The One Thing
The front door slams and jolts me from slumber. I uncurl and raise my head. What mortal dares to awaken me?
Ah. It’s my Human, Tricia. She takes off her wet rainboots in the entryway and hangs up her jacket.
“Hello, Mr. Fluffers!” She says in the annoyingly high voice reserved for me and me only.
I could hardly contain my excitement when Papa chose me for this mission. The guild’s lost treasure, a great weapon rumored to lay low scores of men in a single breath, had been found at last. The centuries-long quest was drawing to a close and I, Stasya Vorishka, would be the one to complete it.Read it now
I steadied myself against the dash as the car leaned into the cliff. “You really need to go so fast?”
The rusty green Yugo that Aba had rented shifted down. “Sam, I told you to stay home.” He plunged the accelerator into the floor. “But you say that you’re family now and must come with.
“You got the chicken?” Tommy asked, strutting across the outfield grass wearing nothing but boxer shorts.
“Gosh sakes, Spitfield,” I whispered. “Keep it down, will ya?”
“You found one, though?”
Tommy raised upturned palms toward the moon. “You had one job, Luis. You buy rotisserie chicken. I bring the jam and jellies. And Roger…”
“Hez!” I jerk my starfighter up, narrowly avoiding a spray of voidblasts. “New shields. Quick!”
“Sorry, I couldn’t hear you.” Hezekiah’s voice crackles through my comlink.
“My shields are down!” I dive toward the planet, shoving power into my engines. Newhaven’s emerald surface swallows up my cockpit.
“You’re the red dot, right?”
Out on the shoreline, between the waves and the fire, Death made his home. He walked across the silver-gray sand, trailing wisps of memories as they faded slowly from his grasp.
He paused for a moment, turning his eyes to the waves. The water crashed against the rock, swelling forward one moment,
The knock comes late one sunny morning.
My legs tremble as I go to answer the door. Behind it is a stiff, black-coated constable. And behind him are three men with boxes and bags, ready to steal my treasures.
I twist my hands into my skirt, clear my throat, and nod.
Basket snug under her arm, Elmira scanned the forest floor. A long, paper-thin material poked out among the nettles—a discarded dragon skin. It was yellow and curled, probably a few days old. Still, she had to be on the right track.
Where are you? She swiped a hand across her brow.
Lora, my youngest, grinned as she lifted our dinner plates with a wispy sapphire spell. “Clean up time!” Her arms wobbled. “Ooh, heavy.”
“Papa!” Thorn, my oldest, leapt from his chair, his eyes on me. “Make her stop!”
“Lora, you know the rules.” I spoke gently, not wanting to shame my daughter for her newfound abilities.
Oh, I can already taste our sweet victory! Just imagine the rush, the bliss! That old nudnik Santa will give us elves what we desire. No, what we deserve. Finally, we’ll have—
“They’re coming!” Pint Ree slides down the snowbank. His elfin ears are red with adrenaline, small hands shaking.