Aside from the hostile planes streaking towards his military base from the east, general Hearken thought the day was almost normal. The desert sun bore down on the american's hat like a lie on his conscience, though Hearken was already used to the latter. Even after two weeks in the Sahara desert, the constant streams of sweat running down the sides of his pale face still itched relentlessly, replenishing themselves as quickly as they could be wiped away. The heat was stupid.
The planes screamed in the distance, banking east to follow the line of solar towers and energy plants. Hearken kept his expression neutral as bombs fell from the planes, blasting the buildings into piles of rubble and sand. The rage Hearken would normally have felt was strangely absent. In its place was acceptance, bittersweet as well as satisfying. Guessing the enemy's strategies had been the highlight of the general's career, tainted only by the realization that the aforementioned strategies were virtually unstoppable.
Well, Hearken had a better trick up his sleeve. Turning his back to the explosions, he stepped inside the base without bothering to shut the door behind himself. He had more important things to do.
He had a fairy to interrogate.
As a display of power, Hearken had ordered the fairy to don a black jumpsuit instead of her usual blue gowns. In addition, he had made sure that she got one three sizes too large. She hadn't had a bath since she had been hung out in a sandstorm, leaving no part of her free of grit or dust,
Somehow, despite all those measures, her inherently glorious body radiated the regal, sure air of being in control. It left a taste in Hearken's mouth like fermented cabbage, or something like that. Bad feelings. Her hair was a tangled bundle of sandy, golden, perfect locks—just the kind of thing a fairy tale would own.
Staring at the Blue Fairy, Hearken tried to hide his nervousness.
The fairy leaned forward. "Why am I here?"
"Quiet," Hearken barked, "you are hardly in a position to offend me. I could kill you here and now, and your precious puppets would be the only ones to care."
"But general," the fairy continued boldly, "you need me for something. I consider myself completely safe." Her eyes searched his innocently. Hearken imagined a hint of malice hidden beneath the gaze, trying to make himself feel better about treating her so terribly.
“You aren’t, story spawn. I could kill you here and now. I may be more competent than you believe.” A brief moment of triumph.
“We shall see,” The blue fairy stated calmly, “who is the smartest between us. One day, everyone will see.”Hearken felt the threat beneath her words. This kind of situation was one he kept finding himself in, and regardless of the quantity of the incidents, it never became easier to deal with them. Superior officers, foreign leaders—and now fairies—they all intimidated the inner Hearken. The Hearken that always felt weak. Stupid.
“We have your puppet, fairy. Pinocchio.” It was his trump card.
The fairy raised her eyebrows. At her surprise, Hearken felt all his anxiety fall away. But no, it wasn’t surprise on her face. Her expression was flat, her eyes said nothing but that she was extremely unimpressed.
“Seriously?” Her incredulity made Hearken feel sick. “A puppet?”
Figuring it was safer to play tough, Hearken didn’t let her downplay the creature’s importance. It was important, wasn’t it?
“Yes, I have your creation, and he will be executed if you don’t tell us every detail about how your spell works. There is a paradox carved within his growing nose, and you won’t be free until we know how to harness that paradox. With every lie you tell, his chances of death grow. Speak carefully.”
The fairy laughed. It tinkled. Her laugh, that is. “I don’t care about Pinocchio. What, you think he’s unique—oh, I’ve made at least thirty, all of which managed to squander their potential for humanity, trading it for a spot on some woodman’s pile of logs. I’m honestly surprised Pinocchio survived as long as he did. It’s quite impressive really—”
“Quiet!” Hearken had heard enough. “If you say another thing that doesn’t relate to the paradox, and the paradox alone,” he added an extra warning tone, “I’ll make sure you never speak again.”
Again, she looked unimpressed.
“Fine, you stupid man, if you insist. There is no paradox.”
“Of course, I wouldn’t expect you to know that. You are trained in more military ways of thinking—”
“No, There must be.”
“But there isn’t. The fact is, his lie-detector nose doesn’t respond to statements that are simply true or false, no, it only grows when he lies.” Hearkens resolve crumbled more with every word that came from her mouth.
“So,” she continued patiently, “Since he doesn’t know what the result of that statement would be, he cannot lie in regards to it. It’s simple.”
“But then—but then we can have him say it, and then he will know, and then he can lie about it!”
“And then his nose would grow. Is your purpose in interrogating me simply that you want my poor wooden boy to have a large nose?”
Hearken didn’t have the words.
“Because that would be rude.”
Hearken couldn’t comprehend how he hadn’t realized…
“Well, if that’s all, I suppose I’ll be going now,” the fairy said with a giggle. “Have fun with your war.”
With these words, the fairy of blue flashed with blue light so brilliant that it was hardly blue, and more a white. The light compacted itself into a ball, which floated slowly away, leaving the prison jumpsuit, a pair of handcuffs, and a small dusting of sand on the flood of the interrogation cell.
Hearken watched her leave, helpless to stop her. This certainly wasn’t how he had expected the day to go.
And what was he supposed to do with Pinocchio now?
Author Notes: I'm honestly not sure whether I'm right or wrong about this. Is my logic sound? Also, this will never make sense without context, and since it really is derived from an inside joke of sorts.... Eh, it's meant to be confusing.
Mostly it's just really weird.....
I need help coming up with things to write about. The more vague the story prompt the better. Literally, anything you want me to try my hand at writing, I'll try it. (That's exaggeration, I won't do ANYTHING... I'll try most things.) Even just a feel, an emotion, or an aesthetic would be super helpful.
Also, what categories does this story fit into?