Fantasy Fiction posted February 12, 2020 Chapters:  ...4 5 -6- 7... 

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A chapter in the book The Gardens at Weatherbury

C6 - A Little Trouble

by Y. M. Roger

After accepting the position as Groundskeeper (**See End Notes), Nicholas is discovering more and more about the fantastical Gardens. Now, we see inside the Cabinet... perhaps.
END of Chapter Five: 
To my surprise, the top drawer eased open with a slight groan.
My two cohorts cheered as Constantine scrambled back on top of the cabinet, and Archie clambered onto my lap, struggling mightily to pull himself up and peer into the drawer as I opened it further.
I gasped. It was so bright inside!

BEGIN Chapter Six:
Reaching into the drawer’s glowing aura, I was startled backwards by four swooping and darting miniature drones that emerged.  Okay, so I knew they couldn’t be drones, but they behaved like them:  bright and colorfully lit, the golf-ball-sized beacons buzzed all around us. Neither Archie – standing and brushing himself off from where he had tumbled off my lap – nor Constantine – who only leaned in closer to the opening – seemed to notice them.
I shrugged my shoulders and peered into the drawer again. Squinting, I saw a stack of rolled papers that ran the length of the drawer and a small, rectangular box.
I reached toward one of the rolls only to have one of those buzzing lights take aim at my hand.
“Ooow!” I looked at the place where it hit me – there was a small welt.  “What was that for?”
One of the little flying menaces stopped and hovered in my line of sight. At first, I thought it was a bug. It had wings, of course, and was a glowing bluish-green, but it also had six arms or legs and a tail to help it stay balanced and upright. Its face, though, looked like a tiny person with a long, pointy nose protruding from between large saucer-shaped eyes. Its ears were also pointed and took up the whole of either side of its head while two extra-long antennae took up the top part. And those antennae bobbed and danced to a tune that I certainly didn’t hear.
“That was for trespassing!” Narrowing those big eyes, it folded the two upper pairs of arms as the bottom set tapped – in mid-air, mind you – to the same silent rhythm as the antennae. But as serious as I’m sure it meant to be and despite my annoying injury, I could not help the smile that began to spread across my face at the sound of that voice: it was high-pitched and tinny and had a funny vibrato flavor to it.
Both Archie and Constantine spoke up to argue, but I couldn’t stop the request that spilled out of my mouth.
“Say it again!”
At first, it was shocked. Its eyes widened, the middle pair of arms unlocking to hang at its side.
“Do what?” it asked in that voice that just tickled me to no end. A small wisp of aqua smoke curled from beneath that nose.
I did not even try to contain my grin.
“Say it again! Come on, say anything!”
Its skin transitioned from that blue-green to purple and, finally, to bright red as the buzz of its wings increased to more of a whine.  It looked like a little red chili pepper about to explode.
“Are you” – it reversed its position and looked about ready to charge my face – “lau-”
At that moment, Constantine stood and grabbed it by the tail, turning its teeny tirade into a prolonged squeal complete with flailing arms and limbs and aqua smoke.
From out of my periphery, came a plump blueberry that smacked it in the chest, silencing it instantly.
As it hung there, limp, growling, and dripping with blueberry juice, I let my focus fall beyond it to Constantine’s pursed face.
And then the loud, light show really began.

to be continued...

**The Gardens at Weatherbury' is a collection of approximately 500-word chapters about young Nicholas' continuing adventures as Groundskeeper to the unique gardens at the fantastical Weatherbury Estate. The chapters are short to maintain the attention of a pre-teen audience for whom it is written.

Nicholas (narrator) - young boy (current age 17), telling of adventures since accepting Weatherbury's Groundskeeper job at age 14.
Constantine – garden gnome and self-appointed on-site manager of the Gardens
Rosalind – (aka Rosa) sentient climbing rosebush whose job it is to guard the Garden Shed
Sir Archibald – (aka Archie or Sir Archie) eccentric pink armadillo tasked with organization and upkeep of the Garden Shed

Sir Phillipe - owner of Weatherbury Estate

George Thrasher – (aka G-Trash according to Constantine) former Groundskeeper, employment terminated by Sir Phillipe in Prologue



Thank you, as always, for reading me! ;-)

Image of 'Secret Garden Door' from Pinterest []

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