The story continues with Kell and her unimaginable adventure that is about to start. Make sure to read Part 1 first.
Mother died on a Thursday. Kell had gathered wildflowers to put around the house, and her mother’s favorite of all, the honeysuckle. She hoped the sweet smell of the flowers and pastel colors would wash away the sickness that had plagued their souls for more than a year. The sun was shining on the dark wood kitchen table as Kell arranged a honeysuckle in the last bouquet.
Father had been locked in his workshop since the death of his wife, and the blaze from under the door was constant. Kell’s attention was directed through the window of the kitchen now, as the large wooden gate at the top of the drive swung open with her aunt’s presence. She had brought her two Whippets along for the visit. They ran about the upper field and apple orchard, excited about the new smells. Kell quietly dug her finger nails into the under edge of the thick table, her gaze not breaking from the creature walking down the drive. It’s not that she disliked her aunt, but her aunt did not understand Kell. So Kell just kept quiet and small when she came around.
Miss Dicey swung open the heavy oak door to the house and went searching around the corridors before finally seeing Kell in the kitchen. “I discover you, child,” Miss Dicey said. She spoke a bit odd, and always made big gestures when she spoke. Father popped his head in through the window, and said his greetings to Miss Dicey, and motioned for them both to come outside to the barn.
Miss Dicey put her gloved hand around Kell’s shoulder and gently twirled the young girl’s sandy blonde hair through her fingers. Miss Dicey was a nice-looking woman, around thirty years old. She was mother’s younger sister, but more outspoken and did not laugh as much. Due to her living in one of the bigger cities, she only visited once or twice a year and had never invited Kell to her home. It seems like for a seven-year-old, that the city would be an exciting experience, but for Kell, it was visually terrifying.
Father had opened the door to the workshop, and as they all entered, he dusted off some final touches to what he had been working on.
“A rune?” Miss Dicey shouted. “Where did you learn to make that?”
“Runes run in my family. It is a poem. It’s for…” Miss Dicey stopped father mid-sentence and blurted out that she understood. The two started discussing heavily for a couple minutes. Kell’s green eyes bounced back and forth between the two of them until she finally slipped away unnoticed.
She walked along the side of the house, and one of the Whippets had decided to tag along side Kell for the journey. The dog’s fur was silvery and sleek. Kell wondered how fast it could run. She picked up a small stick from the house’s wood pile that they had reached. The dog immediately came to attention, its pupils becoming the size of saucers and its tongue slung to the side of its pointed muzzle.
Kell wound her arm and clutched the far end of the stick behind her head. Then with as much force as she could, she propelled the stick forward. The dog took off like a bullet and disappeared into the bushes. Kell smiled with delight and kept walking towards the back woods. Up ahead was a playhouse her mother would hold tea parties for Kell. They would decorate the miniature white cottage with flower wreaths and linen curtains. Mother would braid Kell’s hair into a crown and place small wildflowers throughout her trestles. It was difficult to invite friends to tea parties, since most children her age lived closer to the city. So Kell and mother would make up stories about the folk who lived in the woods that would be welcomed at the tea party. Mother was very crafty, and would create small invitations out of bark shavings she gathered from the Chokecherry tree that Kell often climbed. They made up a whole world together, which in time, slowly faded as the sickness came.
Kell jumped as the cold nose of the Whippets squished against her knee. The dog has brought the stick back and was begging for another run. Kell bent down, and as she grabbed the stick, her eyes snapped upwards to catch a shadow slinking just beyond the tree line. Kell froze and tried to peer past the sun beams into the darkness. Her gaze was broken as the dog barked impatiently at Kell. She threw the stick towards where she thought she saw the shadow, hoping the dog might scare whatever it was away.
I hope you liked Part 2 of The Girl & the Fox! Every Sunday, I will be posting a new type of story. Some will be more of the same fables, others will be true stories of travel. But all are original and mine. You can subscribe to receiving these stories in your mail as well!