“What!?” Exclaimed Victoria, co-founder of the PEF. “Rose, are you crazy? Don’t you know what time it is? Its springtime, Rose, and the Spring Celebration is tomorrow. Have you not learnt from the past three years what is absolutely bound to happen? Have you not received you annual blackmail from Jack yet?!?”
I sighed in exasperation. Victoria was not making this any easier for me.
“Yes, as a matter of fact, I have.” I said through gritted teeth, glaring at Victoria, indicating to her to shut up right. Now. Fortunately, she got the message.
“What did it say?” asked Rachel Citrusstream, who was currently acting Second in Command, as Autumn Windysong, the usual Second in Command, had mysteriously disappeared many seasons ago… But that’s another story.
Anyway, Rachel was newer than all the other heads, and so didn’t know about the last three spring fiasco’s we had dealt with. Unfortunately, for once, I couldn’t fill her in.
“I don’t know. I burnt it hours ago, and didn’t bother reading it.” I replied airily. An uprise came from the other members.
“But how will we know what’s coming?”
“That’s it. We’re doomed.”
I sighed. This was just great. Less than five minutes into the meeting, and we already had an uproar to deal with. That had to be a new record. Fortunately for me, my sister and Head of Potions, Ruby, was dealing with it already.
“Pixies, please! Calm down.” She yelled over all the racket. Slowly, the hubbub ceased. Once it had, Ruby continued.
“We all know what the letter would have said – ‘You have a certain amount of days to hand in what I want, or else something really bad will happen, etc, etc, etc. We’re all ready this time, so as Jack obviously isn’t going to do anything to threaten the PH community until then, why should we be wasting time training for something we already know how to handle, when we could be relaxing or helping get ready for the celebration?”
I had to hand it to her – she was really good with this speech thing. I watched as the other members started nodding their heads and murmuring in agreement. Perhaps I should get some tips off her, I thought. However, that can wait until later. I turned back to the crowd.
“Ok, well, seeing as that’s settled, grab your stuff, and I’ll see you all after the break.” I concluded. “Meeting dismissed.”
The next week was spent in utter bliss. No meetings or timetables or training sessions or life-threatening missions. No having to confront Jack or go undercover or needing to defend Pixie Hollow. Sure, I missed the thrill and excitement of it all, but it was nice to do nothing for a change. The other Heads and I went out to lunch one day and to the beach another. I got to catch up with some of my friends who weren’t part of the PEF, such as Carrie Tuliptwist and Crystal Cutetwinkle. Ruby and I helped with the spring preparations and Victoria and I enjoyed a performance at the Fairy Tale Theater two days before the preparations’ ended. On the night before the Spring Celebration, I went to bed completely relaxed, without a care in the world.
The day of the Spring Celebration dawned, and woke to find everything in the PEF HQ as normal. No heavy pounding rain on the roof. No wilted flower petal walls. No clovers covering the windows. Everything seemed perfect.
Almost too perfect.
Uneasy, I dressed and descended the stairs to Ruby’s room. You see, in the PEF HQ, there is the meeting room, which is the bottom floor, and then four bedrooms, one for each head and myself. As we currently had no proper Spells and Magic, Rachel took up that position too, so there was no need for a fifth room (I wasn’t complaining though – it meant a double the space for me!). Anyway, upon reaching my sisters room, I found it empty. Puzzled, I walked down the last flight of stairs into the meeting room, where I found all four Heads deep in discussion, all looking very grim. As I entered the room, they all fell silent, and looked up, directly at me.
“Um… Morning!” I said, feeling a little uncomfortable with all the attention. “Is there a reason that everyone is staring at me?”
No one said anything. I sighed. “Alright, what did Jack do this time?” I asked. “Is it another storm? If so, it mustn’t have hit yet, because I couldn’t hear any rain when I woke up this morning.”
Still nothing. Then, just as the silence was becoming unbearable, Lily, the Head of Healing, spoke up.
“Rose… look, it’s really hard to explain, so perhaps you should just take a look for yourself.” She said, fiddling with a strand of her hair, like she always did when she was nervous. Fearing the worst, I strode across the room, and opened the door…