By Justine Champine

By the second day, Brunhilda had grown bored and had enormous regret over drinking the grenadine. She’d already polished all the stones in her jewelry box and re-read the books stacked on the nightstand and gave herself a manicure, then she pulled all the loose threads from her throw rug and from them wove another much smaller rug. That night, as she was falling asleep, she wished aloud for an end to the agonizing stomach cramps. 

In the morning, the cramps had not subsided but there was a small, green creature at the side of her bed. It looked like a little child, but had tiny curled horns like a ram and could speak and walk like any grown person. Good morning, it said, I heard your wish. Brunhilda stared at the creature. I can fix you for a


small price, it continued. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes and yawned. She still felt very ill from the spoiled grenadine. The creature pulled a scroll of paper from behind its back and extended it toward Brunhilda, you just have to sign here, it explained, pointing its slender little finger at a blank space toward the bottom. She read the contract over. What’s this about my first born? She asked. The creature shook its head, opened its mouth to say something, but Brunhilda crumpled up the contract and tossed it to the side. Get real, she told it. Fine, the creature continued, how about that bottle of nail polish on your nightstand? I’m very fond of the shade. Brunhilda sighed and rolled her eyes up to the ceiling, This color is discontinued, she groaned. 

In the end, an agreement could not be reached and the little creature disappeared in a puff of smoke. Brunhilda recovered but lost all tolerance for the taste of grenadine.