[Original post: July 27th 2013 for Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday weekly prompt.]
“It’s high noon. Sun blazing. You awake in a field and birds are pecking your skin…”
I don’t understand how I got here. I was just at the market I thought. I vaguely remember walking through different stands and seeing the beautiful and fresh fruit and vegetables, then I ended up here. The sun was glaring down at me when I finally opened up my blue eyes. Am I in heaven? If so, who or what killed me? Do I have anesmia? I do know this my head kills and I have about twenty crows around me. When I went to sit up, I felt different. And not a good different either. I looked down at my body and found myself physically different, I was in a badly costume of a Scarecrow, I quickly looked for my purse which I still had and seemed to land on, I grabbed my old mirror that my grandmother gave me before she died. What I saw, I couldn’t even put it into words, my red hair was replaced with an ugly hat and my face was made out of a soft bag. I had buttons as eyes and it looked like a two-year old has drawn my mouth. What the hell happened to me?
I screamed about five times and everytime I did that, all of the birds jumped into the sky and I tossed my mirror to the other side of the field. This just wasn’t happening. Maybe I was just dreaming? Maybe I’m in a coma and this is just the dream I am dreaming. I hope to God it is and I need to wake up soon. I have too much to live for. My family and fiancée will practically go insane if I die. All of these thoughts filled my overwhelmed mind and I noticed more and more birds coming towards me. I fully understand what the Scarecrow on the Wizard of Oz felt like when he told Dorothy the crows weren’t scared of him. I think I scared myself more than I am doing to these damn birds. Why won’t they leave me alone?
I attempted to stand up on my wobbly legs and it took me four times to finally get myself to balance right. I was about to give up and just started crawling on the ground but then I thought about the ground causing a tear in my outfit and my stuffings were to come out of my behind. There are just so many wrongs in that one little thought. As I tried to stand up, birds tried to sit on my arms and eat my straw that were coming out of the sleeves. Everytime I yelled “shoo” they would come back and attack my face instead. I finally got tired of them picking at me and then I noticed my basket I had gotten at the farmer’s market was still with me. I finally got situated and slowly walked over to the basket to see inside.
All of the fruit that I was about to pay were inside. Nice, juicy peaches that I remember picking out and smelling their wonderful scent. I remember thinking of my mother’s peach and blueberry crisps she used to make when I was little. I was going to buy these and try to find good blueberries too to try to recreate it for date night with Colin. Should I take this basket full of fruit that I didn’t pay a sign that I am alive and well, but stuck in a field with greedy crows thinking I am going to lend out my hay for their nests? This just can’t be real honestly, but since I had these I might as well try to see if the birds will enjoy them just as much as I was going to tonight.
I didn’t bring a pocket knife with me to cut them in halves but I did manage to grip them with my teeth and take a bite out of three of them and tossed them in different places to make an escape from them. The peaches were amazing! Very satisfying and seemed like the birds enjoyed them as well as about twenty or thirty birds were circling them to get a taste of the exotic fruit. I say, exotic because I am in a field of sunflowers and not different plants of familiar fruit.
Once I covered the fruit back up with the towel that I had brought to have them sit on in the basket, I put my purse around my shoulder like I would normally would and gripped the heavy basket as tightly as I could and started walking. I thought a fast paced walking would be best since I had relearn how to walk again. I felt like I had no bones while I was walking through the fields. I also felt like I was walking in circles, because it didn’t matter which way I went there was no way out it seemed like.
Again, I almost gave up and then I heard little humming in front of me. It was from a little mouse dressed in a little coat and booties, all of a sudden I felt like I stepped inside a page in another fairy tale Cinderella. It was very weird! He started smelling the air like he was on the hunt for something, was he smelling the peaches. I had only bought about ten of them. I didn’t want to give them all away, in case I was really loosing my mind and I could make those crisps later on. The little mouse turned at me and my eyes widen as he formed a tiny smile and said in a British accent, “hello, I’m Tom and you are?” Who knew mice had different accents.
“Am I dreaming? Did I really hear you talk out loud?” she said, “Um,,,, yes,” Tom said back at her with a very confused look on his face. “What is your name?” he said, “You tell me where I am and I’ll tell you my name, how about that?” Tom looked puzzled again, obviously this little girl has never been apart of a deal before. “Ok, this is called Lovelace. Now give me your name.” He said again. He wasn’t rude, he just sounded annoyed with how she was answering his questions. “That’s a strange name to call this, what is Lovelace?” She asked while avoiding his second question. “I’m not answering anymore questions.” Tom said, “Ugh, why not?” She said back. “Tell me your name, strange creature.” He said again, she shrugged her shoulders, and finally said, “My name is Natalie.”
“Well, Natalie this place is whatever want it to be, anything you hate, or anything that you’ve been hiding inside.” Tom said, Natalie looked at him more confused then she started from, “so it’s kind of like Alice In Wonderland and I am indeed dreaming?” Tom sniffed the air once more and crawled closer to her and she backed up, “What is that smell?” “Uhhhhh… are you going to answer my question?” Natalie said angrily, “not as fun when you’re not the one answering is it Natalie?” She signed, she had just been made by a talking mouse. Tom moved his nose back and forth to find the smell again. He looked inside the basket and saw the juicy peaches and immediately his stomach started growling.
“You tell me how to get out of this Lovelace and I’ll give you one of these peaches, deal?” She said as she put her arms at her sides. “What is your deal with making deals?” Tom said, she grabbed a medium size peach from the basket and immediately Tom turned into a little puppy dog and was begging for it. “You gotta tell me first Tom.” Tom then put his tiny hands at his sides and said, “toss the peach and I’ll make sure you go home safe.” Natalie quickly got excited and threw her arms up in the air with joy.
Little Tom begin to look depressed, all of the excitement he wanted for the peach in Natalie was destroyed by her excitement to go back home. He never felt like he was ever going to make a friend. You see, Tom had special powers that could take a random person on Earth and bring them to Lovelace in a creature that if Tom played his cards right, they would want to stay forever with him. Except everybody he had ever brought there, they always wanted to go back home. They were scared or hated the creature he had turned them into. Tom was cursed by a witch a long, long time ago and he was desperate to find a friend and since there was nobody out in the sunflower fields but the crows–and they like to eat mice–he asked the same witch for a spell to get him a friend, anybody. After the first dozen people who came to Lovelace, he wanted to give up, but when he started smelling the lovely peach it changed his mind, until he saw her reaction to grant her wish.
Natalie was excited, but she noticed the little mouse was upset. She didn’t know the reason why she felt so attached to him, but she did indeed felt bad for him. She stood in front of him and acted like she was going to click her imaginary ruby slippers together and say “there’s no place like home,” but Tom looked at like she was really starting to lose her mind. She opened her eyes to see Tom staring at her again, puzzled. She grabbed another peach from her basket and tossed them lightly to him and with once they reached him, she said, “I’m sorry I can’t stay here.” Tom took in a deep breath and fell in love with the fruit. He looked at her and nodded, “it’s okay, at least you were nice enough to give me something back.” They both smiled, “Goodbye Natalie.” as Tom said as a thick fog covered the ground and she waved bye to him.
Natalie woke back at her original place. At the farmer’s market, with purse on her shoulder and all ten peaches inside her basket. When she looked inside, she noticed her mirror wasn’t inside her purse and that she had forgotten it in the field. She paid for her peaches and left the stand to find blueberries. Back at Lovelace though, the crows were finished with the peaches, only the seeds stayed behind but they started circling the area for more and found something shiny on the ground. Seven crows landed by the object and one lifted it with their wings and flipped it over, and caught their reflection on the mirror. “AHHHH! What the hell is that thing Doug?” one of the crows said, “I don’t know but I look damn beautiful.” Doug said back as the others grunted and flapped their up and down to take off the ground. Looks like somebody will be loving their reflection more than what Natalie did.