It’s Friiiiday! Look at me actually posting flash fiction!
I was doing some window shopping on Etsy earlier today and found this shop full of adorable little fantasy figurines! So cute! They sort of combined with the Tea Dragon Society in my head and created this little piece. Hope you like it!
The Tiniest Friend
Ellie smiled as she walked home from the post office. The box wasn’t big, maybe half a foot at the longest side, and would’ve fit neatly in her bag if it wasn’t so full. As it was, it stuck halfway out of the unzipped opening, the label with her address a spot of bright blue in the sun, flowers around its edge.
As soon as she was in the door, her coat was off, the box was on the table and she was digging in a drawer looking for a pair of scissors. She’d been waiting for this package for a couple of weeks. It had been an impulse buy – the sort of impulse buy where you managed to resist when you first saw it, but then couldn’t stop thinking about it for four days and ended up getting it anyway. She cut through the tape carefully so as to not damage anything inside, and folded the flaps back to reveal a pretty card resting on top of a sea of tightly packed sky-blue shreds of paper. Cursive scrolled across the card, surrounded by a wreath of flowers. “Say welcome to your Tiniest Friend!” She picked up the card and turned it over. The back had a little list of care instructions. She eyed through it with a little chuckle. Head scratches, plenty of sunlight, honey water, etc. It was a very cute conceit, that went well with the general vibe the e-store had given off.
Putting the card aside, Ellie reached down into the paper shreds until she felt something smooth and hard against her fingertips. Lifting the little figurine out, she placed it on the table and lowered herself onto her haunches so she could inspect it at eye-level. Gosh, it was even cuter in person. It had been listed on the website as a fae deer, though she thought it had a bit of hare in it, too, with powerful hind legs, big ears and a lot of fluff on its belly. It was a soft lemon color, with green dots on its flanks and flowers trailing from its forehead to it’s tail. The little horns were twisted and throned but also full of blossoms. And its face… the sweetest chubbiest cheeks and eyes that seemed to glitter, and a cute little pink nose that… twitched?
She blinked. The figurine sneezed.
It was a tiny little sound, like a high-pitched “ih!”, and its whole little body jerked with the effort. Then it shook it’s head, and bowed its neck to rub its nose against its forelegs. Ellie toppled back into a seated position on the floor. There she sat in a stunned silence as the little deer began trotting around the table, sniffing at the box and the scissor in turn. Was she high? Had the figurine had some kind of fumes on it that she’d inhaled without noticing. She felt fine, though. No headache, no dizziness. What was going on?
The tiny deer approached on of the tufts of blue paper shreds and leaned down to take a nibble at it.
“No wait, don’t eat that!” Ellie exclaimed, keeping her voice gentle. It looked up, ears on alert, and watched her for a moment, silently. “It’s okay…” she said gently, sitting up straight and inching a little closer to the table. “Sorry if I was loud, but paper isn’t for eating…” She reached out with her hand, slowly holding it out. The little deer approached cautiously and sniffed her fingertips, then tried to nibble her nail.
“Guess you’re hungry, huh?” She kept her hand still so as to not startle it, reaching for the card with her other one. She flipped it over and eyed through the care instructions again. Yes, there it was. Number 3. “Feed fresh herbs and honey water.” Well, she certainly had herbs, her window sill was full of them. What was honey water anyway, just water with honey in it? She’d have to Google it.
The deer seemed to have calmed down, and she dared flex her hand and reach with a finger to give it a scratch on the neck. “Now, wee one… how do you feel about basil?”