Accidental Comedian: An Otherworld Mysteries Short Story

Accidental Comedian

Accidental Comedian
Accidental Comedian

Alex stumbled through the shimmering portal, clutching his crystal. He stared at it dumbfounded, his mind reeling. Eira and Dafydd had never mentioned that the portal could lead to other worlds! He’d assumed they only transported one through time and space on Earth.

As he took in his surroundings—an ethereal glade filled with giggling sprites and fluttering fairies—Alex couldn’t help but feel a twinge of panic. How was he supposed to get back home? He shook his crystal at the portal. Nothing. He shook harder.

“Open sesame!” The portal stubbornly ignored him. He was trapped.

A snort drew his attention to a tree to his right where a sprite was half-hidden by its trunk.

“Um, excuse me,” he stammered, addressing a nearby sprite, “I think there’s been a mistake. I’m not supposed to be here.”

The sprite giggled, a sound like tinkling bells. “Oh, don’t be silly! Everyone’s supposed to be in the Otherworld. It’s the most fabulous place in all the realms!”

Alex blinked, trying to process this information. “Right. Fabulous. But, uh, how do I get back to the, er, regular world?”

A group of fairies fluttered over, their iridescent wings shimmering in the sunlight. As they drew nearer, they grew until they were nearly Alex’s height. “Why would you want to go back?” one asked, tilting her head curiously. “We have much more fun here! There’s dancing, and singing, and endless supplies of nectar!”

Alex’s stomach growled at the mention of food. “I don’t suppose you have any pizza in the Otherworld?”

The fairies exchanged confused looks. “What’s a pizza?” one whispered loudly.

Alex sighed. “Never mind. Look, I appreciate the invitation, but I really need to get back. I have important, ah, human things to do.”

The sprites and fairies huddled together, whispering excitedly. Finally, one stepped forward, a mischievous glint in her eye. “We’ll make you a deal. If you can make us laugh with one of your human jokes, we’ll show you the way back.”

Alex gulped. Joke-telling wasn’t exactly his forte. But desperate times called for desperate measures. “Okay, here goes. Why don’t scientists trust atoms?” He paused dramatically. “Because they make up everything!”

Silence. The fairies and sprites stared at him blankly. Alex’s heart sank. He was doomed to be stuck in the Otherworld forever, living off nectar and dreaming of pizza.

Suddenly, a snort broke the silence. One sprite began to chuckle, then another. Soon, the entire glade was filled with peals of laughter, the fairies clutching their sides and the sprites rolling on the ground.

“Atoms! Make up everything!” one fairy gasped between giggles. “Oh, that’s a good one!”

Relieved, Alex joined in the laughter.

A familiar voice rang out across the glade. “Alex? Is that you?”

He spun around to see Eira and Dafydd emerging from a portal behind him, their expressions a mix of amusement and concern.

“What are you doing here?” Eira asked, trying to suppress a smile as she took in the scene before her.

Alex threw up his hands in exasperation. “I don’t know! I was just walking through the caves, about to go home, and then suddenly, poof! I’m in fairyland!”

Dafydd chuckled, stroking his beard. “Ah, I see. We may have forgotten to mention that some of our portals lead to the Otherworld.”

Alex gaped at him. “You think?”

Before he could say anything else, a group of sprites surrounded them, their laughter ringing through the air.

“Oh, wise druids!” one sprite exclaimed, wiping tears of mirth from her eyes. “Your human friend is the funniest being we’ve encountered in centuries!”

Eira raised an eyebrow, glancing at Alex. “Is that so?”

Alex shrugged sheepishly. “I might have told them a joke or two.”

Dafydd clapped him on the shoulder, grinning broadly. “Well, it seems you’ve made quite an impression on the Otherworld denizens. They’re not easily entertained, you know.”

As the fairies and sprites continued to giggle and chatter around them, Eira leaned in closer to Alex. “You know, if you’re interested, we could use a good comedian at our next druid gathering. It might help liven things up a bit.”

Alex blinked in surprise. “Really? You want me to perform for a bunch of ancient, magical druids?”

Dafydd nodded sagely. “Absolutely. Laughter is the best magic of all, my boy. And it seems you have a natural talent for it.”

As they made their way back to the portal, the Otherworld creatures waving and calling out their goodbyes, Alex couldn’t help but suppress a smile. Take that Charles. His jokes were funny!

Eira paused at the entrance to the portal, a mischievous glint in her eye. “Just one thing, Alex. Next time, try to avoid any jokes about fungi. They tend to fall flat with the sprite crowd.”

Alex chuckled, shaking his head as he followed the druids back to the human world.

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