tagHumor & SatireThe New Year's Resolution Fairy

The New Year's Resolution Fairy

bySvalbarding©

For the first time in centuries, Sassyfras Honeybubble was nervous for her first day on a new job. She'd spent more than three hundred years as a tooth fairy. Not THE tooth fairy, obviously. Only an idiot would think that a single fairy could possibly collect the teeth of every child on earth.

For some years now, tragic advances in dentistry and greater access to early childhood health care meant that kids just weren't losing teeth at the rate they used to. (Thanks, Obama.) The advent of the 21st century had been ruinous to the tooth fairy profession; retirements were up, and many more were just seeking new work in a magiconomy that was simply not recovering as well as it could be from the depression. (First that horrid Mars Rover disproved the existence of fully 4% of the imaginary creatures in the solar system, and then just as things were starting to improve, Terry Pratchett had to up and die and throw everything back into the shitter). It was harder and harder to find a gig that afforded the kind of lifestyle she'd gotten used to, so Sassyfras Honeybubble was deploying her entrepreneurial spirit. She was going into business for herself in what she hoped would be an under-served market: New Year's.

Still, it was rough out there. Most of the holidays were already thoroughly claimed by entrenched interests. Santa and his chain gangs of elven toy-fabricators ruled Christmas from his ice fortress on Neptune. The leprechauns couldn't be displaced from St. Patty's Day, since no one could compete with a conglomerate who had the market cornered on gold and booze. Valentine's Day was a no-man's land – damned cherubs opened fire on any magical creatures they thought might infringe on their market.

(Sure, Halloween was a free-for-all, but competition was through the roof.)

Not that holidays were the only way to get by; plenty of folks made a living on opportunity – that had been Sassyfras' old gig, buying teeth night in, night out. But that was a lot of drudgery – lots of hours for small gains and low recognition. Tooth-fairying practically made chupacabring look like a sweet gig. No, setting out on her own, she had her sights set on carving out her own niche. It was high-risk, sure, but it was high-reward, too. There was a prestige associated with having your own holiday was not to be acquired elsewhere. Doors opened for you. (Technically, armies of invisible dread wraiths opened those doors, but same diff.)

Sassyfras had her sights set on New Year's. Sure, there was Father Time, but he was old and slow, always keeping his eye on the big picture and not sweating the day to day. Besides, she had an idea that would almost completely steer clear of his domain and keep his indomitable legion of top-hat-wearing-babies at bay. As long as she didn't interfere with the passing of the year specifically, she ought to slip right under his radar.

Sassyfras was going to be the first ever New Year's Resolution Fairy.

She politely declined her invitation to the bridge trolls' bash – always good times, even if they got a little rowdy – and got herself a good night's sleep. Tomorrow, there was going to be a new fairy in town.



Brad woke up feeling like he'd been hit by a bus. Filled with fireworks. And crocodiles. He'd never partied that hard before – in years' past, his friends had always been under-aged, so they had to keep things on the down low. This year, everyone was finally 21, so no more sneaking around – the sky was the limit. They'd hit three bars before crashing at Tony and Derek's apartment waiting for the ball to fall. He'd put down more liquor than he could ever remember doing. Brad had only made it home thanks to their DD, but now even six hours later, he felt like he was still a little drunk. He tried to go back to sleep, but his head was throbbing too hard.

Usually he held his liquor pretty well. He was a big guy, after all, closer to three hundred pounds than two. Looking himself in the mirror, he sighed. He really needed to get in shape, lose these love handles before he spent his whole youth ignored by the fairer sex.

Well, it was January 1st, after all – what better time to sit down and develop some goals? He seldom managed to stick to them, but still, no sense giving up without at least giving it a shot. He flipped open his laptop, opened a new document, began simply.

1. go to the gym.

Before he could start number two, he heard a voice behind him. "Resolutions, eh?" The voice was quiet, but had a high-pitched, musical sort of quality to it.

Brad whirled around, startled to hear a woman's voice in his room. There was no one! "Who said that?"

"Up here," said the voice. He looked up, and seated there on a blade of his ceiling fan was a tiny little woman – sort of. She mostly looked like a woman, with dusky skin and black hair that was in a crazy web-like pattern all around her head – a head not much bigger than his thumbnail. She was dressed in a revealing little garment, diaphonous green pants and a vest that exposed some oddly alluring cleavage, consider her whole body was the size of a carrot. She looked sort of like Princess Jasmine, only tiny, and with weird hair. And with tiny blue bird-like wings.

"What the...?"

"Not what – who. And I'm Sassyfras. I'm the New Year's Resolution Fairy, and today is your lucky year." She grinned brightly, spreading her hands before her to let him fully take her in. Catch phrases were important when you had to brand yourself. It had tested well in her focus group.

"Dude, what the hell did I drink last night..."

She shrugged. "Beats me. I don't deal with New Year's Eve stuff. I was in bed by eight."

"What are you doing here?"

She rolled her eyes. "I'm the New Year's Resolution Fairy. Sassyfras." She made a gesture like knocking on a door, and across the room her could feel her rapping on his forehead. An embarrassingly hollow-sounding wooden noise issued with each knock. "Any of this sinking in?"

"I don't... Err, I didn't believe in fairies. And I've never even heard of a New Year's Resolution Fairy."

"Not a. The. I'm the first. Pretty cool, right. How stoked do you gotta be?"

He hastily got a couple more tylenol out and swallowed them, rubbing his eyes. She was still there. "Um, OK. So... what are you doing here?"

"I'm here to help you achieve your resolutions, silly! I was communing with my grimoire of clients from my old job – I was a tooth fairy, you see – and your name came up. Guess you were making some resolutions, huh?" She hopped down from the fan, fluttering down to stand on his bed. She was so lightweight she barely even indented the blankets.

"You took my teeth?"

She looked at him like he was impossibly dense. "Duh – what, you thought you had some magic power to turn teeth into silver dollars in your sleep? Yeah, I took 'em. C'mon, try to keep up here."

"But like... why?"

"Really? Your first time meeting a fairy, and you want to know more about a transaction from when you were four that doesn't even come out to a full dollar after adjusting for inflation." She sighed impatiently.

"Sorry, it just seems weird is all."

"Weird? You lost a tooth, I bought it for a dollar, then I give it to my supervisor and she pays me in pixie dust. Then once she has a shipment ready, she trades them to the Arch-Necromancer of the Seventh Void for a discount on her rent. What's confusing about that?"

"Fairies have supervisors?" Brad asked incredulously.

"Tooth fairies do – fairy godfathers. Very dangerous folks to cross, but they pay well. I don't have one any more though – I've gone into business for myself. New Year's Resolution Fairy. And now here we are full circle."

"Right, right. Resolutions. So, like... how does this work?"

Her smile returned. "It's all very simple! You make resolutions, and I give you a boost in achieving them. Very simple."

"What's in it for you?" He frowned. "More teeth?"

Her knees literally wobbled, and her voice came out in a whisper. "Teeth? Teeth...!" she said, mouth twisting into a manic grin. He took a step back nervously, but then she pinched her cheek and seemed to snap out of it. "No! Nah, no teeth. What would I want with teeth now? Nothing, that's what. Teeth don't even really interest me all that much, aside from their obvious imperical attractiveness."

"Um, good."

She stared at his mouth hard for a moment, then looked back to his eyes. "Well, Bradley–"

"Brad. Just Brad."

"Oh. My grimoire said Bradley."

"Nope. Not since puberty."

"Huh. Guess I'll need to do some updating. Anyway, Brad, let's get into it, eh? Talk to me about your resolutions."

"Well, I just got the one – then you interrupted." He gesture to his laptop, then sat down at his desk in front of it.

Sassyfras fluttered across the room and settled on his shoulder. It was discomfitting; tiny as she was, she was kinda hot. But it was weird and confusing and he was getting enough of those feelings without considering it further.

"Go to the gym," she read aloud. "That's it? Like, you need a ride or something?"

"No, I meant it like... you know, go there more often. Exercise."

"Ew, gross. Exercise sucks."

"Yeah, I know," he said peevishly. "If it was fun, I wouldn't need to resolve to do it, would I?"

"Well like, what for? Got too much sweat in you or something? Humans do seem to be spraying the stuff every which way, I swear." She inspected the shoulder she was perched on for damp spots, glad not to have found any.

"No – I need to lose weight. Get in better shape. You know, impress the ladies." He chuckled self-consciously.

"Oooooh," she said. A tiny light bulb appeared over her head, shining brightly a moment before disappearing. "So if your resolution is basically to get laid, why not just say that?"

"Well, I wanna be healthier, too," he protested. "It's not JUST that."

She waved a hand. His resolution disappeared, replaced by her paraphrasing. 1. Become cut. 2. Get laid.

"Just to make sure, you're not going to actually cut me, right?"

She made a face. "What am I, a friggin' genie? I don't twist words. Have a little faith, OK? Now, is there anything else?"

He arched an eyebrow. "Um, how many do I get?"

She shrugged. "I'll say when if you cross the line. It's my first year out – I'm trying to do some promo work, get my name out there, so I'm being generous."

"Oh. Um... well, while we're on the subject, can you make... it... bigger?"

"It?"

"You know." He looked down meaningfully. "It."

She frowned. "Your leg?"

"No."

"Your stomach? I thought all that gym business was supposed to do the opposite of that."

"NO."

"Your chair? I'll be honest, I could do it, but the proportions are going to be weird – you'd be better off just buying a new chair."

"NO! I meant... my penis."

"Oh!" She put an arm across her tiny cleavage modestly, and held the other hand parallel to the bed a couple inches over her head. "Sorry, doll, but I don't swing that way. You must be this short to ride, as they say. You want it to swell up, you're going to have to find another human to look at. You got one of those porn-machines you humans are always lording over everyone right there." She pointed.

"That's called a laptop."

"Gross!" She jumped off his shoulder and onto the desk top, shuddering. "Sorry, that's what we call it when a fairy sits on an ogre's... you know, never mind, I'm just making things more awkward."

"That's not what I meant!" Brad yelled, then instantly regretted it as his headache punished him for his tone. He went on in a soft tone after he recovered. "I didn't mean an erection – I meant to make the whole apparatus bigger."

"Ah, now I getcha. Is that really a resolution? Sounds more like a wish."

"Um, nope, it's a resolution."

She eyed him consideringly. "Well, I guess it's better press if I'm flexible here at the onset. Sure, let's add it." 3. Great big dong appeared on-screen. "All righty, last call. Anything else you're looking to work on this year?"

"Well, it's less cool, but I guess I was thinking I should study more. My grades sucked last semester. My mom was pissed. Can you help with that?"

4. Good grades. appeared on the screen. "All righty. You ready?"

"Do I need to do anything?" he asked nervously.

"Nope, just sit back and relax."

"What're you going to do, exactly?"

"Always with the questions. I've got PhDs in alchemy and applied pseudoscience, and not from that trumped-up diploma mill Hogwarts either. Now do you want to sit there for seven years and listen to me regurgitate my whole education, or do you want to take my word for it and get on with things?"

"The second one, I guess."

A little purple pouch with lots of tiny little glyphs shimmering on it appeared at her hip, and she pulled out a little handful of pink sparkly dust, tossing it at him.

"Done!"

He looked at himself. "That's it? Nothing happened!"

"I told you, I don't do wishes. It'll take a few hours."

"A few hours! I thought magic was supposed to be fast and easy," he whined.

"I heard your mom's fast and easy," she retorted. "Now it's time for me to move on, but remember, when this all turns out better than your wildest dreams – the name's Sassyfras Honeybubble, the New Year's Resolution Fairy!" Sassyfras giggled, waved, and an explosion of pink and purple glitter exploded around her. She disappeared within it.

When the glitter faded, there she still stood. "What the..."

"Something wrong?" Brad asked.

"No no, everything's... hmm, let's see here." He watched as she poked around in her little bag of pixie dust, grumbling to herself. "Like I left the damn thing in park..."

"Can I give you a boost?"

She looked up at him irritably. "Oh, I didn't realize I was standing next to someone with expertise in repairing teleportation bubble projectors. Lucky me!" Her tiny voice dripped of sarcasm.

"I was just trying to be helpful," he said sheepishly.

"I don't need you to sit there and humansplain things at me. I know what I'm doing. I just..." Sassyfras waved again, another glitter cloud. Still nothing.

"Fewmets!" she yelled. "Too much juice went into your resolutions and now I jinxed myself. Now I'm stuck here until the flibberty flong-waggles finish bibbling through your schlim-schlammer!"

"Schlim-schlammer... is that my penis?"

"Wow. What do they teach you humans in biology?"

Brad shook off her irritated demeanor, softening his tone and kneeling down to look her in the eye. "So... if you're stuck here, can you at least tell me what's going to happen to me?"

"Where's the mystery in that?"

"Well, I just let my former tooth fairy throw a bunch of pixie dust at me to magically do something to my future, so... I'm kinda nervous here."

She sighed. "FINE. Killjoy. In layman's terms, all I did was re-direct some of your will power, borrow some from the rest of the year and apply it all right now."

"Borrow... some of my will power?"

"Yeah, I left you some. Good thing you didn't shoot for a fifth resolution, or it might have zombified you altogether."

"Zombified...! What did you do to me?!"

She eyed him with concern and pity. "Hmm, maybe I overdid it after all... Do I need to talk slower, dear?"

He stood back up, glowering down at her. "You just said you almost turned me into a zombie like it was no big whoop!"

"I didn't mean an actual zombie – I'm a fairy, not a witch doctor. Geez, try to be less literal. I just meant you're close to a point where you'd just wander around like an idiot who has no will of his own. You know, hollowed out, stupid, semi-brainless, more useful for hanging fliers on than spelling three-letter-words, taking direction from anybody who doesn't share your houseplanty level of self-guidance... that kind of thing." She turned to inspect a lint ball that had landed on her blue wing, brushing it off disdainfully.

"Well change it back!"

"I said I didn't zombify you. Quite. Probably."

"Probably? QUITE?! Well how close?!"

She considered. "There's not really a metric for measuring your ability to independently set tasks for yourself, but I'd say on a scale of one to ten, where one is a horny chipmunk on speed and ten is a shrub with a below-average imagination... like a 6?"

"Aaaaugh! Fix it!"

"You know, I'm starting to feel like you're not super grateful." She frowned down at the carpet, her lower lip jutting out.

"I'm not! You... you... a six!"

She sniffed, her professional pride wounded. "Fine, be that way. Throw a bunch of accusations at me without even waiting to see how much of a solid I really did you." She grabbed another pinch of pixie dust and sprinkled it over herself. A moment after, she slowly turned translucent until she disappeared altogether. "Ask for my help then complain about a few minor little side effects," her disembodied voice grumbled from somewhere overhead.

Bradley pleaded with her to come back, undo what she'd done, but there was no response. Evidently, she'd decided to wait it out. Every so often he thought he heard a bored-sounding sigh, but he couldn't be sure it wasn't just the furnace turning on.

Too anxious to sit still, too afraid to leave his apartment, Brad just paced around nervously. He looked at himself in the mirror at intervals, waited for some impulse to go to the gym or crack open a textbook to spontaneously strike him. He checked down his pants every couple minutes. Nothing. He felt completely normal.

Could he have hallucinated it? It had been a wild party – had he taken acid without realizing it or something?

Watching the clock, he noted when it had been three hours with no discernible changes, lumpy as ever. "Sassyfras?" he called out. No reply. He tried again after a half hour, and again when it hit the four-hour mark shortly before noon.

Finally, he began to relax. He must have dreamed the whole thing. Fairies weren't real. They couldn't be. It was insane. He opened a web browser, and dedicated a little time to unwinding.

"Fairy porn? Man, they really do have everything," said Sassyfras' tiny voice from behind his shoulder.

He nearly jumped out of his shoes as he whirled to face her simultaneously. "No! You're not real!"

"I'm perfectly real, have been ever since I was imagined into existence." She eyes the screen behind him. "Now, a six-pound fairy with what have to be two pounds of boobs? Those aren't real, I assure you."

He gathered his wits as he tried to fight through the embarrassment. "Your magic – it didn't work!"

"Well, let's have a look at you," she said.

He inspected himself, then stood in front of his mirror. "See? Same as before."

She nodded. "Here, lift this." She waved a hand and a dumbbell appeared floating in mid-air, "2½" engraved on the side.

"Really? Not even a five-pounder?" He grasped it and began a set of effortless curls. "I could do this all week and it would never make a difference."

"Oh?" she said. Sassyfras flitted up to his arm and peeled his t-shirt up to his shoulder. As he lifted, he watched as the shapeless mass of his upper lost fat, then the remaining muscles swelled with every rep, like a balloon inflating with each lungful of air emptied into it.

"Holy SHIT!" he cried. He began lifting faster, and the rate of growth increased to match. He kept at it until he had gorgeous rippling biceps, matching his thickly muscled forearms. He grabbed the neck of his shirt and tore it off, shaken by the hideously mismatched doughy physique beneath.

The dusky sprite quickly consoled him by providing a few other simple weight-lifting accoutrements; soon, he'd worked his pecs, his abs, his quads and calves and everything from his neck down to his toes into prime physical condition. He'd never really thought of his face as more than average, but now with his superhero chin, chiseled jaw, and set against his ripped body, it fit right in on his hunky new self.

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