Sprite and Violet get X’ed–Part 4 of “The Magic Umbrella”, Story #39

the magic umbrella-X'ed1Sprite and Violet get X’ed

Moth fluttered in Myrtle’s hair.  Myrtle sat on the moss floor of the cave with her head in her arms trying to catch her breath.  She wanted to brush Moth away, but didn’t want to hurt him, although she wasn’t sure she would since they were the same size.  He kept flying close to her face.

“Stop!” she said when she could speak again.  “Leave me alone.  What do you want?”

“Did she X them?” asked moth.

Myrtle was amazed to hear the moth talk.  And just stared at him.

“Cat got your tongue?” said moth.  “That happened to a friend of mine.  She never spoke a word after that.”

“You can talk,” said Myrtle, “But I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“What happened to Violet and Sprite?”

Myrtle told Moth everything.

“She X’ed them.  Oh, no.”

Moth landed on Myrtle’s leg and folded his wings.  He explained to Mrytle that when the Big Bad Spider caught a fairy, she tied him up in an X in her web.  That way they could wave their arms and legs and wings, but couldn’t move.  She liked to watch them flail around.

“Will she eat them?” asked Myrtle.

“No.  Big Bad Spider says fairies don’t have any flavor or nutritional value.  She just likes to play with them and watch them suffer.  After a while, they dry out and turn into fairy dust.”

Myrtle asked about the baby fairies she had seen in the underneath.  Big Bad Spider loves babies, Moth told her, and she always gets sad when her babies float away on the breeze.  So she collects baby fairies.  She needed someone to take care of them though, so that’s why she made Myrtle’s mother work for her.  She injected the little human woman with enough venom to make her forget who she was but not enough so she couldn’t take care of all the babies.  But she was getting worn out.  She wouldn’t live much longer if she didn’t get out of there.  That’s why Sprite had come to find Myrtle.

“But I told him that Big Bad Spider would just make you replace your mother if you came, or else she’d eat you.  He said ‘no, she’ll save her.  I know she will.’  But now your mother’s there and Violet and Sprite are too.”

Myrtle hadn’t known that moths could try, but this one could.  Tears sprang from his eyes and showered Myrtle with salty water.

“I wish I had an umbrella,” she said.

And then she did.  She had the magic umbrella.  Moth stopped crying and stared at the umbrella and at Myrtle.

“How’d you do that?” he asked

But Myrtle didn’t know.  She remembered that Sprite wanted her to use the magic mushroom umbrella, but she didn’t know how.

“Should I ask it to make me big again?” she asked Moth.   “Then I could step on that mean old spider.”

But Moth thought that was a bad idea, because if Myrtle got big enough to step on Big Bad Spider, how would she get down the stairs, and if she did make it down, how would she avoid stepping on the baby fairies and even her mother?

Myrtle thought Moth was pretty smart for a bug.  But she had no idea what to do.  She wanted to give up.  But Moth was looking at her so hopefully.  And her mother needed her help.  So did Sprite and Violet.  They had tried to help her and her mother.  She couldn’t just leave them there to entertain the Big Bad Spider until they turned to fairy dust.

No, she didn’t know what to do.  But she would do something.  She picked up the magic umbrella and marched toward the stairs.

“What are you going to do?” asked Moth, who had started fluttering towards the light in his excitement.

“I’m going to save them.  All of them,” she said as she marched down the stairs.

When she got to the bottom, all was quiet.  The babies were all sleeping and even her mother seemed to be asleep in the rocking chair.   She looked all around the room and then she looked up.  There were Sprite and Violet.  They had indeed been X’ed.  They were both flailing around up high in the Spider’s web.  Big Bad Spider was sitting on her web and watching them flail around.  She looked like she was laughing, although Myrtle had never seen a spider laugh before, so she couldn’t be sure.  She held the magic umbrella over her head and thought about what she should do next.

TO BE CONTINUED…

We’ll see how that goes–I’m off to the SCBWI conference tomorrow.  More story tomorrow, but maybe not more art.  I had fun playing with my Wacom tablet today–I’m starting to get the hang of it.  I hope it doesn’t take 10,000 hours!

Anyhow, this is the part of the story that goes with the letter  xfor the A to Z Challenge.

Thanks for stopping by.

I am a writer, handworker, artist and teacher (a WHAT!), and a mom of two beautiful daughters who are amazingly 17 and 21. I am working on getting my first book, a fantasy novel for young people, published and am busy spinning on my new spinning wheel. I have been a Waldorf early childhood teacher for 10 years now, and before that, I was a lawyer. Teaching is much more fun.

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