The Short Story Project ~ A Story

First published: Wednesday, July 8th, 2009
565 words ~ spooky scale: ••••• 12+

Doesn’t it make you just want to sneeze?

Pete was leaning against the wall, watching the street go by. I pulled the bike to a halt, the front wheel pointing in his direction.

“I think I’ve got a fairy stuck up my nose.”

“S’not true!” came a voice from inside the nose in question.

“Hey! Not bad that!” Pete said. “I didn’t see your lips move at all.”

“It’s not a joke.”

The itching was getting worse. I pulled out a paper tissue.

“Stop that now!” came the voice again. “You know I don’t like it.”

“S’not my fault. You make me want to sneeze!”

And I did.

I inspected the crumpled paper. Lots of yellow goo, but no fairy.

Pete looked at me with mild disgust as I eyed the handkerchief more closely.

“You know that’s pretty gross…” he said.

“Got any other brilliant remarks?” I said.

I held a finger up to my lips, and waved a hand to silence Pete’s reply.

“Are you still there?” I called.

“No thanks to you!” came the little voice.

Pete looked at me sort of sideways.

“Look, the first time was OK, but—”

“It’s not a joke. I’ve really got something stuck up there. I was riding on me bike and I thought I’d swallowed an insect or something. And then it started insulting me.”

“You’re having me on, right?”

“Pete! Look at me. If it’s a trick, how do I do it then?”

Pete thought for a moment.

“If it’s real… Aren’t they supposed to have a pot of gold or something? And they have to tell you where it is if you catch them?”

“That’s leprechauns, idiot!” said the voice from my noise.

“So what’s the difference? Just give us the gold and we’ll let you go…”

“We—?” I started.

He winked at me.

“Oh, I’m happy to stick around,” came the voice. “It’s noggins here who wants to get rid of me…”

Suddenly I felt a violent pain in my nose, my eyes watered.

“Owwww!” I howled.

“See what I mean?” the voice shouted over my moans.

“Perhaps you can use it in exams…” Pete said, scratching his head. “You know, it could tell us all the answers.”

“Idiot! If it yacks on like that in an exam, I’ll get thrown out. And probably locked up too.”

“Can’t it whisper?”

“Perhaps I don’t know the answers anyway?” said the voice. “Have you thought of that?”

“Anyway, I don’t want it in exams. I just want it to go. Out of my nose.”

“Can’t you just poke it out?”

“With what?”

“S’pose you’ve already tried your finger…”

“Yes he has,” the voice said. “And it wasn’t pleasant I can tell you.”

“You see what it’s like. He’s already making sarcastic remarks like that…”

“What if we put something in your nose to catch it, then? I don’t know… A spider?”

“No!” we both said at once.

“Snap!” Pete said. “You both said the same thing at the same time, you’ve got to make a—” He hit his forehead with his palm. “That’s it! Three wishes! When you catch a fairy, you get three wishes. Hey you in there! Is that right?”

“You could see things like that…” said the voice with resignation.

“I wish you’d get out of my nose, then!” I cried.

In a flash the fairy was out of my nose and gone.

And I’m still waiting for my two other wishes.


Something a little lighter this week, I hope you enjoy it. Once it got started, I realised that the idea must have been inspired by the title of Justine Larbalestier’s How to Ditch Your Fairy, although it has nothing at all to do with that story at all.

All in all, my story feels very light. But I think I needed something a little less dark, and there are some quite sombre tales coming up in the coming weeks. See you then.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 France License.

Last edited: Thursday, August 27th, 2009

blog comments powered by Disqus


Welcome to my adventures in writing scary [well, I hope] YA fiction. More complete info here.

Photo: Photo Booth by Apple

If you are a publisher or agent for YA fiction, & would like me to send on a ms, please, please ask.


You can always buy me something from my Amazon Wish List [France] or Amazon Wish List [UK]

Update : It’s not possible for a wishlist to be 'multi-national'. So I have duplicated the French one for the UK. I’ll get a US one up here sometime as well.

a full-length novel

black as snow Juliet has just moved to the country. She doesn’t like her new school, she doesn’t like living on a stinking farm where it always rains. Then she starts seeing a pony, waiting outside at night in the rain. And she’s sure it’s waiting for her...

Before she knows it, she is called on for help by a trio of strange creatures who live in the woods nearby. And then the rabbits... Oh yes, the rabbits.

Fantasy, comedy, and more than a touch of spookiness in this strange tale where things quickly get Black as Snow.

Download Black as Snow
as a PDF file. 12+


If you do adapt one of my stories, please let me know so that I can link to you from here. I am particularly interested in images — photos, illustrations... — inspired by the stories, as I would like to add these to the pages and downloadable PDF files. I am also interested in audio files, podcasts &c., as well as translations, especially to French.


All the stories in this Free Reads section are available to read online, download, & use for free under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA licence.

If you want more information on what you can do with these stories you can read the full licence here, or you can probably find your answers on the FAQ page.