"Hi Fantasy. Feeling better?" I ask.
She nods, Much. I don't ever want to be sick again.
"I will try to always honor that my friend. I have a story for you. Hopefully someday I will be able to bring art back into our discussions." I reply.
This is art too. She replies.
"I know, but I mean pictures, and the discussion of pictures and the meanings of colors like I did a while back. I think that would be a good thing." I reply. "Now, I have a story for you. Ready?"
She bounces up and down on my hand, smiling. You bet.
"Here we go then. The story is called The Beach, at least for now."
”Look at that ant!” Abel’s eyes were close to the insect as it bore a seed toward its nest. Abel had always been interested in ants, insects, and anything else that crawled or even slithered on the earth. He was a typical boy.
I smiled, remembering the day I became governess of the Bexby household. I had been looking for employment one day when I noticed the advertisement. “Wanted, a governess to look after three children from ages three to six. I immediately answered the ad, with my resume and within a day was informed that I should come the next day for an interview.
I did, and so I began my journey with these children that I began to feel that I shared with Mrs. Bexby. There were three children, and at the time, she was very pregnant with what turned out to be twins.
My thoughts shifted back to the present as I chided myself. This isn’t the time to be reminiscing Maka. These children need you. If it weren’t for their parents hiring you three years ago, you wouldn’t have the job. Yadia only knows where you’d be.”
I smiled at the child as he followed the aunt around. He was the six year old when I arrived at the sprawling Bexby estate. He had been a handful then, but with the help of schoolwork, I had been able to challenge him and focus his passions. He loved bugs of all shapes and sizes, so I made sure that our lessons were outdoors as much as possible.
”Watch me Maya Maka, watch me!” Seven year old Daya was swimming out in the lake, and she decided to do a hand-stand. She was good at everything, especially water sports. I cheered and clapped along with her brothers and sisters. Being that she was the eldest girl, she was the favourite of the family. In the three years that I had worked there, I couldn’t figure out why, but it was something that only niggled at the edges of my thoughts, so I only thought about it at night when I put my observations in my journal.
Suddenly her feet dropped out of sight and she didn’t come up again. Daya was drowning! I bolted off the chair where I had been sitting and raced to the water until a child’s firm hand stopped me.
His eyes seemed to be glassy, yet he was coherent, “Stay back. She is my protection.”
”But…” I stepped toward the water. He blocked me.
”NO.” He had never been this way before.
”All right.” He sprinted off into the water, but I continued to walk in. Why am I not being permitted to do my job! And by a mere slip of a boy! That is strange behaviour too! I watched as Abel swam strongly to where his sister disappeared. I watched, biting my nails in anticipation as he too vanished beneath the surface. A minute or two later, he surfaced, bringing the girl with him.
I met them where the water was up to my mid thigh, and between the two of us, we carried Daya to shore. I observed the increase of musculature on the boy, and wondered not for the first time if this was a an old magical families. There were a few around whose magic was inbred, not taught. It seemed to be so from what I saw. Abel wasn’t interested in developing his muscles, and he looked like he had been at the time. We laid her on the shore, and I used a word of power to pump water from her lungs, or rather two words.
”Yadia broka.” immediately water started coming from her lungs; she coughed and sputtered. I breathed a sigh of relief, for she had begun to turn blue. She began to cry, and I hugged her to me, “It’s all right Daya. You’re safe.”
Daya clung to me as she cried out her feelings. The others had gathered around, not knowing what to do. “Put your things away in the boathouse. We’re going inside,” I said.
”Aw, do we have to?” Saja asked.
”Yes Saja. Your sister needs her bed,” I gazed at the sun, “and besides, the cook will have your snack ready.”
”Oh goody!” Kaya, the eldest of the twin girls began packing her things and putting them away. She was the foodie of the family and always wanted to help out the cook, much to her parents’ chagrin.
I watched as the children picked up their toys. I suggested to Abel that he help his siblings; he protested, but I told him that Daya was safe in my care. Within minutes, we were on our way back to the nursery with Daya safe in my arms. I couldn’t help wondering what type of magic was in Abel, and if it indeed was inbred. It was almost as if he had been linked to another mind and been given someone else’s strength, but whose?
Fantasy has fallen asleep, but I know the magic of the wood has taken the story into her. I laid her in the hollow of a nearby tree that she has made into a temporary home for herself and kissed my finger, placing it on her forehead. "Sleep well, my friend and muse."