Every Orphan Child to a Good Home Should Go
by Karlo Yeager Rodriguez
I couldn't help glancing at the hourglass when Mr. and Mrs. Bumpkin shuffled into my office. A few moments more and I would have closed up and been at the tavern down the street. The wisp that had led them in flared and winked out with the sound of tinkling bells.
I took a deep breath. Best to get right down to it, then. The girls might mock me for being late to our after-work get-togethers, but as a fairy godmother at Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather Adoption Services, my work was serious business.
Witching Hour is what they called it: two-for-one drinks down at the tavern. My wand looked forlorn in the umbrella stand, under my hat.
I straightened my nameplate on the desktop, nodded a greeting at the couple who stood at the door, then gestured at the chairs in front of my desk.
"I'll be with you in a moment."
Mr. Bumpkin bowed, but he remained standing behind his wife, hat in hand.
I pinched the air, and the old married couples' file poofed into my hand. I scanned over it while they goggled at this small display of magic. I tamped down a chuckle. It was pure showmanship. I'd pored over their file all last night, expecting them to show early in the morning.
"So, you wished for a child," I said to open the conversation. They traded glances before Mr. Bumpkin ventured a nod.
"That would be right, Mizz--" He squinted at my nameplate.
"Merryweather," I said. "Comma Flavia J. At your service."
I gave a slight bow, dipped a hand into my pocket and pulled out a clear pebble, which I placed atop my desk. Mr. and Mrs. Bumpkin cooed as it grew into my crystal ball. Good thing they didn't clap, too. I wasn't sure what I would have done if they had clapped.
"This is the child you wished for," I said. Mr. and Mrs. Bumpkin peered into the crystal ball. A scrawny kid swam into focus.