The Story Behind the Stories
Selections from the Wolfmonth Catalog of the Fairyland Regional Fürni Store by Josh Pearce
There's a chain of big box stores selling DIY prefabricated hushållsprodukt, displayed in
little vignettes of completely furnished apartments where one can see demonstrations of clever
space-saving tips that will allow a family of four to live in a 300 sq. ft. home together.
There's something oddly magical about stumbling upon a bright, cheery domestic scene in
the middle of a furniture warehouse, as if it has just been recently abandoned especially for you.
The beds are made, the dishes are put away. You could see yourself living within there, if you
simplified enough, got rid of all your worldly possessions, transcended. It's a mass-produced
magic. Not the magic of finding a place previously unfound, but the magic of making modular,
personalized pocket universes.
And there are decorative books in these staged rooms written in gibberish (or perhaps
pseudo-Swedish) like the magical (pseudo-Latin) incantations of Harry Potter. And that's where I
found this story, encoded somewhere in that text.
The what if? was easy--all the enchanted furniture from our favorite fantasies and science
fictions available in a single catalog but with their magic diluted through mass-production and
monoculture. The product names just took a quick hash through Google Translate.
What would we do with domestic magic if it were so readily available? Cleaning house
like Cinderella. Making a cake like Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather. Interior decorating. Nesting
habits. The right little combination of spells to make everything just perfect.
The blonde girl's teeth and the scarecrow were both late additions to the story. I had my
wisdom teeth taken out sometime between drafts and the hygenist let me take them home in a
little plastic bag even though she wasn't supposed to. They're pinned up on a corkboard above my
writing desk now. I added the scarecrow because one editor said the protagonist needed to protag
more so I figured he (or she) would need an antagonist. It took me longer than it should have to
come up with furniture hacking the brooms into a scarecrow, though!
This is a portal fantasy, of course. In my fantasy, all portals lead to secret gardens. I live in
suburban sprawl, so the most magical thing is finding a quiet little corner of wooded area to sit in.
I did have a cat for a long time. Didn't know him quite longer than I did my brother, but
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