This piece actually came in 8th place in my group in the first round of the contest.
1000 words maximum.
Item: Bathroom Scales
Jasmine and Jessica peeked through the gaps of the stairwell bannister. The house was dark and quiet with the only sound being the soft murmur of voices coming from their parent's room.
They crept down the stairs as quiet as they could, agilely avoiding the three squeaky steps and padding softly across the carpet of the living room to the kitchen.
Jasmine rummaged through the lower cabinets for any leftover snacks she could find. All the good ones were in the high cabinets, but there was no way to move the chair over to get up there without making a whole bunch of racket that would surely bring their parents rampaging down those stairs to confront them.
Jessica opened the fridge and started looking through all of the leftovers.
“Do you think they like cheese?” She whispered to her sister.
Jasmine held up a box of crackers that she’d found hidden in the back. “With crackers, how could they not?”
The girls grinned at each other and filled their bag with as many goodies as they could find. Jasmine topped it off with one brownie from the fresh ones their mum had made and left on the counter, but when she put it in the bag she stopped and frowned.
“Why are the bathroom scales in here?” She asked her sister.
Jessica shrugged. “I thought they might like it?” She said hopefully.
Jasmine let it go. Maybe they would like it. It wouldn’t hurt to try.
They zipped up the backpack and Jasmine carried it this time because it was almost too heavy for Jessica now.
They went to the window by the backdoor and peered up into the starry sky. The moon was coming out now. There were clouds, but there was enough moonlight that they were sure to come out.
Especially if there were treats involved.
“Ok, let's go!” Jessica said, grabbing the door handle. She reached for the chain lock but it jingled as soon as she touched it and Jasmine grabbed it, silencing the noise. They both waited, their little hearts pounding, waiting to see if their parents heard anything but no noise came from upstairs.
They both let out a sigh of relief and Jasmine whispered, “Let me do it.” Jessica nodded and stood back. Jasmine carefully slid the chain lock out of place and turned the door bolt as quietly as she could. The resounding click was loud in the silence and they both cringed, but no noise came from upstairs.
Now was the hard part. She turned the knob and slowly pulled the door open. The hinges creaked and squeaked, and Jessica’s mouth was open in silent horror, but Jasmine yanked the door open wide enough for them to get through. It was like pulling off a bandaid. You had to do it fast. She pushed Jessica through and had to manoeuvre herself and the backpack through the soft space, but as soon as they were outside they were on the homestretch. She pulled the door closed and the two girls took off into the backyard.
Around the pool house and through the garden they giggled and made their way down to the back fence where all of their mother’s Moonflowers were planted. The flowers were already in full bloom and were like huge white and pink beacons that glowed against the moonlight.
They both stopped and ducked down behind their dad’s silly gnome statues to wait, but they didn’t have to wait long.
Inside the darkened bushes little lights started to appear of every colour. Yellow, white, pink, blue, green, purple. Some colours didn’t even have a name that they knew of. The little lights danced through the leaves and grass and flittered through the air around the big blooming flowers.
Jessica tugged at her sister’s sleeve. “Now?” She whispered. “Can we go now?”
Jasmine opened up the backpack and gave her sister the brownie. It was the sweetest treat they’d brought. “You take that one,” she said and pulled out the cheese and crackers. “I’ll take these.”
They started to creep around the gnomes, to get closer to the bushes but a little blue light started to buzz around Jessica’s head. A pink one and a green one joined it immediately. They flitted back and forth until Jessica held up her hands with the brownie, and all the little demi-pixies landed on her hands and arm so they could take a bite.
Their tiny bodies were doll-like and made her think of magical barbies. It was the only way she could think to describe them. Living, breathing, magical barbie dolls. Boys and girls of every colour.
Jasmine laid the cheese and crackers on the ground and pulled out the bathroom scales too. More pixies came out of the bushes until there were dozens bouncing around them. They tore through all of the treats like they were starving, and Jasmine wondered if they’d brought enough.
Next full moon they’d have to bring more for sure. When the pixies were done, they started jumping on the scale, and their musical voices that sounded like birdsong chittered whenever the dial spun around.
Anyone who looked out their windows tonight would think they’d lost their minds, seeing two little girls surrounded by a glowing swarm of little pixies.
Well, almost anyone.
Peter pulled back the curtains so he and his wife Jennie could see down into the backyard where their girls were surrounded by the little demi-fey that lived down there. Jennie had planted the Ipomoea bushes just for the wee-ones, and both of them were more than overjoyed that their girls had figured it out.
Peter laughed. “I didn’t think they’d make it,” he said.
“Oh my god I know, they made so much racket I thought they’d get scared and go back to bed.”
“What do you think will happen when they realize there’s a real Brownie in the attic?” He asked.
Jennie just grinned at him.
JLRose is an American fantasy writer, 3D artist and game designer living in Melbourne, Australia. She’s spent the past three years working on the first full-length book of The Galean Universe and has released the first short story of The Lockwood Series.