Geordie was a bully. In particular, he liked to torment his nanny's son, Tom. Tom lived with Nanny, and went to school while Nanny had to devote her attention to Geordie in the morning, but as soon as Tom returned to Geordie's house (where he and his mother lived in the garret of the mansion), Nanny had to bring both Tom and Geordie wherever Geordie wanted to go, and generally, Tom had to wait with his mother while Geordie played and did as he pleased, because Nanny and Tom were poor, and Geordie's parents had lots of money.
One day, Geordie was playing with his toys—actually, he delighted in pulling them apart and blaming Tom for it, because it was great fun to see his mother turn Tom over her knee and spank him, or she would make Nanny do it—when suddenly, the sharp bayonet on one of his tin soldiers pricked his finger. Geordie sat down and howled until a voice told him, “Shut yer mouth!”
Geordie stopped crying immediately and looked for who had spoken to him. “Nobody can talk to me that way!” he asserted, kicking his heels against the carpet and throwing the tin soldier across the room. His eyes searched the corners, but there seemed to be no one else present but him.
“For what it’s worth, kid, I ain’t much in the business of takin’ orders from a shrimp,” and just like that, a tiny man stood in front of him, upon the little table where the rest of the tin soldiers lay. He was about the same size as the tin soldiers, and he wore a dark suit and had greasy, black hair and a cigar in his mouth.
“Who are you?” Geordie demanded, “What are you doing here? Nanny! Nanny, come—“ and before Geordie could utter another syllable, the little man removed the cigar from his mouth and exhaled a cloud of smoke that went right into the little boy’s mouth, lodging in his throat. Geordie’s eyes got wide, and he began to feel very scared as he realized that, scream and holler as he might, he could not make even the tiniest sound come out of his mouth.
The little man sprouted wings and flew in front of Geordie’s face, so that the young boy could get a good look at him. He laughed in Geordie’s face.
“Ha! That’s more like it. Now, you just sit tight, and no yelling, and I won’t have to get too personal, see?” The little man tapped the end of his cigar, and the cloud came out of Geordie’s mouth, and he could talk again. The little man held the cloud on his hand when Geordie threatened to begin screaming again, just as soon as he discovered that his voice returned, but once Geordie saw that, the little boy thought better of it. The little man laughed again.
“Ha! I like you kid, you’re smart; you know your place. Now see, I been hearing rumors about you, kid.”
“Rumors?” Geordie echoed.
The little man puffed on his cigar again before answering, “Yeah, rumors; word on the street is that a certain little millionaire’s brat is pickin’ on his nanny’s kid all the time, and lyin’, and cheatin’, and stealin’, and blamin’ it all on poor little Tommy.”
Geordie blushed with shame, “How did you know?”
The little man spread his arms wide with a grin, “I’m friends with the birds, kid; and the birds, they get real chatty with their friends. They tell me you’re the awfullest, spoiledest, greediest, dirtiest little no-good, low-down rebel that ever walked the streets of this fair city. They tell me the world would be better off without the likes of you. They asked me to make you—disappear. They told me all about you, because I’m the one who can rub you out so’s your own mother don’t know you exist!”
Geordie had gotten some of his spunk back, and he frowned at the cocky little man, “I don’t believe you.”
The little man continued to hover in front of Geordie’s face, “Oh-ho! Tough guy, eh? You want me to prove it, do ya?” The little man flew back to the table. He adjusted his lapels, smoothed his hair, and—ever so smoothly—snapped his fingers.
Geordie suddenly felt dizzy as the room seemed to twist and turn before his eyes, and by the time he could blink, he was standing on the table, about the same size as the little man who stood before him. Geordie noticed that the man had dark, beady eyes, and that he smiled wickedly at him.
The little man snapped his fingers again, and suddenly, Geordie’s tin soldiers—now taller than Geordie himself—came to life and grabbed the little boy, pulling his hands behind his back and cuffing them together. They dragged little Geordie to stand before the little man.
The little man smiled down at Geordie, tapping his fingertips together as he studied the boy.
“Do I got your attention now, kid?” he asked, “This is what I do; now I’m gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse: I’m gonna leave you for now, but you have two days to turn your life around and make better choices with how you treat little Tommy. Be nice to the kid; share your toys, let him play with you. I’ll be back in two days, and if you haven’t made the right choice, then I promise you, there will be consequences. Ya got that, kid?” The little man snapped his fingers again, and Geordie returned to his normal size—but the little man had also grown with him, and now stood over young Geordie who was still huddled on the floor, wondering what had just happened.
“We’ll see you in two days, kid,” The man nodded at him and prepared to leave out of Geordie’s window.
“Wait!” Geordie cried, “Who are you?”
The man turned around with a smirk on his lips, “The name’s Mazzoli, and I’m your Fairy Godfather.”