It wouldn’t be February without a pair of star-crossed lovers.
Everyone knew that pixies were cruel. Those teeth. Their words.
A conversation with one was like dying from a thousand tiny cuts. You might think: one or two scornful remarks won’t matter. But they added up, faster than you could count.
That was why Renate kept her distance. That, and because she was a goblin. And not one of those flashy lime green ones, or one a delicate shade of violet. She was brown, like the bark on the trees of the forest she called home.
Practical, but dull.
But the pixie? Oh, he would dazzle you—lithe, sultry. His talent was the piccolo, as Renata soon learned, but he could sing and dance and execute all manner of acrobatics. His wings were a glittery sapphire while his skin was the icy hue of a January sky.
He was so beautiful, his features elegant and lovely, even those razor-like teeth. Renata felt a bit chagrined for her admiration. It was shallow, wasn’t it? It made her shallow, didn’t it? She didn’t even know his name. Pixies seldom confessed such things, not even to a lover.
If you knew a pixie’s name, the saying went, then you knew their entire heart.
But never, in all the annals of history, had there ever been a goblin-pixie pairing. So Renata dreamed her unattainable dreams safe in the knowledge they were only that.
Until the day the pixie fluttered down from the sky and landed on the forest floor in front of her.
His feet barely whispered against the carpet of fallen leaves. His wings hummed, and the sound was warm and soothing, like a lullaby.
“Why do you stare at me all day long,” he asked.
Renata knew she didn’t have quick wit—if this were a conversational trap, then she would walk right into it. So she saw no reason to be dishonest.
“Because you are the most beautiful being I have ever seen.”
With those words, heat burned her cheeks, her skin so hot she might set the forest aflame.
The pixie tilted his head. “Do you like how I play the piccolo?”
“I do, very much.”
He twirled, a perfect pirouette, and landed gracefully. “And my acrobatics? What do you think of them?”
“They are lovely.”
For a long moment, he scrutinized her. Then, he nodded once and took flight.
Odd things happened after that. Sweet music—that of a piccolo—accompanied her trek through the forest. The tune changed depending on what she was doing. Slow and thoughtful for rooting out mushrooms. Lively and quick for picking berries.
When she was helping a doe birth twins on a slushy spring morning, a warm buzzing sounded above her, shielding her and the doe from rain. Renata glanced up, but all she could see was the furious beating of pixie wings.
On clear nights, when she peered into the sky, her name would sparkle among the stars.
She searched for hidden cruelty and found only kindness.
The next time the pixie landed before her, stepping lightly across daisies and buttercups, Renata could do little more than clutch her hands beneath her chin.
“Why do you always brighten my day?” she asked.
“Because you brighten mine.”
“Me?” This she could not fathom. “How?”
“You know which of the forest’s bounty is edible, and which is not.”
“Don’t pixies know this?”
He flushed, a delicate pink spreading through his entire body. “It’s a good thing pixies have strong constitutions. I only know what to eat from watching you.”
“I can teach you.” Such boldness! Renata almost swallowed back the words.
But he inclined his head and continued. “You care for the forest creatures. You care for our home when the rest of us enjoy it, use it, but far too often disregard it.”
“I love the forest and everything in it.” It was as close as she dared come to confessing her feelings for him.
He took one step closer. “And you have the eyes of a doe and the skin the color of a wise oak tree. You are beautiful.”
She was about to protest or shake her head when he took another step forward.
“I am Simon.”
“You know I’m Renata.”
“I do. May I kiss you, Renata?”
She didn’t think twice, although perhaps she should have. She knew of the teeth, of the cuts, of the pain. Kissing a pixie was something a steadfast, ordinary goblin like herself should never do.
Renata stepped forward.
She closed her eyes.
The kiss was warm, steeped in magic and honey. When the quicksilver taste filled her mouth and blood ran down her chin, Renata gasped. She felt no pain, had no cuts.
It wasn’t her blood.
It was his.
Simon had sliced through his own lips as to not injure her.
But a steadfast little goblin such as herself had a salve for that. She tended to his wounds, and by nightfall, he was healed enough to play the piccolo.
It took until winter, with the snow piled high around Renata’s little cottage, until they discovered a way to kiss without incident.
Neither one minded.
The Goblin and the Pixie was written especially for the (Love) Stories of 2020 project.
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