The Wee Folk

A short story from my sci-fi/fantasy/horror collection

HE NEVER CAME BACK

His name was Albert Higglemier Esq and herr Higglemier was half of the Higglemier and Richter law firm, well know lawyers of Strasbourg. Herr Higglemier had recently acquired a chalet through a tax foreclosure in the Black Forrest just outside of Bad Peterstal for a song. With the heat of late June he decided to spend a few weeks there in the peace and quiet of the deep, dark, forest. After the cities heat and hustle and bustle he looked forward to getting away as he had with his parents every summer of his youth, so off to the woods he went.

Herr Higglemier headed east in a new Porsche Macan Turbo that he bought for the trip as some how his Mercedes seemed out of place in the deep woods. And deep woods they were he thought as he headed south away from Bad Peterstal he came upon his turn about 20 minuets later and followed a curving road down a long driveway until he came onto a clearing in the thick woods where sat the chalet. He parked the Porsche at the top of the circular driveway and stared at his beautiful chalet.

Herr Higglemier couldn't believe his eyes, the property had looked like a good buy on the internet, but now that he was here it look like a great buy how he had obtained it for such a low price had him amazed. He walked around the house before he went inside and it all looked Wunderbar!

He was thinking that must be terrible on the inside and prepared himself for the worst as he opened the front door. However the inside was as beautiful as the outside was. He was prepared to spend $50,000 Euros to fix the place up but from what he could see he would not have to spend a single Euro cent!

He had bought the property for back taxes the former owner apparently had driven away one day and never came back, his loss was my gain thought herr Higglemier. The house was completely furnished and he went from room to room and looked into the closets he found that they were still full of clothes, coats, shoes, towels and blankets and such, even his suitcases were still there! Herr Higglemier didn't know what to make of that but since it had been a long drive from the city and he was tired, he decided to unpack his car and try to get settled in and relax.

A half an hour later his living room was full of his luggage, boxes and bags and bags of groceries in his kitchen. He put the groceries away first but again the shelves were full of can goods and his freezer full of frozen food but the refrigerator was full of spoiled food which he quickly threw out and then spayed the refrigerator with a can of germ killer he had found under the sink. He put his few groceries away once the smell had died down. Why would the former owner take off and leave everything behind he wondered and if there was one thing herr Higglemier loved, it was a good mystery!

He popped a dinner into the microwave as he popped a bottle of champagne to celebrate his good fortune. He poured almost half of the bottle of Bollinger Grand Annee into a large water glass and drank it down; how he needed that to quench his thirst. He refilled the glass and then drank the rest of the bottle and put it in the garbage can and wondered how to dispose of it, or at least, how to get it out of the kitchen. He found a pair of steel garbage cans outside the back door and put the foul kitchen bags inside one of them.

He then returned to the kitchen and retrieved his dinner from the microwave and his glass from the table and made his way into the living room. He took a seat on the couch placed the glass and dinner on the coffee table and tried to turn on a near by lamp but couldn't find the switch, but by accident found out that all he need do was touch the base. Just in time too as the sun was beginning to set.

He found the flat screen controller and tried to tune on the tv but the batteries were dead. He had brought his lap top and decided to play a couple of old Beat Club disks and he suddenly returned to the days of his youth as he had grown up watching Beat Club and before he had watched the second disk he had fallen fast asleep on the couch.

He awoke to a stiff neck and bright sunshine pouring through the windows. His head was a bit hung-over from the bottle of Bollinger but after a second cup of expresso he felt much better and decided to put his clothes and such away. He spent the morning changing sheets and moving the former owners clothes and stuff in general to a spare guest bedroom down the hall from the master-suite.

By the time it was done it was noon and he decided to go to town for more groceries, spare batteries and find out what were the cable companies, the day of garbage pick up etc. He stopped at the police station to find out what he could about the former owner. All they knew was about a year ago they were notified by Deutsche Post that the mail box was overflowing and there was at least three months of mail in the mail box. He learned that former owner was Ernst Schneider who was a retired banker from Dusseldorf. He asked about herr Schneider's personal effects, had he any family where he could send them. No, like Albert, Ernst had never married so he could keep them or throw them away as he liked. When he bought the property everything on it was his.

On his first stop home he stopped at the mail box and pulled all the mail out and put it into a spare shopping bag and drove around the house and parked next to a three car garage and fumbled around looking for the key to the side door and eventually found it and went inside. What he found inside was truly amazing.

What he found sitting next to the door was a like new 1939 Mercedes-Benz W31 type G4 staff car and sitting on the other side of that was an American car, a 1936 Auburn boat tailed speedster 852 and on the other side of that was a 2 year old Audi Q7. Could be a million Euros worth of cars that were suddenly his. Herr Higglemier was stunned by his good fortune. He had paid $25,000 Euros in back taxes the house alone was worth 20 times that and now the cars. Truly the gods were smiling down on him!

He decided for the time being the Porsche would have to live outdoors as he carefully locked the garage door, then began unloading the car and opened the back door of the house and went in. He put his bags down on the table then turned and locked the back door. He spent the rest of that day and evening putting things away and bagging up the former resident's things in preparation for going to the local dump, on the morrow.

One hundred meters back in the woods many eyes had been watching Albert's every move. About quarter of the tribe of local dark fairies took copious notes for the tribal council meeting that would soon come when the moon was full. They had literally made a killing of the former resident, taking all of his gold and then inviting him out to their village to have him for dinner and not in the nice way either!

Whether or not Albert would join Ernst was up to the fairy King and Queen to decide. It wouldn't do to get the police involved by making it too obvious that there was something going on, like a former King and Queen had done by killing a Schutzstaffel Obersturmbannfuhrer and gotten the Gestapo involved like they had those many years ago. The end result was that most of the colony had been wiped out with the few survivors running for their lives. No, many lessons were learned of the mistakes that were made, mistakes that would never be repeated again!

They watched Albert's every move until he went to sleep and then they walked the mile back to their village in the deep, dark, woods. As they reached the village another crew went to take their places to watch over Albert until they were relieved by the first crew just after sunrise. They would keep a 24-hour watch on Albert until the day of the full moon.

Albert, meanwhile, was unaware of his stalkers and went about relaxing and exploring the local villages, sometimes walking down the shaded lanes for miles on end. While he was gone the dark fairies took advantage of these sojourns to investigate every aspect of Albert's house, garage and grounds. By the time of June's full moon they knew everything they needed to know. Since the full moon fell on the summer solstice there would be much magic in the air. Trouble was, their cousins, the "light fairies" would be all over the place. Indecent creatures that never wore a stitch of clothing, flying around in the all together for all to see. It was almost more than a dark fairy could stand.

Not to mention the light fairies were vegans, eating only honey and fruit with nary a bite of meat. I mean, how was it possible to go through life without tasting those incredibly delicious humans. There were other meats and they would eat them if they had too. Back during the aftermath of the Gestapo raids there were no humans to be found and they had to make do with squirrels and hares, those were bleak days indeed. They moved what was left of their village and what was left of their clan a full twenty miles away to it's current location, deeper into the forest.

They had their gardens but they grew mostly garlic, onions, herbs and spices, things that would enhance the flavor of meat. The occasional yam or pumpkin for festivals and celebrations and a score of apple trees for the making of hard cider, their favorite drink.

On the day of the full moon and summer solstice an old friend of Albert's, Hannah Mueller called to say she was in the neighborhood and wondered if she could stop by for a visit. Albert had been head over heels in love with Hannah when they had been at university together but hadn't kept in touch over the years so Albert was in mixed emotions about her, but curiosity got the better of him and he invited her to stop by. She said she'd be by about threeish and got directions to the chalet. As it was almost noon Albert decided to do it right and made a dash to town for a lavish meal and a few bottles of Bollinger's Grand Annee and had everything ready when fraulein Mueller arrived.

When Hannah rang the front door bell, Albert sprang to answer it and with the first look the intervening 20 years melted away and to Albert it was yesterday when they had been lovers and friends in grad school.

"Please, won't you come in Hannah," said Albert as he led her into the living room. "Let me look at you, you haven't changed a bit, you are just as lovely as I remember you from our school days!"

"You are too kind Albert, but you always were," Hannah said. "It quite a place you have here," she added.

Yes, I got the most amazing deal when I bought the chalet, I bought it for delinquent taxes. The old owner left without a word and never came back. I got not only the house but three magnificent autos out in the garage too. Tell me Hannah, how have you been and what have you been up to, oh and can I get you something to drink, a glass of ice water or a glass of champagne," Albert asked.

"As hot as it is, either would do, I'll leave it up to you, Albert, Hannah replied.

Silly girl, thought Albert, champagne it is. "Please make yourself comfortable and I'll be right back," Albert said as he made his way to the kitchen to retrieve one of the bottles of Bollinger's, two glasses and a bucket full of ice.

When he returned she ask to use the rest room and he showed her the way. He then returned to the living room and popped the cork on the Bollinger and poured them both a flute full.

When she returned and was seated he proposed a toast to old times and they both drank the flutes right down. Over the rest of the bottle they talked about old times and brought each other up to date on their lives. He then took her on a tour of the house and then grounds, and the autos in the garage, and she seemed very impressed by it all. When he asked if she would stay for dinner she replied she would stay as long as he liked!

This statement sent his mind reeling, as Hannah was always remembered as the one who got away, the girl he should have married. She was probably the reason that he never married as no other women could hold a candle to her. When he came back to reality he found himself holding hands with her as they strolled along the property and decided they would have a picnic in the shade of the forest as they did when they were at school.

Of course, this time around, it wouldn't be just frankfurters and potato salad, this time he'd do it right, and he did.

They dined on a small salad, fine marbled steaks, white asparagus and a Schwarzwaalder kirschtorte for dessert, a local favorite! They also managed to polish off another bottle of Bollinger's and then lay down upon the blanket side by side and talked again of old times.

A hundred meters away their every movement was watched over by the dark fairies. They wondered what the arrival of the human female, would mean to the King & Queen and when Hannah and Albert got up and made their way back to the chalet the fairies left and headed back for their meeting with the King and Queen and the rising of the solstice moon.

When Hannah and Albert got back to the chalet, Hannah excused herself to use the rest room and Albert put away the remains of the picnic. The only thing he saved was the Schwarzwalder kirschtorte of which they had only eaten half. After disposing of the rest Albert ran up stairs to use the master bedroom bathroom and then returned to the living room to await Hannah's arrival.

By this time the sun had almost set so he turned on two of the lamps but turned them all the way down low for a romantic setting and wonder how Hannah felt about that. He didn't have long to puzzle that as Hannah came out of the rest room in the nude and walked over to Albert, pulled him to her, and gave him a long, slow, wet, kiss, that seemed to last forever. When she let him go she started to unbutton his shirt and a few seconds later he was as naked as she. He started out slow to make love to her with a lot of fore play the way he remembered she liked and by the time they were through, Albert felt like he was 25 years old again!

They both walked to the rest room and got into the shower together, just like they used to and washed each others bodies and when they were through they toweled one another dry. They didn't get dressed but Albert led her into the kitchen and grabbed another bottle of champagne, took out the Schwarzwalder kirschtorte and cut it in half which he gave to her as he grabbed a couple of flutes and the bottle and led her out to the front deck where they set together on a couch cuddling, as the full solstice moon rose over the trees turning the tree and shrubs in the front yard into a fairy land.

There were lightning bugs everywhere or at least they thought they were? There were some lightning bugs but there was something else glowing in the dark too. As the lovers watched dancing before their eyes were little naked people too about 70 millimeters tall!

"Albert, what a magical place you have, I believe those are light fairies." said Hannah with joy.

"Had you asked me this afternoon if I believed in fairy magic I would have laughed, but now I'm a believer! I always thought that light and dark fairies were old folklore! But look at them all, this ist wunderbar, wunderbar, he exclaimed!

They sat transfixed by the light fairies watching their flights and their games until the sun rose and they all flew away.

When the fairies had left they finally snapped out of the spell only then realizing they had sat for some 7 hours never saying a word, nor touching the Schwarzwalder kirschtorte or the unopened champagne.

They were quiet for a moment until Albert said, "Let's have some breakfast as I'm starving, how about you Hannah?"

"Yes, please I could eat something," she replied.

As Albert cooked breakfast, neither said a word as they went over in their minds what they had seen. They even questioned was it all real, but they knew in their hearts that it was. When breakfast was prepared they both broke into conversation that lasted half an hour!

Over in the dark fairy compound, all the fairies assembled in the great house where the King and Queen sat reading the latest reports on Albert and Hannah. Then they questioned in detail all that had been watching the chalet before whispering amongst them selves before coming to their conclusion, announcing that upon the Autumnal Equinox they would move on Albert, and Hannah too if she were still there, as the prison escapee they had killed on the Spring Equinox and placed in their ice cave would last the tribe until then.

Hannah spent the next two weeks at Albert's chalet before retuning to her town house in Munich. On the night before she left Albert went down on one knee and proposed to Hannah. She excepted and they set a wedding date of September first, the date that Hannah's parents had married.

While Hannah headed home to Munich Albert headed back to Strasbourg to tell the news to his business partner Hermann Richter and to buy Hannah an engagement ring and a wedding band. To Hermann he said he would be gone arranging the wedding and other things and probably wouldn't be back until late October at the earliest. In fact, Albert was thinking of selling out his half of the partnership and retiring to his chalet.

He was thinking of selling the 1939 Mercedes-Benz W31 type G4. As one of only 57 ever built it should bring a pretty pfennig and the Audi Q7 could go too as he needed the space for his and Hannah's car. He would keep the 1936 Auburn boat tailed speedster 852 for himself and would also sell either his Mercedes or the Porsche. The Mercedes was nicer, but the Porsche was more practical. He would keep the chalet and probably sell his house in Strasbourg.

When Hannah's rings were ready, he drove to Munich to Hannah's townhouse and got down his knee again and placed the engagement ring on the third finger of her left hand. He arose and gave her a kiss that she would never forget and when he open his eye tears were streaming down her face while she had the biggest smile that he had ever seen, they were tears of joy. She took his hand and took him to her bedroom where they made love for at least an hour. In the after glow he told her of his plans for his house and automobiles and ask if she would live with him in the Black Forrest. When she heard this she started crying again and told him she would love to live there, of all the places on Earth the chalet was her favorite, and so it was settled.

Albert stayed with Hannah in Munich for a fortnight as she settled her affairs and met with her parents, they heartedly approved of Albert. Then it was off to Strasbourg to meet Albert's parents who were overjoyed that Albert was finally getting married, and to such a lovely girl. While they were there Albert sold his house and his half ownership of Higglemier and Richter at a good price. He sold his Mercedes-Maybach S 560 4Matic, the 1939 Mercedes-Benz W31 type G4 and the Audi Q7 for slightly more than $4,000,000 Euros. Albert's working days were over, perhaps he'd garden as a hobby and Hannah would continue painting, not for the money but for the joy that it brought her. So towards the end of July they returned to the chalet and set up permanent housekeeping. They decided to have their reception at the chalet and were busy renting a floor of rooms at the local hotel, their parents would stay at the house along with Hannah's sister Anna and her husband. After the reception Albert and Hannah would fly to Hawaii for two weeks on Maui before they returned and settled down.

They had missed the July full moon, but on the rising of the August full moon they were once again sitting naked on their front deck with a bottle of champagne for themselves and an offering of a bowl of fresh fruit for their guests. As the moon rose there came the light fairies who once again did their magic dance. It wasn't too long before they notice the bowl of fresh fruit which they all flew around but didn't touch, then a male and female fairy flew over to Albert and Hannah and hovered and motioned to the bowl of fruit and Albert said, "Ja, meine Freunde, das ist alles fur dich. Bitte hilf dir selbst!" The pair bowed to Albert and Hannah and Hannah and Albert bowed in return and in a high pitched voice the male fairy said something and all the other fairies hovered over the bowl until the pair made their choices and when they had the rest joined in the feast as Albert and Hannah made a toast to the fairies saying, "Zum Wohl."

As before the fairies flew all around them, sometimes holding hands and flying in a circle. Albert and Hannah, as before, sat amazed but this time holding hands and when the fairies eventually landed and then paired up and went making love Albert and Hannah join them making love on the coach. When they came out of their love trance all the fairies were flying around them and watching their every move. When they sat up they heard what must have been a fairy cheer. What Hannah didn't know at the time was that she was now pregnant.

As before they sat and watched the fairies until the sun rose, but this time before they flew away they flew over to Albert and Hannah and all bowed to them, and, of course, Albert and Hannah returned the bow and said we wish you happiness and peace. And the fairies as one said the same thing back to them, but this time, Albert and Hannah heard them distinctly.

Before long September first came and Albert and Hannah were married and hosted their reception at the chalet. A great time was had by all including the light fairies who kept well hidden but enjoy the festival as well as the humans. 100 meters away on the edge of the forest the black fairies observed everything as well, In about three weeks time they would make their move on Albert and Hannah and would secured enough food to last them not only through the winter but through the next Autumnal Equinox.

An hour or so during the reception, Albert and Hannah made their escape and headed for the Munich airport, caught their airliner and awoke about an hour before they landed in Hawaii. They spent their first week flying here and there, seeing many things but they spent their second week laying on the beach under the shade of palm trees, with a Mai Tai in their hands watching the tide come in, and go out, the perfect honeymoon!

They arrived back in Germany the week before the Autumnal Equinox to find their house was in pristine condition as their parents and friends had cleaned up the mess and had set their garbage out and even collected their mail and trimmed the lawns. They spent most of that week going between their parents houses and shopping. On the day before the Autumnal Equinox they returned to the chalet and as the sun was setting a delegation of dark fairies headed by their King and Queen approached Albert and Hannah and invited them to a feast tomorrow night at their village.

Unlike the light fairies they were all dressed in business suits and long dresses and their voices could be clearly heard. It was their harvest festival and since Albert and Hannah were their new neighbors they thought it would be a friendly gesture to invite them to their feast.

Knowing only the light fairies, Albert and Hannah said they would be happy to attend and it was agreed that an hour or so before sunset they would return and guide them to their village. And so it was set.

The very next day Albert and Hannah were all excited about going to their fairies feast. What a wonderful place they had here in the forest, and wearing their best formal attire they eagerly awaited the coming of the dark fairies.

When the sun was in the low horizon they saw the same fairy delegation emerge from the woods so they walk up to meet them. When they entered the woods they came upon a well worn path and they followed it a mile or so until they came to the black fairy village. As they enter the village all the fairies walking in front of them move to the sides of the street just as a tree limb suspended buy ropes came swinging down and stuck them from behind knocking them down where upon the fairies sprang on them with ropes and tied them down.

Soon all the black fairies were dancing around and around them, chanting some rhyme. This went on for several minutes until the King and Queen came out of the long house and made their speech to their subjects about how their food supply was guaranteed for another year. Then they call for the executioners to come forth and slay the humans.

That was the last thing the dark fairy King and Queen ever said as all the light fairies attacked and killed them both as well as the executioners. While this was happening both Albert and Hannah were set free from their bonds and were guided out of the forest while the black fairy slaughter carried on. When they were through there wasn't a single black fairy alive. By the time the sun rose the entire village and all the dead black fairies had been thrown onto a funeral pyre and turn to ashes.

By the time the full moon rose both Albert and Hannah had been to the doctors and were in perfect shape, except for Hannah who found out she was pregnant. So when the moon rose and the light fairies came they had a feast and celebration like no other. And on the summer solstice Hannah gave birth to her son, Hans, and they all lived happily ever after!

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He Never Came Back
A Death Wish
The God
Hansel & Grethel Revisited
The Lady And The Dragon
The Trouble With Earthlings
Winky Tinky's Christmas Adventure

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