From my Adv. Lit class and unfinished. Originally posted March 26, 2019
Petal ran out of her house and down the garden path. “Violet, VIOLET!” She yelled as her bare feet slapped on the stepping stones. “VIIIIIOOOOLEEET!” Petal stopped at the bottom of the lily stalk and screamed up to her friend. “WHAAAAT?” Violet’s face appeared from one of the upper leaves of the lily, her long purple hair framing her face. “I could hear you across the whole garden!”
Petal took a moment to catch her breath and pushed her golden hair behind her ears and out of her face. “Violet, come down! I need to talk to you!” She straightened her dandelion leaf tunic and pants and waited for violet to come down.
Violet’s face disappeared then the whole Violet floated down on dragonfly wings, her lily leaf dress settling around her. “Good Night and Great Day in the Morning, Petal. What is so important that you have to scream through the garden?”
“I heard that the baby is coming home today! TODAY!” Petal could barely contain her excitement. Her golden hair quivered like dandelion fluff ready to take to the wind.
“How do you know that, Petal?” Violet was suddenly alert. The whole garden had been waiting for the baby’s arrival. It was the first baby to be born in a long time since the old ones that used to live there died.
“They had the window open and I heard The Aunt talking on their strange box. I heard her say, ‘what time are they coming so I can make sure everything is ready’.” Petal spoke in a rush as if the words would not stay contained. “Then I heard The Aunt talk to someone else and said they were coming home in a few hours and she wanted the food to be delivered around that time so the mother could have food to eat.”
“Do the others know? We need to prepare!” Violet took off like a rocket, her wings a blur. Petal lost sight of her above the daylilies.
Petal ran back to the forsythia bush she called home, all the while telling everyone she happened to see the news. Soon, the whole garden was buzzing with activity to prepare for the baby coming home.
The garden had heard that there might be a baby before winter set in. It was one of the things that kept thing exciting while all the fairy folk kept inside while waiting for spring.
Fairies loved new life and spring and human babies were some of the few that could actually see them. Finally the day had come that a new baby would finally bless the house, and the garden.
Petal climbed up one of the arms of the forsythia and around it’s yellow flowers. She perched on the top bend of the forsythia branch and saw Violet flitting around rose bushes before flitting around the azalea bush and foxgloves. “Violet!”
Violet flitted up from the flox and settled beside petal on the forsythia. “I have told the whole garden and who doesn’t know will know soon. The bees and butterflies will spread the word through the yard. Do we know when?” Violet was out of breath from all her flitting.
“No, just that it would be today. I thought this was the perfect place to watch for them.” Violet agreed and so settled in to wait.
When the sun passed the center of the sky, the car finally pulled into the driveway. Violet gave a signal to the bees who in turn gave the signal to the butterflies who in turn gave a signal to the rest of the garden and yard. All the flowers and plants quieted in waiting.
First the man stepped out of the car. He went around to the other side and opened the door for the new mother to step out. She took his hand and stepped out of the car gingerly. Petal could see the woman’s face glowing, her aura brighter than when she last saw her. Then, the man opened the back door and pulled out what looked like a kind of basket. “That must be the baby!” Violet said to Petal, who agreed. The man carried the basket thing with the baby and held the mother’s arm to help her keep steady. This is a good man, Petal thought. Having babies always drains a mother’s energy and they always need help for a while after.
Petal then heard the door on the porch open and The Aunt come out, hugged the mother and squealed over the basket.
As they walked in the house, they passed by the garden and the forsythia. Petal and Violet exclaimed when they saw the little face in the basket. Tiny and squished as it was, it was beautiful.
“What did you name her?” Petal heard the Aunt ask.
“Anise.” The Mother replied.
Anise. The whole garden buzzed with approval of the name. Anise, the flower associated with Gemini, Mercury and air. It was a good choice, the garden thought. A very good choice.
A few weeks later the Mother brought little Anise out to the garden. Summer was in full bloom and the garden was busy with garden things. The Mother laid out a blanket and the carpet of grass next to the garden.
“Wait right here, Anise, I forgot my tea.” And when the Mother went inside, all the little people of the garden came for a visit to little Anise. She cooed and gurgled at the fairy folk. Petal and Violet settled on the blanket next little Anise and she smiled and laughed as they danced. Violet brought her a tiny lily flower and Petal brought her the flower of a star anise.
Anise by Idgie Stark is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.