“At least you’ll die doing what you love; Walking into danger.”
Finally getting around to this lol
From this list of dialogue prompts. Feel free to send in more!
What just happened?
That thought swirled on repeat in Stan Baker’s head as he returned to his flat, a place small enough for the 21 year old to afford on his own humble salary. He leaned against the door after it shut, stunned.
Deep green eyes widened and darted to the side. Sitting idly on the hooks on the wall meant to hold keys or coats, hooks Stan rarely used for such things, was a tiny woman no taller than a finger.
After a moment of staring, Stan let out a huff of a sigh that ruffled the woman’s short hair. He recognized her. Hard not to, she hadn’t changed a bit since the last time he saw her.
“Don’t people normally outgrow their imaginary friends?” he asked dryly.
She shrugged. “Suppose so. I always did think we had a special something, though.”
He shot her a flat look. “Well, thanks for dropping by, Tinkerbell, but I’ve grown up.”
“Zepheera,” she corrected, pushing herself up to stand balanced on the metal hook, hands on her hops. “Bit childish to resort to name-calling, don’t ya think?”
Again Stan huffed. “I don’t need to listen to this. You’re not even real.”
A moment passed between them.
“Well?” Zepheera prodded. “You’ve got long legs. Go ahead and leave if you don’t want me around.”
Stan’s brow furrowed, but he couldn’t look Zepheera in the eye. When he still didn’t make a move to leave, he sighed.
“Not a rough day,” he admitted, answering her initial question. “Just…kind of a weird one.”
At last he met her much smaller gaze, tiny pinpricks of violet that once had Stan convinced she was a faerie of some kind. With those eyes as kind as ever, Zepheera offered a small smile. “I’m up for tea if you wanna chat about it.”
Stan couldn’t refuse.
As always, Zepheera was a good listener. She sipped her tea evenly (from a cup Stan could swear she materialized out of thin air, unless she simply carried it around all the time in her tiny rucksack) and waited patiently for the end of Stan’s story.
“Sounds like you’ve got a new job lined up,” she commented.
“I haven’t accepted the offer yet,” Stan reminded her.
“And why not?”
Stan ran a hand through his hair.“Because… It’s a big decision. Punching out the occasional creep on the street is one thing, but this… If I make good here, I’ll be dealing with serious criminals. Terrorists, too. I could die.”
The words hung heavy in the air for a few breaths, a solemn silence broken after Zepheera finished off the last dregs of her tea and got to her feet.
“Well,” she sighed, making her way slowly closer to Stan as she stowed her cup away, “the Stan Baker I know never could sit back while bullies were running rampant.”
Stan chuckled and found his chin lowering onto his folded arms the closer Zepheera came.
With a smile, she gave a small shrug. “And, not saying you will, but if things do get hairy out there, at least you’ll die doing what you love. Walking into danger.”
Stan blinked at Zepheera’s phrasing, feeling hope creep up on him. Then he heaved a world-weary breath, slumping his shoulders and burying his face in his arms.
A feather-light touch patted against one of his knuckles, and from that same direction Zepheera said, “See ya ‘round, Baker. Do what you think is right.”
The next time Stan looked up, Zepheera had vanished. Just like she always did.
“Don’t think I won’t,” he grinned.