Brother bird day

I conjured up a piece of flash fiction for you …

Kicking up twigs and panting slightly through the bramble bushes, Sophie suddenly stopped when she saw a flash of yellow flicker past, to her right. Must be Johnny in his sunshine shirt. Now she was in a quandary: Just a little bit late! Should she stop or move on? Hide or try to help? Would he actually follow the instructions correctly? Ugh.

Choosing the easier option she sat bum-first on the dusty path, narrowly avoiding Bingo’s squeaky toy. In a rage she tossed it to Far End of the garden … and raised her hand to her mouth as she realised a little too late that it would land with a rubbery, wheezy thump and surely distract Johnny from his task. Luckily, he seemed completely focused on his path and continued toward the red post box. Good. He stuck his hand in and pulled out the clue. She watched his brow furrow from her watch point now, behind Lollipop Tree.  She heard a soft ‘ha’ from his direction (the garden really was quite large and all the foliage dampened the noise). But would he head in the right direction now? He scrunched up the twist of paper and tucked it in his pocket then turned on his heel, first aiming left, then right, then finally, looking straight up above his head. Yes! There, dangling from Triangular Tree slightly to his right, was a shiny blue balloon. Would he know to pop it though, to reach the secret inside? Sophie tried to stop fretting that her surprise would be ruined as she saw him move toward Triangular Tree, He climbed it stealthily and was soon sitting on the branch in question, untying the ribbon from the branch and retying it loosely around his wrist before hopping onto the grass below.

Sophie couldn’t take the suspense anymore. She’d already slipped off her slops and the grass was cool and tickly beneath her feet. Approaching from his blind spot to the side, she leaped and landed on the balloon. POP! Johnny jumped with fright. “Hey! That’s mine,” he told her off. “I know, silly. Look.” She peeled the flaps of balloon apart to reveal the mini origami cranes she had carefully stuffed into the balloon’s neck as a surprise for him. The look on his face made the painstaking process worth it. “Happy birthday, brother bird,” she whispered past the lump in her throat. He surprised her with a tight hug and replied gruffly, “Thank you. I think all the others forgot.” With a sad smile, she took his hand and led him back to the grey stone orphanage. “Mum will be smiling down on you for sure today. Come on! Last one to the dining hall is a rotten egg!” Off they ran …

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