Chapter 2 Honey
For a first day, I guess it’s not so bad. I got to see my friends I haven’t seen all summer and I get an extension on my environmental science project since only 3 people were prepared and handed theirs in. But I’m already super done with today and its only fourth period. I’m sitting at my desk, boring math. I hate math. I’m so tired. At least I’m by the window. I wish I could jump out the window and talk to the birds sitting on the limb of that maple tree in the yard. Or the caterpillar on the leaf of that maple tree. Hmm, I can’t even lift my pencil anymore. It drops to the floor and my hand catches my head before it hits the desk where my elbows propped up perfectly, looking as if I might be awake but my eyes are closed. At least I think they are. I hear a soft, squeaking voice. Where is that coming from? It feels like it’s right next to my ear, faint, but close enough to reach out and touch.
“Opal,” the squeaky voice says. “Opal, wake up.”
I am startled by the bell, but it didn’t seem like I was asleep that long. My classmates are getting up.
“Nice one, loser!” I hear, as a girl named Dany, says to me as she walks by my desk. Kicking the pencil, I dropped.
“Hi Opal!” My teacher says picking up my pencil as it rolls in her direction.
“Hi Ms. Simpson!” I say back. She hands it to me.
“How is your first day going?” she asks.
“It’s ok.” I shrug my shoulders. “Just tired I guess.”
“It will get better.” She says. Walking me out the door.
“Hi Opie!” Jon smiles. He’s so cute.
“Hi Jon.” Mrs. Simpson looks at Jon then me then back at Jon. We must be staring at each other, yep we are I can feel my face getting red. I can’t help it he’s so cute.
“Get to class you too.” She smiles and walks down the hall. We continue to stare at each other.
“Am I interrupting something?” That sounds like Violet.
“HELLO!” Violet says louder and Jon and I break from our stare to look at her.
“Really? Really! That’s it? Nice!” Violet says as she walks away.
Laughing and wishing time would hold still a little longer I ask Jon how he knows Mrs. Simpson.
“She’s my neighbor.” Jon smiles and lifts his hand to gesture me in front of him. We have our next class together.
Global studies, has to be worse than math I put my head in my hand ready to fall asleep again. Jon is sitting next to me so I sit up and adjust myself. Trying to make a good impression, it’s nice to have a friend in my classes. Violet is in honors classes so we only see each other at lunch and in the halls. And Miles is a year older. I can’t help but yawn. I’m so tired today and being bored doesn’t help. yawing again I slouch back in my chair. My eyes are heavy. I’ll just close them for a second.
“Opal,” a squeaky voice says.
Wind blows heavy on my neck as all my hairs stand on end. Trying to breathe through the dark fog, I cannot see in front of me. I feel my weak eyelids open to a bright light with fluttering wings behind it. I can hear a high scream it sounds like it’s in front of me.
“Opal!” A tiny mechanical looking fairy with 4 arms and wings. Leaves all over her body with ivy springs wrapped around her. A loud bang is heard, and Anola turns into a box shape. When the coast is clear, she mechanically turns back into a fairy.
“Opal, here, take the light—hurry.”
I adjust my eyes and feel for the light in front of me. The light dims, and it’s a stone, it’s a crystal stone. It looks a lot like the one Dave and I found today. But that crystal is shaped like an arrow, this one is like a crescent moon and its purple.
I look around, it’s foggy, the ground is cold and wet like dewy grass and it smells weird like mud or clay and notice the little voice with fluttering mechanical wings is a cute little fairy.
“What are you?” I ask it.
“I’m a fairy, my name is Anola Flower.”
She bows to me as if I’m an important person to her.
“My family is in trouble and I need your help,” she says.
She waves all four arms that we should go. And her wings make a clicking noise as they clang against each other.
“We need to hurry before it’s too late,” she urges.
She is quick, so I have to run to catch up. I trip over a root of the large tree with a dark brown knot and drop the crescent. As it falls from my neck. She snatches the crescent fast and puts it in my hand. I quickly take a vine from the tree and wrap it around the crescent and put it around my neck. Anola smiles and waves at me to hurry.
We pass huge dark weeping willow trees, and I feel the trees watching me, almost bending down to touch me as we run by. But I don’t stop, I just keep following Anola. There are flowers that pop in and out of the ground as I pass them. The sky is dark and red. I feel warmth on my face and there is a warm fog in the air. It’s very eerie. I look up as we are running and see stars. They look like stars, but in the middle of the day? We arrive at a crossing, kind of like a road, but it’s moving. It’s brown and ugly. I hear a rumbling noise and a lot of squeaking voices on the other side of the brown, ugly road.
“My family,” says Anola, “They are stuck, in the sticky hollow. ”
“The sticky hollow?” I ask.
“Yes, it’s very scary,” she answers. “Please help me.”
I put my foot down on the brown, ugly road to get across.
“No, wait!” Anola pulls me by my hair back to the green moss.
I fall over onto the green moist moss and as I’m on the ground, I can see that the brown ugly road is moving in a perfect form like a synchronized pattern. It looks like huge worms, one right after the other. There are rows and rows of them. It looks like huge worms, one right after the other. Dirt is flying up around them as they move in a straight line. They are moving too fast.
“Those are the Timesman worms. They keep time here in our world. You must jump over them. They can’t be disturbed.”
“I saw something when I touched it, a... a... a clock or a formation, and there were four missing or—” Anola puts her hand over my mouth to stop me from talking.
“Please, we must go. I will explain everything in time,” she pleads.
“Ok,” I say as I take a step back, away from the huge, brown river of worms, and take a running jump. As I push off of my left leg, my right leg soars in split formation in front of me and I feel like I’m flying. I grab ahold of my crescent stone. Out of instinct it feels like, and I float across the road like magic. I make it to the other side.
“If they are disturbed, time is lost.” Says Anola, waving for me to hurry.
“What do you mean, time is lost?” I ask, stopping. “Where am I? What is this pla--?”
“Shhh,” Anola says, gesturing with her four little hands to her mouth, signaling for me to keep quiet.
“The sticky hollow will hear you.”
My eyes widen as we push through stalks of long-stemmed flowers. I look up and there are wings of flower petals dancing to the ground, making a white path in front of us like they want to show us where to walk. I turn to my right and see a bush with pink frosted flowers on it. It looks like my mother’s bush in the front yard. Wait, I smell... hm, is that my honey? The kind I love? The kind that melts in your mouth?
“There they are,” says Anola, pointing.
Terrified, she hides under my hair and peeks through to see what’s in front of us. There is another gigantic tree with leaves of honey. The tree is thin and tall with knots of bark showing through the winding vines. The leaves, which are as long as my body and as wide as my arms are across, get bigger as they reach the end of the branches. They are dark green with hints of white through them, like veins. The honey is dripping slowly to the ground as the moss below eats it up, slurping it into the ground until it disappears. The moss is brown as if it’s burnt or dead. But the honey, it looks wonderful and tempting. I take one of the huge green leaves in my hands. I hear it talking to me, telling me to taste it. I lift it up to my mouth and lick it. Oh, it’s so good. It melts in my mouth.
“NO!” cries Anola, hiding her face in her hands. “What are you doing?”
“It’s just hon—” I say, but before I can finish my sentence, my throat feels funny, like it’s closing. I can’t breathe. I grab onto my neck...
“Hold the crescent up to your neck!” screams Anola.
The moss below begins to move and something slimy comes out of it and reaches for my feet. It looks like a snake and is cold and clammy. It wraps itself around my ankles, pulling me into the moss. I try to scream, but I can’t utter a single sound.
I can barely hear Anola. I fall over. My eyes are drooping closed. I feel like I’m suffocating. And the snake keeps pulling on me, trying to pull me under the honey tree.
“No!” cries Anola, “No!”
I can hear her sobbing as I drift off to sleep.
“Opal! Opal? Are you ok?”
I’m in my classroom where my teacher is holding onto my arm and patting my back. I open my eyes and gasp for air, grabbing my neck and hitting my chest. I’m coughing. Then suddenly I breathe. Everyone is looking at me.
“Are you ok.” Ask Jon, worried.
My ankles hurt, I think to myself, but I’m fine.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” I try to get up and almost fall over.
“Here is a pass to the nurse.” My global teacher holds up the pass. “Go with her.” He nods at Jon.
Jon helps me down the hall to the nurse.
“Are you ok Opie?” He asks again.
“I’m fine, just tired I guess.” As I limp down the hall.
“What happened to your legs?” He says trying to hold me up.
“I’m not sure I don’t remember. I was sleeping, all I remember is a voice saying my name like it was calling to me.” I look over at Jon. That was strange to say, I don’t want him to think I’m a weirdo. I pull up my jeans and there is a red ring around my ankle. I pull my pant leg down quickly so Jon doesn’t see.
“Your fine I hear voices all the time.” He says, as if he could read my mind.
“Thanks for walking me.” I say as we reach the door of the nurse’s office.
“It’s ok really, I’m happy to take you anywhere Opie.” He pulls his gorgeous hair from his dark blue eyes so I can see his beautiful smile. “Bye, feel better.” He says, leaving me at the door. I only stare at him for a few seconds as he walks away.
I step into the nurse’s office. She’s on the phone and rolls her eyes as if I’m ruining her call. She clears her throat and asks the person on the other line to hold. She is wearing nursing scrubs that are green with little bears on them with different colored bows on their heads. I don’t remember her; maybe she’s a substitute from the elementary school. She is overweight, and her cheeks are red and splotchy, and her hair is half-colored blond and half-colored dirty brown like she hasn’t dyed it in six months. She has to put her hands on her desk to lift herself off the chair and she kind of limps a few steps towards me.
She bends over a little and says in a southern drawl, “Yes, dear, what’s wrong?” As she opens her mouth to talk a fly, crawls out of the side. I almost fall over. Her teeth are brown and her gums are red and look like they are oozing. Her breath smells horrible.
I try not to look at her like she’s from another planet as I say, “I’m just not feeling well.”
“Well, if you like, you can lie down for a while. You still have a half day of school to finish.”
She pulls a pen out of the back of her ear and writes on a pad. “What is your name, dear?”
I know I have a weird look on my face as I watch a fly crawl down her cheek and back into her mouth.
“It’s Opal,” I say.
“Oh- Opal White?” she asks, shocked.
“Yes,” I say.
“I love your mother!” she says, getting animated. “She read my tarot cards and, I swear, that woman changed my life!” She throws her hands over her chest.
I know my face looks like I think she’s crazy (and weird). “That’s nice, she helps many people.”
“I’ll have to call her and let her know you’re here.” She says, looking up my number.
“Can’t I just lie down? You don’t have to call her. I’m sure I’ll feel better after a little rest, and I can finish the rest of the day. Please?”
“Well, ok, dear, but if you feel worse, let me know right away.” She says as a fly shoots out of her mouth.
She takes me into the next room with three cots made up like beds and dark blue curtains dividing each cot for privacy.
“I’ll be over at my desk if you need me. Just take a brief rest and see how you feel.” The nurse say’s closing the curtain.
I lie down on the cot and pull up a small blue, stiff, folded blanket from the end of the cot and just stare at the ceiling. I can hear the nurse pick up the phone again and she tells the person on the other line that I’m in her room like I’m a celebrity or something. I’m so mortified. My eyes feel tired as I stare at the ceiling with all the little holes in it. I count them, and my eyes droop. They are so heavy I can’t help but close them and I drift off.
“Opal!” I hear a squeaky voice shriek. Anola is fluttering her wings in my face. Her four little hands are in praying position and she looks so worried. My crescent stone, which wasn’t there in class or the nurse’s office, is laying across my neck. I try to take a deep breath, but I can’t. Then I remember and I scream.
“Help Me! Help!”
The slimy snake wraps itself tighter around my legs, and I can’t feel them. I try to move them, but I can’t. I do the only thing that makes any sense; I grab the crescent hanging from my neck and close my eyes. I imagine myself running. Suddenly I can feel my legs, and they hurt—the snakes have a tight grip around them. They try to get into my arms, but I raise them up quickly and my body jerks up. But the snakes won’t let me go.
“Opal, pull on the leaves!” screams Anola.
I look above me at the huge leaves. Honey falling on my body and dripping on my hair. It feels warm. I stare above me at the huge veiny leaves and imagine them moving towards me. They lean down and I’m able to reach for one. I pull on it, trying to get out of the slimy snake’s grip. Reaching higher to the leaves, it’s as if they came to me. I grab ahold of one of the huge leaves and I finally lift myself up to the tree. I’m covered in honey. But I dare not open my mouth to taste it for fear of suffocating again. The slimy snake thing gives up and disappears underneath the honey tree. I’m afraid to put my feet down.
“Please, Opal, be ok,” says Anola.
Anola tries to pull me from the huge leaf.
I slip down from all the honey and fall onto the moss. The moss sucks the honey from my entire body and I get up quickly, scrambling away from the tree, watching for the slimy snakes.
“What was that?” I point at the brown moss and stare at Anola.
“It is the Hollow beneath the sticky,” she squeaks.
Anola flutters her wings in my face and waves at me to hurry.
We walk through the leaves of honey.
“My family is in the sticky,” she says, pointing to the honey leaves. “We were trying to find a new home because ours was taken by a storm, and their wings got stuck. There is a potion but we have to hurry.”
I look around the tall tree of honey leaves and right above where I pulled myself up from the snake. There are tons of tiny little fairies on it, just like Anola. They are all sleeping and snoring, little squeaking sounds as they breathe in and out. It covered their wings in the thick, delicious honey.
“They will suffocate soon if we don’t get the potion,” says Anola in an anxious voice.
“What can I do?” I ask, reaching down and rubbing my ankles, which hurt from the snake’s tight grip.
“We need the pollen of the Aura flower,” she tells me. “The Aura Flower is too big for me to carry. Please take it.” We walk past the honey tree and the pink frosted bush to a cliff. Below is a creek. I can see the white caps of the water peaking in the rapids below. Along the side of the cliff, to the creek, there is a ladder of red flowers and vines. The flowers have hundreds of yellow beads in them. The mountain looks like the Grand Canyon.
Anola shows me the ladder of Aura flowers. I step down onto the crystal steps and walk down they are steep and it feels like I might fall the further I step down. I reach for the flower. I try to pull it from its root. But it snags on the vine and does not budge.
“No! No, you must ask. Use your crystal. Hold it to your heart and ask the flower if it is ok to borrow it.”
I do as she says. I hold the crystal stone around my neck and I visualize myself as the Aura flower and borrowing from the earth. The root comes out easily. I can hear it talking to me, telling me it’s happy that I have chosen it to help. I pull it from the flowering ladder and show it to Anola. Soon another flower is blooming in its place. The roots of the flower wrap themselves around my wrist as I carry it up the crystal steps.
We run back to the tree where the fairies are fast asleep.
“Yes, yes, now shake the pollen over the fairies. But you also must believe it will help. Hold your crystal with your other hand, next to your lungs, so the fairies can breathe. And believe they will breath, if you believe it believe it and they will!”
I put the stone on my chest and close my eyes. Breathing in and out, I imagine the little fairy’s flying around me, happy and free. I shake the flower over the large honey leaves and hundreds of tiny yellow beads of dust scatter over all the little fairies.
“Thank you, thank you so much!” I hear Anola say.
I open my eyes and the fairies slide off the leaves of honey and onto the brown moss below. The moss is pulling on them and soaking up the honey. Slowly, they all move there are at least fifty of them. One by one they flutter their wings. Anola cries and hugs each one. I frantically stare at the brown moss awaiting the slimy snake to reach up and take one of the poor little fairies.
When everyone is safe and fluttering freely, Anola says something to them in a language of her own. I don’t understand her. They turn to me and bow as if I’m important. They all point at the crystal and squeak and smile. The sun peaks through the red sky and dark clouds it shines so bright and I look up...