Today I stumbled on a thread on Reddit’s /r/writingprompts, a contest with a prompt, and one of the prompts inspired me. The prompt, in the thread here, was:
An interesting take on what the Tooth Fairy does with all those baby teeth.
This had a word limit of just 200 words and I thought, well, why not, I was on my lunch break, I’d have a go at it. So this is what I wrote:
She could handle vampires. Every fairy knew a priest from whom she could source holy water and garlic wasn’t hard to come by. Werewolves were trickier, and the Fairy Council would have to work some magic on NASA again soon or the moon dust would run out, but silver was a reasonable substitute and werewolves couldn’t fly so it was easy to avoid them.
Liches, though, were a problem: undead sorcerers who’d chosen this existence, not mere victims of a sire but deeply malevolent beings, powerful and followed by legions of zombies. A fairy needed something special to fight a lich.
The fairy fired arrow after arrow at the lich, zipping around him on gossamer wings to avoid the zap of his spells. Each arrow had a point made of a different material, each weakening the lich in a different way: gimlets to cloud his vision, lead to slow him, a dragon’s scale to weaken his magic. All with one goal: to help ensure the final arrow would hit its mark and bring an end to the lich and his magics. The fairy fired her last, an arrow tipped with the tooth of a child, and hit the lich’s heart.
And it’s exactly 200 words. I know that because originally it was 8 words over so I had to do a bit of editing to bring it down – editing, I think, that made it stronger.
I was quite happy with that. I envision a sort of fae army, fighting off the legions of undead trying to break through from the world of death to the world of the living. This fae army harvests unusual items from the human and magical worlds to arm themselves against the undead – and I’m certainly happy with the moon dust idea with NASA; I like the idea of fairies working with scientists, or perhaps subtly manipulating or hypnotising them in order to obtain something so precious – and so useful in the fight against the undead.
While I didn’t have the space to include it, I see the child’s tooth arrow being the first tooth lost by the child, and an incisor, or it doesn’t work against the lich; other teeth are not wasted, but instead used against the zombie hordes marching to the lich’s tune.
It’s a prompt that really captured my imagination and I might see if I can turn it into a longer story, with proper characters and arcs, and see how it turns out. Something to do when I get stuck with the novel, perhaps.
The contest this is part of ends tonight, and I highly recommend you check it out and read the marvellous ideas people have come up with, not just for this prompt but in response to two other prompts posted for the contest. Some of them are truly incredible (and I’ve upvoted a few that really stood out) and they are well worth a read. It’s amazing how many different interpretations people have of this prompt, some sinister, some more lighthearted.
Also, I just love the word malevolent. Such a gorgeous sound that rolls of the tongue and such a perfect word for what it is. Malevolent. Malevolent. I’m just going to be saying this to myself all night now. Malevolent.