Faerie.

The tutor group sat motionless, staring open mouthed at the winged figure.

Truth was they couldn’t help do anything else as they were all in the creature’s thrall, even the veritable Professor Armstrong, who hadn’t managed to cast Dispell in time.

Elsie Cottingley had innocently brought the Little Book of Faerie Magick along to one of the Professor’s evening sessions, little knowing that her esteemed mother and practitioner of the art, Lucretia, had trapped a genuine one between the pages. She had originally intended to dispose of the creature but being somewhat absent-minded forgot, and her daughter, eager to impress, brought the tome to the university, unwittingly bringing the malevolent imp with it.

Fairies, true faeries, are not the diminutive beauties in diaphanous clothing so beloved of Victorian artists or the illusions manufactured by party conjurors for children, they are very unpleasant indeed! The only thing it had in common with Tinkerbell were insectile wings, it also had the fly’s eyes to go with them. The fairy flew around the charmed captives cackling loudly, the Professor’s favourites were all present. Derek, Gwennie, Esther, Elsie, Jennifer Pendragon and Jamie Kirk the only exception being Trevor Wilkins, the current beau of Esther, inconstant as usual.

The fairy flittered on iridescent wings stopping to fart loudly in Derek’s face then tying Esther’s long blonde locks to the back of the chair before nestling in Gwennie’s ample bosom. After a while it fluttered out of her low-cut top making a lewd suggestion before grabbing Elsie’s glasses and dashing them to the floor. After pouring ink down Jennifer’s expensive dress the malevolent sprite gave Jamie a wedgie before stealing Professor Armstrong’s neatly folded handkerchief from the breast pocket of his tweed suit. Blowing its nose loudly the creature stuffed the soiled silk back before flying across to the large oak desk, finding a dagger shaped paper knife it held the weapon aloft hovering before the door pondering on what to do next. The fairy had had its fill of schoolboy pranks and now it was time to do some real damage. It was hovering by the door, evilly eyeing the transfixed group and testing the sharpness of the blade when the door flew open to slam against the wall, squashing the fairy behind it.

“Sorry I’m late sir, I accidentally locked myself in the supply cupboard,” announced Trevor breathlessly.

As the door swung back the tutor group, now free from fairy charm, peered at the jammy red mess smeared on the professor’s study wall.

“Better late than never Wilkins,” said a relieved Armstrong.