Q shrieked. She was being chased by monsters. Grubby, little, giggling monsters. She ran as fast as she could (okay – it was more of a light jog) to get away from them. But alas, they got her. They grabbed her clothes and climbed on top of her until everyone amalgamated into a giant, muddy heap on the floor.
The children eventually got up off of Q, who was squished right at the bottom in the mud. They were all out of breath from running and laughing. The last girl to get up was S. S was smaller than the other children, but her presence made up for the size difference. Her hair was tied back in her usual fishtail plait, running all the way down to her hips. She looked uncomfortable with the amount of mud on her (she was a very neat, clean girl) but her face was beaming. ‘Thanks, Q’, she whispered, before hurriedly rejoining her friends.
Q watched a jumpy, joyful S scurry away. She took a minute to rest, lying in the mud. S always reminded Q of honey. She was just so sickeningly sweet; the most kind-hearted person Q has ever known, yet dangerously naive. She’s only a kid but Q could tell she was always going to be that person who sees the best in people, no matter what. She needed protecting.
So when S came to her a couple of days ago, worried about her birthday party, of course Q took care of things. Now here they are, in their back garden, playing party games organised by Q. S took care of the decorations, cake, and music (not really Q’s department), while Q brought the fun. That’s what S was worried about; she wanted everyone to have fun – ‘with everything going on right now in this town, they really do need some cheering up!‘ – Q’s heart melted. Here S was, fretting over the happiness of her friends, when it was supposed to be her day ! That girl isn’t going to last a second in this world on her own, thought Q, somewhat cynically.
“Okay everyone! It’s time – so if you can all gather around this little honey pot, please.”. Q had been referring to S as ‘Honey Pot’ for as long as she could remember. S’s friends all knew that too, but some still giggled at the strange nickname.
“If she’s a honey pot, then what am I?”, demanded a loud boy pushing to the front of the gathered kids.
“You can be a fig.” Q was too tired to come up with a better response, but she needn’t have because the children all loved it anyway and started laughing. The boy scrunched his face, but forgot about it as soon as he laid his eyes on the cake.
S , or Honey Pot, had really gone all out this year. She had created the most beautiful cake of her collection yet. Although it was only one layer, it was wider than the person carrying it. Beautifully iced with blended glittering greens and blues, it resembled a waterfall. Whirls of shimmering flames floated above the cake – 9 whirls, to be exact. The man carrying the cake put it down right in front of S, then gave her a kiss on her forehead. She smiled up at him gratefully, before looking around, drinking in the excited expressions on her friends’ faces.
The man stepped back into the background, and stood to Q’s side.
“You did good today, kid”, he said to Q, nudging her on the shoulder.
“Well, she deserves it.”, Q replied. They both watched the honey pot, standing like bodyguards on duty.
“That, she does”, he said.
He put his arm around her shoulders and Q leaned into her father’s embrace.