Thursday, August 28, 2014

Taking Flight pt. 6

The pursuing owl let out a piercing screech, filling Swifty with fear. Peering through the gathering dusk, she spied a hedge that surrounded the meadow of sunflowers. If she could make it to those rose bushes, she was certain that she would be able to squeeze between the thorny branches and find refuge, but there was still a lengthy distance to cross and with each beat of her predator's huge wings, he was inching ever closer to her. In a final burst of determination, Swifty tucked her head and willed her wings to flutter faster, aiming for the hedge directly beneath her.

Just a few feet from the rose bush, Swifty heard the owl's beak clicking at her heels. She wasn't going to make it! Any moment that razor sharp beak was going to find its target and she would be someone's dinner. The fairy closed her eyes, flying blindly, and prayed for a miracle.

Suddenly she heard another screech followed by a thud, like a heavy bag of flour hitting the floor. Swifty's eyes flew open and she chanced a glance over her shoulder. The owl was no longer chasing her, but had changed direction in pursuit of something else. Someone else. Swifty's last glimpse before tumbling into the rose bush was a burst of green glitter and owl feathers.

The exhausted fairy lay in a jumbled heap at the base of the rose bush. Her heart was thumping and her wings hung limp. Sitting up gingerly, she touched her forehead, feeling a lump already forming where she had struck the trunk of the bush in her haphazard flight to safety. She had also grazed her leg on a thorn and she grimaced as she dabbed at the wound with the hem of her skirt.

Outside the hedge, Swifty could hear the owl still screeching and someone shouting. Silently, she crept to the edge of the bush and peered through the green leaves, watching the battle that raged in the evening light.  Twice the owl approached the mysterious fairy and attacked and twice the fairy dodged and struck, green glitter filling the night sky. As the owl circled for a third strike, Swifty realized that the fairy wasn't shouting, but laughing.

"Come on, Old Hoot! Surely you've got more in you than that! Ha, ha!"

Wide-eyed she watched as the owl, beak open for attack, dove at the taunting fairy, wings tucked back and talons at the ready. At the last possible moment before impact, the fairy let out a battle cry and threw his hands together. There was an explosion of glitter and suddenly, in his place, was a giant hawk, wings spread and claws splayed. In the collision that followed, the owl let loose an angry hoot as he was thrown backwards, tumbling through the night. The fairy laughed, spun a pirouette and transformed back into his usual self, calling to the retreating bird, "That will teach you to pick on somebody your own size, Old Hoot!"

With a final look at the sky, the fairy turned his attention to the bush from out of which Swifty was peeking. He smiled. Zipping toward the ground, the fairy added a nifty backflip to his descent and landed with a flourish. "You alright in there? That was quite a scare, but you can come out now. Old Hoot won't be back to bother you again." Swifty sighed before crawling out from under the thorny branches. The green-clad fairy offered his hand, raising Swifty to her trembling feet. "Swifty? Is that you?" he asked, surprised.

"Yes, it's me, Dot. You've come to my rescue. Again."

As part of a personal 30-Day challenge to write everyday and in light of this new season of life with all the kids in school, I have begun a little tale. Be sure to start at the beginning...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Taking Flight pt. 5

The sun had begun to set as Swifty flew out from between the sweeping branches of the ancient willow tree, leaving Miss Flit to finish grading papers. Her grin stretched from ear to ear as she glided over the lush meadow below. With a squeal, she dipped and dove, unable to contain her joy. "This is it!" she shrieked. "After tomorrow I'll be able to presto-chango from fairy to butterfly and back again with the greatest of ease! I know I can do it! And when I do, I'll show Dot that he's not the only amazing fairy in Frog's Hollow!"

She truly felt lighter than air as she zipped along, zigging and zagging through the field of sunflowers like it was a slalom course. "Yahoo!" she shouted as she shifted direction, shooting up towards the clear evening sky. She squinted into the wind, focusing on the twinkling stars that had begun to appear in the darkening sky. Swifty's eyes were watering again, but this time it was due to the rushing air blasting her straight in the face as she raced toward the stars. Her shimmering wings were almost invisible, beating rapidly as she pushed herself to go higher, to go faster.

Suddenly, in spite of her blurred vision, Swifty caught sight of a dark shape to her right. Glancing over her shoulder, she wasn't sure what it was, but it was approaching quickly, gliding noiselessly on wings spread wide. Swifty slowed her ascent, blinking rapidly to clear her vision. She gasped.

An owl! An owl on the hunt.

In the next heartbeat, Swifty twisted her body away from the giant bird and began to dive, plummeting back to the meadow below. Straining her wings she shot like an arrow; her target:  the safety of the trees and bushes on the ground. She didn't need to look back to know the owl was still in hot pursuit. She could hear the beating of his wings, inching closer with each second.

Image courtesy of Pipii


As part of a personal 30-Day challenge to write everyday and in light of this new season of life with all the kids in school, I have begun a little tale. Be sure to start at the beginning...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Taking Flight pt. 4

Swifty twiddled with the buckle on her bag before speaking. "It's just that, um, I was wondering if, uh...I w-wondered if it would be p-possible for me to come in early t-tomorrow morning and work on my butterfly charm." The last words tumbled out in a rush. Swifty lowered her eyes and studied the floor. "I j-just thought that maybe if I had some help, I could have it all figured out by the first d-day of school." Daring to finally meet her teacher's eyes, she smiled tentatively.

Miss Flit pursed her lips, tapping them with her red pencil. "Hmmm...I see. Have you had any success with this particular charm?" Chewing on her lower lip, Swifty shook her head, her gaze slipping to the floor again. Miss Flit shook her head. "I don't know, dear. If you haven't mastered this charm by now, I don't know that you can expect to be ready in just two days. Which, of course, greatly hinders your ability to fully participate on the first day of school." Tears welled up in Swifty's eyes. "We can't very well have you fluttering about, undisguised, threatening our secrecy and our safety."

Swifty nodded briskly, fighting back her tears. "I...I understand," she choked, turning toward the door. "Thank you, Miss Flit."

"Swifty?" Miss Flit's voice softened as she slipped off her reading glasses. Swifty stopped, but didn't turn around, one fat tear rolled down her cheek and splashed on the wooden floor. The clock above the teacher's desk tick-tocked in the silence that filled the room. After a few moments, Miss Flit sighed. "Alright. I will meet you here at first light and we'll see what we can do."

Swifty spun on her heel, beaming. "Thank you! Oh, thank you! I really and truly think I can get the hang of it, especially with your help! Thank you, Miss Flit!" Fluttering her delicate wings, she hovered an inch off the floor and floated towards the door.

"You're very welcome, dear. And Swifty?" The young fairy paused at the threshold to the classroom. "Please, be on time," Miss Flit said, eyebrows raised.

Blushing, Swifty nodded and then soared out the door, headed toward the warm lights of the Gnarled Log Café.

Image courtesy of Pipii


As part of a personal 30-Day challenge to write everyday and in light of this new season of life with all the kids in school, I have begun a little tale. Be sure to start at the beginning...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Taking Flight pt. 3

The melodious warble of a goldfinch floated through the open window, signaling the end of the day. "Alright class, that's all for now. Please tidy up your desks and push your stools in. Harmony, I need your homework from yesterday's lesson on the proper methods for telling twins apart. And Glisten? Please work on your penmanship. I need to be able to read your homework if you expect me to give you a fair grade."

The room filled with giggles and the rustling of papers as the students packed their belongings. Swifty sat quietly at her desk, looking over her notes and waiting for the hubbub around her to fade. Pip, looking over her shoulder, called to her. "Swifty, do you want to join us?" The little fairy gestured to several other fairies near the door. "We're headed over to the Gnarled Log to have some dinner before this evening's flight lessons."

Swifty peeked at the line of students in front of Miss Flit's desk and sighed. " go on ahead. I'll try to catch up in a bit."

"Okay. We'll save you a seat." Pip and the others flew off, leaving Swifty to pack her bag alone. Once her fellow-fairy students had finally left the classroom, Swifty slipped out of her seat, pushed in her stool and made her way toward Miss Flit's desk.

Miss Flit was busy grading papers, humming off-key to herself and didn't notice Swifty standing there. After several awkward moments, Swifty cleared her throat, causing her teacher to jump. "Oh! Swifty, dear! I thought you'd left."

"No, Miss Flit. I hoped I could talk to you for a moment."

"Of course." Miss Flit gazed up at Swifty, peering up at her through her thick reading glasses, making her look more frog-like than fairy. "What's on your mind?"

Image courtesy of Pipii


As part of a personal 30-Day challenge to write everyday and in light of this new season of life with all the kids in school, I have begun a little tale. Be sure to start at the beginning...

Friday, August 22, 2014

Taking Flight pt. 2

Only Miss Flit's voice could be heard in the school house that sat nestled in the knot of an old maple tree. Twenty-three fairies, heads bent over their papers, scribbled notes, trying to keep up with their teacher. "So as you can see, class, it is extra, extra important that you keep your bag of jitter glitter well stocked. You never know when your child might experience additional bouts of nervousness during their first day.

"Why, I remember my very first student. Her name was Heidi and she was adorable. She had little freckles on her nose and her long hair was curled into little ringlets for the first day of Kindergarten. Poor little Heidi clung to her mother from the moment she walked out the front door of her home until she arrived at school. As they waited for the school bell, her dear mother managed to peel herself free from her daughter's fierce grip. But only for a few moments. As soon as Heidi's teacher opened the door, she spun right around and latched back onto her mother. I used almost my entire bag of glitter on that dear child before she had even hung up her backpack!

"Then, on top of it all, Heidi's sweet mother started to tear up and I feared for a moment that she wasn't going to be able to leave her little girl in the care of her most reliable teacher. I was forced at the last minute to sprinkle her with a few generous handfuls of glitter, too. Gratefully, my fellow fairy, Violet, had a brave little boy that day and she shared some of her glitter with me. What a relief! Otherwise, I fear Heidi would have sat in her chair all morning, lips quivering and nose sniffling. And her mother would have sat outside the classroom door until school was over. As it was, with a few extra doses of jitter glitter for both of them, Heidi made two new friends and greeted her mother (who had enjoyed a lovely morning walk all by herself) with a smile, wearing an adorable crown she had made with stickers and crayons!"

The fairies clapped and cheered. Swifty, using her favorite magenta pen, wrote the words, "Extra Jitter Glitter" in her notebook and underlined it several times.

Image courtesy of Pipii


As part of a personal 30-Day challenge to write everyday and in light of this new season of life with all the kids in school, I have begun a little tale. Be sure to start at the beginning...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Taking Flight

Swifty glided through the open window of the miniature schoolhouse and landed without a sound on the old wooden stool at the back of the room. She was late, as usual, and hoped Miss Flit hadn't noticed. Of course, that old hawk-eye had.

"Nice of you to join us, Swifty," Miss Flit clicked her tongue. Swifty's already pink cheeks flushed as she mumbled an excuse, eyes downcast. Miss Flit peered at her a moment over her half-rimmed glasses before turning her attention back to her class. "Alright class, as I was saying, school begins in just two days..." The class erupted into a chorus of cheers, drowning out her voice.

Pip, the littlest fairy, beamed up at Swifty. "Aren't you excited," she squeaked. "I've waited my whole, entire life to be a First Day Fairy and now it's finally my turn!" Pip clapped her hands resulting in an explosion of turquoise glitter around the two fairies. "Oops!" Pip clamped her hands over her mouth and giggled, clouds of glitter hovering over her blonde head like a halo.

Swifty simply shrugged, her pale pink wings quivering. Turning her gaze to the front of the room, she looked past the hour-glass in the center of the room and the iridescent grains of sand trickling down, counting down the final moments until the first bell rang on the first day of school, and focused instead on the black ornate plaque that hung behind Miss Flit. The plaque read: Star Fairy of the Year. Swifty screwed up her delicate face as she read the name below the gold stamped words: Dot.  Not this year, Dot. This year it's going to be me. 

"Class," Miss Flit tapped her desk with her ruler. "Please quiet down, class. We have lots to talk about today." The commotion in the small classroom quieted down and another handful of iridescent sand fell through the crystal hour-glass. "Very good. First, we will discuss the use of Jitter Glitter for calming the nerves of our newest students. Please open your books to Chapter 1." There was a rustling of pages being flipped. Swifty sat up straight and tall in her chair and gave her fairy wings a flutter, determination etched in her face. I'll be the best Star Fairy they've ever seen. Just you wait and see.

Image courtesy of Pipii

As part of a personal 30-Day challenge to write everyday and in light of this new season of life with all the kids in school, I have begun a little tale. A story of new beginnings, bumpy landings and finding our wings. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Artist

"Oh! My feet are killing me," Myrtle moaned.

"You ought to kick off those old sling-backs and stuff them in your handbag." Gertrude responded.

"I can't stand here in just my stocking feet," Myrtle whispered. "No doubt Penelope would see me and share that scandalous tidbit with everyone and I'd never be able to show my face here again. Ever since she told Betty about the terrible crush I had on Betty's oldest brother, I don't trust her."

"That was well over 40 years ago, Myrtle. You really must let bygones by bygones." Myrtle dabbed at her forehead with a lace handkerchief and ignored Gertrude's comment, trying to wriggle her cramped toes. "Truly, Murt, nobody gives a hoot what Penelope Hatfield says. Ever since she showed up at the Fireman's Ball in that atrocious pink getup, wearing her white peep-toe heels, before Labor Day, mind you, she hasn't had a leg to stand on. Just take them off or stop whining. I'm trying to hear the speaker."

Myrtle shuffled her sore feet and craned her neck to see over the sea of perfectly coiffed buns and pillbox hats, peering toward the gentleman at the front. Thanks to the ancient sound system, it was almost as difficult to hear him as it was to see him. "Why on earth didn't they think to put him up on a stage? No one past the front row can see a single thing."

"Shush. At the very least, I'd like to hear him. He's been on TV, you know."

Myrtle rolled her eyes. "Maybe we should have stayed home and watched him from the comfort of your love seat, Gertie. Then we wouldn't be standing in this crowd, suffering this humidity..."

Gertrude shushed her again, "Pipe down, Murt. He'll be finished soon and then we can go home. Okay?"

Myrtle nodded, then she slipped off her heels and cringed, feeling the cold linoleum under her feet. Oh, heavens. When was the last time this floor was cleaned? I'll have to throw these stockings away as soon as I get home. And they were brand new, too. On top of it all, now I'm too short to see through all these blue-haired ladies. All she could see between the ladies in front of her was the curly brown hair of the guest artist. She elbowed Gertrude, "What's he doing now?"

"'s amazing! He makes it look so simple."

Over the crackle of the speakers, Myrtle heard the painter's mellow voice. "Now, let's add some little trees right over here. Some happy little trees. Just soft, gentle brush strokes. There. Now, aren't they lovely?"

A pitter pattering of gloved-applause filled the room followed by a chorus of "ooh's" and "aah's".

Gertrude beamed. "What a treat! Do think he would give an autograph? Come on, Murt, put your shoes back on and hobble along with me."

With a sigh, Myrtle eased her toes back into her shoes. Standing upright, however, she spied Penelope hanging on the arm of Bob Ross, gushing over his masterpiece. "I think I'll wait for you in the car," she mumbled and tottered away.

Linking up (just a bit late) this week with Writings and Ruminations. 526 words inspired by the pictures above.