He rolled over to feel something warm and wet against his cheek. It felt good, inviting, and smelled….hmmmm, like sunshine. Slightly fruity. Malevolent.

Resentfully squinting through bleary eyes, he sensed rather than saw….what? Greenness? Yes. Greenness. A little sunlight played in the highlights, but what was that in the shadows? Focus. Concentrate. He wasn’t used to the mental effort, and didn’t like it at all. Where was the sweet easythink and cool inebriation? Clearheadedness was slowly coming to him, and it was uncomfortable and entirely too warm.

Blinking, he opened his eyes all the way. And what did he see?


How could this be happening again? Right next to him — in fact, he was touching the reprehensibly vile thing — was a bleeding lump of a giant dead fairy. He jerked violently when he realized his cheek was dripping with the creature’s nectarine death-juices. UGH. A swift windglide transported him to the gardenpatch birdbath, and he submerged, furiously swimming laps to cleanse himself of whatever substances clung to his body.

Satisfied finally with his hygiene, he almost regretted the cleansing dip when he realized it had made him considerably more sober. Shit, and doubleshit. Slowly he climbed out of the water, dripping as he perched on the structure’s concrete lip. His slight frame couldn’t withstand much sun, even on a pleasant spring morning, but he would dry quickly, and then he’d retreat to a breezy shade.

Looking down, he couldn’t remember whether he’d killed the damn creature himself, but he certainly hoped so. Its repulsive, skeletal wings were crushed, and its large otherworldly eyes, staring and startled, were milky. Its sentience was finished.

No matter how many freshly slain fairies he encountered, he repeatedly was amazed at how sweet their lifelessness smelled. Yeah. And tasted. But that was a longago incident which never really happened — the characters in his lucid dreams told him so.

The dead thing below him right now appeared to be female and…. HOLY yankerhell, what was that noise? Jerking his tiny pixie head toward the faraway rustle, he listened intently to discern any additional movement. He heard nothing, but couldn’t risk being spotted.

Soundlessly, he was gone.