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       Marigold Flowers: A Little Blue, p.1

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Marigold Flowers: A Little Blue

  Marigold Flowers

  Garnet D. Toritto and Garnet F. Vaccaro

  Copyright © 2017 Garnet D. Toritto

  All rights reserved.

  Ebook formatting by

  Table of Contents

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  About the authors

  Chapter 1

  Hi! My name is Marigold Flowers, I’m 11 and in sixth grade, I’m the only child of my parents, and this is my story. The story is totally unbelievable but totally true. I know because I have lived it. I guess I should start at the beginning—

  Up until my 11th birthday, my life was totally normal. It wasn’t boring, but it was normal. However, if I am to be totally honest, although my life was normal, I wasn’t. (And yes, I realize that I used the word totally a lot just now.) Even before I turned 11, I was not quite your run-of-the-mill kid. First, there is my name, Marigold Flowers. And no, my parents weren’t trying to be ironic when they named me. My mom’s name is Marigold as is my grandmother’s and my great grandmother’s and my great-great grandmother’s to about five great grandmas. I know because my mom likes genealogy, which is looking into your ancestors and family history. It is actually pretty cool in a mom type of way. My dad is Philip Flowers; he is not named after anyone in his family. So that is how I became Marigold Flowers. I am like the 10th Marigold in a long line of Marigolds but the only one to have the last name Flowers.

  My mom’s last name is Tagetes; she and my dad are divorced. But even when they were married she didn’t take his last name because she didn’t want to be a cliché, which is funny as her last name is the scientific name for a marigold flower. I also know that a marigold is part of the sunflower family. I did a science project on marigold flowers for school in fifth grade.

  My parents divorced when I was nine. I thought the world was going to end and that life would suck because my family was broken, but you know what? It wasn’t the end of the world. It was hard and I wasn’t happy, but it actually made life better as time went on.

  Now the second reason I am not a regular kid is that I am fast. I can outrun every one of my friends. I win every race. One day my cousin raced me on his bicycle, and I won! I mean … I am that fast and, well, he fell off his bike when he hit the curb but, still, I won fair and square.

  The last reason for why I am not quite regular is that I understand animals. I don’t mean that they talk to me in a Dr. Dolittle way, or in how Harry Potter could talk to snakes. By the way, I absolutely LOVE Harry Potter—in my opinion they are the best books ever, but I digress. Isn’t that a cool word? My mom uses it a lot. It means you’ve gotten off topic … oops, did it again. So where was I? Oh, yes, I can understand animals. I just kind of know when they are happy, sad, scared, hungry, basically whatever they are feeling. This is actually a very useful skill, especially when taking care of my dog, Daisy, who is a boxer/pit bull mix. She is one beautiful dog and everyone, and I do mean everyone, loves her.

  Oh, there is one other unique thing about me—my eyes. For the most part, I look pretty normal. My grandma says I have peaches and cream skin, which I think is kind of funny, but she tells me this is a good thing and I will appreciate it when I get older. I am tall for my age, but as my dad is 6 feet tall no one is surprised by it. It is also how my mom explains why I am able to run so fast. But my eyes are a different story. My mom says they are blue, and in some ways they are, but—and this is a big but—if you look closely at them they look like a whirlpool. The blue color is swirling around the pupil constantly in motion. I have never seen anyone else with eyes like mine except for my mom and my grandpa. This is an important fact to remember, my eyes are like my mom’s and grandpa’s. You’ll understand why as you read my story.

  I am a summer baby; I was born on July 23rd, so I am a Leo. So a summer birthday means I turned 11 before sixth grade began, and it was a good thing that I wasn’t in school when everything started happening, I don’t know how I would have been able to focus on schoolwork otherwise.

  So as I mentioned, my parents are divorced. I live with my mom in a tiny town called Graciouston. My mom moved us here after the divorce because her sister, my Aunt Poppie, lives here. The town is small compared to the city we used to live in, and everyone knows each other. This made it really hard to make friends when we first moved here, especially because I wasn’t even living in Graciouston when I started fifth grade. We were still in Empire City, living with my grandparents.

  This is what happened—our house, which I loved, sold way faster than Mom anticipated, and we had to move before she was able to find us a house in Graciouston, so she put all our stuff in storage, and we lived with my grandparents for a while. Then Mom did find an apartment for us, but we couldn’t move into it until October. However, the Graciouston Middle School (GMS for short) said I could start fifth grade there anyway. So for the whole month of September Mom drove from Empire City to Graciouston every morning to bring me to school. It was the biggest pain in the you know what! But I did have the best fifth-grade teacher ever, and I am in the same grade as my cousins so that helped a bit.

  So as you can imagine, I would have preferred to stay in our house in Empire City, but we had to sell it because of the divorce. So now I live close to my Aunt Poppie, Uncle Luis, and two cousins, Luna and Solé (pronounced so-lé). My cousins are twins and they are about three months younger than I am, but we are all in the same grade. They were born on September 27th. Solé was born first and he is always reminding Luna how he is three minutes older than she is. It can get quite irritating.

  A neat thing about my cousins is that their names mean moon (Luna) and sun (Solé), and their last name is Starz. My aunt and uncle have a peculiar sense of humor according to my grandparents. But I kind of like it, especially as I am named after a flower.

  My dad lives in Deerville with his new wife, Ivy, or as she likes to refer to herself, Dr. Ivy Hemlock Flowers (gag). So I have a stepmother who, to be honest, I really don’t like. Don’t get me wrong, I like Ivy, most of the time, well, maybe some of the time … actually not all that much anymore. When she was my dad’s girlfriend, I really liked her until every time I was with my dad she was there like a third wheel. Then they got engaged and well it just got worse from there, especially when my dad moved into her place in Deerville. Talk about feeling out of place. Her house is like a museum and everything needs to be just so. I feel like all we do when we are there is clean. Then they got married and I know this will sound creepy, but it feels like I am some kind of prize she won. I don’t know how to explain it, and when I tried telling my dad he told me I was being silly, which made me feel even worse about the whole thing.

  On the bright side, Ivy’s schedule changed a few months ago, and so she is usually working on the days I am with my dad. My dad does freelance work, so his schedule is flexible, which means on his days he picks me up directly from school then brings me to my house so I can walk Daisy. Daisy used to love my dad, but something changed about the time my parents were getting divorced and now she does not like him. She growls and barks fiercely whenever he is around. I think she is mad at him for leaving my mom and me to be with Ivy who she does not like either. I think Ivy may actually be afraid of Daisy, which is fine by me as I don’t want her near my dog.

  Chapter 2

  The days leading up to my 11th b
irthday were charged with an energy I had never felt before. It was more than excitement, but I could not put my finger on it. My mom was on the phone nonstop with my grandparents and my aunt. She was in full-on party planning mode from what I could tell, and if she caught me trying to listen in she would go into her bedroom and close the door. Then all I could hear were muffled whispers.

  I thought it was strange she was being so secretive, especially because I knew what we had planned. In the morning Grandma, Aunt Poppie, and Luna were meeting Mom and me at the nail salon for some pampering. Everyone was scheduled for mani-pedis. Mom even invited Ivy, which I know irritated Grandma, and to be honest, it irritated me, too. After our morning of beauty as Mom referred to it, Mom and I were meeting Dad for lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant for sizzling fajitas. Then later in the day, all—Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Poppie, Uncle Luis, Luna, Solé, and Dad— were invited to my house for cake. Strawberry shortcake with bananas and fresh whipped cream … my favorite. Best part of the cake is that Mom and I made it. I also knew that my parents actually worked together on my birthday present.

  I asked for a camera. A real camera, not one that is part of a cell phone or tablet. So Mom said it was something that neither of them could buy for me separately so they purchased it together. I could not wait to open it and start taking pictures. I love photography!

  So I really could not understand why Mom was being so secretive. What was going on that had her buzzing around like she was planning the world’s largest surprise party?

  My birthday finally came, and it was awesome! Better than I could have imagined. The day was absolutely perfect! Our morning of beauty was perfect, and Mom even let me get a 10-minute chair massage. It was so heavenly. I can’t wait to be old enough to get a real spa massage. Grandma laughed out loud when I said this, and Aunt Poppie said I better get a good job as I have a taste for the finer things in life. Mom just smiled and said she was glad I enjoyed it.

  Lunch was scrumptious. Mom, Dad, and I had a really good time. It was like it was before the divorce. They were happy and laughing and well it was perfect. Then we went back to our apartment so I could open my present. I knew I was getting a camera, but I was speechless except for squeals of happiness. I got a real-deal camera plus a tripod and accessories—a camera case, cleaning kit, extra memory cards, the works. I could not believe my parents bought it for me.

  It wasn’t long before the rest of my family arrived. Grandma and Grandpa came first, loaded with packages … art supplies! I love art supplies. But not just any old art supplies, they bought the special markers I’d been bugging my mom for. Plus sketch books and pencils! Next Aunt Poppie, Uncle Luis, and my cousins arrived. Aunt Poppie, along with Uncle Luis and cousins, gave me the coolest boots with a wedged heel; not sure Mom likes them as much as I do. I saw her raise her eyebrows at Aunt Poppie when I opened the box. But they are way too cool, and I am going to wear them on the first day of school. I know it is many weeks away, but it is never too early to plan for the perfect first-day-of-school outfit!

  Luna, Solé, and I experimented with my camera, taking tons of pictures and trying out different settings to see what they did. Then we ate cake … lots and lots of cake and laughed till our stomachs hurt. It really was a perfect day. Oh, I almost forgot, Daisy got to have cake, too. Mom and I looked up a recipe for dog cakes so Daisy could be part of the celebration. And she didn’t even growl at my dad when he was at the house, which was nice.

  I am always sad when everyone leaves to go home because the house is so quiet with just Mom, Daisy, and me. I helped Mom clean up from the celebration and then headed right to bed. I was so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open and I could literally hear my bed beckoning me to snuggle in. Ok, it really wasn’t calling me, but as my mom says I do have a vivid imagination so as far as I am concerned that is what happened.

  I fell asleep really quickly. I barely remember my mom kissing me good night and tucking me in before I was dreaming away. In my dream I could hear my mom telling Grandma she is relieved we made it through the day and I didn’t transform. Then in my dream I saw my mother’s beautiful skin slowly turn a lovely shade of teal. It looked so beautiful with her long, blond hair and whirlpool blue eyes, which seemed to have grown bigger. I also loved the curved horns that snaked their way up from her head. Then my mom sighed as she unfolded a pair of angel wings behind her. She wrapped herself in her wings and snuggled into her own bed.

  When I woke up I couldn’t wait to tell my mom about my dream. I imagined her reaction, telling me I had an overactive imagination and that maybe she would use my dream in her next book. I don’t think I mentioned this yet, but my mom writes books and I am her inspiration. The heroine of her book has a lot of my characteristics; so far no one at school has picked up on that, which could be owing to the fact that my mom’s books are fantasy versus realistic fiction.

  I could hear my mom in the kitchen, so I headed to the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face before seeing what was for breakfast, and that is when I got the biggest shock of my life. I looked in the mirror and screamed. Then I fainted.

  I woke up to my mom cradling me and holding a cold compress to my head. I looked up at her and whispered, “Am I still blue?” I expected her to tell me no, but she slowly shook her head yes, and before my eyes I watched as she morphed into the creature I had seen in my dream. I fainted again.

  Normally, I am not a fainter, but to wake up and see I’ve turned blue and that my mother can transform into a monster was a bit more than I could handle. When I came to, I was back in my bed and I could hear my mom talking to my grandma and grandpa. I was afraid to open my eyes as I kept telling myself it was just a dream. I slowly opened my eyes and looked at my hand and YES! It was a dream. My hand was its normal color. I was not blue … alleluia. It was all a dream—a totally weird, way-too-realistic dream, but a dream, until I walked into the kitchen….

  There in the kitchen stood my mom, Aunt Poppie, Grandma, and Grandpa. My mom had lovely teal skin like in my dream, my grandpa had amazing midnight-blue skin, both of them had whirlpool blue eyes, but my mom had wings whereas my grandpa did not. As for Aunt Poppie and my grandma, well, they were both angels!

  Chapter 3

  This time I managed not to faint. I also managed not to scream as I stood looking at my family thinking what a great storyline this was for one of my mom’s books.

  Aunt Poppie was the first to realize I was standing there staring at them. I could not get over how beautiful she looked. It was almost impossible to look directly at her with her long, dark hair flowing down her back and her eyes that made me think of a lion. Her wings were massive as were Mom’s and Grandma’s. And I immediately wanted to know if they could really fly.

  Aunt Poppie cleared her throat to alert them I was there, and my mom looked at me with the same loving gaze she always gives me right before she kisses me good night and tucks me into bed. However, it was so odd to see her teal. As if she picked up on my thoughts, she began to morph back into her normal self and the most amazing thing happened; I said, “Don’t.” I wanted to know if her skin still felt as soft in this form as it did in her normal form, and I needed to know if she smelled the same. I don’t know if every kid experiences this, but my mom has a particular smell that is all her. I don’t know how to explain it, but it is the best smell in the world. Whenever I catch her scent, the world just feels right. And I was really concerned her smell would be different, but as I let her embrace me and pull me in tight I took a deep breath and there it was … the Mom smell. At that moment, I knew that whatever strangeness was going on with my family we were going to be fine. It might be weird, it might be freaky, but it was going to be okay.

  As I moved out of my mom’s embrace, I looked down to see that my skin had once again turned a lovely shade of pale blue. Mom kissed my head, and in a typical Mom voice said, “Well, honey, have a seat. There is some family history we need to share with you. And I am sure you have a ton of quest

  Aunt Poppie moved to the stove and put up water for tea. It made me smile because Grandma always says tea fixes almost everything. Mom thinks ice cream is the magic elixir, but right now tea was the right choice. Mom went to get some cookies, and Grandma and Grandpa sat down to share details of our family history that were not captured in Mom’s genealogy research, which I found out she had made up. I am not the 10th Marigold; I am the third.

  “Well, my lovey, as you can see I am an angel and Grandpa is a demon,” began Grandma. “Many years ago, actually centuries, I met your grandfather as he was trying to rescue a dog who was stuck in a rock crevice. Each time your grandfather reached for the poor pup it seemed to slide deeper into the crevice it was caught in. He was so frustrated that his demon aura was like a warning to stay away. I think the little dog was afraid of him, but your grandpa was intent on saving him. I hovered and watched the scene for a while, confident that your grandfather did not know I was there until he looked right at me and said, “Well, what do you want, angel? Hoping for a good laugh?” At that I did laugh out loud and floated down to stand near your grandfather and get a good look at the stuck dog. And although I knew he was a demon, I was struck by how handsome he was and how unlike a demon he was acting. For the life of me, I could not understand what his fascination with the little dog was.

  With that Grandpa chimed in. “It was my dog that was stuck. As a demon I was not familiar with love, but that little dog thought I was the best thing to ever happen to it and I was determined to save him. Interestingly, Daisy is a descendant of my dog. She is almost a perfect clone with the exception of being a girl versus a boy. She also inherited his love of demons, but I am getting off track. So your Grandma helped me rescue Spot, and I fell in love with him instantly. I didn’t realize there was a hole in my heart until I felt it filled with love for her.

  “Up until that moment it was unheard of for a demon and angel to fall in love, never mind having children. We were a supernatural Romeo and Juliet, except we didn’t die at the end of the story.”

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