Sunday lunchtime saw the Ogres and Fairies working together to prepare the center of the wood. When they finished they stood back to inspect their work.
“It looks amazing.” Breeze said.
“Not bad at all.” Tulip agreed.
Everyone was coming to the party, so the table needed to be extra long. It zig zagged its way around the large trees near the center clearing of the wood. Tiny wooden bowls sat, in a line along the center of the table. These were decorated with silver stars and red fairy lights.
At each Ogre’s setting there was a giant wooden cup, a knife and a fork and a spoon. The chair was decorated in moss and spiderwebs that twinkled when they caught the sunlight.
Each Fairy place setting had a glass knife and fork, a tiny glass shaped like a star with a squiggly straw peeping from one point. The fairies chairs were decorated in see through silk, with long red ribbons.
Place names were made from wood bark, names carved with fairy dust.
Guests appeared early, they were shown to their seats and sat down. The air hummed with conversation.
The menu was divided into two choices :Ogre stew, or Fairy Pleasant Pie. Ogre’s home brewed snow cone drink or a glass of chocolate strawberry milk, with an assortment of cream pies and fairy cakes to follow.
There would be music and dancing later, they hoped.
“Why did you hang lanterns from the trees? I banged my head off every single one.” Hamish, the Goblin, muttered lifting his hat to show a whole group of bumps and lumps.
“The fairies did it.” Breeze said. The other Ogres nodded in agreement.
“Well done Hamish stupendous lumps, you would win a competition for them,” Elegant witch said as she arrived with her younger sister Lovisma following behind. Lovisma was closely followed by a giant cauldron which, floated close behind her. She led it with a dog lead. There was a lot of hissing and bubbling coming from the cauldron. A wooden spoon was spinning about, sending drops of liquid spattering the guests.
“We brought, devils delight, for those who don’t really care for milk or water.” Lovisma clapped her hands in anticipation of the party.
There was silence while the guests and hosts wondered who might be brave enough to speak.
“Ahh what is in devils delight, it smells delicious.” Ellen an elderly tree nymph asked.
“There is a little bit of this and a lot of that but..”
“Nothing that was alive or walked through the forest.” Lovisma said.
“Did it fly?” Breeze wondered.
“No, it’s herbs spices and water, you fool.” Lovisma was starting to spin. When ever she got mad the tiny witch would spin so fast she created a hole in the ground.
The sound of a deep gong filled the wood. “tea is served,” The fairies declared and with a flick of their wands , food appeared in front of the diners.
“This is yummy, did you make it yourself?” Mrs. Groundsel asked Beaver an elderly Ogre.
“I did. Just something I rustled up.”
The Ogres found his answer funny. They giggled until their laughter grew to a roar. Any fairy sitting opposite an Ogre became airborn. Many landed in the trees or on the ground near the edge of the wood.
“Please don’t do that again.” Tulip snapped wiping moss off her best dress.
But they found they couldn’t stop laughing. The madder the fairies became the happier the Ogres were. Their laughter rang out throughout the wood, sending fairies flying through the air.
Finally the fairies got into a huddle. They whispered among themselves. When they broke apart they were smiling.
The Ogres’ looked at one another. “Is this good?” Breeze wondered.
The fairies sat down and began to eat. The Ogres relaxed.
Breeze was sitting opposite the tooth fairy. “Knock , knock, ” he said.
“Who’s there?” She asked
“Tooth or dare!”
He smiled delighted at making a tooth fairy joke. When she was knocked off her chair by his laughter she jumped up on her feet shouting, “Ready fairies ?”
Each fairy pointed her wand at a cream pie. With a flick of her wand a pie hit an Ogre’s face.
“Food fight,” Hamish roared.
“Hang on, Hamish, give us a mo, we can’t waste a pie.” Breeze shouted.
The party fight was on hold while every Ogre removed the pie from their face and carefully ate it.
The fairies picked up their drinks and flew high into the tree to watch. Soon the air was alive with laughter and the sound of faces being struck by pies and cakes.
Everyone declared it to be the best party in the forest. They went home tired and happy though there was no music or dancing. This was noticed by a few of the Ogres who agreed it would be a fitting excuse to host another event.
The week before Christmas everyone was busy .
Tulip met Hamish. He was wearing a white apron and a chef’s hat.
“Where did Breeze go?” grumbled Hamish. “He promised to help me cook my pudding. He must be lost.”
Tulip twinkled at him, “you are silly, we can’t lose a seven foot Ogre. It just can’t be done.”
“Well he has vanished.” Lovisma shouted wobbling by on her broomstick.
She was practising a new trick. Riding her broomstick while standing on her head and spinning. So far, it wasn’t going well. Minutes ago she demolished the Gingerbread house, and put a hole in the giant Christmas cake, Mrs. Groundsel had made. It resembled a very large donut with sprinkles on top.
“I hope he’s shopping.” Matt said. “Maybe he will buy me a pet crocodile.”
“No, he doesn’t like shopping, he gave me the list. I did his shopping months ago.” Tulip said.
They decided to search for him. Mrs Groundsel and Mat searched the caves. The witches flew to the mountain tops. Tulip and Hamish decided they would go and sit in his favorite tree. He was bound to show up soon. It was getting close to lunch time.
“It must be something awful if Breeze missed second breakfast.” Hamish whispered.
“Hmm…” Tulip said flying high above the trees. “Snow is coming tell the others we have to get the sleds ready.”
Hamish said, “we broke them last year when we had that crazy race off the frozen waterfall. ” He sighed. “But it was good fun. We forgot about the sleds till now.”
Everyone came out of their houses to watch the snowflakes dance and twirl their way to the ground. It happened in minutes one minute there was no snow and the next there was buckets of it falling from the sky. But today nobody was smiling, they loved sledding.
Matt raced back inside and returned with an old wooden tray. “This will have to do, come on everyone.”
They trudged to the top of the hill field and took turns at flying down the hill on the tray. “It’s not great but it’s better than nothing,” Matt said.
Suddenly they heard a rumble. It was growing louder.
“Thunder?” Mrs Groundsel wondered. She didn’t like thunder or lightning.
“No, but it is growing louder, we should take shelter in the trees, hurry.” Tulip ushered everyone into the trees and flew upwards.The ground was shaking. Everyone was hopping about on the ground as the rumbling noise grew louder. Mrs. Groundsel wanted to run and hide.
Suddenly above the rumbling noise they could hear Breeze laughing. With a swoosh of snow he raced past them on a giant sled.
Everyone abandoned the wood. They chased after him, “wait for us.”
He applied the brake and the giant sled shuddered to a stop.
” Where did you get it?” Tulip asked him.
“Borrowed the idea from the elves.” He told them. “It took a bit of work but it’s great come on lets go.”
They piled on big and small. “Oooh watch out for the waterfall,” they cried as they zipped along scattering snow as they went.
Breeze smiled and kept going. The women closed their eyes, the children held their breath because they could see the end of the frozen waterfall. Suddenly they were flying high above the valley. “we wil die this time, ” Hamish grumbled thinking of his uncooked christmas pudding.
There was a soft jolt and looking up they laughed. A parachute had opened. They floated to the ground.
“You should go missing more often I had a third breakfast today.” Matt said rolling a huge snowball and throwing it at Breeze.
“A long chase from this giant snowball will help you get hungry,” Breeze said and rolled down the mountain after Matt.
Floating clouds giggled as they slipped by the sparkling silver moon who danced in the sky.. Breeze tiptoed through the wood carrying a large sack. “Last year was dreadful,” he muttered.
Spike, (Breeze’s pet frog) sat on his right shoulder wearing a golden wig and orange crown. “Riggggbyyyyt…” He said.
“They messed up my cave. Stuff exploded or cackled. This year it’s my turn.”
“How?” Tulip asked him. A thick layers of cobwebs were dangling from the brim of her purple hat. She sat on Breezes left shoulder scanning the wood for tricks.
“By undoing their tricks and scaring them.”
“Nice idea, but impossible.”
Breeze scowled. “No I’ve been planning.”
She tugged his ear. “Stop. There’s another fire crackling stepping stone.”
“Thanks.” Breeze scooped it up.
They walked on again. “Five paces left there is a bend over backwards fire work.”
“Don’t like them. Last year I was carried away to the Elven forest. Rubbish party they were having with twinkling lights and polite voices saying…excuse me but would you like a trick or treat.” He shuddered at the memory.
“So what is your goal tonight?”
“Survive..” he said. “Let’s climb out of the way.”
They sat high in the tree tops watching the stars play a duck and dive game. “Where’s your pet poodle, Tulip?”
“Maisie is tucked up nice and safe at my mum’s house. Mum doesn’t like Halloween anymore. Not since she got caught by Matt and his friends. They scared her and her hair became stiff.”
Breeze looked at her. “I thought her hair always stood up straight on her head.”
“Nope it used to be smooth and shiny. Like my fairy cake icing.”
Breeze tilted his head to one side. “Did you….?”
“Bring some? Yes they are on the branches above you.”
They sat eating cakes watching the show in the sky and waiting for the fun in the wood to begin.
Ten minutes before midnight Lovisma arrived. “Breeze said he’d set up the apple dunking stall in the clearing.”
Elegant said, “He did. It’s over there.”
Matt watched spiders spinning a rope from a branch that held a large parcel. “Ooh there must be loads of sweets and marshmallows in there.”
Right in the centre of the clearing a group of elves were dancing around a fountain. They chanted, “we love the strawberry sherbert fountain.”
Mrs. Groundsel, Hamish, Breeze’s mum, and other parents arrived.
Tulip looked at Breeze, “hope your mum enjoys a joke.”
Taking a deep breath, he roared, “Go.”
“How smart are they?” Tulip asked as she watched Lovisma lower her head over the barrel. However it moved away from her, sliding across the grass. Lovisma chased it. Steam bellowed from her slime covered hat.
“It shouldn’t take too long for the truth to sink in.” Breeze said.
The children who dug their hands into the fountain discovered, (a) it was green smelly slime and (b) it pulled them into the fountain.
The boys beating the parcel with the stick found it was growing instead of breaking.
Breeze’s mum laughed so hard she fell off her chair.
Breeze winked at Tulip. “It’s going to get better. Watch.”
Taking a deep breath he roared, “Trick or Treat?”
“Treat,” they shouted. Instantly the trees surrounding the clearing began to melt forming a dark pool. Matt dipped his hand into it and shouted, “mud.”
Everyone screamed with delight. Children rolled and played. The witches were building a castle. Suddenly the ground began to shake and rumble.
Elegant hopped on her broomstick. She flew high into the sky.
Her shrieking voice filled every space in the wood, “Grace and her friends, hide.”
Breeze was laughing so hard he pushed Tulip out of the tree. She raised her wand saying, “enough is enough, they will get squished by the hippos.”
“Relax, its not them its only Grace and she is bringing the surprise a Halloween barbecue complete with sparklers and flaming cauldrons. What more could a surprise Halloween party need?”
“Us,” Tulip said and flew down to join them.