The sun inched its way up
from the horizon. Mango, apricot and lemon rays cupped the quartz arrows of
light that shot from the watermelon red sun. A parted curtain allowed the
mornings colors into Mairis room. She rolled onto her side and saw her
daughter lying next to her, still asleep.
Fiona sensed her mothers gaze and opened her eyes. Mum, how long have you
been lying there staring at me?
Only a minute. Today is going to be a big day for you, again. It seems like
every day is a day full of adventure for us. Do you like your life being
that way? Mairi reached over and tickled Fionas wrist.
Fiona pulled her arm away. Mum, stop tickling me. Our lives have changed,
havent they? It wasnt that long ago that I said how boring it was living
here and now look what has happened. I dont remember the meaning of the
word any more.
Youve grown up a lot, Fiona. You might only be eleven years old, but your
mind, spirit, and heart are much older.
Thanks, Mum. I guess wed better get up. Jimmy, Jeffrey, Johnny and Jasper
will be getting hungry. Its so confusing sometimes with all these J names.
When I have children I am not naming them all starting with the same
letter. Fiona chuckled and threw the covers back. Thats if I ever have
children. She stood and put on her towel-textured robe, tying it with the
belt. Lets have bacon and eggs for breakfast. Im sure Elspet, Callum and
I will be going off to Malawi or Mongolia. Well need a good meal. I doubt
if either of those places will have a McDonalds.
As expected, they found the men sitting around the kitchen table sipping tea
that Johnny had made for them. A cup for Fiona and one for Mairi sat on the
counter. I knew youd be down soon, so I poured you a cuppa. Johnny
stirred sugar into his.
Cuppa? Really, Johnny. Youre getting far to civilized. Mairi leaned over
and kissed his cheek. Thanks for the tea. I just realized Ive ignored my
beautiful garden, my beehives and everything else lately. She stared out
It will all be over with in the next day or two, I imagine, Jimmy said.
Why does that thought make me feel sad?
I know what you mean. Jeffrey dropped a teaspoonful of sugar into his
Im making bacon and eggs. Lets eat a hearty breakfast and then go over to
Anguss. Ill run by the bakery and pick up some fresh buns. Mac is being so
patient, bless his heart. Mairi started rummaging through the cupboards for
her frying pan. Fiona, after breakfast, youll need to go and get Elspet
and Callum and bring them with you to your uncles croft. Time is running
I will, Mum. Feed me please. She sat at the table and hit the ends of her
fork and knife on the wooden surface. Feed me. Feed me. Feed me.
Jasper, Jimmy, Jeffrey and Johnny joined in.
All right. Stop making all that noise! Mairi grinned at them. Instead of
complaining, you can all help me. Johnny, why dont you make toast. Jimmy,
you get a couple of tomatoes out of the refrigerator and cut them into
fourths. Jasper, you fill the tumblers with orange juice and Jeffrey, you
sit there and look adorable. She patted Fionas bottom. Go and get
With a laugh they all chipped in and fixed the meal. After they had gone
through an entire loaf of bread, a pound of bacon and two dozen eggs, Fiona
ran upstairs to dress. She stood at the door, waved goodbye and headed for
Mairi and Johnny drove over to the bakery. They went inside, grabbed a few
things, left the money on the counter and went home, not even saying a word
Jimmy, Jeffrey and Jasper walked to Anguss.
An hour later they were all together in the small croft. Angus welcomed them
inside. You just missed Nellie and Penelope. They decided they didnt want
to stay here for the rest of the firework that will be going on over the
next few days. Theyre heading for Truro, Cornwall. Theyre staying there
until its safe to come back. I put them on the train early this morning.
Thats probably for the best, Mairi said. You can only imagine what
Penelope is going through seeing her only child act like an evil demon.
Not to change the subject, Mum, but I think Elspet, Callum and I should be
on our way. I know were going to either Malawi, which is in southeastern
Africa or to Mongolia in Asia. Ive got my pack. Weve got film. Oh, here
are the films weve taken so far. Will you hand them in to be developed?
Fiona handed them to her mum. She rummaged through her pack. Uncle Angus,
Ill need some more money.
No problem, he said. He went to a drawer and came back with a wad of
bills. Here you go. Spend it wisely. I wonder if I can deduct all this from
my taxes. Ah well.
Ive got water, food, torches and a few odds and ends. Were set. Callum,
Elspet, are you ready? Fiona called them over with her hands. Cheerio,
Mum, and everyone. We wont be long. Daleth shapish yam.
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