Kristin: What's up?
Me: The usual. (Nothing.)
Kristin: Wrong answer. Make up a story or something.
And so I did...over the course of a few dorky emails. So here it is. The first installment (and possibly the last) of Fairy Tale Friday. And I apologize in advance for the mixing of eras...
Once upon a time there was a little girl who toiled in an office all day, under the watchful eyes of two ogres. One morning, she traipsed into her office and headed to her little padded cell, um, I mean spacious office cubicle, and found that her desk was all out of order! Oh no! Who had been messing with her stuff?
She looked at her desk and saw the scene. Phone pushed willy-nilly away from the wall. Rolodex rolled towards the edge of the desktop. Headphones huddled in a pile on the side. Pens and pencils scattered about.
Observing the chaos, she suddenly knew who the culprits must be.
Now, these office faeries had quite a reputation for random acts of mischief. Their favorite game was rearranging the objects on people's desks, like they had done to our poor heroine. Sometimes though, they would stoop to other dastardly deeds, like switching the trash cans with the recycling cans under people's desks, or removing all of the food from the office refrigerators.
A few times they had even stolen bottles of water off of people's desks! The horror!
The deeds of the mischievous office faeries were well known and often discussed amongst the day-dwellers of the building. But no one had ever laid eyes on one.
Now, our heroine was a very curious girl, which had gotten her into trouble once or twice before. One day, she decided that she would linger around the office after hours to try to catch a glimpse of one of these fabled creatures and catch them in the act. Luckily for her, the fates were on her side and had provided her with an ample amount of work to keep her busy during her elongated stay.
So, as our herione toiled away, the sun began it's long descent. As the evening grew later, an odd thing happened. The lights flickered, and then went out. Our herione searched high and low for the light switch that she knew must be nearby. Had she looked in the middle, rather than high and low, she'd have found it much quicker, as it was actually located right there, at eye level.
Having conquered that dilemma, she lowered herself back into her padded desk chair in front of the glowing computer screen. Suddenly, she heard a noise. What was that?
"Oh no," thought our heroine. "Someone is coming!" Luckily, she had the presence of mind not to say this out loud, as she was a very intelligent girl and knew better than to startle a faerie.
The rumbling, rolling noise grew louder. Then there was the faint sound of something hitting the ground. It would stop for a short time, then the rumble continued, followed by the other noise, getting a little louder, and a little closer, each time.
Our heroine started to get a little worried. What if it wasn't a faerie? What if it was a ghost? A mean ghost of an unhappy deceased worker? What had she gotten herself into?
Just then, with visions of ghastly ghostly vapors, the noise came again. From right behind her!
Then it stopped, but there was no other noise. Our heroine, having scared the wits out of herself, did not dare to turn around and see what it was. Slowly, but surely, from the very edge of the corner of her eye, our heroine spotted something moving. Closer... Closer... Reaching underneath her desk, right by her own little knees...was a human hand!
Oh thank heavens! It was attached to a human arm. And the arm was attached to a human body! It was only the building's human janitor, come to empty out the trash cans and the recycling bins. Our heroine felt very foolish for having convinced herself that there were ghosts in the building, or even faeries, for that matter. How silly of her! She thanked the janitor for emptying her trash, and thought about returning to her home.
Then she had a thought. The janitor hadn't touched anything on top of her desk. And of course, as everyone knows, objects don't move themselves. So, she decided that some exploration was in order. Rising from her desk, she proceeded to inspect the desks of her fellow workers.
Everything was still in its rightful place.
How curious! If the janitor hadn't been the cleaning culprit, how could the order of desk items have become so disordered so often? Our heroine returned to her desk with a little frown wrinkling her overworked brow. She was right where she started!
"Oh well," she thought to herself and decided to stick around a little bit longer. Just in case.
After a short while, just when our heroine was starting to ponder how eerie the empty office was after dark, she heard another strange sound. Now, you know by this time our heroine had been in the office for quite some time, and had not eaten since her meager lunch hours and hours ago. Naturally, to her famished mind, she thought this new noise sounded much like the grumblings of a very large, very hungry tummy. What type of beast could possibly have such a loud hungry tummy?
As the growling got closer and louder, our heroine decided to peek over the top of her cell, I mean cubicle, wall. She glimpsed the top of a very small head, perched atop a very small body. In a pair of very small hands was a regular sized vacuum cleaner. And the very small body behind the machine was that very same janitor that had emptied the trash earlier.
"This is useless!" thought our heroine, at least happy that she was able to complete some of the endless tasks provided to her by the fates. For you know, if the tasks were not completed, the angry ogres got very upset.
By now, our heroine was very hungry and getting very tired. She decided to commence her long journey home. She took one more look around the office, realizing that she may never solve the mystery of the office faeries. Walking away from the building through the dark night, she headed towards her meager carriage, for the ogres did not pay their workforce too generously. Our heroine boarded her carriage and began driving away from the building. As she passed the entrance to the building, she took one last glimpse inside the darkened building.
Out of the very corner of her eye, in the window of the furthest office, she swore that she saw the flicker of faerie wings. They do exist!
*No faeries, janitors, ogres or heroines were harmed in the development of this tale.*