For: Birthday Bash Blog Relay. Excited to win Second Place! Now Media Prompt entries, too.
|Words: 837 (excluding the Author's Note)
Day Six: THE IDEAL BIRTHDAY PARTY
The child was excited. In two days' time, she was going to be five years old. Her parents had saved up, having small celebrations the previous years, to throw a really huge bash this year. They reckoned it was better for a child to be five or above for a big bash. "She'll then know it's her important day, and she'll remember it," they said.
They were right. She knew it was her important day. She knew family members were arriving from other parts of the state and the country to celebrate with her. She knew all her classmates and their parents were invited, as were all her teachers.
She was in the big hall her parents had rented for the occasion. Since there were no other events there in the meantime, they'd been allowed to come in and decorate. Some decorations were home-made, by the child and her older brother, and some were store bought. The decorations shone and glittered. Some of them could make a musical noise when anyone touched them. All of them were beautiful.
The cousins, aunts and uncles who had arrived from out of town were helping with the decorations and there was a lot of laughter. Her parents had hired a small fridge, too, and they stored the bottled drinks there, ready for the party.
The child could hardly wait. One sleep ... two sleeps ...
"IT IS MY BIRTHDAY!"
The morning was a haze of bathing, getting dressed, checking the last-minute items and gulping down a bit of breakfast. Then, they piled in to the car and headed for the hall.
It was her father who first realized something was wrong.
"Why is this gate locked? Why are there extra security guards?"
He slowed and halted at the gate, and leaned out of his car-window. "What's the matter?"
Two security guards came running up. "We're sorry, sir, we have orders not to let anyone in."
"But we've hired this hall, we've decorated it and the drinks are inside," the mother protested.
"We have our orders. You're not allowed. Nobody is."
The child's face crumpled. "What's happening, Pappa?"
The father knew, but how was he to tell his daughter?
He guessed it was the work of the religious head. The religious head had been against his marrying his wife, she being of a different sect. Their daughter was considered illegitimate. He had also chosen his daughter's name himself, a no-no in his religion. The priest was supposed to name any child born. So she was ex-communicated on two counts.
How cunning, to pretend to allow them the use of the hall, and block it at the last minute when nothing else could be done. To allow them to pay the rent and decorate and store the drinks, then bar the door. The man felt sick. And what was he to tell his weeping child?
The other car with the cousins in it drove up. Some classmates, who would have been early to the party, came along. The news had to be broken to everyone.
It was the youngest uncle who took the situation in hand. Quickly, he phoned the caterers. Had their van started out? Not yet? Good, hold it up, please, there was a change in venue.
A strategy-team formed itself with classmates' parents and family members. An alternative venue was decided upon - the public park nearby. "Nobody can stop us from using that." The caterers were informed. Text messages were sent to the guests. Guests informed other guests in turn.
Everyone headed for the park.
The youngest uncle led them deep within it, to a space which resembled a forest rather than a park. Most of the kids hadn't climbed a tree before, now, trees were the only seats they had. They climbed, they balanced on the branches, they held each other.
"This is fun!"
The caterers arrived. The guests climbed down and picnicked. Some of them carried their plates back up the tree and ate there. Then, they had a surprise. Two of the security guards were in their midst.
"What is the matter?" the youngest uncle asked. "We're not breaking any rules here."
"No, sir," one of the guards whispered. "Sir, we've brought you your drinks. And some of the more precious decorations. We couldn't take them all out or we'd be suspected. Take them quickly then we'll go back to our positions. And we're sending any guests who come along, here."
The guards disappeared.
The kids had the greatest round of hide-n-seek they'd ever known, finding places to hide in among the plants. The air was fresh, not like in the air-conditioned hall, and it was lovely to be outdoors with so many friends. There was much excitement when one of the younger cousins spotted a birds' nest among the branches, and when another saw a cocoon. "It's going to be a butterfly!"
There had been an ideal party planned. But the un-planned party was even better.
Author's note: ▼