Fizz didn’t like magical creatures. Come to think of it, he didn’t really like magic all that much.
He liked his normal life above the bookshop. He liked his normal job helping sell the books. He even fancied a normal girl.
Therefore it would not surprise you that he was looking at the magical being in front of him with a mix of distaste and confusion.
It was small, probably about the size of a small cat but with none of the lovable qualities. Instead of fur it was covered in brown thorns with a long, whip-like tail that lashed
threateningly at him.
Fizz couldn’t make out the nose but it had two huge black eyes, shiny as marbles, bulging from its head. Its ears were large too, long and triangular with a small tuft of wiry hair at the
ends. It growled at him and tiny claws dug into the table top.
But Fizz didn’t need any dissuading, he didn’t want to go anywhere near the little beast. The growl stopped suddenly and the ears twitched forwards as if listening for something. Then, out of
the blue, the little creature burped. The force of the burp made it slide backwards on the table leaving a little trail of shaving in front of it and something flew from its mouth.
Shiny, it hung in the air for a split second before falling to the floor by Fizz’s feet. The creature resumed its growling. Fizz bent down gingerly, not taking his eyes from the creature and
picked the thing up.
It was a coin, and not just any coin, a gold one. A real gold coin. Granted it was a bit sticky but…it was still gold. The growling stopped again and fizz looked up just in time to see
another hurtle towards him.
“It’s a sprigget.” Harlem said.
“A what?” Fizz said, rubbing the bruise forming above his eye.
“the magical world’s waste collectors. They’ll swallow anything! I had one once, useful for getting rid of the dangerous magic books. They’re not picky eaters. But that one there…” he
gestured to the spriggit on the table “ That ones got a problem. I think it ate something it shouldn’t have by the looks of things.”
The sprigget burped again and they ducked as another coin whistled over their heads.
Harlem scratched his head. He owned the bookstore downstairs and had come up to see what all the fuss was about. A balding man with a white bristling moustache and tiny
spectacles he provided the town with all their book needs, magical or not.
Fizz pursed his lips. At that moment the bell above the shop door tinkled and a voice called up the stairs.
“Mr Harlem? Its Miranda, I came to collect those books my father ordered.”
Fizz’s heart skipped a beat. Miranda, the most beautiful girl in town. Harlem chuckled and turned back to the ladder that lead down to the shop below.
“Hello love, was it the books from Bates he wanted?”
“Yes and I was wondering if Fizz was around, I need to talk to him…”
The spriggit began to growl again, louder this time, its little body throbbing with the effort of it.
“Fizz? Are you up there?” she called.
“Shhhhhh!!!” Fizz said desperately waving his hands at the spriggit.
It was obviously just what the sprigit had been waiting for. It sprang from the table top and clamped down on Fizz’s fingers, hard.
Fizz let out a yell and hopped backwards. He tripped over a chair, his hand waving desperately in the air but the creature wasn’t letting go, he fell head over heels down the stairs.
Through a cloud of stars he saw Miranda above him. In the sunlight her amber hair burned like fire, her skin as flawless as smooth marble. In her arms she was clutching a small book, no
bigger than a pocket notebook with a black leather cover.
The spriggit, unimpressed by the fall down the stairs lunged at Miranda, who screamed and dropped the book.
“NO!” yelled Harlem, but it was too late. The spriggit had swallowed it.
Dazed, Fizz staggered to his feet. He felt an itch, but it wasn’t an itch, it was climbing. He looked down to see the sprigget ripping its way up his trouser leg. He yelled as it sunk its
claws into his chest and then it was around his neck, long tail firmly encircling it.
“My fathers book!” Miranda said and stepped forwards.
The sprigget began to growl again and Fizz whimpered as all the thorns began to stand on end next to his skin.
“Pleas miss Miranda, leave it, I’ll order another one…” Harlem said
“I thought you said there were none, my father needs this book!”
Fizz suddenly became aware that the growling had stopped. The claws grasped his neck flesh suddenly and he knew what was going to happen.
“Get down!” yelled Harlem but Miranda was frozen.
The sprigget burped. Something whistled into the air, faster than a crack of lightening, and struck Miranda.
In Fizz’s horrified gaze she began to shrink, he ears begin to grow, her nose lengthen. In no time at all she was the size of his hand and she had a tail! Miranda was human no more. In her
place was a perfectly white mouse.
The sprigget resumed growling. Fizz sunk to his knees and stared at the spot where his beautiful Miranda had been.
“What? How?” he said.
“That was a magic book, Fizz, and your sprigget…”
“He’s not my sprigget!”
“Your sprigget has taken to burping spells.”
Wide eyed fizz lifted the mouse gingerly and it squeaked in annoyance.
“What am I going to say to her father?”
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