This story appeared in the 2016 Tiny Books zine, “Little Things: Lives in Miniature.”
I have a fairy box. The box is about the size of a walnut. (If there were woodworkers who made walnut furniture out of walnuts, they would have made this box.) The fairy carved into the top has a bag full of stars by their side. They are either plucking stars out of the sky or placing them there. Either way, it doesn’t look like there are very many stars left.
I say “top” because it’s also a puzzle box. Like a walnut, it has no visible seams or cracks. It has no lid, but it can be opened. I shake it, and it makes no sound. It’s a box for keeping secrets in. The fairy, I think, would disagree; if I fill the box with secrets, where else will they put all the stars they are collecting?
It must be a very small secret, at any rate. I know what’s inside, because once you learn how to open the fairy box, you never forget. I’ll tell you: it’s a fortune from a fortune cookie. It tells me my lucky numbers. The fairy box holds the future!
I close it again, because the contents of the fairy box have failed to live up to expectations. But how do you open it? That, I won’t tell you.