On a day like this it couldn’t get any better. This morning my boyfriend gave me my favorite breakfast in bed, plain pancakes with a mountain of whip cream with strawberries around the side, life cereal and a mug of coffee. After unpacking the last box in the big beautiful stone mc-mansion I can now call home, we took a long hike in the wonderful woods near our village. When we reached the relaxing waterfall, Wyatt (my boyfriend) got down on one knee and pulled a small black box out of his jean pocket. Tears rolled down my eyes as he asked, “Alexandra Heart, amazing writer, and love of my life will you marry me?”
I was Crying too much to answer at that moment so I happily nodded. We both walked to a quiet little shop to pick an object to remind us of this wonderous day. The building is mainly a book store but has beautiful handcrafted snow globes in the back made by the owner. It made out of brick and sometimes when you walk by it looks like a pizza shop. The blue sign hangs right above the door, and reads in italic, “browse about books.” Inside there are two rows of bookshelves with “Fiction” and “Non-Fiction” written on labels at the top of each self. Then there’s the desk in the far corner where my good friend Fern is currently sitting, her hair is naturally brown but this year she died it blue, she’s one of those few people that can pull off a nose ring, and she has a tattoo on her right arm of a fern. Lastly there’s one small shelf in the corner across from the door that holds the snow globes. We walked in heading strait for the globes and when I saw the one of the water fall, (the owner makes the snow globes into local places) I knew we needed to buy it. I walked over to the counter without consulting my Fiancé slid the money and the snow globe over to Fern. She put the fifteen dollars in the cash register, wrapped the snow globe in bubble wrap and put it in the bag.
I walked out the store describing the globe to Wyatt and clutching the bag tight. When noon eventually rolled around, we headed over two my parent’s house, we planned it a week ago, no wonder he wanted it to be today. My mom and dad live in a big wood house in the woods, when they were kids the house wasn’t there, it was just a path that lead to a dead end. They both dreamed of living in a house right at the dead end, and if you know my mom and dad they won’t give up. The ended up buying the land and building the house that is there now. Wyatt was still tired from the hike this morning was a little behind. The soup was all ready finished when we got there so we sat down my dad handed out the soup and we started talking.
“Anything interesting happen today” my mom said jokingly since she knew about the proposal.
“Nothing much… oh! Wait, something did happen today! We… got a snow globe,” I answered, pulling the snow globe out of the bag and handing it over to my mom, “oh and we also got engaged so yeah I guess today was kind of fun.”
“Ha! Got good humor like your old man, a chip off the old block.” My dad said taking a slurp of noodles.
“an old broken wood block.” My mother laughed, “Did you take her anywhere special?”
“I took her to the waterfall the place we met,” Wyatt said with a smile before continuing, “I told my whole family about this but waited on my sister till I planned everything, if I had told her earlier we would be in Africa right now, she loves making everything a big deal.”
“I do remember she convinced your parents to take you to Paris for your eight years of age birthday” I said, “Everyone wanted to come.”
“I remember when she for got my sweet sixteen, I was actually relieved” Wyatt said tossing Daisy (my mom’s beagle) a cracker. Daisy caught it and gobbled it up before standing up and putting a paw on Wyatt’s leg asking for more. I heard a soft, “ping” before seeing Wyatt check his phone and say, “Speak of the devil, she couldn’t help but buy us tickets to the water park… because Teddy and veronica are going as well with their kids.”
We talked till we finished our soups then while my parents went up stairs to get the presents me and Wyatt started to clean the table. “she couldn’t help it could she,” he started, “my mom said it would be best if we filled in that part of the day.”
“I think it’s nice she wants us to have a fun time, besides what else are we going to do. How many people is she bringing?”
He checked his phone, “That’s the part she didn’t mention… I’ll ask her” then when I heard the, “ping” he answered my question, “everyone person that showed up at both our latest birthdays plus their spouse… so that would be, Fern, Jenny, Gwenn, Harry, pandora, Christopher, Marven, Veronica and…”
And with that both my parents came downstairs with one box held by each of them. First one that we opened was the hard copy of, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone signed by J.K. Rowling I cupped my hand over my mouth while Wyatt said in disbelief, “How—this is amazing!”
“Thank you so much!”
Then my dad chimed in, “Hey, you didn’t open my present yet!” then he handed Wyatt his box and said, “Open it!”
Wyatt sat down on the squishy armchair and opened the box to revel… a hammock! “Oh! It’s wonderful!” I said (noticing Wyatt was speechless) and gave them both a big bear hug.
“Now go to the water park and have fun! That’s an order.”
“Dad! We’re 25, we can’t have fun at a water park anymore.” I laughed.
“Yes of course but did that stop us?” my mother said pouring my dad so tea out of the kettle.
Wyatt started to slide the muffins my mom baked into his bag, “You know that she only got tickets for the water park cause veronica and teddy are going with their kids.” (“Ping”) “besides my sister is waiting, so we got to go.”
“Yes,” I agreed.
Story #2: Sunset to Sunset with Sirens
I woke up that morning smelling buttered toast, scrambled eggs, and an unnecessary number of pancakes. The sun was peeking in from my cracked open window, as Tigerlily, my black cat with a white circle around her right eye, yawned and hugged her little toy mouse. Not wanting to fully wake up I turned sideways in my circle-shaped bed with a giant clam shell to shade half of my bed. And I pulled the white blanket closer to my head and opened my eyes I stared at the chair that hanged from the ceiling before turning my teal clock towards me and read the time- 9:07. I pushed the clock away and turned to look at my dresser, and I gently shut my eye lids. A few seconds went by when I heard my door creak open before being drowned in saliva.
“Daisey, get off me!” I gasped lifting her above my chest, “Fine, I’ll come down,” I laughed placing her wet little nose against my nose.
She jumped down from my bed and stole Lily’s mouse, then ran off with Lily right on her tail. I stood up and walked down the two flights of stairs to find my dad sipping of coffee, staring at two identical twins that are my brothers gobbling down on jelly toast.
“Yes darling?” he said turning his attention to me.
“Coral invited me and a few other girls for a sleepover at her beach-house and a day at the beach.” I said, “she was hoping I could come over now, so, can I?”
“Sure, I don’t see why not”
“Thanks!” I ran up-stairs before my dad could remind me of sunblock.
I rushed to grab my teal backpack covered in shells and make a quick text reassuring Coral that I was coming. I stuffed everything I could possibly need into the now fat backpack: sunscreen, toothbrush and toothpaste, a rolled-up fire escape ladder, my phone, a bathing suit, hairbrush, hand-sanitizer, flipflops, pajamas, and regular clothes (all the beach stuff in a different bag and the bathing suit already on me).
I love Coral’s house, it’s right on the beach, Literally! As soon as you step down the only things stopping you from running in to the water are the shells and the occasional sea glass. My house was apart of the second row of houses on a little hill, there are three floors and three bedrooms my brothers share a bedroom, filled with trucks, blue paint, and two twin beds, on the top floor. Across from their room is another room, (AKA, the coolest room) with three teal walls (one having a mermaid pattern), a clam shell bed, a bed side desk (with a clock and some coral), a jellyfish lamp, a chair hanging from the ceiling, lights shaped like stars, and a bathroom with white walls. On the first floor is a kitchen the dining room and the living room. On the second floor is a library with a secret door to a bunch of old mermaid scrolls and Harry Potter books. Then there is a guest room with a TV and a couch that pulls out into a bed. Then there is the art room, which technically is mine, it’s where I do art, that’s how it got its name. lastly there is the office and the master bedroom which both I have never been to, my dad’s nice but the office and master bedroom are totally off limits.
Squashing and fitting everything into the backpack and grabbing my pillow and sleeping bag. Tigerlily was sitting in her sea-floor themed bed staring at me, and that’s when the thought came to me that maybe that little sea-cat of mine could come with. Last time I had a sleepover at Coral’s, she was the one who asked if Tigerlily could come with. And then that familiar sound of a text from Coral came asking if Tigerlily could come ringed in my ears and I quickly scooped Lily up and ran downstairs.
“Bye, love you!” I quickly said to my dad and brothers before rushing out of the white house with lots of windows, and jogging down the hill, dodging trees, and passing the Singing Siren’s café all the way to Coral’s house.
Her deck is exactly what a deck should look like if you lived at the beach: surf and boogie boards were leaning upright against the blue house walls in the corner, there was a table with three chairs and an umbrella, in the corner was a pile of shells picked up from the ocean, and sand all over the floor. I was just about to nock on the door when I saw Coral waving out of her bedroom window right on top of me, “You’ll run into Tulip!” she whispered, “Take the staircase to the second floor.” Tulip is Coral’s German Shepherd, who does not like Tigerlily. A weird name for a German Shepherd, yes, but when you make a promise to your best friend to name your pets after flowers, and the idea was yours, you better keep that promise. Doing as I was told I walked up the stairs on the outside to the second floor as Coral came over to open the door. “I was hoping you would come soon; Buttercup’s in my room, come on.” She said waving me in.
There was no one bigger a beach bunny (other than me) then Coral. She goes to the beach one day and then about 100 shells are added to her collection the next. But the weird thing is her room is not beach themed, it’s more of an, “Everything that fits coral” theme. In her room there are stairs leading up to a ledge that contained her Queen bed with white pillows and blanket both with a gear pattern printed on. Under her bed was a white desk that went all along the wall with a blue chair and closed laptop, and if you were to sit Tom Petty and Prince posters would be staring down at you. Right under the widow, at the same width was a desk, and what sat upon it was a record player. Then there is a scratching post for buttercup, (her cat) with a house on top connected to a tube that went all the way to the foot of her bed, both the perfect size for Buttercup, in the middle of the room. Right next to her drawer by the other window is a small library filled to the brim with books. And lastly, over her bed, there is a trap door leading to a deck on top of her house with a beach chair, a table, and a large umbrella.
“So, when are we heading down to the beach” I asked seeing her start stuffing books and sunscreen into her faded straw bag she always carried to the beach.
“Now, of course!” she said sounding surprised.
“But what about the others?” I questioned.
“They’re meeting us at the beach later, so hurry up we are having a beach day!” she said putting her fist in the air. I grabbed my beach bag and ran out after her.
When we finished setting up at an open spot with the perfect amount of everything; a hot dog stand set up a few yards behind us, shells were scattered all around us, a lot of extra space (perfect for when the rest of the girls come), close to the water but fine when the tide comes in, and Coral’s mom as the closest lifeguard.
“I didn’t have breakfast yet,” I told coral.
“Why don’t I get two bagels with butter from the breakfast stand?” I suggested starting to put on my flip flops.
“Sounds good I’m starving”
Story 3#: The Trouble with Squirrels
A feeling of calm spread over my whole body, this place had always had that affect. I settled in and watched as the tournament unfolded. From my perch I saw the no furs whack a ball to one another. Mother always hated the noise, but I found it funny to watch their wreak-less arms flail around as they tried to keep the spere inside the box.
I wanted to see more but father said I had to be back when the sun and moon were in the sky at the same time and it was almost dark. I quickly scurried along the fence like the chipmunk I am and ran into the hole that started into the elaborate tunnels I call home.
I was about to dose off in the bundle of hay that was my bed, when my dad burst in, fur still messy and tail still short. He started passing the room with a look on his face that said don’t bother me I’m thinking.
“Dad, are you okay?” I asked gently.
“It’s those dang squirrels again!” stopping dead in his tracks he sighed, “they keep grabbing berries from our bush, if we don’t do something quick, we won’t have enough berries to last us winter.”
“What!?” the squirrels always were annoying but this time they had gone too far.
“I know, we’ve tried to make the entrance wider so we could put more berries in at once, but it’s not working. I think we are going to send the guards to negotiate, but for now we are on rations.”
Just as he was about to leave, I held out my tiny paw, “Wait, don’t send the guards they’ll oppose a threat.”
“And then who should we send?” He said looking curious.
“Me!” I said bravely
“No Lucky, it’s way too dangerous!”
“Dad trust me I can do this, and what other option do you have!”
There was a long pause before, “We will think about it.”
“Yes!” I whispered.
“We will discuss it at the meeting to morrow in the Plan room, if you’re late You’re not to come at all!” He said sternly.
“okay!” I said as I silently cheered myself to bed, I’m going on a mission!
The next day I wasted no time and ran to the Plan room. I took a deep breath before entering the room, I was forbidden to even look at it, and now I am invited in to join the meeting. There was a block of wood in the middle (the table), and guards surrounding it Each hand on sewing needles that were their sords. My three brothers, Tony, Toby, and Tom, were already seated at the table, taking up all the space of one side on the square table. My dad and Zach (our most trusted guard) came in the room murmuring about something and looking at a scroll of paper. They both sat down and Zach gave a loud “Ahem!” before continuing as I sat down, “Due to my research the Squirrels will strike in two days. Our idea is to send someone to negotiate, but we have not decided who any ideas?” He put his hands together and set them on the table.
“Send the guards, they have been training for this.” Tom said like it was the obvious answer.
“No! the guards oppose a threat.”
“Dad! How did she get in!?” Toby said, annoyed and angry. My brothers had to wait until they were 13, but I am only 11.
“She had an idea of who we should send, continue” my dad answered, and Toby became silent.
“You should send me and Tony, we’re stealthy and quick, the fact that I convinced my dad to let me should be enough proof that I can negotiate.”
The guards looked at each-other before nodding at my father, Tony seemed excited about it, Zach made a thumbs up, and Tom said, “If dad says yes, I say yes.” But Toby crossed his arms, put his snout in the air and shook his head no.
“Why can’t I go with? It’s unfair.”
“You are not ready to go outside!” My father argued.
“Oh, and she is!” I slid under the table knowing that I started the fight.
“Tony is going with her!” my father yelled, they both stood up eying each-other.
“I’m older than Tony!”
“She is to go, and you are to be silent! end of conversation!” My father sat down as Toby left the room.
Tony broke the silence, “So when do we start?”
“Now, there is no time to waste.”
We were right outside the burrow, unarmed and ready. They did give us a map but that was it nothing else that would be dangerous and give the squirrels the wrong message.
“Make this journey quick, you must be in the squirrel’s tree when it starts to get dark, good luck.” My father said before we were sent beyond the fence.
“I can’t wait for the adventure this will bring us!” I cheered
“Like the enthusiasm, but Let’s come up with a plan to get there quickly, father’s rules.”
“I guess, what does the map say?”
“They gave us two routes, one goes to the entrance of a squirrel’s tunnel that leads directly to the tree, and one is to go in the trees and use the path up there. The first one is fast, but the tunnel haven’t been used, and could collapse any second. The second one is safer, but it’s not as quick, which one should it be?”
“I would say the tunnels, but the entrance is under the playground.” I pointed at the entrance on the map and then to the machine called swing-set one kid on each swing, swinging rapidly.
“This is an old map, that tree isn’t there, we would have to take an even longer course. We have to use the tunnels.”
“You ready?” Tony asked, we were standing behind the pole, a plan in our minds.
“Yes, I am totally ready to run in front of four humans that can capture me, Let’s just get this over with.”
“3…2…1…GO!” I ran across the humans and, just as we planned, all of them came running after. I looked back; Tony was successfully in the tunnel waving me over. I made a big U-turn, sprinted back to the tunnel, and slid inside.
We ran. As fast as we could go, the tunnels could collapse any second, so we ran.
It took a while, but we eventually made it to the tree. Thankfully the tunnel did not collapse, but I wanted to get out of there quick; when we made it to the door, I kicked it open and ran out.
“Come on, we don’t have time to waste.” We found ourselves at the bottom of a hollow trunk with a staircase circling around the inside of the tree.
“Wow,” Tony said in amaze as he looked up.
“Quick over here!” I pleaded, and we were off.
It was a short run but a tiring run, and as soon as we reached the top we were out of breath, both from running and the beauty that was the Squirrels tree. There were wood stands all around, selling berries, sewing pins, and occasionally pieces of wood for houses. Squirrels were all around in different outfits, one, who had a bigger stand wore an apron and carried a plate of bread with white powder on top. Another had a leather vest and a big sewing pin, hand in hand with someone that had a pink coat with a fancy hat.
“This is big,”
“Let’s just find their leader, we can ask her.” I said pointing towards the one in the apron with the bread, I just wanted to meet her, so this is a good excuse.
We went to the shop and she ran over thinking we were costumers; I didn’t think she would come over without questioning why we’re chipmunks, and that’s when I noticed it, this place was filled with squirrels and chipmunks, then I noticed she was a chipmunk!
“Hello, I’m Angelina, can I help you?”
“I’m Tony, this is my sister Lucky, and yes we do need help. We are here on the behalf of Blueberry Burrow.” Tony answered.
“Oh! Why are you visiting.?”
“We need to speak to your leader do you know where he lives?”
“Aldous, Yes.” She pointed left of her, “It’s the last house down. It’s a long walk so here.” And she handed us one piece of the powdered bread each. We both took a nibble, and also both tasted the most amazing thing on earth.
“You make these!?” Tony said pointing to the lump of heaven that was in his hands (I would have had said the same thing, but my mouth was too full).
“Yes, sugar bread’s my special, do you like them?”
“Like them? They taste like if unicorns made clouds and put it on heaven so we can eat it!” I said pushing Tony aside to answer.
“Thank you, and if you do stay a while you can come by Angelina’s Bakery any time.” She smiled as I thanked her and walked away.
We took our time to reach Aldous’s house because we wanted to see all the sights and stands. Everyone was so kind, and the food was delicious (none as good as Angelina’s but still great). If Tony hadn’t reminded me that we were here for a reason, we would have never made it to Aldous’s house (which we soon found out was much grander).
The house was large and royal, with two flags at the front saying, “Magnificent Maple.” Tony was the first to walk fourth, I was to scare by the two guards in front of the door with vests that had “A’s” on the front and two sewing pins for each squirrel.
“excuse me, may I speak to Aldous please?” Tony asked.
“Oh yes he’s right inside just come inside the most important house like it is nothing.” One guard replied sarcastically, “No, we can’t let just any person come in!”
“But this is important and,”
“The answer is no, buddy.” And both of the guards pulled out their pins halfway as a threat.
Tony stumbled back as I pushed forward and demanded, “Would you shut up and just let us in!”
“What?” They were understandably surprised and let go of their swords.
“We came all the way from Blueberry Burrow! I ran across a swing set! And we aren’t even allowed to see the guy we need to talk to!?” I calmed down, “If we don’t talk to him, we won’t have any food for winter.”
They paused before standing aside as the big door opened.
If there was one word to describe the inside of Aldous’s house (more like castle), it would have to be more than beautiful, maybe wonderful? No, it would have to be… enthralling. There were guards all around all in the blue and white vests the guards out front were wearing. The floors and walls were shiny, a bunch of dark blue jewels hung from the ceiling, two maids came running in with a silver platter and rested it on to a table right next to a blue high heeled shoe. The from a door to the left of us an old squirrel appeared, wearing a sky-blue robe with dark blue crystals circling the cuff at the bottom of the robe. Tony and I stood there as he took a seat in the shoe (that I’m guessing is his throne) and took the piece of bread that was on the table.
“What is your business here?” he asked in a surprisingly calm voice.
“Your squirrels have been stealing berries from our bush.” I said.
“Ah yes, I’ve been meaning to send someone to tell you, well it is easier just to show you, follow me.” Tony and I started to follow him when, “Oh, I almost forgot we can only let two people in for your safety.”
Me and tony looked at each other, “I’ll go.” I said and followed Aldous into a room as Tony stayed behind.
We were standing on a balcony looking down into a large room full of beds filled with squirrels and chipmunks that didn’t look so well.
“They’re sick. And the only berries that help, are the ones from you bush.” There were a bunch of Squirrels carrying our berries around.
“But those berries are the only ones we have without them we will die.”
“Without them they will die,”
“Is there any way we can make a deal?” I asked.
We both paused thinking, “Yes there is.” I looked up and followed him as exited the room. He went into the room he first came in from as I stood next to Tony in the throne room.
When Aldous came back in, he carried a bag and handed it to me, “Here you go…”
“Lucky, and this is Tony” I opened the bag and it was filled with seeds.
“Plant them, when they grow, you’ll have berries for life.”
“But they will take to long to grow,” Tony said as he took the bag from me.
“I will send bundles of berries to you every week.” Aldous answered.
“Could you include sugar bread from Angelina’s Bakery?”
“I will make sure to do that, and tell your father I said hi, we were good friends.”
Aldous stayed true to his word, every week he sent us bundles of berries, and always added sugar bread with notes from Angelina (who I became good friends with after the whole adventure). The seeds all grew into big berry bushes, and I heard the sick animals that were at Magnificent Maple were doing much better. When my father heard that Aldous wanted to become friends again, he visited and now we get to visit every two weeks. Blueberry burrow had more than enough berries to last winter and everyone lived happily ever after.