in Featured/Poetry/Stories and Poems

Darren Tanian stared wide-eyed at the party planner, a short bald man in a green polo and khakis named Chico. Darren said, “What do you mean I’m not getting paid?”

“You didn’t deliver.”

Darren frowned. He patted the sides of his black slacks. “I got the tracking number, let me call them.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

Darren checked the pockets on his hip-long peacock brocaded blue yukata. “I’m sure I paid the correct postage.”

Chico sighed. “Darren”

“Maybe it was too big to ship.”


“Maybe it’s stuck in customs.”


Darren stared at Chico. “You don’t have to shout,” He took a drag from his quellazaire and exhaled a gray vapor. “I heard you the first time.”

Chico glared at him. “You were hired to perform some magic.”

Darren waved his quellazaire in the air like a magic wand. “Which I did.”


Darren blinked. “What about the flowers I pulled out of my sleeve?”


“Or the rabbit out of that straw hat that lady was wearing?”


“Not even the flaming lasagna in the toilet?”

“I still have no idea how you did that, but no.”

Darren gave him a puzzled look. “What do they call magic where you’re from?”

Chico let out a loud sigh. “You were hired to magically produce a three foot tall pink and yellow talking unicorn elephant for Timmy’s surprise birthday party. You promised me you would do it.”

Darren showed him his hands. “Didn’t I deliver?”

“You did not deliver,” Chico said. “A courier ‘delivered it ‘… in a box!”

Darren smiled, “I thought that would be cute.”

“Cute?” Chico picked up a pink and yellow unicorn elephant stuffed animal by the wrist and flailed it around in the air. “You think this is cute?!”

“Hey!” The stuffed animal said, “You wave me like that again, I’ll show you something cute!”

Scott Rodrigues is a writer of speculative fiction with a fond interest in fantasy, high adventure, days past and days yet to come. His favorite authors are Donald E. Westlake, Spider Robinson, and George MacDonald Fraser. He resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.


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