I had a (very) different ending in mind at first - I'm not usually this moony, har-dee-har - but the puck apparently had a different idea about his motives than I did. Very headstrong folk, them pucks. Scoundrels first...
by Pia Newman
The sky had been clouded during the past three full moons, so I hadn’t been able to collect any moonbeams. By now I was running perilously low - and the puck knew it. He would try to stop me from harvesting tonight. If he succeeded, my shields would run out before the next full moon and he could simply waltz into my den and steal my precious fairy dust. He’d been trying to do so for years, though he had yet to best me with his trickery.
Tonight’s moonlight electrified me. I couldn’t help but dance and float and twirl across the canopy of trees, despite the pending puck-peril. Moonbeams caught in my wings and hair, lighting me up like a silver flame.
“Hello Enchanté,” the puck greeted me, climbing from the highest branch onto the canopy’s ethereal landscape. He couldn’t fly, but he was agile and attractive nonetheless.
“Hello Rob,” I said, dancing past him, feigning indifference to his presence.
He watched me, eyes sparkling like the stars. “I see you’re busy collecting your moonbeams.”
Indeed, my wings were almost full with the first batch.
I twirled closer, almost touching. “What’s your trick this time?” I asked, brushing a finger along his jaw, teasing. Now his eyes sparkled with my reflection.
He held out a hand. “Dance with me.”
I spun away, laughing. “Seduction won’t work. You’re handsome, but no match for Luna tonight.”
“I’m no match for you,” he corrected. “You have conquered me.”
“How so, oh Mighty Trickster?”
“I have no more tricks,” he said. “You’ve seen through every one and thwarted me. Now I must try something I have no experience with: honesty.”
Intrigued, I stopped dancing. This ought to be good.
She didn’t believe me. I could read the incredulous ridicule in her beautiful eyes. If she knew my true motivation - making her mine - she’d laugh in my face. Who would ever trust a puck? Especially in love. Pucks fell in lust, not love. Except this one.
I pulled five strips of silk out of my pocket. Moonbeams clung to them, so thick they basically dripped off the fabric. “This is a night’s worth of harvest,” I said. “I shall give it to you in exchange for enough fairy dust to last me one dance with you.”
“You tried to steal my fairy dust so you could dance with me?” she asked. Truly, it sounded silly when put that way. But what can I say? I’m a scoundrel first, a rational being second.
“I have something to tell you,” I explained, “but you’ll never believe my words. You might believe in my honesty if we danced. But a puck dancing with a fairy is like pairing a butterfly with a dung beetle. I would only weigh you down. To truly dance with you, I need to be able to fly.”
“Why would dancing with you convince me of your honesty?”
“You’ll feel the truth in my touch.”
He was right.