The reason you don’t see many fairies these days is because they were hunted to near extinction centuries ago. As it turns out, they’re quite a delicacy. The wings are crisp like fried chicken skin, the flesh is tangy, and the fairy dust makes for great seasoning on just about any meat. People would put fairies in salt shakers and carry them around just to sprinkle some dust on roasting barbecue, or maybe to dash on the tongue after a shot of tequila. Further, of course, fairies acted as pleasant, natural light sources, and could be found in town lamps before the fairies became rare and were replaced by electric bulbs for the sake of efficiency.
Fairies live under mushrooms, as everyone knows, so farmers would cultivate mushroom fields not for the mushrooms themselves, but to act as traps for fairies. The trick was to wait weeks, if not months at a time for the fairies to settle, breed, and form villages. Once a fairy state society was formed, the fairies would be ripe for picking. Pickers would come in the night, find the mushrooms with little lights beneath them, and pluck fairies out from under, stuffing them into jars one by one. Once cultivation methods and technologies advanced, farmers would set up giant sticky-nets above their mushroom harvests and loose their dogs into the fields. The fairies would fly up, get caught in the netting, and taken to be slowly peeled free so as not to lose the wings.
Nowadays, fairy poachers search day and night under every mushroom imaginable to find fairies and sell them to wealthy overseas gourmands or businesspeople’s children for pets. But despite efforts to curb poaching, fairies continue to die by the hand of curious schoolboys and schoolgirls who search just as fervently for fairies as the poachers, and accidentally kill their winged friends trying to catch them.
No one knows how many wild fairies are left in the world. Soon they may be gone forever, a sad reminder of humanity’s continuing destructive affect on all other life on Earth.
Day 320’s three random writing prompt categories were, “Looking under mushrooms for fairies,” “‘Take it with you’,” and “Meat.”
Even though I know this is fiction, I’m kind of mad at humanity for killing all the fairies.