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Short Stories 365/234 | N.S. Beranek

“Attracting Opposites” by Carl Vaughn Frick from So Fey: Queer Fairy Fiction (Lethe Press, 2009). Edited by Steve Berman.

Here is an author who derives an awful lot of joy from words. It’s delightful, and infectious. How can you not be made giddy by passages such as:

Publicly, pixies look down upon imps as backward bumpkins, bumbling in dark and damp domains. Imps see pixies as uppity, giggly snobs, sniffing too many snootfuls of pollen. Both do agree that elves are much worse. Upon the odd dawn when a pixie wakes up next to an imp in some flop of a fen…

Theodore Winkle is yet another type of magical creature, a faerie. He was switched at birth for a human baby, a practice peculiar to faeries and distrusted by pixies and imps.

Thankfully for the main character he ended up with a Unitarian family. Unitarians, the author tells us, “can embrace anything”. Having spent time as a member of a Unitarian congregation and been married by a Unitarian minister, I can vouch for the validity of that statement.

Poor Winkle wanders through his work day feeling out of place because, well, he is. He’s buoyed when he receives an invitation from a friend to come to a “faerie gathering” in a field on the outskirts of town, but it turns out to be nothing but somewhat silly humans cavorting with one another. More distraught than ever, Winkle wanders off from his campsite. Eventually he stumbles into a clearing where he spies someone truly like himself: a pixie named Morning Glory.

This was another story where mid-way through reading it my face began to hurt from smiling so much. It’s not a long story, but all things considered, that was okay. It was just right.