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Jul. 24th, 2006 @ 03:59 pm Favorite Spot (working title)
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Hi. A story for this prompt finally popped out the other day. I don't consider it quite final. I plan to run it by another beta or two (including folks here; if you have suggestions, please make them! {SMILE}). Even if they don't have any suggestions, I might change from "halfling" to "minikin." However, edgeofthewild prefers halflings, so I thought I'd keep them in this draft, at least. After all, the story is written to her prompt. {SMILE}

PROMPT: The feeling of being in one of the places you love most, when there's nowhere else you would rather be at that moment. -- Meagan (edgeofthewild)

This is a widow Mere story. For series description and link, see here.

Characters: Jules Lombard, Sapphire Goodbody, Violet Banks, with appearances by Marigold Banks, Durrant Lombard, Odolf Goodbody and Robin Banks.

Word count: 1,118

I would like to thank my parents for their help.


Favorite Spot

by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin


copyright 2006


"A giant? I don't want to be a giant!" Jules Lombard exclaimed.

"But you have to be the giant," Odolf Goodbody explained with a sigh, "Giants are big, and heroes are little, and you're big, and Robin and I are little."

"But I was a dragon last time, and a bear before that... I want to be a hero. I'm tired of being a villain all the time."

"But Dragons and bears are big, and you're big like all humans," Robin Banks said, as much to back up his favorite cousin as anything else, "and heroes are little, and Odolf and I are little halflings."

"Exactly," Odolf nodded, "And giants are the same way, so you have to be the giant."

"No I don't! I'm tired of this game!" Jules pouted, throwing down the stick he'd hoped to use as a sword. He turned and stalked off, stomping up the stairs and into the Widow Mere's house, slamming the front door behind him.

He'd really been looking forward to coming here today. His Uncle Durrant came for tea every Wednesday, and usually he had a grand time playing with Robin and Odolf, or else with their sister/cousin Opal. However, today Opal wanted to play House, with Jules as the father. He didn't want to be the father in House. He didn't want to be the monster in Heroes and Monsters. He didn't want to be "the big fellow," today, nor "the guy..." nor "the kid," like he was when he tried to sit with Uncle Durrant and Missus Banks. Why couldn't someone in this house just let him be Jules for a change?

He stalked down the hallway and into the sitting room. There he threw himself, sulking, into one of the human-sized chairs Missus Banks had for her guests.

******

Out in the hallway, Sapphire Goodbody looked up as Jules stalked past where she and her cousin Violet were playing with blocks. When he turned into the sitting room, she tilted her head thoughtfully. Then she turned to her cousin. "Boys outside?" she asked the other tiny girl.

"Boys outside," Violet Banks agreed happily, adding a bright blue block to her tower.

"Opal in bedroom?" she continued.

"Opal in bedroom," Violet nodded, selecting a green block.

"Aunt Mere and Mister Lombard in kitchen?" she asked next.

"Mere and Mister Lombard in kitchen," Violet nodded. She tried to put the green block on top of the blue, but knocked the whole tower down instead. "Blocks go bang!" Violet said, clapping gleefully.

Sapphire grinned and laughed. She liked it when the blocks fell down too. However, she didn't let it distract her. Not this time. She climbed to her feet, and toddled over to the sitting room door. "Jules in sitting room," she informed her cousin.

"Jules in sitting room?" Violet asked, looking up at the barely older girl.

"Uh-huh. Jules in sitting room," Sapphire nodded.

"So?" Violet asked curiously.

"Maybe Jules not busy," Sapphire said.

Violet climbed to her feet to toddle over to her cousin. "Jules not busy?" she asked.

The two tiny girls stared into the sitting room. Jules was sitting in a large armchair, facing away from the entrance. However, Sapphire and Violet could see him clearly.

"Jules not working," Sapphire pointed out.

"No, Jules not working, Violet agreed.

"Jules not playing," Sapphire continued.

"No, Jules not playing," Violet nodded.

"Jules not reading," Sapphire pressed on.

"No, Jules not reading." Violet agreed.

"But Jules could read..." Sapphire pointed out.

"Since Jules not busy!" Violet crowed happily. She raced to the small bookcase down the hall a little ways. Sapphire rushed over to join her.

"Red book?" Violet asked her cousin.

"No... blue book?" Sapphire countered.

Violet shook her head.

The two tiny cousins stared at each other. "Green book!" they exclaimed happily. Violet grabbed the book, and pulled it out quickly. Two other books came out with it, but she didn't worry about that. Neither did Sapphire. The two tiny girls were too busy dashing into the sitting room to worry about books in the hallway.

They dashed around to face Jules in his chair. The older boy looked down at them. "Hello," He said, "Do you want something?"

The two tiny girls looked at each other, each hoping the other would go first. Then Violet turned back, swallowed, and asked, "Jules busy?"

"What? No, I'm not busy."

"Jules not busy?" Violet asked.

"No, Jules is not busy," the boy agreed, wondering what they were getting at.

Violet looked at Sapphire, who'd been watching her cousin the whole time. "You ask him!" Violet told her cousin.

"No, you ask," Sapphire replied.

"It's your idea," Violet insisted, "you ask."

Sapphire bit her lips. Then she looked up at the older boy. "Could you read a story?" she asked quickly.

Jules broke into a grin. "You want me to read you a story?" he asked.

"Yes," Sapphire said.

Violet nodded vigorously, holding out the worn green book hopefully.

"Sure I can read you a story," the boy said happily, "Come up here, one on each side." He patted the chair on each side of him, happy he sat in the one that was wider than a full-grown man needed, let alone a half-grown boy.

The two tiny girls grinned, handing him the book and scrambling up beside him before he could change his mind.

******

"What are these books doing here on the floor?" Durrant Lombard grumbled as he narrowly avoided tripping and sprawling flat in the hallway.

"Probably some of the kids left them there. That's their bookcase," Marigold replied, hiding a smile as she watched the tall man set down his snack tray and stoop to pick up the offending volume. The little Halfling turned back to take the tea tray into the sitting room. She froze in the doorway. "Mister Durrant?" she muttered softly.

"Yes, Missus Marigold?"

"Come quietly."

The human came, and stood behind his hostess. "Yes?" he asked.

"Look at them," the tiny woman said, gesturing with her chin and a smile towards the extra-wide armchair.

"Oh," Durrant said when he spotted the two tiny brown heads and one larger orange one bent over a book.

"And then the evil witch cackled 'Bats and moonshine! And then, my pretty little dears, I'll eat you right up!'" Jules read from the book.

"Eat right up!" Violet nodded vigorously.

"Eat up!" Sapphire echoed.

"Aren't they just the cutest?" Marigold asked, smiling up at her friend.

"Yes," Durrant agreed. "Maybe the tea should wait," he added.

"Why?" asked Marigold.

"All three look like they're in their favorite spot in the whole wide world. I'd hate to ask them to leave before the story is over."


Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

P.S. Do the two tiny girls seem "two-ish?" That's approximately the maturation I'm aiming for. {Smile, cross fingers, SMILE}

A.E.B.
About this Entry
Anne
aeb:
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From:aeb
Date:July 26th, 2006 02:32 am (UTC)
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Thanks for the reassurance. {Smile}

Do they do the third-person pretty consistently? I didn't remember that part clearly. I think I slipped into "you" while they were asking him to read a story. {small smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
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From:edgeofthewild
Date:July 25th, 2006 03:02 pm (UTC)
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ooo! I love this story!! :-D And I think you got Violet and Sapphire down perfectly! Jules is so cute as well. =)
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From:aeb
Date:July 27th, 2006 02:44 am (UTC)
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Thanks. That is reassuring. {SMILE}

I am glad you like it. {BIG SMILE}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin