Sunday, January 15, 2012

27. Madison helps me look for the fairy

        I haven’t seen Bonnie for several days now and I’m worried.  I regret making her leave.  I have no idea what’s become of her of if I’ll ever see her again.  I heard an owl outside my bedroom window last night and had to wonder what perils Bonnie might be facing.  She’s afraid of owls.  She has no place to go.  The other fairies expelled her from their company.  She’s not welcome among her own kind.  This house was her only safe haven in all this world, and I chased her away.  There are gnomes about that would love to put an end to her life.  It was stupid of me.  I told Bonnie I would protect her, and then I cast her out.  I feel like I’ve betrayed her.  So, reluctantly, I went to see Madison, hoping she might have been contacted by the little fairy.
        Lisa opened the door, but frowned upon seeing me.  That surprised me, Madison’s sisters are usually delighted to see a boy come calling at their home.  “Is Madison home?” I asked Lisa.
        “You brother’s still following me around,” Lisa said, eyes narrowing.  She was holding her arms straight down against her sides and her fists were clenched.
        She hadn’t answered my question, but I was glad Brian was the cause of her hostility and not me, or something Madison had told them about me.  Like the fact I had a fairy, which Madison did tell some people, like Ms Weaverspell.  Although now I don’t have a fairy.  I put on my best, most charming smile for Lisa, and said, “What has Brian got to do with me?”  I slouched against the doorframe.  “Isn’t Madison home?”
        She couldn’t resist smiling in response.  ““Ummm, maybe.”
        Why do girls like playing coy or being evasive, and always at the wrong time when you have the least patience?  I kept the urge to say something derogatory in check and spoke calmly, leaning towards her conspiratorially, “And what, Lisa, do you mean by ‘maybe?’” 
        Lisa unclenched her fists and placed her hands on her hips, “What I mean is, Madison’s not in the house.”
        “And what, Lisa, do you mean by ‘not in the house?’”  She was wasting a lot of my time, but I really needed to speak with Madison.
        “She out in the backyard,” Lisa said, suddenly grinning mischievously.  “Why don’t you go and see her.”
        That was good enough for me.  Since Lisa didn’t invite me in to go through the house, I walked around the side, and when I saw Madison out back, I knew the cause of Lisa’s mischievous smile.  Madison was sunbathing.   It’s unusually for us to have such a sunny day this time of year and Madison was taking full advantage.  She was lying out in the middle of their big grassy backyard on a pink bed sheet, a glass of lemonade on one corner and a bottle of suntan lotion on another.  She on her stomach with her arms up over her head and her face buried in hair.  She had on shorts and had rolled up the legs and rolled down the top to expose more skin to the sun.  She also had on a swimsuit top, but had unfastened it so as not to get a tan line across her back.
        Lisa was surely aware Madison wouldn’t appreciate being caught unawares by a boy when dressed in such a manner, I figured she wouldn’t like it either, but hey, I it wasn’t my fault, her sister sent me back there so I had an excuse.  I quietly approached Madison until standing over her prone figure.
        Madison’s a lot curvier than I had thought.  Her skin’s very fair, and it was glistening as the sun sparkled off the lotion she had recently applied.  She has nice muscle tone to her legs and back and a cute bottom.  She’s actually quite good looking when you take the time to stop and notice.
        I realized I was staring and there were probably eyes belonging to curious little sisters watching from the house, so I woke Madison.  “Hey, get up lazy, we got things to do!”  I was fun to see her start and a look of mortification appear on her face.  From behind us in the house, even through the windows, I could hear younger girls giggling.  Madison fumbled behind her back to re-fashion her swimsuit top and then rolled over, tugging and pushing at her shorts.  She stood up, pulling the sheet up with her and wrapping herself in it.  Now back in control of the situation, her embarrassment turned to anger.  “What are you doing on our property Michael?  How dare you invade my privacy like this?”
        Back to the old Madison.  “Grab your toga and follow me,” I said, heading for a small cement bench by the ponds, turning quickly so she couldn’t see the huge grin on my face.
        “Ohhhh,” I heard her exclaim behind my back, and ventured a look over my shoulder.  I was surprised she wasn’t following me, she was running for the back door of her house.  I went on to the bench anyway and took a seat.  She would be out eventually.
        It didn’t take long and Madison did appeared.  She came out the back door and marched across the yard towards me, arms swinging like she was power walking, the Madison look on her face.  She didn’t sit down but halted in front of me and folded her arms across her chest.  She started to say something but thought better of it and clamped her mouth shut.  She was fully dressed now, with jeans, tennis shoes and a polo-shirt with sleeves.  I noticed she’d combed her hair too.  I couldn’t help appreciate what a nice body she has, after having seen her in sunbathing attire.   Her legs are really long.  She shuffled on her feet, looking uncomfortable, and I realized I was staring and looked aside.  I waited for her to say something.  Finally she took a deep breath, then she spoke, “Well, you wanted to speak with me?”
        I shrugged and spoke in measured words, “Have you seen Bonnie?”
        Madison’s eyes immediately widened.  “No, why would you ask?”
        “She’s gone.  Haven’t seen her in days.  I was hoping she’d come here.”
        “No.”  Madison sat on the bench next to me, her anger instantly and totally gone.  If nothing else, Madison is practical, and I could almost see the cogs turning in her head as she pondered the implications of what I had said.  She spoke in a cautious tone, “I wasn’t expecting you would bring the fairy around anymore, not after learning they tried to kidnap my sister.  If you had, I was prepared to tell you off and take steps to protect Amie, such as calling the police.”
        “Well you don’t have to worry about that anymore.”
        “And why not?” Madison said, and put a hand on my arm.
        “I lost my cool,” I said.  “I threw Bonnie out.”
        Madison jerked her hand back.  “You did what?” she said.
        Madison’s reaction surprised me.  “I told her to get out.  What else was I to do?  I told her I didn’t want to see her anymore.”
        Madison fiddled with her hands, then looked at me with penetrating eyes.  “That wasn’t smart, Michael.”
        I couldn’t believe Madison was showing sympathy for the fairies!   She was right though, I shouldn’t have reacted so harshly.  It wasn’t Bonnie’s fault.  She was just doing what she’d been told.  She didn’t know any better.  “It was stupid of me,” I said, and looked away from Madison.  “I wonder where Bonnie’s gone.  Poor little fairy.  The other fairies won’t have anything to do with her, you know.  She was ostracized.”                 
        Madison put her hand back on my shoulder, and it felt surprisingly nice.  “I’m sure the others will take her back.”
        “No, I don’t think so, she was banished for helping me.  They even clipped her wings.
        “I’m sure she’s okay,” Madison said.
        “The gnomes want to kill her,” I said.
        Madison flinched.  “Well, if the other fairies don’t take her home, maybe she’ll come back to your house.”
        I shook my head.  “She can’t, I specifically told her I didn’t want to see her or any other fairies ever again.  She’s honor bound to follow to what I tell her.  She begged me to stay and told me she would have to obey if I commanded her to go.  And I did anyway.  She won’t be back.  She can’t.  I specifically commanded her never to return.”
        “That was dumb.”
        “Yes,” I agreed.  Madison was puzzling.  “You don’t hold it against her, that she was helping the other fairies kidnap your sister?”
        “Yes, I do,” Madison said.  “But I was hoping Bonnie might be of help to us.”
        “What do you mean?”
        “I’ve been worrying recently.   Michael, what if the fairies haven’t given up on their plans to kidnap Amie.  They might try again.  I’ve been thinking a lot on this.  Don’t you see, the danger to my sister could still be very real.  What if they do try again?  I think they might.  I’ve given it a lot of thought.  They might be waiting for just the right conditions, when the portal back to their realm can be opened again.  Bonnie said that only happens on rare occasions.  They might try to steal Amie on their way home.  I wanted to question Bonnie and learn more of their plans.  She might even have warned us when the danger was high.”
        “You think she would have helped us over her fellow fairies?” I said.
        “Oh yes, no doubt about it.”
        “I really have messed things up.”
        Madison stood up.  “Come on.  We’re going to find her?”
        “Where are you going?” I said, as Madison started towards the woods.
        “We’ll check the fairy meadow first,” Madison said, confidence ringing in her voice.
        I hurried to catch her and within minutes we had broken out of the woods and into the little fairy meadow where I originally caught Bonnie.  Madison gave a cry and I let out a whistle.  The area had been cleared of the larger ferns and all the deadfall removed, all the fallen logs and brush, leaving nothing but a flat clearing except for a small pile of rocks in the middle and a ring of mushrooms, which was thick and with healthy toadstool pods, unnatural looking in its abundance.
        “Who could have done this?” Madison exclaimed.
        I felt a chill run up my back despite the warm weather.  “Gnomes,” I remarked dourly.  I started for the mushrooms.
        Madison must have seen the anger in my eyes, for she chased after and grabbed my arm.  She pulled me back.  “What are you doing?”
        “I’m going to destroy those mushrooms.”
        “Don’t you remember what Bonnie said?  If you imperil their escape back to the realm of fairies, they’ll consider you a threat to their prince and take appropriate action.”
        “I’m not afraid.”
        “Just leave it alone,” Madison said.
        “For me?” Madison implored.
        “But I can’t let them take Amie.”
        “No, no.”  Madison looked about at the woods surrounding us.
        “See any fairies or gnomes?” I asked impatiently.
        “Look at the trees across the way,” Madison pointed.  “See the crows?”
        I saw them then, perched in the branches of all the trees to the north, dozens of them, cocking their heads, shuffling about, not making any noise, but watching us with supernatural intentness.  “I’m going to kick those mushroom down anyway,” I said.  “Then I’m going to stuff the largest rock I can find into their hole and plug it up good.  I’ll find a rock so big no number of fairies or gnomes would have a chance to budge it.”
        “You’re scaring me.” Madison said.  “What if they get mad?  I don’t feel safe here.”
        I didn’t feel that safe either, but something had to be done.  I was started towards the ring of mushrooms again, got about half way there, and it must have been apparent I had malicious intent, for the fairies came out.  Two of them.  Warriors.  A male and a female.  I recognized Elisedd and Cadeyrn, two warrior fairies.  They came from opposite sides of the meadow and crossed in front of me, directly in my path.  They had bows in their hands and arrows notched in the bows, which they brandished before my face.  It was a warning, and I didn’t need anything further, remembering their tendency to dip poison on the tips of their arrows and spears, and how it had put me in the hospital the last time I’d been attacked.
        I retreated back to Madison and she clutched at my arms.  “Let’s go Michael, please.”
        At that moment a high pitched shout on the other side of the meadow disturbed the crows, and they all took flight, squawking angrily, and ascended into the air.  We didn’t need another sign.  Madison and I turned and ran, back through the woods, back to Madison’s yard.  We kept going, but skirted around the house and went to my car where we climbed inside and made sure the windows were up and the doors locked.
        “Michael, they haven’t left,” Madison leaned against me.  “What are we doing to do?”
        I put my arm around her shoulder and held her close.  She was shaking.  “If only Bonnie was here,” I muttered.  “She would help us.”
        Madison shivered.  “Did you hear chem lab got broken into over the weekend?”
        “No, you think it was fairies?”
        “Who else would be interested in stealing a bunch of chemicals?”
        I held Madison tighter and she put her head on my chest.  It occurred to me her sisters might be wondering what we were doing alone in the car, but I didn’t care.  We huddled together for what seemed like an hour before Madison wanted to go back inside her house.  I walked her to the front door and she thanked me.  I wanted to tell her things would be okay.  Not to worry.  That I would take care of everything.  But I didn’t.  I am determined that no one will harm little Amie though.  I’ll make sure of that.
        And we still haven’t seen any signs of Bonnie.  Poor little fairy.  I hope she’s okay.

    January 15, 2013
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