It was a hot summer day when I spied the broken down spaceship in the middle of the desert. Since little creatures are basically clueless about how real stuff works, I thought I’d lend a hand.
You might say I had ulterior motives. The little creatures did pay me, and the payment I liked best was when they stepped up and dealt with the Magic instead of me.
So, there I was, lying on my back, little tin spaceship levitating above me. I had the bottom panel off. The spaceship had popped a doohickey—not the technical term, but considering that you probably don’t know much more about spaceship repairs than the little creatures do—no offense—I thought it would suffice.
When I finished shoving all the wires and bits back into the engine area—again, not a technical description—I reached for the panel and laid my hand on a smooth, glassy object that I would have swapped for a tightly coiled rattler any day.
I bolted upright. It wasn’t the only such object surrounding me. Apparently, while I was doing my good deed, the Magic was mounting a stealth attack from the nearest water-filled crater, which was gurgling like it had eaten at Joe’s where the food was a bit more sloppy than the health inspectors liked it to be.
Needless to say, I knew exactly what payment I would be requesting of the distressed motorist. I didn’t deal with magical trinkets if I could help it.
After I finished up, I sat in the shade of a nearby space tree, drinking an ice cold root beer, while the little creature gathered up the crystal orbs littering the ground. I didn’t know what was in the orbs or what they were for. The fact that they were twinkling killed any interest I may have had outright.
When the last of the orbs had been deposited into a magic-proof bag—provided by me—I got up, brushed off my hands and headed for the bucket-of-bolts starcar Big Pops was loaning me until I reached legal flying age.
As I got in, I caught sight of the little creature as it reached into the bag and pulled out one of the smaller orbs which it deposited into the fuel port of its spaceship.
This puzzled me, so I kept my eyes on the little creature as it got into its spaceship and zipped off. I would say it surprised me when the spaceship vanished before it reached cruising altitude, but that’s the Magic for you.
For a split second, I thought about getting out and seeing if there were any of those orbs left. Then I remembered about the twinkling.
I revved the engine, stamped my foot on the gas and zoomed off.
I didn’t look back.
—Blueberry Fields, Mr. Fix It