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Bayleigh Dorland-Nece

A Little Party Never Killed Nobody

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Bayleigh Dorland-Nece

 

All was quiet on Accio Hope that morning. As the dawning sun rose above the horizon, the plethora of animals there rested peacefully in their temporary (or not so temporary, depending on their individual cases) homes. A pile of newborn kneazles nestled together by their mother, competing for milk. And a young girl, barely ten, lay snuggled up in the hay beside them. She’d stayed up into the wee hours of the morning, watching the mother kneazle carefully as she gave birth. ‘What if something happens?!’ she’d questioned her parents, “I can’t just leave her. She needs me.” And after much debate, they’d finally relented and let her stay up past her bedtime for the event.

 

Separating Bayleigh Lynn from any animal, especially one in ‘need’, was a lost cause; even if it meant her sleeping out in the barn.

 

The girl slumbered on as some of the resident creatures began to stir. Two small pygmy puffs bounced about just outside the barn doors, competing for the scrap of breakfast their savior, one Kristen Dorland-Nece, had gifted them. Their squeaks filled the air as they continued to encroach on the space, eventually bounding inside and conking the unconscious brunette in the head. She stirred with the collusion, a pair of bleary eyes opening to stare puzzled at the animals before her.  

 

“…Franklin?” she whispered. She watched the fluffy beast for a good few moments as it continued to bounce and roll in the hay. Its other pygmy friend, Princess Sunny Wiggles, quickly joined in with the chaos and scattered hay and dirt about as they continued doing whatever it was pygmies did. “You two are weird.” Pushing herself up to a sitting position, Bayleigh turned to look out the doors. A bright light trickled in and made her have to squint a little. She yawned… and then, a very important fact popped into her brain.

 

“I’M TEN TODAY!”

 

Bounding up faster than a kitten fleeing cucumbers, Bay sprint right out the barn doors and up the hill to her family’s home and got right up to the door before she suddenly came to a crashing halt.  

 

For, no. Running was what children did and a child she was no longer. Officially and for the next three years, she was a pre-teen. Mature. Better. Best.

 

And so, Bayleigh threw her disheveled hair back behind her shoulders, took a deep breath, and strut forth with all the poise and maturity she imagined any fantastic, mature, amazing person would have within them. “Hello, mum” she chimed as she walked past the kitchen, “Nice day, isn’t it?”

 

 

 

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Kristen Dorland-Nece

Her little ‘unicorn’ was growing up. It was difficult to believe that it’d been over a decade now since she’d come crawling through Anna’s front door, sobbing hysterically while the so-called joys of parenthood twisted her innards. Time had passed so quickly. Dirty diapers turned into trainers and then big-girl panties and now Kristen found herself trapped, elbow-deep in funfetti cake batter while she desperately attempted to mentally prepare for the looming chaos from hell. But she loved her daughter. Her little mini-me made her prouder than she could ever possibly describe, so a little blip of discomfort, of bother, was worth it to see her happy.

 

The woman reminded herself of that fact once again as Speckles Jr. came zooming into the kitchen and dropped a letter right into her bowl. “Thanks” Kris muttered, and when the animal let out a very pleased “WHOOT!” she shook her head. She’d tore the envelop open and was reading over the note within when her daughter frolicked in. “Your grandparents will be here in an hour” the brunette said absentmindedly to her. “Cooper is already straightening up his room. I need you to-“

 

And then she stopped, for her eyes had suddenly caught sight of a being which could only be described as a living scarecrow. A smirk pulled at the corner of Kristen’s lips, but she fought desperately to subdue it. Dutifully, she abandoned her mix and strolled over to the creature, reaching out a hand to pluck up a single piece of straw. One of many; her daughter looked like she’d gotten into a fight with a hay bale.

 

 And lost.

 

 “…Bayleigh. What have you been doing?”

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Bayleigh Dorland-Nece

Bayleigh’s ultimate goal was to get upstairs, go to her room, and pluck out from the pile in her closet the most absolutely beautiful dress ever crafted by human kind. She’d bought it two weeks prior while out shopping with her mum and since that day had looked forward to when she could actually show it off. The way it shimmered practically begged for it to be put in the spotlight, after all. She was on the brink of a new decade, a new dawn, a new and glorious beginning. And this dress was the perfect emblem of just that.

 

Sadly, she barely managed to make it past the kitchen before her mum had to go and block her path. The small brunette huffed and then quickly leapt backwards when her personal space was intruded upon even further. She knew her hair was a mess and she was going to fix it. No intervention or assistance was required! “Leave me alone mum. I wasn’t doing anything.” A pair of blue eyes pierced the air with a mighty glare. “When’ll daddy be home? He’s coming home early, right? What about everyone else? When will they be here? They’ll not abandon me, will they?!”

 

The more those questions filled the air, the more frantic too her tone became. The last thing desired was for no one to show up on her birthday. She even had make-up! SHE’D BEEN PRACTICING JUST FOR NOW. That couldn’t be all for nothing! “Please don’t tell me they got too busy. I-”  

 

Any further words that might've been suddenly froze in her throat and Bay settled into a sulking position, her head thrown back dramatically.

 

For wanted emphasis, of course.  

Edited by Bayleigh Dorland-Nece

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Kristen Dorland-Nece

There were moments when Kristen honestly wondered how this child had come from her. Undoubtedly she’d inherited her attitude from her father… and that mouth? She hadn’t raised her to speak that way. A composed look quickly overtook the woman’s expression as she stared across at her daughter, Bayleigh quickly switching from the subject of her hair to the looming celebration. Kris could sense the change in tone the instant it came and knew she’d not be able to talk the girl down without adding further fuel… so she didn’t bother. Hand instead sliding into her side-pocket, the Hufflepuff alumni swiftly and silently put her rusty dueling skills to some use.

 

And then, there was peace.

 

“Bayleigh Lynn, if you don’t calm, I’ll be sending a note to everyone and there won’t be a party at all. Do I make myself clear?”

 

Frustrated tears welled in her daughter’s eyes, yet she didn’t falter. Kristen shook her head. “Your father and I arranged a surprise for you, but you’ll only get it if you march yourself upstairs right now, get dressed, comb your hair, and get your room cleaned up. And don’t you even think about just throwing everything under your bed, because I will know if you do and then, I am serious, there will be no party.”

Edited by Kristen Dorland-Nece

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Bayleigh Dorland-Nece

This wasn’t fair. She’d not done anything wrong. It was her birthday and thus it was only natural to expect someone to care, wasn’t it? Bayleigh wanted to say as much; the words pressed and pressed to come out, practically barreling into her stunned vocal cords with urgency, but none actually managed to make their way out. She’d been securely locked into silence and submission against her will, destined for a mediocre ten year drab nothingness anti-celebration. And as the seconds ticked past, the brunette slipped ever deeper into these woeful thoughts. It mattered not what her mother had to say at this point: her future had been set in stone.

 

Her birthday was ruined. Worst. Day. Ever.

 

Moisture crept into her eyes, a lone tear sliding down her cheek, and then…

 

Surprise?

 

What surprise?

 

Sniffling back the snot threatening to drip from her nose, Bay looked questionably back at her mother. Her eyes searched her expression for hints of insincerity- was she joking? Was this a prank? – but when she saw none there her hopes instantly began to lift again.

 

Surprise. She was getting a surprise!

 

After giving an obedient nod, the ten year old scampered off, leaping up the staircase two and three steps at a time. She rounded the corner, burst through her bedroom door, and instantly went to work clean, clean, cleaning. Her bed was made. Toys put away. Clothes put in a basket. She even went and re-organized her shelf of model unicorns all before leaping into the bathroom and giving her hair a good shake. Several bits of hay and straw sprinkled into the sink and Bay made a face at the mess before looking up to stare at her reflection in the mirror.

 

Her hair looked like an owl’s nest. Sighing dramatically at the thought, Bay threw off her dirty clothes and hopped into the shower.

 

She was going to get clean, poised, perfect. And, after another half hour, she was just that: beautiful dress and all.

 

Bounding back downstairs, the girl returned to her mother and tugged on her arm urgently.

 

HELLO. EVERYTHING’S CLEAN. SURPRISE NOW?

Edited by Bayleigh Dorland-Nece

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Kristen Dorland-Nece

Kristen figured that so long as Bayleigh listened and took her threat seriously, she’d manage to buy herself at least a good half hour of peace. She definitely needed such to help give her the mind-space to mentally prepare for the looming chaos. Invitations for this ‘event’ had gone out a week ago and with the entirety of the Nece family included as well as Silvia and Kat’s families; it was bound to be no ‘small’ ordeal. Her gaze bore into her daughter’s, silently willing her to go now, and then- thank Merlin – she turned and disappeared upstairs.

 

Just as soon as she was gone, the woman finished preparing the cake and then went to work stringing decorations. Pink and purple ribbons hovered above her head and a tail-less unicorn neighed as its home was secured against the wall. By the time she was finished her house looked like a right and proper, pre-teen paradise.

 

It was perfect; and completed just in time for the birthday girl to come barreling back and start staring her down as if she were near ready to implode. Now, to un-silence her or not? Hmmm….

 

“I think your father might be home” Kristen said, glancing off toward the door. “And I wonder what that is I hear with him…?”

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Bayleigh Dorland-Nece

SURPRISE. SURPRISE. SURPRISE.

 

Bayleigh was so ready for her ‘surprise’ that she completely forgot to ask for her voice back. A voice wasn’t exactly necessary to enjoy a birthday surprise, after all, and even if it was she wasn’t quite willing to waste the time anyway. The girl was practically bouncing on her heels, ready to see what it was her family had hidden up their sleeves. And then… there it was. Dad was home? He had something with him? What was it? The small brunette’s eyes widened significantly and then she was gone, flying out the door faster than she’d ever flown before. She managed to make it out onto the lawn in record time, but before she could actually reach her father and bombard him for her special surprise…

 

…her surprise met her; looking right up at her with its cute little eyes, and cute little nose and cute little face, and…

 

“Happy Birthday, Bayleigh!” Mortimer called, but she didn’t hear it. Her eyes had overflowed with tears in the split second it took her to drop to the ground beside the small, golden unicorn foul. A red bow was tied around its neck and the fabric of it bunched against her skin as the girl wrapped her arms around the creature, gently pressing her cheek against its mane.

 

She had a unicorn. A unicorn all of her own. Forever.

 

It was so precious.

 

And she was never going to leave it.

 

For the entire rest of her life.

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