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."
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...