Published on 03rd November 2019
A girl, a fairy, and a magic flute.
“Karmi! To the office. Now!” said Mr. Beaker, the science teacher. My buddy, Tim, gives me a thumbs up. I always get in trouble. Tim thinks it’s hilarious. I tell myself it’s not a big deal. Everyone has to be known for something, right? Th’ name’s Karmi Marnswa. My friends call me Karm. My enemies call me Barn Face. Take your pick. FYI, one leads to a punch in the nose. I bet you can guess which. I also bet you guessed I’m a troublemaker. Congratulations, Einstein! You win a car! Not.You see, I like boy stuff. I always wear some sort of muddy jeans and an old t-shirt. It’s not like I’m poor or anything. I just don’t do that girly stuff. I also hang with a group of other troublemakers. It’s like my home-away-from-home type of thing. “Now, Karmi!” Mr. Beaker repeats. I walk out of the classroom and down the hall to the principal’s office. I take a seat by the door and the secretary, Miss Patrick, glares at me. She thinks I'm here too often. Typical. The door opens. I walk in and take a seat in “my” chair, the one with too much dirt that nobody sits in. Mrs. Asheer, the principal, sighs. “Karmi...” she starts, but doesn’t finish, because there is a flash of light and she doesn’t say a word. And that, my friends, is because she was turned to stone.
Shocked, I look around and see a piece of paper on the floor by my chair. I pick it up and read, ‘Find thy flute. White Pine Plains.’ That doesn’t make sense. I back out the door. When I turn around, I see that the secretary is stone too. As I walk through the school, I discover that every living thing is stone. Even the plants! Then, I feel something buzz by my head. I shrug it away. Probably a fly, I think. But the second time around, on my way to my locker, I catch it in my fist. The fly glitters gold and I open my hand. There is a thing the size of a hummingbird in my outstretched palm. “Pl-pl-please, don’t hurt m-me!” it squeaks. “Could you tell me what the heck you are, first?” I say. “I’m a Pine Fairy, of course!” I raise an eyebrow. “And…?” She sighs, and jumps into what seems like a well-rehearsed speech. “My name is Bramble. I live in White Pine Woods. My kind is supervised by the Tree Lord.” At the words ‘White Pine’, I am intrigued. “Do you happen to know anything about ‘White Pine Plains,’ then?” Bramble looks scared. “We do not speak of that place.” she whispers. “But if you must go there, take these.” She hands me a bow, quiver, and sheathed sword. “But I cannot help you further,” she warns.“Whatever,” I grumble as I strap on the weapons. “I don’t need your help.”
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