"Stupid bloody frog." England muttered to what appeared to be himself, looking as his reflection.
All that time he spent growing his hair long, trying to improve his looks, trying to impress everyone, but mostly her
And now nobody would know.
"Aww don't be sad, Arthur!" Flying mint bunny chirped, trying to cheer him up.
"Yeah, we still think you look handsome!" One of his many fairy friends tried.
"And I'm sure _____ does too, if she really cares about you!" Another added.
"S-shut up! I wasn't doing this to impress ______!" England stuttered.
"Yeah you were!" Flying mint bunny insisted, the way one half of those "Did not!" "Did too!" battles children have sometimes go.
"I was not!"
"Then who were you trying to impress?"
He couldn't come up with an answer, pretty much confirming what his magical friends already knew. They would've continued had they not noticed the little girl advancing quickly in the distance.
"Arthur!" ______ yelled in excitement, glompi
“But I don't wanna go over to Arthur's!”
Come on, (name). Be a good girl.” Fresh tears sprung into your eyes. Your nails dug into the soft material of the couch, refusing to let go.
“Let's go, baby. Daddy's gonna be late for work. Don't you like going over to Arthur's?”
“No. It's boring and his Big Brother is a meanie potato head.”
“Allistor is a great guy and his mom will be home so I'm sure it'll be fine. Now, up you go.” Your dad lifted you up by your arms while you kicked and flailed your arms to no avail. Finally, you gave up and slumped against his shoulder.
“Can I at least bring my teddy bear?”
“Of course you can. Hurry up!”
“Thank you so much for agreeing to take care of (name)!”
“Oh, it's no problem. She's such a wonderful dear to look after.” You finally arrived at the Kirkland's and had to endure five long minutes of borig adult talk while you stood beside Arthur's mom, holding Mr. Dumbledora, your bear, which you and Arthur decided to name together.
“Alright, I'm off to work. Don't cause too much trouble for Mrs. Kirkland. Okay, (Name)?” Your dad ruffled your hair and left. You pouted and held Mr. Dumbledora tighter. Arthur's mom closed the door and turned to you.
“Hello (Name), how was your morning?”
“Good.” You lied.
“That's good. Are you hungry?” You shook your head.
“Okay. Arthur's upstairs in his room. I'll be down here if you need me.” She walked towards the kitchen humming and left you alone. You walked up the stairs, crossing your fingers and hoping that the Kirkland's eldest son wasn't nearby.
Arthur, your friend since pretty much birth, was a blonde, green-eyed, English boy with bushy eyebrows.
“Hey, Arthur.” You greeted shyly. The reason why you didn't want to come over today was because recently, seeing Arthur made you feel weird. It wasn't a bad feeling, you just felt an uneasy feeling in your stomach and blushed whenever you saw your friend. At first, you thought you were getting sick. In panic mode, you rushed to tell your mom. She only laughed and said, “You're just growing up.” Of course I'm growing up! You thought. I just turned seven after all!
“Oh, hello (name). What brings you here today?” You snapped out of your thoughts and focused on Arthur.
“My daddy brought me over. He had to work.” He nodded.
“Do you want to see some magic?” He asked and you quickly shook your head, eyes widening. The last time he offered to 'show you some magic', it did not end well. You had to sacrifice your old teddy bear.
“How about we do something el-”
“I need to go out for a while!” Mrs. Kirkland interrupted you. “Allistor, take care of the kids!” She said, followed by a quick “Yes, ma'am!” from Arthur's brother. Arthur is the youngest out of four brothers, with Allistor being the oldest. His two other brothers are studying abroad somewhere in Europe.
“So what do you want to do, (Name)?”
“Hm...” You looked around. His room was pretty plain. There were a few magic sets lying around and several old toy cars, but other than that, nothing else interesting. “I don't know what to do.” He slid off his bed and offered his hand to you.
“Want to go downstairs to the basement and see if we can find something?” Your face grew hot and you took his hand.
Halfway down the stairs, you were interrupted by a shout.
“Well, well, well. What do we have here? It's the little lass and my little brother. Artie's girlfriend over for a playdate?” Allistor teased, emphasizing the word 'date'.
“Go away, Allistor.” Arthur grumbled, trying to push his brother away.
“Hahaha. 'Ay come on, little bro, can't I join in on your fun?” Arthur gripped my hands so tight, it hurt. He ran down with me in tow and his older brother laughed, finally leaving.
“Um, Arthur? Can you let go of my hand? It hurts.” You two made it into the basement and escaped the evil meanie jerk. (You could say jerk now because your daddy isn't here and won't yell at you for using naughty words.)
“Sorry, (Name).” He let go of your hand. “It's pretty dark in here...I think there's a lightswitch somewhere.”
Your eyes adjusted to the dark and you could see the switch next to the door.
“There!” You pointed. It was just beyond your reach.
“Ungh! I can't get it!” Arthur complained, jumping up and down, trying to flick it on.
“Should we...ask your brother for help?”
“No way! He'll just laugh at us..” He grumbled. You two turned silent and tried to think of solutions.
“I know! (Name), get on my back and I'll lift you up, then you can turn the lights on!”
“Okay!” You climbed on his shoulders while that weird feeling hit you again.
Flick! The whole room brightened. The two of you ran around the basement searching for something interesting to do.
“I found some old stuffed animals.” Arthur showed you a box full of slightly battered toys. You looked around and saw a box filled with clothes in a corner.
“Ooh! What's that?” You ran to see that the clothes were actually costumes and dresses.
“The pirate costume belonged to Allistor when he was a kid.” Arthur informed you, seeing that you were interested in the costume. You looked back and forth between the clothes and the box of stuffed animals...
“Arthur! I know what we should play! Let's play dress up.” He stared at you with a look of horror.
“Dress up is for girls!”
“Just do it. It'll be fun. Trust me!” You assured him with a smile and thrusted the pirate costume into his arms. He walked over to another corner to change while you put on one of the dresses. It was light blue and just a bit too long for you, but it was okay.
“Are you ready, Arthur?”
“Yes..” He sounded unsure. You rummaged through the box and took out the biggest stuffed animal you could find in there, which happened to be a tiger.
“Oh no! The Mighty Tiger has taken me hostage! Help me! Somebody. Anybody!” You pretended to faint and Arthur soon caught on.
“Argh! Who dares take me beautiful (name)? I will cut them all down!” The Great Pirate Captain hopped on his ship(A giant cardboard box) and unsheathed his sword. (A rolled up newspaper.)
“I, the great Arthur Kirkland shall save you, my lady!” The pirate began rowing while you changed roles.
“Hehe, silly pirate. Minions, after him!” You held up the tiger and spoke in a raspy voice. You went over to the stuffed animal's box and pelted Arthur with animals.
“This is no trouble for me, the great Pirate King! Argh!” He defected all the oncoming animals with his sword and made his way over to save you.
He slashed the evil Tiger with his sword, who fell in defeat.
“Oh Great Pirate King, you have saved me. Thank you.” You thanked him with a kiss on the cheek. Arthur paled a bit and didn't know what to say next.
“Uh...um...I would like you to be my Pirate Queen!” He half yelled.
“I would love to.” You answered and rested your head on his shoulder. And they lived happily ever after...
“Would you two buggers keep it down!?”
“Shut up ye ugly swine! I'll make you swab the deck!” The two of you giggled. “Let us go, my Queen.” He whispered in your ear.
“Yes. Let's.” You two ran out to hide before the eldest Kirkland could come and kill you both.
“(Name)! Your dad's here!” Arthur's mom came back a while ago and now you two were back in Arthur's room. You had finally agreed to let him show you his new magic trick.
“Aw, I don't want to go home.” You whispered.
“It's okay. You'll come back tomorrow, right?” You nodded and smiled.
“Bye Arthur!” You grabbed Mr. Dumbledora.
“Wait (Name)!” You turned around and he ran over to quickly kiss your forehead. “Okay, bye!” He pushed you out and skipped downstairs over to your dad.
“Hi baby, how was your day?” He asked as you two left.
“It was fun! We played pirates and dress up.”
“Oh. Anything interesting happen?”
“Yep, I kised him.” Your poor dad spent the car ride crying about how his baby was growing up way too fast while you merely smiled, excited to see what would happen tomorrow.
(Name) slung her bag over her shoulder and hauled her three text books into her arms. The driver slammed the trunk doors of the shuttle closed and drove away, leaving behind a cloud of dust. She was unable to move out of the way in time. Coughing and sputtering, (Name) nearly dragged herself up to her dorm room. Never before had she hated those two flights of stairs so much nor had she ever been so tired. Taking three tests in a row was exhausting.
During the first exam, she was energized after having drunk almost four cups of coffee before class. Caffeine, after all, was your best friend after a whole night of studying. However, its effects began to wear off halfway through test number two. By the third examination, her energy had crashed. The letters on the paper were dancing and she was nodding off to the silent beat of sleep. Later on, she'd stumbled onto the shuttle and fallen asleep in her seat. The driver had to wake her up when they arrived at the dorm.
Nearly sleepwalking, she fumbled with balancing her books so she could fish her keys out from her bag. Seconds later, she found the right key out of four. (Name) put a little more bounce to her step as she strode to her door, thinking of a delightfully long soak in the tub to wash away the day. She felt her foot nudge something at her doorstep as she jammed the key into the lock. Looking down, she saw a tiny box at her feet. Somehow, she managed to pick it up, go into her dorm, and set her load on the coffee table without dropping anything.
The box fit in the palm of her hand. It was minty green with white polka dots and a white ribbon. (Name) carefully opened the box, setting the ribbon aside. The sweet scent of sugar and flowers wafted into her nose. Peering in, she felt a smile tug at her lips. Inside was a note and a miniature, glittering red camellia. (Name) took the note out first.
"Roses are red, Violets are blue," she read aloud, "Follow my trail, and find my surprise for you."
The cheesy little poem seemed to remind her of someone for a second, but the memory fluttered away before she could grasp it. Shrugging it off, (Name) turned the note over. Just as in the front, there was a message written there in familiar elegant print.
"A red camellia for the flame of my heart," it said. "Find the next where your day takes a start."
At the bottom was a footnote that instructed her to please not eat the flower and to take it along for the treasure hunt. (Name) blinked in confusion and picked up the red camellia. To her surprise, the petals felt like they were made of some sort of smooth paste. The scent of sugar floated up her nose. She realized this was one of those sugar flowers bakers used to decorate cakes – and a very intricate one at that. Setting it back in the box with the note, (Name) stood and stretched. As tired as she was, the treasure hunt poked at her curiosity. She decided to satisfy it.
Placing the box in a bag along with her keys, she made her way out of her dorm. Approaching the closed gate at the exit, (Name) spotted a miniature, russet box on the sidewalk. She hastily unlocked the gate and swung it open, scooping her prize up. That one was easy. Inside it was another note and a tiny blue tulip made of sugar paste.
"A tulip for the perfect lover," it said. "Find another before the house of the Perfect Father."
(Name) mentally begged the crisp pre-winter breeze to cool down her cheeks. The suspicion of who the treasure master was flared in the back of her mind. She shook her head and shooed it away as she put the russet box in her bag. A sigh escaped her as she began to walk, legs already aching at the thought of the long way she'd have to journey to her destination. Beside her strolled the ghost of her suspicions, refusing to rest.
After about thirty minutes, she arrived at the cathedral. Its enormous stained glass windows glinted with hues of orange and ocher in the evening sung. Gray stonework and red shingle roofs completed the exterior of the castle-like structure. (Name) slowly climbed the set of steps before the impressive mahogany doors of the cathedral. Resting at their feet was a white box. She quickly scooped it up. Within it laid a sugar paste forget-me-not and a note.
"Faithful love, forget-me-not," said the note. "Find the next at our favorite spot."
The ghost of her suspicions slightly solidified in her mind. If she was right, the treasure master was Arthur Kirkland. (Name) had befriended him a few days after classes had started, having bumped into him as they were switching lecture halls. Blonde, green eyed, and bushy browed, Arthur had made a big impression on her. He'd been the perfect gentleman – something she adored in men – and helped her back up, apologizing continuously. Conflict settled and apologies deflected, they'd headed their separate ways. Yet, they kept meeting up again and again until their friendship bloomed. And, apparently, it had blossomed into something else for Arthur.
Once the ivory box was securely in the bag, (Name) set off to hers and Arthur's favorite spot: a bench in a nearby park that looked towards a gorgeous garden. It was only a five minute walk, so her legs were very grateful. Her ears were also thankful, for the heavy honking of traffic gave way to the soft murmur of the leaves and cool breeze. Relaxed, (Name) approached the bench and plucked the lilac box from its perch. Her prize came in the shape of a sugary orange blossom and an equally sweet note.
"Sweet orange blossom, your purity equals your loveliness," read the note. "Find me where the world is soundless."
(Name) bit her lip in thought, setting the box into her bag with its counterparts. Soundless obviously means that there is silence. The only truly silent place in this part of town was in a bookshop near the seashore. Arthur had taken her there once. (Name) hoped she could remember the way.
After what seemed like hours of walking – in reality being thirty minutes –, she arrived at the bookstore. It was a sturdy wooden building with two floors painted in creams, pastel blues, and tangerines. The beach was ten minutes away by foot and the city fifteen by car, so the area was pleasantly soundless. It was a lovely place with clean roads and neatly trimmed patches of grass, but visitors were few due to the distance from the busy life in the city. Even if the drive was short, the noiselessness seemed to frighten most city dwellers. Those who did venture out were seekers of peace and a good book to read, much like (Name) and Arthur.
Scanning the vicinity of the bookshop, (Name) spotted the next clue sitting on the windowsill. Popping the box open, she found a white lilac made of sugar paste and one more note inside.
"To my dear white lilac, my first dream of love," it said. "Find the next and view the endless blue from above."
Her bag was almost full now. One more and she'd have to find a way to carry any others. As for the clue, (Name)'s brain protested at the thought of working any more. She was already running on fumes. Her stomach was rumbling and her legs ached. However, her curiosity was still in control and she pondered on. "Endless blue" could symbolize one of two things: the sky or the sea. (Name) immediately discarded the sky, for it was currently painted tangerine and periwinkle due to the approaching sunset. The only thing left was the sea.
As she trudged down the slightly beaten path to the beach, (Name) began to hope this hunt was ending. It was nearly sunset and she had to walk all the way back home. She cursed herself for following her curiosity's need to discover where the trail of tiny boxes like the orange one half buried at the bottom of a sandy dune led. Grumbling, she dusted it off, hoping it was the last one. The pink and white sugar paste rose made her smile a little, but the note caused a blush and a groan.
"My blushing white rose, I love you still and always will," it said. "Go ahead and climb this hill."
The box crowned the pile of its brethren as she huffed. If this was truly Arthur's doing, she was going to give him a good smack upside the head when she saw him. The notes were sweet and the idea cute, but the walk was exasperating. Climbing the dune was even worse. Her feet sank into the sand, grains slipping into her shoes and making her uncomfortable. (Name) nearly fell to her knees when she reached the top. It was then that her reality was suspended.
The sun sank into its watery bed, swaying waves of molten gold running away from its brilliance and greedily lapping up the bullion grains that made up the shore. Crimsons, gingers, and canary yellows were splashed on the celestial canvas, puffs of pastel citrus and ochre floating here and there. Their light shadows blended with the thick darkness behind the deep sienna rocks, painting silhouettes on the glittering sand.
And amongst the sparkling grains were dozens and dozens of seashells arranged into the shape of fully bloomed rose. The petals on the left brushed the edge of a checkered blanket in wine and ivory. Candles tried to compete with the radiant glow of the sunset and plates of succulent ham and mashed potatoes tempted the salty air with their savory scent. In the center was a cake whose top had the words "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" written in deep crimson frosting. On its perimeter were six bunches of green sugar paste, three leaves each, which seemed to be designed to accommodate six different flowers.
(Name)'s breath caught in her throat. Sitting on the blanket was her best friend, Arthur Kirkland. He was dressed in a white button-up shirt, loose black vest, rolled up ebony slacks, and no shoes. Blonde hair as messy as ever and peridot eyes glinting with the candlelight, he looked even more wonderful than the scenery. He beckoned her over and she skidded down the dune.
"Arthur," she said. "What's all this?"
"I knew you'd forget your birthday again, love," he replied. "So I took the liberty of setting up this surprise for you."
"And the notes?"
He flushed and mumbled, "That was a more personal matter…"
"A peach rose symbolizes the wish of being together as a couple," Arthur murmured as he fiddled with the hem of his pants.
Suddenly, (Name) realized that the seashells that formed the rose on the sand were all a peach color. Heat flooded her cheeks as she connected two and two together. Arthur stood up and took the bag of tiny boxes with him, placing each sugar flower in its rightful spot. She watched him intently, noticing how his hands shook. He wouldn't meet her eyes and his cheeks were sun burnt. (Name) took his trembling hands in hers.
"Arthur, do you know what the ambrosia flower symbolizes?"
"Your love is reciprocated," he said softly.
"May I give you an ambrosia?"
His whole face lit up, a smile blossoming on his lips.
"Of course, my darling."
Legends say ambrosia is the nectar of the gods. A florist would tell you it represents that you return someone's love. For (Name), ambrosia is a sweet, sweet kiss.