"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.
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...