Thursday, 28 October 2010

Finding Moonflowers Garden

I first wrote this story for the Autumn issue of Faezine 2009.
Here it is again, without the intro and some extra pictures especially for Halloween ^_^

Today, in the time between times, I found the garden overgrown and tinged with more than a little Autumn decay. Gossamer webs hung in dewy disarray over hundreds of papery seed pods. A smell of bonfire with a hint of damp and musty undergrowth mingled in the misty air. Beautiful pink and peach roses punctuated the borders, dark red dahlias soldiering on till the first frosts beside soft lilac Michaelmas daisies touched by powdery mildew. There were plump pumpkins sitting in a row on the patio and bags of spring bulbs waiting to be planted into the warm, wet earth.
I also spotted some familiar fae busy with Autumn jobs - Fairy Rosehip, balancing on a Rowan branch concentrating on coaxing the shiny fruit to turn red and Fairy Dewberry in the Elder dripping blots of inky magic onto its sprays of pale berries.

"Watch out below ! That purple stuff might hit you." called Pip the Pixie. Wearing his best blue cap Pip was up a tree too, supposedly painting leaves. He is very good at it, using a fat brush to spread Autumn tints around the edges of the Witch Hazel. Mind you, Pip only does the edges because his good friend Jack Frost does the rest.

But Pip is easily sidetracked - he was keeping an eye out for his cousins who were travelling from Fairyland to visit him. Nearly fit to bust, it's at least a week since he had a message to say that Poppiholla and Piccolo were on their way. It was still very early and a mist was drifting over the fields, the air was cool, the sun a pale lemony disc justbeginning to rise. Pip shaded his eyes and stared across the countryside.

"I can see someone !" he nearly fell out of his tree " Edge of the field, by the fence!"
"Woohoo ! I can see too. It's Poppiholla!" cried Dewberry. Down they fell in a flurry of leaves, skipping and sliding on the dewy grass. Through a hole in the wall, slipping to a stop at the streams edge.Sure enough there was Poppiholla, all smiles and waves pulling her little cart piled high with luggage. Poppiholla is a tiny wood pixie - at only 3.5 inches she is smaller than Pip, but she managed to cross the stream, via the stepping stones, with all her belongings intact and with help from Moonflower who had appeared to see what all the fuss was about.

Word of Pip's cousin spread quickly across the garden and in the clearing Orla prepared a special breakfast for everyone. The delicious scent of fried tomatoes and mushrooms filled the air and the usual big pot of nettle tea was soon brewed.

"What a welcome!" Poppiholla smiled. Licking her lips and making a toast with her tea to everyone."Huge thank you" she said opening her arms wide and smiling again."Piccolo, my brother, sends apologies, we dropped by the North Pole on the way here and he decided to stay a while to help Father Christmas, but he will be here by Christmas." More smiles. Pip fidgeted a bit and looked at his boots, sneaking a sly peak at Poppihollas cart.

"Oh I almost forgot Pip, I brought you a present." Poppiholla rumaged around amongst her stuff. She found a large sack, reached inside and pulled out a giant orange pumpkin.
"WOW you remembered !" Pip's eyes shone. (I use the word giant in fairy terms because it actually only measured 1.5 inches in diameter which is just slightly larger than Pip's little head.)

"Happy Halloween everyone!" laughed Poppiholla.

So the rest of the day was spent preparing for a Halloween/Welcome party. By the time darkness fell a bonfire had been lit, throwing spooky shadows up the tree trunks and across the grass. The spiders had spun yet more webs in the shrubbery, while the path was lit by chinese lantern flowers. The table was decorated with dried flowers and groaned under the weight of an array of scrumptious goodies - little pumpkin pies with roasted pumpkin seeds, tiny mushrooms filled with roasted sweetcorn, baby baked potatoes and tomato sauce, delicious pieces of apple covered in toffee, not forgetting Pip's favourite - dainty cakes filled with raisins, currants, nutmeg and cinammon. Moonflower had also been busy and presented her honey and ripe fruit punch in a beautiful glass bowl that she had found up near the house filled with milk. For music Poppiholla played her violin and Orla led the dancing.Pip carved his pumpkin and wore it on his head, jumping out and giving everyone a fright.

Me? I stood under the Elder tree with the cat ( who had her eye on that glass bowl ) watching the fairy host dancing on beams from the Shedding Moon, weaving their spells for Halloween. Moonflowers Garden - just up the road a bit and always welcoming ^_^

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