Friday, July 17, 2015

Flash Fiction # 155: Just Adorable

 (First, thank you to S.E. Batt who often gives me the 'magic three' pieces to a story.  This one was fun!)

"We aren't allowed to sell those spells to humans," Darklet the troll said leaning over the counter and looking down -- a long ways down -- to the curly-haired moppet standing on the other side.  He didn't find human children cute but she still won the hint of a smile from him.  "Now run along, child --"
She caught hold of the counter and hefted herself up so quickly that Darklet pulled back in shock.  This one looked dangerous and even he could read the fiery rage in her pretty bright blue eyes.
"Do you have any idea who I am?  What I am?" she demanded, hands on hips.
"You're a sweet little human -- oh.  OH!"  She gave a snarling nod.  "You're the Eternal Princess, the one cursed to always be a sweet, adorable little girl --"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Heard it all before." She reached forward and caught hold of his arm chain.  "I was everything my parents wanted -- but they died two centuries ago.  I'm still a little girl.  I want a 'grow up now' spell, troll."
"I can't --" he said, his voice a bit too high and worried.  Squeaky, almost.  He cleared his throat and gave her a glare that sent armed soldiers running.  "It is illegal --"
"You owe me, troll."  She leaned forward, glaring into his eyes.  The spell was too good -- even he thought she was adorable and he hated human children.
"I owe you nothing," he said.  "It wasn't me --"
"It was your great-grandfather who sold my mother the spell.  I am demanding the right of Trollin Katchatus --"
He panicked.  "You can't!  You aren't a troll!"
"Doesn't matter."  She let go of the chain.  "I studied troll law for the last forty years or so, right after I realized no one would teach me the magic to undo the spell.  The books never said I have to be a troll to invoke the law.  I invoke Katchatus  and demand retribution from the family of the troll who sold the spell that did harm.  You're it, Bucky."
"But --"
"You won't like me when I'm mad."
"The spell will keep you sweet and adorable.  You cant threaten me!"
"Oh, I'm still adorable," she said with a bright smile.  Then she lifted her hand and fire came to her fingers.  "But I'm also still mad."
Darklet swallowed.  "I don't have anything like the spell here in the shop, of course.  We don't keep them since we can't sell them. It'll take me a few days."
She reached into her pouch and dropped five gold coins on the counter.  "We will seal this deal, troll.  You will not be packing up and moving on in the middle of the night like your grandfather did.  If you don't pick up that gold right now, I'm going to start burning things.  It's my best spell, you see.  I've worked on it for a long time just for this chance to show you."
Adorable.  Insane, but adorable.
Darklet took the gold.  She turned, leapt off the counter and headed out the door, leaving it open to the cooling night.
"Oh, you poor little adorable child!" a woman cried out.  "Are you lost, sweetie?  Come along with Aunt Sally and I'll -- oomph."
The woman sprawled in the mud.

Darklet kept the shop closed for the next three days, though he made certain he worked by the window where the princess could see him when she went by, which she did several times a day.  A 'grow up now' spell wasn't horribly hard.  Trolls used it all the time because troll babies were not cute and adorable -- they were vicious little lumps of biting stone that couldn't be reasoned with until their brain grew.  The trick here was going to be to counter the other spell, but not too well.  He didn't think the princess would appreciate getting back all her lost years, though it would solve a problem for him and any future member of his family.  He'd taken the gold, though.  He would have to do this honorably.
He opened the shop again on the fourth day.  The princess arrived at sunset after the last customer had gone.
"You have it?" she asked.  Something flickered in her fingers.
Surprise showed this time.  Eagerness.  She climbed up on the counter again, but this time her smile was radiant.  "You do?  Really?"
"I think so," he replied.  He pulled out a piece of parchment and a cup of ingredients he'd already mixed.  The main part of the potion was the bark of a fifteen year old tree.  The spell itself, carefully written on the parchment, was in blunt, square troll runes.  Intricate work, but he was rather proud of the result.  The princess took the paper and looked it over.  She read troll, of course.  No other way she could have studied troll law.  That must have been so cute, the curly haired little girl --
He grunted and took the parchment and dropped it into the cup.  It fizzed. She gave the drink a dubious look and then downed it.
"Not bad."
"I added a bit of apple juice and vanilla."
"Nice.  How long --"
And it happened right then.  She yelped. Then her clothing shredded and she grew up.
He grabbed his cloak and she hurriedly wrapped it around herself as she cursed.  He grinned --
"Hell," he mumbled.   "You want the bad news?"
"It worked," she said, her eyes flashing.  "I not a child!"
"True . . . but you're still adorable.  And you're only about eighteen.  I think you'll be stuck there."
She frowned, then shrugged.  "Perpetual adorable teen?  I can live with that.  Nice work."
"Thanks.  You know, I bet people can't say no to you."
"It's part of my charm."
"And the curse."
"Yes, that, too."
"Huh.  How would you like a job?  I can trust you since you can read troll.  We can split the sales."
"I'd like that.  I always wanted to learn troll magic."
He smiled. That was just adorable.

(999 words)


Cheryl Peugh said...

This one was cute, er....adorable. :D

ganymeder said...

Somehow you elevated adorable to terrifying. Great job!

Sonia Lal said...

adorably scary princess! bet she ends up running the world.