LADYBUG CAKE by Loie Dunn

I am captured by shimmering violet and cerulean and topaz rose petals falling all around me...
Never eat a ladybug cake.

Even if it is dripping in delectable icing that hints of lavender and sunshine. Don’t do it. I promise you, it will save you heaps of embarrassment and perhaps a run in with an abrupt and handsome man. Or, if you are like me, you may want that run in.
Fire shoots through the air in crackling spindles. I am dressed in musical notes and cannot break free. I spin and dance and shout. A warm hand grips my wrist, with more than a hint of warning, but I cannot hear for instead I am captured by shimmering violet and cerulean and topaz rose petals falling all around me –

Seleeta!

Someone calls my name, repeatedly. The wind pops with passion and my dress matches the maroon flames snapping about. My vision clears and for a moment I gape at the man before me, for he is more exquisite than anything I have seen this midsummer night’s eve.

His eyes are the color of the depth of the sea. Power simmers around him with the force of the strongest breakers.

Who is he?

I pause and smile obligingly at him, pointing at the band and the fairies whirling all around us. Won’t he dance with us? There is plenty of wine and cake leftover. His grip becomes viselike, and I wince. This isn’t part of my dancing routine.

“Let go!”

“Seleeta.” His voice rumbles like waves crashing at midnight. “You are to come with me. I told you not to eat that ladybug cake.”

“I ate a ladybug?” I giggle, placing a hand over my mouth. How silly.

His brow wrinkles, and I can tell – even in my state - that he is getting frustrated. Since when did handsome men look more attractive when mad? I play with a bouncy red curl and my gaze dips down to his full mouth. I wonder what he tastes like.

Heat spirals through me, and before I can say another word, he is pulling me away from the fairynight dream and towards the thunderous cobalt sea. Something wiggles in the back of my mind. A flicker of a memory. I came here for something. Suddenly, I am aware of a heavy weight resting above my chest, tucked beneath the lace chemise. It pokes, and its edges are sharp.

“Time to come with me, princess.”

“But I only just arrived,” I reply, pouting, hoping this will help my case. Peering over my poufy coiled shoulder, I sigh in wonder as the band of frogs and grizzly bears reach a deafening pitch. Papered lanterns the color of shredded stars float above us, flickering. I can smell incense – a heady mix of lavender, frankincense and something else.

“You are a handful,” he mutters. “How you are the sea’s best thief is beyond me.”

Right. My mind clears as my vision sharpens across the dancing fold of the midsummer night festival. In our sea kingdom, we harbored a great treasure. A treasure that could turn the commanding tide and tug at the moon until the stars crashed to earth. This was a relic we guarded with utmost severity. Or so I had thought. A wood nymph had managed to seduce one of our own and sneak into our kingdom last week.

Hence, why I was sent here tonight, to this celebration that hinted at the wonder and magic of the fairynight. One didn’t know how the fairies still managed to remain alive and well when they were hardly seen day to day. I only knew one thing: they threw a damned good party.

Smirking, I shake my head. “Oh, ye of little faith.” Gripping his warm hand in mine, I deposit what I came for. The sapphire of the sea.

“You actually found it?”

“It wasn’t that hard to find.” I glance back at the crowd that has begun to disperse and my heart skips a beat. There is a feverish frenzy to the music, and I see one of the fairy guards with spikey fuchsia hair shoot a glare my way.

We had better get going and fast.

The handsome soldier of the sea gapes at me and I shrug prettily. “Just because I had a mission doesn’t mean I can’t dance a little. But next time, no ladybug cake.”
Loie Dunn is a full-time writer of fiction, blogs, and articles. Loie is currently revising her sea-faring young adult fantasy and plans to query in June. She has travelled to Ireland, Haiti, Israel, Mexico, Rome, Scotland, and England.
Please visit her at: loiedunn.wordpress.com
and on Twitter: @loiedunn. She loves to meet fellow writers and connect with them.

Cover: Amanda Bergloff
Thanks for reading! Loie would love to hear from you in the comments section below.
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Comments

  1. Magical and delightful! This is everything I want in a fairy story.

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  2. Thank you so much, Jennifer <3 <3 Can't wait to read your work!!

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  3. This is just magical! I loved it and wanted to read more! :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Triona <3 <3 I want to develop this short into a longer work at some point :) xoxoox

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    2. That would be excellent as a longer story!

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    3. Cool:) thanks for the encouragement!

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  4. So evocative and beautiful. Loved the imagery and playfulness in this story. It was a fun read, Loie. Great job.

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  5. Thank you, Guy :) I'm so happy you enjoyed it!

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  6. You had me spellbound (sorry for the lame pun, but it's an apt phrase here). What a unique idea and setting!

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