Special Delivery

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Cover art by Esther Westphal

A selection from “Faeries, Fantasies, and Furries”

Originally published online, December 9, 2012

This story was inspired by a work of art; a piece featuring two slender elf-like characters lounging about. To me, they appeared to be brothers, and so we have this story. After the fact, I was told that I had made an error; the gods I allude to in the story had differing origins. I contemplated correcting my mistake, but decided against it. After all, this IS a fantasy!


The two Avians were at home sitting on an antique sofa; the elder sat up on one side while his younger sibling lay across the remainder. Dew yawned before leaning against his older sibling’s side, placing his head against it as if it were a makeshift pillow.

“Dear brother, must we hurry so? It is such a nice morning and I am not ready to leave yet.” he said before a second yawn escaped his mouth.

Wispen smiled and began to stand up. He took one of his brother’s hands and pulled him up to his feet. “Come along now, Dew, the time for sleep is over. Our work is important and we mustn’t tarry. If you are to serve Hermes, as our family has for generations, you will need to learn how.”

Dew stretched one last time, rubbed his eyes, and followed his brother toward the front door of their home. “Very well then.”

Wispen walked outside and stopped at a mailbox. He produced a small scroll from within and broke its seal.

“What glad tidings are you delivering today, brother?” Dew asked as the elder read.

Wispen chuckled before he placed the scroll into a shirt pocket. “We have but one task to complete today, Dew, but I will not be the one to complete it. The time has come for you to deliver your first declaration of joy.”

The statement appeared to wake up the young Avian. His eyes grew wide and he stammered as he answered his older brother. “B-but I don’t know if I’m ready yet, Wispen. You have taught me so much but I think I need to observe you some more first, and…”

Wispen suddenly interrupted Dew’s rambling, and gave the youngster a stern look. “Now Dew! You have been accompanying and observing me for these past three months. I think that is more than enough observing!”

Dew was shocked by the severity of the retort. He placed his hands behind his back and stared at the ground, whimpering.

The elder brother softened his tone, “Now now, Dew. Don’t be upset. The time has come for you to take on some responsibilities, and I would not impose them upon you if I did not feel you were ready. So let us fly, for there are glad tidings to be shared!”

After pausing to check the wind, the two brothers unfurled their wings and flew into the air.

An hour later, they landed in front of a modest cottage, the home of a blacksmith and his wife. Loud rattling and clanging could be heard from the workshop behind the home as the blacksmith toiled away.

Wispen and Dew quickly took refuge behind some bushes. The elder Avian paused to quickly examine the scroll. He dropped to one knee and faced Dew.

“Are you ready to deliver your first message, Dew?” He asked. Dew nodded enthusiastically, his attention focused on his brother’s every word.

“Very well, then. The couple that lives here has been praying to the gods for a child, and Jupiter has seen fit to grant their wish. You are to give them the wonderful news that in seven months’ time a healthy baby boy will be delivered to them. Do you understand?”

Again, Dew nodded his head.

“Excellent. Just do as you have seen me do before, and you will be fine. Now go!” Wispen encouraged.

Dew began walking to the front door of the cottage. “Jupiter…seven months…baby boy…” he whispered to himself. He reached the front door of the cottage and stared at it for a few moments. He was unsure of himself and turned around to look at his brother, who was peering at him from the bushes.

“Go on.” Wispen mouthed, nodding his head. He made a motion with one hand as if he were knocking on a door.

Dew uneasily looked at his own hand. He made the same motion a few times, and looked back at his brother with an uneasy smile. Wispen enthusiastically nodded his head in return.

The youngster slowly turned to the door. Determined, he swallowed hard and straightened himself up. He raised his right hand to knock on the wooden door.

Before he could make contact, the door swung inward. A large woman with brown hair and broad shoulders stood in the doorway. A smile came across her face when she noticed Dew standing there.

“And who might you be, little boy?” She asked.

The woman’s surprise appearance had only served to make Dew more nervous. He looked up at her, took a deep breath and blurted out:

“JUPITER SENT ME TO BE YOUR BABY BOY FOR SEVEN MONTHS!!”

The woman and Dew stared at each other for a few moments while a worried Wispen looked on from the bushes. Without warning, the large woman lunged at Dew and threw her arms around him in a bear hug. She easily lifted him to her face and planted a loving kiss on his cheek.

“Thank you for answering our prayers, Jupiter!” She exclaimed as she continued to hold Dew tightly. Small and lithe as he was, Dew was helpless. With Dew still in her arms, the woman turned to call her husband.

“Bo! A child! Jupiter sent us a child! Come look!”

The house trembled slightly as the blacksmith stomped his way through it. “What is it, Jacky? You know I have a lot of work to do!” Bo said. He was a big man covered in soot and dust.

“Isn’t he wonderful?” A beaming Jacky said as she turned around to show Bo his new ‘son’.

Bo chuckled as he looked over now-terrified Dew. “He’s a scrawny one, but we’ll fatten him up quick with some hard work and good food.”

By this point Wispen had rushed to the doorway. Upon seeing him, Dew finally spoke: “Brother!”

Bo and Jacky turned around, saw Wispen, and paused.

Bo embraced Wispen, lifted him off the ground and exclaimed: “Jupiter has blessed us with two sons!”

“Oh dear.”

 

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