Over the past three weeks, Arden has been trying her hardest to help her friend Ben overcome his insomnia. Will she succeed? Find out in this week’s installment of my Owl City fanfiction, Fireflies!
“Arden!” I shouted. She didn’t respond. I ran as fast as I could through the underbrush of the woods. I dipped, dodged, and fought my way through the scrub. Stopping to untangle a branch from my shirt, I realized I wasn’t even sure I was running in the right direction. In my panic for Arden’s safety, I had just run. I should have looked for clues, like some broken branches or footprints. I pulled out my cell phone and using the flash light app, I started to examine the ground. Focused on my investigation, I forgot to look where I was going. My foot caught on a tree root, and I tumbled forward.
I groaned into the leaves. I wondered if I was paralyzed. I’d never be able to call for help now. I would never find Arden, and my body would just decompose into the ground, and I would never be found again. My thoughts were interrupted as I felt something touch the back of my neck. A triumphant roar followed. “I will slay you foul beast!! The victory is mine! …Oh, Ben, it’s you. Good thing I recognized you! I could have cut off your head with my sword.”
I looked up to see Arden, a long stick in her hand. I didn’t see any swords. “What happened to you?”
“What happened to me?” Arden giggled. “I was chasing a dragon, remember?”
“I heard your phone go dead when I was talking to you. I thought something had happened,” I explained, starting to become irritated. She had really scared me. Who knew what horrible things were lurking in the woods?
“My phone battery just died. Forgot to charge it.”
I stood up, my heart still pounding. Nothing had happened. Her phone battery had just died. No dragons, no kidnappers. Nothing. All my panic and paralyzation for nothing.
“Look, Ben, it’s the lake! Are you coming?” Arden called. “You’ve got to see this!” Blissfully unaware of my distress, Arden skipped away through the treeline.
I realized I had better follow her before I lost her again. I found her standing on the bank of the lake twirling around and around. When she saw me, she stopped. “Isn’t it amazing, Ben? It’s like there are ten thousand lightning bugs, and they are all giving me hugs. I can’t believe my eyes!” cried Arden. One of the little bugs landed on her finger. “Hello there!” she said, peering at it. “What’s that? Did you say you want to teach me how to dance?”
“Arden, fireflies don’t dance,” I told her. Not to mention they couldn’t talk either.
“Well, it certainly looks like they’re dancing. Use your imagination, Ben! I can see them doing a foxtrot above my head.”
I squinted my eyes and tried to see it, but I really, really couldn’t. “Arden, I don’t see them -”
Arden cut me off. “Oh, I bet the moon is their disco ball. It looks like it’s just hanging by a thread! Of course, it isn’t. The Earth’s gravity pulls on the moon and keeps it in its orbit. But I can always pretend it’s hanging by a thread. I’m going to check my room as soon as I get home. I bet those fireflies have sockhops beneath my bed.”
Fireflies flew about me, their lights glowing. I wasn’t sure if there were ten million fireflies or ten thousand, but there sure were a lot of them. If I really thought about it, I guess they did look like they were dancing.
“Oh! Oh!” Arden started hopping up and down. “I see her!”
“See who?” I asked blankly.
“Queen Titania, silly! See? She’s right there. The firefly with the little crown on her head.”
I looked in the direction her finger was pointing, but I could not see a royal lightning bug.
“Catch her, quick, Ben! Where’s your net? Oh, good. you have it. Swing your net!”
I swung my net and caught a few fireflies.
“Those aren’t Titania. They’re her ladies-in-waiting,” Arden told me, looking into my net.
I wasn’t sure how she could tell the difference. They all looked like the same glowing bugs.
“There she is! She’s right beside you!” Arden pointed to a firefly, and I swung again. She peered into my net. “Hmmm … ” she pretended to adjust imaginary glasses on her nose. “I’m the fireflyologist, and I believe that none of these fireflies are in fact the Queen. Swing again!”
I must have run from one end of the lake to the other, Arden running behind me, shouting that the Queen was here or there. Then after I swung, Arden would peer into my net and tell me I hadn’t caught the Queen yet. I handed her my net for the umpteenth time.
“Did I catch her?” I panted.
“There she is!” Arden gently cradled a glowing firefly. “Queen Titania.”
She placed the firefly in the jar and twisted on the lid. “Now that you’ve caught her, she can give you her sleeping potion!”
Thanks for reading! Part 5 is next week.