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This is the Final
installment of the
This story is the story of a nine-year-old boy,
Robbie, who enters a magical world where he learns about the meaning of life,friendship, and respect for others.
Slowly Robbie opened his eyes, everything was a blur. When things finally came into focus he saw that he was lying on a crushed rose bush in Nana’s garden with red petals scattered around him. His arm was hurting and he ran his fingers over a puncture and a few scrapes on his arms. He stood up trying to understand what had happened, then he saw Nana coming out of the potting shed carrying a garden statue. He stared at the concrete flower fairy she was holding, it was a total replica of Rosella. Nana seeing his condition put the statue down and went into the shed and brought out an old picnic blanket to cover him up.
“Come and help me find a good place for my new statue in the rose garden,” she said calmly as if Robbie had not been missing all summer long. They placed the concrete Rosella between two yellow bushes; the color Robbie remembered her dress to be. “Come on and let’s get you cleaned up,” she said putting her hands on his shoulders guiding him to the house. Still silent he moved stiff like a robot clenching his hands in fists as they walked slowly into the house.
As Nana filled the bathtub with warm sudsy water Robbie opened his hand and found a small rosebud and an acorn cap in his palm. He stood there staring down at it as the past experiences flashed through his mind.
“Nana I had a dream, at least I think it was a dream, but I am holding a part of it still.” He proceeded to tell her about catching the giant firefly that turned out to be a fairy and how he said the magic words that took him to the magical underground flower world. “And I was turned into a firefly … and I made friends … Jason was there, the fairy made him tiny too.” Tears came to his eyes as he recalled the injuries and deaths of his new friends and the horror finding out he killed the father of his new best friend. “I think it was a dream, it had to be, how could something like that be real. I guess I fell down and hurt my head.” He looked again at the small treasurers in his hand and then at Nana. She smiled a loving knowing smile at him, “You take your bath now and then I think a little a nap is what you need.”
Robbie woke up to voices in the front room. He quietly got out of bed and peeked out the door. Mama, Dad and Nana where sitting with two police officers who were questioning them.
“That is all I know,” Nana said in a quiet voice, “there he was sleeping in the garden. He was a little dirty and had a few cuts on his face and arms but otherwise fine.”
“Where did he say he was, did he say who took him?” the round officer with the deep penetrating voice asked as the thin officer with the kind eyes wrote down everything said.
“No he didn’t,” she said looking him straight in the eye, “all he talked about was a dream he had, a fairytale dream. He does have a huge imagination you know.”
The round officer was getting impatient. “If you don’t tell us more how can we bring in the kidnapper? We’ve had two boys taken in this neighborhood and no one can tell us where they were and what happened while they were gone. We have boys saying they saw bugs that looked like the boys. Whatever has been going on here we have to get to the bottom of it, we need all the information anyone has.”
Nana raised an eyebrow and smiled her crooked little smile. “Well maybe they weren’t kidnapped. Children do have vivid imaginations. I think Robbie hit his head in the potting shed. I found a crate and a few things knocked over in there. He must have been disoriented and wandered off to one of the secret meeting place boys have, you know they do like to have their own space. I think he was just sleeping. ”
“All summer?” the officer growled.
“Didn’t you do something when you were a little boy and then too frightened by it to face your parents? I am positive that is what happened, he wasn’t hurt just a little dirty and now he is home.”
“That doesn’t explain where the other boy was,” the kind eyed officer said as he put away his notebook.
“Oh Jason, that boy,” Nana laughed, “I’m sure he wandered off so everyone would be looking for him. That boy just wants to be the center of attraction all the time. Now if you will excuse me I do have to attend to my roses.”
Robbie still peeking out the door watched her stand up and look over his way. With a little wink and a smile, she left the room.
Everyone looked at each other, then Mama said, “Maybe she is right, you know how boys are. We’ll take him to the doctor to make sure he doesn’t have a concussion and all is well with him.”
The officers stood up to leave, “Well we can’t do any more, this case is dead. Call us if you know more details. Let’s just hope no more children disappear, or get hurt, or worse next time.”
Robbie closed the door and went back to bed, he knew no one else would disappear as he did. With a smile he snuggled down in the soft warm blankets happy to be in his own bed.
Life went on as normally as it could. Robbie was checked out by the doctor who said he was not hurt in any way and in fact very well nourished. Wherever he was he was taken care of wonderfully.
The boys still played their games at night but in harmony with no one being in charge. Everyone was careful when catching the fireflies. Robbie made sure they all released them when the game was complete. All the children in the neighborhood wanted bug boxes like Robbie’s. Robbie, Jason and a few of the other boys on Mayberry street spent several days building boxes. When finished they loaded them in a wagon and went house to house selling. The money they collected was given to the city park to help maintain the rose garden. Their parents were happy everyone was back home and safe but very bewildered by the change in their play and this new concern for the environment. As long as they were happy, and no more children disappeared, they did not question the actions.
Robbie was happy to be back home and to be a boy again, but he did miss the new friends he made, especially Martworth. One occasion he did doubt himself, wondering if he really did just hit his head and his adventures were just a dream.
“Nana, do you think fairies are real?” he asked one night while they sat on the back porch after dinner.
“Of course I do. Look at the fairy that looks after my rose garden. Don’t you think she is real?’
Robbie sighed. “Sure I do.” He thought for a moment. “Nana, do you think fireflies have feelings and know how to talk to each other?”
Nana laughed, “so many questions Robbie. How could they not have feelings they are alive. And look at them in the sky now. See the wonderful light show they give us. You don’t think they practice that show, you don’t think they know what they are saying to each other with every blink of their light. Yes Robbie, I know they have feelings and talk to each other. I know that for a fact, don’t you?”
She sat back smiling, looking at the sky. Yes he did know that. He also looked up at the light show, knowing which light would flash next. Then over to the right of the symphony of lights he saw one light blinking on and off. He read the code it was flashing. “Robbie I Miss You – Your Friend Martworth.”
© Copyright 2013 Eileen A Partak