Oh, my gourd…

This fun little seasonal piece was inspired by a picture prompt over at the WriYe DreamWidth.


45-c15925f120Amy couldn’t help but smile at the way that Brook reacted to the scene.  It couldn’t have been better than if she’d just taken her younger siblings to pick pumpkins.  They would have wanted them to carve, but Brook had other things in mind.

He zoomed around the scattered pumpkins and gourds, his wings buzzing loudly.  Finally, he lighted on the largest pumpkin in the group.  “This one,” he said, looking at her.  His eyes were wide and hopeful.  “Please, Mistress, may we get this one?  It smells so delicious!”

“Well, all right,” Amy said, stifling a laugh.  She turned to the farmer and pointed out the pumpkin that Brook had picked out.  “That one,” she said, “could you help me get it to the car?”

“Sure, miss,” he said, smiling.  “That’s going to make one fine jack o’lantern.”

Amy chuckled and shook her head.  “I doubt it’ll last that long,” she said.  When the farmer gave her a quizzical look, she shrugged.  It was kind of hard to explain to the man that the little winged being he couldn’t even see would probably devour the pumpkin on the way home.  Sprites simply couldn’t resist gourds and squash of any kind.

It’s Finally Friday

Matthew watched the group of agents critically. He knew they were agents because he recognized them from work. However, they were hardly acting like professionals. Not only were they loud and drunk, they were rowdy.

Two of them were dancing on the tabletops, much to the delight of their companions. The bartender looked less pleased. Matthew beckoned him over.

“Have you considered cutting them off?” he asked.

Chris laughed. “I did that already. Might be a case of too little, too late,” he said. He looked over at the group and shook his head. “It’s like this every week with them. I figure, so long as they aren’t destructive… it’s better than what they could be doing.”

For a moment, Matthew wondered what he could mean. Then, he remembered some of the rowdy times he’d had with his brother. He chuckled softly and nodded. “I see what you mean,” he said.

“If they’re bothering you, I could ask them to quiet down,” Chris said. Matthew shook his head and waved him away. Maybe they needed to blow off some steam. If that was the case, he wasn’t going to spoil their fun.

Ecstatic from one lie.

Keenan couldn’t help but smile as he watched his daughter tell Bertram all about the little coin she had clutched in her hand. She was so happy – so excited. Finally, she scampered away to put the coin in a safe place.

“Tooth fairy?” Bertram said, his eyes twinkling.

Shrugging, Keenan said, “If it makes her happy about losing a tooth…” he trailed off, leaving the rest unsaid. Bertram was a father too. He knew what Keenan meant.

Think how many paths circles cross.

“How are we going to find it?” Devin asked, looking at Ezra.

Ezra frowned and looked around. “Well,” he said, “I’m no expert in orienteering, but… if we spiral outward from here, won’t we eventually cross the path we’re looking for?”

Devin stared at him for a moment and then nodded. “Makes sense,” he said. They began walking. They knew the trail was there, somewhere. Ezra’s plant seemed about as good as anything he might come up with.

The random cause of its loveliness.

It had taken a few months, but Ezra was smiling happily at the repotted pieces of his late jade plant. The pieces he’d salvaged had grown nicely. Once they had roots, he was happy to see that they began to grow quite nicely. Now, instead of having one sickly jade, he had five healthy jades.

The corners of his mouth quirked at the little note he’d written. Jade were succulents – kin to cacti. They didn’t need much water. That was one of the reasons he’d decided to have a jade plant in the first place. His biggest problem was forgetting to water things. For the jades and the cacti on his desk, the best thing for them was to dump water on them, let them dry completely and repeat.

He looked up as Chris entered his office and looked at the note with a frown. “What’s with the note?” he asked.

Ezra shrugged. “I figure that whomever helped me with my plants might like to know that they don’t need to water them this week,” he said, as he turned back to his work.

Sometimes More Is Not the Answer

Ezra scowled at the plants on his desk. He watered his plants faithfully – once a week. He’d nearly killed his jade plant because he’d been forgetting to water it. Over the last several months, though, it had started to come back.

His brows furrowed as he looked at it now. That rebound had stopped three weeks ago. Since that time, the jade plant had begun losing leaves. They would yellow and fall off. When he noticed that, he frowned and touched the soil. It was damp. He hadn’t watered it.

In fact, he hadn’t added water to the jade plant since that day. Today, the stem of the hapless jade plant was black. The very top of the plant still looked healthy. His brows furrowed and he touched the soil. As he’d feared, it was damp. He wasn’t watering it, but someone was.

“Sometimes,” he murmured, “the answer is not to add more of something.” He broke off the healthy looking parts of the plant and set them aside. Then, he lifted the pot off his desk. The plant flopped over in the pot and he sighed.

He carried the pot out to the trash can in the corridor. He dumped the pot and sighed. The soil at the bottom was wet – not merely damp, but actually wet. He shook his head. “When you add water and the plant looks worse, it’s time to check and see if, maybe, it might not need anymore water.”

“Jade plant died?” Devin said, scowling.

Ezra nodded. “I actually didn’t kill it, this time,” he said. He was notorious for killing plants. “Someone decided to be helpful.” If he ever found out who had watered his jade plant for him, he’d tell them they owed him a new one. Until then, he’d have to see if he could salvage the pieces he still had.

I’m about to say go alone.

Chris stared at Keenan. “What do you mean, you aren’t coming?” he asked, blinking.

Keenan frowned. “I don’t think I stuttered,” he said, his tone just a bit acerbic. In an exaggeratedly slow voice, he said, “I am not going with you!”

Scowling, Chris bit his lip. “That means… I’ll be riding all the way there with Haruko and – and I’ll have to make conversation with him!” He grabbed the front of Keenan’s shirt. “You have to come!”

“You know what I’m about to tell you, don’t you?” he said, arching an eyebrow. “I can’t go and, if you don’t wanna go with him…” he trailed off. “You get the idea.”

You woke the beast!

Keenan sighed softly and glanced over at Sera. She was still sound asleep. He wished he were as well. Slipping out from under the blankets, he padded out into the kitchen. He sat down at the table and looked up at the clock at the wall.

It read eleven o’clock, but he knew that was wrong. The second hand was twitching. The battery was too weak actually bring it all the way around. Sighing, he stood and eased the clock down off the wall. He headed to his office and retrieved the batteries.

While he was changing the batteries anyway, he might just as well fix the alarm too. He flipped the clock off and then startled when the second hand finished its sweep and the alarm sounded for the first time in months. He’d forgotten how loud it was.

Chewing his lip thoughtfully, he put the clock back in place. No sooner had he sat down once more when Sera came through the doorway. She was frowning and blinking owlishly at him. “What are you doin’ up?” she asked, shaking her head.

“Couldn’t sleep,” Keenan admitted. “Did I wake you?” The look she sent him said that he had, but she shook her head. He shrugged an apology and then hid a smile as she moved to make herself a cup of coffee. If she was going to be awake anyway, she needed that first cup to start the day.

Sera glanced up at the clock and shrugged. “Least it works now,” she murmured.

lookin’ kinda cool

Lyn looked over at Ezra and scowled. “Are you well?” he asked, arching an eyebrow.

Ezra pulled his sweater a bit closer and nodded. “Why do you ask?” he said, tilting his head to one side inquiringly.

“You are wearing a sweater,” Lyn said. Ezra shrugged his shoulders, as if it were the most natural thing in the world for him to be wearing a sweater on such a warm day. “Are you… cold?”

“A bit cool,” Ezra said, nodding. He grinned brightly and shrugged again. “I’m still used to warmer weather than this.”

Wasting Time

Matthew frowned at the image on the screen. His eyes darted over it, searching for the objects listed at the bottom. He began clicking, sliding the little pointer around the screen. Soon, he’d found all twelve of the hidden objects. He glanced at the clock and shrugged. He clicked on the button to have another round.

“What are you doing?” Haruko asked, glaring at him.

A frown touched Matthew’s lips and he looked up from the screen. “I finished my work,” he said, shrugging. “Emrys won’t be here for another twenty minutes. I’m killing time.”

Haruko shook his head and left the other director to his game. Some people had better things to do with their time.

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