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A Strange Meeting

“Hey are you okay over there?” Lily yelled, pushing the little white picket gate open and stepping into the flower patch.

“Be careful!” Said the man cheerfully. “You mustn’t step on the snapdragons.”

“The what? Ouch!” she yelped, jumping back as tears sprang into her eyes. Beneath her feet, little flowers growled at her and as she looked closer, Lily saw that the flowers had little dragon faces. A slightly crushed one hissed at her, and smoke wafted out of its nostrils. Another shot fire at her and she stepped further backward.

“Is your foot okay?” The man asked, looking rather worried. He was a man after all, not a scare crow like she originally thought. There he was trussed up three feet off the ground with his arms thrown out like Jesus, or those other two bandits that got crucified along with Jesus (thank you Mr. Stone and your weird books).

“Yeah, I think so,” Lily said, looking up at him. He was dressed so oddly too. He didn’t even look like a person, more like a large brightly wrapped piece of candy. He had green and yellow striped pants and a plaid jacket in a particularly loud shade of orange. He also had on a turquoise waistcoat and a purple bow tie.

But craziest of all was his hat. His huge green top hat sat perfectly on his disheveled brown hair, and tucked in the pink ribbon were a peacock feather and (inexplicably) a large note that said ‘In this style, 10/6’. Sitting on the brim were a pair of large bronze goggles.

“Oh, good.” The man looked relieved. “I would hate for anyone to get hurt on my watch. Of course, it’s always my watch here.” He laughed a little insanely.

“Um, that’s nice.” Lily said, slowly backing away. She was questioning why she’d sprinted over here, when the man was perfectly fine with being stuck to a pole. “Could you tell me how to get to the silver dust road?”

“We’ve been on it Lilith.” Toto barked, jumping out of the basket and nearly landing on a patch of Dandelions that roared up at him. Toto growled back.

“My name is Lily.” Lily snapped back at the dog. She turned around and looked at the road she’d run down. It forked in two directions, going around this little garden of evilness. “But how can that be right? It’s only,”

A cloud shifted, and the road began to sparkle.

“Silver.” She finished, astonished. “Well, I’ll be.”

“You’ll be what?” the man asked interestedly.

“Nothing,” Lily said distractedly, looking down both ways. “Oh, but which way do we go?”

“That way is a very nice way.” The man said, pointing off to the right.

“You sure?” Toto asked, scampering up between her feet to look in the direction the man pointed.

“It’s pleasant down that way too.” The man indicated the other way amiably.

“Hmm, maybe.” Toto considered that way too.

“Of course, some people do go both ways.” The man said, crossing his arms in front of him and pointing in both directions.

“Well, why don’t you make up your mind?” Lily asked, or started to ask. Actually, she tripped on an ill placed (or well placed, take your pick) stone. “Whoa!” she twirled around and grasped wildly for something to keep her up; her hand caught on a rusted nail on the man’s pole. It bent under her weight and she landed on her back in a bed of Tiger lilies.

The man yelped as he felt his bonds loosen, and he fell off his pole and landed right on top of the pretty girl with the long red hair and the pretty blue dress.





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