My Plan

From time to time, I post short stories that I have written. Helpful comments about what I've written or suggestions for future stories are most welcome. I also have another blog of stories from my family history

Thursday, 30 June 2011

A Happy Story

Here is a Flash Fiction Friday story, with the following prompt:

Today, the goal is to get optimistic … to be whimsical … to conjure a feeling of lighthearted wonder in your reader (and yourself). Prompt: Be Happy – Write a positive story.
Genre: Open
Word Count: 1000 words
My happy story has come out sounding a bit like a childrens story.  Enjoy!

Pepper and the Hedgehogs
It was the first warmish day early in spring, so Pepper was due to go and colour the blossoms on the fruit trees.  Pepper was a fairy.  She lived at the bottom of a large garden, in a mass of brambles, along with a fairy queen and some other fairies.  Each spring, the fairy queen sent the fairies out to make the garden look beautiful.
Being a fairy, Pepper could fly.  She had beautiful gold filigree wings.  Her hair was the colour of a rainbow.  Most days, Pepper wore a bright red dress, which contrasted nicely with her pale olive green skin.  Colours mattered a lot to her.  Like all fairies, Pepper was very small.  If a human ever spotted her from a distance, for she was careful to never be seen up close, she would look like a large dragon fly.
 “This year, Pepper, you must remember that cherry blossoms should be pink, a pale pink… and apple blossoms are white, so you shouldn’t go near them at all.” said the Fairy queen, just before dawn on that warm day.  The large garden had a several fruit trees.
“Yes, your highness.” said Pepper, “but there are so many pretty colours and it seems a shame not to use them.”
“I do not want any more episodes like the roses last year.” said the Fairy Queen sternly.
Last spring, after obediently colouring the fruit trees more or less as instructed, Pepper had lapsed by painting each rose on each bush a different colour.  Sadly, another fairy had soon spotted this and alerted the Fairy Queen.  She corrected it before any human had seen the strange sight of multi-coloured rose bushes. It was easy to change flowers from white to a colour but not so easy to change between colours or back to white.  Each plant was supposed to have the same coloured flowers from year to year, as Pepper had learnt at fairy school.
“I will be checking your work closely, now go out and see to the cherry trees.” said the Fairy Queen, before dismissing Pepper with a stern nod.
Pepper flew out of the brambles, heading towards the orchard.  It was windier than she expected; a warm wind coming from the south carrying old leaves from the previous autumn with it.  Soon, a gust caught Pepper and blew her towards the wood pile along the back fence between the brambles and the orchard.  Pepper grabbed onto a splinter of wood to stop her self being carried any further by the wind. 
Glancing down, she saw a grumpy hedgehog.  Pepper felt that she was very perceptive of people’s, or in this case, animal’s, moods and she liked everyone to be happy.  Bright colours made people happy.  That was why Pepper had made the multi-coloured roses the year before; it hadn’t worked though, because the Fairy Queen wasn’t happy.
Looking at the hedgehog, Pepper decided that one reason why the hedgehog must be unhappy was because he was all brown.  It briefly occurred to Pepper that all hedgehogs were brown and that maybe he was used to it.  She very quickly dismissed this thought, deciding that this hedgehog was a particularly dull brown.  To cheer up the hedgehog, Pepper waved her wand and turned his quills a bright buttercup yellow.  Now, he looked nice and cheery.
“Hello mister hedgehog.” said Pepper. “What do you think of your new quills?”
“What new quills?” said the hedgehog grumpily.
“Can you see them?  No, I suppose not when you are unrolled like that” she replied, please that she had read his mood correctly.
The hedgehog curled into a ball so that he could see of his quills. “Ooh, I say.  That’s a very nice colour.  My friends will be jealous... do you think you could colour their quills as well?  They don’t all have to be yellow.  One of my friends is particularly fond of red.”
“I didn’t know that hedgehogs liked different colours.” said Pepper.  She was very excited. “I would love to help your friends.”  Pepper looked around as if expecting to see more hedgehogs.  “Where are they?”
“They are not here.  They are in other parts of the garden. I can’t wait to show them my new quills.  Let’s go.”
So Pepper followed the yellow hedgehog.  They set off towards the rose bushes, Pepper fluttering around the hedgehog’s head, chattering away.
 “Mr Hedgehog, why were you grumpy this morning?” Said Pepper
“Oh, because I just woke up from hibernation and was hungry.” said the yellow hedgehog.
Along the way, the hedgehog found a few grubs to eat.  On reaching the garden bed, the hedgehog called out “Heddy! Heddy! Where are you?”
There was a snuffling followed by the appearance of a hedgehog who said. “Ooh, Hoggy, you’re yellow!”
“Yes! It’s thanks to this fairy.” said the yellow Hoggy. “Would you like red quills?”
“Ooh, really, can I?” said Heddy.  With that, Pepper pulled out her wand.
By the end of the afternoon, there were two more red hedgehogs, three blue ones, one green and one pink.  All of them were very pleased with their new quills.
Very tired from making all of the hedgehogs very happy, Pepper headed back to the brambles to have a rest.  It was only when she got back that she remembered the cherry blossoms.  It was too late to do anything about it, so Pepper decided to go to her room and to go to bed.  The next morning, she reported for duty as normal.
“Pepper, the cherry blossoms are looking very pale this year.” said the Fairy Queen. “Very pale indeed, in fact they could almost be considered to be white.”
“I think they will gain some colour in the early morning Sun.” said Pepper. “Actually, I am absolutely sure of this and will go out to check myself, just to make sure.”
You do that Pepper... you do that.” the Queen replied. “And look out for the hedgehogs. I hear that they have come out of hibernation early this year.”


  1. What a delightful story! You created a lovely little world, one that I would not mind living in at all, being a big fan of colour myself. Very nicely done!

    I wonder what the Queen will think of the hedgehogs...

  2. Find yourself someone who can draw nice, colourful pictures and get that published!

  3. Brilliant and very clever! I will have to print this one out for my wife, she is into fairies. I agree with Glen, find an illustrator and send this story in!

  4. An adorable fairy tale. I like the stern Queen who seems to know that when dealing with young faeries you're going to have a bit of flitting and frivolity, and doesn't get upset about it.

  5. I think go with the illustrator idea other commenters have suggested - this has the makings of a delightful children's story!

  6. An absolutely delightful story! I have a smile, stretched from ear to ear... oops! Excuse me...I seem to be channeling Sarah today! :)

    I completely agree... this would make a beautiful children's story. I was a teacher's aide in a daycare/preschool in Portland, before we moved to Seattle. My children would have loved this!!

    I love this story on so many levels... beautiful spring colors... new life abounding... a mischievous fairy... excellent!

    Brava, Susan... Brava!

  7. I loved this, it was adorable! I love fairies, your story was a favorite. Thank you! (: