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Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Finance · #2318127
Watch out for that Troll toll!
He had tried every curse at his disposal but the IRS Trolls had grown too powerful to resist. There wasn’t magic strong enough to avoid the paperwork. He swiped off a layer of magic dust from his desk and flopped a stack of disheveled papers onto the glittery residue.

“What's taking her so long? She should have been here hours ago,” he grumbled. The bell at his front door tinkled and a short, stout woman flew in tsking her tongue.

“Did you really have to lock Tinkerbell in that awful glass jar?”

“She knew what she was getting into when she made a deal with me,” he said, waving away the disapproval reflecting behind her wire glasses. “She, of all creatures, should know by now that all magic comes with a price.”

“Well, then,” her sigh was heavy as she sank into a wooden chair and folded her wings neatly behind her back. “Let’s get started, shall we? Welcome to Fairy Godmother’s Tax Services—”

“I know who you are, dearie. I’m the one who called you! Can we skip past the formalities and get this over with?”

The Fairy Godmother pinched the bridge of her nose. She could feel a migraine niggling at the back of her eyes. “Would you rather I send the Magic Mirror to help you with your tax needs?”

He flinched, sending a few of the papers floating to the dirty floor. “That rhyming moron? No, dearie, I’ll stick with you. Besides, I procrastinated and can’t wait any longer. This needs to be done today.”

“Then please bear with me as I go through the proper Fairy Tale Tax Service protocols. Now, as I said, Welcome to…”

He drifted off, bored. He couldn’t help it. As Fairy Godmother went over the long history of the IRS Trolls and how every fairy tale creature had fallen under the curse of paying the toll, or else! he leaned back, rested his heels on his desk, and studied his library with satisfaction. Every dusty book held a story of a bargain he had managed to trick, cajole, or sweet-talk his way into. He glanced at the one dingy window in the room, wondering if there was enough time after this unfortunate meeting to see a man about a pair of glass slippers...


He snapped back to attention, allowing his chair to thump back in place and his boots hit the floor.

“Aye, dearie! I have a few dependents to claim.”

Fairy Godmother licked the end of her feather quill pen and nodded. “How many, exactly?”

“I have nine firstborns. Forgotten most of their names. Scamps are lurking around here somewhere…” He smirked at the perplexed look on her face.


“Aye, dearie. Amazing how many maidens are willing to give up their firstborn child for a bit of magic, eh?” He opened a fist and blew a puff of glittery powder at her face. The Fairy Godmother coughed and brushed the magical dust from her chest.

“This is your second warning,” she frowned. “I’m here for a job. Be professional or I send in the Mirror.”

He ducked his head to hide his grin. “My apologies, dearie. Old habits.”

“Now then, it seems everything is in order except for one thing.” She raised an eyebrow and leaned forward, pen ready to write. “Your name.”

“My name?” he repeated stupidly.

“Yes. It’s the last piece of pertinent, prerequisite paperwork—”


He could tell he’d riled her by the way the Fairy Godmother’s wings fluttered.

“Look,” he held out his hands to calm her before she turned him into a pumpkin...or worse. “I can’t tell you my name. I never tell anyone my name. They have to guess it. And only one lass has ever managed to trick and name me so…” He shrugged but the memory still grated. By all rights he should have ten firstborns to claim on these fool taxes.

The Fairy Godmother’s eye twitched. The migraine was beginning to roar. “If you’re suggesting I guess your name then we’ll be here past deadline.”

He rubbed his chin. That wouldn’t do at all. Though he imagined he could have quite a bit of fun at the Fairy Godmother’s expense if she were stuck with him for days. He might even be able to finagle a deal out of her to increase his magic.

“The IRS Trolls aren’t known for their patience,” the Fairy Godmother said, slapping the quill down on the stack of papers.

“Perhaps a pseudonym?” he blurted, thinking fast. “What if you called me...Tim?”

“Is that your name?” She narrowed her eyes suspiciously and he laughed.

“Of course not! It’s against my code to tell you my real name. But for tax purposes, perhaps you could scribble down my name as Tim?”

Her sigh was long and drawn out. “Fine.” She picked up the feather quill. “’T. I. M.’, yes?”

“Don’t forget the question mark,” he reminded.

Another long sigh. “’T. I. M. ?’ Is this correct.”

“Right as rain, dearie!” Tim? crowed.

“Now, uh, Tim? It appears you owe a toll to the IRS Trolls—”

“Aye, who doesn’t?” Tim? groaned. “The only ones that ever get away without paying the toll are the Gruff Brothers! I’m pretty sure they work as the Troll's lackeys…” he trailed off when he caught the Fairy Godmother’s glare.

“As I was saying, it appears you owe three pounds of gold this year, Tim?” She stood and slipped his paperwork into a satchel before hooking the handles over her shoulder. She unfurled her wings. “Payment is expected by sundown tomorrow.”

“You’ll have it,” Tim? growled as she fluttered out of the room. Tinkerbell chimed the Godmother’s exit as he slammed a fist against the desk. It appeared he’d be missing out on meeting with Prince Charming for a pint at Once Upon a Time Tavern and, instead, be spending his evening spinning straw into gold.

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall...
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