Pizza the fairy hated her job. She visited the people of New York at night and left them dreams of pepperoni and sausage. It wasn't always an easy job. She'd been shot at several times, and once a pudgy jerk had clipped one of her wings with a lucky shot.
She approached the apartment with care. Pizza whispered a spell under her breath to hide her scent from dogs, and then she flew up the side of the building until she found the right window. Her boss had told her which room to go to, and she made sure she had exactly the right family. She knew she would be punished if she failed.
She opened the window almost silently, and she crept inside. Pizza followed the snores to a small bedroom. An enormous couple filled the bed, and the man grumbled and scratched himself in his sleep.
She crept close and pulled out her wand. "Half off every Tuesday at Peppertoni's. You want a large pizza really bad." She looked around the ugly apartment. "You want to redecorate too," she said, and left.
As she made her rounds, Pizza became angrier with each stop. She had been the servant of wizards and the confidant of kings, and now some jerk had her conning fat people into eating his Pizza. He even insisted on calling her Pizza, and since he had summoned her, that was her name. He hadn't even summoned her properly. He wasn't any kind of decent wizard; he just happened to rub the old statue his aunt had left to him. He didn't know that it was her summoning totem. He thought he was just polishing a family heirloom. Stupid jerk.
She made her way back to her master's house, avoiding the stupid human cattle and dangerous large rats. She missed fighting wrongs for heroes or helping evil geniuses. Either one was fun. This was just degrading. She crawled in through the cat-door and made her way to the shoe-box Toni had provided for her bed. Her last mistress had been Toni's aunt, and Pizza had slept under a miniature hand-made quilt with pearl buttons. She had been a proper witch. His Aunt Bernie had called her Princess Tiny. It was a much better name than Pizza.
"Did it work?" Toni asked. "Will they really come?"
"Yeah, they'll come," she said. "Fat lot of good it'll do you though. Your food is awful."
"What do you know about it anyway?" Toni asked. "It's good pizza. We just need some business to start us off is all."
"It's all covered in meat. Gross," Pizza said. "How long are you going to make me do this anyway? I want to move on to someone else who has a better idea on how to use me than to make me be a salesman."
"When I get enough profits to open another store, I'll let you go. Until then, you're mine, so you better show some respect."
"Whatever. I'm bored. Go away."
Toni left, and Pizza lay in her bed thinking about how to get out of this situation. All over the world fairies were doing important secret work for master craftsmen, world leaders, mad scientists, and all she got was a crappy pizza dive. There had to be a way out.
The next day she hid in the pizzeria watching the fat slobs she'd lured in eat like the pigs they were. The couple she'd told about the half-off deal was there. It wasn't even half-off day yet, but they were stuffing their faces with grease. Pizza watched the woman's neck fat jiggle as she took another bite, barely chewed, and swallowed loudly.
Pizza cried in the corner, pitying herself. Right now her family would be sitting down to dinner, maybe having stewed mushrooms with fresh bread and buttered carrots. There would be fresh dandelion wine, and her sister Pauline might have brought some French delicacy. Her master was kind enough to let Pauline visit her family for dinner and special occasions. Her father always had a story about the times he had spent serving Queen Elizabeth I, the Fairy Queen herself.
The guy wiped his mouth on his sleeve and pulled his chair back from the counter with a loud screech. They left, and Pizza knew they wouldn't be coming back. Even though they had gulped two pizzas between them, she'd heard the woman say the food was greasy. Tricking fat people wasn't working. She needed people who cared less about what the food tasted like. If she was going to get out of here, she had to get Toni more customers so he could open his second store. She hoped he drowned in marinara sauce.
As she made her rounds that night Pizza passed a coffee shop. She paused to soak in the smell of espresso. Pizza loved coffee. She decided to sneak in a steal a drink. As she was making her way through the shadows she listened to the people talking.
"So then I said, of course the government's trying to take over, and if you don't believe me…"
"Yeah, yeah," another man said. "Always with the government trying to take over. It's the Masons you gotta worry about. They're running the government."
A large man belched and said, "you guys don't know nothing. It's all the mole peoples' fault. They're still running things. I know. I got a source."
Pizza left with her stolen coffee - a tiny thimble of espresso. She had a plan; she just had to get Toni to fall for it. She did her fat people tricking for the night and went back to Toni's place to get some rest. Tomorrow was going to be a busy day.
The store was empty the next day, but she hadn't really put much into her work the night before. "See, the fat people aren't working. Let me find you customers my way, and you might get some better luck here." She drummed her feet against the stainless steel counter and tried to look innocent.
"And how do I know you'll be helping me?" Toni asked. "You ain't liked me since we met."
"You said that when you can get enough profits I'm out of here, so I want you to succeed." It was kind of true. She couldn't directly disobey him. She could warp his words; that was actually encouraged in fey society. She would have the best stories when she got home. Even her father would want to hear about what she was about to pull on Toni.
"Yeah, well, don't try nothing."
"I'll do exactly what you told me to do," she said. "All you need to do is make sure there's plenty of coffee."
"What's coffee have to do with pizza?" he asked.
"You'll see," she said, and she hid under a counter as a customer came into the store. She took the time spent under the counter to rearrange all the pans to that they would fall out when Toni opened the door, just because it made her happy to pull pranks.
Later she followed the coffee shop customers to their homes and memorized where they lived. When they were asleep, she crept up to them. "Toni at Peppertoni's believes like you believe. Eat his pizza and he will stop whatever you think is after you, or he'll help you with whatever cause you're into. Half-off on Tuesdays. All the coffee you can drink. Bring your friends."
She worked hard that night, and didn't get home until dawn. Toni was up and waiting for her. "I thought you'd run off," he said.
"You know I can't do that," she said.
"So where were you all night?" he asked.
"Working. You should have a lot of customers today," she said. "I think you'll be surprised."
They did have a lot of customers. It was half-off Tuesday, and the place was full. People stood in line outside the door waiting to get in, but they didn't mind. They just had to have this pizza.
Pizza watched her master scramble around the kitchen, trying to fill all the orders. He'd called in two nephews and his sister, and he could still barely keep up. She made her way to the front to watch the chaos.
A man with a shirt that said, "we won't forget," was talking to a waitress about how 911 was the result of alien intervention to save the planet. The waitress tried to get away, but he just kept talking. Most of the customers were having more or less friendly arguments about government, aliens, Elvis, or other conspiracies. They all had a solution to "the problem". They all believed they were God's truth sayers. This was going well.
That night she watched as Toni cleaned up the place. "So I did alright?" she asked.
"Alright? You did awesome! Those were some weird people though."
"Well, you didn't specify," she said.
The next day was even better. There was an hour wait just to get a table. The babble inside was deafening, but the customers didn't seem to mind. They were surrounded by cheap food, lots of coffee, and a fairy-induced feeling that Toni believed them.
In two weeks they had too many customers. There was a fight outside the store between a man who shouted that Mason's were running the country and another man who thought black helicopters were the real problem. The police were called, and Pizza roared with laughter as she watched bearded paranoid men running every direction. She knew it was time to make her move.
"You're making a lot of money, right?" she asked Toni after everyone else had left.
"Yeah," he said. "You're not getting any. You know that, right?"
"I don't need you're stinky money," she said. "I just want to go home."
"I don't think I'm letting you go," Toni said. "You're useful. I want you to stick around until I can open a third place."
"That wasn't our deal," she said. "I've kept our bargain. You have to keep your promise and release me."
"I don't have enough money to open a second place just yet," Toni said.
"Yes, but you have enough prophets," Pizza said.
"I don't have enough profits yet," Toni said.
"Sure you do. You can't even fit all the prophets in the building," she said. She could barely keep from laughing.
"What are you talking about?"
"You know, the prophets you asked for: harbingers of doom, foreseers, those who say what's going to happen in the future."
"You little lying tramp. That's not what I meant and you know it."
She smiled, making sure to show her pointed teeth. "Next time you should be more careful how you say things. I've kept the deal, so let me go."
"Or what?" he asked.
"Or I'll get revenge, along with my family. You don't mess with the fairy code. We have to keep our promises, and our masters do too. We'll start with lots of biting and then move on to spells. I know some nasty spells. How do you feel about itching until your skin falls off, or dancing in the street until you fall down dead?"
"Fine," he said. "I don't need you anymore, anyway."
That was enough. She had been formally released by her master. "See you never," she said, and vanished.
She wasn't finished with Toni yet though. She spent the next couple days going to each "prophet" as they were sleeping. She leaned into each of their ears and whispered, "Toni is the anti-Christ."
Before she went home, she stopped by Toni's house. She whispered in his ear," tomorrow you're going to argue with every customer. Have fun with that, Toni. That will teach you not to name me Pizza."