The Tale of the Out of Work Fairy God Nongender Specific Person.
Matthew C. Woodruff
This happened just yesterday.
Once Upon a Time (as I said- yesterday, but the Fairy Tale Writers union says that’s how all Fairy Tale have to start, so there ya go), there was a Fairy Godmother, er… scratch that, I meant Fairy God Nongender Specific Person who suddenly found theirself out of work, after years of good and faithful service.
“You’re fired,” said the big boss of the Bureau of International Interventions for the Betterment of Deserving Underdogs (the BIIBDU).
Alex, the particular Fairy God Nongender Specific Person we are talking about, was stunned.
“I’m stunned,” Alex said, looking, well… stunned.
“Yes, well…we are making cutbacks across the board,” the BBBIIBDU (Big Boss of the International Interventions for the Bett… well you know…) said without looking up from the papers on his desk.
“Who else?” Alex asked.
“Classified!” The BBBIIBDU curtly replied, making a shooing motion toward the door.
Alex, who sadly turned and floated out of the BBBIIBDU’s office whilst leaving no small amount of glitter trail left to be cleaned up behind them, (it’s an emotional thing) was immediately greeted by Fairy God Beings of all sorts (and for some reason Tinkerbell, who Alex thought was probably just there for the cake), all ready to shake hands and say good-bye. Alex turned suspiciously to their erstwhile boss, who had exited his office behind them and said, “I thought this was classified?”
The BBBIBDU just shrugged and rolled over to get a piece of the cake before it was all gone. (I am quite sure you know how these office parties go.)
Alex went home feeling dejected, and sad. Unemployment is not easy for an ex-Fairy God Nongender Specific Person. It is not like there are a whole lot of job postings on Monster or Indeed. Alex became depressed.
“I’m depressed”, Alex said.
“Oh sweetie,” Alex’s permanently old-lady-permed mother replied looking up from studying her book on Ju Jitsu and taking one ear away from her afternoon television show, “You’ll find another job. What about working for that nice boy you graduated high school with?”
“You mean Chip? Chip VanHowltz?” Alex asked incredulously. “Mom, his store sells plumbing supplies. I went to college.”
“You know about plumbing. Remember that time you fixed Nana’s toilet?”
“Ugh,” Alex grunted. “I was twelve or something. It only needed a new flapper thingy in the back.”
“See, you can do it!” Alex’s mother beamed, turning her full attention back to her book and her afternoon Soap.
Alex decided theirself needed a walk. As Alex was leaving through the front door to head to the local park, they heard their mother call out behind them, “Love you sweetie”.
While Alex was walking through the park and contemplating their future choices, none of which looked too bright and cherry, they came across a young girl sitting on a frighteningly dilapidated bench and crying. This was the kind of thing that happened with alarming regularity when one worked for the BIIBDU, like Alex used to.
“Why are you sitting on a bench and crying?” Alex stopped and asked the young girl with genuine concern (it is a Fairy God Nongender Specific Person thing, apparently).
“I’m not crying,” the girl replied looking up with a liberal amount of snot and tears running down her face.
“Oh,” Alex said. “Okay,” and sat down beside her on the groaning, old bench.
Eventually tears were wiped, snot was blown, and the girl’s non-crying dried up.
“Who are you?” The girl asked, looking out from under lashes still wet with tears.
“I’m Alex, I’m your Fair… I’m your friend,” Alex replied a little sheepishly and sadly at the slip. “Who are you?”
“I’m not supposed to tell my name to strangers,” the young girl said looking Alex up and down with some dramatic concern, “but its Constance”, she finished in a theatrical whisper apparently deciding Alex was safe, and then laughed a tinkling laugh.
“It’s nice to meet you, Constance,” Alex said smiling in return. “Why were you, um… leaky… earlier?”
Constance giggled, then made a pouty face. “My step-mother is mean to me.”
“Your step-mother?” Alex repeated with feelings of deja-vu washing over them.
“Yes, she’s mean. She is a witch.” Constance declared with round eyes going wide.
“Now, now… we shouldn’t call people names,” Alex admonished.
“No, really, she is a witch. She belongs to a Coven and everything.” Constance declared as dramatically as possible.
“Oh, a Wiccan, how unusual,” Alex murmured, thinking. “Um, what does she do that makes her seem mean to you?”
“Mean things,” Constance insisted with a little positive reinforcement head shake.
“I see,” Alex said.
“Want to meet her?” Constance asked.
“Not particularly,” Alex answered thinking that theirself had met enough mean stepmothers to last a lifetime.
“Too late,” Constance whispered conspiratorial as Alex heard someone clearing her throat behind him.
As Alex twisted around to look at who was about to befall them, they was momentarily taken aback. Now it should be told that in their work as a Fairy God Nongender Specific Person, Alex has encountered a lot of weird things: Trolls, Gremlins, Wizards, Avon Ladies… you name it, Alex has met it. But this person was really something.
Firstly, statuesque did not even begin to describe Constance’s stepmom. She was… imposing, and stately, and dignified all in the way Windsor Castle might be, if it were a person.
Alex jumped to his feet with alacrity. Correction- Alex tried to jump to his feet with alacrity but actually ended up floating just a few inches off the ground with the smallest amount of glitter leaking out around them. Alex gulped and turned beet red before he managed to control theirself and get their feet back on the ground praying no one, especially at the BIIBDU noticed. They really frown on the display of powers by unemployed ex- Fairy God Nongender Specific Persons.
“Who are you?” The majestic looking woman asked with her penetrating gaze directed directly at our friend Alex.
“Um.” Alex intelligently answered.
“Has my daughter been regaling you with mean step-mother stories?” She asked with no trace of humor in her voice.
“No. I mean yes. Well, no… Constance hasn’t actually told me any stories… but,” Alex trailed off with eyes darting hither and tither, like small animals looking for an escape just so they wouldn’t have to settle on the ominously calm and serene face of Constance’s step-mother.
Constance, all the while, was trying to stifle a giggle.
“She told you her name though, did she? I am not her stepmother. I am actually her real true to life mother. She just likes to tell stories to sympathetic looking people, for attention. I’m Margaret.” She said holding out one large, yet beautifully formed hand.
Alex limply took her hand briefly to give it a shake. “Um, nice to meet you?” Alex said, unsuccessfully trying to pull their hand back, but Margaret grasped it tighter and narrowing her beautiful eyes pulled him closer and peered at Alex’s face closely.
“I know you”, she said.
“Um,” Alex stated with further eloquence. They would certainly remember this woman had theirselves ever met her before, they was sure.
“You work for my husband”, Margaret said, “at the BIIBDU.”
“No… I don’t,” Alex said stunned, a recently common state of being for Alex, it seemed. The BIIBDU is supposed to be a secret, not just talked about in every city park you happen to be walking through.
“Nonsense,” Margaret said in a no fools tolerated kind of voice. “Of course, you do.”
“I was fired,” Alex stated quietly.
“Alex, my befuddled friend,” Margaret started, “my beautiful daughter Constance is the best judge of character I have ever met. She is drawn to kind, sensitive, and loving persons like a duck to duck sauce…or whatever… People like you are needed at the BIIBDU. My husband would never fire someone like you.”
Just then Alex’s phone rang. “Um, excuse me… it could be my mother… I should answer…” Alex turned around and answered his phone. “Yes. Yes, sir. Tomorrow, yes, I will. Yes, I do owe them all a cake. See you then.” Alex hung up and turned back around (do we dare say ‘stunned’) shocked to their core.
“Told you so.” Margaret said, sharing a secretive smile and a wink with Constance.
Alex felt like he was floating on air.
Oh, wait he was and SPLOOOF, there went the glitter.
Oh, no wait, this is not the end. (Remember, the union rules?)
And they all lived happily ever after (more or less).
Now that was definitely the end.