Thursday, November 1, 2012
Thursday Tales: The Fairy Wishes Management Meeting
The bell sounded and the employees shuffled in. The rustle of taffeta and tulle, silk and satin filled the air as the morning's staff settled into their chairs around the conference table for the morning meeting.
Also, the flurry of wings.
Percy Pixiebottom, an unfortunate name for such a distinguished fairy, stood at the front of the room, adjusted his tie and cleared his throat. "Good morning, folks!"
The group mumbled a return greeting, sleepily.
Percy tried again. "I said 'Good morning.'"
"Good morning, sir!" Jenny answered cheerily. Some of the others rolled their eyes. Jenny was always so perky. Even for a fairy.
Percy clapped his hands together. "Alright, let's get started. Jack, an update on the children's division?"
"Mr Pixiebottom, things are going well." Jack, manager of the Children's Division, stood and adjusted his glasses. "Wishes have been coming in at a normal pace, our call completion rate is at an all-time high, and morale is up. We've had a somewhat higher-than-normal request surge for puppies and candy, so we're going to need to find somewhere in the budget to allow for that. Other than that, we've had the usual request list of video games and cell phones. But, so far, we're on target to hit all of our quotas."
"Thanks, Jack. Good work as always."
"Video games and cell phones?" A creaky voice came from the back of the room. Someone groaned. This speech came every week. Charles Dustinem struggled to his feet, his wings struggling to help him up in his old age. "Back in my day, children didn't wish for video games and cell phones. Back in my day, we stocked swords and shields and arrows. Back in my day--"
Percy interrupted. "Thank you, Mr Dustinem. Of course, we all miss those days. But, unfortunately, even the Fairy Wishes Division must advance with the times. And if the children of the world are wishing for Xboxes and iPhones, well, we must go along with it." He scanned the room for the next update. "Jenny? How are things in the Mother Division?"
Jenny smiled brightly. "Oh, things are wonderful, sir! Wishes are coming in faster than you can beat your wings! Of course, our wishes aren't as easy to grant as puppies and candy."
Jack mimicked her behind her back. Jenny never did give the Children's Division enough credit.
She continued, "We have just brokered a deal with Starbucks to make sure that all harried mothers get a little extra syrup and caffeine in their lattes at no additional charge, and we're very excited about that. We've perfected a spell to lull children to sleep at naptime, and we're working on a collaboration with the Teenager Division to trade a dip in adolescent surliness for unpunished curfew violations."
Percy nodded. "Excellent. Dads Division update, Pete?"
Suddenly, the door opened, and a young fairy boy came hurtling into the meeting. "Mr Pixiebottom! Mr Pixie bottom!"
Percy frowned. "Michael, is it? You realize you are interrupting the Managers' meeting? Can't this wait?"
Michael wrung his hands. "I know, sir. I'm very sorry. But I needed to tell you that... well... You see, I was flying a load of dandelion seeds to the factory. You know the ones that people can blow and get wishes? They were to be distributed according to plan to meadows around Europe next month. But..."
"I dropped it."
A communal intake of breath sounded throughout the room. Percy spoke carefully. "You dropped it. Where did you drop it?"
Michael winced. "Along Sycamore Street in Allanstown." He kicked his feet. "Half a block from the new elementary school."
A groan filled the room and Jack hustled to the door. "I'm on it, Mr Pixiebottom. Although I don't know where I'm going to find the extra fairy staff at this time of year." He stopped to fix young Michael with a look of disgust. "Nice going, Michael. Do you know how much work you just made for my team??"
As the fairies all shuffled out to help take up the slack, Jenny paused at the door to pat Michael on the shoulder.
He looked up miserably. "I'm sorry, Mom. I'm never going to make it as a fairy."
"It's alright, dear. Some of the best fairies were the worst apprentices. You should have seen the messes Jack made when he was your age. Once, he got puppies and elephants mixed up. You should have seen the look on the mother's face when her son won an elephant at the circus. Keep trying, darling. Look on the bright side. You can only get better."