The Magical Mushroom Path

Hello, dears!

A little while ago, I took a walk in the woods which I will never forget. I found a trail of mushrooms leading me into the forest, where I found more mushrooms with more variety than I have EVER seen before! I can’t wait to tell you that story and show you some of my favorite pictures. Continue reading

Cuteness Overload + A Mysterious Tale

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Hello, dears!

Before reading this post, BEWARE. Extreme cuteness ahead. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Heh heh, anyway, these little fuzzballs grew SO much since my last baby bunny post, and as anticipated, THEY GOT EVEN MORE ADORABLE.

Megan and I did a photoshoot of the bunnies a while ago and it turned out ADORABLE.

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We were going to put them on grass, but they started eating it and baby rabbits aren’t supposed to eat greens for a few weeks. Just to be safe, we took them to a gravelly spot in front of the big house. I LOVE THIS PICTURE.

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THE FRONT VIEW IS JUST SO…

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The siblings behaved very well around each other, heh heh.

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OKAY I LOVE THIS PICTURE. I can’t believe I got a photo of one of them yawning! AHHHH IT’S SO CUTE.

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This little one was always sleepy. You could pretty much put her anywhere and she’d just start falling asleep on the spot. XD ‚̧

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OH MY, TRIPLE CUTENESS.

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Since they insisted on finding weeds even in the pebbles and nibbling them, we decided to go inside. And we lined them up on the floor and AHHHH I’M MELTING.

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I couldn’t decide which version is better, so here are both. ūüôā Which one is your favorite?

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They are just so sleepy and cuddly! ‚̧

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I love all the variety of colors!

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The peonies were blooming and this one made a great prop… until the bunnies started eating it. XD

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They love licking each other… and you. ‚̧ It’s adorable.

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GUYS. Look at that pile of sleeping fluff. LOOK AT IT!

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SEE? AREN’T THEY THE CUTEST EVER?

But now that the photoshoot is over, I have a story to tell you. *deep breath*

A Mysterious Tragedy

One afternoon Megan came in from feeding the rabbits and said, “I can’t find the baby bunnies. They’re not in their cage, and I saw a black snake go into the garage [where we kept the bunnies].” We tried not to panic and decided maybe they had just hopped out of the cage (Megan said it had a hole) and were hiding. So we went to look, in the rain.

We all kind of held our breath and tiptoed through the door, hoping we wouldn’t see a snake eating… well anyway, we opened the door and saw nothing. No snake, no bunnies. The cage was empty except for Willow, who appeared calm enough. The top had been skewed so there was a hole just big enough for baby bunnies to squeeze through.

We swept the flashlight under the shelves and stuff in the dimness until HURRAH! I FOUND A BABY BUNNY! The little silver one! We caught her and continued our search, much cheered.

Well, we opened cabinets and peered in holes and generally went over the whole garage about three times. No baby bunnies. No black snake. They disappeared without a trace. Except… then Logan remembered that the door to the garage had been open a little while ago¬†and our dog was around. Maggie is a hunter, and the cage was right in plain sight.

Maybe she nosed the cage and enough for the bunnies to get out, and came back later… then again, maybe she made the hole and the bunnies got out and escaped outside through a space by the garage door! So we looked outside, a bit half-heartedly through the drizzling rain, and then, just as we were about to give up hope…

Nothing happened. *sigh* They were just nowhere to be found. And it was still raining.

We went back, and decided to take Willow and Lavender (the silver one) into our basement so nothing would happen to them. And we still don’t know what happened to the rest. Was it the snake? Was it Maggie? Did the babies escape and someday we’ll see an spotted rabbit hopping out of the woods? Who knows. Only God, I suppose.

And that, my friends, is that mysterious, tragic end of all but one of the remaining baby bunnies. *bows head sadly*

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Since that’s kind of an awful note to end on, let me give you some good news. Carmen is keeping Lavender, the one bunny left! She’s getting so big and is SO cute and tame and sweet. Since she’s the only baby for us to handle now, she is extra well-loved and I think she’ll be a wonderful pet even when she grows up. And now, let me end this post with a hilarious picture of our one and only baby bunny:

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ISN’T THAT ADORABLE?! She just stayed there quietly, for quite a few minutes. XD

Well I hope you enjoyed the photoshoot, if not the story. :/ At least we had enough time to get a good dose of cuteness before they disappeared… Which photo was your favorite?OH, and before you go, I have two announcements.

#1: I FINISHED SCHOOL! FOREVER! I AM SO EXCITED. It feels kind of unreal, actually. O.o I feel like I learned a lot, especially in my last year, but it’s so good to be done. And so, so STRANGE. When are you guys getting done for the year (or forever)?

#2: This will probably be the last post for a couple of weeks¬†because¬†we’re moving into the big house!¬†YAAAY! It’s going to be a considerable process to clean basically the whole big house (it is a BIG house), go up and pack and load up our old house in a week or less, and then come down and move in, amongst other (exciting!) plans, but I CAN’T WAIT.

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you so my disappearance online and on email won’t be as mysterious as the baby bunnies’. Even though I’m done with school, I’m still keeping busy, don’t you worry. And get ready for some exciting stuff when I come back!

NOW, you are finally released from this post. XD Thank you ever so much for reading, dears, and please have a lovely day!

***Allison***

{Little Drummer} A Story + Christmas Photography

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“Come,” they told me, “a newborn King to see.”

The journey was long, but we were strong.

“Our finest gifts we bring… to lay before the King.”

Blankets and wool against the cool.

“So to honor him… when we come.”

Kneel down, creaking sounds; bow low, down we go.

My father and the other shepherds knelt¬†beside the manger¬†in awe, but I stood back.¬†I had come to see a king, and here was a¬†child wrapped in dirty rags and laid in a feeding trough.¬†I had come to see a palace, and here was a¬†drafty stable shed. I¬†had come to honor him, but he didn’t even¬†look at¬†me.¬†The baby’s¬†eyes were closed and he slept silently.

But¬†then I remembered what the angels said, and a thrill of fear pierced me again at the thought of their thundering voices¬†and blindingly bright¬†faces, faces¬†that had seen God Himself and yet deigned to appear to us, the lowest of the low. Shepherds. They had said, “You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger,”¬†and¬†at the thought,¬†they had been filled with such ecstasy that they poured out the most beautiful and terrible song I had ever heard, with a thundering, pulsing beat that made my heart ache in reply. And they were right. There you were, sleeping¬†among¬†the stiff rags and coarse hay.

Remembering this, I knelt¬†–¬†out of obedience at first.¬†But when you opened your eyes and looked straight into mine, I knew that you were no ordinary King: you were our Messiah, our Savior, the long awaited perfect Lamb, better¬†than any unblemished sheep we raised for the temple. For in your new-opened¬†eyes I saw the wisdom of eternity, and a love¬†more beautiful and terrible than the song of the angels. Love¬†for me, a¬†lowly shepherd boy, a little drummer.

I longed to give you a gift then, a gift worthy of such a King. But I had nothing.

Little Baby,
I am a poor boy too.
I have no gift to bring
That’s fit to give the King.

I looked down at my feet in shame and there was my drum. The only thing I possessed. It would not do much good to give it to you, but maybe… I raised my eyes humbly to your mother who was watching you with worship on her calm and tired face. I asked her if I could play for you. My father held out a hand to stop me, but¬†your mother¬†smiled and nodded.

The night was silent then. Silent but for the rhythms in my memory, the precious stones I had collected on our journey until I had a chance to drop them one by one onto my drum. Now I let them go.

Tha-THUM. Pa-RUM. Tha-THUM. Pa-RUM. The piece started slowly and softly, to the deep beat of my own heart. Rip, strip; rip, strip. I added the comfortable beat of sheep chewing up grass.

The song was gaining strength, but it was still hungry. I¬†fed it more rhythms, dropped more stones: The heartbeat quickened and pounded as the angels appeared,¬†then the¬†tempo scattered and broke into the complicated, powerful¬†roll of the angels’ hymn that had¬†nearly ripped my heart out when I listened. Finally the¬†heartbeat slowed again, accompanied by the¬†slap of our footsteps traveling to meet you.¬†And then¬†everything sped up and¬†crashed¬†together¬†at the moment when¬†you looked at me and I saw a Redeemer in your eyes.

I thought I¬†was finished, but¬†the¬†rhythm took hold of me and I played a song I did not know, a song I had never learned. The¬†staccato tempo¬†of the donkey’s feet¬†carrying your mother here. The cries of pain as she brought joy into the world. The first breath of a new life and yet a life¬†that had always been. The sound of a thousand thousand hearts beating in unison,¬†aching with¬†longing for a King, a Savior to heal¬†up the¬†cracks where sin seeps through.¬†And the shivering bleat of a perfect, unblemished¬†little lamb¬†who¬†held deep power inside.

The song swelled and grew as I added each new rhythm, flying upwards and outwards until it blended with the billowing, whirling wind outside. The pulses crept under my closed eyelids and traveled with a delicious tingle down my cheeks and into my mouth, where they piled so high that the corners of my lips stretched up to hold them all. Still they kept seeping in until at last they overflowed and burst out my mouth in a jumble.

The laugh bounced off the drum with the rest of the precious stones, then followed them over the side, single file, until the only stone left was the soft, deep thump of my heartbeat. At last, it too danced off the drum and the world was silent once again. I sighed, satisfied, my gift completed.

I opened my eyes and looked at you. And you smiled at me.

**************

Well, that was fun!¬†Maybe not¬†the best thing I’ve written, but something I’ve been wanting to write for a while. I know, I just posted a Christmas story… sorry ’bout that. :/ (I promise I will cut down on the writing and Christmas-themed posts and get back to normal after December. XD)

But I just love the Little Drummer Boy song. It’s such a sweet and powerful reminder that we, too, have nothing fit to give our King – and yet he laid down his life for us. Though we crown him with thorns, yet he smiles at us.¬†The least we can do is play our¬†life song to him in gratitude. ‚ô•

Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed the little story and Christmasy pictures. ūüôā And MERRY CHRISTMAS, GUYS! I hope you have an absolutely stupendous one. ‚ô•

***Allison***

Write Christmas: My Entry

Heyyy, guys! DID YOU KNOW IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS? Oh, you did? Well. Anyway, speaking of Christmas,¬†I entered the “Write Christmas” writing contest (see details here), and I wanted to show you guys my submission today! ūüôā

First, can I just say that writing an 800-word story is REALLY hard? I mean I love writing short stories, but this was a very short short story. O.o I edited and fiddled with it and finally got it down to exactly 800 words. XD

At the same time,¬†a small word limit¬†was quite helpful for practicing tight, clean writing, which I loved. Okay, enough about that stuff – here’s the story! I put the prompts I used at the end so¬†they don’t spoil anything. ūüėČ

Christmas Coal

William¬†heard them whispering when they thought¬†he was asleep.¬†He wasn’t asleep because¬†he was cold; that was what they were whispering about. The coldest Christmas Eve anyone could remember,¬†with no coal to guard¬†them from the gnashing, growling, wild wind that¬†clawed through their leaking walls.

The boy’s heart ached as his mother’s whisper turned to a sob, and he wished longingly that he had money to get them coal for Christmas. But he had nothing – until¬†the wind swept an idea into the room. William brushed his black hair out of his face along with the cold, dark thoughts, and fell asleep smiling.

The plan recycled itself through his head the next morning when he catapulted into the snowy streets. Every night on Christmas Eve, St. Nicholas appeared in the town square to spread gifts to children gathered there. But before he did, he always asked if they had been good that year, else they would get naught from him but coal. A bag of coal, and just for being naughty!

William’s first victim was a horse and carriage. He darted in front of a strutting gray mare, shouting and waving his hands until the horse reared back in terror, nearly slamming the carriage into an iron railing. There, he thought grimly. Surely that was naughty enough for a bag of coal. But as he spun around to leave, the driver clambered out of his seat and rushed toward the boy, whose eyes widened as he was met not with a box to the ears, but an embrace.

“Oh! What a brave one ye are, lad! M’horse wouldna be prancin’ so pretty if na for thee. Who could ha made so deep a pit right in t’middle o’ t’street, I canna fathom, but I bless the good Lord who sent thee today.” The old man winked and pressed a silver-wrapped chocolate into the boy’s palm. He watched blankly as the driver remounted and carefully maneuvered his steed around the snow-covered hole. All that risk for nothing! Ah well, at least he had thought of a second plan.

William shuffled slowly along the sidewalk, waiting for an older boy and girl to pass. When they did, he rushed between them, holding a sprig of mistletoe above their heads. The boy and girl stopped and glanced at each other with delighted smiles of recognition, then at the leaves in the air. The older boy chuckled awkwardly. The girl blushed and murmured something. Suddenly, to William’s horror, they kissed, right under his hands! He drew back in disgust, but not before the girl had pressed a golden butterscotch into his hand.

“I‚Äôve been waiting so long,‚ÄĚ she whispered happily. ‚ÄúThank you. And Merry Christmas!” The boy only nodded in confusion and stumbled off, leaving the two talking and smiling together. How could this have happened again? At this rate he was never going to get his coal!

But as the afternoon wore on, each new plan was received with gratitude and a piece of candy instead of the angry words he eagerly anticipated. Why was it so hard to be naughty now, and so easy the rest of the year when he tried to be good?

Finally, as night arrived, William had one last chance. There sat a bag coal, waiting temptingly on the doorstep of a shabby house for him to snatch it up and race home. But his hand was stayed by snatches of a carol sung in a sweet, high voice nearby. ‚ÄúDo you know what I know? A child, a child, shivers in the cold – let us bring him silver and gold, let us bring him silver and gold!‚ÄĚ

The boy stopped. He pulled his thin jacket closer around him and closed his eyes miserably. If the High King had given up Paradise to shiver in a cold stable that he might warm the icy, sinful heart of all the world, how could he steal warmth from a stranger who might need it more than he? William knew the answer: he couldn’t. He would gather some wood from the park, and though it wouldn’t burn long, it would warm his family for a bit. And at least he had the candy.

But William gazed at his handful of gold and silver sweets in his palm, and then looked up to see the caroler standing near. She was very small and thin, with dirty red hair and hollow cheeks. Her eyes were bright, and she was smiling at him.

All at once he stood up and held out the candy. The girl gasped with delight. Then she caught up the bag of coal behind him and held it out too. ‚ÄúTake it, please,‚ÄĚ she beamed. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs an extra bag. We call it Christmas Coal.‚ÄĚ

*********************

Prompts Used:

Ah, that was fun. ūüôā I hope you enjoyed reading it, dears! And since this post is so short, I thought I’d include some of my favorite Christmas songs/videos I discovered this year. The first one is hilarious, and the other two are just beautiful (and did you know the second one is sung by a fifteen-year-old?!). ‚ô• Let me know which one was your favorite, and Merry Christmas! ūüėÄ

***Allison***

 

 

CPC #6: ~ e x p e d i t i o n {Part 2} ~

GUYS, THIS IS THE LAST CPC. :O I’ve enjoyed coming up with ideas for¬†this super neat¬†and creative challenge, but I will also be glad to get back to normal posting. ūüôā I hope you like¬†this final¬†entry: the sequel so many of you guys¬†requested to my last CPC post.¬†Here’s a little refresher from the previous story…

And so as they walked slowly back to Aeryn’s house, he gradually pulled their past out of the mist. And the twins, listening with wide eyes, almost wished it had stayed there.

Ready to uncover the secrets of the twins’ past? Okay, let’s do this.

Prompts Used: 2

Photos Submitted: 2

Art Submitted: 5

Total Points: 17

 

~ e x p e d i t i o n {Part 2} ~

“All this started way far back and a long, long time ago; so far and so long that you have to close your eyes to see the palm trees waving and close your ears to hear the ocean whispering at you.

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There now, you see it? That’s my island. It isn’t really mine, but I like to think so, and that’s where the problem is. Everybody likes to think it’s their island.

“As far back as our minds can reach, there were two different kinds of people who lived there and two different kinds of people who wanted it for their own. One was white like you, one was black like me. And they hated each other. If you set your foot on the wrong side of the island, the side where the other folks’ lived, you weren’t gonna come back anytime soon. In fact, you weren’t coming back at all.

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“Both people invented all sorts of ways to hurt each other, and the worst way was banishment. They built a rickety ol’ boat whose main feature was its leakiness, then they trussed you with vines, plopped you in that boat and shoved you off to drown, starve, sink, or all of the above. Sometimes, the two sides even banished their own people, particularly if they weren’t strong or looked funny. See, both sides thought maybe if they weeded out all the weak people, they’d finally be strong enough to conquer the other side.

“But sometimes the weak ones were really the strongest and we didn‚Äôt even know it. There was this girl…‚ÄĚ Terence swallowed hard. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm mighty ashamed to tell this part, but I have to. There was this girl who looked the strangest I‚Äôve ever seen. Some of her skin was black and some was white, all splotched and patched together.

Tasha. Perfect!
via Pinterest (Not my picture.)

“We hated that girl. I hated that girl. We wanted to banish her, but she was the chief‚Äôs daughter and he wouldn‚Äôt let us, even though he was always banishing other people. But one day we gave him the slip and sent her off, thinking we‚Äôd seen the last of her.‚ÄĚ

“But we were wrong. A couple months later, she was back in a better boat, and she had a white girl with her that had one brown eye and one blue.

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{via Pinterest} Edited by me.
“And they were friends. Her story is awfully interesting too, but my stomach says there‚Äôs no time to tell that one right now.” Terence stopped for a moment on the steep path and panted. “Hey, are we close to your house by any chance?¬†My stomach¬†sure is mad at me.”

“We’re about halfway,” Aeryn said impatiently, “but¬†you haven’t¬†finished the story yet. You didn’t get to the part about us.”

Terence winked¬†at the girls.¬†“Alright, I s’pose¬†a few more minutes without food isn’t gonna make a difference when¬†I’ve managed for two days without it so far.”

Tasha looked horrified, but clamped her mouth shut when Terence began again. “Okay, where was I… oh yeah.¬†When those girls came back, something changed. Their friendship and the fact that Kalea survived¬†shocked my people straight off the wrong path and onto the right one. We realized we would be strongest when we united instead of divided ourselves. And we came up with a plan.

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Very strange, I know. XD

 

“There’s a legend that the white prince started the scorn of weakness because his sisters were… different, somehow. We don’t know how because the¬†prince’s father was so ashamed of them he made sure to¬†keep them hidden¬†– or perhaps they disappeared or died.¬†It’s anyone’s guess.¬†Anyway, the prince’s first act as ruler was to banish the two white twins of a palace servant because twins were not normal, and in his eyes, bad.”

Tasha’s eyes widened. “Where the twins us?”

Aeryn scowled when Terence nodded ‘yes.’ ‚ÄúWe never stood a chance, did we?‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúThat‚Äôs the sad part ‚Äď you did, once. The prince used to love you two, and your parents were his close friends or something, even though they were servants. The prince was just a normal boy growing up, but as soon as he became ruler, something happened. No one knows what, but suddenly even the sight of someone different blew his top, and it’s said that your parents had something to do with it.”

“Who were our parents?” Tasha and Aeryn asked together, breathless.

Terence shrugged. “Don’t know. Your whole family and past is kinda covered in mystery. The prince took care to keep it that way. But even so (or maybe because of that), you girls have become a sort of legend on our island. I still can’t believe you girls are alive and that I found you!”

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Aeryn looked thoughtful. “Yeah, but how did you find us anyway? Where you looking for us?”

“Well not you, specifically, but for people like you who had been banished and might have survived like Kalea did. We figured if we found some of the people the white prince banished, they would be so grateful that we rescued them, they would join us. See, we need all the help we can get if we’re going to unite the island again. And if you girls joined us… well, maybe you could shock the prince back on track too. If you lead us, my people will follow.”

The twins paled. Leave their beloved island to lead a people they didn’t even know existed,¬†in a place they’d never heard of before? Talk to the very one who had banished them?

Aeryn stopped at a tall tree and said shakily, “Let us… let us think about it for a while. Everything happened to us at once. Our whole world and everything we thought we knew¬†exploded in the space of a few hours, and we’re still¬†reeling. But,” she said, trying to smile, “in the meantime, welcome to our… I mean¬†my home!” Terence stepped¬†leaned back to¬†see the tree house¬†and whistled appreciatively.

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The girls jumped.

“How did you make that sound?” Aeryn asked curiously. “The one that sounded like a bird?”

Terence raised his eyebrows. “You mean whistling?¬†Shucks, you girls sure have a lot to learn. But don’t worry, I’ll teach you. Up we go, huh?”

Aeryn climbed nimbly up the rope ladder, but Tasha climbed slowly and shakily. “Hey, don’t worry, Tasha,” Terence called from a few rungs below her. “If you fall, I’ll catch you.”¬†He smiled his easy smile at¬†her and she smiled back shyly. Finally they reached the top, and he whistled again when he opened the¬†rough wooden door.

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“This is pretty good for two girls, I have to admit! Say, where’d you get all this stuff? And what’s this?” He pointed to a rusty¬†woven-wire basket on wheels¬†that held a pile of treasures – old tin cans, pretty pebbles and¬†bits of sea glass, and a jumbled mess of other things he’d never seen before.

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Tasha beamed proudly. “The sea gave them to us. This¬†thing was one of the things we found on our first expedition. We were so little we could hardly drag it up here.”

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Prompt picture (not mine).

She selected a battered up pan from the driftwood shelf and set about preparing some clam soup for Terence, who was running his dark hands over the rusty metal cart. “Wow, I’ve never seen anything like this before. It certainly didn’t come from our island.”

Suddenly his eyes widened and he sucked in a breath. “Wait. I just thought of something. All the sudden everything makes sense. What if the prince banished you because you were from another island, one that he was afraid of? The one that all this stuff came from? Maybe he used your “weakness” as an excuse to banish you. Maybe that wasn’t the real reason.” He put his hands on their shoulders and looked into their eyes. “Tasha, Aeryn… we need to figure out your past. It just might be the key to my people’s future.”

________________________________

Dun-dun-DUNNNN! I know that was a cliffhanger, but you’re going to have to wait to see how it turns out… maybe for a long time. XD¬†While I was brainstorming this story, I got an idea for a whole series! Kalea’s story would probably be the first book, the twins’ story would be the second, and I don’t know about the rest. So maybe one day I’ll write a whole book about the twins and you’ll get to see what happens! Maybe… ūüėõ

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this, dears, and thanks for reading!

***Allison***

CPC #4: ~ t h e c l o u d j o u r n a l ~

Heyyy, guys! I’m back with another CPC entry for Carol‘s writing challenge! I actually spent a rather long time on this (especially¬†on the¬†art and such) because I was determined to earn a lot of points for my team this time. XD SO YOU GUYS BETTER LIKE IT. Juuuust kidding. I do hope you enjoy, though! ūüôā

Prompts used: 2

Photos submitted: 12

Art submitted: 6

Total points: 39

Callie’s Cloud Journal

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Purpose: To record my cloud dreaming,¬†for further analyzation in case I’m a famous scientist some day.

Materials: Pen and paper.

Hypothesis: You can do things two ways: the art way or the science way. I am a science child. Most of the time.

Data/Observations: I guess I should do a little introduction since this is an autobiography. You have probably already concluded two things from the data given: my name is Callie and I am a very scientifically-minded child. I have concluded that if I have a choice of doing something with the left side of my brain or the right side, approximately 97% of the time I will choose the left side.

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Take baking for an example. Some people think of baking as a work of art: they can take a pinch of this and a dash of that and make a masterpiece. Art is not my strength. I excel in precision. I always weigh my ingredients to the tenth decimal place and make sure the cup of flour is perfectly level and the brownies are cut in exactly 2 inch by 2 inch squares. I follow instructions to the letter, and to the numbers and punctuation marks too.

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Perhaps you’re wondering where the other 3% of right-minded-ness comes from. Well, that’s the subject of this entry¬†– this entire journal, in fact. This data is super secret – it may or may not make it into my actual autobiography¬†when and if¬†I publish it in the distant future. But¬†I guess this paper won’t spill any secrets¬†because it cannot¬†speak. (I meant that as a joke, in case you were wondering. Sometimes people aren’t sure whether I’m joking or not because in addition to being a very scientifically-minded child, I am also very serious.)

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But back to the subject. Basically the only times I use my right brain for thinking involve clouds. I enjoy studying clouds – always have – but this is not studying. It is… well, daydreaming, as much as I hate to admit it.

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I close my eyes and focus on sending false messages to my mechanoreceptors. All I do is imagine what I wish clouds would feel like so hard and so long that my nerves are tricked, and when I stretch out my hand, I feel it.¬†(Now, I know clouds are actually made of water droplets and that I have¬†in reality felt them¬†many times when I walk in fog, but I told you – this is the 3%. The other 97% of the time I send my brain such accurate information that it’s easily fooled for cloud dreaming.)

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I have a list of ten different clouds I choose from. If¬†I’m really angry I’ll go with stratus or nimbostratus, and¬†occasionally I’ll choose¬†cirrus, but my favorite is cumulus.

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Today I chose¬†my favorite, Cloud¬†Nine –¬†a cumulus cloud¬†tinged with lavender and coral pink. Cumulus clouds feel warm and silky soft and puffy, like sitting in a pile of memory foam covered with the fuzziest blanket ever, or on a giant, lightly toasted marshmallow without the stickiness.

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What do I do on my cloud?

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Prompt picture. (Not mine.)

 

I look out the window and observe. I take notes.

 Miles. 16. Wearing a completely black suit. Independent, entrepreneurial.

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Jayne. 15. Wearing a hot pink and cyan jumpsuit. Fashion-obsessed, talkative.

CPC 3 (853x1280)I have no facts, no data about the people I see, only observations and the hypotheses I come up with myself. It’s a good exercise, and sitting on clouds helps with¬†it somehow. My theory is that after my brain gets started by imagining clouds, it’s easier to imagine how old a person is, what their name might be, etcetera. I’m not¬†certain of this, though, and that’s another reason I want to start this¬†journal.

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Today after I observed those two aforementioned people, I heard a sound so loud it nearly vibrated the fluid in my cochlea right out of my ear.

I looked out the window again and nearly fell off Cloud Nine. Miles had met Jayne and I watched as he pulled his own cloud out of his briefcase and was offering it to her.

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I’m serious. And the loud sound? It was Jayne shrieking. This was going to be interesting.

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ISN’T THAT CLOUD SO CUTE? I’ll talk more about it in a minute, but hold on.

Anyway, heh heh, that was more of a character sketch than a short story – the plot never really got off the ground (pun intended). But it was quite interesting to write because Callie is basically the opposite of me in every way. I am definitely an art child, as you have probably picked up through my blog. ūüėČ

Okay. Before you go, here are a few bonus pictures that¬†I didn’t get to work into the story.

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Ugh this cloud painting didn’t exactly turn out how I imagined. I’ve never seen such strange, wobbly sun rays. Oh well… let’s call it artistic license. *Sigh* Except for that one pink “Cloud Nine” picture, I am terrible at drawing realistic clouds, so this was great practice!

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I got the gorgeous warm cumulus cloud pictures coming back from a vacation.

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And now for the fluzzy cloud. THIS LITTLE GUY IS WAY TOO CUTE. I simply bunched up a piece of felting wool in my hand, took these pictures, and then added the face on PicMonkey.

For some reason I LOVE IT.¬†Also help, I need name suggestions. Yes I am going to name a blob of felting wool. I mean, I’m¬†a teenage girl, what do you expect? ūüėõ XD

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‚ô•‚ô•‚ô• SO. SQUISHY.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the story and the pictures and art, dears. ūüôā Oh, and if you’re interested in reading more of my CPC entries, you can see my first entry here and my¬†2nd and 3rd¬†entries here, on my CWWC page. I didn’t make a separate post for the two on the page, but I’d love to hear what you think!

Do you have a favorite photo/piece of art? Are you a science child or an art child? Any name suggestions for Mr. Fluzzy? (Hey, there’s an idea…)

***Allison***

P. S. Tomorrow I will announce the winner of my giveaway! I’M SO EXCITED. Also I apologize for all the outbursts in this post.¬†O.o Heh.

CPC #1: ~ t i m e ~

Hey, guys! I’m participating in Carol‘s lovely Cameras and Pens writing challenge, so I wanted to show you the first story I wrote for it. What makes this particular writing challenge special is that you can make art to illustrate your story or take photos that pertain to it for bonus points, as well as earning points by using the prompts! So I did all three.

***All photos are mine except the first one, which is a prompt photo. All artwork is mine period. ;)***

Prompts used: 2.

Photos submitted: 7

Artwork submitted: 3

Total points earned: 22

~ t i m e ~

Maybe it was just one minute. Or one second. Or one microsecond. It whipped past my memory WAY too fast.

I’d been looking forward to summer – the laughter, the friends, the¬†pool, the freedom –¬†for practically the whole year, and now here I was, sitting on the edge of the lake,¬†absently spinning¬†my bike pedals with my fingers and thinking about how school started in three days. Where had time gone?

Related image
Prompt picture. (Not mine.)

Where had Time gone? I dangled my feet in the water and thought about it.

Maybe he was taking a vacation after all the hard work of making summer go by so fast. Maybe that’s why everything seemed to suddenly slow down – Time was tired.

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I used a long exposure (about 8 seconds) to show the second hand moving. ūüôā
Or maybe he’s just contrary. When you’re bored, he creeps past you with an evil smirk on¬†his face, an¬†when you’re having fun,¬†he flies past so quickly you can’t even catch a glimpse of him.
Perhaps he has rheumatism. I mean, he is pretty old after all. Maybe sunlight and happy times put a spring in his step and he races along with the best of them; but when it rains and everything is gloomy, his rheumatism holds him back from going at more than a painful crawl.
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Wherever he went and whatever the reason, I wished he would have taken a few steps backward before he took his vacation Рor even just stopped altogether.
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But though he is ancient, he has not retired Рnor will he until his Maker comes and sets Infinity in his place. He is so popular that that everyone plans their lives around his schedule, they beg for more of him as if he is a celebrity, and yet he is elusive, the hardest to grasp when you need him most.
But he is a good healer, binding up wounds and soothing them without any medicine. He takes a long time to do his healing, but he does it.
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Try as we might, no one except Time’s Creator has ever been able to stop him from marching on. Day after day, night after night, he passes by, faithfully following his schedule.
He is close friends with the sun and the moon and has seen their rise and fall countless times in his life.
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We have made many faces for Time Рsome square, some round, some oval, some hardly a shape at all, with skin imprinted with numbers and evenly creased with lines.

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But I think his real face is filled with thousands of wrinkles, one from each year he has seen.

Sometimes his eyes are greenish-yellow slits as they peer at you from the alarm clock on your bedside stand and wait, ready to shriek at you to get up, get up, to not waste anymore of him than you already have.

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If that doesn’t work, he¬†uses¬†the sharp cane he carries¬†to jab those who think they can waste him away.

He has one long hand and¬†one short hand. He was born with a sort of nervous tick that he can’t seem to get rid of.

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His clothing style is rather eccentric; a mish-mash of fashions picked up from many eras.

Fickle, wayward, unaccountable… and yet what would we do without him? You have to admit, he’s pretty diligent at his job, and there’s really no one that could replace him.

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Yes, I am aware that this is a SUPER creepy and kind of awful drawing, but I like the idea, so… Just don’t look at his face. XD

I sighed. I guess Time did deserve a break after all that work, and besides, summer would get old if that’s all we ever had.¬†And how¬†would I learn all of the stories Time has collected over the years without History class?

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I stretched and stood up.¬†The sun was setting like an egg the moon had cracked for breakfast, the deep orange-yellow yolk spilling all over the sky.¬†The¬†moon¬†ate it all up¬†and then began its long night’s work.

It was right on Time.

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The End. ūüėÄ

I had a lot of fun with that, as you can¬†probably¬†tell. ūüėČ I hope you had fun reading it!

What artwork or photo was your favorite? Would you like to read my future CPC entries or would you rather me post normal stuff? I’d love to hear your honest (but courteous) opinion!

Thank you for reading, dears, and have a lovely day filled with plenty of Time. ūüėČ

***Allison***

P. S. Oh. My goodness. I ALMOST HAVE THREE THOUSAND FOLLOWERS?! Eeeee! I’d probably better start planning something, which will probably¬†include a giveaway.¬†Any suggestions?

The Color Box {A Story + A Surprise}

GUYS. I AM SO EXCITED! I finally, FINALLY started an Etsy shop for my art, after working on it for quite a while! ūüėÄ AHHH YAYAYAYAY!

Ahem. Anyway, let me tell you a little bit about it and why I’m so excited for it. Click on the picture or the link below it to visit my shop.

the color box header

The Color Box Studio

Story Behind the Shop // My Mission:

I’ve loved art my whole life and I’ve always dreamed of selling my art and crafts as a business. It was (and still is) my dream job. That’s why I’m¬†so overjoyed to actually¬†be doing it! I believe God gave me what talent I have to use¬†it for his¬†glory as well as to bring myself and others joy. ūüėÄ I hope to build a collection of fun, beautiful¬†prints that will brighten people’s homes and add unique, handmade pieces to their d√©cor that you can’t buy just anywhere.

Behind the Name

After much deliberation, I named my shop The Color Box Studio because I love colors and have a box of 72 Prismacolor colored pencils that is among my most treasured art supplies. ūüėÄ Plus I just think it’s a cute name. XD

What I Sell

Currently I’m just selling art prints, but I hope to add some original and custom pieces soon. (If you have a custom request, just let me know¬†and I’ll be happy to work with you!)

I¬†have four prints available so far¬†and I can’t wait to add more soon! Here’s a peek at two of the listings, and you can see the rest here.

Click on the pictures to visit the listing.

Red Fox Art 2

Zentangle Elephant Art 2

What is Gicleé?

The type of prints I sell¬†are called gicle√© (pronounced jhee-CLAY). Gicle√©¬†uses a¬†certain process and materials to create super high-quality prints with bright colors and fine detail. I decided on it after¬†some research and trial-and-error, because¬†it’s basically the best-quality art print you can get and looks almost exactly like the original. Each piece of art is printed on thick, white, archival-quality paper to¬†ensure it will last a¬†looong time – a minimum of 80 years! I use this printing company and I absolutely¬†adore their¬†products and customer service.

So yeah! That’s my announcement! ūüėÄ

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Also,¬†since I realize the news is probably not as thrilling to you as it is to me (and this post would be way too short otherwise XD), I wrote a little¬†story for you guys at Mercury‘s suggestion. ūüôā I hope you enjoy!

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The Color Box

The air was heavy that day, laying on her shoulders and sitting on her head like a great flock of birds. It was November, bleak and colorless, and Kira was wandering the streets as usual. Her long, gray-brown hair hung limp and forlorn in the miserable weather and she walked slowly, so she could notice everything.

Kira was an Observer. She collected things with her mind. She had a whole room in her brain filled with the small¬†wonders she had seen: mist rolling in mysterious clouds along the street; a striped snail sliding over a little white mushroom;¬†three cats following an old woman with an enormous straw hat…¬†¬†She never took the things she saw; she just looked, and remembered.

Her favorite part about Observing was the colors. Her city had precious little color to brighten its weary streets, so whenever she found a yellow flower springing from a sidewalk crack or a bright bluebird flashing by, she smiled her soft, slow smile and closed her eyes to be extra sure she would remember it.

Today, a piece of color caught her eye and her heart leapt. It was a color box. She saw it flashing in the sunlight, peeking out from under a heap of dry leaves and crumpled papers, and she hurried toward it.

When she opened it, she breathed a shuddering breath of delight. She had never seen so many colors at once. All the colors of the rainbow, and even more besides! The pencils were lined up in an uneven row, some blunt and some sharp, some tall and some short, and they were all beautiful.

Kira looked at it thoughtfully, and made a decision. For once, Kira collected with her hands as well as her mind. She would use it to draw the best memories in her collection so she could never forget them.

She began at once, smoothing out a crumpled piece of newspaper nearby to draw on. At first she tried a flower, one of her favorite finds. Kira chose a periwinkle blue for the petals and a bright green for the stem and leaves. Her pencil scratched and scraped on the paper. Her eyebrows drew together in concentration and she caught her bottom lip between her teeth to keep it from trembling with excitement. Finally Kira sat up and looked at it.

Her face fell. The colors were beautiful, but the flower did not look like the picture in her head. Kira was discouraged, but then she set her mouth firmly and promised herself that she would make a better one.

All day Kira worked. She drew flowers, she drew snails, she drew her fingertips with their broken nails. A little beetle crawled onto her paper and she drew it too. Twice a pencil got too worn down and she had to take a break to sharpen it with the dull sharpener inside the box. Finally, as the sun was setting, Kira drew the same periwinkle flower one more time. She smiled slowly in satisfaction. It still did not look like a perfect match, but it was much better than her first try.

She could hardly wait to try again tomorrow.

The next day she decided to try and draw the face of the old man who always sat on the weathered bench beside the curb. To her dismay, faces were much, much harder to draw than flowers. But as before, she took a breath, selected a new crumpled piece of paper, and started again. She stared at him for minutes at a time, taking in each wrinkle, each hair, the color of his eyes and skin and lips. And then she drew.

Day after day, she tried again. Sometimes she drew faces of passersby or people who looked out of the windows, but most of all she drew the old man who always stared ahead at nothing, rubbing a thumb over the a brown mark on the thin, wrinkled skin of his hand.

Finally, one day she was satisfied. She looked from her drawing to the old man’s face and grinned.¬†Shyly, she stood up¬†pushed the paper into his lap.

“I drew this for you,” she said quietly. The man blinked and looked down slowly. He stared at the drawing for a long time, and then looked up at the girl. He smiled.

The next day there was an old woman beside the man on the bench. When he saw Kira he beckoned her toward him and said, “Can you draw her too?” Kira could.

Thereafter Kira drew a new person every day. After a while she got tired of drawing with the same colors, so she chose different ones. Kira drew people not in the colors she saw with her eyes, but in the colors she saw inside of them Рthe colors they really were.

Her solemn gray-brown eyes looked at you unflinchingly, looked and looked until you felt she was pulling your secrets, good and bad, from your eyes, and you dropped your gaze. Kira found the secrets one by one and from those she could tell the color of the person. Some people were bright yellow and orange and pastel pink, and others were blue and gray and purple. One man was only black and white.

Every day Kira drew, on newspaper and scraps of cardboard and paper bags. When she was finished, she hung them on lampposts all over the city, so the people she had drawn could find them. Slowly the city grew more colorful. When people saw the drawings they would stop for a second look, and walk on with their inside colors shining more clearly on their faces. And Kira herself was no longer composed of grays and browns but of all the colors of her pencils, for they had bled into her fingers and crept into her heart, so that they were a part of her.

Nowadays Kira still collects things – the room in her mind is heaped to overflowing – but her favorite memory was and always will be, her color box.

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Hee hee, that was a fun little¬†story.¬†ūüôā I hope you liked it and my Etsy shop. What is your favorite listing I have so far? And what is your favorite “color box” – colored pencils, watercolors, markers, etc.?

Thanks for reading, my dears, and have a most wonderful day!

***Allison***

The Dust Pixies, Part 9 – The Finale

Goodness gracious, it has been far too long since I¬†added to this story! (I always say that about my writing posts, don’t¬†I? XD ) ¬†Well anyway, here I am now! I hope you enjoy this last chapter of The Dust Pixies.

If you’d like to read the¬†previous chapters, click here. And here’s a refresher from the last part:

Reuven was silent a moment, considering the advice. ‚ÄúFine,‚ÄĚ he said in a low voice. ‚ÄúI agree. Being the man who killed the Princess‚Äôs husband is probably not the best tactic. So maybe he‚Äôll just suffer an ‚Äėaccident.‚Äô ‚ÄĚ He lifted his chin, dark eyes glinting.

Rosalind gasped, then shut her mouth tightly. We all looked at each other with panic in our faces.

It was time to put our plan into action.

Part 9

I reached into the burlap bag and scooped out the dust bunny. I looked into its bright little eyes¬†and whispered, “This is it, little guy.¬†Time to¬†pay me back¬†for all the trouble you’ve caused.” The bunny cocked its head and looked at me curiously, its small nose wiggling.¬†At last it caught the scent of¬†freedom and raced straight into the midst of the fairies’ camp.

The fairies exploded in a flurry of wings and shouts.

“Eww, it’s all dusty.”

“Well of course it is, Karina – it’s a dustbunny.”

“EEK! You mean from the dust pixies? Gross! Shoo, get away from here!”

“IT TRIED TO BITE ME!”

“What if it has rabies?”

“AHHHH!”

I grinned. Perfect – everyone was distracted. Time for Stage Two.

Lyri and I fluttered nonchalantly  past the tents, looking for any sign of Finn or Anabelle Rose. A couple of fairies glanced at us but we ducked our heads and they flew back to the uproar. Our disguises Рor more like our baths Рhad done the job.

We finally found Eli peering between the tents at the ruckus. He jumped when I touched him.

“Psst, Eli, it’s us! The dust pixies! We’ve come to rescue our friends, like we promised.”

His¬†big black eyes widened, taking in our costumes,¬†the absence of dust, and then¬†our faces. He gave us a nod and a tiny smile. We tiptoed past the fairies’ tents, each one different from the others. Some were made of bright flower petals or rich green leaves,¬†others of twigs¬†bound together with vines. We stopped at one of the biggest tents, an enormous¬†orange tiger lily.

“This is my house,” Eli whispered to us shyly.

“It’s very pretty,” Lyri whispered back with a smile.

Eli blushed and looked at the ground.

When he led us around to the back I had to clap my hand over my mouth to keep from shouting. There sat Anabelle Rose and Finn, bound with a thick brown vine, mouths stuffed with its leaves… I gulped: poison ivy.

When Anabelle and Finn saw us, their tired faces lighted up for a moment, but then their eyes widened and they shook their heads violently, gesturing to something behind us.

I turned and all the breath rushed out of me. Oh no. Two tall fairymen were standing behind us with their arms crossed and scowls on their faces.

“FLY!” Eli yelled.

Lyri and I took off, flying high up into the trees. Unfortunately, the fairies were right behind us. We had a head start but the fairymen were much more adept at maneuvering through the branches.

Suddenly, a bird appeared out of nowhere, shrieking and divebombing us. I could see a nest of scruffy little babies with their yellow mouths wide open behind her. I flapped my wings backward as hard as possible but it was too late. The bird slammed into me and I started spiraling to the ground.

“Mae!” Lyri screamed, following me down.

I managed to slow my fall a bit with my wings, but they hurt too much to do anything more than flap feebly. I thudded to the ground and groaned. Ouch. Everything hurt.

“Mae, are you okay?” Lyri asked, trembling.

“Uh… maybe,” I mumbled. Well at least we had lost the two fairymen.

But then I heard voices, and footsteps.

I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to curl into a ball, but my body protested.¬†Why am I here?¬†We didn’t even¬†help¬†anything, just made¬†everything a bigger mess than when we started.¬†I heard my name shouted over and over.

“Mae, wake up! Mae, it’s us! Mae, Mae, Mae!”

I slowly opened my eyes, then snapped them open the rest of the way.

“WHAT?! How did you guys escape?” I scrambled to my feet – or tried to, but only managed to sit up. There stood Eli, Petre, and Anabelle Rose and¬†Finn, a little weak and haggard maybe, but standing. Free.

Anabelle smiled. “While you and Lyri were distracting the fairymen, Eli and Petre freed us. Than you ever so much, boys,” she told them gratefully. Eli blushed again and Petre grinned proudly.

Finn took my hand. “And thank you for coming back to save us.” He gave me a warm smile, and I was glad I’d come, despite the pain. I could see why Anabelle had been so heartbroken about losing him.

Then¬†a thought struck me. We were all together… except Fiona. “Where’s Fiona?”

“Well, the dustbunny situation got a little out of hand, so Fiona went to go¬†catch him.”

“Wait, Fiona just waltzed into the middle of all those fairies?”

They all nodded. “Pretty much.”

I swallowed hard. Better hope her disguise held up. I turned my head to¬†look for¬†Fiona, but all I saw was a¬†cacophony of wings and fairies and noise. Suddenly the¬†commotion quieted and I could hear a shrill, familiar voice saying, “I got him!” The fairies parted a bit and I could see Fiona triumphantly¬†holding up a wriggling ball of fluff. She glanced around until her eyes rested on us.

“Okay, well, I’m going to go, um… dispose of this little rascal now,” she said to the crowd, and started moving toward us. Uh-oh. As she came closer I took in her messy hair, bedraggled clothes, and the dirt and dust covering her all over. This was not good. She looked way to much like a dust pixie again.

Some of the fairies must have thought so too because a few of them turned toward us with odd expressions, like they were trying to place our faces. Suddenly, Reuven leapt into the air.

“After them,” he bellowed, “they’re dust pixies!” Unfortunately, Anabelle chose this time to peek out from behind the small bush where she was hiding. Reuven’s face turned even darker with anger. “And they’re trying to kidnap the princess!” Oh really? I thought. Who’s the one¬†talking?

Once again, Eli yelled, “FLY!”

His father turned on him fiercely. “Oh, so now you’re against us, are you?”

I thought Eli would be too shy to speak up for us, but I was wrong. “No, father,” he said quietly. “I’m not against you – I’m just for them. They’re really not as bad as we think-”

“ENOUGH,” Reuven roared. “We will discuss your choice of friends later. For now, CAPTURE THEM.”

I gulped. An army of fairies surged toward us. I tried to lift off, but pain shot through my right wing. I crumpled to the ground, my friends gathering around me. There was no escape now.

Unless…

If we could just start Stage Three of our plan, immediately, but I couldn’t do it by myself. The fairies were coming closer and closer. Please, please, please. Suddenly the fairies halted.

“Watch out, it’s a human!” All at once the fairies turned and scattered into the bushes.

Yesssss! I could¬†feel¬†Rosalind’s thunderous footsteps crunching through the dry leaves.

“We’ve got to get out of here. Now,” Finn whispered. “Can you make it, Mae?” I struggled to my feet, feeling fine, but when I fluttered my wings I collapsed again and tears spilled down my cheeks.

I shook my head, “I think my wing is broken.”

Finn pulled me up. “It’s okay, Mae, we’ll help you. Do you think you could let me carry you?”

I nodded. I felt small and humiliated. Only¬†little dust pixies, even younger than Petre, were flown piggyback, when they were too young to fly fast enough¬†on their own, but there was no other choice. I climbed onto Finn’s strong back and we sped off. Just when it seemed we were finally clear of the fairies, I heard a shout and¬†something whistled through the air.

Finn gasped and fell to the ground. A long, thin arrow was stuck in his back, just below where I sat.

“Nooooo,” I wailed. Anabelle swooped to the ground. “Finn! FINN! Are you okay?” Not again. We were so close. We had come to the end of our plan. What more could we do? Suddenly I felt a gust of wind and Rosalind’s huge hand scooped us up.

Somehow, we were going to get home.

*******************

I leaped from step to step up the attic staircase. I wanted to fly – needed to fly, but my wing wasn’t healed yet. I sighed, then scolded myself. I should be thankful I wasn’t worse off. Anabelle Rose and Finn were both covered in hundreds of red, itchy sores from the poison ivy vines, and Finn was bedridden from the terrible wound where the arrow had pierced him almost all the way through.

I still hadn’t seen him since we came back since after all the explanations and crushing hugs and¬†panicked scoldings¬†from¬†my parents, we had been stuck inside the house for several days as punishment – which, I had to admit, was¬†more than¬†fair, seeing as we broke two of the most major laws of the dust pixies: Don’t Associate With Fairies; and Don’t Ever, EVER, Under Any¬†Circumstances,¬†Let Yourself Be Seen By Humans. However, after telling our parents all about it, they relaxed a bit and even became curious to see this human and the fairy and dust pixie whom we had rescued.

That’s why we had all come to the attic – my whole family as well as Lyri’s. The adults paled as they saw the giant form of Rosalind laying stretched out on the dusty floor beside Finn’s house, but they made it through the introductions remarkably well, and seemed grateful to meet the one who had saved their children. Then Anabelle came out and we introduced everyone once again. I could tell my mother was impressed with Anabelle’s grace and beauty. Finally we all crowded into Anabelle’s¬†lovely house with the beautiful evergreen forest wallpaper to see Finn. He was laying on the overstuffed couch made from green felt scraps and matchsticks. He looked very, very tired and his shirt bulged in the back with his bandage, but his smile was bigger than ever.

It was then that I knew everything would be alright. We had shown the fairies that¬†we weren’t afraid of them, that¬†though we had a human on our side, we were strong and brave ourselves. Despite their hostility and all the injuries they had given us, I was confident that one day soon, the dust pixies and the fairies would make peace. I remembered Eli with his big, dark eyes and knew for certain that, like humans,¬†the fairies weren’t all bad. They were really more like us than we¬†had ever¬†imagined.

I looked over the mix of dust pixies and fairies and humans, and heaved a happy sigh. It had all been worth it. All the pain and panic, broken bones and baths, had most definitely been worth it.

And as I sat there listening to Finn recount his adventures, I was very grateful to that mischievous little dustbunny on Round Up Day who had unknowingly changed my life forever.

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There! Ahh, it feels so good to be able to finish a series like this. ūüôā I do hope you enjoyed it, my dear readers! Thanks for your encouragement and kind comments on this story. ‚ô•

Until next time!

***Allison***