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A Visit to Ireland in March Seemed Appropriate

Thank you to this group!  I very much enjoy being nudged out of my normal routine, and getting my creative writing juices flowing.  I love the idea of being inspired by music.

Here are the prompts that Erika gave me:

1.) Heavy Metal/Hard Rock- Diary of a Madman by Ozzy Osbourne

2.) Pop/Hip-Hop- Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey

3.) Country/Singer-Song Writer- A Horse With No Name by America

4.) Instrumental/Soundtrack- The Rainbow Connection from The Muppet Movie (1979)

5.) Wild Card- Sleeping Beauty Waltz Part 2/5 by Tchaikovsky

Diary of a Madman was new to me, so that was great.  America’s  A Horse With No Name is a song that I’ve heard thousands of times, and can’t help sing along with.  It conjured up plenty of images that were fighting for attention.  However, I chose The Rainbow Connection because I’d had a Leprechaun story floating around for awhile, and my son’s birthday is St. Patrick’s day.  So the following is dedicated to him.  I hope you enjoy it.

A visit to Ireland

A visit to Ireland

Bixby

With a tiny pop, Marilee appeared

This first moment was always the most dangerous. She might have popped in right in front of the nose of a human, or worse a cat on the prowl. In a split second she found a hiding place in the leaves, paused to catch her breath and scanned the area. Everything she saw was green, wet, and buzzing with life. A few small birds flitted above her, a wide trail of ants marched under the tree branch behind her, and two fat bunnies chewed contentedly on a patch of vegetation nearby. With a deep release of breath Marilee recognized that there was no danger. Lucky.

Focusing on her true purpose, she allowed herself to drift down closer to the base of the tree. She knew he was here somewhere. The queen wouldn’t have sent her astray. But where? These darned Leprechauns are so difficult! Marilee thought as she closely inspected the trunk and roots. She knew they liked to tuck themselves in and pretend to be just another root, or rock or both. Out of the corner of her eye she detected movement. She looked, and waited for it. There! She watched again, slowly getting closer, holding her breath.

From somewhere above came a single water drop every twenty seconds or so. When the drop hit the bark at the tree’s base, the spot gave the tiniest little twitch. As she got closer, her eyes and mind recognized the parts of a gnarled nose and brow ridge. Drop. Twitch.

Marilee quickly covered her mouth to suppress her giggle, then screamed as the eye receiving the water drop few open, and glared at her as if she were the source of the torture. Startled, Marilee flew backward and slammed hard into the trunk of the tree. With a grunt, all air was knocked out of her lungs and she fell with a tiny plop onto the ground near a root. On her way down, she didn’t fail to notice the satisfied look that came into the eye, and another little twitch below the hook nose that must be the mouth of this hidden little man.

By the time Marilee regained her breath and courage, the eye closed again. Now finding the man in his disguise was a little easier. She saw the other eye, wrinkled and shaded under his nose. Drip. Twitch. Grunt. She looked closer, and could tell that he was using his hat as a pillow of sorts, and that his coat was covered in living moss and grass. His knees were tucked up and disguised as a low dirt mound and long rock. She couldn’t find his feet. Drip. Twitch. Growl.

Emboldened, she crept a bit closer, still attempting to discern his full use of camouflage. This time when the eye popped open, she wasn’t so startled. “So, yer awake then? Our queen thought today might be right. I been sent to fetch ye’.”

Drip. The latest drip caught him with his eye open. With a growl, he slammed it shut. “Ye’ damned pixie! The least ye’ could do is get up there and move the torturous leaf! ‘Tis kill’n me one horrid drop after another!” His voice was rough from disuse, but clear and firm in its demand.

With another giggle Marilee did as he bid, zooming up to the leaf and tucking it behind a small twig. “Better?” she waited, but he didn’t answer. “Now don’ ye’ go back to sleep, Bixby! I tol’ ye’ the queen’s a callin’ ye’ home.”

“There be nothin’ worse than bein awakn’d from a long sleep by a dammed random drip in de eye. A steady drip…. I had that woeful experience abou’ twenty years past. At least then I knew when ‘twas comin’ and could brace meself. But this… ah, ye’ only know another is comin’, and ‘tis always a terrible shock. Worst. WORST way to wake up I tell ye’ true.”

“Gosh, Bixby, why didn’t ye’ just get out o’ the way?” She held her trim little belly, sore from laughing all through his sorry complaint. He glared at her again which only caused her to laugh harder.

“Bah, ye’ don’ know nothin’. I would’ve moved had I the power. When a Lep is in deep cover, ye’ transition slow like, so as not to let anything know yer whereabouts. First, the brain an’ the ears. If all sounds right, the heart and lungs get permission to start slow and steady; pumpin’ warmth out into the extremities. Next come me eyes, but I mostly keep ‘em closed and let me nose wake up a bit. Smellin’ danger is a good skill to develop. Ye’ should think on tha’.”

Marilee got serious for a moment, and took a minute sample of the air. “I don’ smell nothing.” She noticed his eyes still on her, so she tried again. This time she noticed a bit more. “I smell earth, and somethin’ musty. Probably yerself after yer long sleep. Do ye’ bathe?”

“Truly? That’s all yer pip of a nose can find?” She shrugged.   “How you Pixies survive is beyond me.” With blurring speed, his hand came out of hiding and with a flick of his finger he sent a small lizard flying.

The motion caused Marilee to topple over backward. She didn’t realize that she had been sitting on Bixby’s arm the whole time. She caught her fall and zoomed up into the leaves.

“Ye’ can come back now.” Bixby chuckled. “Ye’ll be no lizard’s breakfast today.”

Marilee watched Bixby from her hiding place. How embarrassing! There was no way she was going back down there, at least not until her burning cheeks calmed down.

Bixby stretched and pulled more and more of his hidden body into view. “So, as I was explainin’ to ye’. It’s important to train yer nose to find danger before ye’ reveal yerself. Once yer nose says tis clear, then the muscles start to come back, and yer bones demand to be straightened.” Bixby stood and stretched his compact body. With a deep groan he grew to his full height of about eighteen inches. Marilee heard his tiny bones snap back into alignment.

She watched as he dusted the dirt and moss from his reddish brown coat and pants with his soft hat, and then carefully reformed it and fit it to his head. “Have ye’ no feet?” she called down to him.

He looked up sharply at her, and then down at his legs, which ended with ankles still deep in camouflage. “Ye’ may think me a fool, young Pix, but I’m no goin’ to reveal me most prized possession until I know fer sure da area is clear of thieves. Fer all I know, ye’ aren’t here for the queen, but for yer own greedy purposes.”

“Ha! What would I do with some ol’ set o’ leprechaun feet! An’ the name be Marilee.”

“Ye’ are a dense one, Marilee. It’s no’ me feet that I’m hidin’. It’s me fine shoes!” With a jump, Bixby pulled his feet above ground and displayed a soft rich pair of gold buckled, leather shoes.

“Ohhh, weel, they are nice, but they’ll no’ fit me anyway.” Marilee looked down at her bare feet and wiggled her toes at Bixby.

“Do ye’ not own yer own shoes, Marilee? Or did ye’ dance them away at the last Ceili?” He did a little jig and smiled up at her. She wasn’t smiling back. “What’s the matter? I could make ye’ some fine slippers ye’ know.”

“Oh, ‘tis nothin’ . I have shoes. I don’ seem to be very good at dancin’ though. Not many be askin’ for a twirl. I’ve never worn out any slippers.” She tucked her chin and looked away from him.

“Bahhh! Fools! I’d dance with ye’. I’m no’ afraid o’ a little thing with wings.” Arms akimbo, Bixby called her down to him. “Let me have a closer look at ye’.”

“Na. Ye’ve seen me close.” She peaked at him over her shoulder.

“I’m not movin’ til ye’ get yerself down here. Ye’d better move, girl, or the queen’ll have yer head for not fetchin’ me back.” He crossed his arms over his stout chest and waited.

With a glare, Marilee lit from the branch and floated down in front of him. “Well?” They stared at each other, and she could feel the blood rushing up to her cheeks. Never in her life had she let anyone inspect her like this.

Bixby smiled, and let softness come into his eyes as he appreciated her fine form. Before her eyes, his skin lost the look of tree bark, and the moss in his short beard disappeared.   A deep blush filled his cheeks when he noticed how closely Marilee was inspecting him. “Well, yerself!” He coughed and looked away, suddenly interested in the tree bark, and moss before him. “Awww, young Marilee, ye’must fergive this haggard old Lep. I been alone longer than ye’ve been alive.” He could see that she was appeased. “So, why does the queen want me now, after all these years guardin’ our gold, and and makin’ o’ the best shoes she’s ever seen.” His eyes perked wide. “Is that it? Does the queen need new slippers?”

“Do ye’ really think the queen needs another pair o’ shoes? All I know is that I’m to fetch ye’, and that we’re to take the Rainbow Connection back. I’ve no’ enou’ dust to carry us both.” She hoped he didn’t catch her lies.

“Oh, well, if tis no’ fer me shoes, ‘tis another reason then?” He glanced again at her to find the strangest look come over Marilee’s face. She screamed, disappeared, and for a confused Bixby, the recognition of danger came seconds too late.

In seeming slow motion his body recognized the absence of bird song. He turned and saw the backs of the fleeting rabbits before everything went black. His feet were yanked from beneath him and he tumbled not knowing up from down. Slowly his eyes made out the light coming in through rough seams, and he stopped struggling. He was caught, and caught good.

First time in one hundred and thirty-two years he allowed himself to be distracted. With a sigh, he realized there’d be hell to pay. The bag shook, and he heard a muffled voice. “I’ve been waiting fer a long time, and finally I’ve got what I been lookin’ for. You!” Bixby closed his eyes and wished that he’d stayed asleep today.

Marilee watched a huge thin man sweep Bixby into a dark sack, shake it a few times, and with a satisfied smirk walk away into the woods. From a safe distance, she followed them. Unbidden tears trailed down her cheeks as she realized that it was because of her that he had put down his guard and been captured.

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

            “Open ye’ eyes! You can’t fool me, Little Man! I know yer in there plottin’ how to escape. Let me tell ye’ now I been thinkin’ on this, and I won’ let ye’ escape or fool me into lettin ye’ go. I’ll have my three wishes this day!” With a nasty cackle, the tall man exposed his brown teeth, and rancid whisky breath. He reached in and grabbed Bixby by the leg and drew him roughly out of the bag.

“Oh aye, sir! Don’ mind me. Twas a peaceful trip, rockin’ along in that warm, dark bag. Felt like I was in me mother’s arms and fell right to sleep.” Bixby yawned, stretched, then made like he’d forgotten his manners. “Excuse me, sir. Oh, wise and tricky human. As that is what you surely must be, since you were able to catch me today.” He snapped to attention, and with a fancy flourish removed his cap and bowed before his captor. “How may I be o’ service to ye’, sirrrr?”

“Now tha’s better, showin’ the proper respect. But don’ go gettin’ tricky. I know not to take me eyes off ye’, and I know no’ to let ye’ distract me from my wishes. So… I know exactly what I want, and ye’ will listen silently to me three wishes, grant me dose wishes, and only then ye’ll be free. Do I make meself understood?”

With a twitch to his mouth, and a twinkle in his eye, Bixby silently bowed, then straightened, ready to do his bidding. “Right. Now as I was sayin, I don’ wanna hear a peep out o’ you. Here are me wishes: Me first wish is to never have to chop wood again. You will magically provide me with a full log pile so every time I need to refuel me fire, I will see that me log pile is no’ diminished for me whole life!” The man glared at Bixby, and Bixby nodded and smiled back. “Me second wish is to have a magical horse that nev’r needs t’ be fed, stall nev’r needs t’ be mucked, and his strength must no diminish!” Feeling quite pleased with himself, and with Bixby who remained perfectly silent so far, the tall man continued. “Finally, I wish that ye’, Mr. Leprechaun, provide me with a pot of solid gold that will nev’r be emptied. I will have that pot remain full, no matter how much I take out!”

The tall man proudly puffed out his chest. He hadn’t taken his eyes off Bixby, but the wildness of anticipation was making it difficult. “Well? Do it then!”

“As you wish, sir, and have a fine and wonderful life enjoying the amazin’ and wonderful benefits of yer wise and well thought out wishes.” With that Bixby jumped up twirled, snapped his fingers three times, and turned his back on the man and began to walk away.

Startled and expectant, the man turned to view the granting of his three wishes. He saw it all in an instant. The wood pile, the horse, and the pot of gold were all there. Falling to his knees the man wailed into his hands. “Nooooo!”

Marilee saw all this and zoomed in to float next to his shoulder. “Are ye’ alright, Bixby? I’m so sorry I made you get caught!”

“Naaa! Me little pixie, that was quite diverting. What a fool!” Bixby allowed himself to laugh, but didn’t turn around to view the scene behind him. “Bixby, why is he so unhappy? Did you not give him what he wished for?”

“Well, he wished fer a magical wood pile that provides him a lifetime supply.   ‘Tis probably not all stacked as yet, but that may take some time.” Marilee looked over her shoulder, and noticed that behind the cabin was a growing pile of chopped wood. In fact what a few moments ago looked like a well stocked bunch of logs was beginning to look like a growing lumber yard, that gave no signs of stopping. It had already taken over the garden and was expanding out into the woods.

She giggled and turned back to Bixby. “Oh, I see. But what abou’ the horse? Could he no’ use it t’ haul the wood an’ sell it?”

“Geez, Marilee, have I no’ taught ye’ a thing? Use yer nose, girl!” She gave a good sniff, and instantly regretted it. A horrible stench filled her nose and she felt like she would retch. “Oh, aye. That was a good wish don’ ye’ think? The only horse that never needs feed’n or muck’n is a dead one! An de only strength dat won’ be diminished would be the smell of its rottin’ flesh! Ewww!” Bixby clutched his belly, laughing heartily and began to walk faster away from the scene still unfolding behind them.

“That was a disgusting trick, Bixby, but that ugly man deserved it. Maybe he will figure a way to solve his problems with his pot o’ gold.” Marilee looked over at Bixby who had fallen down now and was rolling in gales of laughter on the ground. “Bixby! You old trickster! What did you do now?”

Catching his breath, “A pot…o’ gold…solid!” Laughing and choking, eyes watering, Bixby couldn’t continue. Confused but starting to laugh herself, Marilee tried to make sense of his words. “Never empty!…Ever!” Bixby rolled over onto his stomach and laughed into the soft grass.

“What is it, Bixby!” Marilee demanded. “I don’ understand. Isn’t that exactly what he wanted?”

She waited some moments for his shoulders to stop shaking as he gained control over his mirth, rolled over, and looked up at her floating above his chest. “He got what he wished for young Marilee. A pot o’ solid gold that can nev’r be emptied! Get it?”

Slowly understanding washed over her. “Ohhh, so he can no get the gold out o’ the pot? Is that yer trick Bixby?”

“Aye, and that pot is abou’ that size of a Pixie’s purse!” He collapsed again into laughter, proud of his tricks on the stupid human. “He made it so easy!”

“Come along, Bixby. ‘Tis time to catch yer rainbow back to the queen.” She tugged on his coat sleeve.

“Is it possible, Marilee, that she sent ye’ because she has plans fer us?” He looked at her. A solemn, worried look crossed his brow.

“Oh aye, she has her plans.” Marilee blushed, but continued to hold his sleeve. “Well, the Rainbow Connection is very special, young Marilee. Only a select few can use it.” He smiled as he realized that he wasn’t the only one who had quickly fallen in love. “Who?” “Lovers, Dreamers, and now We.” He took her gently into his hand as a rainbow appeared next to them. He smiled into her eyes, and walked them into the light.

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Bubble Trouble

We’ve been busy.  This site has fallen silent over the past months.  But life has a way of stabilizing again and bringing things back into balance.  Novels have been written, agents have been wooed or are being wooed and now, it’s time to return our attention to this place of creativity and whimsy.  It is simply too fun to let go.

So… we’re back!

Erika had the following prompts to choose from for her challenge:

Amy- Strawberry Bubble Gum

Cameron- It’s a proven fact that you never have double stick tape when you need it.

Jen- Opening line:  In the end it was the spiders that got her.

Wendy- Harry Potter meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer                                                                                   

Anyone who knows me would assume I would pick the Buffy and Harry prompt and that includes me.  I’m still shocked, but I chose… Amy’s.

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

“Did bad people steal nice lady’s clothes?” I heard a piping voice above me.

I opened my eyes, blinking against the bright June sunshine.  Straightening my sunglasses, I squinted at the small figure hovering above me.  Wait, hovering? Yelping, I grabbed my towel and sat up in the chaise. “You… what are you?” I squawked as I covered my red bikini.

Stumbling, I stood and backed across the deck, searching for the sliding glass door.  My heart pounded.

“My name is Heddywn ap Heilyn ap Awstin,” he began. The air around him shone gold.

I cut him off.  “Whoa. Stop.  That’s a lot of names.”  My head was pounding from last night’s kegger.  Never again, I swore.

“I have sixteen more names, lady,” he replied, drawing himself up to his full height of less than a foot in mid-air.  He took his cap off in a sweeping motion and bowed. “And my service you have.”  His aura shifted to a cheerful yellow.

“Your what?”

“My service, help, for thanks to you, most beneficent provider of the victuals.”  He came closer and I drew back, my head bumping the glass door of my parents’ house.  Add the thump to my hangover and a merry drum circle of pain danced around my brain. Ugh, never again I silently repeated, staring at my unlikely guest.

He was adorable.  Dark hair, dimples, ravishing blue eyes, and, oh yeah, about ten inches tall with wings moving as fast as a hummingbird’s.  Wings.

I cleared my throat.  “Victuals?” I asked, proud that my voice didn’t crack.  Part of me wanted to duck inside and lock the door, but part of me couldn’t take my eyes of this itty bitty vision of perfection. I mean, a fairy?  In my parents’ backyard?

“Yes, victuals,” he said, waving an arm around the deck. “The best in our territory.  See the nectar.”  He pointed to the hummingbird feeder.  His aura changed again, transitioning from yellow to a brilliant blue.

“For the birds,” I said.  He ignored me.

“The salty, yummy goodness,” he continued, waving at the remains of yesterday’s lunch on the deck’s picnic table.

“Curly fries. Can’t argue with you there,” I said.

“Chewy, fatty, manna from heaven.” He pointed to the plate which had held this morning’s microwave bacon.  I couldn’t finish it, but the dish was clean now.

“Bacon.” I sighed. “That about sums it up.”

“But most munificent of all,” he said, flitting to and fro in the air, gesticulating as he spoke, “for us, you left… BEER!”  The air around him shone bright yellow again.

He swooped over a cache of beer bottles on the deck left where my friends and I had discarded them last night before heading out to the party.  I made a mental note to clean up.  It was still a few days until my parents got back from San Diego, but no sense leaving everything for the last minute.  Their view of their nineteen-year-old drinking was bound to be dim.

“Look, um, what do I call you?”

“I am Heddywn ap Heilyn ap Awstin–“

“Right, right, I got that.” I relaxed and sat down on a bench at the table.  My companion, or hallucination depending on your point of view, sat on a candle across from me.  “Look, would you be offended if I called you something else?”

“You wish to give me a title?”  He perked up and slicked his hair back.  I couldn’t see that he needed to worry.  Add another five feet and a few inches and he would be calendar worthy material.  He was strangely dressed.  His clothes were a bit of this and a bit of that, crudely stitched odds and ends.

“Yeah, right, a title.’  I thought for a moment. He was hot enough to appear on romance covers.  Well, matchbook size covers.  “Let’s call you… Fabio.”

Sir Fabio?”

“Sure, Sir Fabio.  Um, are you a fairy?”

“Fairy? Me? No, fairies are scary, grumpy, and huge.” Fabio’s blue eyes were wide and his aura changed to a bright turquoise.  I thought perhaps the changing shades represented the swing of his emotions. “I am a pixie.”

“A pixie.  Wow, I’ve never met a pixie before.”

“Excellent!  I am the first!” He flew up in the air like a shot and did a loop-the-loop. “Now, shall nice lady convey titles to my clan?”

“Uh, my name is Molly. Clan?”  Before I had time to think Fabio gave a shrill whistle and I winced as the yard exploded in color and movement.  One, two, three… six more winged beings emerged, their little high-pitched voices all talking at once.

Each pixie was dressed like Fabio in a bit of this and a bit of that.  Their wings caught the summer sun in an iridescent rainbow’s shine. The air around each diminutive being shone with changing colors.

After a few moments seven pixies alighted on my table.  The six newcomers lined up and Fabio marched before them, his wings neatly tucked against his back and his expression serious.  “Pixies of the Green House That Once Held a Black Cat,”  he said with a solemn air. I started, my parents’ cat Sebastian died a year ago.  Had these beings been here all along? Fabio continued, “This is Molly, She Who Left The Supreme Victuals, and she has decided to gift us all with titles.”

“Ohhhhh,” breathed the assembled pixies.  They all regarded me with wide eyes.

I rubbed my forehead, wondering what had happened to my quiet, recover-from-a-hangover day. “Right, okay, titles for everyone.”  Gazing at the group, though their clothes were rag-tag, there was no denying that these were beautiful creatures.  I had a sudden inspiration.  “You need special names, er, titles.”

I pointed to the first, a gorgeous little blond, a goddess in miniature. “You shall be Lady Charlize.”  Next was a copper-skinned little angel. “Lady Beyonce.” Finally, Lady Ginger rounded out the females.  My head was spinning, so I gave the males the first names that came to me: Prince William, Brad Pitt, and Ryan Gosling.

What?  They seemed happy.

I sat back and watched as they cavorted and played, calling one another their new titles in high, squeaky voices.  Shifting fields of color radiated each pixie’s emotions through their auras.  Matching expressions to colors I began to figure out what each shade meant.  I got stuck on green until Prince William sidled up to Beyonce, glowing in verdant glory.  She radiated red and smacked him upside his perfect little head when he got too handsy.  Mystery solved.

As the shadows became long and my head felt better I decided it was time for me to change and grab some dinner.  “Fabio?” I called.

“Yes, oh glorious Molly?” he answered.

I could get used to being treated like this, I thought.  “Would you and your clan like some new clothes?”  It occurred to me that my old Barbie and Ken clothes were just sitting there in the garage.  Some were my sister’s, but Mom would never notice if I just took a few.

“You can do that?” Fabio asked,

“Sure, I think they’ll fit,” I said.

“First beer and now garments?” He shook his head. “We shall be like kings and queens amongst pixies.”

“Yeah, royalty, that’s it.”  I ran to grab the clothes.

Returning, I brought the group my flashiest, most Vegas-worthy doll garments.  I mean, why let them go to waste?

“We shall guard them with our paltry lives,” said Sir Ryan Gosling, hitting his tiny chest with one clenched fist.  Fabio, Beyonce, and the rest watched him and then hurried to copy his movements.

“Ouch,” mumbled Charlize, who had gotten carried away in her chest-thumping enthusiasm.

“Look guys, I mean, knights and ladies, I need to get going.  Don’t worry about the clothes.  They’re yours to whatever you like with.  I really need to think about getting this place cleaned up before my folks get home.”

“What is this ‘folks’?” asked Lady Ginger, toying with her fire-kissed locks.

“Those Who Rarely Leave Victuals,” intoned Fabio in a mournful voice.

“Oh, them,” said Ginger, her aura dampening for a moment.

“Yeah, them,” I said, “and they’ll pitch a fit if I leave everything like this.” I gestured to the remnants of various meals on the deck and throughout the yard.  I liked to be outside and it showed.  “I have to do the inside, too.”

“We hear your plea,” said Fabio, flying up to look me in the face.  He saluted. “We shall clean this yard for you.  It shall be as if we were never blessed with the victuals.”

“Thanks!” I raised my eyebrows. “Are you sure?”

“It would our honor,” he said and the other pixies nodded vigorously.  Fabio’s gleeful smile reappeared. “Perhaps, oh glorious Molly, we might finish such snacks as can be discovered?”

“Certainly.” I smiled back. “In fact, here.”  I ducked inside and grabbed a paring knife and a strawberry gumball.  On the picnic table I cut the gum into seven ragged pieces. “Here’s an extra thank you for helping me out.”

The humming of their wings filled the air as the seven crowded around the unassuming pieces.  “What is it?”  “Can you eat it?” “It’s very pink.”

“It’s bubble gum and you chew it.  Don’t swallow it.  You can flatten it out and blow air against it and make bubbles.  It’s fun, I promise.”

“Hmm, if you say so Munificent Molly,” said Fabio.  The others nodded, frowns on their faces, radiating a faint rose luster.  Annoyance? Doubt?  Oh well, I hoped they liked the clothes.  I needed to get some food.  I was starved.

***

The next day I peeked outside.  The back yard seemed empty.  Had I imagined yesterday’s crazy events?

I walked across the deck.  The yard, deck, and patio were immaculate.  Garbage, beer bottles, everything was cleaned up, as though it had never been.  The bubblegum was gone, too.

“Molly!” “Molly!” “Lady Molly!” My name was being called by many small voices.  I turned and stifled a giggle.  The clothes fit the pixies very well.  However, the pixies had little regard for the intended sex of the wearer.  I was treated to the sight of Brad Pitt in a ballerina tutu and Lady Beyonce in a white Liberace-style sequined tux.  Color combinations were also original.  For instance Sir Ryan Gosling looked quite fetching in a brilliant red and gold tartan plaid jacket with a purple floral wrap-around skirt.  Pixies didn’t wear shoes, but Sir Fabio had made my plastic sparkling doll pumps into a necklace.

“You all look… stunning,” I said, biting the side of my cheek to keep from laughing as the little folk bowed and preened in their new finery.

“We know,” said Lady Charlize, batting her eyelashes coquettishly, “but that’s not the best part.”

“It’s not?” I said.

“No, the bubbles,” she said with a sigh. “The perfection that is the bubble.  We have never experienced anything like it.”

“No other pixie has been so fortunate,” said Fabio in a serious voice.  “All envy us now.”

“Okay, pixies love gum,” I said, biting my lip now. “Good to know.”

“Do you have more?” asked Lady Ginger in her lilting high tones.

“Shh,” said Prince William. “The benevolent Molly has already bestowed so much upon us.”

I waved my hands.  “No problem, guys.” I laid another strawberry gumball on the table. “You all did such a great job on the yard.  It’s the least I can do.”

“Ohhhh, more bubble!” squealed Brad Pitt, spinning around in delight.  The other pixies capered and cried out in glee.

“A-ha!” came a new high-pitched voice.

I turned to the right side of the yard.  Seven more pixies flew over my fence and hovered above my deck.  They were dressed like my bunch had been yesterday, odds and ends, but they were also armed: screws, a nail file, a small screwdriver, half a scissors, all household instruments with a new purpose.  “So, it is true,” said their leader, an exquisite little female with blue hair. “There exists more of this ‘bubble.'”

“Go Away, Clan From The Big Tree!” scolded Fabio, his aura going deep red.  “This is our place and our bubble!”  His companions rumbled their agreement (as much as pixies can rumble). Weapons appeared from out of nowhere amongst my stylish group.

“We take the bubble!” cried the feisty blue-haired leader and the two bands converged upon one another.

“Wait, wait!” I cried, slamming my hand on the table.  They stopped and all the pixies hovered, watching me with weapons drawn.

“How about this,” I suggested, “You stop fighting and I give you another piece of bubblegum.  Then each side can have their own gum.”  I placed a second gumball on the picnic table.

There was a stunned silence.  Fourteen sets of eyes stared first at me and then at the twin pink spheres on the wooden table.

Two pieces of the strawberry bubble?” squeaked Prince William.

“Two?” echoed Charlize.

“Two,” I repeated firmly, “one for each side, but only if you promise not to fight.”

“Twice the bubble.”  My diminutive friends’ faces were beatific.

“Twice the flavor.”  Their fierce counterparts’ expressions were likewise entranced.  I wondered what on earth manufacturers had put in this gum that it had such an effect on the pixie population of Alameda County.

“Twice the happiness.”

There was silence.  I exhaled, blowing my bangs upward.  The tiny would-be warriors sounded a lot like a commercial.  “So, we’re good now, right?”

“So good,” squeaked Charlize. “Twice as much for the victor!”

“Wait, no fighting,” I said, but no one was listening to me, giant or not.

“For the bubble!” cried Fabio.

“The bubble!” screamed the other pixie clan.

And with that, the battle was joined.

"Bubble Trouble" A story by Erika Gardner

“Bubble Trouble” A story by Erika Gardner

P.S.  To My BBB Gals (That’s Beer & Bacon Babes to those not in the know)- I hope you noticed that I included all our favorites in this story: beer, bacon AND babes- LOL!  Love you, my writing friends!

Erika Gardner... a lover of all things dark chocolate, heavy metal and geeky

Erika Gardner… a lover of all things dark chocolate, heavy metal and geeky

This post was written by Erika Gardner.  If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on this blog or on her personal site www.erikagardner.com.  You can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner or “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.