Thursday, October 23, 2014

Taking Flight pt. 12

"Alright, pipe down, ya newbies!"

Swifty stiffened as she craned her neck toward the center of the circle. Hovering a few feet above the field was the toughest looking fairy she had ever seen. He had the face of a bulldog, his jaw thrust forward and his eyes glinted in the lantern light. His grey hair was buzzed close, flat on top and bristling. As he barked his orders, Swifty felt every muscle in her body tense.

"I said, pipe down!" A hush fell over the crowd, each fairy melting under his stern glare. "That's better. I am Sergeant Striker and I understand from Miss Marshland that some of you have been unsuccessful in your covert bedtime operations." The fairy crossed his brawny arms over his thick chest and surveyed the crowd. Swifty scooted back into the shadows, avoiding his piercing glare. "For this reason, I have been brought in to tighten up the ranks. To bring you all up to speed. A fairy who cowers before a sleeping child has no place on our team for the first day of school. Do you understand?" he barked. The cowering crowd only managed a mumbled response. "I said," he growled, his hands on his hips, "do you understand?"

"Yes, Sir," Swifty spluttered, joining the trembling chorus of voices around her.

"Let's see what you've got. I want every last one of you newbies on your feet and lined up behind..." His eyes scanned the circle, searching for his first target.

Swifty clenched her eyes shut. Hands clasped in her lap, willing the sergeant to pick someone else, she could hear Snap muttering under his breath, "Not me, not me, not me, not me..."

"You," Sergeant Striker barked. Beside her, Snap gasped. Opening one eye, Swifty grimaced. Sergeant Striker was pointing one beefy finger directly at her.

"Me, Sir?" She scrambled to her feet, wings quivering.

"You. Everybody...line up!"

Image courtesy of Pipii


As part of a personal 30-Day challenge (that is turning into a much loooonger 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, October 15, 2014

Taking Flight pt. 11

Swifty landed soundlessly in the grass and tiptoed to where Snap sat, joining him. Folding her legs, criss-cross-applesauce, she cleared her throat and waited for him to turn his head. Snap didn't move. Undaunted, Swifty scooted to her right a few inches until she bumped into Snap, giving him a gentle nudge. With a sniff, Snap shifted further to the right and mumbled something, his words lost in the cavern he had made with his tangle of arms and legs.

Shaking her head, Swifty made a second attempt and scootched over again, brushing up against Snap's side. This time, Snap raised his head a few inches and looked at Swifty out of the corner of his eye. "What do you want? Come to poke fun at silly ol' Snap?" He removed his glasses and ran his sleeve across his face, his glistening eyes reflecting the lantern's light.

"I'm sorry, Snap," she mumbled, her heart heavy. "I'm sorry for hurting your feelings." Snap shrugged, but didn't turn away. Swifty continued, gathering her courage. "I was going to fly with you, you know. But you left..."

"Because you left first," he croaked. "You and Pip and, and all the rest of them." He glanced across the field at Dot and his fan club, his round face scrunched up and his glasses smeared. "Never mind." He buried his face again.

"Look," Swifty said, fists clenched. "I said I was sorry. Back at the Gnarled Log, I hurt your feelings, but I'm here now and I'm, well, I'm hoping you'll be my friend." Silence. In a last ditch effort, Swifty leaned against Snap, pressing her shoulder into his. "Please."

This time Snap didn't scoot away, but looked up at Swifty, his glasses two white orbs of lantern light. "Really?"

With a grin Swifty cocked her head in his direction and nudged him with her elbow. "Friends stick closer than a brother, right?"

"You've been talking to Murt, haven't you? That sounds like something he would say."

"No. That sounds like something wise you would say and Murt is just repeating it because it's true. So? Do you forgive me?"

A smile stole across Snap's face as he flung his arm around Swifty's shoulder. "I forgave you the minute you sat down."

Swifty felt the weight of the past half-hour fall away and she sighed happily. But her joy only lasted a moment. With the clanging of the bell, class began and her dinner turned back into stone. Tonight they would be tested on covert bedtime operations and Swifty still hadn't gotten the hang of maneuvering around fidgety sleepers. She could only hope her luck continued...or didn't get any worse.

Image courtesy of Pipii


As part of a personal 30-Day challenge (that is turning into a much loooonger 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, October 8, 2014

Taking Flight pt. 10

Swifty allowed Pip to tug her down several of the front steps of the Gnarled Log before shaking free from her friend's grip. "Pip," she protested, "I'm going to fly with Snap." Turning back toward the cafe entrance, however, she was saddened to find herself alone. Snap was gone.

"He went off that-away," Murt made a vague gesture toward the darkness with his broom as he swept the front step, closing up his restaurant for the night. "That sweet boy can't compete with the likes of Dot, ya know. And he shouldn't have to. He's got more courage in his little pinkie," he raised his meaty hand and wriggled his little finger, "than most fairies have in their entire bodies. I'd hoped you would've appreciated that." He shook his head sadly. Where he stood in front of the half-opened door, Swifty could only make out his silhouette, the warm glow from inside casting his face in shadow, but she felt his disappointment and her face burned, ashamed.

"I'm sorry, Sir," she stuttered. "I just, um, my friend..."

Murt cut her off. "Just remember, a true friend sticks closer than a brother or a sister." With a nod, he closed the door and turned off the porch light, leaving Swifty in the dark all alone. Kicking off from the darkened steps, Swifty flew through the forest in the direction of the training field. Her eyes burned with unshed tears and she chewed on her lower lip, determined to do the right thing. If only she knew what that was.

Through the trees, she could spy the lanterns that encircled the lush clearing and the several dozen fairies who had arrived for the evening class. Swifty hovered over the field and scanned the crowd. Pip was seated near Dot and appeared to be, once again, enthralled with one of Dot's heroic tales, her sparkling eyes riveted to his face. Swifty scowled and continued her search. The class was a buzz of activity, fairies flitting here and there across the dark sky and as she scanned the faces of her classmates, she feared that perhaps he had decided to play hooky in an effort to avoid her. She wouldn't blame him, but she hoped he was somewhere so she could try to make things right. On her third pass over the crowd she finally spotted him.

Sitting below a lantern, directly across the circle from Dot, sat Snap. He was hunched in a ball, his round face hidden, his forehead resting on his bent knees. Only his blonde tuft of hair was visible, but Swifty knew it was him. She also knew she had hurt his feelings and what little she'd eaten for dinner turned to stone in her stomach. Taking a deep breath, Swifty flitted toward Snap.

Image courtesy of Pipii


As part of a personal 30-Day challenge (that is turning into a much loooonger 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, October 1, 2014

Running Buddies

I perch on the bench to tie my running shoes, waiting for Becca and Emily. There is a definite chill in the air this crisp fall morning and my icy fingers don't want to cooperate at my second attempt to double-knot my laces. I hear their laughter before I actually see them: my fellow runners, both dressed in lycra pants and sweatshirts. Their breath turns to frost in the air.

"It's about time you got here," I tease, jumping to my feet and rubbing feeling back into my hands. "I thought I was going to have to go it alone today."

Becca grins and points at her sister. "Poor Emily just spent the last ten minutes scouring little Teddy's room for all the pieces to his chess set. He was supposed to bring it to school this morning for show and tell."

"Unfortunately, the white bishop is still MIA," Emily says, shaking her head. "Why he felt the need to sleep with it last night, I'll never know. It can't have been very comfortable."

"Sounds like something my Jimmy would do," I say. "Let's get moving, I'm frozen."

We start out at an easy pace, letting our muscles warm up, each lost in our own thoughts. We set out for the green space behind the neighborhood, headed for the miles of trails that weave through the fields. The path is wide enough for us to run three abreast and as we settle into our running, our conversation comes in spurts.

"Are we still on for the Halloween 5k," Becca asks. "I think registration opens this week."

"I think it sounds fun. We're dressing up, right?"

"They have a free lunch afterwards if you're in costume, so I think we should."

"We could dress as pirates. But I don't know about running with any extra gear clanging around. What do you think, Janey?"

I feel my legs burning as we head up an incline and I have to wait to answer until we reach the top. Pausing to catch my breath, I take a sip of water. "I think we should go as the Pink Ladies from Grease."

"Oh, my golly!" Becca grins. "That would be awesome!" She starts off down the hill and we follow, single-file. She calls over her shoulder, "Should we wear, like, a 50's frock? A poodle skirt?"

Emily laughs, "Or we could all dress like Sandy at the finale? We already have the spandex!"

We're nearing the parking lot and I can see my car. My lungs are burning and my legs feel like rubber. I also have a sinking suspicion that there's a blister forming on my right heel. Breathless, we topple onto the park bench. I clutch my side and wince. "How far did we go?"

Becca checks her phone and grimaces. "Uh, a third of a mile. Only six more times around."

I groan. "Maybe we should just dress up with the kids and go trick-or-treating. It would be a whole lot easier."


Linking up this week with Writings and Ruminations. 505 words inspired by the picture above and using the following 5 words: blister, grease, frock, pirate, bishop.