The Surprise|Guest post

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  Pixie and I share a very strange friendship. We are rather close, discuss everything (and everyone ...yes, beware!) under the sun (especially fellow bloggers/writers) and also leave no stone unturned trying to tease  and get one up on each other. "What's strange about that?" I hear you ask. Here's the thing. Pixie and I have never met. And we have never ever spoken. Probably because I'm not much of a phone person. But more on than later. Yes, we know almost everything that is there to know about each other and our families. Then why do I use the name Pixie, I hear you ask. Because Pixie, just like her pseudo-name, has a streak of mischievousness and just like the folklore, she is someone who is very fond of dancing. She writes with a passion that is so rare these days amongst lot of us writer-folks and her blog represents her space and her thoughts on anything and everything.  

You can find more about her, here : http://mytakeoneverything9.wordpress.com/

If I had to describe our friendship with the help of a YouTube video, this would be it:

http://youtu.be/UBMNP6x3PA4

And on that joyful note, here's a short fiction post that she wrote for me. Read it. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. And Pixie, Thank you !

 

*******

Helen smiled as she read the quote inscribed on the first page of her best-friend Aaron’s novel. It felt good to see her words imprinted in ink, that too on a book that had already sold over a million copies. She glanced at the clock on the wall. She needed to leave now, if she was to arrange everything for the party that was being thrown for Aaron. For a first-time author, the book was an unprecedented success and Helen was thrilled for him. Together with his wife Elise, Helen had planned the whole party and had even managed to keep it a secret from Aaron.

The bakers had confirmed the delivery of the cake to the apartment. Helen had personally picked out the design and had decided that it was going to be shaped in the form of an open book with an inscription from the book. It was even to have the pages marked. As Helen ran around her apartment trying to get the decorations ready, she thought about the story that Aaron had written. It was about a mysterious shape-shifter, a man who was a creature of the night and protector of the city. The protagonist Adam Roock, was a normal man by day. But as night slipped in, Adam changed into different forms to help the people and Police of the city of New York. Whilst Helen loved the story, she couldn’t help but smile at the resemblance to the famed Harry Potter series. But since it had appealed to everyone from kids to teenagers to even adults, the publisher and editor had already started to pressurise Aaron to write a sequel. Being a stickler for details, Helen had decided that only Aaron’s favorite food was to be served. She’d taken the pains to ensure that all the families and their kids had RSVP’d  and had even set up a bar for the adults and a juice counter for the younger kids. The food included bite-sized calzones with marinara sauce as a dip, potato wedges with a white cheese and chilli sauce and generous helpings of portioned garlic bread and tomato soup. In addition, knowing Elise’s fondness for Indian food, Helen had also arranged for some spicy deep-fried Cauliflower florets (known as Chilli Gobis) along with vegetarian kebabs with the cocktails. They’d decided that Helen’s 13th floor apartment would be perfect for the party since it was spacious and most of her modern décor furniture could be rearranged to accommodate the guests. Though she’d mentioned that the party would commence at 6:30pm, guests had already started trickling in by 6pm. Helen fervently hoped that Aaron and Elise would be able to make it at least by 7pm.

*******

Across town, Elise stared at Aaron with a look of worry etched on her face. This was one party they couldn’t afford to miss. But Aaron was reluctant. “Couldn’t you have just postponed it? The timing of this whole supposed surprise party sucks!” he said straightening his bow. Elise nodded and said, “I know Aaron. I know. But, Jim’s babysitter said she was free only tonight and you know how hard it is to get someone on such short notice. Please act surprised and we will try to leave early.” She walked over to him, kissed him lightly and said, “You look very handsome in a tux, Mr. Bestselling author!” The tension left Aaron’s shoulders and he smiled at his gorgeous wife wondering how he had gotten so lucky with her.

As soon as Aaron and Elise walked in to Helen’s apartment, the party started. Though he’d known about it, Aaron was genuinely surprised because he hadn’t expected it to be on such a grand scale. Extremely touched by Helen’s sweet gesture, he thanked her for the lovely party. He signed a few books and even posed for a picture with an over-enthusiastic 15 year old and her parents. After the initial chitter-chatter, Aaron slowly pulled away into a corner. He wanted to be happy. The success of his book meant everything to him, but tonight just wasn’t the right time to celebrate. He watched as some of the young couples danced around. There was even a book-reading session set up for the young adults in one of the guest-bedrooms. “Helen has surpassed herself.” he thought fondly as he saw her bring the beautiful cake into the room. Amidst a lot of laughter and festivity, Aaron cut the beautiful cake. It was whisked away by Helen to be cut into neat pieces and served to everyone. He loved the food and the drinks but didn’t eat much. He could feel his insides twitch and struggle. He checked the watch constantly dreading that it might be too late to leave.

As the clock hit 10:30pm, Elise signalled to a beaming Helen and pulled her closer. With a smile on her face, she said “It’s time for us to leave darling. Please make our excuses to the rest of the gang. Aaron needs to be home soon. Jim will need his feed too.”  Though her face dropped, Helen nodded sombrely. She hugged Elise and said, “Call me if you need anything.”  Mouthing a thank you, Elise and Aaron quietly left the apartment. It was close to midnight when they reached home. As he always did, Aaron went into little Jim’s nursery and kissed him. As he watched Jim sleep soundly, he knew a time would come when Jim had to know the truth. But, for now, he felt blessed for little Jim and his cute innocence.

Aaron walked over to Elise and gave her a tight hug. He slowly walked out of the house and shut the door gently behind him. As he turned a dark street corner, he noticed that they had a full moon. As the clock on the church tower struck midnight, Aaron felt himself transform. He came from a family of shape-shifters. For centuries, their secret had been guarded. If History was to be believed, they had started off as killers, unsure of their powers and frightened of the changes. But, since his great-grandfather’s reign, they had done only good to their communities. The Police often kept quiet as there was no way to explain the strange occurrences. So they did the best they could; they took credit for the exceptionally low crime-rate and accepted the accolades that were bestowed on them. The gift was passed on through generations to only the first child in the family, when they turned 13. Little Jim still had plenty time before he came to know or even understood the huge responsibility his forefathers had passed on. The leaves on the trees rustled as the cool night breeze passed through them. As Aaron took the shape of a moving shadow and slunk away into the darkness quietly to play the saviour once again, he thought fondly about the quote that Helen had inscribed in the first page of his book.

The quill moves  The soul struggles The story stays The plot moves Characters get involved Reality shifts Fiction becomes the truth....

[This post is written for the Project 365 program at We Post Daily aimed at posting at least once a day, based on the prompts provided. The prompt for today was  "Plan the ultimate celebration for the person you’re closest to, and tell us about it. Where is it? Who’s there? What’s served? What happens? "]