The Hidden World. Chapter 5 c.Kate Whiteoak

Freddie Pilbury gets a Nasty Surprise

Mary and Tess were sitting together at a bench eating lunch and minding their own business when it first started. Suddenly Tess felt a sharp pain at the back of her head followed by a loud burst of laughter.

Turning round she saw a tall boy with his shirt hanging over his pants and a nasty sneer on his face.

“Stop it Freddie!” she yelled, “it hurts, stop it at once!”

“Why don’t you make me, ranga” Freddie said. “Come on let’s see what you can do”.

A hush had fallen over the playground and a group of children were watching to see what would happen next.

Tess could feel the hot tears starting at the back of her eyes and was conscious of Mary’s arm around her shoulders.

“Leave her alone you bully, or you’ll be sorry” Mary blurted out. She was now standing in between Tess and Freddie.

Freddie’s beady eyes narrowed into little slits and he raised his arm to push Mary out of the way.

Suddenly there was a bright light and the sound of a tinkling bell and Freddie was lying flat out on the ground.

“What the..” he said, as he struggled to get up. He had just managed to get upright when he seemed to trip and fell over again, this time on his face.

This went on for some time, with Freddie getting more frustrated, and his actions attracting a big crowd of children, some of whom were whispering and laughing amongst themselves.

Finally he stood shakily and took a step towards Mary.

“Don’t come any closer or you’ll regret it” said Mary.

Freddie rubbed his elbow ruefully and looked at his knee which was quite badly grazed. His face was red and there was the hint of a tear in the corner of his right eye.

“You’re not worth wasting my time on anyway” he said at last, and slunk off indoors to the sound of clapping and muffled laughter from the onlookers.

Mary and Tess were soon surrounded by a crowd of excited children wanting to know how Mary had made Freddie fall over. She just shrugged and said that he must be losing his eyesight or have tripped on his shoelaces.

On the bus going home Freddie sat right at the back and kept very quiet. There were dirty tracks down his cheeks where he had been crying. He didn’t seem interested in pulling anyone’s hair or knocking their glasses off and when he got off the bus he ran down the street towards his house without looking back.

Just as Tess and Mary alighted from the bus they heard a tinkling sound and there were the two fairies.

“Well”, said Thimble “did anything unusual happen at school today?”

“You know it did”, laughed Mary. “I’ve never seen Freddie look so confused. I don’t think he’ll be bothering anyone from now on.”

“Good,” said Thistle. “Now make sure that you treat him fairly. I think he has learnt his lesson. We’ve come to say goodbye. We are off to a special fairy gathering and won’t be back for quite a while. Do you think you will be alright while we’re away?”

The girls nodded and in a flash the fairies were gone.

That night Mary had just put on her pyjamas and was getting ready for bed when she heard a voice from the bookcase.

“Good night Mary, and don’t worry, I’ll keep an eye on you and Tess”.

“Good night Simba, sweet dreams” and as Mary’s eyelids began to droop she knew that her life would never be the same again.



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