A short story, based on a prompt in a writing group I attend. . .
It began in the elevator, I’m sure of that now. I was at the airport that evening with too many bags and not enough energy. I took the elevator.
There was a man on board as I entered. An older, distinguished man, wearing a black suit, black shirt, black tie, freshly shined black shoes and a black fedora that dipped on one side. My first impression was that of Leonard Cohen. My heart stopped for a moment until I realized I was wrong, and found myself staring. A good looking man, none-the-less.
His eyes penetrated into mine as he asked a startling question, “What’s missing in your life?” His voice was low and gravelly.
I looked back over the previous dry, dull, discouraging months. Like I was under a spell, I answered, “I lack magic in my life.”
“Magic.” I could hear him chuckle.
We said nothing more until the doors slid open to the Ground Traffic level, and I muttered, ‘goodbye,’ as I hurried out to my struggle to locate a shuttle. It was after midnight by the time I got home. I must admit that I thought of him more than once on my drive.
Fantasy has always been one of my strengths.
By 2:00 the following afternoon I had begun to notice. Small things at first. A parking spot that opened up by the front door, a misprint in a menu that made my dinner choice cost practically nothing, the fifty I found under the park bench. The first few days were wonderful.
But now, I have too many questions. The magic isn’t small anymore, it isn’t contained. A new red convertible sits in my driveway. My name is on the Title that lay on the black leather seats. But I have no idea how it got there. The ten consecutive winning lottery tickets I found in my purse. Do you think they’ll investigate when I collect $100,000 for each of them? I walk in a department store, and find they only carry my size. My jewelry box is overrun with pearls and diamonds. How do I explain this?
Last Friday, I began seeing them. The little fairies that make it all happen. I hear their laughter in the middle of the night, I hear their scurrying feet. I can smell them along the baseboards. When I shine my flashlight into a small crack in the wallboard, I see their crafty eyes squinting back.
I cannot think of anything now, without it happening. I’m afraid I might think of something horrible, so I try not to think. I pour myself another drink from the vast supply of Brandy that fills my pantry. And I listen and wait for this horrible magic to end.
But there’s too much. Too much magic.