Author Topic: Story - The Dark Fairy  (Read 7396 times)

Offline Sparky

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Story - The Dark Fairy
« on: 07. February 2022, 00:45:16 AM »
Chapter 0

This lot happened in the days just before the story proper starts! The REAL story will clearly start with the NEXT chapter, Chapter 1!

Do read on...


Runesdale is a quaint town in middle England. Located near a large forest, it has a Supermarket, a Butchers, a Bakery, 4 Roller-Skating Rinks (one outdoors), plus a Doctor's Surgery, a Dentist, and an Orthodontist.

When Brian woke up this morning, his mouth was feeling sore. He went into the bathroom, to get himself ready for work. That was when he looked in the mirror, and saw that his top and bottom front teeth were a bit crooked, twisted this way and that.

The strange thing is that, when Brian went to bed last night, his teeth were actually perfectly straight!


Runesdale is a quaint town in middle England. Located near a large forest, it has a Supermarket, a Butchers, a Bakery, 3 Olympic Sized Swimming Pools (one outdoors), plus a Doctor's Surgery, a Dentist, and an Orthodontist.

When Julie woke up this morning, her mouth was feeling sore. She went into the bathroom, mainly to get herself ready for work, but also to have a look in the mirror to see why her mouth was sore. As she looked in the mirror, with her mouth wide open, she could see 2 large cavities in her lower left molars, where she felt sore.

The strange thing is that, when Julie went to bed last night, her teeth didn't actually HAVE any cavities!

Offline AlexwithBraces

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Re: Story - The Dark Fairy
« Reply #1 on: 07. February 2022, 07:53:40 AM »
Very interesting to have the inverse as well, to compliment the "wakes up one day" style. Very curious as to how this can go.

Offline TimeandBrace

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Re: Story - The Dark Fairy
« Reply #2 on: 07. February 2022, 23:35:24 PM »
This will be so fun.~

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story - The Dark Fairy
« Reply #3 on: 08. February 2022, 01:24:18 AM »
By the way, don't try and skip the "Runesdale is a quaint town" bits when you read the story, I'm gonna have a bit of fun with them. Ok, so I'm taking reality very much to the extreme.... for example, up in certain parts of London, especially East London, there are just SO MANY late-night gent's barbers.... to some they are probably as much a social hub for the younger locals, but how many do you really need? It's the same with the number of Coffee Shops in the city where I live.... ok, I appreciate that we are a historical tourist city, but how many coffee-shops does the place really need?

And if you want to know about the roller rinks, go ask "Core" :-)

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story - The Dark Fairy
« Reply #4 on: 08. February 2022, 17:16:44 PM »
Chapter 1

Runesdale is a quaint town in middle England. Located near a large forest, it has a Supermarket, a Butchers, a Bakery, 7 Gents Barbers, 16 Ladies Hairdressers, plus a Doctor's Surgery, a Dentist, and an Orthodontist. (and don't ask WHY it has so many barbers & Ladies Hairdressers, it's like many other places in England, the locals just seem to have a thing about getting their hair cut. But every week? Go figure!)

Victoria Ibisheart went to bed last night at about 10pm and woke up at her normal time this morning. She had actually slept VERY well, not realising that someone - or rather something - had been in her room in the middle of the night. She yawned, then got out of bed, and went into the bathroom to get herself ready for school. In the bathroom, she looked in the mirror, opened her mouth... and SCREAMED!

Then she took a deep breath, and she SCREAMED AGAIN.

Her scream was so loud that people who lived two streets away could hear it.


She looked again, after rubbing her eyes, but it made no difference, she definitely had braces on her teeth. Victoria didn't really know much about braces, but was able to work out that they were pretty normal, plain metal braces. The strange thing is that, when Victoria went to bed last night, she didn't actually HAVE any braces!

By now her mum had come upstairs to see what the screaming was about, and was equally surprised to find that her daughter had suddenly got braces overnight. She called Victoria's dad up to also take a look. At first they thought that Victoria was having a joke on them, but they soon realised that they were REAL braces. Glued to her teeth. With a metal archwire. And rubber ligatures.

So, when there's something strange in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call? If there's something weird, and it don't look good, who you gonna call? Nah, there's no such thing as Ghostbusters!! They clearly called the police, but apart from taking a note, they didn't seem too interested.

Victoria's sister used to have braces, so they called, then visited, her orthodontist. Needless to say, he was equally perplexed, but, with a bit of difficulty, WAS just able to remove the braces. "I don't know what glue they used, but it was quite strong, definitely stronger that what I'd normally use" he commented

Victoria was obviously late to school, and to be honest, she didn't know what to tell her friends. I mean, you don't normally just wake up, and find you got braces overnight - noone would ever believe THAT!

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story - The Dark Fairy
« Reply #5 on: 10. February 2022, 21:45:34 PM »
Chapter 2

As we now know, Runesdale is a quaint town in middle England. Located near a large forest, it has a Supermarket, a Butchers, a Bakery, 26 Coffee Shops, plus a Doctor's Surgery, a Dentist, and an Orthodontist. (I thought all those Barbers and Hairdressers were crazy, but TWENTY SIX coffee shops? I really don't understand some places....)

Zelda Elfenlocks was a bit late going to bed last night, and whilst she slept ok for the first part of the night, something kept disturbing her sleep for the second part. Plus she has some very strange dreams, something weird about teeth.

The sound of 'forest music' from the alarm on her phone woke Zelda, who stretched. Her mouth felt a bit odd, but she thought nothing of it. It was only when she was sitting at her dressing table, where she picked up her glasses to put them on, that she looked in the mirror - something looked a bit odd about her mouth, so she looked closer.

"AAAARRRRGGGHHHHHHHHH!" she screamed. She had BRACES on her teeth! WTF? She had nice teeth, which were all nice and straight, and so she'd never NEEDED braces, so why did she suddenly have braces? I mean, she definitely didn't have them last night!

There was nothing really special about the braces that Zelda had on her teeth: medium sized metal brackets, a medium sized archwire. She didn't even have any metal bands, just brackets on her molars. And fairly neutral-coloured ligatures.

"You ok?" said her dad, who had just heard the scream, and had come into her room. Zelda turned to her father, and without saying a thing just opened her lips a bit, and pointed at her mouth, her hand shaking a little.

"Braces? But you don't HAVE braces... do you?". Zelda shook her head. Her dad called her mum, who also came and looked. Mum and dad chatted, and dad called the police: to be brutally honest, they (still) weren't at all interested, and just suggested she go see the orthodontist.

So dad went off to work, and mum called the orthodontist: thus first thing that afternoon, she took Zelda to see the orthodontist. Of course, the orthodontist initially thought that maybe Zelda and her friends had somehow been messing about, but when he took a look at the braces, he could tell that this wasn't the work of any amateur.

It doesn't take a lot to imagine that poor Zelda was getting a bit upset by what was going on: noone seemed to believe that she had absolutely nothing to do with these braces, and they had just 'magically appeared'.

"Get them off me! I really do NOT want braces!" she screamed, tearfully. The orthodontist tried hard to remove them, but he was unable to.

"I had another girl in yesterday" explained the orthodontist, "who somehow got a set of braces, very similar to these, but at least yesterday I was able to remove them fairly easily. But I don't recognise this glue, it's so strong.... Look, let me ask around, but in the meantime, there's NOT a lot I can do, sorry. I'll be in touch...."

A very upset Zelda went home with her mum, who had decided that it was probably best that she stayed at home for the rest of the day, so Zelda went up to her room, and played a few games on her computer: this seemed to calm her quite a lot. After playing on her PC for a while, Zelda felt a bit drowsy, so went to lay on her bed: within moments, she was in a dreamless sleep.

A little while later, Zelda grunted and woke up. She could feel something strange in her mouth. She put her hand to her mouth, to find that 'her' braces seemed to have 'just fallen off her teeth, as if by magic'... She took the braces out of her mouth: two sets of 12 shiny steel brackets attached to a shiny wire archwire, held in place by tiny rubber band things. She ran her tongue over her teeth to find they were nice and smooth, like they should be. Zelda went to find her mum.

"Mum... where are you?"

"In the kitchen..".

Zelda went into the kitchen. "Umm, I'm not really sure what happened, but they fell off?"

"What did?"

"Those braces. Look!" She passed the two archwires with brackets attached to her mum.

"Oh.. so what exactly happened?"

"I'm not really sure. I was playing games, and felt a bit tired, so went to lie down for few moments. Next thing I know I'm asleep, and when I woke up, they were just loose, in my mouth....".

With the problem averted, everyone relaxed, including dad, when he got home later on.

Offline silver-moon-2000

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Re: Story - The Dark Fairy
« Reply #6 on: 12. February 2022, 09:21:55 AM »
I'm confused - in a good way  ???  Please DO continue on, I simply must see, where this leads.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story - The Dark Fairy
« Reply #7 on: 12. February 2022, 19:20:58 PM »
And this is where the story REALLY starts:


Chapter 3

So, this fairy story takes place a little after the earlier 'Dave, Andrea and "them"' story, and Lilly is now back at university, in her second year. For some reason which I don't know, both Wendy and Emily are away from the office while the story below happens. (Well, ok, yes, I DO know... it's simply because it saves me having to work out what THEY will be doing all the time!!!!)

It's been a bit quiet the last few days. Sparkle has already caught up with all of the interesting 'fairy news and gossip' that's online, and has been reading some stuff on the 'human internet'. She's currently looking at the 'Cloud News' website, specifically the 'Offbeat' section.

"Hey, Magic, come take a look at this...." says Sparkle, smiling (and showing off those lovely braces that she still has: braces that make all the other fairies so jealous - we all KNOW how much fairies love shiny things!)

"What you found now, then?" asks Magic

"It seems some poor human went to bed with normal teeth, and woke up with braces. I mean that has GOT to be someone having a prank!". Sparkle was giggling at the whole idea. Magic takes a few moments to read the story.

"Hey, it says that this is the SECOND time this has happened... so that must be one HECK of a prank... I mean, it's pretty easy for us fairies to put braces onto humans, but it's a LOT harder for a human to do it, they need special equipment and glues and stuff. And then to do it TWICE!" comments Magic

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" asks Sparkle

"I think I probably am... come on, let's go have a word with the boss... bring your tablet along"

They knocked on the door, and opened it: the boss was apparently chatting with one of the newer girls. "Sorry for intruding, but I think you should take a look at this...." said Sparkle, passing her tablet over. The boss read the story.

"Ok, talk to me...." says their boss after reading the story

"Well, whilst we fairies can fit braces on humans with pretty much the wave or two of a wand, it's a LOT harder for humans: they need special glues and other special equipment. I could believe it being a very elaborate prank once, but not twice" says Sparkle

"Ok, any ideas what it could be?"

"Well, it could be a few things. Santa's gone rogue and come south a bit early?" suggests Magic

"Nah, he would NEVER do that!" retorted Sparkle

"Ok, so maybe one of the elves has been trying out some magic? Or one of our younger fairies is playing with magic they shouldn't be? Plus I can think of a few other options too, but they all involve some sort of magic."

"Where is it happening?" asked the boss.

"I think it said 'Runesdale', wherever THAT is.... But I'm thinking we ought to be investigating"
"I agree with you 100% - you guys busy at the moment?"

"Not really..."

"Ok, well I'll leave this up to you two then - make sure to fill in the official reports, just in case there is magic being used, and so there's a good record for 'the powers that be'"

"Ok boss, we'll get on it straight away" said Magic as they left the boss' office. "Looks like we have something to do at last!"

"Yeah, I know it's always nice to have a quiet period, but it DOES get a bit boring after a while. So you got any idea where this 'Runesdale' actually is?"

"Nope, no idea. I'm sure the human's online map site will know....". Sparkle looked at the map. "Oooh, nice place. Nice woods right next to the village. Not too big, not too small. Nice houses, not all that old. Let's see what the place looks like....". She changed from Satellite view to street view, and went along the main street.

"For goodness sake, how many coffee shops do those humans actually NEED?" exclaimed Magic, "I've seen eight already, and we're not even a quarter the way down the High Street!"

"Ah, look, a Dentist's... oh, an orthodontist a couple of doors away too... I think we'll definitely want to take a look at them"

"Hey, can you bring up that article again.... does it say WHEN those two cases happened?"

"Umm... yes, last night, and the night before"

"Something tells me that we might see a third case tonight - we'd better take our 'go bags', just in case"

"Good idea, let's get going!"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story - The Dark Fairy
« Reply #8 on: 14. February 2022, 19:18:19 PM »
Chapter 4

Well, once in Runesdale, they realised that maybe it wasn't going to be quite so easy to find the places the people with the braces lived, there were quite a few houses around, including the new estates on the edges of the town.

They flew around, doing 'detect the use of magic' spells as they went around, but it was now several hours since the magic was used, and they found nothing.

"Well, where would a human go if they woke up with braces - I'm guessing the Dentist or the Ortho" said Magic

"Yup, that makes sense" replied Sparkle.

They quickly flew back along the High Street, looking at what was there as they went.

"They really love their coffee shops, don't they?" commented Magic

"Yeah, I noticed that - hey, look, there's a 50's style American diner over there!". Finally, they found the dentist's place.

At the dentist there were two dentists, and two lots of patients waiting. One was a gentleman probably in his 50s, the other was a mum with two teenage children, but not a hint of braces. In the first surgery, a gentleman dentist seemed to be doing a filling for a middle-aged lady. Over in the second surgery was a mum and a teenage girl, but whilst she actually had some very nice shiny braces, and teeth that looked as if the braces had pretty much finished their job, it seemed that the dentist was just giving her a checkup.

"Let's go out to reception, see if there's been any emergency bookings yesterday or today". They took a look, but saw nothing special.

"Ok, nothing happening here, let's get to the orthodontist, see what we can find there." said Sparkle.

In the orthodontist, they checked at reception first.

"Look at her notepad...." said Magic. "Emergency - Mrs Jones....". They flew into the waiting room, where there seemed to be several patients waiting. "How long have YOU been waiting?" said one of the mums. "Must be about 45 minutes now" replied another.

Clearly something was happening, so they got themselves into the surgery: in the chair was a teenage girl, in tears. In between the tears they could hear things like "Get them off me!" and "I really do NOT want braces!". They could also hear the orthodontist explaining to her mum that he had tried everything he could, but he was simply unable to remove the braces, they were attached with some sort of glue he knew nothing about. Unlike the other strange case yesterday, where the glue had come off, although it hadn't been too easy.

"Oh, interesting info about yesterday: if yesterday's victim's no longer got the braces, then there's probably nothing much we can do there, much too late to try and do any containment. Which is actually helpful, we can concentrate on this young lady... whose name seems to be Zelda" said Magic, giggling as she read what was on the computer screen. "Zelda, poor kid! I bet she gets the p*ss taken out of her at school!"

Sparkle ran a 'detect magic' spell on the girl's braces, as she sat in the big chair. "Whoah, DEFINITELY magic braces, not human!" she said. "Tell you what, let me see if I can do something..." Sparkle tried a couple of simple 'remove braces' spells she knew, but absolutely nothing happened.

"In that case, there's only one thing to do..." said Magic, taking out her phone, and calling the office.

"Hi Nissa! Look, we're calling a Priority Two here, we need a Tooth Fairy here as soon as possible. Heck, no, make that TWO......... Yes, it IS urgent, speak to the boss if you need to ..... well, that's just going to have to wait, we need her HERE! As I said, this IS a Priority Two!" said Magic. "I dunno, the young fairies of today, they just don't appreciate the urgency of some things!" she added after she had ended the call.

"Ok, well there's not a lot we can do until our 'specialists' arrive, so let's go take a break, and 'fill in the paperwork', I'm sure those 'up the chain' will definitely want to know about this. We also need to find out who the victim was yesterday".

The fairies decided to fly around the small town, to get a feel of the place, and where everything was. Including the huge number of barbers, hairdressers and coffee shops! The strange thing was how quiet the place was. And they were the only two fairies there.

Magic's phone rang, and she answered.

"Magic?" asked a soft voice, with a rather nice Irish accent to it.

"Yes, that's me!" she replied, turning on the speakerphone, so Sparkle could hear

"Oh, hello Magic, it's Elida here, I understand you need a couple of us tooth fairies onsite for a Priority Two. What can you tell me?" Magic spent a couple of minutes explaining what they had discovered.

"Yes, I'd definitely agree with the Priority Two! I'm not over familiar with braces magic, so I'm going to need to grab a couple of books, then I'll be on my way to you. Faylinn is much more familiar with braces, but she's going to take a bit longer to get to you. Oh, any chance you can send me your exact location?"

"Well, we're taking a bit of a break at the moment, but I'll send you the location of the Orthodontist's place, we'll meet you up on the roof! Let us know when you get here. In the meantime, we'll keep an eye on the poor girl, so we know where she is, and I guess we're going to be working out some damage-limitation plans too. Hey, Elida, thanks for getting back to us so quickly, see you soon!" and she ended the call

"Elida, isn't she that small young fairy?"

"Yeah, I think that's her, she's pretty new, and I've heard some nice things said about her, just not all that experienced yet"

"But at least she's a tooth fairy, so might be able to do something. But Faylinn is a lot more experienced, and I know they have worked together before..."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story - The Dark Fairy
« Reply #9 on: 16. February 2022, 11:59:23 AM »
Chapter 5

While they waited for Elida to arrive, they followed Zelda and her mum back to her home. The poor kid was pretty upset, so they started by running some simple 'calming' magic on her. They didn't want to do too much, lest they became even more suspicions about what was happening. Next, they needed to start some sort of containment process, so ran some 'there's no need to tell anyone else' sort of spells on the girl and her mum. Yes, the news was out there, but the news article had been relatively anonymous, so it was worth trying to stop things going further than they needed to. From looking around the house, there was clearly a dad, who would be at work, plus another girl, who they guessed would be at school, so they would need to deal with them a bit later, when they got home - there would be no doubt that they would have also seen what happened this morning. 

Now they knew where the girl lived, they went back to the orthodontist, and waited for Elida. "Almost there, under 5 mins" said a fairy text message on Magic's phone. True to her word, Elida arrived on the roof 4 minutes later.

"I'm knackered!" she said, "Just give me a couple of minutes will you!". While she recovered, she took out a drink from her bag. "So, I had a chat with Faylinn on the way - yes, I know you're not supposed to use your phone whilst flying, but this IS a Priority Two - anyway she says the difficult bit is working out what sort of 'magic glue' has been used. Apparently there's quite a few to choose from. So, can we go see the victim?"

"Sure we can - I think things are contained for the moment, but we'll need to do some more work later. Plus we also need to think about if we need to do anything about yesterday's victim...." said Sparkle.

They were soon at Zelda's house: she was in her room, playing a game on her laptop. Elida took a look at her mouth and the braces, and ran a couple of diagnostic spells, plus Sparkle was explaining about what they had heard earlier at the orthodontist's, and the fact that the orthodontist had been completely unable to remove the braces from the girl's teeth.

"My gut feeling is that the glue is definitely magical, but should be fairly easy to remove - for Faylinn that is. I mean, I'm sure I could find a spell, but that would take time, and I might screw up. I'd rather watch Faylinn, and learn from her. So, you say that the orthodontist managed to remove the braces from yesterday's case? Which says to me that whoever did this is learning, and learning fast" said Elida

"So, if we get another one tomorrow - and I strongly suspect we will - it may be a more difficult job still. Ok, assuming Faylinn can remove these braces, how do you suggest we go about it? I'm open to all ideas" asked Sparkle.

"Well" replied Magic, "I can see 2 obvious ways. First, we wait till she goes to sleep tonight, and do it then. Or we knock her out now, and get it done with. In either case, just leave the braces unglued on her teeth, and wake her up a couple of minutes after"

"I think we need to do it sooner rather than later... the longer we leave it, the more cleaning up we'll need to do"

Elida's phone beeped. "Ah, Faylinn is nearly here - why don't I go outside, and wait on the roof, so she can find us quicker?"

"Good idea" said Sparkle, and she flew off.

"Well, I would never have guessed this morning that we'd be having so much 'excitement' this afternoon" said Sparkle. The two of them chatted for a bit, there was't really a lot they could do until Faylinn arrived, which she did about 10 minutes later.

"Good afternoon, ladies, sorry it took so long to get here, I was in the middle of trying to calm a kid who was having a couple of rotten milk teeth taken out, but I quickly saw that this was far more important. Fill me in!"

"Hi Faylinn, there's definitely something magical going on, we're not sure yet who the culprit is, but so far there's been 2 cases of people who went to bed without braces, but who woke up the next morning with braces. This is Zelda. We met her at the local orthodontist: whilst it seems her ortho had successfully removed the braces from yesterday's victim, he wasn't able to remove Zelda's. I tried a couple of simple spells too, and I had no luck either. I've confirmed the braces contain magic, and Elida thinks you shouldn't have too much of an issue removing them"

"Ok, let me go take a look...." and she flew over to see Zelda. Luckily, because she was concentrating on the game, her face wasn't really moving, making Faylinn's job a lot easier. "Ok, yes, I think this should be pretty straightforward. Elida, don't suppose you brought your books with you, did you? I'd just like to double check something"

"Yes, here they are" said Elida, passing them over. Faylinn took a look at a couple of pages.

"Ok, with luck, this should be relatively straight forward. How and when do you want to do this?"

"Well, given we've declared a Priority Two, I'm thinking we have every right to take whatever steps we need to, and sooner rather than later. How about she starts to get tired playing the games, so lies down. We can then put her into a light sleep for maybe 10 minutes - will that be long enough? - you loosen the braces, then we wake her up almost immediately, and she finds the braces seem to have 'magically' dropped off - which is exactly what will have happened, of course! We'll need to somehow 'protect' the room while we do it"

"That works for me, I'm hoping I'll need just a minute or two. But first, I'll just explain what I'm about to do to Elida, partly to help her learn, but also so she'll be ready if I need any help. I'll leave you to make her go to sleep, and wake her up, if that's ok?". This was quite normal for fairies: split up the work between you, and let the specialists do what they are good at.

"Sounds like a plan!". While Faylinn explained what she was going to do to Elida, Magic and Sparkle worked out what THEY needed to do. Magic locked the door then went and waited outside the door: if her mum came up to check on Zelda, there were plenty of things she could do to delay her.

Sparkle waved her wand to cast a spell that made Zelda feel a little bit drowsy from concentrating on the game for so long, and suggested she go lie down for a moment: with her on the bed, she put her into a short dreamless sleep.

"Ok, over to you guys!" said Sparkle. Faylinn and Elida went over to Zelda, and Faylin cast a couple of spells. "Damn, it's not working. I have a feeling this is using some older magic... let's take a look at that book again, Elida". She spent a minute or two flicking around the book, looking for something. "Ahhh, right, maybe THIS is what it is..... never used this one before!". Elida held the book, while Faylinn uttered the words of the spell, and waved her wand again.

"Now THAT is better!" she said, as the braces loosened. She turned to Magic and Sparkle. "The basis of the magic here is fairly old, which is why I had a problem, but I think my job here is done! Let me remove all traces of magic from the braces, and change the glue into something a bit more normal, then it will be time to gently rouse young Zelda". Faylinn waved her wand again, making the changes.

Zelda grunted and woke. She could feel something strange in her mouth. She put her hand to her mouth, to find that her braces seemed to have 'just fallen off her teeth, as if by magic'... which, of course, they had, but she didn't know that.

Sparkle called to Magic that they were done, and to unlock the door. Zelda went to find her mum. All four of the fairies followed, to see what happened.

"Mum... where are you?"

"In the kitchen..".

Zelda went into the kitchen. "Umm, I'm not really sure what happened, but they fell off?"

"What did?"

"Those braces. Look!" She passed the two archwires with brackets attached to her mum.

"Oh.. so what exactly happened?"

"I'm not really sure. I was playing games on the computer, and felt a bit tired, so went to lie down for few moments. Next thing I know I'm asleep, and when I woke off, they were just loose, in my mouth....". The four fairies left them talking, and went back upstairs, where they collected their stuff.

"Well, guys, it was fun working with you - I've heard that you guys seem to get involved with braces cases" said Faylinn

"Yeah, but not like this. It's usually people wanting braces, or even NOT wanting them. Surely, as a tooth fairy, you must see a few braces too?" said Sparkle

"Yes, I do, but it tends to be more on the technical, tooth-related, level, than the people level. By the way, how the heck did YOU manage to get braces: I mean, they really are lovely!"

"Christmas pressie from Santa, a sort of thank you for helping him!"

"You've done a Christmas run with Santa? I bet THAT was fun?"

"Very tiring, but yes, loads of fun. He's so nice, and so are his elves. Oh, and not forgetting the reindeer"

"Tiring? It's just one night"

"It may be one night, but it's about three weeks of solid work in that one night!". They chatted a bit more whilst keeping an eye on Zelda.

"Everything looks settled here, so I guess we're pretty much done for now? In terms of the braces, I mean" said Faylinn.

"Yes, I think so" replied Sparkle, "Why don't you two go home, but be on call for early tomorrow? We'll stay here, and we'll let you know either way"

"That's fine with us, just call if you need us... it is still a Priority Two, and I don't think you can downgrade it just yet. You two ok to clear up the fallout from this when the rest of the family come home?"

"I think we'll be fine. Thanks for your help, guys, hopefully we won't need you again tomorrow... but I fear we might". Faylinn and Elida flew off, leaving Magic and Sparkle alone again.

"Hey, Magic, we need somewhere to stay tonight, plus we'll need some dinner. Can you call the office and see what we've got near here, and while you do that, I'll update the report, then we can keep an eye on things when the rest of the family get home."

"Yeah, so I'm thinking that we just need to cast some more 'don't tell anyone, it's old news now' sort of spells on the dad and sister"

"What if her sister told anyone at school?"

"Do you really think she would...'hey my sister magically got braces overnight'? Even if she did, would anyone believe it? I guess they might have seen something on the news?"

"To be honest, I think we're really too late to do much, it's out in the world - it would take a LOT of spells to erase everything, and is it ACTUALLY needed? Hopefully the humans will file it under 'strange unexplainable stuff sometimes happens', and not dig much further. But if it happens again, I think we need to be on top of things a LOT quicker"

"True... and I guess if it's felt that we DO need to do extensive damage limitation, that decision needs to be taken at a level higher than us, and would need a LOT of resources. Well, I guess we need to get to bed early tonight, and up well before dawn, so we can be ready for tomorrow, just in case. Ideally nothing will happen, but I get a feeling that we're going to be busy over the next couple of days!"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story - The Dark Fairy
« Reply #10 on: 17. February 2022, 18:42:09 PM »
Chapter 6

As we all well know by now, Runesdale is a quaint town in middle England, located near a large forest. Despite the many Barbers, Hair Dressers, Skating Rinks, Swimming pools, and not forgetting all of those Coffee Shops, it actually only has a single Supermarket (which does NOT even have it's own cafe).

Violet Icelane works at that single supermarket: most of the time she works on the tills, but if it's quiet, and a delivery has come in, she'll also help with the shelf-stacking, or anything else that needs to be done. This week she's working the late shift, so she doesn't start till lunchtime, and finishes soon after 10pm. So she has her lunch before she goes, then grabs something for dinner in her 'lunch' break at work.

Violet is 19 (and a half) years old, and has left home: she now lives alone in a small one-bedroom bed-sitting room - it's at the back of the upstairs in an old house. But she's lucky in that she has some friends, and (if she's not doing the late shift) will often meet up with them in the evenings. Plus she gets on pretty well with the couple who live in the upstairs front flat.

So last night, she got home, ate a small snack whilst she watched a bit of TV, then went and had a quick wash, before going to bed. Whilst she expected that she'd wake up in plenty of time for work, she still set her alarm for 9:45am, just in case.

Sometime in the middle of the night her sleep was briefly disturbed, but she managed to ignore whatever it was, and just turned over and fell asleep again pretty quickly. Around 9am, she woke up. Something didn't feel right to her. It was a feeling that she felt she knew from the past, but she couldn't quite place it. She could also feel that she needed to go to the loo to have a pee, so, still half asleep, she got out of bed, and walked to her bathroom. As she went through the door, with the light coming in the window, she was able to clearly see herself in the mirror on the front of the bathroom cabinet.

At first, she simply didn't believe what she saw, and it reminded her of about 3 years ago: a high-pull headgear and a shiny metal facebow. Which could only mean one thing. She smiled at herself in the mirror, and saw metal on her teeth....

"Aaaargh!!! What's happened?" she screamed at no one and everyone. It was then that she noticed that her lovely straight teeth, which had taken most of two years to get straightened when she was a little younger, were no longer lovely and straight.

"My teeth! MY TEETH!!!" she screamed. Having had headgear as a teenager, she knew how to remove the high-pull and the facebow, and then took a closer look: her middle top incisors were rotated outwards, and had a bit of a gap between them, and her lower teeth were crooked too. And she had METAL brackets on all of her teeth!

As she continued to look at herself, she suddenly felt a lot calmer. She also remembered why she had come to the bathroom in the first place, and sat down on the loo, and started to do what you would expect her to do. As she sat there, she put her fingers up to her mouth, to feel the braces. Many memories started to come back to her, of when she had braces before - and some of those memories weren't all that great. Having finished what she was doing, she flushed the loo, then went to the kitchen, where she got a glass of water. To be honest, the sight of those braces had made her a little giddy, so she went and sat on her small settee. Having had a sip of the water, she put the glass down, and leaned back on the settee, closing her eyes.

The next thing she knew was that she was waking up again. Violet looked around: what on earth was she doing sleeping on her settee? She had definitely gone to sleep in her bedroom last night. She noticed the glass of water next to the settee. Whilst she had NEVER sleep-walked before in her life, she could only guess that she HAD been sleep-walking, to get a glass of water, sat down to drink it, and had simply fallen asleep.

Without thinking, she put her hand up to her mouth... had she just had a strange dream? Dreaming that her teeth were crooked, and that she had braces again? Violet could hear a strange noise coming from her bedroom - it took her a moment to realise that her alarm was going, meaning it was about 9:45 am.....

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Story - The Dark Fairy
« Reply #11 on: 17. February 2022, 19:07:10 PM »
Even though I have seen an advanced copy of this story, it is still very interesting to see how the story develops from chapter to chapter.

It gets even better as it goes on.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story - The Dark Fairy
« Reply #12 on: 19. February 2022, 20:04:37 PM »
Chapter 7

The office had found them a pleasant fairy guest house for them to stay in, it was only about 10 minutes away (as the fairy flies). The old fairy who ran the place was very nice, and loved having some guests. She had made them some nice dinner.

"That food was amazing, thanks. We may need to stay a bit longer, but we won't know till later on tomorrow, is that going to be a problem?" explained Sparkle.

"That's fine with me, I'm empty for the next few days, just let me know. I've also got several other spare rooms, if you need them. And feel free to leave your stuff here, if you decide to go, you can just collect it when you're done". She understood that the sort of work they were doing could take a day, or it could take a week.

They went to bed early, and got up fairly early: they knew that they needed to be back at Runesdale before any of the humans woke up, in case something happened. They weren't that sure if they would know when something had happened, after all Runesdale wasn't tiny.

"I'm not sure if I actually want today to be boring - because nothing happens, or whether I want something to happen again" said Sparkle as they flew over to Runesdale.

"Something tells me it's not going to be boring!" replied Sparkle.

Magic's phone pinged. "Message from Faylinn: she's awake and getting ready, so will be able to come here pretty much at a moments notice, and she's just about to check that Elida is awake"

"So, what's our plan?"

"I'm not really sure. It's like a needle in a haystack. Ideally, it would be good to get to the next victim - assuming there is one - before it gets as far as a visit to the orthodontist. Especially as we now pretty much know he won't be actually able to do anything about any braces"

"Ok, so it sounds like we need to kinda 'go out on patrol'. I'm sure the deed will have already been done, it's more a matter of finding it. What's the best distance we can do a 'detect magic'?" asked Sparkle.

"Hmm, not THAT far.... but is there a way to somehow amplify it... you know, this is the sort of thing Lilly would be good at, shame she's not here. Let me go and look online"

"Ok, while you do that, I'm gonna call Faylinn, she might have a bright idea"..... Faylinn picked up on the second ring.

"You have something?" asked Faylinn

"No, not yet, so no need to panic. I just wanted to pick your brain. We need to somehow detect that something has happened. 'Detect magic' is a starting point, but you need to be pretty close... ideally we want something we can do in a fly-over - any bright ideas? Maybe you can think of it from a tooth perspective, rather than just a more general magic perspective?" asked Sparkle

"Yeah, I see what you're getting at..... hmmm....... let me think.....". Sparkle could hear noises in the background, pages turning, a tablet being used. "Sorry, not finding anything immediately, but leave it with me, and I'll call you if I find anything. "

"Ok, thanks, it was worth asking, just in case. Bye!", and she ended the call. "Any luck?" she asked Magic

"No, I'm afraid not. How about looking it from a different angle: someone is gonna wake up with braces, that they are NOT expecting to have. That's gonna have an effect on the victim - maybe we can detect THAT instead?"

"Nice angle.....". They both searched online. "Hey, I have something that may slightly help us" said Magic, ten minutes later. "It's a sort of 'detect angst and worry from a slight distance' discussion going on in a forum, take a look....".

"Hmm, interesting idea... keep repeating these same double spells as you move around. That's gonna get pretty tiring..."

"Yeah, but it's the best I've found so far"

"Ok, look, we can't waste any more time, people are starting to wake up. You go over to that housing estate to the west, I'll do this one to the South, maybe we'll get lucky....".

Sparkle and Magic flew off, and starting flying patterns over the houses, throwing a combined 'detect angst and magic' spell at each house as they passed over. The main problem was that they needed to be pretty close for the spell to work, so they were only inches above the rooftops as they flw over. On some of the larger houses, they had to 'do a circuit' of the roof, to be sure they checked all the bedrooms. Suddenly Magic had something. She flew back around the roof again, and re-cast the spell, but there was nothing... so not there, but maybe nearby... so she started flying around.

Suddenly, something came through VERY loud and VERY clear.

To be honest, she didn't need any magic to detect it, she could hear the scream!

Magic flew to where the noise was coming from, and into the house.... the fairy version of adrenaline was flowing fast.

"Aaaaargghhh!!!!!!" said a girl / young lady, late teens / early twenties. "There's a MOUSE!!! It just went behind that cupboard!!" she screamed at her boyfriend (or whoever he was). Magic relaxed, and just started laughing.

She flew down to the mouse, and had a quick word: "I suggest you just stay here, quietly, for a while. Hide in that corner. I'll run a quick spell to calm her down - they will go off to work soon, and you'll be ok"

"Oh, hi, and thanks!" replied the mouse, who was shaking. Magic threw a gentle 'be calm and bold' spell at the mouse, then went up and calmed the lady.

Magic called Sparkle: "Any luck yet? I just had a fun false alarm..." and she quickly explained.

"Nothing here yet... I wish there was a quicker and easier way to do this, you have to be so close for the 'detect' spell to work, so it's just one house at a time....". At least we don't have to actually go inside every house....

"Yeah, true.... I really hope we don't miss it today: the sooner we can detect things, the better we can contain things, and be in control" said Magic. She looked at the time: it was by now about 7:30. The two of them kept flying around, over the roof of every house in every street and cul-de-sac, but nothing. It was boring, but it needed to be done.

They checked in with each other every 15 minutes-ish, if only to take a bit of a break, and relieve the boredom. It was just after 9am when they were having a quick chat.

"I'm guessing still nothing for you then?" asked Magic

"No nothing ye.... hang on...." Magic heard Sparkle recast the 'detect angst or magic' spell a couple of times. "I think I may have something, stay with me." Sparkle flew down into a house, where she found a young female young twenty-something screaming. She was looking at herself in a mirror.

"My teeth! MY TEETH!!!" she was screaming. Sparkle looked at her, specifically her mouth: the first giveaway was that she was wearing a facebow with a high-pull headgear. Looking inside her mouth, Sparkle could see a beautiful sparkly mouthful of metal brackets, and some slightly twisted teeth.

The girl somehow managed to undo the high-pull headgear, and removed the facebow, and looked at her teeth once more: several of her teeth were crooked again, and all of her teeth had metal (yes, METAL!!!) brackets on them.

Without thinking too long about it, Sparkle threw a gentle calming spell at her.

"You'd better get here quick, we have another one..... I'll call Faylinn!". She dropped the call to Magic, and called Faylinn, who again answered on the second ring.

"Hiya - yes or no?"

"A big yes! I'm in that housing estate to the south of the town. Don't forget your 'go bag'"

"Already in my hand.... I'll call Elida on the way".

"Thanks - see you guys soon..."

Magic was there a couple of minutes later, and they both spend a moment assessing the situation. "I think we need to run 'FairyTime' for a few minutes - we're at Priority Two, so we are allowed to"

"Good idea!" replied Sparkle. (I guess I need to explain the 'FairyTime' spell. It's pretty similar to the one that Santa uses: it slows human time right down, but doesn't affect the fairies. Whilst Santa has a load of cool tech to help make it happen, the fairy version was 100% magic, and didn't last anywhere near as long, and sometimes had adverse side-effects - which is why it's use was limited to only Priority One and Two cases.) Sparkle waved her wand, and the humans almost froze. They knew they had maybe 10 minutes, but could recast the spell if they really needed to.

First of all, both of them took a look at the victim's mouth: conveniently by now, she was sat down on the loo, doing what humans do when on the loo, whilst at the same time she had her mouth open, and was feeling her braces with her fingers. Magic took some pictures. "I wonder if her teeth were like that before?" asked Sparkle. "Let me go see what I can find...." replied Magic, and she started looking around for clues. "I think her name is Violet" she called out a couple of minutes later. "Ah, here we are: Violet Icelane, she's nineteen... and a half..., and it looks like she works at that supermarket in town."

"Ok... I just found her phone, lets see if she has any selfies". Sparkle used a simple spell to unlock her phone (remember that, everyone: a fairy can unlock your phone, and can then see ALL of the pictures on your phone or PC - so beware!!), and started looking at her pictures. What she found worried her.

"It looks like she used to have white ceramic braces top & bottom, about 3 years ago, but the more recent pictures show her with absolutely perfect teeth" said Sparkle

"Well, ignoring the braces, her teeth ain't perfect any more! Is there anyone else in the house?".

Sparkle continued looking around. "I think she shares the place with someone else, but there's no one else here right now, I'm guessing they already left for work."

"Ok, good! So, we have a couple more minutes before the spell wears off... how about you start by locking down the house, so noone can get in or out. And I'll throw a load of calming spells at Violet. Then I'll throw up a 'fairybeacon', so Faylinn and Elida can find us easily and quickly"

Faylinn and Elida arrived about 10 minutes later, by which time the FairyTime spell had ended.

"Hi guys. So what do we have today then?" asked Faylinn

"Well, victim number 3 is Violet. Looks like she shares the house, but whoever that is isn't here right now - probably already at work. We've done a lockdown of the house, and Magic has thrown a calming spell at Violet. It seems that Violet had quite an orthodontic issue about 3 years ago, and had braces...". Sparkle showed her some of Violet's pics that she'd copied to her own phone, plus the pictures of Violet that Magic had taken earlier.

"Oooh, nasty" commented Elida.

"That's when she had REAL braces!"

"Oh, right! Still nasty though!"

"Here, this is what she's like today - not just braces, but whoever did it, made a mess of her teeth too. Plus she had a high-pull headgear"

"Ouch, not nice!" commented Elida

"Let’s go take a look" replied Faylinn. Faylinn and Elida went over and took a good look at Violet, more specifically her teeth and braces.

"Well, from a tooth-fairy's perspective, she has really nice teeth - they looked really good in the pictures when they were straight. If they were straight last night, then there is no question that it would have needed magic to twist them like this, not to mention putting on the braces" said Faylinn. "It's not something I really want to say, but... I'm thinking we most likely have a rogue tooth fairy on the loose!"

"Yes, I do have to agree with you, Faylinn" said Elida.

"How do you want to do this? We already ran one 'FairyTime'..." said Magic

"In that case, how about like yesterday? Get Violet lying down and asleep, and we'll get to work. Although we're gonna take a few minutes longer, what with her teeth being messed up as well"

"I think we're ok for time, so let's do it!". They found a rather dazed and confused Violet sitting on the settee in the lounge, her fingers running over her crooked teeth and shiny metal braces - clearly Magic's calming spells had been a bit too calming! Sparkle waved her wand, and Violet conveniently fell asleep on the settee.

"So, when I first arrived, she was in the bathroom, and she was wearing the headgear, but she managed to take that off quite easily"

"Ok, Sparkle, can you bring us the headgear, might be helpful, although I doubt it. Elida, let's try the same spells we used yesterday. Got your book, Elida?". Elida got her book out, and they worked together, but nothing happened to the braces. "Hmm, he or she stuck these brackets on differently today."

"Shall I try a diagnostic spell, see if it tells us what's holding those brackets on?"

"Yes, why not, that will be good practice for you!". Elida got her tablet out, and checked her notes, then waved her wand, and touched Violet's braces.

"What you getting?" asked Faylinn.

"Something VERY mixed. Modern human tech, plus some very strong old magic I don't recognise at all... why don't YOU give it a try?".

Faylinn tried a similar spell. "Yes, as you say, a strange mixture of new and old, and I'm not recognising the old stuff either. Ok, let's try a couple of other things". They tried another six (different) spells, but the braces remained firmly on Violet's teeth.

"Well, I'm afraid I'm stumped!" said Faylinn.

"In that case, I'm gonna take things up to a Priority One! You two ok with that?" asked Sparkle

"Absolutely, and while you do that, I'm gonna get Flora here...." replied Faylinn. "Hey, have you ever met Flora?" Faylinn asked Elida.

"No, I haven't, but I've heard about her, isn't she supposed to be the most experienced tooth fairy in all Great Britain?"

"That's her. She's one of the older generation of fairies, but has loads of experience and is really, really nice too. And with the old magic we're seeing here, she's gotta be our best bet! Oh, no mobile number... I'll have to call her landline then!"

Flora answered after six or seven rings: "Hello" said an older voice

"Good morning, am I speaking to Flora?" said Faylinn, being as polite as possible.

"You are, who is this?"

"Um, I'm Faylinn. I'm very sorry for calling you so early, but I'm onsite with Magic, Sparkle and Elida. We have a case that we're just raising to a Priority One. We have a human here with twisted teeth and braces - her teeth were perfect last night - and our initial diagnostics are indicating the use of rather older magic - we're starting to believe we may have a rogue tooth fairy on the loose!"

"Priority One you say? In that case you have my complete attention! Tell me what you know...". Faylinn explained the 'story so far'. "Hmm, interesting. Yes, I think you may be right, but I can reassure you it wasn't me! So I'm guessing that you'd like me to join you then?... ok then, give me time to get ready, and remember I don't fly as fast as I used to. Where exactly are you?". Faylinn told her.

"Runesdale? I don't know why, but that sounds very vaguely familiar. Must be from a long time ago though.. Ok, I'll get to you as soon as I can. What's your containment strategy?"

"Tell you what, why don't I pass you over to Sparkle...". Faylinn passed her phone over to Sparkle, who chatted with Flora for a couple of minutes.

"Thanks, Sparkle" said Faylinn when Sparkle had got off the phone with Flora. "I'm assuming HQ was ok with you raising it to a Priority One?"

"Yeah, although I don't know who they have answering the phones there these days, I pretty much had to walk her through what to do. But by now, everyone who needs to know should know! The fan will be rotating fast, with brown stuff flying off it!"

Offline braces37

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Re: Story - The Dark Fairy
« Reply #13 on: 20. February 2022, 07:57:15 AM »
Your fairy series is one of the most interesting concepts I've seen. Looking forward to more.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story - The Dark Fairy
« Reply #14 on: 21. February 2022, 20:09:04 PM »
Chapter 8

Today, when she got up, Lilly was in a bit of a flippant mood, so had decided to dress all in pink, with a pink bow in her hair, as well as pink roller boots. Why? Well, she's a fairy for a start! Plus she liked the roller boots, and she liked pink. The roller boots particularly was something she had picked up on last term at uni, and as she still actually LIVES at the uni, it was actually good cover for her real job. I mean, if you see a fairy in pink, and roller boots, your first instinct is to think 'university student', and not 'senior operative for FI5'(*note), which is what she was now.

(*Note: FI5 = Fairy Intelligence, #5... very similar in concept to the human's MI5)

So, Lilly was in her office, all in pink. No one was actually worried about the way she dressed, it was almost normal for her. They knew she was very good at her job, and that sometimes having a bit of a 'disguise' was actually helpful. She was also at a level where she 'just got on with things' most of the time, without anyone else telling her what to do.

The morning had already been rather busy, but she had finally managed to make a coffee, then sit down... and had just managed to take her first sip, when her phone rang.

"Good morning, is that Lilly?"

"Yes, it is..." she replied.

"Um, ma'am, this is Celeste, down in operations. Sorry to intrude, but the Priority Two call you've been tracking - it's just been raised to a Priority One!"

"Oh Sh*t" said Lilly under her breath. "Ok, thanks for that - anything else I need to know?"

"Yes, they've just asked Flora - she's a very experienced tooth fairy - to join them on site. I'm just updating the report now, you should be able to see the latest in two or three minutes"

"Thanks Celeste!"

Lilly wasn't too worried, because she knew that if braces were involved then Magic and Sparkle were maybe the best fairies to be running things, and she could trust them to run a good operation. They also had Faylinn with them, who was a pretty capable Tooth Fairy. But if they have had to call in Flora, then they clearly had a BIG problem, which probably also explained why it had just been pushed up to a Priority One.

Her laptop beeped to tell her of an update: she read the report, which included a couple of pictures. Oh, OUCH! Not just braces, but look what had been done to her teeth! Yeah, she did have to agree, it did feel like it was the work of a Tooth Fairy turned bad. But a mixture of modern stuff and old magic? And who? As far as she knew, there was no tooth fairy based anywhere near Runesdale.

The first thing Lilly did was to call back Celest, in operations.

"Celeste, I need you, and whoever else you need to involve, to track down the current whereabouts of ALL known Tooth Fairies, and if possible, what they were doing overnight. I need to know if any of them have been within, say, 25 miles of Runesdale.... I assume you know where it is?"

"Yes, ma'am! You realise that Faylinn and Elida are on site right now..."

"Yes, and Flora's on her way too - I think we can ignore them. This takes priority over pretty much anything else you guys are doing, understood?"

"Yes ma'am, absolutely!"

"Thank you, Celeste. No need to call me, just update the case details as soon as you know."

Next, she needed to go and have a word with her boss, Donald, just to be sure he was aware.

"Excuse me, sir, are you aware of the Priority One?" asked Lilly

"Yes, I've just seen it thank you. Do whatever you need, and use whatever resources you need to."

"Thank you, sir!"

Lilly decided to leave Magic & Sparkle to manage things onsite for the moment, they knew what they were doing. However, she also needed to see John - he was someone she could rely on to run the security side of things. And Ella too, her tech team have been working on a few things that could maybe help them.

Lilly started with John. He wasn't actually aware, so spent a couple of minutes reading the background. "So, what do you want me to do?" he asked.

"For the moment, probably not all that much, but I think this is only going to get worse, so I could do with you and a very small security team being ready to move, and on call at short notice. I'll make sure the online reports are updated regularly, so keep a close eye on them. And expect a call from me!"

"Sure, Lilly, not a problem!"

Next, she went to see Ella, who was working with a couple of others in the labs. Ella was another fairy from their flat at uni, who like Lilly and Tats, had 'left university for more important things'. Unlike Lilly, she didn't live at the Uni any more.

"Hey, Lilly, nice to see you - it's been a while!"

"And you too, Ella. Look, I'm gonna need your help, we have a Priority One....". She sat at the laptop, and brought up the reports. "Read this first...". Ella read the reports that Magic, Sparkle, and now Faylinn had written.

"Interesting! Nasty, but still interesting! How can we help?"

"Well, the first problem they have been having is detecting that something has actually happened, and more importantly where: the quicker the team can get to the victim, the easier it's going to be to contain the issue. Plus, we need to work out where whoever it is, is hiding"

"So, I guess you're maybe looking for anything that can, say, detect the use of magic at a distance?"

"Yes, something along those lines"

"Ok, I know Puck has been working on something that might help, let's go and have a word". Ella led the way, and introduced them, as they had never actually met before.

"Yes, I do have something I've been working on" explained Puck. "It's not that fast, and it's not particularly accurate, and it's not all that portable - it needs a load of power, but I'm guessing it will be better than nothing. But if I can continue working on it out in the field, then, with luck, it might get a bit more useful."

"Ok, power... would an FPU work for you?"

"Oh, yeah, that would be plenty - I'll be able to bring a kettle too!"

"Big army truck to move it?"

"It's a bit delicate, but with a load of padding, and delicate handling spells, I think it would be ok"

"Ok, Puck, I'll organise a lorry for you, call on whatever help you need, use Ella too. This is a Priority One, which means that we can pretty much ask anyone to drop what they are doing!"

Lilly called John. "Hey John, need you to organise some transport for some rather large but very delicate equipment: I'll leave Ella to work out the details with you"

"How soon?"

"Well, Puck, he's one of Ella's team, should be working on packing the stuff up right now, so pretty soon. And where can I get an FPU from?"

"Well, most main centres should have one in the stores.... let me check...." said John. Lilly could hear rapid typing in the background. "Ah, there's one at your mum's place"

"Oh, that makes it a bit simpler then.... thanks John!"

A quarter an hour or so later Lilly was back at her desk, catching her breath, and was having a second sip of her now rather cold coffee.

"Lilly, my office, please..." said Donald (her boss) who had just walked up to her desk. Donald was a fairly old male fairy (yes, they DO exist!), one of the 'old school' of fairies. But unlike many others of his age, he realised that the old methods that he and his fairy friends had grown up with were getting rather outdated, and that's why FI5 had made a point of recruiting very high calibre young fairies, with a wide variety of skills relevant to modern fairydom.

Lilly was a bit nervous as she went into his office. I mean, she didn't THINK she'd done anything wrong recently. Yes, a few things that she and the others she worked with often pushed the boundaries in the way they did them, but she was sure they hadn't ACTUALLY overstepped the mark. Lilly was still the newest recruit, but had rapidly earned the respect of everyone in the department, as a result of the many great ideas and implementations she had come up with.

Her boss closed the door behind her. "How's it going, Lilly?" he asked. "Still think you made the right decision in joining the department?"

"Oh, absolutely! Everyone has encouraged my ideas so much, and to be honest, I'm actually having so much fun here! Even today..."

"That's really good: you have been responsible for some major changes around here... you seem to have quite a different way of looking at things... and I hasten to add that that is actually a GOOD thing. I know I come from a bygone era, when things were very gentle, and very different, but I'm not stupid enough to realise things have changed a lot, and are still changing, which means we need to change as well, and we need to encourage fairies like you. So, take this as a 'well done'! And it's not just me that has noticed you...."

"Oh, what do you mean?"

"The Queen has requested your presence"

"Me? Specifically me?"

"Yes, you... don't be too surprised"

"Well, yes, I have met her a couple of times, she's a lovely lady! So, when do I need to go visit her? I mean, I'm trying to coordinate this Priority One at the moment .."

"I know, but I suggest you get there as soon as you can make it. She says that she's been reading about the case (from the reports in her 'Royal Box'), and thinks she has something that could be VERY relevant. And she did ask for you by name!"

"In that case, I'd better get there!"