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TinkerVince

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“Oh Howard, this is genius!” Vince was ecstatic as he fluttered around.

Howard however, was not amused. He sat on the couch, with his arms folded, looking impossibly sour. On their latest fiasco, Vince had paid a girl to make Howard not cancel his birthday party. This girl happened to be Old Gregg in disguise. As the fish man revealed himself, Howard had replayed the roof’s events, barely convincing Old Gregg that he was already married... To no other than Vince.

With a half believable kiss they confirmed the lie once again. Old Gregg was horrifically mortified. He threw some powder from his pocket onto Vince, screamed some words about being too small to ever love his fuzzy little man peach and ran away. After all this chaos cleared, Vince had disappeared, or so Howard thought. On the floor was a tiny Vince, naked atop his clothes, sporting a pair of butterfly wings. And so was their current predicament.

“You can’t stay tiny forever Vince.” Howard sighed as Vince flew around his head, wearing a napkin.

“But Howard, look at me!” He swirled around, “This is amazing! I’m a freaking butterfly!”

Howard fanned him away from his face, “More like just a fly.”

“Oh you’re just upset that you’re not a fairy too.”

“Why on earth would I want to be a fairy?”

“Oh, you know...butterflies.”

“Ooh little butterfly, beautiful and dainty,
Get in my net and I’ll call you little lady.
The absolute completion to a faerie
Fluttering, fluttering around
Graceful and free
Monarch, Swallowtail
You all take the cake!”

“Well we better hope Naboo knows how to fix this.” Howard said dismissively. Vince was about to retort but he knew the real reason behind the other man’s mood. Howard had thought he finally found a girl that actually liked him only to have that impossible dream crushed. Vince knew Howard was actually deeply insecure, knew he thought he was forever alone. Yet no matter what Vince did or wore, Howard would never see him. Never see he actually wasn’t alone.

Naboo sauntered on in with a thick book in hand. He dropped it on the table, sitting down in front of the duo, “Alright, there are are a bunch of different things magic powders that Old Gregg could’ve used.” Vince landed onto the table.

“So how do we know?” Howard furrowed his eyebrows.

“C’mere Vince.” Naboo motioned to him. He stepped over daintily. Naboo wiped a finger on his bare arm and tasted it much to their surprise. “Yep, wish powder.” He opened the heavy book, browsing through.

“Wish powder?” Vince scrunched his nose up.

“Yeah, he probably had it to wish him an’ Howard up some fancy wedding.”

“So how do we fix him?” Howard eyed tiny Vince warily.

“You’ll have to get the witch that made it to give you some more.” Naboo explained, reading from the book.

“How do we find such a witch?” Howard asked, though in their universe it probably wasn’t hard at all.

“There’s one that specialises in magic powder.” Naboo explained, “She’s got an ad in here.” He tilted the book at them. ‘Make all your wishes come true with Madame Tutu’s magic powder. Find at your local Witches & Spencer. For more information call...’

“Oh, how convenient.” Howard muttered.

“But why? Being a fairy is great!” Vince interjected, “I could swim in smarties!”

“Have you forgotten your whole ‘bad things can happen to sunshine people too’ eh?” Howard asked nonchalant. “You could get squished or swatted or even electrocuted!”

“Oh come on Howard, that was a one time thing.” He leaned on one leg, jutting his tiny hip out, “What do you think Naboo?”

The shaman smiled, “Yeah, he is pretty cute.”

“Vince, you can’t stay tiny and that’s final.”

“What?” He threw his arms out, “You’re not my mum! I can stay tiny if I want!” He yelled as loudly as his small voice let him and flew off.

Naboo shook his head, “You’ve done it now Howard.”

...

Vince flew for about half an hour, flying was sure harder and much more tiring than it looked. He landed on a rock and sat down. Where was he? He never seen this murky looking place before. Then again, Howard always made sure he never got into the bad side of town. He missed Howard, even though it had only been thirty minutes. He felt guilty storming off like that and now, he was pretty much lost. He walked along the side walk sulkily, kicking at large pieces of dust ever so often. He came to a dead end, which led into some mysterious dark forest. Looking perplexed at this random forest in Dalston, he was unaware as he was surrounded by creepy looking critters; much like the crack fox’s friends.

He spun around seeing the animals closing in on him, filling his gut with impermissible dread.
...

Howard paced around in the Nabootique, as he always did when worried or deep in thought. He felt bad for being so stern with his little man, literally now. Maybe he was too harsh, fairy Vince was definitely cute to be honest. Very cute. The sunshine boy never separated himself for so many hours from him. Should he go look for him? No, Vince would still probably be mad. Where would he even be? He was so small now, can’t exactly pick him out of a crowd now.

But Howard moon was planner extraordinaire. He was even featured in The Guardian for his meal planning regimens. But now, he needed to put those planning skills to use once again!

...Howard sat on the couch, defeated, munching on an unhealthily large bag of corn chips and sipping on spiked lucozade. Vince would be back. And he’d find his own way back too! The tit. Tiny Vince would be more convenient in domestic terms but Vince... Was his best friend and he couldn’t have him squashed. Funerals for six inch butterfly people surely wasn’t a legal thing. Vince certainly wouldn’t want to be buried in some old shoe box and Howard couldn’t dig. He had to keep his slender, arms. The ladies loved those... So he heard.

Man worrying about Vince was stressful. Luckily, a 3 hour marathon of ‘Aggressive Stamp Collectors’ was announced, distracting him from his troubles.

“Oh yes.”
...

Before Vince knew it he was being bombarded with gifts from the dirty creatures. He sat on a mushroom as they lined up presenting forest-themed gifts to him. A squirrel make him a flower laurel with tiny blossoms, they were gloomy but lovely none-the-less. A kind of natural vintage junk art.

A little rat thing offered him it’s gift of a half eaten pinecone, “That’s...very quirky. Thanks.” He smiled and the critter beamed.

Vince waved goodbye at his new friends as he went back into his own jungle of concrete. With an acorn under his arm he hopped away happily. He dropped the nut and halted, peeping into an alleyway after hearing some familiar voice. Not like he needed to, being so small and all. There was the head shaman and three other men. Maybe he could tell him how to get back to town! He scurried into the alley excited, only to dash behind some garbage bags when the large one shoved the head shaman up against the wall.

“Where are me pounds, baldy?” One with golden skin stepped out, cockney accent thick. He was really handsome, Vince couldn’t point out exactly why though.

“I swear if you give me a little more ti-”

“Nah man, it don’t work like that.” He leaned into the senior shaman’s face, “You’re all out. Plus I heard it was you that killed some of me mates. With your big... Sabre.” He motioned with his golden hands

“Oh I, er...could be any other shaman...with a big sword- sabre. Sabre...”

“It don’ matta now. Your time is up old man. Fancy you pay with dem family jewels?” He grinned, displaying a pocket knife in Dennis’ face.

“No... Please... Think of my wife! She’s an extreme sports calendar model! I could get you free calenders for life!”

Vince watched the scene with wide eyes, gripping onto the garbage bag tightly. Little did he know there was a large tear in the bag, but he was too short to notice the gash above his head. Not feeling the movement, the bag slowly ripped until it reached a breaking pressure point. Vince and the smelly contents cascaded onto the ground. The shamans turned their heads simultaneously and Vince froze sprawled on the concrete. One of the four dealer shaman ran towards him, he was small and gross. Vince tried to fly away but he was a butterfly, not a bee. The short man grabbed him roughly and brought him over. He handed him to the other slender man, whose skin was silver.

“Vince!?” Dennis exclaimed in both shock and confusion.

“You know dis little thing?” The gold shaman asked, “This yours?” He looked at Dennis who said nothing.

He took Vince from silver face and shoved him into a brown bag, with the raven haired pixie kicking and screaming all the way. “Yeah, she’ll fetch a nice price on the market.” The little creepy one chimed dirtily.

Vince stopped his flailing, market? Sold?

“It seems your debt has been paid off Mr. Dennis.” Goldie said in a mocking tone as he was released from his choke grip.

As the men walked away Dennis became infuriated, he couldn't face Howard or Naboo...well Bollo mostly, without at least guiltlessly saying he tried. He pulled out his sword and charged at the back of the golden one’s head. With a flick of his hand Dennis was sent flying back into the wall.

“Oi, mate. I’m a drug dealer. You think I won’t be off me tits on shaman juice all de time?”

The small one croaked, “Yeah, if you wasn’t a dealer maybe even you could be head shaman!” There was a tense two second pause before they erupted in laughter.

“Shaddup then.” They silenced. “My mum’s makin’ me and Silvio dinnah, we’ll be late now cause ah dis fool.” He gestured to the bleeding man with a hand. He looked at them, but not their faces, defeated. They left with Vince, The gold one asking them about microwavable foods on the way.

Dennis sat in the ground, helpless as they took Vince away.

...

He sighed as he entered the Nabootique. The bells chimed as he walked in. Howard came out in a rush, looking from extremely expectant to extremely confused and a little bit silly with crumbs all in his mocha-stache.

“Dennis?” He paused, “What are you doing here?” He took a step forward, throwing away the question, “Have you seen Vince by any chance? He went off in a fit earlier and he hasn’t come back yet and it’s already night and he hates being alone in the da-”

“Yes.” He replied flatly, making Howard’s worried rambling cease.

“What, really? Where is he?”

“Um... Well you see...”