I rather enjoy having fairies as customers. The dead one’s at least. They have tiny bodies with tiny coffins and tiny funerals. It’s the live ones I can’t stand. All sass and drama like they’re the most important creatures in the world. A fine example of this was when three fairies brought me the body of one of their dead fairy brethren one sunny afternoon.

“She’s dead!” the three of them shouted in their high-pitched, annoying voices as they came flying into the parlor. “She’s dead!”

“Hello,” I replied in such a cordial manner it could only be interpreted as sarcastic. “Good morning. Welcome. What can I do for you?”

It didn’t register with them, though. They flew right up to me and dropped the tiny fairy corpse on the counter. “It’s Trixie. She’s dead!”

I couldn’t believe the coincidence. “Your friend’s name is Trixie?”


“Trixie the pixie?”

All their faces dropped in horrified shock.

“We’re not pixies, you ingrate!” 

“Yeah. Those things are mean, nasty, and looking nothing like us.”

“You should know that, mister ‘monster expert.’ ”

I rolled my eyes at the actual use of air quotes. The differences between a pixie and a fairy were minute, almost indecipherable to those who weren’t looking for them, like confusing a crocodile with a gator or a tortoise with a turtle. A simple mistake. No need to get all prissy about it.

But who was I kidding? Fairies were born prissy.

The one in charge crossed her arms and scowled at me. “Just like you should know that one of us dies every time someone says they don’t believe in fairies.”

I scoffed. “One of you doesn’t die every time someone says I don’t believe in fairies.”

The fairy to left of me abruptly grabbed his throat like he was choking. He then spun around in the air several times, rather dramatically I might add, before collapsing on the counter next to his dead friend. 

“Ah!” the leader exclaimed in horrified shock. “You killed Gary!”

“Gary the fairy?” I said through a chuckle. “Now you’re just messing with me.”

“Does it look like we’re messing with you?” the other fairy said. She looked rather appalled. “Two of us are dead!”

“Gary’s not dead.”

“Sure he is.”

I pointed to the “dead” fairy’s chest that was steadily moving up and down despite his eyes being closed and his tongue hanging out of his mouth. “I can clearly see him breathing.”

The leader fairy leaned forward to examine Gary. “He’s just twitching.”

I pointed to the other fairy’s body, which still lay motionless on the counter. “Trixie, on the other hand, is obviously dead for real. What happened to her?”

“She was flying and then stopped,” the second fairy explained. “Said she was having trouble breathing.”

“Yeah. Yeah. Yeah,” the leader fairy agreed rather excitedly. “ And her hands got all tingly.”

“Uh-huh,” the other added. “And then she grabbed her chest and fell down and died.”

“Sounds like Trixie had a heart attack,” I muttered.

The leader fairy gasped offended. “That’s impossible. Fairies don’t have heart attacks.”

“Do you have a heart?” I asked.

She looked rather confused by the question. “Well…yeah.”

“Then you can have a heart attack.”

“No way,” the other fairy chimed in. “Fairies have the strongest hearts in the world.”

I felt like I was having a conversation with a small, flying toddler. “You do know there’s a difference between a metaphorical heart and an actual, real-live, beating heart, right?”

Again, the leader looked confused. “What does ‘met-a-four-pickle’ mean?”

The other one just smiled. “I don’t know but it sounds delicious.” 

“I need a vacation,” I sighed while rubbing my temples. “All right. So you want a standard fairy funeral for your friend?”

The leader shook her head. “No. Thanks to you now we need two.”

“I’m not giving your pretend-dead-friend a funeral.”

“Then you’re gonna have to bring him back to life.”

“Do I look like a doctor to you?”

She threw her hands up, suddenly ecstatic. “That’s the great thing about fairy medicine! You don’t need to be a doctor. All you need to do is believe in fairies and we’re healed.”

Needless to say, I shook my head. “I’m not saying it.”

“So you’re just going to leave them dead.”


“How cruel!” the second fairy barked with an exaggerated frown.

“You’re heartless, you know that?” the leader fairy piled on. “Nothing but a cold, insensitive big fat meanie.”

“Fine!” I exclaimed. Fairies, leprechauns, and gremlins. It was useless arguing with any of them.

“I believe in fairies,” I muttered, begrudgingly.

Gary gasped and his eyes shot open. “I’m—I’m alive!”

“Gary!” The two fairies collapsed on him in a group hug. “It’s a miracle.”

After a moment of unnecessary squeezing, the leader fairy turned to their comrade that was still lying on the counter. “Uh…Why isn’t Trixie waking up?”

“It’s probably because the mortician wasn’t the one who said it when she died,” the other fairy suggested.

The leader nodded as if that made complete sense. “Right. Of course. Have could I have forgotten?”

“So sad,” Gary said, his face clenched like he was fighting to form a tear.

The other fairies joined him, and they all started bawling and wailing in synch with each other. This lasted a good thirty seconds, yet none of them were actually crying.

“Great,” I shouted loud enough to interrupt them. “So now that we’ve established your friend is really dead can we talk about pricing?”

The leader turned to me, wiped the non-existent tears from her cheeks, and pouted. “Oh, we don’t have any money.”

The other fairy came up beside her. “Yeah. We were hoping you would do it out of the kindness of your heart.”

“You know,” Gary finally added, “to make up for killing me.”

I could feel the stress clenching my jaw and was oddly reminded that I had a fly swatter in the back that could be put to good use right about now. But they weren’t worth the aggravation.

I stared them down, hoping they would just pick up their friend and leave on their own. But they didn’t. The three pitiful fairies just stared right back at me with sad eyes and whimpering frowns.

There was only one way to deal with them.

“I don’t believe in fairies. I don’t believe in fairies. I don’t believe in fairies.”

They all choked in unison and grabbed onto their necks, struggling for every breath. Their tiny bodies fell onto the counter and started crawling around. It was amusing at first, but the little buggers dragged their demise on so long I actually became bored with it.

I eventually left to head back into the office, where I could hear them “dying” for another thirty minutes before they were ready to talk business. Don’t ever let them tell you they’re broke. Fairies are hoarders by nature. Every one of them is rich.

Frank Martin is a comic writer and author that is not as crazy as his work makes him out to be...seriously.

Since his writing career began he's had multiple short stories published in horror anthologies by both Burning Willow Press and Stitched Smile Publications. Frank has also had comic shorts appear in the "fluff noir" anthology series Torsobear and Insane Asylum published by Insane Comics. Also published by Insane Comics, Frank writes and produces the comic anthology series Modern Testament, which features a wide ensemble of artists throughout its four volumes. Frank's most recent novel, Mountain Sickness, was published by Severed Press.

Frank currently lives in New York with his wife and three kids. 

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