Troubling secrets and sweet gifts.
Chapter 5; Good Morning Hawthorne
As Frank promised, he shut up about magic whilst he and Jasmine were writing up plans for her treehouse. He spent a lot of time with the small, bubbly child, who had recently decided that each part of the tree village ought to be a different colour. He had won the argument and said ‘no’ to this proposal. Unlike the other idea from Jasmine, where she’d had the bright idea to base the entire theme around the village that Ewoks lived in in Star Wars. Sooner or later she’d be suggesting that everybody dress up as Ewoks and go round with crossbows.
“It’s going to be good!” said Jasmine one day, sitting up in a tree with Frank. Most of the trees in the forest were brilliant for climbing if you could shimmy up the first seven feet of smooth trunk. Jasmine had stood on Frank’s shoulders to get up to the first branch and then lowered a rope down so he could scramble up and join her.
“I’m sure it will, Jas. How high should the house be? Should it be this high or lower?” he asked, pointing downwards. They were already a good twelve feet in the air.
“Lower? Can’t it be higher? I know, how about we have a lookout tower going all the way to the top of the tallest tree?” said Jasmine, standing on the branch.
“That’s just silly!”
“No it isn’t!”
“Jasmine, I said we can build a treehouse, and Gerard’s quite happy to help, but we’re not going to turn the entire forest into a tree village.”
“Okay. Can we at least have a private lookout tower? Or something? Linnea would love that.”
“Who’s Linnea?” asked Frank. Jasmine’s eyes widened and she clapped her hands over her mouth, realising her mistake a second too late.
“Oh no! I shouldn’t have told you!” she said, dropping out of the tree and staring to run off.
“Jasmine, get back here!” shouted Frank, running after her. She was a mere meter in front of him until she rounded a corner, and a split second Frank rounded the same corner where he smashed straight into a thick wall of trees. Jasmine had disappeared though those trees.
“What?” grumbled Frank, rubbing his bleeding nose. Jasmine had reappeared behind him.
“I’m sorry, Frank, I shouldn’t have told you! She’s gonna be so angry with me!” she whispered, twisting the hem of her shirt nervously.
“All you said was somebody’s name! And how the hell do you do that?” asked Frank, pointing towards the wall of trees behind him.
“Why do you want to know?” came a third voice from the trees behind him. Frank twisted around to face a third person having just appeared. A short and pale woman, covered in bruises with thick violet hair... Linnea Hawthorne was standing there, her bowler hat tilted low over her grey eyes. Despite her small 5’4” frame, she looked more than a bit terrifying.
“I’ve just possibly broken my nose thanks to Jasmine just here,” said Frank, trying to stem to flow of blood with his jacket sleeve. Linnea pursed her lips, flicked her wrist ever so slightly and his nose stopped hurting, the blood flow stopped and cleaned itself off.
“Happy now, Frank Iero?” said Linnea. Frank blinked.
“How the hell do you know...”
“Your name?” Linnea smiled coldly. “I’ve been watching you, Frank. You and your friends. You were planning to find me. I told Jasmine to be quiet because I didn’t want you to. My effort seems pointless now you know who I am.”
“Oh... so are you the rumour witch that the local people talk about?”
“No, I’m Bill Nye the Science Guy,” said Linnea, sneering.
“You’re nice,” said Frank, lightly.
“Um, Li-li...” Jasmine came forward from where she was standing behind nervously. “Don’t blame Frankie he’s nice really, I didn’t mean to say about you, I’m sorry...”
“Child, quiet,” said Linnea. Jasmine nodded and continued to hop from foot to foot. “I don’t trust many people, Frank. Jasmine is my trainee assistant. I would like you to leave me alone. I’ve a feeling that you could be more trustworthy when it comes to keeping my being here quiet than the one other person who knows.” At this, Linnea looked quite pointedly at Jasmine.
“Everyone else knows you exist though, Miss Linnea.” Linnea raised her eyebrows, though it may have been Frank’s use of ‘Miss’.
“How is that?”
“You work in the inn, we all saw you when we arrived. I just noticed.” I was true; Linnea’s long coat had been buttoned all the way up and her bowler hat pulled down over her eyes, but it was still obviously her who had been working at the desk two weeks ago.
“But none of you know who I really am.”
“You’re friends with Jenna aren’t you? You let us stay at the inn for free,” said Frank. Linnea smiled.
“Jenna is kind. She is unlike many of the other people who live on this island. She is one of the few people I ever communicate with. And now you. I must go now, Frank. But keep an eye out, I will be watching you. Go to the beach, Frank. Someone is wishing to talk to you.” At that, Linnea turned around and vanished. Frank glanced down at Jasmine.
Okay,” is all he said. His head was spinning.
“I should go with Li-li. And you should go down to the beach. Li-li doesn’t lie,” said Jasmine, and she too vanished into the trees. Frank shook his head and turned to make his way through the winding trees towards the beach.
After taking many wrong turnings and crashing into yet another tree, Frank had found his way out of the forest and towards the beach. Before he could make his way down, he was stopped by Abbie.
“Hey Frank,” she said. “I’ve been looking all over for you! I need to talk to you about something.” Frank nodded, knowing that she wanted to talk already, thanks to Linnea.
“What is it?” he asked, following Abbie down towards her home.
"Do you like dogs, Frank?” she asked.
“Yeah. How come?”
“Because I found something and I you were the first person I thought of, so I decided I would show you...” They had reached Abbie’s houses and she was kneeling over a basket that sat in front of her shack, one that usually held fish.
“You thought of me?” Frank smiled.
“Yeah, I did,” said Abbie, standing up with a bundle of blankets in her arms. Nestled in the centre was a tiny, tiny creature; a puppy. It could only have been a few months old, barely bigger than a Christmas turkey, it was fluffy, grey, wolflike and adorable.
“Ohmygod!” squealed Frank, taking the bundle. Abbie laughed.
“Do all animals turn you into a little girl or is it just puppies?”
“Puppies. But where on earth did you...” A figure behind Abbie caught his eye. Linnea stood there with her floor-length coat buttoned up to the throat and her bowler hat resting on her hair, no longer covering her eyes. She tipped her hat courteously as Frank watched her, unbeknownst to Abbie. Frank flicked his eyes to the puppy and back to Linnea, raising his eyebrows questioningly. She nodded, smiling. Frank smiled back, blinked; and Linnea had gone.
“Hey guys, whatcha got there?” Frank turned around as Jenna galloped up behind him. Yes, she did gallop, she was sitting bareback on a beautiful grey horse with a soft black mane.
“A puppy!” squealed Frank again, cradling the pup.
“Aw, cute. Where did you get it?” asked Jenna, jumping down beside him and Abbie.
“I just found it, I decided to give her to Frank,” said Abbie.
"Where did you find her?” asked Frank, removing the puppy’s blankets.
“I don’t know I just.... just found her,” said Abbie, furrowing her brow. Frank’s thoughts instantly went to Linnea and he made a mental note to thank her when he next saw her.
“I’m going to go now, okay?” he said, still gazing adoringly at the puppy.
“What you going to call her?” asked Abbie.
“I don’t know... how about... Ice?” said Frank. Abbie smiled.
“That sounds nice. See you later, Frank.” She and Jenna waved as Frank made his way back towards his house. He made his was towards the forest again, and found his way to the tree Jasmine had proposed they build a house in. That’s when an idea came to him.
“Jasmine, can I speak to you, please?” he asked the air in front of him. A few seconds later, Jasmine was making her way around the corner.
“You called?” she said, grinning.
“What type of dog is she?” asked Frank.
“A wolf.” Frank did a double-take.
“Why did you guys give me a wolf?”
“Linnea thought you’d like her,” said Jasmine. Frank just nodded.
“How did you know I wanted to talk to you? And where were you before I called you?”
“I knew because I heard you,” said Jasmine, frowning. “I was up the volcano. Why?”
"Volcano... okay, I won’t ask. How far away is the volcano?”
“Other end of the island. Few miles.”
“And you heard me from a few miles away.” Jasmine smiled.
“Magic!” she said, pointing towards herself. Frank couldn’t help but laugh.
“Okay, I see. So, if I ever want to talk to you...?”
“Just ask. Yes, asking thin air will work. but I might not turn up. I cannot be summoned like a little kid.”
“You are a little kid.”
“I guess. Do I sound like a little kid right now?”
“To be honest, no.”
“I just like acting like a little kid. Oh, and by the way, know you know I’m magic, you have to listen to everything I say or I will turn you into a toad!” said Jasmine, her eyes glowing.
“You would do that to another human?”
“Already have. My dad makes a good toad.”
“Your dad...” Frank raised his eyebrows and nodded. Jasmine just giggled and pranced off.
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UPADTE: I have just started my new story, 'Listen To The Wind', and I would appreciate it if you would check it out. It's weird, it's wacky, it's purely fantasy and POSSIBLY a Frerard at the end. http://www.ficwad.com/story/191230. Thank you guys. xx