Just Another Day on the Job (a 500-word story)

This time around, I’ve combined Haley Whitehall’s Body Language challenge, Billie Jo Wood’s Solstice Sunday, and my Creature Feature challenge (see mash-up below for links) into one 500 word story. Here you go…

magic sphere

Just Another Day on the Job 

She drummed her fingers against her thigh and shot the kind of look that would start a fire.

Fortunately, there was plenty of cloud cover.

I nudged Tom, my trainee. “Assessment?”

“Common fire sprite. Juvenile. Range: two feet. Requires full sunlight to start a fire. Containment protocol: capture in JN-32 spherical containment field and transport to Breach.”


Tom grinned, then glanced at the sprite. “Third one since yesterday.”

“Summer solstice.”

“Of course. Sightings are always more frequent around solstices and equinoxes. Especially since the Jameson-Neal Breach, a tear in–”

I nudged him again, less gently. “Sphere ready?”

Tom showed the quiescent, marble-sized device in his palm.

“Good.” I stepped forward.

The sprite hissed and flitted from side to side.

“Come on now. This isn’t the place for you. A park in the middle of a city. It’s not even your world anymore. You know that.”

She bared her tiny, sharp teeth, her eyes on me.

Tom edged closer.

“We’ll find a nice spot for you. Near a volcano. On the other side.”

The clouds shifted overhead and the sprite’s eyes sparkled. She buzzed a little closer. The clouds shifted again and the sky darkened once more. The light faded from her eyes and she retreated.

“Come on now. You don’t want to be here around these people and their dogs–”

A low growl, like a cat’s, rose in her throat.

“That’s right. Dogs. You don’t like them and they don’t like you. All of that barking and growling and snapping.”

She kicked out at me and shook her tiny fists.

“I won’t hurt you. I just want to take you home.”

She dropped her arms and drifted closer, head cocked to one side.

“That’s it. Good…”

Tom edged around to the side, bringing his hand up.

A shaft of light burst through the clouds.

Tom lurched forward.

I reached for him. “No!”

The sprite whirled on Tom. She dashed into the beam of light and her eyes blazed.


But the sphere dropped from Tom’s hand and rolled away from him.

The sprite let out a piercing shriek.

I threw myself to the ground and grabbed the containment sphere, simultaneously activating it and tossing it in the air.

The sphere expanded and enclosed the sprite.

But it was already too late.

Tom crumbled to smoking ash.

I plucked the sphere out of the air and glared at the sprite, giving her a little shake. “You know how hard it is to find a good trainee these days? Most new recruits don’t even believe in fairytale creatures.”

She stuck her tiny tongue out at me and turned her back.

I sighed and stored the sphere in the back of the van.

Time to get back to work. There were reports of something harassing virgins and stealing babies in the suburbs. Probably a Type III banded troll.

My favorite.


Write Thing Wednesday Blog Mash Up

In which I share a few of the blog posts that caught my eye over the previous week…

A few more writing challenges to get your creativity going (or just enjoy reading the stories that have been written so far)…

Photo Credit
Zephyr’s Magic Quince by Jan, on Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

14 thoughts on “Just Another Day on the Job (a 500-word story)

  1. I love it too! It was a great way to weave all the challenges together. What a cool job, where do I sign up? I really think I almost liked the pesky little sprite. Poor Tom though!

    1. I liked her too. She was pretty sassy. A really naughty Tinkerbell. LOL. It’s fun to combine challenges. Perhaps next month’s challenge should be about combining challenges. 😀

    1. I can’t really take credit for the very first line. That came from Haley’s prompt. At first, I was just going to go with it coming from someone who was really angry…then I thought “why not something that could actually start a fire.” LOL

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