“Sometimes it takes an intervention from an unexpected source to resolve a problem.”
I wrote this story for the following prompts.
#Writephoto – The picture by KL Caley
Ragtag Daily Prompt — Guide
Pensitivity’s Three Things Challenge — Singular – Coupled – Together
Word of the Day – Lyrical
Mallowy’s Life Lesson
“I hate you, mother!” Cali stomped her bare foot, tears of fury glistening in her mahogany eyes.
“I know,” Catherine sighed, welling with tears of sadness, “You’re too young to go to the concert alone. And since your father left me. I have to stay here and care for your brothers. So, there’s no way you can go.”
“That’s not fair!”
“No, it’s life and I’m —”
Cali spun on her heels, dashed outside and slammed the front door in her mother’s face. Ignoring the tinkle of breaking glass, she sprinted through the rose garden. There were so many red flowers here, they almost seemed to be one singular bloom.
“Cali! Get your arse back in this house — now!”
Ignoring the demand, the twelve-year-old sped through the gate and ran down the lane in floods of tears. She never wanted anything more than to see Bieber perform live. Now thanks to her father getting divorced, she was never going to get the chance.
Padding past the last two thatched cottages of the village, she came to an old wooden stile gate. Hitching up her flowery jeans, she mantled the gate and dropped down to the earthy track on the other side.
The path was a favourite of dog walkers in the area. It was flanked by tall pine trees that stood coupled together like a natural avenue.
Cali heard the cheery ‘wheat-wheat’ call of chaffinches. Looking for the brightly coloured birds, she spotted a grey squirrel running about the boughs above her.
Although she’d be furious for weeks, the natural surroundings and wildlife began to quell her temper for now. She allowed the tapping of a woodpecker to guide her further along the track and into the woods.
A fallow deer caught in the dappled sunlight, looked up from foraging. She gazed at Cali, nodded her silky head and ran away as silent as a phantom.
The woodpecker’s tapping echoed through the evergreen and oak woods again.
“Where are you?” Cali said to herself. She followed the noise searching for the red and black bird. The woodpecker has been her grandmother’s favourite in the way that it could chisel into a tree with its jackhammer-like beak.
Cali followed the staccato pecking along a grassy embankment studded with pine trees and buzzing with midges. She knew an old and ruinous church lay on the other side; having explored there on a walk with her mother and brothers.
An involuntary shiver ran from her toes to her shoulders, despite the warmth of the spring day. Cali thought she’d been quite alone in the woods and yet she knew something or someone was watching her.
With furrowed eyebrows, she stopped and began to turn a circle. Using her peripheral vision, as taught by her grandmother, she scanned for movement.
And yet there was something. There in the shadows, upon the trunk of a pine tree, was a tiny blue door. It was complete with two wrought iron hinges and a cute little window. Beneath a painted swift was the acronym ‘AONB’
“Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,” Cali remembered from geography class.
“Wrong!” snapped a feminine voice as shrill as it was lyrical.
“No, I’m not!” Cali folded her arms and looked about for the speaker.
“Yes — you — are!”
“No — I’m — bloody well —Not!” Cali argued. “I can prove it on my phone if you like.”
“Course you can, those new-fangled contraptions can do everything except get people to answer them when you call for help. Anyway, you’ll still be wrong. Aonb means home in the language of Fey, see.”
Cali failed to spot the mystery female even though the voice appeared to be right in front of her. “Liar! You’re making things up. You’re making me mad by hiding as well!”
Cheery laughter filled the air. “I’m not hiding. You’re just not looking hard enough.”
Catching sight of a flash of gold and a glowing circle of light, Cali gasped. There she was, a three-inch tall fairy swinging around a small branch in the oak tree neighbouring the pine with the door. “Found you! And you’re a …a bloody fairy!” she stuttered while not entirely believing her eyes.
The child-like fairy had on a skater-style dress that had the appearance of indigo tulip petals. The colour set off her golden blonde hair and lacy gold wings majestically. “Well spotted. And before you say anything I’m not a little girl. I’m a hundred ninety-three years old.”
“Ha, you must need a mobility scooter like my grandmother’s to go with those wings then.”
“Are you always this rebellious, or do you just choose to be petulant on bad days?” The fairy left her branch and hovered to a stop in front of the girl.
“I’m sorry. Who are you anyway?” Cali wiped her eyes as the memory of why she’d run into the woods returned.
“I’m Mallowy of the East Pines Fey tribe.”
“Hi Mallowy, I’m —”
“Cali. And what you did earlier wasn’t very nice,” stated the fairy pointing a tiny finger.
“I said I’m sorry,” Cali pouted.
“Not to me. To your mother.”
“What?” Now Cali was scowling. “That’s none of your business!”
Mallowy dived to the ground, seized a small stone and hurled it.
Cali felt it bounce off her forehead, she recoiled and hugged herself feeling afflicted, “Ow-er! Why’d you hit me?”
“I attacked you like you attacked your mother Catherine earlier. She —”
“I did not attack her!” Cali stomped a foot and grimaced as her bare sole impacted something sharp.
Mallowy flew to her small blue front door and opened it. Disappearing inside, she caused the interior of the tree to glow gold. She was gone only a moment before returning with a wych elm wand. Back in front of Cali, she drew a glittering circle in the air and tapped the shimmering centre.
Cali watched a vision appear within the circle. She saw herself and her mother in the hallway at home, ‘I hate you, mother!” she yelled in the vision. For the first time, Cali saw how forlorn and upset her mother had been the remark.
“There, you see. Catherine is suffering a great deal right now. She loves you and your brothers, Matthew and Petey, with all her heart. She never wanted to upset you. She never wanted to lose your father either. Despite him betraying her, she still loves him very much and it is breaking her heart. So, you see, your mother would love you to go to the concert. It’s destroying her to say no and upset but she has no choice.”
“I know but I’m a big girl, I can go on my own.” Cali protested.
“No, you can’t. I realise you are only twelve and this is hard to understand. However, the world is full of danger. A lone girl heading to and from a concert hall will be in great danger from bad drivers, and worse, the darkest of all people who would prey upon you in a heartbeat. Don’t you see, your mother is only trying to protect you.”
“I guess so,” Cali sighed and looked at her dirty toes as realisation dawned, “Thank you, Mallowy. I’ve been a horrible daughter but I did so want to go to the concert.”
“You’re still a lovely daughter. Desire breeds greed and greed brings a little demon out in us all. Now, if you promise to go home and apologise to your mother. I’ll tell you a little secret.”
Cali’s eyes sparkled. “What secret? … I — I mean I will go home right away and apologise.”
“Good girl.” Mallowy beamed. “My secret is that I love that hunky, crooner Bieber too.”
Cali giggled at the swooning fairy. “Aww, pity he’s a human isn’t it.”
“Pity indeed. However, I’m going to watch the concert and you can too.”
“How! How — you know I can’t go!” Cali bounced on her feet with desperation and annoyance in equal measure.
Now the fairy laughed, “Simple, the whole concert is live and in full 3D on YouTube,” she announced having produced a pair of 3D glasses.
“Mallowy, you’re a genius!”
“I’m a fairy and good job too. Those genies are grotesque, knobbly old creeps!”
Cali chuckled, “I said genius as in clever, not genie!”
“Oh, well – then yes, yes I am a genius,” Mallowy drew her three inches as tall as she could and stuck out her chest immodestly.
“Thank you, Mallowy. I better go home and apologise. Can I come and see you again?”
“Of course, any time I can help, give me a knock,” Mallowy fluttered onto her branch and landed as a chaffinch joined her.
“Thanks. Goodbye, Mallowy!” Cali waved and set off.
“Take care, Cali. Be a good girl now!”
Cali ran home and burst in the front door. She was dismayed at what she saw.
Her mother was on the lounge floor surrounded by toys. The boys were having a great time playing Godzilla with dinosaurs crushing cars, despite her sitting there in tears.
Cali threw her arms around her, “I’m home and I’m sorry, mummy. I do love you loads.”
“Thank you, sweetheart,” Catherine said. “And I’m sorry too.”
“It’s father’s fault, not yours. Would you like to watch the Bieber concert on Youtube with me?” Cali asked.
Catherine held her at arm’s length and nodded. “I reckon that’s a really nice idea. We’ll get popcorn and ice cream to enjoy with it.”
“Thank you, that’ll be wonderful,” Cali beamed and hugged her again.
“Good, but first do mummy a favour and help her clean up this bomb site!”
Cali opened her mouth to complain then grinned, “Okay, I’ll go and get a bulldozer!”
Don’t forget Holly Ward investigates, Stolen Treasures is out on Amazon now!
A recent bank robbery. A saddened man. A coded message. Can they all be connected?
Young Sleuth Holly Ward is determined to help the man. It’s not long before she too comes under assault from a group of dangerous individuals. In the face of intimidation, abduction and even murder can Holly solve the clues and catch the criminals before she becomes the next Stolen Treasure?
Thanks for reading my friends.
Have a great day!