Thursday, August 20, 2015

Into the Land of the Elves: Talking Way Too Much About Katie

The Diary of Miss Aidyn Hall; don’t call me human
August 12
2:04 PM

Talking Way Too Much About Katie

            Katie showed up the moment I was about to head out into the Greenwood. I had finished my lunch and finished packing up my writing materials. Apple Blossom was no longer confined to the palace and I knew that she would have me running around for most of the day, but still I knew that I would find a convenient time to write. Writing in the Greenwood was the only way that I could get any writing done anymore. Apple Blossom’s interest was part of the reason for that, but the other part was the Greenwood itself. There was no better place for the imagination than a place like the Greenwood, where elves lived and fairies played and the waters rang like bells.
            But then Katie came along. I swore under my breath when I saw her coming up to the door. It’s gotten so that I genuinely cannot stand the woman anymore. I answered the door before she could ring the bell. “What do you want, Katie?” I asked in an admittedly snappish tone.
            “What’s with the ice?” she asked as she attempted to invite herself in. Her entitled self was just so shocked when I blocked her way. “I just have a few questions about that stone,” she said. In one cupped hand, she held the tag.
            “Aren’t you supposed to be at work?” I asked her.
            “I’m on my lunch break,” she answered. “I ate my lunch in the car on the way here, so I have time.”
            “I won’t be able to answer everything,” I said with a sigh. “But go ahead, shoot. I have somewhere to be.”
            “Can I come in?” Katie asked, and I moved aside to allow her to. She sat down on the arm of the sofa.  “Make this quick,” I told her.
            “Do you have one of these too?” Katie asked. I responded by slipping my tag out of my pants pocket and handing it to her. “Yours has a different marking,” she observed. “Do you know why that is?”
            “Mine is the symbol for the number five,” I said. “Yours is the number six. It means that we’re the fifth and sixth humans to come by that particular Greenwood.”
            “What happened to numbers one through four?” Katie asked.
            “They weren’t able to get in,” I said, “and you won’t be able to get in either. Only I was able to get in.”
            “What, are you part of an exclusive club?” Katie asked standoffishly, crossing her arms. “No,” I said, “I’m personal friends with the princess. Do you remember her? She’s that little girl you terrified.”
            “Oh.” Katie guiltily looked down at the floor. “Did I really terrify her?”
            “You did,” I said. “I mean, she was hiding.” 
            “Can I go back and tell her that I’m sorry?” Katie asked without looking up.
            “No, you can’t go back!” I said. “That will terrify her even more! Not only that, but it will cause one heck of a commotion among all the other elves! They really, really don’t like humans at the best of times, Katie! If you’re really sorry, then I’ll tell her that for you. I really ought to get going now.” I took my tag from her and slipped it into my pocket. “If you have anymore questions, just text them to me and I’ll answer them when I can.”
            “I guess I’ve got to get back to work,” said Katie. “But Aidyn, I have to say that I’m sorry I didn’t….well, I said that there weren’t any elves, and I acted like you were telling a kids’ story when you were telling me about all of this elf business. But now I’m starting to realize that you were telling the truth the whole time. And if you were, well…who knew, right?”
            “Of course I was telling the truth,” I said. Somehow, her little “who knew” irritated me.
            “Well, I’m sorry I doubted you,” Katie said, “and I’m sorry for being such a jerk about it.”
            “I appreciate the apology,” I said, and I have to admit that I was still rather cold about it. I wasn’t in the mood to be friendly to her yet. I saw her to the door and to her car, and as I waited for her car to completely disappear from view, I sat down on the curb to write all of this down. I guess I had a lot more to say about it than I thought, because she took off ages ago and I’m still sitting here. Oh well, Apple Blossom will understand.

7:00 PM

            Apple Blossom was waiting for me at the bridge, entirely untroubled by the delay. “Good afternoon, friend,” I said cordially, and I gave her a little hug, which she returned.
            “What happened to that woman who came by yesterday?” she asked.
            “You mean Katie?” I said. “Oh, I don’t think you’ll be seeing her again.”
            “She’s not coming back?” Apple Blossom asked with widening eyes. “Why isn’t she coming back?”
            I raised a brow. “You don’t want her to come back, do you?” I asked incredulously.
            “I do!” she cried. “I do want her to come back! She’s a friend of yours, isn’t she?”
            “Well, not really. Not anymore,” I said begrudgingly. I had enough of Katie, and now that I had finally gotten away from her, I didn’t want to talk about her. Unfortunately, Apple Blossom did not feel the same. “You aren’t friends anymore?” she asked. “Is it because of what happened yesterday?”
            “It absolutely is,” I assured her. Then, to change the subject, I said, “I have more to read today. Do you remember when you took a peek at that lacy book on your mother’s desk?”
            “I remember,” she said. “But why are you mad at your friend when you’re the one who attacked her?”
            “I didn’t attack her!” I insisted. “I had to get her to go away! I couldn’t just let her in, could I?”
            “I wouldn’t have minded that,” said Apple Blossom. “I would have liked to meet a friend of yours.”
            “But you were afraid of her!” I said. “You hid from her, and then you cried!”
            “I was only afraid of her until I found out she was your friend, Aidyn!” Apple Blossom said with a hint of exasperation. “And then I was afraid because you were fighting!”
            Ow, did that ever hurt. Up until then, I hadn’t acknowledged my own culpability in her terror, and even then I wasn’t exactly ready to, so I just dodged the subject for the time being. “Your parents would be absolutely livid,” I reminded her, “if I started bringing even more humans in here.”
            “She wouldn’t have to come past the bridge,” said Apple Blossom. “I just would have liked to talk with her.”
            I could hardly believe what I was hearing. “I can’t guarantee that she would want to talk with you, Apple Blossom,” I told her. “I mean, she didn’t even think you were real, even when she was looking right at you. Besides, it’s way too much of a risk. Katie isn’t concerned with protecting this place. She sees it—and you—as a point of interest, nothing more. And once humans start finding points of interest, they start wanting to find out more about them. And when they want that, they’ll do anything it takes to get any information they can, with no regard for whether or not it will cause trouble or even whether or not they have a right to it.”
            “You didn’t do that,” said Apple Blossom. “And I don’t think any friend of yours would do that either.”
            “I don’t want to discuss this any further, Apple Blossom,” I said firmly, and the matter finally dropped. The day continued perfectly pleasantly, so long as we didn’t have to talk about Katie. We did our reading on the banks of the mermaid pool, and after that we got to go for a sail on Apple Blossom’s oak log raft. The mermaids were just as receptive to the both of us as they had been on the day of our swim a while back. Just how many new friends am I going to make in the Greenwood? I realize more than ever that each and every one of them is superior to Katie in each and every way.
            And yet, as Apple Blossom was walking me back to the bridge at the end of the day, she lightly tugged at my hand and asked, “Is it okay to talk about Katie now?”
            “I’d rather we didn’t,” I said. “I still don’t like her very much right now.”
            “Well, do you think that the next time you come here, you can bring Katie with you?” Apple Blossom looked up at me with hopeful eyes. “She doesn’t have to follow us over the bridge, Aidyn. I just really want to meet a friend of…I mean, somebody you know, just once.”
            I heaved a sigh. “I’ll think about it,” I told her. “But I am not going to promise you anything.”
              Unfortunately, I’m still thinking about it.


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