Never Dove Hunt
I race into the spring meadows, excited to get started – or should I say I’m eggcited? I giggle a little at my own joke.
Sweetpea announced the start of the Never Dove Hunt about five minutes ago, and I want to get as many eggs as I can. The prize is a shiny new badge and a month of free Membership. As a community fairy, the free credit is what’s motivating me. It’s also the reason I dragged a grumbling Rose along, too – years on missions has made her surveillance skills sharp.
“Ok, so we’re looking for twenty eggs to get the badge, and an extra ten to get the Membership, but only if we’re the first to hand in our eggs,” I say.
Rose yawns. “If you say so,” She mutters.
I fiddle with my pouch. Seven other fairies have entered in the time we’ve arrived. That’s seven more fairies competing against me! I grab a basket out of Rose’s hands.
“Ready?” I ask. She rolls her eyes.
“If I help you with this, will you let me go back to bed?”
I snap my fingers impatiently. “If you must.”
Rose perks up a little. “Ok then. Let’s go.”
With that, we take off into the morning light.
Twelve years of participation in the Never Dove Hunt makes it a whole lot easier to find eggs – most are hidden in the same spots as they were the year before. Within five minutes, I’ve already found five eggs and stashed them into my basket.
I whirl around, to find Fauna Sunshine flying towards me.
Fauna’s an animal talent, works in the Healing sector of the PEF and also happens to be our only member that’s part vampire.
Vampire pixies, or VP’s for short, are pixies who’ve been bitten by the Never bat whilst journeying through the Wilderness. Well, that or a forbidden fairy – the gene could have simply been passed down. I don’t know what the case is for Fauna – I’ve never asked.
Most VP’s have an obsession with dark clothes and spaces, have perfect night vision and can function on little to no sleep. They don’t sparkle like in the clumsy movies or drink blood – they live off red food. If you find out you’re a VP, you better hope you like tomatoes.
Fauna has honey coloured hair and wears a black jacket and red miniskirt with tights. Her combat boots are black and she wears a charm necklace around her neck.
“Hey Fauna,” I smile as she approaches me. “What’s up?”
“Not much,” She says. “You hunting too?” She points at my basket.
“Technically. Ruby dragged me here to help her win the free credit,” I say.
Fauna nods. “I hope she does. She deserves some new stuff after all the work she’s done.”
I agree – Ruby does more work for the PEF than she admits.
“Mind if I join you?” She continues. “We can split the eggs we find.”
I grin. “Sounds good – the sooner I find these eggs, the sooner I can go back to sleep!”
I find three eggs in Dewdrop Vale and four in Treetop Bend. I’m about to check Cherry Blossom Heights when I hear shouts from below. I drive through the branches of the trees, back into the thicket. Five fairies surround a new arrival. They all wear the latest fashions, high heels and way too much makeup.
“What makes you think you’re going to win?” Sneers one with purple highlights.
“Look at her,” sneered another with red heels. “She hasn’t even got shoes!”
All five Members laugh. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having no shoes, but the Community fairy turns scarlet and dips her head.
“I… I just…”
I’ve dealt with enough bullies in my life to know one when I see one – that’s probably why I abandoned all thoughts of the egg hunt and stormed up behind them.
“Is there a problem?” I ask, placing my hands on my hips, trying to look like someone you wouldn’t want to mess with. All five whirl around, examining my mismatched clothes and un-styled hair. A small smile tugs at purple-streaks lips. I guess I failed at the whole don’t-mess-with-me look.
“Yes,” She says. “We spotted an egg and this girl- ” She jerks her thumb at the community fairy. “- stole it.”
“I didn’t!” Exclaims the Community fairy. “They’ve been following me everywhere, grabbing every egg I spot before I can!”
I glare at the five fairies. “So you’ve been cheating. You know you can be disqualified for that.”
“And what proof do you have?” Snarls red-heels.
“Actually, I think you’ll find she has all the proof she needs,” Says a voice. I turn, knowing who it is before I do. Relief runs through me.
I hover in mid-air behind my sister, arms folded. If there’s one thing that makes me tick, its Members teasing Community fairies.
The five Members survey Fauna and I, sizing us up. I don’t even blink; when you’re battling evil every other day, this sort of stuff seems like child play.
“What do you want?” Snaps one fairy.
I smile. “I’m glad you asked,” I say. “Ever heard of a Mist Memory?”
“I heard of it,” She replies.
“Good,” I say, “Then you know that it can capture a particular moment, and reply it, and that whilst being transported to its destination, it looks like this.”
I jerk my head to the left. Their eyes flick to the side, spotting the little transparent sphere bobbing along beside me.
Seven pairs of eyes widen, and I struggle not to smile.
“Give back the eggs you stole.” Says Rose quietly. “All of them, or this bubble floats straight to Sweetpea.” Her voice is filled with controlled rage.
Reluctantly, the girls give back all the eggs.
“Come on girls,” Says purple-streaks. “Let’s go.”
The five girls take off, grumbling about their ‘loss’.
“Good riddance,” I spit.
The Community fairy stares at the three of us. “Thank you,” She says.
I shrug. “It was nothing,” I say. I turn to Rose and Fauna. “How’d you get the Mist Memory?”
Fauna grins. “We didn’t,” She admits.
Rose flicks her hand, and the ‘Mist Memory’ falls to the ground with a splash.
“It’s just water from the stream,” She says. “We overheard what was happening and just went with the first thing that came to mind.”
“Brilliant!” I wrap everyone in a group hug, including the Community fairy, who laughs.
“We never got your name,” Says Fauna, breaking away.
The Community fairy smiles. “It’s Dahlia,” She says.
We exchange our names. “So how many eggs have you found?” Asks Rose. Dahlia counts her eggs.
“I have thirteen now.” She says.
“Nice,” I say. “Well, I guess we’ll see you around, Dahlia.”
I wave, and Rose, Fauna and I leave the Thicket without another word.
The three of us stop five minuted later in Cherry Blossom Heights to count our combined amount of eggs.
“Fifteen, sixteen – ok, so you two have seventeen eggs and I have nine,” Says Fauna, putting her eggs back into her basket.
I take the eggs and place them in Ruby’s basket. “Right. So, do you want to split up again?” I ask.
Ruby doesn’t say anything. Come to think of it, she hasn’t said anything since we left the Thicket.
“Hello? Earth to Ruby? What happened to your we-have-to-find-thirty-eggs-first vibe?”
Ruby stands up. “Pass me the basket.” She says. I hand it to her. “Thanks,” She says. “Be back in ten.”
I don’t bother waiting for Rose’s questions; I desert her and Fauna and take off into the meadow.
I find Dahlia looking behind branches in Treetop Bend.
“Hey – Dahlia!”
Dahlia turns around, startled. “Ruby, wasn’t it?” I nod. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” I say. “Just – here.”
I dump all my eggs into her basket. Her eyes widen. “There’s seventeen in there, which should total to thirty with your thirteen.”
“I can’t take these!” She says.
“Can’t give back I gift,” I say firmly. “Go get yourself that prize.”
Dahlia grins. “Thank you.” She says, before speeding away into the morning light. I wave as she flies into the distance.
A hand lands on my shoulder. “You did something great there,” Says Rose. “Good job.”
Five days later
I lie in my soft bed, wishing that the blissful feeling of drowsiness will never end.
Usually, I’m very much a morning person, but the PEF goes on holiday for Never Dove week, so there isn’t anything to do. One floor below, I can hear Rachel’s and Izzy’s voices drifting up through the stairwell.
Yawning, I sit up. Perhaps I can start working on that modified silly sweet a day early. It couldn’t hurt.
There’s a knock on the door.
“Come in,” I mumble, running my fingers through my hair.
The door opens, and Izzy steps through.
“Sorry – did I wake you?” She asks.
“Nah. What’s up?”
“There’s a package downstairs that’s just arrived for you,”
This gets my attention – I rarely ever get mail, let alone gifts.
I jump out of bed and follow Izzy downstairs in my pyjamas.
The package is wrapped in pink paper, with a shiny golden bow on top. Rachel hands it to me and I set it down on the table, undoing the ribbon. The package burst open with a shower of pixie dust to reveal what’s inside, and when I look, I can’t help but gasp.
An ivory white top sits folded perfectly inside, a matching black jacket sitting on top. I pick up the top and jacket to find a strawberry red checker skirt and tights underneath. There’s a belt too – and a black pair of high heeled boots with red heart shaped buckles.
There’s a card at the bottom of the pile, identifying the outfit from the unstoppable collection and the boots from the lovely hearts line.
“By the Second Star,” I breathe.
“There’s this, too,” Says Rachel, handing me a leafy green envelope. I tear the envelope open and read the letter inside.
578 Sparkling Lake
Thank you so much for helping me with the Never Dove Hunt! I really liked these items of clothing and thought you’d probably like them too! Perhaps we could meet up in the Tearoom one day for lunch?
Hope to see you again soon,
989 Grove of Clovers
P.S: Can’t take back a gift XP
I laugh and fold the letter back up, scooping my gifts into my arms.
“Be back in a minute,” I tell the others.
I rush up to my room and change into my new outfit. It looks so pretty – mainland styles are so fashionable these days.
I run back down the stairs, being careful not to trip in the heeled boots.
“What do you think?” I ask, posing at the bottom of the stairwell.
Izzy laughs. “Beautiful. It really suits you.”
“Who gave you all this stuff anyway?” Asks Rachel.
“It’s a long story,” I say.
“Ooh, tell us!” Prompts Izzy.
I sit down in my favourite armchair. Izzy and Rachel sit on the ground, like school students. I laugh.
“Well,” I begin, “It all started when I dragged Rose out into the Spring Meadows to hunt for eggs…”