human- the main species in the area- coming along? Why did her stomach have to drop to her feet?

The man stalked down the road quickly. His clothes were worn but well taken-care of and in one hand he carried a bouquet of wild flowers. Petals fell to the ground as he shook it, muttering to himself.

Effie grimaced. “He already looks like he’s having a bad day. Can’t we just leave him be?”

“But that will make his reaction even funnier.” Zef said.


“Come on Effie.” Zef gave her a meaningful look. She sighed, already regretting the choice she was making.

Her shoulders drooped as the man stepped into the bog. His foot slid right through their illusion of grass and dirt and straight into the bog’s home.

A sickly green hand covered in slime, grasped his leg. He shouted, jumping back, shaking his leg frantically trying to get the bog to let go. More petals fell from his bouquet. He fell onto his backside, still shouting.

Zef laughed.

The bog released his victim and descended back into his watery depths. The man scooted quickly backwards, as if the hand might appear again. Her friend guffawed and the illusion wavered. Effie released her portion. The grass disappeared revealing the full extent of the bog.

The man’s fear turned to anger. “Blasted bogs. Blasted pixies.” He looked down at his mostly petal-less flowers. “Blast Sarah and that stupid ball.” He stood and threw the bouquet aside. His hands squeezed into fists before releasing. His shoulders fell, as did his face as he slowly walked off.

“Hah! Did you see how quickly he moved?” Zef rocked on the branch. When she didn’t answer, he asked, “Effie? Didn’t you think that was great?”

Effie shook her head. It felt like a griffin had reached into her chest and clawed at her heart.

Zef frowned. “What is wrong with you today?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know. Just out of sorts, I guess.” And guilty. Super guilty.

Her friend huffed. “Well get back into sorts. Its pie making week and I love pie so I’m going to need your help to steal enough of it.”

She forced a smile. “Maybe later Zef.” She hopped off the branch, onto the actual grass.

“Where are you going?” He called after her.

“To get sorted.”

Effie wandered the forest. The man’s face wouldn’t leave her mind. He had looked so sad. Anger she was used to. Not the sadness.

It was the man’s fault, she tried to reason. He walked into the bog. But he wouldn’t have, if she hadn’t helped disguise it. This whole guilt thing was getting annoying. How was she supposed to do anything pixie if she kept feeling horrible about it?

A large human dwelling rose in the distance. It was made of stone with a tile roof and ivy growing up the sides. She’d stolen from here before. A thimble, a biscuit, and one time a puppy but he had been too much trouble and she’d sent him back.

Maybe she could steal something from there to gain her spirits back.

Effie climbed over the brick wall and scurried her way up to the house. She peaked inside a window and frowned. When she had been here last the place had been filled with laughter. No one was laughing now. Two young women screamed at a third one while an older woman looked on, doing nothing.

Something inside of Effie bristled. The third girl knelt on the ground and picked up broken pieces of dishes. The older woman said something and the two girls swept out of the room. Effie pressed her ear against the window trying to hear better as the older woman stopped next to the girl. “If…ball…ella…do better.” And then she too was gone.

A door opened. Effie darted around the corner of the house and watched as the older woman stepped into the carriage. Her eyes narrowed. Effie darted out of the shadows and cast an illusion making herself blend in with the surroundings. She dived under the carriage just as the second young woman was stepping inside. She reached up and caught a thread of the dress and gave it a tug.

She rolled out from under the carriage as it left. After the way they had treated the servant, starting to unravel the dress’s embroidery didn’t feel like enough. Effie took off after the carriage.

Town was busy. Normally Effie’s fingers would be inside of everyone’s pockets liberating whatever she could get her hands on. Today though she was on a mission. She followed the trio of women as they bustled from shop to shop.

What could she do? Steal money? Ruin hair?

She pressed her ear up against a dress shop’s window. “…envy of all…”

“…prettiest dresses…”

“…sure to catch the prince’s eyes…”

Effie’s nose wrinkled. Who would want to only catch the prince’s eyes? Wouldn’t they want to catch all of him?

“Mind if I stand next to you?” Effie started. An old man, leaning on a cane, smiled congenially at her. “I’m waiting for the missus.”

“Not at all.” Her fingers twitched to dive into his pockets or snatch his gold watch off its chain. “What is your missus doing?”

“Doing what all the ladies are doing. Getting a new dress for the King’s ball.” He shook his head. “Makes me glad all my children are married and the grandchildren too young for all this fuss. The entire kingdom’s been thrown into chaos don’t you think?”

Effie glanced about them as harried looking women dragged their daughters from place to place. “Yes. Very chaotic. Isn’t this just a ball though?”

The man blinked and then smiled. “I suppose you are a little young to be caring about the particulars.” Effie wanted to laugh at that. She was older than the man but she wanted information so she nodded. “The King wants a bride for his son. So every eligible young lady has been invited to attend tonight’s ball. Every girl thinks she’ll be the one to catch the prince.” The man shook his head. “Quite a few hearts have been broken.”

She thought of this morning’s man. That was why he had been sad. And it also explained the comments in the shop about catching the prince. “Thank you.” She told the man. And instead of stealing from him, she slipped a couple of her spare gold coins into his pocket as she darted away.

Effie had a plan.

Zef bounced on her shoulders as he peered over the wall into the house’s garden. “I don’t see anything yet.”

Effie winced. “Would you hold still?” She hissed. Maybe inviting Zef to help her had been a mistake. But she had thought she wouldn’t be able to do it without help. And he had been so willing especially after realizing there would probably be pie at the ball.

“Oh wait…” Effie tensed at Zef’s words. “Hm. Never mind. Ash girl was just letting out the dog.”

She frowned. She didn’t like what Zef had dubbed the servant girl. Admittedly, she was covered in ashes but did he have to call her that? It seemed a little rude. Pixies did many things, but they didn’t call people names.

Eleven and a half minutes later she thought of making an exception to that rule as shrieking ensued. Those horrible people deserved to be called names.

The back door flew open and the girl came tearing out of the house, running till she tripped over a pumpkin’s vine.

“Effie,” Zef whispered loudly. “She’s not getting up. And she’s sniffling.”

“Hang on. Front door.” She ran them around the corner of the wall.

“Carriage is leaving.” Zef reported.

“Then let’s go.”

They hopped over the garden wall. They had little time and Effie would waste none of it. “Are you going to sit there and sniffle all night?”

The girl looked up. Her hair half-fell over her shoulders, escaping its pins. The neckline of the dress was torn as were the lace cuffs. Really? Who would ruin a girl’s dress just so they couldn’t go to a fancy dance?

“Who are you?” The girl asked, her voice shaky.

“That’s not important. Do you want to go to the ball or not?” Effie demanded.

“Step-mother said I couldn’t…” Effie’s eyes narrowed. Step-mother? That lady was supposed to be family? Made her grateful for hers. “And besides, my dress…” The girl gestured to the torn sleeves.

“No problem. We’ll just borrow from the others.” Zef’s eyes lit up.

“Oh but I couldn’t. If they found out…” Her face dropped. Her hand dashed at her eyes.

“Well lucky you, we can handle that.” Effie said. A transformation was trickier than an illusion but it was doable. Pity it would only last a couple of hours. “So do you want to go?”

The girl looked at them sadly. “I…I couldn’t.”

“But if you could?”

Her eyes softened. A small smile tugged at her lips. “I would love to.”

Effie and Zef exchanged smiles. “Then stand up.”

The girl did so. Effie began to weave her magic. The girl’s torn dress mended itself, while embroidery sewed itself into the fabric along with tiny pearls and jewels. The girl gasped. Her fallen hair twisted back up and pearl pins held the tresses into place.

Effie nodded in satisfaction and looked to Zef whose face was screwed in concentration. The pumpkin next to the girl grew larger and larger, changing just as the dress had done till it was more carriage than pumpkin.

A dog yipped. Effie and Zef nodded to one another and wove their magic together. The dog became a driver. Mice became horses. Lizards became footmen.

The girl looked at them with wide-eyes. “You’re fairies, aren’t you?”

Effie held back a snort. “Sure. Fairies.” She and Zef exchange a look and tried not to laugh. Fairies? As if. “Now let’s get you on the road. The magic will last only till midnight.”

The girl nodded in understanding. “Of course.”

A footman held open the carriage door. The girl climbed in.

“Wait!” Effie said. “I forgot your shoes.”

The girl pulled up her skirts and Effie wove her magic. Plain, everyday shoes became jewel encrusted ones. “Oh. They’re beautiful. How can I ever thank you?”

“I like pie.” Zef said. Effie elbowed him and signaled the driver.

The girl leaned out the window as she drove off. “I’ll bake you my special pie!”

“Ready?” Effie asked.

“Ready.” Zef said.

They melted into the crowd. The old man hadn’t been wrong. Every possible maiden in the human land had come. But that served Effie’s purpose just as well. No one would notice them and it would make tricking the step-family all the easier.

Trumpets sounded. Doors opened and the girl appeared, looking nervous. The room fell silent. Effie knocked a platter of food onto the floor. People jumped and looked at the mess including the Steps. The girl hurried down the stairs looking relieved that everyone was no longer staring at her.

The prince met her and offered her his hand. Effie was too far away to hear but the girl nodded. The two moved out onto the dance floor. “Good for you girl,” she whispered.

The band struck up a song and couples joined the prince and the girl on the floor. Zef stepped on Step-sister one’s foot as she tried to move towards the floor. He grinned at Effie and gave her a thumbs-up. She nodded to him and worked on distracting Step-sister two and the mother.

It was pathetically easy.

Effie tore a hem forcing them to retire to fix it. The pixies bumped into people who bumped into them as the girl and the prince twirled by.

The clock ticked closer to midnight.

The prince and the girl danced and spoke only to each other.

“They’re smitten.” Zef said at one point right before he dropped a cake next to the sisters.

“And they’re out of time.” Effie said. “She’s got to get out of here.”

The clock struck midnight.

The girl tore up the stairs with Effie and Zef right behind her. Effie waved her hand. Guards tripped on nothing. The girl stumbled on the stairs. Zef looked at her but she ignored it. She knew what she was doing. And then they were in the carriage and safely away.

Only a shoe and a determined prince were left behind.

She may have miscalculated with the shoe bit.

“Can you believe this?” Zef said through a bite of wild berry pie.

Effie eyed him. “Where did you get that?”

“Ashrella left it on the window sill for me. You want some?” Crumbs sprayed from his mouth.

“Her name is not Asherella.”

“And you haven’t answered my question. How stupid can humans get?” Zef swallowed and gestured at the proclamations posted throughout town. “The prince will marry the girl whose foot fits the jeweled shoe.” He snorted. “That shoe could fit dozens of girls.”

“Yes it could.” She stole a berry from Zef’s pie and popped it into her mouth. “Only one thing to do.” She stood. “Ready for a little mischief?”

Zef grinned. “Always.”

The two followed the prince and his entourage of guards and footmen as they tried the shoe on every single woman in the land. Just as the footman slid the shoe onto the foot, Zef or Effie would wave a little magic and the shoe would be too small or too big.

House after house. Girl after girl. The footmen grew more desperate. The guards more bored. And the prince more despondent, bemoaning as they rode between places- would he ever find the mysterious girl?

And then they arrived at the house.

The group entered with Effie and Zef on their heels. The step-sisters sat beside each other as the Step-mother supervised. The footman kneeled and held up the shoe. Step-sister one exclaimed over it like so many others had, claiming it as her own. Zef waved his hand. She slid her foot into it only to get stuck half-way. “What? That’s impossible!” She wailed. “It’s my shoe!”

The footman turned to Step-sister two who smiled nervously. Effie waived a casual hand. Step-sister slipped her foot in and it just kept going. Her mouth dropped open. “But…how? The shoe was smaller.”

Zef snapped as the footman held up the shoe- in its normal form. “Same size as always miss.” He shrugged. “Are there any more young ladies in the house?”

“No. There is not.” Step-mother said, her voice cold.

The group made to leave. As the prince entered the foyer, Effie tapped him on the shoulder and then dashed up the stairs. He turned. His eyes widened as the girl came from below stairs carrying a tea tray. “It’s you.” He said.

The girl looked up, her mouth dropped open and the tray slid from her hands. Effie winced as the dishware shattered on the floor.

“Cinderella!” Step-mother shouted. “Forgive her your highness. She is a mere servant girl.”

The prince held out his hand to the footman. “No. She’s not.” With the shoe in hand, he approached the girl. “Hello.”

“Hello.” The girl said, her voice soft and feathery.

“I think you forgot this.” He showed her the shoe and then knelt. “May I?”

Cinderella nodded, extending her foot.

The shoe fit perfectly.

Effie and Zef sat on a balcony’s edge watching the newly-engaged couple dance. Zef licked his fingers. “I love parties.”

“You mean you love pie.”

“The cake is good too.” He said.

She laughed. “I like this whole helping people thing.”

“Trickful help. Best kind.” Zef popped a tiny cake into his mouth. “You know something?”


“I think you’re sorted.”

“I think so too.” Both her conscious and her pixie nature felt appeased.

“And you know what else?”


“I heard about a wolf terrorizing a forest. You wanna’ check it out?” Zef wiggled his eyebrows.

Tricking a wolf? “Sounds like fun.”

April 02, 2021 19:22

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