Brown twists of hair flew behind me as I fell from my glider and into a tree.

The weather had turned suddenly from a strong yet placid breeze and into a vicious wind.

Now stuck, I had to abandon my little air craft, or risk staying in the tree. Getting down and onto the ground was my next problem.

Dangling from the straps that held me in the pilot’s seat, I undid them so that I could, swing my legs.

Having navigated my way out of the glider, I was able to now scale down the trunk of the tree.

Landing with a thump on the ground, I realised I was totally and completely lost. And with no water to drink, or even an apple, I knew I just had to get home before dark.

Looking up, I was glad for the shelter of the trees, as they protected me from the worst of the weather.

I walked for a bit, not sure where to start my journey home. I couldn’t see the sun, for the shadows underneath the trees were too dark.

Before too long, my worst fears were realised as all the shadows melted into one. I knew night had fallen.
.
Now, being of a scientific mind, at first, I thought it was a trick of the eye.

A shadow seemed to wink at me.

I stared.

It winked again.

Then, out of the tree in front of me, a twig sneezed.

I started to run, pushing twigs out of my face, and catching my hair until it was filled with small burs and tangles.

Plunging face first over a log, I came down into a puddle of mud.

Strong, gentle hands lifted me up.

” Found you.”

With mud in my eyes, my hair now plastered to my cheeks, and it being night, I couldn’t see.

I was guided by the hands into a sitting position. It was the log I was now perched on.A cup that smelt like peppermint tea was thrust into my palms, and the mud was wiped out of my eyes.

A fire danced upon a pile of animal manure illuminating the shadows.

Before me stood a person shaped tree.

“Would you like some help with your glider?” it asked.

I nodded numbly.

“Right then. You better stay with me until we get it fixed.”

My Champion

She lay, gasping in the snow. Her mane was as white as the ice beneath her, although her body was the colour of butter milk.

Red oozed out of an arrow wound. Francis looked away as he grabbed its shaft and pulled.

Too weak to move much, she snorted her pain rather than wriggled.

And then she was still.

The boy patted her handsome face, tears streaming down his cheeks and leaving icy rivelets down his face.

“My poor champion. Thank you for saving my life.”

The Hunter stepped back into the woodland.

Gun

Hi. I’m Bruce, and I have a tale to tell.

Something extraordinary happened to me a little while ago.

I was minding my own business, sitting on my front lawn with my brothers and sisters.

Then suddenly, a light appeared on the horizon.

Being an adventurous type of Gnome, and having been given to my owner as a joke, I stood my ground while the other Gnomes all ran my away and hid.

Now, Gnomes are known to be peaceful creatures. We’re often depicted holding flowers and watering cans.

Not me. The joke was that I came with my own gun. My own pathetic excuse for a gun.

Being made out of clay, it was useless.

Now, this night, I was abducted by aliens. Little green guys came rushing out as the light revealed itself to be a space shuttle.

I was dragged into it’s depths.

Then, I was held in a laboratory and prodded and poked.

I didn’t know how to escape. I was held in outer space in a space shuttle with no way of going back to Earth.

Finally, in a fit of temper, I did something that no Gnome had ever done before.

I threatened them with my gun.

Then, my fingers slipped and hit the trigger.

A beam of light shot out and nuked a little green guy.

The rest of them all ran and hid.

I grabbed one as he ducked to hide, and said to him,

“Take me back home and no one will get hurt.”

He jumped up and down, calling something out in a strange language.

The alien must have understood me, because next thing, I was standing back on my own lawn.

It’s a true story.

Who would know my little clay gun would have been able to work in outer space.

A new leaf

“I hate you!” I slammed the door shut in my Mother’s face.

She continued to knock. “Cynthia, I’m sorry.” I could hear the tears in her voice. She always cried at times like this, so I was immune to it. I didn’t want her to get her own way.

I put on the dowdy black dress that I had worn to my Grandfather’s funeral, finding heels to match and a black scarf should I need to hide my tears from my relatives.

Footsteps disappeared down the hallway and I knew that my Mother had left me.

After a few minutes, I strode in what I thought was a confident manner, out of my bedroom, down the hallway, and into the kitchen. My Mother was finding her keys in her handbag.

“Are you ready now Cynthia?” she asked in a voice that hid so much hurt.

I flounced out of the kitchen door and into the sunlight, deciding to not say a word to her.

In silence, my Mother drove me to the cemetery. Other cars, many of which I recognised as belonging to various Aunts, Uncles and Cousins, crowded into the car park when we arrived.

There was a gathering in the little church in amongst the gravestones. My Nanna’s coffin sat in the middle, surrounded by flowers. The orchids in the flower arrangements reminded me of my Grandfather who had grown them in the greenhouse, and I felt my resolve not to cry start to break down. Being the eldest Grandchild, it was soon my turn to lead my Cousins in our bit of the service.

I held it together, but only just.
We all stumbled out of the dark church and back into the beautiful sunlit day. The sound of quiet weeping filled my ears as I followed the coffin.

At the graveside, as the coffin started to descend, I burst into tears. All the grief I had held onto melted as my beloved Nanna departed from view.

My Mother was standing nearby, watching me.

I walked over to her and put my arm around her shoulders. I realised that I loved her despite our fights, and I was determined to make sure I never said those nasty words to her from now on.