Part 31: The End
After the reunion with her family and a fresh change of clothes, Charlie and Daisy walked down the stairs to join the bonfire started by Elwood’s group. The entire village turned out, everyone asked question after question about where she was, and about the man who took her. Charlie hated talking about Mr. Betts, but thank goodness Moira swooped in with a short statement, “The rangers took care of him.”
Moira also decided to sit her down in front of the fire, and announced to everyone, “My best friend, Charlie, will answer everyone’s questions with a story!”
The crowd cheered, all eyes turning to Charlie. She blushed, and Daisy patted her face. “You got this,” she said.
Moira smiled. “I’m here,” she whispered.
Charlie turned to the crowd. “Well, it all started with a magical flower in the woods.” She launched into her story, introducing Daisy to everyone. Moira jumped in whenever she pleased, adding her own spin and helped move the story on. Charlie grew quiet when it came to the couple of weeks traveling with Mr. Betts, and Errol’s help. But her voice rang out to the crowd as she shared the phoenix’s flying high above them. She noticed her mom clutch her dad’s arm when she talked about falling off the cliff and the phoenix saving her life. She ran around the fire, imitating the flight, lighting her own fire trail behind her, much to the crowd’s delight.
At the end of night, when all the cake was gone, and the kids were all nodding off, Charlie, Daisy, and Moira snuck off to the inn rooftop to watch the stars. Moira whispered, “Think you’ll ever see that phoenix again?”
Charlie laughed. “I hope so.”