Shimmer 3

Posted on April 13th, 2011 in Shimmer, Stories

pixie dust stars

For previous editions, go here.

When Magnolia stepped into the dark, unfinished store at the end of the street, she knew she had walked into something special.  The sense of anticipation was brewing in the air, the sweet scents of impatience and excitement present over the shavings of freshly cut wood and ammonia of clean glass mirrors leaning against walls.

And when she met the owner, she knew where it was coming from.

“Let me guess,” a clear voice laughed, ringing out over the din of hammers and saws.  “You think it’s a dance studio.”

Magnolia whirled around, her apology dying on her lips.  A small girl–woman–she corrected herself, with white-blond ringlets pulled back with a sparkling barrette winked at her.  In her pink dress and kitten heels, she looked like a 1950s housewife playing dress up in her daughter’s clothes.  Realizing she was staring, Magnolia shook herself.

“Hi,” she said, extending a peanut butter and jelly stained hand.  Before she could wipe her fingertips, the woman’s small porcelain hand closed in hers.  “I’m Magnolia.  I work in my aunt’s bookshop across the street.”

“It’s a lovely shop.”  The woman winked a second time, drawing her hand back.  Magnolia quickly wiped hers on her dark skirt, praying it wouldn’t show.  “I’ve found several lovely books in there.  A dangerous place.”  She cocked her head, her blue eyes sweeping over Magnolia.  “But not for you, I’m sure.”

Before Magnolia could figure out how to respond, Cici and Bridget spilled inside, bringing the sunshine in with them.  It bounced off the mirrors, highlighting the construction workers scowls.  “Hi,” Bridget called, ignoring their glares.  “I’m Bridget.  I own the flower shop across the road, Bridget’s Blooms.  This is Cici, and I think you can guess where she works.”  Pulling the box of cupcakes from Cici’s hands, Bridget shoved them at the woman and leaned forward.  “So you’ve got to tell me.  What’s this place going to be?”

“You guessed dance studio, didn’t you?”  The woman took the cupcakes with a smile.  “Or a candy shop, perhaps.  Or a beauty store or boutique of some sort, like lingerie.”  She laughed at their stunned expressions.  “Ladies, you’re not the first to stop by with questions.”

“Please tell me you’re not a Curves.”  Cici eyed the mirrors, scooting away.  “Or a gym.”

“How long do you intend to stay?” Bridget’s eyebrows were nearly singed by her read hair.  “Why’d you buy this shop?”

Magnolia said nothing.  She was too fascinated by the way the woman’s skirts fluttered as she walked, a melody of grace with every gentle click of her kitten heels.

Tossing her white curls, the woman smiled.  “Do you believe in magic?”

“You’re a joke store?” Bridget’s face fell.

“This has nothing to do with my store.”  The blue eyes glittered.  She took out a cupcake and took a bite, closing her eyes in bliss.  “There’s so little magic in the world,” she continued, delicately licking buttercream off her lower lip.  “Take this cupcake for instance.”  She raised it into the sunlight, twisting it slowly.  In the golden strands, the pink icing shimmered, the moist vanilla  glowing like a moist cloud of cake.  “You can go into any bakery and get a cupcake.  But this cupcake, this cupcake is special.  The icing is sprinkled with love, the dough mixed with care.”

“Oh God,” Bridget muttered, rolling her eyes.  Magnolia elbowed her as she continued,  “This is a New Age shop.  Where are the crystals and butterflies?”

“And when you bite into it, it melts on your tongue in a little pool of happiness.”   The woman took a bite, closing her eyes a second time.  “These are extraordinary cupcakes.”

“Thank you,” Cici blushed.

“We know they’re extraordinary cupcakes,” Bridget interrupted, stepping closer to the woman.  “Everyone in town knows that.  What we don’t know is what you’re doing with this store, or why you’re sitting her babbling about magic.”

“Bridget!” Magnolia hissed.

“Don’t be rude,” Cici admonished, swatting her arm.  She turned her megawatt smile toward the woman.  “We’re just curious, that’s all.”

“As you should be.”  The woman nodded sagely.  “Curiosity is a wonderful thing.”

“But you’re not going to tell us, are you?”  Bridget asked, her gaze hardening.  “Why not?”

The woman shrugged.  “It’s not time.”  Closing the box of cupcakes, she pushed it towards the construction workers.  “That’s what I was trying to explain to you about magic.”

“So basically, you’re a really good saleswoman.”  Bridget couldn’t let it go.  Magnolia dug her elbow into her ribs, but Bridget leaned away.  “You understand that the appeal of your shop is in the mystery, in the intrigue.”  She leaned forward, tapping her fingers on the cardboard box.  “You’re a boutique aren’t you?  I was right!  You’re selling overpriced clothes and cheap costume jewels.”

“Are you opening a theater?” Cici perked up.  “Or a dance studio?  I’ve got a little girl who would love that.  And it would be so convenient to where I work…”

The woman turned to Magnolia, her head cocked.  “And your guess?”

Magnolia shook her head.  She had an idea, a tiny glimmer of possibility.  But it didn’t seem right to let it out yet.  As much as she liked Cici and Bridget, she wasn’t willing to share.  Not just yet.

“But you have an idea,” the woman pressed, her fingers landing on the back of Magnolia’s hand gently, like a butterfly stopping by a flower.  “You’re just not saying.”

Magnolia shrugged, the first answer popping to her lips.  “I’m not ready yet.”

The woman grinned, her eyes shimmering.  “You understand.  You understand the magic.”  Her hand floated away as she turned, her dress whirling around her knees.  “Pardon me ladies, but I must go.  It was lovely meeting you.”

“Wait, you can’t go!”  Groaning with frustration, Bridget chased after her.  “I have so many questions…”  She dodged a construction player carrying another mirror, darting through the door.  “Hey, you!”

“Well, it was worth a try, right?”  Cici rolled her eyes, running her fingers through her frizzy brown hair.  “We better get back.  You’re due at your aunt’s and I just left the shop open.  Someone on a bender could have cleaned me out.”  Not waiting for Magnolia’s reply, she hurried out the door, not looking before she ran across the empty street.  There was no traffic downtown on Wednesdays at 2 p.m.

Magnolia smoothed her skirts, turning to go.  Suddenly, she turned, eying the cupcake box.  It must be a trick of the light.  A sheen of the plastic, a glaze of misapplied shadow.

But as she ran her fingers across the top of the cupcake box, the white glitter shimmered brighter than ever.  Turning over her hand, tiny prints of white shine glimmered on her skin.

And as she stared at the shining fingerprints, she realized something.  Not only did they still not know what the store was, they didn’t know the woman’s name.

But she knew, though she would never tell Cici or Magnolia, she knew it would have some kind of magic.  And not the kind you could buy.

Stay tuned, Invisible Friends!  We have a new recipe tomorrow and more delicious stories coming up!

For more fun, visit my sister blog, Words n'Whimsy or sign up for my newsletter (both buttons on sidebar!)

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22 Responses to “Shimmer 3”

  1. ellie Says:

    Very intriguing. I’m glad they at least met the mystery woman.

  2. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella Says:

    Oh I want to know more about that woman! :o

  3. Rachel (S[d]OC) Says:

    So is Magnolia who hangs out at the bakery an homage to Magnolia Bakery in NY?

    I was beginning to wonder if Flora from the Butterfly Dress was opening up her own shop.

  4. Kelly Deneen Says:

    I LOVE this story so far. I just went back and read chapters 1 and 2 as well. I look forward to following along! :)

  5. Ramona Says:

    Such mystery on this one!

  6. TeresaR Says:

    It wouldn’t be a Pond story if it didn’t have magic! (I can’t wait to see the dress your mom’s going to make!)

  7. Krysten Says:

    Very mysterious!

  8. Kristina P. Says:

    This is my cue to buy cupcakes today!

  9. Cafe Fashionista Says:

    Ooh, the mystery woman has totally piqued my interest! :)

  10. Pam Says:

    This one is getting so good!

  11. Natasha Says:

    I love that Magnolia didn’t say anything and understood about magic. She’s my favorite character thus far. I also like when Cici hoped that the mystery woman wasn’t opening a Curves or a gym. LOL. Good part. I can’t wait for more. Have a happy Wednesday!

  12. Couture Carrie Says:

    Gorgeous post!
    Yay for magic!

    xoxox,
    CC

  13. Pietro Says:

    Always thrilling plots!
    Happy Wednesday to you!

  14. Alexis AKA MOM Says:

    hehe a Curves :)

    I love a touch of magic! And cupcakes that shimmer call my name :)

  15. Marjie Says:

    I like shiny things. I like glitter. I like cupcakes, too, but not frosting.

  16. Sue Says:

    I’m really curious to see what this shop will be :)

  17. Mary Says:

    This one is going to require concentration. Lots of suspense here. Have a good evening. Blessings…Mary

  18. Jen Says:

    You have such a great imagination!

  19. Teri Says:

    Will be exciting to find out more about this store!

  20. Heavenly Housewife Says:

    Daaahling, I have missed you and you wonderful stories! It is good to be back.
    *kisses* HH

  21. Maris (In Good Taste) Says:

    You let me know when you need a PR person when you are published!

  22. Nutmeg Nanny Says:

    Ahhhhhh what kind of store will it be……

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