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American Fantasy Urban Fantasy

“So I’m in the library and I stumble across this book.” As he is saying this, the large man holds out a small leather volume, that is clearly old, and has seen better days.

He is a big man; nearly 190 centimeters tall with broad shoulders and tipping the scales at 18 stone.

The man hands the book to a small figure and continues; “I mean I literally stumble on the thing.” The one now holding the book smiles brightly and opens the old volume as the bigger man keeps talking. “It must have fallen off its’ shelf;” he continues, “I snatched it up; along with the amphorae, and high tailed it out of there before the security detail could glom onto my presence.”

The small figure is leafing through the book and says “amphoriskoi.”

The big man cocks his head and says, “beg pardon?”

Pecht tells him in his high, soft voice; “technically since it is such a small example of an amphorae; the proper term is amphoriskoi.”

The bruiser has a slight smile on his face and says “potayto – potahto, Mr. Pecht.”

The Pixie looks at his man and says “you know Gerald, I can’t recall how many times over the years, I have told you that Pecht will do.” The smaller figure looks expectantly at the big man and asks; “so you did get the amphorae?”

“Yes sir Mr. Pecht;” the large man says with a grin on his face as he reaches into his jacket pocket to pull out a small glass vessel. The amphorae seems tiny in his large hands.

Of course it is only about 12 centimeters tall with two delicate handles on either side of the tapered neck. It is translucent sea green with the handles in emerald. As he hands the smooth glass amphorae over; Gerald can’t help but think to himself; that the thing always smells like the sea.

“Mr. Pecht sir?;” the big man questions his smaller boss, “how is it that Miss Bella can’t seem to hold on to this thing?” The Pixie shrugged his small shoulders, and Gerald continued;” I believe this is the third time in as many decades that I have had to retrieve it from someone or somewhere.”

The small figure ran the glass amphorae gently through his nimble fingers and spoke; “at least this posh gentleman were just a collector; and had no nefarious motives like that Italian from the South side of the city.”

Gerald shivered; despite the relative warmth of the small apartment. The mention of that man made him recall when he had first met Mr. Pecht: that had been nearly a hundred years ago. It had in fact been the very night that he had been killed by Vittorio in one of the back rooms of the Italian eatery that the troubleshooter had secretly owned.

He clearly remembered tackling the Italian devil because the other man had been stalking his friend Teague; and had taken out the ivory handled razor that he had used to kill dozens of men.

Gerald recalled his friend; and the years they worked for Mr. Penrose, who ran the West side of the city for quite a while.

Teague had been, maybe slightly smaller than Gerald himself; and to this day, he was the toughest man that Gerald had yet to meet.

He remembered thinking that he would take his friend Teague over any man; even if they were armed, but if he were taken unawares by someone like Vittorio… that could be a different story.

So, he had tackled the Italian and very shortly after that; had been lying on the floor in a pool of his own blood.

Teague had found Gerald and held him as the bruiser’s life seeped from him.

Over the years; he had asked the Pixie several times to explain what he actually did that brought him back.

Gerald always just thought of it as a miracle.

Pecht had to basically “dumb it down” tremendously. Even then; the closest he could come to something that Gerald could understand, was to say that he shared a part of himself with the enterprise man.

Pecht would not say “soul”; because he consistently would assert that since he was not a man, he technically did not possess a “soul”.

Long story short: Gerald had ceased working for Mr. Penrose, and his enterprise, and started working for Mr. Pecht, the Pixie.

He remembered one of the very first things he had learned about his new boss was that pixies and fairies don’t get along: sort of like the Chinese and Japanese.

But that didn’t stop the Pixie from falling in love with one.

Her name was Tenkha; though Gerald usually referred to her as Miss Bella.

It was odd; since that was part of how Vittorio had spoken of her many years ago. The bruiser remembered the handsome Italian say that she was his Tenkha Bella: Gerald knew that bella meant beautiful in Italian.

That was just one of the unusual things in store for Gerald after Mr. Pecht had brought him back; and shared part of his “self” with the enterprise man.

Gerald found that he understood languages. He could read and write and communicate with anyone in any language. To Gerald; that had been miraculous, because he now knew that he had been dyslexic in his prior life but Mr. Pecht had fixed that.

He remembered the Pixie saying something along the lines of something being not quite right in Gerald’s head, so he fixed it.

He had found that he also could understand animals to a certain extent. He was no Dr. Doolittle; but he could communicate with most animals.

He also never got ill; and oh yeah, he didn’t seem to age.

So; all in all, Gerald thought “miracle” was a pretty good term.

Mr. Pecht mentioned nefarious intent in regards to the amphorae. That was pertinent because he knew that if someone possessed the small glass jar; then they could exert influence over the sea nymph Tenkha who was the love of Mr. Pecht’s ridiculously long life.

He remembered that the original intent of Vittorio was to use the amphorae’s hold over Miss Bella to have her paramour, the Pixie; come over to the Italians’ side.

The small fae had provided Pixie Dust that the chefs in the eatery used to enhance the food. This meant that people would be willing to do whatever they must; including paying exorbitant prices, to enjoy the delicious food. In fact; the Italians had been using too heavy a concentration of Pixie Dust, and eating the food became an addiction as insidious as Heroin.

The Pixie was polishing the amphorae and preparing to place it in a cleverly concealed safe.

As his boss was doing that, Gerald had taken the book and was admiring it. The small volume was actually several hundred years old; written in Olde English, and had been inscribed by hand.

There were beautiful illustrations that were still astonishingly colorful, considering how old the book was. He had read through most of the book in the short time it was in his possession.

He could remember hating to read as a boy because he had been dyslexic, and he would get headaches if he tried to read or concentrate on anything for more than five or ten minutes at a time. One of the advantages of the “miracle” that had brought him back was that he had been cured of that particular learning disability.

The book had many tales, what most would consider folklore: and some of them had made Gerald question his relationship with the Pixie.

He found a spot near the middle of the book: it contained information that he wanted to discuss with Pecht.

Gerald waited till after his small boss had secreted away the amphoroskoi before he said;”Mr. Pecht sir, there’s something I would like to discuss with you.”

The Pixie raised an eyebrow and said;”of course Lad. And what would that be?” Gerald handed the small volume over to his boss: it was open to an illustration of several warriors and a small figure in blue.

Pecht examined the intricate artwork; because the illustrations in the book were certainly that.

Gerald noticed the expression on the Pixies’ face as the small figure appreciated the drawing.

“I remember you telling me that story Mr. Pecht sir;” Gerald said to the Pixie. “It was a group of young warriors who happened upon you; and you convinced them that you were blue because of the drink you had brewed.”

Pecht smiled broadly in remembrance as his man continued. “You told them that the potion kept you safe and whole in battle, but in fact, it kept you three sheets to the wind.”

“You have to admit Gerald;”Pecht told the big man, “it is a funny thing.” The bruiser nodded in the affirmative because it was in fact, a funny thing.

“The thing is, Mr. Pecht, sir”he said, “it goes on and on about the trickster god and how he would do anything to further his own ends.”

Pecht kept his eye on Gerald and said; “I think the same could be said of just about anyone; be they man, woman, or Pixie.”

“Something occurred to me;” the bruiser said, “actually several somethings.”

Pecht looked up at his man and asked” and what would those be lad?”

“Well;” Gerald said, “I’m going to be one hundred twenty six years old this November, and I’ve lived in three centuries so far.” Pecht smiled and interrupted with, “that’s cute! Talk to me when you’ve lived in forty five.”

Gerald shook his head slowly in awe. He knew that his boss was old; but seldom thought about just how much history the Pixie had seen.

The big man kept on; “the main thing that occurred to me: was that you knew.” He looked the Pixie in the eye when he said this.

“Knew what?” the Pixie said with a convincing look of ignorance on his fae visage.

“Don’t try it Sir. I’ve known you too long.” Pecht shrugged his slight shoulders as Gerald continued. “You knew that Vittorio was going to take her.”

Pecht looked slightly dismayed. “That was a long time ago lad.” Gerald slowly shook his head in the negative and said;”that doesn’t matter.”

The big man took a moment to survey the small lavishly appointed apartment before turning his gaze back on the millenia old figure from folklore.

“She wasn’t my mum;” Gerald said, “but Teague’s mother was the grandest lady I have known my whole life.” Pecht agreed with; “the Mrs. was quite the lady, you’re not wrong there lad.”

“You knew that Vittorio was going to take her; and you did nothing?” Gerald asked his boss. The Pixie said;”she came out of it none the worse for wear lad.” Gerald nodded but asked; “but did you know she would be ok?”

He continued; “you know what that beast did to me. Did you know she would be ok?”

Pecht considered for a moment before he answered; “honestly lad: I did not.”

Geralds’ face flushed: he sighed, and he asked; “then how could you have done that?” the big man started to pace; “they both could have been killed by that monster.”

“I’m sorry lad;” Pecht told his man, “I needed Teague to take care of the situation; and having his mother in peril, made certain that he would do what needed to be done.”

A troubled look crossed Geralds’ broad face and he said; “I don’t know if I can be here.”

Pecht looked up at his man and asked; “what do you mean Gerald?”

The big man looked around and said;”I need some time.” “Time for what lad?” the Pixie asked. “I just need some time Sir.”

He stopped pacing and looked down at the old fae; “I need some time away to think.” The Pixie looked a little distressed and said; “but I need you here lad.”

Gerald considered for a moment and told his boss;”I honestly believe there is nothing you can’t do Sir: you don’t need me.” “Don’t worry;” he said to his small boss, “if Miss Bella loses her amphoriskoi again: I’ll get it back for her.”

Pecht looked troubled and asked; “are you sure about this Gerald?” The big man considered for a moment and said; “yes Sir Mr. Pecht; I am sure.” The Pixie thrust his small chin up at the big man and said; “what if I say no? What if I don’t let you go?” Gerald looked down at the much older, smaller figure, shook his head and softly said; “I don’t think you will.” The Pixie looked down at his small, fancy shoes and in his soft, high voice agreed; “you’re right: I don’t think I will.”

The big man turned away and started toward the door. As he reached the door the ancient Pixie called out; “Gerald: you take care.”

The former enterprise man looked back and said; “you do the same Pecht.”

And then he left. 

April 29, 2021 23:24

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7 comments

Beth Connor
17:17 May 04, 2021

I love your take on this prompt- and how we jump into the future! Gerald getting introspective at the end was intriguing!

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John Del Rio
17:52 May 04, 2021

As always; I appreciate your feedback, and am glad you.are enjoying the story as it unfolds. I figure the main part of the story took place back in 1925, and "In the Library", is contemporary to us, here in 2021. So Gerald was born in 1895. I think I have 2 or maybe 3 more chapters till it is wrapped up.

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John Del Rio
17:52 May 04, 2021

As always; I appreciate your feedback, and am glad you.are enjoying the story as it unfolds. I figure the main part of the story took place back in 1925, and "In the Library", is contemporary to us, here in 2021. So Gerald was born in 1895. I think I have 2 or maybe 3 more chapters till it is wrapped up.

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Arwen Dove
00:55 Apr 30, 2021

Love it!

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John Del Rio
02:32 Apr 30, 2021

Glad you enjoyed. It’s story takes place about 100 years after the events in “Special Ingredient”

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John Del Rio
02:32 Apr 30, 2021

Glad you enjoyed. It’s story takes place about 100 years after the events in “Special Ingredient”

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Arwen Dove
04:42 Apr 30, 2021

Cool!

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