The Angry Laughing Man
The street was quiet for 10 AM on a Tuesday in the city of Chicago. Standing on the sidewalk, barely the size of most other people’s ankles, Acorn the Brownie took a deep breath and sighed. What was they going to do now? It had all gone terribly wrong.
Kicking a small pebble, Acorn began pacing across the large square of cracked cement towards the lamppost and the smelly, dirty street.
The plan had been simple and now has Acorn’s siblings had really messed it up. They looked up as a trio of faeries escaped through the front door of the Lucky Devil bar, still screeching from their triumphant attack on the florist troll inside. Acorn didn’t understand why they had done that. Christopher seemed nice enough. He even had helped Acorn my their wish to the Lucky Devil.
Acorn sat down on a broken chunk of concrete near the edge of the sidewalk, dropping their head in their little hands.
“But how did Ms. Rune get it?” they asked themselves outloud. It truly was a disaster.
Acorn didn’t see the strange man until he dropped his large bag next to the little brownie, giving Acorn a terrible fright.
“Ahh!” they screeched, jumping away from the orange and black neon fabric that now made a wall twice as tall as the little Fae.
“Oh! I’m sorry,” a deep voiced man cried, pulling the bag away quickly. It didn’t matter, Acorn had already vanished themself before dashing straight for the black metal of the light pole.
“Hey, hey, where did you go, little guy?” The man called, his large hand sweeping in the space between his bag and the lightpole. “You’re still there right? It’s not safe for someone like you to be running around out here.”
Just before the strange man’s hand brushed over the spot Acorn was cowering, he lifted it up to his ear.
“No I am not talking to you, Malachi, I almost squashed a Fae. She has Fae in the bar, it’s a thing. No the little ones, it’s a thing. Yes, it’s a thing. Will you go back to being a silent voice in my ear, I need to find him.”
“I’m not a him!” Acorn shouted. The man’s green eyes focused closer to where Acorn’s voice came from as the little Fae dared to look back, having blown their Fae glamor. His wore a brown jumpsuit with the name Dave embroidered over the left breast side. He also had a cap pulled low on his forehead.
“You’re not who?” he asked.
That’s when Acorn recognized the man. “Hey! I know you! You’re that guy. The angry man who laughs.” Realizing the man was familiar, Acorn dropped their glamor. The Angry Laughing Man’s eyes grew round with surprise as the little Fae appeared. Acorn couldn’t help but giggle. “Your a friend of Ms. Leveau’s!”
“Right, I remember you.” The Angry Laughing Man lowered his hand for Acorn to crawl onto. “What are you doing out here? Acorn right?”
“I’m a defender of justice!” Acorn declared, firmly.
“Does justice need defending out here in front of the bar?” he asked seriously.
“No! Behind the bar!” Acorn crossed their arms and sat down crisscross applesauce on the palm of the man’s hand. “There is a darkness that lurks there that is a danger to all Fae kind!”
“What kind of darkness?”
Acorn cocked their head to the side. “Why do you want to know?” they asked suspiciously.
“Maybe I can help?”
Acorn glanced down at the bag on the sidewalk. “And what are you doing here, Angry Laughing Man?”
“What did you call me?”
Acorn blinked, “Angry Laughing Man.”
“My name is St. Benedict, you could call me that.”
“That’s not your name,” Acorn insisted.
Angry Laughing Man blinked at that. “Is it true what they say about Faeries?”
“What do they say about Faeries?”
“That they can see lies?”
“How do you see a lie? Lies are a sound thing?”
Angry Laughing Man laughed. “Alright, you got me there. How about this, if you call me Angry Laughing Man, I’m going to call you Brace Little Warrior. Deal?”
“Ooo, I like that!” Acorn popped up onto their feet. “It’s a deal!”
“Now Brave Little Warrior, tell me all about the darkness in the alley?”