Breeze spotted something bouncing about close to Tulip’s house. He arrived at her door and went inside. “We- have- a -problem.” He said gasping for breath after his long run.
Tulip spun around and saw Breeze. She heard his words but noticed she was missing a cake. “You have a problem. You ate one of my Christmas cakes.” She was not looking happy.
He said, “I didn’t look.” He held out both hands to her and stuck out his tongue.
“Okay, sorry I believe you. But who took it?” When Breeze told her what he thought had happened Tulip was looking worried.
“But Matt could be anywhere by now.” She paced about her kitchen. “We need to act quickly. We don’t need a Matt on the moon for Christmas.”
“Cool.” Breeze said.
Tulip glared at him. “Who made the bubble?”
Breeze whispered, “Lovisma.”
Tulip walked out onto her porch and shouted for Lovisma. By the time Tulip returned to her kitchen Lovisma was sitting at her kitchen table eating a cake. Breeze quickly explained what had happened to Matt.
“I told him it was a silly idea but the boy insisted said he would tell everyone it was me who made the food at the last party go pop and bang everytime someone tried to eat.” She was smiling at Breeze whose tongue had been burnt by the sizzling food.
“I want you to bring him back now.” Tulip stamped her foot and the whole house shook.
Lovisma said, “No need to get angry or nasty. I will have him back in a jiffy.”
Breeze surprised them both when he said, “No, I think you shouldn’t bring him back so quickly. But this is what I would like you to do.” When he told them his plan both Tulip and Lovisma were shocked but they agreed it would teach Matt to behave in future.
Matt was wide awake. The sound of twinkling bells and whispers from the stars woke him. “Santa is near.” They whispered.
Matt twisted and turned about in the bubble but he couldn’t see one single reindeer.
The bubble was sinking slowly towards the ground. It landed in the clearing near Tulip’s house. Matt could see a large group. The children were jumping up and down and racing about. The adults were enjoying Tulip’s Christmas cakes and talking to …Santa.
“I’m over here,” he shouted as he watched Lily being lifted up into the sleigh to sit beside Santa. Matt was frantic he wanted to pet the reindeer. He wondered why no one could hear him or see him. It began to snow as he watched. He sat and cried. “I messed up, stupid me. I shouldn’t have gone looking for him. I should have known he would come to us. He always does.” As soon as Matt spoke the bubble burst . The snow felt cool on his skin. He ran towards the sleigh. Breeze blocked his path. Matt looked up at Breeze and said, “I’m sorry.”
Breeze said, “Don’t say it to me, you need to apologize to Tulip, Lily, your mum, Lovisma and Santa.”
Matt said, “Yes. I will. Can I…please see him and pet Rudolph.”
Breeze was a kind ogre and he couldn’t be angry with anyone. He hoisted Matt onto his shoulder and said, “Make way for the adventurer who got a little lost on his way here.”
So it was that Matt got to talk to Santa and more importantly got to spend time with the Reindeer. As he was saying goodbye to Santa Matt was startled when Santa placed a parcel in his hand. “Specially for you Matt. Remember to be good.”
When the reindeer were mere dots in the sky Matt tore the paper off his present and discovered he was holding a ball of glass. “It’s a bubble,” he mumbled.
“Shake it,” his mum said.
When Matt shook it he saw a tiny bubble rise from the ground, snow was dancing within the glass and against a dark sky a tiny sleigh raced across the sky. He smiled and said, “Cool I won’t forget. He always comes to visit.”
It was the 24th December. Every child, big and small, was hoping Santa would stop in Mudpile Wood. Last year he had enjoyed a mug of hot milk and some of Tulips Cinnamon fairy cakes. This year she planned on giving him Mincemeat bread along with his customary hot drink.
Breeze was collecting holly, with berries, for his relations. Ogres loved to decorate their cave with holly. This meant Breeze had to fight off the birds who wanted to eat the berries not sit and look at them.
He began to walk home underneath his large pile of holly which made him look like a moving holly bush. Breeze heard Lily say, “But what will we do if he doesn’t have time to stop? He is a busy man.” Breeze dropped his load of holly and sat down behind it. He wanted to hear the answer to Lily’s question.
Matt said, “I have been thinking of this and this is what we will do.”
Breeze held his breath to hear more but Matt was whispering and he couldn’t find out what Matt planned to do. He collected the holly and decided it might be best to keep an eye on the group of children. He didn’t want them getting into trouble before Christmas.
Breeze spent the afternoon decorating his cave. He finished it at dinner time. Matt’s mum Nell came rushing into Breeze’s cave. “He is gone. Matt is gone. Lily says it was an accident but she won’t tell me anything please help Mr. Breeze.”
Breeze sighed, looked very sadly at his red berry and mushroom pie, “Don’t go anywhere.” He said, then decided to scoop it into his hands to eat as he followed Nell out into the cool evening air.
They found Lily sitting outside her house. She was crying as she said, “It wasn’t my fault, or Matt’s or Lov..It just went wrong. The bubble ate him and carried him away.”
“Where to, Lily?” Breeze asked.
She pointed towards the clouds.
They all stood looking at the twinkling stars and wondered what to do next. “He hasn’t even got his hat and coat,” Nell sobbed.
Matt was happy inside his soap bubble which Lovisma’s spell had made strong as steel. Earlier when Matt asked her to create a spell to make the bubble bigger and stronger, Lovisma was curious to see what would happen. Matt sat on a cushion of moss inside the bubble which sat on a branch of a tree. Lovisma watched him until she got bored and left.
As the sun began to sink in the sky the wind decided to play with the ogre sitting in the bubble. It pushed and pulled until the bubble was carried away high into the sky. Matt thought this was fun, he could see everyone below him.
His mum was hanging out her washing. He waved at her but she couldn’t see him. The bubble swooped low and one of his dad’s vests was sucked into the bubble to land beside Matt. He put it on.
The bubble swooped low over Tulips house. The windows were open because Tulip was baking. The bubble flew in one window and out another neatly snagging a freshly baked bun as it went.
Matt felt happy. He was warm and he had a bun to eat. Matt waited to see what would happen next. The wind tired of lingering close to the ground climbed towards the stars. The air was colder up here. Matt pulled his dad’s vest about him and waited to see what would happen next. He grew tired and curling up in a ball he fell asleep.
According to a certain Dog you need to take precautions before taking a holiday in Mudpile Wood. I disagree. But to make the most of your trip you should be prepared.
1. For plenty of mud fun. As the name of the wood suggests we like wallowing in it. You can be certain you won’t get sun burnt but you will leave with amazing skin.
2. There will be many parties. The late nights are followed by long sleepy mornings broken with a long lazy breakfast on left overs and finally a snoozy afternoon.
3. Visitors are not allowed to work. Most occupants of the wood don’t like working so why should we ask you to do it?
4. I do agree with Mr. Bob about:
a) Warm hats and gloves, (finger-less gloves are best in case you are trapped in a warlock’s tavern, you may have to pick a slippy, disgusting lock to escape.)
b) Wellington Boots (but not red, as witches despise red boots, they tend to set them on fire.
c) Chocolate smelling deodorant. Everyone in Mudpile hates eating chocolate but they adore the smell.
d) A clever friend who can solve puzzles in case Murphy the Leprechaun catches you, he will only release you when you solve his puzzle.Bring loads of books. Ogres have an insatiable appetite. First they read the book then they eat it.
5. I love books. They give me ideas, as I eat them. ( I learnt this lesson from a friend of mine called Hungry Henry. I will tell you about him another time.)