Hello and welcome to another short story set in the world of Fire & Ice, Paola’s Childhood Part Two. Paola’s Childhood follows a young Paola. Though this story is set in the same world as my book series, it happens at a different time. You can find Paola’s Childhood Part One here:
You can find part one of my last story, Words Unsaid, here: https://www.victoriamayburybooks.ca/2020/06/05/words-unsaid-part-one/ If you haven’t read my other story, Product of Love, you can find the first chapter here:https://www.victoriamayburybooks.ca/2020/02/15/the-product-of-love-gills-backstory/ . If you enjoy my writing and wish to help me continue in creating this world, you can buy my book on this website or go here to help me publish my next book in the Fire & Ice Chronicles:https://www.gofundme.com/f/fire-amp-ice-chronicles-the-wild-mountains.
I hope you like Paola’s Childhood Part Two
Paola’s Childhood Part Two
The sunlight’s rays shone on Paola’s room as she bounced from her closet to her dresser. She’d been up since the crack of dawn getting ready for the party. After cleaning up, the little she-elf had been deciding what to wear as evidenced by the piles of clothes sitting on the floor.
Paola groaned as she flopped on her bed. She had nothing to wear for the party. If only she could buy something from the market. Paola groaned again, remembering that she’d used her last laga to buy a pastry for her and Liliana.
The she-elf scanned the piles of multi-coloured clothes on the ground. She wanted to wear something simple but nothing on the floor screamed simple. The scent of yucca pancakes wafted into her room from the kitchen, distracting her from the clothes.
Paola’s stomach growled and she licked her lips hungrily. Supper had been twelve hours ago and her little nine-year-old body was in some desperate need of food. She threw on a tunic and slacks and scurried out to see her father dishing up the aromatic pancakes.
“Food!” She squealed happily and plopped down at the table. Her father chuckled and placed two of the pancakes on her plate.
“Hungry aren’t we, chica?” He teased her gently as he set their small jar of jam beside her. “We won’t be training today, Paola. Today is about celebrating our future jefe.”
Paola gulped down her food, nodding as her father spoke. “I have a lot to get done today.” She responded in between bites of food. “I need to find something to wear for the party tonight. Nothing in my closet looks right.”
Her father sighed and looked at her. “I’m not giving you anymore laga this month.” He stated. Paola sighed and worked on her fourth pancake.
“How am I supposed to find something to wear, Papa?” She asked, dejected at his response. “You said last night that a gift would honour her and please her. How can I wear something that would not honour Liliana as future jefe?”
Her father was quiet for a while, lost in his own mind. Paola had finished off five pancakes and was placing her dishes in the sink when he replied.
“There is one thing that you could do today. If you accomplish the mission, I will help you find something to wear.” He spoke with the authority of the jefe’s guard. Paola bounced back to the table. Her eyes shone with hope as he continued. “You must answer the riddle that I tell you. If you answer correctly, I will help you find something to wear. You have one chance to get it right.”
Paola’s palms suddenly felt sweaty even as she lept to the chance for some form of training. Her father always said that if your mind was well trained, your body would follow. Paola hoped he was right. She nodded, ready to hear the riddle.
Her father smiled slightly before beginning. “I can be shiny, I can be matte or I can be rolled, I can be flat. I can conceal, I can give joy. Sometimes, I’m a newborn’s toy. What am I?”
Paola’s hand felt clammy and she frowned. This was a new riddle for her. She glanced at her father who looked expectantly at her.
“You have until lunchtime to come up with the answer.” He shooed her out of the house as he went about his business for the day.
The little she-elf frowned again as she thought about the riddle. It was something but Paola didn’t know what it could be. Suddenly, an idea flickered through her head. She could ask somebody who was known to be very wise or smart. Paola didn’t remember which it was but either would suffice.
Soon, she was at the home of the Lati, the parrot.
“Lati!” Paola called. There was no answer. The she-elf stood a little closer to the birdhouse. “Lati! Are you home?” She heard a soft snore emanating from the birdhouse.
He is probably sleeping in again. She thought angrily. Studying the wooden birdhouse, Paola saw that there was a small latch. Examining the birdhouse even closer, she saw some hinges attached to the roof of Lati’s house.
Paola unlatched the roof and flung it open, letting the morning sun flood in. There was a surprised squawk and out hopped a red parrot. The parrot eyed Paola grumpily and yawned as much as any parrot yawns.
“What is the meaning of this?” The grumpy bird asked the elf in front of him.
Paola grinned at the cantankerous bird. “I have a question to ask you, Lati.” Before she could continue, the big parrot flapped a wing in her direction.
“You woke me up to answer a question?” The bird snapped his beak. “I hope you have a snack for me. I don’t think well without some food in my system.”
Paola froze, she’d forgotten about his snack. It was too late now to go back for it and still get the answer to her riddle. She smiled slyly as the bird eyed her.
“I could always go to Polli,” Paola replied, crossing her arms. “She has no need for a snack before answering a question.”
The parrot glared at her for a moment and then huffed.
“Fine,” Lati said, ruffling his feathers. “What is the question?”
Paola smiled to herself before repeating the riddle to the bird. The entire time, Lati listened with his head cocked to the side. After she had finished it, he chuckled.
“Did you come up with this all by yourself or did your father ask you this riddle?” His dark eyes pierced her violet ones, looking for nothing but the truth.
Paola frowned. It was no secret that she was being trained to be a guard for the city, but she didn’t want to lose the chance to find something nice for that night.
“What is it to you?” She asked hesitantly.
The bird squawked before beginning to preen itself as it spoke.
“My dear and little Paola, if someone asks you a riddle, they expect you to figure it out on your own. Asking someone else is cheating and a guard of the city cannot cheat.”
Paola felt sad again as she heard these words. She turned to leave but was stopped when the parrot placed one clawed foot on her shoulder.
“Since you are my favourite elf, I’ll give you a hint. The riddle has to do with Liliana’s party, tonight.” The parrot’s eyes crinkled ever so slightly. “Now go home before your father starts to worry about you.”
Paola looked at the sun. It was almost at its zenith, she had to go home immediately. Lunchtime was upon her!
I hope you liked Paola’s Childhood part Two, the next installment will be in two Fridays’ time. Next Friday, I’ll be posting part two of the six races of Ursa lore. Please comment or share this with your friends, it really helps to boost my spirits. Thank you for your time!
Victoria R. Maybury
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