Sebastian found the book on the mat, with his other post. It was only a thin volume. No need for the postman to knock. Instead it lay there on a bed of final demands and letters from the tax man. He had only ordered the book from a specialist online bookshop the previous day, and started to read over a breakfast of homemade bread and ginseng tea.
The title promised a lot; ‘Glitter and Life Gifts: Fairies and How to Bring Them Into Your Everyday Life’. After the first three meditations Sebastian started to see results. Lights flitted at the corner of his vision. His luck improved. After the love meditation, Sophie started to notice him and smiled back from the other side of the office. Every night he went home from work and tackled the next exercise, grinning at the book’s brightly coloured illustrations of dancing flower fairies and woodland pixies.
The carpet felt soft underfoot. The Seamstress leant down and traced her finger along the pattern in the rich, luxurious pile. Placing each foot carefully as a ballerina she walked up the stairs, at the top turning. A trail of twigs stretched back to the door. Her hand weaved in the air and the sticks evaporated. She tightened the drawstring on her bag. An artist is careful with their materials. The sound of sleep could be heard in the only bedroom. Her eyes flashed green in the darkness. With razor sharp nails she scratched moss into the flock wallpaper and spun down the landing, whispering nursery rhymes to herself.
A path of moonlight ran across the bedroom. Fingers cold as winter twisted through Sebastian’s hair, stroked his face and sliced him open from chin to waist.
Satisfied, the Seamstress stood up and admired her handiwork. Sebastian rustled when pushed, and bulged in odd places, but that would settle down over the next few days, the nettle stitching visible only in the gaze of starlight. The now hollow man turned in his sleep, whispering nightmares under his breath.
Humming to herself the Seamstress reached down and picked up the book from the bedside table. She read the title to herself and laughed, a sound like thorns scratching ice cold skin. The book was in good condition and could be sent out again; to another gullible human. She slid the slim volume into her now empty bag, before opening the window and vaulting out into the shadowed, silent street.
© Steve Toase
Steve Toase is a writer and archaeologist who lives in North Yorkshire England and occasionally Munich. In his first year writing fiction he has had work published at Cafe Irreal, Pow Fast Flash Fiction, Streetcake Magazine and NthPosition among others. To read more of Steve’s work please visit www.stevetoase.co.uk
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