Strange Neighbors

For anke‘s prompt(s)

After the Fairy Road from the last Giraffe Call.

The park in the middle of the city had always been creepy, but, in its heyday, it had also been beautiful. Children had, once, played there, and the overgrowth that filled up its four quadrants had once been tamed, with tiny footpaths wriggling through like snakes. Now, only the desperate or rushed used the main roads, and only the fairies could find the foot-paths.

The apartment building on Milton, overlooking the park, had also seen better days. In its heyday, it had been a fine luxury building, and the suite size and facade still showed that. The rooms were large, the building was passably well-upkept, but the rich neighborhoods had moved North, leaving the Stanton Arms behind.

The tragedy of the park hadn’t helped, of course; no-one with children wanted to be near there. Anyone with sensitivity either was drawn there or repulsed, like magnets, depending on pole. And normal people, inasmuch as there were such things as normal people, for the most part had either heard the rumors, seen the crime rates, or just “knew” it wasn’t a good place; the reputation of the park clung to the building like coal dust from a smokestack.

That left the Arms to college students who couldn’t afford better, out-of-towners who didn’t know any better, fae who knew things about the park even the most sensitive human didn’t, the sensitive who could stand the ghosts, and Errol’s cousin Carolina, who ran an Etsy shop specializing in “genuine” fake magical artifacts with real punch.

That meant, of course, than anyone who had any sort of shady magical deal they wished to engage in ended up at the Arms and the park, seeking someone with just the right twist for their corkscrew. Which was, as Errol and his cousin well knew, one hell of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This entry was originally posted at You can comment here or there.

6 thoughts on “Strange Neighbors

  1. This, on the other hand, quite nicely establishes the park as someplace where you can tell all sorts of fey short stories. (Or the story of its fall and possibly revitalization, if you want.) Did you use “Esty” instead of “Etsy” on purpose?

  2. And what of the runaway who sneaked into the bushes to sleep the night in supposed safety? You know, the one always taunted at school for no particular reason other than sheer childhood meanness.

  3. That reads a lot like an RPG setting book – here’s this place, it’s important to the city and community in these ways. You could run some great scenes in this place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *