Thursday, September 25, 2014

Taking Flight pt. 9

Pushing her food around on her plate, Swifty was relieved when Dot eventually finished his tale. There was a murmur of approval from the surrounding fairies. "Oh my goodness, Swifty! Weren't you terrified? I would have been shaking in my wings! And you, Dot, are so brave! Taking on that owl single-handedly. You're amazing!" Pip positively glowed as she beamed across the table at Dot.

For the umpteenth time that evening, Swifty rolled her eyes, exasperated by Dot's bragging and Pip's gushing. Sipping her glass of lavender lemonade, she looked around the table at her fellow classmates, eight sets of eyes fixed on Dot. They hang on his every word, hungry for more tales of his heroics...and my humiliation. Everyone one is completely captivated by Dot.

All except one. Directly across from Swifty sat a little round fairy, a tuft of blonde hair sticking up from the back of his head, his eyes peering at Swifty from behind a pair of thick glasses. Snap.

Just as Dot launched into yet another retelling of last week's heroic rescue of Swifty, a feat involving a hungry spider and her sticky web, Swifty caught Snap's eye. He offered a lopsided grin and a shrug, the candlelight glinting off the lenses of his glasses. Swifty smiled back, grateful to find that she wasn't the only fairy that had escaped Dot's storytelling spell.

"...So with one flick of my razor-sharp seed pod, I was able to cut Swifty free. Then, grabbing her by her belt, I hauled her out of the spider's home and flew us to safety..." Dot's final words were drowned out by the bell ringing overhead, signaling the end of dinner. Relieved, Swifty jumped from her seat and began to clear her plate.

"Let me get that for you."

Startled, Swifty turned around. Standing just behind her was Snap, the top of his tuft of hair just barely reaching Swifty's chin.  "Oh, thanks."

"No problem," Snap said, reaching up for Swifty's plate and balancing it on his own. "It doesn't look like you ate much," he said, surveying her untouched dinner.

"Yeah, well, the dinner conversation didn't do much for my digestion." She slipped her bag over her shoulder and joined Snap in line to deposit their plates at the kitchen.

"Dot has a way of turning heads. And stomachs." Snap grinned, his green eyes twinkling behind his glasses. "I wouldn't give too much weight to his words, though. He's rather flighty, " he winked, "blown whichever way the wind takes him. As long as there are girls to impress and dazzle, that is." Turning his attention to the frazzled cook behind the counter, he stood on his tiptoes and smiled broadly. "Compliments to the chef, Murt. You truly outdid yourself this evening. The soup was delicious."

"Thank you, Snap. It's always a pleasure to cook for someone with such a mature palate," Murt said, wiping his brow with a kitchen rag. Upon eyeing Swifty's plate, however, his eyes widened. "Was there a problem, Miss, with your meal?"

Before Swifty could defend herself, Snap slid the dirty plates across the counter, shaking his head. "Poor girl. She's not feeling well tonight, Murt," he soothed. "No worries. She'll be back tomorrow and ready to enjoy whatever you've got cooking."

"Honey ginger bisque with a side of fresh greens," Murt sang. "And for dessert, blackberry pie à la mode!"

"I can't wait, Murt! Sounds excellent," Snap grinned as he made his way toward the door, Swifty following close behind, peering over his head into the night.

"Wow. You and the cook are on really friendly terms," Swifty remarked. "Are you a foodie fairy, or what?"

Snap chuckled. "Well, I do like to eat, but I've found that making friends with the people I encounter everyday, makes everyday a little more, uh, friendly." He shrugged, a little unsure of himself. "And now I know to leave room tomorrow for pie!"

Swifty paused, looking puzzled at Snap and letting the crowds of other fairies file past them into the night. "You've got an interesting way of viewing life, Snap. I like it."

In the glow of the moon above, Swifty could just make out Snap's face, tinged a bit pink, but looking pleased with himself. "Thanks, Swifty. Not everybody feels the same way, you know."

"Excuse us, coming through." Dot and his fan club pushed past, the girls tittering to one another. "Out of the way, Snappy," he joked, a new wave of laughter filling the air. "Are you coming, Swifty? I don't want you getting into any new trouble. Snappy may have a way with words," he snickered, "but in a fight with a hawk, I think you'd be safer with me."

Swifty's eyes darted to Snap's face. His ears burned red and his jaw was clenched, eyes blinking rapidly. Dropping his gaze, his round face was cast in shadow as he focused on his feet, refusing to meet Swifty's eyes.

"Come on, Swifty," Pip called, clutching Swifty's hand. "We don't want to be late."

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...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

To Err is...Embarrassing

"Are you sure this is the right lot? I'm can't imagine using this space for the Mayor's reelection rally. I mean, look at these weeds," Captain Trent gestured to the waist high tumble weeds covering the rocky ground. "How are we supposed to get this cleaned up before Saturday?"

"I'll check the message again, Sir, but I think this is the place." The driver pulled out his phone and scrolled through his emails. "Here it is. Uh...yep. This is it; at the end of Elbert Road, on the right-hand side. I'm with you, though, this looks a little rough."

"Well, let's get started," Captain Trent slid from the truck and waved to the firemen in the truck behind him. "Alright, gentlemen. Grab your gloves and equipment and let's get to work. Start hacking down the tumble weeds and we'll drag the brush and fallen branches to the center of this field for burning this afternoon. We've got about three hours before the planning committee shows up, so let's be finished when they get here. If they want a space in the middle of this wilderness for gunnysack races and croquet, I intend to give it to them. Got it?" Turning back to the driver of his truck, he barked, "Carson, I want you to pull the engine up next to the water truck. We'll want the hoses on hand when we burn this brush. It's so dry, it'll go up like a tinder box."

"Yes, Sir."

In a matter of hours, the field was cleared. Captain Trent stood facing the blaze, grimacing in the intense heat. He hollered to one of his men, indicating a portion of scorched earth that needed to be hosed. The phone in his shirt pocket vibrated.

"Hello? What's that? No, Sir, we're just finishing up. We've been at it all morning, Mr. Mayor. Here. On Elbert Road." The captain felt his face burning and it had nothing to do with the bonfire in front of him. "Yes, Sir. Right away, Sir." Shoving his phone back into his pocket, he spun on his heel and came face to face with Carson.

"Uh, Sir?" Carson gulped. "This is Mr. Granger. He's the farmer that owns this land, Sir."

"Well now, I sure appreciate ya clearing this here field for me, don'tcha know? I didn't know how I was gonna get it ready to plant and, lo and behold, you all showed up. I'm down right elated, I am." The old farmer, rested one gnarled hand on the split-rail fence and grinned, revealing an astonishing lack of teeth.

"Sir? It would appear that I, uh, read that address wrong," Carson cleared his throat. "It was actually..."

"Albert Road, Carson. A-L-B-E-R-T."

"Yes, Sir. Uh, to err is human..."

"Carson," the Captain interrupted, "When we get back to the station, you are to report to Officer Paxton in the Forensic Pathology Department. She mentioned recently that she had several hundred boxes of reports to be filed. Congratulations, you just volunteered."

Linking up this week with Writings and Ruminations. 500ish words inspired by the picture above and using the following 5 words: gunnysack, pathology, croquet (the game), elate and human.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Taking Flight pt. 8

Pushing open the oval door, Swifty stepped into the hollowed-out trunk of the old maple tree. She was greeted by the tinkling of the bell overhead and a cacophony of voices. The Gnarled Log Café was full of fairies both young and old tonight. Standing on her tiptoes, she peered over the heads of the fairies already seated, searching for Pip and hoping that her friend had indeed saved her a seat.

"I think they're over there," Dot shouted from behind, pointing to a table on the far side of the circular room. Swifty forced a smile to her face, wishing with all her might that he would meet up with his own friends and leave her be. Scanning the room, she finally spied the tips of Pip's turquoise wings and her friend's blonde ponytail bobbing as she animatedly talked to one of her table mates.

"Thanks," Swifty mumbled over her should and then ducked into the crowd, tucking her wings tightly around her as she wove between the overcrowded tables. Swifty barely missed colliding with an exasperated server as he darted through the crowd with his overladen tray.

"Watch it, Miss," he grumped, swiveling to the left and deftly catching a bread roll before it hit the floor. He scowled at her before thumping the tray on the nearest table and passing out the plates with a clatter.

Apologizing, Swifty navigated the final few feet to the table and plopped into one of the last available chairs. "You made it," Pip squeaked. "I was beginning to worry, what with it getting dark earlier and also the trouble you had last week..."Swifty rolled her eyes and reached for the basketful of bread in the middle of the table, slathering honey-butter over it before popping a bite into her mouth. Pip continued, "All I could think about was you tangled up in another nasty spider's web, sticky and stuck." Grimacing at the memory, Swifty stuffed another hunk of bread into her mouth and continued chewing. "So, as soon as Dot walked in the door, I sent him back out to find you."

"And I did," Dot said proudly as he slipped into the seat next to Swifty. "As promised!"

The bread turned to glue in Swifty's throat. Pip had sent Dot to rescue her? Not even her best friend had any confidence in her? What kind of fairy was she that she couldn't take care of herself? Swifty swallowed hard, the hunk of bread lodged in her throat. Wide-eyed, she clutched her throat, unable to breathe. Pip clamped her hands over her mouth, terrified.

In a flash, Dot sprang from his chair, wrapped his arms around Swifty and gave her a rough squeeze, freeing the lump of bread. Swifty coughed, eyes watering, cheeks burning. "Are you okay?" Pip cried, grasping Swifty's trembling hands.

"She'll be just fine," Dot remarked, settling back into his chair and crossing his legs. "I'm just glad I was here. And that I finished my Emergency Fairy Certification training yesterday. You've had quite a night, Swifty. I don't think I had better let you out of my sight." He grinned as he helped himself to the remaining piece of bread on Swifty's plate. "Did she tell you about the hawk tonight?" Swifty buried her head in her hands and groaned as Dot launched into his story, losing both her appetite and what was left of her confidence.

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, September 4, 2014

Taking Flight pt. 7

Swifty brushed dirt from the folds of her skirt while Dot crept back under the rose bush from which he had just pulled her. He had gone in search of her beaded bag, adding to Swifty's humiliation. "Of all the fairies in Frog's Hollow, it would have to be him," she mumbled to herself, incredulous at finding herself once again in debt to Dot. "How is it that he just so happens to be flying by when I find myself in trouble? Again. How humiliating! Infuriating! Exasperating!"

"I'm sorry...did you say something?" Dot peered out from under a thorny branch, his nose smudged with dirt.

"Umm," Swifty stuttered. "No. Nothing." She felt her cheeks burning, ashamed. "That is, thank you. Uh, for everything."

Dot stood up, handed Swifty her bag, and brushed his hands together. "No problem," he beamed. "I'm just happy to be of help. And I'm always looking for a chance to try out some of the new charms I've been perfecting. Pretty cool, huh?"

Swifty was grateful for the gathering dusk, ensuring that Dot didn't notice her rolling her eyes in exasperation. "Yeah, that was pretty great," she muttered.

"Did you see when I transformed into that hawk? You might have missed it, what with you falling headfirst into that bush." Swifty gritted her teeth, swallowing her retort. "That old bird never knew what hit him. I would love to hear him, back at the nest, recounting that attack to his bird buddies. I bet his head is still spinning."

"Right, well, thanks again. Umm, I'd better be going..."

"To the Gnarled Log? I was just headed there, too. I'll join you."

"Sure," sighed Swifty.

"Fantastic! I'm meeting Whiz and Flick there. They'll be so bummed they missed all the excitement. I guess we'll just have to fill them in." He winked. "You can demonstrate your fall and I'll wow them with my transformation."Swifty gawked, horrified at the prospect of reliving her humiliation in front of the other fairies. Speechless, she kicked off from the grass and took flight with Dot close on her heels, still yammering.

"They'll be so impressed! I don't know of anyone else from our class who has successfully performed a hawk charm, do you?" Swifty flutter her trembling wings faster, trying to distance herself from Dot, but it was in vain. For the next several minutes, Dot fine-tuned his retelling of his heroic rescue and with each version, he was braver and she was more bumbling.

As the warm lights of the Gnarled Log came into view, Swifty resigned herself to inevitable teasing that would ensue as soon as Dot opened his mouth. "It's going to be a long night," she mumbled, landing on the welcome mat of the cafe. "Let's get this over with."

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...