Art and the philosophy of life

Archive for the ‘LuLu’s Pie Shoppe’ Category

LuLu’s Pie Shoppe…68

“Thanks Stan,” said LuLu, taking another bite of pizza.  “This is SO good.”

“It really is,” agreed Will, picking up his third slice.

“It’s nice to be home,” said Stan, putting fresh drinks on their table.  “Even if I can’t breath properly and my nose is all black and blue.”

“You look like a hero,” said LuLu.

“Really?” asked Stan, standing up straighter.

“Absolutely. You saved Rosy’s life, even though you were wounded.”

“Thanks,” he said, shyly.

“I think the three of us should just move in together,” said LuLu, turning toward Will.

“You mean Vincent, not Stan, right?”

“Cute,” sighed LuLu.  “Vincent isn’t completely well and we need to keep an eye on him.”

“Oh, so THAT’S the reason you want both of us to live with you, because he doesn’t feel well?”

“I don’t want to live in Fairy.  It’s gorgeous but I’m from here.  I don’t want to be a princess either.  I just want to be me.  I would love to visit and stay for a bit but it will never be home.  I don’t know if you, or Vincent, will be able to stay here.  It has to be difficult to be away from the place…”

“It’s not,” said Will.  “I want to be wherever you are.  That’s where I’ll be happy.  It isn’t about the place, it’s about the person you love.  I can see why it would be difficult for you.  You didn’t even know Fairy existed but I’ve been in your world a lot.  I know how it works, I can be part of it.”

“But you still can’t lie, right?” asked LuLu,  grinning and stealing a mushroom off his pizza.

“No, I can’t lie but I’m very good at avoiding the truth,” he laughed.  “We can make trips to Fairy that way, you can get to know the place little by little.   Your mother is a Queen, after all.”

“I love my Pie Shoppe.  I love the people who come in everyday.  I love making pies and pairing them with the right people.  I kind of love you too.”

“What?”

“Well, seriously, how could I not love you?”

“I’ve loved you since the first moment I saw you.  We were meant to be together.”

“Maybe, but I would rather believe that we just found each other and….”

“Fell madly in love?”

“Something like that,” she said.  “But I care about Vincent too.”

“He knows that but he also knows that you and I are perfect for each other.”

“Did he actually say that?”

“Pretty much.”

“Rosy and Buttercup are staying here, at least most of the time.  I think the dragon might stay as well.  Buttercup thinks our cats, need to be taught better manners.  Alice adores her, they even nap together.  The other two cats hide whenever they see her coming.

“Smart cats.”

“Edith sent an invitation to us.  She wants us to attend the huge party they’re having at the Book Lovers Emporium.”

“Their parties are legendary.  Wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

“I’m looking forward to meeting White Dog and all the other animals.  We can see where Chicago lives and Mr. Poe will be there.”

“LuLu, my love, EVERYONE will be there, including bands, living and dead.  It will go on for days.”

“I wonder if my mom will be disappointed when I tell her that I’m staying here, at least for the most part.”

“If she didn’t want you to be here, she would have taken you to Fairy.”

“Reba is going to help teach the street kids and work in the Shoppe, when Marion needs her.  I don’t think she and CC want to live in Fairy either.”

“They don’t.  CC told me, when I went to visit him.”

“Shaville is coming to visit next week,” said LuLu, happily. “I think we’re going to be good friends.  Dr. Lana is quitting her practice and concentrate on working with fairies and other beings.  CC made her see how important her work is.  Marion said Mr. Dominic built a wonderful aviary for Raven and Sweetheart, so they will only be in the shop now and then.  I’m so happy for them.”

Will stood up so quickly, his pizza fell out of his hand.  “Did see that?”

“See what?” asked LuLu, turning toward the window.

“Reba is being chased by three guys with swords.”

 

***

 

Stories never really end, you know.  Will, LuLu and all the other characters will go about their business, even thought this chapter in their lives is finished.  There will be more trouble in Fairy and the Pie Shoppe will continue to flourish.  The party at the Emporium will be spectacular and their lives will go on.

I hope you enjoyed reading, LuLu’s Pie Shoppe.  I had a lot of fun writing it.  Thank you all, so very much for all of your lovely comments.

 

LuLu’s Pie Shoppe…67

LuLu ran…fast.  Faster than she should have been able to run.  She knew that Alice and Buttercup were ahead of her but she also knew that she was gaining on them.  Just when she thought she saw them, something else caught her attention.  She slowed down and then she stopped.

A dragon was circling above her.  She leaned over and looked at her torn leggings.  They were pretty much shredded, as was her black, net skirt, and as she brushed the dirt and grit off of her clothes, her mind was focused on whatever was off to her left.  Finally, she  turned in that direction, and started walking.  A compulsion, urging her to flee, pressed against her mind, but she barely felt it.  She could see the Hierophant standing there, his long papal robe moving in the breeze.  It was obvious that he didn’t know she could see him.  The trees started telling her to run.  They were waving at her, warning her of the danger in front of her.  LuLu kept walking.

He was like all those who rose to power, she thought.  Standing behind the curtain and letting others fight and die for his greedy desires, beliefs and causes.  He began to whisper a spell but his words fell off of her and hit the ground, kicking up puffs of dust wherever they landed.

“You are no threat to me, half human,” he spat.  “You have no real magick.”

“I might not have any real magick, but I have something just as good,” said LuLu.  Then she leapt forward and stuck her pastry knife deep into his neck.  Blood gushed from the wound in beat with his heart, which meant that she hit the carotid artery she had been aiming for.  The Hierophant gurgled, grasped his throat, and fell to the ground.  LuLu watched him fall.  She watched him bleed out.  Then she watched him turn to dust.  After that she started kicking his ashes in different directions and the trees bent their branches to help, sweeping him to the four corners. She thanked the trees and touched each one of them.

“See, that’s the thing,” said Merlin.  “Those with power never realize that anyone can take it away from then.  His ego made him him dismiss you,  His belief that you were powerless, gave you the power you needed to bring him down.”

“Nice job, Hatchling,” said Destiny.

LuLu stopped kicking at the ashes and turned to see Merlin, Destiny, Alice and Buttercup staring at her.

“What about the Fairy War?” she asked.

“Well,” said Merlin.  “Once the Hierophant was dead his spell was broken.  Those he had bewitched stood on the battlefield and wondered why they were there.  Some put down their weapons and walked away.  Others were too dazed to do very much at all and those, who had the weakest minds, continued to fight.  All in all, things are winding. down.”

“Did he say anything?” asked Destiny.

“Chicago told me not to talk to him.  She said that if I saw him I should just kill him, so I did.  I trust her,” said LuLu. “Do you think the Fairy War is over?”

“For now,” said Merlin, smiling at her.  “They will start again, of course.  Greed and hunger for power over others never seems to fade away entirely.”

“LuLu?”

“Yes?” she said, trying to look at who was standing behind Merlin.

“Can I come out?”

“Of course,” she said smiling.

Grunt crept out and fell at her feet.  “You have my gratitude,” he said,  his back leg still tender from LuLu’s wooden spoon.

“Oh, Grunt.  Don’t look so forlorn,” said LuLu, sitting down next to him.  “I’m sorry about your leg,” she whispered, leaning forward, kissing his forehead.  “Everything will bet better….”

Grunt fell on his side and grew rigid.  His breath came in short gasps, as his limbs lengthened and his fur fell away.  Everyone stared as a naked man lay on the ground laughing out loud.  “You broke the spell,” he said happily.  “You did it!”

“What did I do?” LuLu asked Merlin.”

“The kissing thing really does work sometimes,” he said, smiling.

“THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU,” said the man, grabbing LuLu and spinning her around.  “The Hierophant spelled me over a year ago, because I found out what he was doing.  You were the first one who could hear and understand what I was saying in all that time.”

Merlin conjured up a shirt and a pair of pants, which he handed to the young man.

“Thanks,” he said, getting dressed.  “I’m Freedom, by the way.”

“Your name is Freedom?”

“It is,” he laughed.  My mom lived on a human commune in the sixties, what can I say”

Buttercup stepped forward.  “I didn’t have much faith in you, or in your so called plan, but you did good.  I’ll hang around for awhile, if that’s okay.   I have to keep an eye on Alice.  She’s a good cat and we go together pretty well.”

Alice meowed and head butted LuLu’s legs a few times, then went and sat down by Buttercup.

Will appeared out of nowhere, looked at Freedom and said, “Another one?  Really?”

LuLu started laughing.

“CC and Vincent are doing much better,” said Will, his arm around LuLu.  Reba found the fairies who hurt CC but when she questioned them, they didn’t know what she was talking about.  She could see they were telling the truth, so she let them go.  Your mother has made it clear that, for the time being, no one steps onto her territory without an invitation.  The bodies of the fallen are being removed from the battle field.  Those who were under the Hierophant’s spell are mentally exhausted and some may never recover from the damage he did to their minds.  Stan tripped on the way to the front and broke his nose.  In spite of that, he kept going and actually saved Rosy’s life,” he said smiling.

“Wow!  That’s a lot of news,” she said, happily.  “And it’s all good.”  Then she turned to Freedom.  “So, what are you going to do?”

“I’m going to see the love of my life,” he grinned.

“Are you a prince, or king, or anything?  There seems to be a lot of those around here.”

“There aren’t a lot of those,” he snickered,  “But no, I’m an artist.  I paint the sky and the trees.  I work with nature and beauty.”

“I bake pies,” said LuLu.  “This is Will and truthfully, I have no idea what he does, other than make me happy, that is.  Oh, and I’m a princess.  My mom is the Queen of Spring.”

“Lady,” said Freedom, all the humor gone from his face, as he dropped to his knee.  “Forgive me.”

“Forgive you for what and Great Goddess of Little Fishes…GET UP.”

“Forgive me for my lack of decorum, my….”

“I’m not that kind of princess.  I just found out about it a week ago.  I’m a regular person, so no forgiving is necessary and if you see me again, no bowing, kneeling, or any of that of stuff, okay?  Ever.”

“Okay,” said Freedom, a glint of humor back in his eyes.

“Well, I think we better get going,” said LuLu.  “Have a good life, Freedom, it was nice meeting you.”

“You saved me,” he said.  “You have my eternal gratitude.  I will forever be at your beck and call.”

“The way my life is going, I may actually take you up on that,” said LuLu, truthfully.

“Seems like a nice guy,” said Will.

“I think so too,” said LuLu, watching Freedom walk away.  “He’s kinda hot, actually.  Not Merlin hot, of course.  Maybe not even as hot as you, but still.”

“You are driving me crazy,” said Will, a smile on his face.

“Think Stan will make us a pizza?” asked LuLu.  “I’m starving.”

 

 

 

LuLu’s Pie Shoppe…65

“What are you talking about, Stan?”  sighed LuLu.

Stan shrugged.  “Not sure, but I’m supposed to come with you guys.”

LuLu turned to Will.  “Is this what’s is known as a ‘rag-tag’ bunch?” she asked, looking around.

“I think so and that could work in our favor,” smiled Will.  “The other side might take one look at us and laugh themselves to death.”

“Cute,” said LuLu, pulling her phone out of her pocket.  “It’s Reba,” she whispered.  “Uh huh.  Okay.  When?  Really?  How about you?  Sure.  I’ll let you know right away.  Kiss CC for us.  Yes.  Definitely.  Love you too,” said LuLu, disconnecting.

“So?” asked Will.  “How is he?”

“The doctor couldn’t say for sure but CC’s chances are better than they were an hour ago.  Reba gave him some of her blood and she got a couple of other fairies to donate blood, as well, so he’s looking better.  She’s positive he’ll be okay.”

Vincent leaned against the door jam and held up his arm.  He had a tiny bandage, covered with bunnies, on his arm.  “I gave blood,” he snickered.  “I got bunnies and a cookie.”

“Fabulous,” laughed, LuLu.  “Reba said if CC starts to look a lot better, she’ll join us.  She’s so sweet.”

“She might be sweet,” said Vincent, but she can fight like you wouldn’t believe.  I’ve seen her.  We’re lucky to have her on our side.  If she can join us, she will, I’m sure of it.  She wants to get the fairies who hurt CC.”

“I’d feel exactly the same way,” said LuLu, nodding.

“Excuse me, but this is Buttercup,” said Rosy, introducing the pixie.  “We grew up together and you can trust her.”

“Welcome to the…um, group,” said LuLu.

“Right,” said Buttercup.  “Maybe we should leave now.”

“Great idea,” said LuLu.  “Let’s go kick some Fairy….”

Suddenly there was a lot of hissing and shouting, as the pixie, tried to climb onto Alice’s, and ride her.”

“What is wrong with your cat?” asked Buttercup.

“Actually, nothing’s wrong with her.  No one ever rides cats in this world.”

“You’re kidding, right?” asked the pixie, who looked to Rosy for confirmation.  Rosy nodded and Buttercup, pushed the hissing cat away, shaking her head.

“Doesn’t she realize that the cat can eat her in about two seconds?” whispered LuLu, to Rosy.

“She knows that, she just doesn’t care.  She’s something of a cat wrangler, at least in Fairy.  She’s pretty tough.  Some cats fear her.”

“I thought pixies, fairies and everyone else, on that side of the line, were terrified of cats.”

“Not really.  That’s just something people made up.  Pixies, like Buttercup, take them when the are kittens and start riding them immediately.  They pet them, sleep with them, give them food and treats, groom them and sing to them.  The cats never know any other kind of life, so they expect to have a pixie ride on them.  It’s that way for all living things, you know.  It’s all about what we are taught to be and expect in life.”

“That’s deep,” said LuLu.  ” But I think Alice might be too old to be trained.”

“I guess we’ll just have to wait and see,” said Rosy, staring at the cat, huddled in the corner, glaring at Buttercup.

“Rosy, you and Buttercup can ride with me,” said the dragon.  “Hop on.”

“This isn’t over,” growled the pixie, staring at Alice, who got up and started doing her rendition of a Halloween cat.  She was walking sideways with her back arched, her fur standing on end and her eyes filled with fury.

“She’s usually a very calm cat,” mumbled LuLu, looking at Alice who was spitting and hissing again, ears flat against her head.

“Don’t worry about her,” said Rosy.  “She’ll calm down.”

“Okay, then,” sighed LuLu.  “We can figure out the cat stuff later, assuming we survive. If we’re all dead, then it won’t matter anyway.”

“Fine,” said the pixie.  “I would be more than happy to ride with Rosy, on the beautiful dragon.  But I’m not finished with you,” she said to Alice, who hissed again.

LuLu reached for the letter falling from the ceiling.

Dear LuLu and friends:

Merlin is with your mother.  They are waiting for you.  Chicago said the fire you will see won’t burn you, it will be an illusion behind which the Hierophant may be hiding.  She said not to trust anyone, outside of your group.   She also said that if you see The Hierophant, kill him immediately.  Don’t ask questions, just kill him.  If he falls, half the battle will be over.

Merlin has called the dragons. They haven’t been in a good fight for a long time, so they are ready, willing and wired so tightly, I’m surprised they don’t self destruct.  They will be an invaluable in this fight..

The party will be on hold until you are all back safe and sound, of course.  I’m hoping the battle will be quick and the damage minimal.  

Strange as this may sound, I’m sending cupcakes.  Someone named Stanley wants them and his thoughts are quiet loud, at the moment.  I think cupcakes are like a calming thing for him, so they will arrive when you get to your mother’s.  

Good luck and I’ll see all of you soon.  

Love and books,

Edith

LuLu looked at Stan.  “Cupcakes?”

“What?” he said, his face flooding with color. “What about them?”

“You’re thinking about cupcakes…now?”

“I can think about cupcakes, can’t I?” asked Stan, his eyes darting back and forth.

LuLu put a hand on his shoulder. “You can think about anything you like, my friend.  They will be waiting for you when we get to where we’re going.  I’m sure they’ll be delicious.”

“For real?”

“For real,” said LuLu.

Will saw LuLu push a long handled wooden spoon into the waistband of her skirt and he couldn’t help himself.  He grabbed her and kissed her.  “You amaze me,” he said softly. “I think you’re wonderful.

Vincent pulled her away from Will and took her into his arms.

“Ice cream man,” she sighed, leaning against him and closing her eyes.

“Are we gonna leave or what?” sighed Buttercup.  “I didn’t break out of prison and escape from Fairy to watch you kiss boys, ya know.”

“Escape from prison?” asked LuLu.

“She’s right,” said the dragon.  “Let’s go.

 

LuLu’s Pie Shoppe…63

“What are you doing?” asked Will, watching LuLu slide a pastry knife into the side of  her boot.

“I’m preparing, what do you think I’m doing?”

“You’re preparing with pastry tools?”

“I am.”

“Are you planning on fighting them by baking pies?”

“I would, if I thought that would work.  I’ve used these tools for a very long time,” said LuLu, sweetly, running a pastry knife down the side of Will’s face. They are very pointy and very sharp, in case you haven’t notices. Besides,” she said, standing straighter, “my aunt might throw Excalibur my way again.  If not, you may have noticed that I’m pretty resourceful.”

Will kissed her and she kissed back.  “Whatever works for you,” he said, seriously.  “But take this iron knife and these iron nails.”

“Why are you wearing gloves?”

“Can’t touch iron.  I don’t know if you can either.  Fairies and iron don’t mix.”

LuLu picked up the nails and felt a slight stinging but nothing too terrible.  “I’m good,” she said.  “Thanks.”

“Do you know any spells?”

“Spells?” asked LuLu.  “I don’t think so.  Destiny can burn things, so that has to be good.”

“It is good but if you think you need to say something, even if you don’t understand why, or what, just say it, okay.”

“Sure.”

“Don’t be afraid.”

“I’m never afraid,” smiled LuLu.  “Don’t waste your time being afraid for me.”

“It’s just that you know nothing about Fairy.  It’s not always what it seems.  It’s tricky and….”

“Don’t worry.”

“There are glamours that make you think you are seeing one thing when it’s actually something else.”

“Hmmm.  Can you see through them?” asked LuLu.

“Most of the time.  It depends on who made the glamour.”

“Well, just tell me if you see one.”

“LuLu, you’re walking into this blind.”

“No I’m not.  I’m walking into it with the beings and people I love.”

“I’ll tell you if I see anything,” sighed Will.

“Thanks.  Hand me that whisk, please.”

 

 

LuLu’s Pie Shoppe…64

“LuLu,” said the sparkling woman, walking through the kitchen wall.

“Wow!” said LuLu.  “Great entrance, right Will?”  Will was on both knees, his head bowed.

“Get up,” whispered LuLu, pushing him.

“Child,” said the woman, “he cannot rise.  I’m too much for him to see.”

“Well, I can see you.”

“Of course you can see me. I’m your Grandmother.”

“Grandmother?” sighed LuLu.  “Where have you been all my life?”

“There was no need to interfere in your daily routine.”

“Yeah, see, I don’t think so.  Kids need their grandmothers.  Especially their Fairy Grandmothers.”

“I’m not that kind of grandmother,” huffed LuLu’s Grandmother. “I’ve come to talk to you about what you are about to get yourself into.”

“Does mom know your here?  And let Will get up, I really hate all that subservient garbage.  It’s disgusting and pathetic,” she added, pulling at Will’s arm.  “If you’re not going to let him up, then go away.”

“Your mother told me you would be like this,” she sighed and fluttered her fingers in Will’s direction.

Will shook his head and wobbled to his feet. He rubbed his eyes, opened them and quickly put his hand in front of his face.  “Bright,” was all he said.

“I’m here to help you,” said her Grandmother.  “There’s only one thing you need to know, if you are to survive.”

“Must be a pretty big thing,” said LuLu, impatiently.

“It is.”

“I’m listening already.  Just tell me.”

Don’t think.  Just do,” said her Grandmother, knowingly.

“That’s it?”

“You don’t know enough about Fairy to function in that environment and maybe that’s a good thing.  I’m hoping that it is.  So, just let your intuition be your guide.”

“And where will you be, while I’m not thinking, just doing?”

“It doesn’t matter where….”

“It kind of does.  Your daughter and granddaughter are going to war.  Where will you be?”

“Your eyes are like mine,” said her Grandmother.

“Don’t care,” said LuLu.  “I have things to do, so if that’s all ya got….see ya.”

“LuLu, I can’t get involved.”

“Why not?”

“Rules.”

“Whose rules?  Aren’t you in charge of the rules?”

“Some of them and why are you putting that whisk in your pocket?”

“It’s a weapon.”

“It’s not a weapon,” said her Grandmother.  “It’s a cooking implement.  It’s a whisk.”

“To you maybe.”

“You’re very sarcastic.”

“Thank you,” said LuLu.

“Is she always like this?” asked LuLu’s Grandmother, turning Her attention to Will.

“Yes.  Always,” said Will.

“Take these pills as soon as you step foot in Fairy.”

“Why?”

“They will let you see through glamours for as long as you’re there.  If you leave Fairy,even for a moment, the pill will not work if you go back.  So stay there until your job is finished.”

“Okay then.  I’m good,” said LuLu, rummaging around in a drawer.  “Thanks for the pills and thanks for introducing yourself.”

“Why aren’t you afraid of me?” asked her Grandmother.

“Oh, she’s not afraid of anything,” said Will, smiling brightly.  LuLu turned and kissed him, making happy little noises.

“He’s right.  I’m not afraid of anything and besides, I have a whisk and a pastry knife.”

Will choked back a laugh.

“Well, I’ll let you two get back to whatever you were doing,” said her Grandmother.  “Be safe and I love you.”

“Oh please,” said LuLu.  “You don’t even know me, let alone love me.  HE loves me,” she said, pointing at Will.  Love doesn’t matter if you can’t feel it, or know it exists.  You weren’t part of my life.  I don’t even know you.  That might not be your fault, but it’s easy to love the idea of someone, which has nothing at all to do with the actual PERSON.  If you knew me, you might not even like me.”

Her Grandmother smiled.  You’re so much like your mother and like me,” she said.  “I don’t need your permission to love you.  I don’t need your permission for anything.” Then she turned and walked out the way she came in, taking her sparkles with her.

“That was intense,” said Will, blinking rapidly.  “The Grandmothers never show themselves like that.”

“Don’t care,” said LuLu.  “We have to go.”

“Ack, ack kaaaaaak,” hacked Alice, spitting a pixie onto the floor at LuLu’s feet.

“I’m soaking wet and you bit holes in my dress, you, you, you, CAT!” said the angry pixie.

Alice was too busy licking her foot to listen to the pixie, so no questions, or apologies, were forthcoming.  Finally she said, “I’m going with you LuLu.”  Then she hacked up a fur ball and went after a catnip mouse.

Rosy landed next to the pixie and helped her up.  “Are you okay?”

“Do I look okay?” she snapped.  “I came to help and get caught by a fur face,” she said, sticking her tongue out at the cat.

“I know her,” said Rosy, looking at LuLu.  “She’s okay.”

“Good.  You talk to her while I answer the door,” sighed LuLu, flinging the back door open.

Stan stood there, looking confused and droopy.

“Hi Stan,” said LuLu.  “I happy to see you but I’m just on my way out.”

“I’m ready,” asked Stan, a pizza paddle in his hand. “Where are we going?”

 

 

 

 

LuLu’s Pie Shoppe…62

“What do you mean, CC’s missing?” asked LuLu, trying to disentangle herself from Reba.

“I can’t find him anywhere,” said Reba. “He’s nowhere.”

“He has to be somewhere,” said LuLu, calmly.  “When was the last time you saw him?”

“This morning.  We slept in the park last night, you know, the sky was so beautiful and the stars were so sparkly and…we both went into the bathrooms and when I came out…he wasn’t there.”

“Did you wait for a few minutes?  I mean maybe it was crowded in there, or maybe he was washing up.”

“I waited and even went in to look for him,” she said.  “But it was empty.  With the tension in Fairy, I’m worried that he was taken.  I’m afraid they might try to make him  fight.”

“What?”

“The fairies who want war are building a bigger army. They are grabbing everyone they can and forcing them to fight against your mother and the Fairies who want peace,” said Reba, wringing her hands.  “You know CC won’t fight against them.  If he won’t fight they’ll torture him, or kill him.”

Rosy stood on the counter.  “Do you want me to have a look?” she asked, LuLu.  “I know what CC looks like.  I’ve seen these two in the park quite often.”

“Will you be in any danger?” asked LuLu.

“Not really,” said Rosy.

Just then, CC staggered through the front door and landed, face down, on the floor.  Reba ran to him and turned him over.  He was bleeding from several cuts on his face and a stab wound in his gut.

“CC,” cried Reba, hugging him.

Ms. Lana, one of the regulars, bent over Reba and gently pushed her to the side.  “I’m a doctor, let me look at him,” she said softly.  The doctor quickly examined CC’s wounds and told Reba to get some towels from the kitchen. Then she looked at LuLu and said, “He’ll bleed out, if we don’t get him stitched up quickly.  He’s a Fairy, correct?”

“He is,” said LuLu, taking the towels from Reba.

“Press the towels over this wound and hold it tight.  The hospital won’t be able to treat him properly but I can.”  The doctor stood up an made a call.  “They’ll be here in a second,” she said.  “Reba? Right?”

“Yes, I’m his wife,” said Reba.

“You go with him and I’ll meet you there.”

“There?  Where’s there?”

“It’s a facility I’ve started to help Fairy Folk.  Trust me.”

“An unmarked ambulance pulled up to the curb and two large men came in and placed CC onto a stretcher.  Reba hugged LuLu and followed the men out the door, saying she would call as soon as she knew anything.”

Marion stood looking out the window. “Things seem to be heating up,” she said softly.

The mood in the shoppe was subdued.  Everyone liked CC and they were shocked and worried.  Raven and Sweetheart, reading the room,  cawed and chirped, as they did a little sidestep to get people smiling again.  Will and Vincent ran into the room, then slowed down, trying to act as if nothing was wrong.

“They got CC,” hissed Vincent.

“I know,” said LuLu.  “He’s getting help and Reba is with him.”

“You can’t be alone anymore,” said Will.  “One of us will have to be with you at all times.  They are getting too bold on this side of the line.   You’re the one they’re after.  If they get you, the fairies who believe you can end the wars, once and for all, will lose hope.”

“First of all, that sounds like a bad movie I’ve seen, and second, I think I have to do something,” said LuLu.  “I need to go to Fairy and fight, or at least stand with those who want peace. I don’t believe in staying safe while others die for a cause I believe in.  That’s wrong.  I’m not a symbol, I’m a person.  I’m leaving tonight.”

“No!” shouted Will, Vincent, Destiny, and a couple of the customers.

“You should go,” said Rosy.

“I’ll eat you,” said the dragon, glaring at her, fire dribbling out of his nose.

“Dragon,” said Rosy.  “You know I’m right.  You might not like it but look into your heart and you’ll see.  You’re all just afraid for her and that’s okay but don’t stop her from being who she’s supposed to be.”

“Rosy,” said LuLu, “I’m grateful to have you in my life.”

“I’ll be by your side,” said Rosy.

“Vincent and I will be with you as well,” said Will.

“Well, you know I’m coming along.  I mean you’ll be useless without me,” said the dragon.

“I’ll take care of things here,” said Marion.  “Rocky and Mitzi will help out.  Go do what you have to do.”

“Don’t worry, LuLu, said the customers.  We’ll help Marion.”

LuLu was kind of overwhelmed, by all the love and support, and since she never got overwhelmed, she didn’t really know how what to do.  She stepped in front of the counter and looked at everyone.

“You know, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing,”  she said, smiling at the laughter she heard.  “But I trust that I’ll do what needs to be done.  Does that make any sense?”

Everyone yelled “YES!”

“Oh good,” snickered LuLu.  “I thought I might be going crazy.  I don’t know what’s going to happen, or what I’ll be called on to do, but just in case I don’t get to come back here, I want you to know that all of you have made my dream come true and I can never thank you enough.”  LuLu bowed rather dramatically, then she walked into the kitchen, a round of applause following her, and began to arm herself.

 

 

LuLu’s Pie Shoppe…61

Rosy found the dragon napping with the cats, in the front window of the shoppe.  “Excuse me, Destiny,” said Rosy, nervously.  “I was just wondering if I might, well, if you wouldn’t mind if, I mean, would be okay with you, if I slept under your wing again tonight.”

The dragon looked away and smiled.  He didn’t want to seem too easy, after all.  “I can barely feel you and I don’t mind, so yes, you can sleep under my wing again tonight.”

“Thank you dragon,” said Rosy, bowing a little.  “I’m at your service.”

“LuLu,”  said her mother, suddenly appearing in front of her, “you made a real friend in Shaville.  She enjoyed meeting you and is looking forward to Thursday night.  She’s definitely an ally because of you.  Merlin sat as mediator but it’s clear there are two camps.  One for war and the one for peace.  Your reputation as The One to end the Fairy Wars has spread, so the warring faction will be coming at you until this is over.  I was happy to hear that my sister let you use the sword.  Will and Vincent have been released from Elizabeth’s unreasonable law, by the way.”

“I’m so happy to see you and hear the good news,” said LuLu, hugging her mother tightly.

“My Lady,” said Rosy, bowing.  “I have come to help.”

“Thank you,” said LuLu’s mother, graciously, staring at the sprite.  “Your help welcome and now that you are here, you will be under my protection.”

“Lady,” said Rosy, once again, looking at LuLu, her eyes wide with surprise.

LuLu told her mother what happened while she was gone.  She mentioned Rocky and Mitzi and told her about the soldiers that Will and Vincent didn’t recognize.  The entire time she spoke, she made pies.

“Edith said that Poe is driving her insane, waiting for your pies,” laughed her mother.  “So if there are any left tonight, please sent them to her.”

“I just pulled a card, LuLu,” said Chicago, “and it’s the Hierophant.  I don’t like him.  He’s patriarchy at its worst.  The pope, rules that bind people, discord, division, male dominance, religion, fanaticism, war, disharmony and the lot.  It means the one in charge of the warring side is male and hiding behind a Queen’s skirt.”

LuLu pulled four pies out of the oven.

“FIFTEEN MINUTES UNTIL OPENING,” shouted Marion, from the front of the shoppe.  “They’re lined up and waiting.”

Chicago pulled another card.  “Five of Swords, adversaries, war, dishonor.  Well, that makes sense, doesn’t it.  Only those people would want war to begin with, right?”

“Thank you Chicago,” said LuLu’s mother.  “Edith would like you to return to the Emporium.  There’s a party in the works and she said she needs you.”

“I’ll come back here when I can,” said Chicago.  “LuLu, pick a card.”

LuLu, pulled a card from the deck and placed it on the table.

Chicago smiled. “Ten of Pentacles.  Home, family, safety and all good things.  You can’t loose and I can leave with a full heart.”

LuLu was saying goodbye to Chicago when Will came in the back door, grabbed her arm and dragged her into the bathroom.  Once there he slammed the door and pushed her agains the wall, covering her body with his.  He leaned down and kissed her, a small groan escaping his lips.   “I can’t think about anything but you,” he said.  “I just needed to kiss you and hold you for a few minutes.  Vincent and I encountered some trouble but I think the Red Birds….”  he went in for another kiss.  “…are using thugs from the underworld.  We have more inquires…to make but I’m almost sure…that’s what’s happening,” he said, running his hands down her body.  “How much time do we have in here?”

LuLu laughed and pushed him away.  “Not nearly enough.”

“OPENING,” shouted Marion.

“I have to go,” said LuLu, pulling him in for one last kiss.

Customers invaded the shop, the regulars taking favorite seats, while new people looked for places to sit.

LuLu saw a woman ask Mrs. Swenson if she could join her.   Mrs. Swenson, who had been alone for several years, nodded cheerfully.  She cut Mrs. Swenson a large slice of apple, peach pie, with walnuts and sprinkled pink sugar on top.  She added cherry, peppermint ice cream on the side.  For the new arrival she cut cherry and added whipped cream and vanilla bean ice cream, dribbled with chocolate.  Marion delivered their plates and both women smiled with delight.

Raven and Sweetheart, perched on the cash register, watched people enjoy their morning.  Mitzi removed empty dishes with perfect grace and timing, while Marion poured coffee.  Life seemed wonderful and normal and LuLu started humming as she plated up the perfect pie for each person, until Reba ran through the front door and threw herself at LuLu.  “CC’s missing,” she cried.

 

 

LuLu’s Pie Shoppe…60

Will and Vincent walked into the kitchen through the back door.  They looked disheveled and tired.

“Wow.  What kind of night did you two have?” laughed LuLu.

“We were in Fairy, helping your mother.”

“Oh,” said LuLu, her heart suddenly pounding.  “Is she okay?”

“Yes, but there’s a lot of tension, between several factions, in Fairy, right now.” said Will.

“Maybe I should go and help her,” said LuLu, wiping her hands on her apron.

“I don’t think there’s much you can do at this moment.  Merlin and the Queens are in negotiations.  Queen Shaville told your mother about seeing you last night.  They are on the same side.  Both want peace.”

“I like Shaville.  She’s coming for pie on Thursday,” said LuLu.  “But right now I have to go into the alley, because something is terribly wrong.”  LuLu ran for the door, threw it open and stepped outside. About fifty soldiers waiting for her.

“Come with us,” said the guy with the red feather in his hat.”

“Did your feather come from the red bird who tried to birdnap me?  Cuz seriously, you aren’t going to have any more luck than the bird did.”

“Come with us or…”

“Wasting time.  That’s all you bad guys do is talk, talk, talk.  If you’re going to do something, then just DO IT, and no that’s not a sports slogan, I mean it.  Stop standing around and make your move.”

There was a lot of grumbling, then, as one, the soldiers began to surge forward.

LuLu held up her hand and Excalibur appeared.  “Thanks Auntie,” she shouted as she started cutting them down.

Will and Vincent stood watching from the doorway.  “She’s really something, isn’t she?” asked Will.

“All that and more,” agreed Vincent.  “The Queen is dead.  We can both stay, if she can’t decide.”

They shook hands and continued to watch LuLu dispatch the last of the soldiers.

“What were those things?” she asked, watching the sword disappear, then brushing bits of soldier off her shoulders and arms.”

“Not really sure, but nice blade,” said Vincent.

“It’s a family heirloom, Lady of the Lake and all,” said LuLu, smiling.  “So?  What do you think those things were?”

“They weren’t fairies, that’s for sure,” said Will.  “I think there might be a new player in town. Maybe the Red Bird group hired them from somewhere else.”

LuLu kissed Will, then she kissed Vincent.  “You both taste so good,” she said, licking her lips.  “But I have pies to make.  What should we do with the bodies?”

“Nothing,” said, Vincent.  “Hopefully, the sun will take care of them.”

“Great.  Could you two try and find out who those things were and what they wanted?  And if you see my mom tell her that her sister came through for us.”

Will and Vincent bowed and vanished.

“My life might be a circus,” said LuLu, to no one in particular. “But at least it’s never boring.”

“I didn’t know you knew how to handle a sword.  Especially one that heavy,” said the dragon.

“I didn’t know that I knew how either but something told me to hold out my hand and there it was.  I guess I know how to use one.”

“I guess.”  said the dragon.  “I wonder what else you can do.”

“Seems as if I’ll find out as we go along,” said LuLu, wiping her hands and throwing a round ball of dough onto the prep table.

“Everyone who doesn’t want peace is trying to kill you,” said Rosy calmly.  “They think there are riches to be made from war and that’s why they keep the fighting going, just like humans do.”

“Well, I can’t argue about that.”

“Why not?  Because it’s true?” asked the sprite.

“Yes, because it’s true.”

“See, I told you fairies and humans were a lot alike.  Well, we can fly and do magick, so I suppose we’re a little bit better off than you are, but still,” said Rosy.  “And I can teach the human kids to read, if you like.  I’m quite good at it actually.  I taught my siblings to read, after all.”

“Great, start whenever you like.”

“Just like that?”

“Just like that.”

“You don’t have any trust issues do you? asked Rosy.

“Not one,” smiled LuLu.  “I trust until someone, or something, proves me wrong and then, pfffft, all gone.”

“I see,” said Rosy.  “And that works for you?”

“Every single time.”

“Destiny let me sleep under his wing last night.”

“That was very nice of him.”

“It was,” said Rosy, blushing.  “I mean he just met me.”

“He’s a wonderful dragon.”

“He is,” she agreed.  “I’d like to sleep there again tonight but I don’t want to be a bother.  What do you think I should do?”

“Ask him.  He’ll tell you the truth,” said LuLu.

“He has a strong heartbeat and his wing kept me warm.”

LuLu hid her smile and cleared her throat.  “All you can do is ask.  If he declines, we’ll find another place where you feel comfortable.”

“Um,” said Rosy.  “I should tell you that I’ve killed a lot of fairies and a few humans too, so I’m not afraid to fight along with you.”

“Thank you.  I appreciate your honesty and if I have to fight, you can definitely fly next to me.  It would be an honor.”

Rosy bowed and flew off to find the dragon.  She hoped he would allow her to sleep under his wing again.  She liked it there.  He scent reminded her of home.

 

LuLu’s Pie Shoppe…59

“Wake up.  WAKE UP!” yelled Rosy, standing by LuLu’s ear. “Maybe she’s dead.”

“She’s not dead, I can see her breathing.  Let me try,” said Raven, hopping across LuLu’s body.  “LuLu, wakey, wakey,” he said, pecking at her shoulder.

“Go away.  I’m too tired to get up. I was having a dream that the last four days weren’t real, but it’s hard to believe that with a sprite and a large black bird standing on top of me”

“You have to make pies,” said Destiny.  “Get up or I’ll set your blanket on fire.”

“Oh, nice.  Thank you so much,” she said, rolling over.  “Here’s the thing.  Will said that he and Vincent had worked things out and they could both stay, if I couldn’t decide which one I wanted, right?”

“My money’s on Will,” said Rosy, smiling.

“Anyway,” groaned LuLu.  “They just told me that I have to pick one of them, or both of them will leave, so I can find the right person.  What happened and why this sudden change?”

“Oh thats easy,” said Rosy.  Queen Elizabeth told them she would curse them, and you, if they didn’t do that.  She wanted Gertie to have Vincent and everyone thought you would pick Will.  If you couldn’t choose, she wanted them to come back to Fairy so Vincent…well you know, could be forced to be with Gertie.  Poor Vincent.  But thats thorns under the roses now, isn’t it.”

“Seriously?” said LuLu sitting up.

“Yes, seriously,” said Rosy.  “Now that she’s dead, they can do as they please because it  isn’t one of our laws, the Queen was just being mean.”

“Why do fairies listen to the Queens and abide by the laws of Fairy?  It doesn’t make sense.”

“It does if you want to live,” said Rosy.  “Besides, you humans do the same thing.”

“She’s right,” said the dragon.  “But either way, the pies aren’t going to make themselves.”

“What about free will?” asked LuLu while brushing her teeth.

“What about it?” said Rosy.  “I picked out what I’m wearing, so that’s free will.  Humans think they have free will but really, all you can do is lie.  Our Queens know when things are wrong and justice, or punishment, is quick and final.  The Queens decide everything and except for that, we’re just like you are, and vice versa.  Humans are violent and so are we.  We can’t lie but we can manipulate the truth.  Humans are master manipulators, as well, and most of the time, you use threats and guilt to get people to do what you want them to do.  The different is that we admit who and what we are and humans don’t.  Humans lie to themselves, as well as everyone else, and that’s something we never do  Besides, the Laws of Fairy are hardwired into our DNA with magick.”

“That makes a lot of sense, Rosy.  Thank you.”

***

“You’re late,” said Marion.  “I did the prep work and the ovens are hot, but I’m not sure we’ll be ready to open on time.”

“I’m so sorry but stuff came up.  This is Rosy,” said LuLu, nodding at the sprite.  She’s part of the group now,  Rosy this is Marion, she’s like a living headquarters, you can tell, or ask her, anything. If I’m not here she’s in charge.”

The two exchanged pleasantries, then Marion said.  “This is Rocky and that’s Mitzi.  They are going to help out by bussing tables and doing dishes during our busy times.”

“Nice to meet you,” said LuLu putting a couple of pies int the oven.  You will get paid every Friday.  If you have any questions….”

“We should ask you or Marion,” said Rocky.

“That’s right,” said LuLu, smiling.  “And you’ll have school work and….”

“What?” shouted Rocky, his dark eyes flashing.  “You never said anything about school,” he bellowed, staring at Marion.”

“That’s the deal,” said LuLu.  “Take it or leave it.”

“I’ll take it,” said Mitzi, a rail thin girl, around eleven, with gray eyes and short blond hair.

“Mitzi,” said Rocky, who was well built and looked to be eleven or twelve years old, as well.  “Let’s just leave.  We’ll be okay on the street, like always.”

“No, we won’t be okay,” said Mitzi, taking Rocky’s hand.  “We”re growing up and have no real future on the street.  We’ve been lucky, so far, but that won’t last.  I’m staying and I hope you’ll stay with me.”

“That’s not FAIR!  You know I promised to take care of you and to never leave you.”

“I release you from your promise, Rocky.  I’m staying here,” said Mitzi, softly.  “You have to make your own decision and I have to make mine.”

“Fine! but I don’t have to like it,” he said, turning his back on her, to look at LuLu.  “I’ll stay.”

That settled, LuLu put four more pies into the oven and started on another one.  She was fast and she was in the zone.  Her hands flew across the ingredients, her mind leading the way,  trying to come up with new and exciting favors and treats.  “Marion, when things calm down we need to hire a tutor.”

“Right.  I’ll take care of it.  Maybe some of the other kids can join in.”

“Perfect,” said LuLu, crimping a crust.  “Peaches and blueberries, with pecans.  Perfect.”

Rosy flew over to Mitzi and said, “Are you part fairy?”

“I don’t think so.”

“You’re very clever and intelligent, for a young human.  Maybe we can hang out sometime.”

“I would like that,” said Rosy, shyly.”

“TWO HOURS TO OPENING,” shouted Marion, gathering plates and silverware.  “Looks like we’ll make it after all.”

“Where are the guys?”  asked LuLu, looking around.”

“I haven’t seen them since last night, said Marion.

Alice walked into the kitchen, spotted Rosy and crouched down, her entire body thrumming with the urge to ponce.

“Nice kitty,” sang Rosy, going down on all fours.  “Pretty kitty,” she crooned.

Everyone could see that Alice was conflicted.  She kept twitching and doing claws, on the floor.  She grumbled, hissed, purred and then just rolled on her back and gave up.  Rosy started scratching her tummy and ears and that was it.  The hunt was off.

“She’s good,” said the dragon, looking at the sprite.  “Really good.”

Rosy, looked up and winked at Destiny.  Then she went back to petting the cat.

 

LuLu’s Pie Shoppe…58

“Where do you think your mother came from?” asked the dragon. “Of course you have a grandmother.”

“I guess I never thought about it.  I must have had a grandmother on my human side as well.”

“If I were you, I wouldn’t mess with either one of them.”

“INCOMING,” yelled LuLu, as something black and yellow, dropped out of the sky.

CAW

Chirp

“Raven?  Sweetheart?  What are you doing here?” asked LuLu, staring at them.

“Marion sent us,” said Raven, dropping a sprite out of his beak.  “She said she had a bad feeling about you going home tonight and sent us to watch over you.  She was right.  I found this one following you.  Sweetheart caught a tiny moth but she let it go.  She has a kind heart and besides, she’s a vegan.”

“You are a very BAD bird,” said the sprite, her hands on her hips.  “Don’t you know that flying things are supposed to stick together?”

“Like that’s gonna happen,” snapped Raven, pushing the sprite toward LuLu.

“Okay, why were you following me?” asked LuLu.  “And it’s been a really long day, so please get right to the point.”

The sprit glared at her and then sighed.  “It’s just, well, a lot of the faries are taking about you.  They think you can end the Fairy Wars for good.  I just wanted to see you for myself, that’s all.”

Sweetheart landed on the sprite and knocked her down.  CHIRP!

“She said you better be telling the truth because we love LuLu and she will bite you really hard if you’re lying.” said Raven.

“I can’t lie.   Don’t you know anything? I just wanted to see her,” said the sprite, struggling to get out from under the bird.

“Your life is like a circus that never shuts down,” said the dragon.

“Like I don’t already know that,” said LuLu.  “Sweetheart, my love, please let her up.”

“Thanks,” said the sprite, wiping dust and gravel off of her wispy outfit.”

“Are you alone?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“No one else wanted to come along.”

“What’s really going on?”

CAW

Chirp

“You might as well just tell her,” said Destiny, smoke dribbling from his nostrils.

“Fine!  A lot of those in Fairy don’t want the wars to end but I do.  So, I came here to see if you were the one who could do it.  Happy now?

“Pretty much,” said LuLu.  “Happier than I was before.  Too tired to celebrate though.   So, are you going to stay with us and help, or what?”

“I can stay with you?”

“Sure, why not?”

“Um, I don’t know what to say.  This is unexpected.”

“Tell you what.  Think about it while we walk.  I’m almost home and I have to get some sleep.  You can stay overnight and tell me what you decided to do in about two hours, when I have to get up.”

“Okay.”

“What’s your name?”

“Do I have to tell you?”

“Not if you don’t want to.  You can make one up.  But I give you my word that I will never use your name against you.”

“It’s Rosebud.”

“Beautiful,” said LuLu.

“You can call me Rosy.  I like that better.”

“Done,” said LuLu, opening her door.  “All of you sleep wherever you can find a comfortable spot.  I’m going to bed right this second.”

“She seems nice,” said Rosy, perched on the dragon’s wing.

“She is and if you screw with her, I’ll eat you.”

“Got it.  Do you mind if I sleep under your wing?”

“I don’t mind and I’ll try not to turn over in my sleep.”

 

Tag Cloud

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: