Not Heeding the Warning

The aroma of bacon frying was in the air. Soft music was playing from her new CD, Dan Gibson’s Forest Cello. Lisette enjoyed listening to the sounds of nature, mixed with a cello in the background. The breakfast casserole only had 10 minutes left to be in the oven and then breakfast would be ready.  Amanda and Rachel would soon be down to eat with her. 

Amanda had been a guest longer. After the traumatic experience she went through  it had been suggested to her by Sarah, that she stay with Lisette for awhile in the peaceful town of Borden. She needed to get away from all the drama that had been in her life for awhile. With her employer going to prison she had no job, so now was the time to  take a little vacation. A nice breather, before starting the job hunt.  Lisette was more than happy to have her at the Inn. 

Rachel  was in the film industry. No major box office hits yet, but she was working her way up there with several films under her belt. Like Amanda, Rachel needed a break to  find some serenity. Lisette felt honored that Rachel picked her quaint Inn to vacation at. 

Rachel and Amanda both had vivacious personalities, and Lisette loved having the Inn full of life and laughter. 

The sound of laughter flowed into the kitchen where Lisette was, her guests were ready for breakfast. 

Plans for the day had been made. Rachel was going hiking and Amanda wanted to visit Miss. Jill’s fabric and dress store. Miss. Jill was back there running the store again, after her time away, which Lisette didn’t talk about. There was no need to have everyone know Miss. Jill’s secrets.  Lisette had grocery shopping to do, for she had more guests coming this evening. 

She was looking forward to tonight’s visitors from Bittersweet Creek. Mason Picklefoot was coming to pick up some new coffee mix  from the Fluffer Nutter shop. Cara had convinced Mason that they needed to serve it at their diner.  She told him it was a hot selling item. Lisette laughed to herself, she knew very well why Cara was sending Mason to her Inn and it wasn’t for the sole purpose of picking up coffee. Always the matchmaker Cara was trying once again. 

Mr. Tippner was coming along too, Lisette found out. She figured that Mason was a little suspicious of Cara’s reasons to have him come to the Inn, so he was bringing along his friend for back up. Did he really think that would help. Lisette was curious how it all would play out, as far as she knew Rachel and Amanda were not dating anyone. They hadn’t mentioned anyone in conversation and Amanda had talked very highly about Mason. She smiled, yes this would be interesting to see what might or might not transpire, Lisette thought as she finished cleaning up the breakfast dishes. 

Meanwhile back in Bittersweet Creek, Mason and Tippner were getting ready to soon make the trip to Borden. Mason was shaking his head, for Cara seemed extra happy today, bouncing around the diner. He thought her smile looked like she was hiding something. He knew she was up to something, but he just couldn’t put his finger on it. He was glad that Tippner had agreed to come along with him . He had told Cara that if she wanted the sweet coffee so badly she should drive and get it, but her car just happened to be in the shop for the week. Strangely convenient thought Mason and then he had thought of Sarah going. Surely she would want to see Lisette again, but she was tied up with working at the florist shop and could not possibly get away. He noticed a sly smile on her face too as she tried to explain. Women! Thought they were so clever! 

On the way to the Inn Mason and Tippner were talking. 

“Isn’t Lisette the one with this supposed magical cow bell?” asked Tippner. 

“Yes, she is! Apparently you just shake the bell and plumes of colored smoke come out and then you get taken to a special place.” Mason said with a touch of skepticism in his voice. “If you ask me, I think the ladies may have had a little too much to drink before ringing this bell.” 

Tippner laughed, “I agree! That sounds a lot more logical. Too much drinking is likely to always cause problems. ” 

“Perhaps we can ask to see it and then shake it right in front of them, proving that nothing happens. Wouldn’t that be funny to see the expressions on their faces!” Mason said. 

“I think we should do that. Show them that we can’t be fooled by talk of a magical bell. Believing in magical bells, what is next, believing that animals can talk.” Tippner said, and laughed as he looked at Mason, remembering his experience with Creampuff the lamb. 

Mason shook his head, not saying a word, but giving his friend a look, which made Tippner chuckle more. 

They continued chatting until Tippner fell asleep and started snoring. Mason turned up the radio to drown out the sound. Unfortunately with him turning up the radio he was jamming to the music more and not watching his speed. When he saw the lights flashing in his rearview mirror he groaned, and might have let out a few other words. Tippner woke up, and his eyes got big when he saw a cop standing at the window. 

It didn’t take long for the cop to write a ticket and soon they were on their way again. Mason was careful to keep an eye on the speed the rest of the way to Borden. 

Amanda knew that Mason was coming for supper and that was why she had wanted to go shopping in town for a new dress. Not anything fancy, she just wanted something nice that she could feel pretty in. She couldn’t ignore Mason’s handsome looks and wearing something she felt good in would help her feel more confident around him. 

Feeling happy about what she had found, she finished getting dressed in her room when she heard the doorbell ring. They had arrived. 

Rachel was in the room with her. “You look great! Don’t be nervous. Just relax and be yourself and see what happens.” Rachel said, trying to calm Amanda’s nerves. 

Amanda turned thankful eyes towards Rachel. “Glad that you and Lisette are here.” She looked at herself in the mirror once more time, running the brush through her hair. “Okay, lets go, I am ready.” she said , smiling confidently as they walked out of the room and headed downstairs. 

They all agreed that Lisette had outdone herself by the great meal that she fixed. Chicken and dumplings, with corn soufflé and the best homemade rolls with honey butter. Conversation had flowed easily and they all were enjoying themselves when Lisette brought out the warm Cherry pie and vanilla ice cream. 

With full stomachs they all went into the sitting room to relax and enjoy some more conversation. They also were going to watch Mason and Tippner play some Chess. Rachel had said she would watch them play and that perhaps she could play the winner. She could tell they were surprised, little did they know that she had played many times with her brother and had actually been the Chess champ in Highschool. She would keep that info to herself until after she won.  

Before they played Mason asked a question, as he winked at Tippner. “Do you happen to have that famous magical cow bell that took you and Sarah to all kinds of places. I would love to see it, if I could.” 

“I do have it, I finally found it. I thought I had lost it, but found it in my yard not too long ago. You may see it, just make sure you don’t shake it!” she said. 

“Of course, wouldn’t think of it.” replied Mason with a smile. He heard Tippner trying to stifle his laugh. 

Lisette looked at them. “You guys don’t believe in it, do you?” she asked. 

They both tried to put on innocent faces, as the ladies rolled their eyes. 

“Well I can’t make you believe, but I will warn you, you really don’t want to shake it if you don’t believe in it! I have talked to the lady whose Grandfather had this bell and he said there was a bad spell for people who didn’t believe in its magic.” 

“Oooh dear, what happens!” said Mason and Tippner together pretending to shake. 

Lisette shook her head as she went upstairs to get the bell. 

She was back downstairs within a few minutes and gave the bell to Mason. Tippner came over to Mason to see it touching it as it laid in Mason’s hand. “Looks ordinary to me. Perhaps we should talk to it Mason, You know like “Mirror Mirror on the wall..”   Mason started laughing and said, “Bell oh magical bell, whose the handsomest of them all?” 

“I don’t hear anything.” said Tippner, I think you need to shake it. Let’s do it together, shall we!” 

“I really wouldn’t if I was you.” said Lisette. 

“But you aren’t us.” they said. 

“I,2,3…!” and they shook it together. Pink and blue smoke billowed in the air, filling the room. When it faded away, Lisette, Rachel and Amanda were speechless as they gazed in shock. Then they laughed until they cried. 

“I tried to warn you!” said Lisette. 

The only reply she received was a “Meow!” from the 2 new cats that had suddenly appeared. 

It didn’t take long for the ladies to ooh and ahh over the cats, saying how pretty and fluffy they were. 

“Meow!” 

Lisette turned to Rachel and Amanda. “I think we need to make a shopping trip for a scratching post, for I don’t want these new cats clawing my furniture. My Mom bought me the new couch and she would be furious at having it ruined. We also need some litter boxes.” at this they started laughing again. 

“Hmmm… I wonder how they plan to play Chess with paws?” Rachel asked. 

“Did you notice their tails? They seem bent at a strange angle, like they are out of joint.” said Amanda. 

“They are so quiet. I guess the cat truly has their tongue this time!” 

As the ladies went to leave, Lisette said some parting words. “Don’t worry guys, I was told that the spell would only last 24 hours. Perhaps next time you will heed my warning.” and she smirked while walking out the door. 

Mason and Tippner looked at each other. it would be a long time before they lived this down! “MEOW!” they spat. 

 

Breaking the Spell

Once upon a time there was a man who lived near a beautiful lake. He loved his lakehouse, far away from the craziness of the world. He enjoyed the solitude immensely, everything was perfect. Well almost perfect!

One crisp Autumn day he was sitting on his deck looking at the lake. He had taken his morning swim and was enjoying sitting in the sun, alone with his thoughts. Would the day ever come where he would finally spend more time in his home, than he did on the lake?

His story was a little tragic, for long ago he had been captured by an evil fairy, who had placed a spell on him. She had turned him into a Duck!

Fortunately his friends had rescued him from the forest but they hadn’t been able to break the spell! He still looked like a duck, waddled like a duck and quacked like a duck, so he was a duck, though not really! He was able to talk, but after every few words he would let out a QUACK! It drove the poor guy crazy! Not to mention, his friends as well, when listening to him.

They promised that they wouldn’t give up trying to find out the cure and today was the day that they planned to try the latest cure.

His one friend told him to cross his fingers and toes in hopes that it would work. He then laughed as he remembered that he couldn’t very well do that, for he was a duck!

The poor man couldn’t wait to have his hands and feet back again! Oh to look like a human again! No more duck face! If his friends told him to make a duckface one more time for the camera he was sure to lose it! They thought they were hilarious!

Hearing a car pull up, his thoughts were interrupted. They were here, the time had come. Would this cure work?? He waddled towards the car with his webbed feet and a pensive duckface.

After greeting the 3 guys and chatting and quacking a little, they got down to business.

“Here is the magic potion for you to drink. Its coffee made with extra special beans. A raspberry, caramel,banana, marshmallow flavor.”

The poor guy grimaced and had a very pouty duckface, he hated coffee! But he hated being a duck even more!

He went to start slurping it, for its not like he had hands to hold the cup. His friends said, “Wait! Has to be rigbt at Noon! You have 2 minutes to wait.”

He gave his friends a look, but they had straight faces as they told him he had to follow the rules exactly.

“Go!” They shouted! “Keep slurping until its all done!”

Mr.Duckface slurped and slurped, and a few times he felt like puking! At last he finished, but he was still a duck!

Now we need to say a chant over you and you need to stick your head under the water while we say it. He gave them a questioning look again but waddled down to the lake. Stuck his head in the water and his bottom in the air.

His friends started chanting and suddenly he was sputtering! He lifted his head up spitting out water. He was human again!!

“It worked, it worked!!” He shouted with utter joy, dancing a jig. His friends were ectastic. Everyone was in high spirits when Kendra pulled into the driveway.

She was grinning from ear to ear. “I see that this is a day of celebration!”

Mr. No longer Duckface had a broad smile! “Yes, that magic potion coffee was the worse and being upside down in the water wasn’t fun but it was all worth it!”

Kendra had a confused look, “a magic potion….upside down in the water?? But all you had to do was…”

His friends quickly interrupted Kendra. ” Hey buddy, lets all pose for a pic and how about going for a ride on your boat?”

“Wait! I want to know what Kendra was going to say.”

All eyes were on Kendra and she noticed the pleading look in his friends eyes. It took her a moment but she figured it out, and had to restrain her laughter.

“So no more duck lips, eh? Too bad, I thought they looked good on you.” He made a face at her and she laugbed, telling them to all go out on the boat and she would whip togethet a celebratory meal.

Watching them go she shook her head laughing. Oh, if he only knew that all that was required to break the spell was the chant. Something his friends were fully aware of! She walked back to the lakehouse. Fun was always around when one had crazy friends!

Thanksgiving in the Emerald City Part 2!

If you missed Part One of this story, here is the link. Thanksgiving in the Emerald City

…………………

The next morning the Emerald City woke up to a wonderland of snow. The snow had stopped falling though, so no blizzard this time.

Glenda had a package to take to the post office so she bundled up for the short walk there. She loved walking through the freshly fallen snow, it sparkled like a thousand little diamonds.

There was a long line at the post office, people were already starting to mail Christmas packages. Finally she was able to mail her package, and the bell jangled as she walked out the door into the cool air.

She was surprised to see Frank and George walking on the sidewalk.

“Good Morning! You guys are out and about early this morning.”

“We thought we would get some exercise in to start the day.” said George.

“Walking is always good, Perhaps I can walk with you and learn a little bit more about what brings you to our magical city.”

George raised his head a little, ‘Ahh, a little curious, are we?” he said with a smile, as they started to walk down the street.

“Perhaps. Are you by chance subbing for the 2 English Professors that are sick?”

Frank and George laughed. “English Professors? Oh No! We ain’t that! We have enough trouble with “then and than” and “their and there”, Nope, couldn’t teach English. Plus we get confused with big words like “agoraphobia”.”

Glenda smiled, for that was one word that she had learned the meaning of fairly recently.

“Maybe you can help us with our mission.” said Frank.

“You see, we are detectives, and we were asked by your kind wizard if we would come to try and find 3 golden arrows. They apparently have the ability to grant anyone a wonderful wish who is struck with the arrow, but they can also put a spell on someone if the Wicked Witch would happen to find them.”

Glenda gasped. “You mean the wicked witch is looking for them too. She is here!”

“That is what we have been told. She hopes to find the arrows and disappear.”

“Well good luck! I think I may return home where its safer, but do keep me posted please and be careful”

Frank and George promised they would let her know what they find out later that day. She gave them her address, and they said they would stop by that evening to let her know if they had been successful,

Glenda turned left to go back home and they turned right to head out into the wooded area where they hoped to find the golden arrows.

They had been searching for awhile, and their hands were starting to get numb. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack. They had no clues as to where the 3 arrows could be. Suddenly they both looked at each other.

“Did you hear that?”

“Yes! What do you think it was?”

“I don’t know, go look.”

“Why me! You go look.”

They were going to flip a coin, but then realized they didn’t have any, so they both crept forward slowly following the sound. It was a very faint clicking sound.

They breathed a sigh of relief as they saw that it was just someone taking pictures.

“Excuse me sir, what are you taking a picture of?” Frank asked the gentleman who was clicking away.

“There are some beautiful gold colors showing from that tree over there, see it?”

Frank and George looked closer and they noticed the shine coming from the branches. It was like something was lying on the branches.

George said, “I bet they are the arrows!” while running towards the tree. Just as he went to grab the arrows, he bumped into some branches, causing a huge clump of snow to fall on top of him.

He stood there snow covered, as Frank tried not to laugh too hard. The camera guy was smirking as well, as he kept clicking his camera.

Then they heard some cackling behind them and they jumped as the wicked witch came out from behind the trees.

“Thank you so much for finding my golden arrows!” and she grabbed them from the branches. Her smile was big with a glint in her eye. “Perhaps I should try them out, to make sure they work, ” she cackled.

Before they had a chance to run, she had struck all 3 with the arrows.

Glenda heard the doorbell ring and wondered if it was Frank and George. When she opened the door, she was startled to see 3 monkeys on her porch! Then she gasped when they started talking.

Once she got over the shock, she couldn’t help but laugh, she tried to stop, but every time she would look at them, she would lose it again. They sat there rolling their eyes at her, not much else they could do.

She finally got herself together and took them to see the wizard. He was upset that they didn’t get the arrows, but he assured them that he had an antidote for the spell. He was 99% sure that it would work. Well maybe 90%.

The wizard asked them if they minded swinging from the trees and eating bananas. They groaned, as the wizard and Glenda chuckled.

Glenda told them that they had a talking scarecrow, lion and tin man, but no talking monkeys. That would be a new thing for the city she said, with merriment dancing in her eyes.”Though monkeys are known to be mischievous, so perhaps we should watch out.”

The wizard gave them the antidote, but told them it may take 24 hours for it to work, so they all went back to her house.

She patted Frank and George on the back and grinned at the camera man. “Would you like me to take a picture of you 3? You all could hang by your tail from my Oak tree. Just be careful not to fall in the hole by the tree.”

She was still laughing as she opened her door to let them in her house. Oh what a surprising Thanksgiving this had turned out to be.