Pileloops’ Festival. Part IV
Written by Natalie Kurtog,
illustrations by Nika Harrison
Chapter 15 The Friends are Reunited
Peter looked in the direction of where the sound had come from.
“Where are you?” he shouted.
“I’m flying to you!” Pink Pileloop flew, struggling against the wind towards Peter. They were about to join hands when a powerful gust of wind blew the girl out of the cave. Peter felt a huge force pushing him back towards a stone. He lost consciousness.
The boy heard granny’s voice. She was singing her favourite song. Peter opened his eyes.
“This isn’t a dream,” he said and got up.
“No, it wasn’t a dream,” said Pileloop. “I like to sing with your grandmother’s voice,” Pileloop smiled. It’s time for you to go home my boy. Look, the sun is setting!”
“But where is Pink Pileloop?”
“I’ll help you get back home, and find her.”
“No.” Peter stood up. “I’ll find her, even if I remain a Pileloop for ever!”
The old man wanted to say something but didn’t. Just then a bee flew by, with Pink Pileloop grasped between its feet. She tried to wiggle herself free, but some sticky honey held her firmly in place.
Peter and Pileloop flew off in pursuit. The old man was the first to grab hold of the bee’s feet, and then Peter caught up. They carefully freed the girl.
“We found you, we found you!” Peter shouted in glee.
“I knew, I knew you would” she said in a weak voice. She had been very frightened indeed.
It suddenly became dark; the bee had led them into an old, empty hive. They rushed to the exit, but saw something huge outside.
“Things don’t look too good,” the old man shook his head, “we can’t fly into the rain, we’ll get soaked, and time is passing.” He looked out onto the street and looked up at the sky.
Suddenly the top of the beehive opened, and rain came pouring down. The friends dived under the wings of the bee and froze in horror: a face they knew only too well appeared above them.
Chapter 16 An Old Friend
Pileloop was so angry that his face just turned from grey to red in anger.
“It’s that hooligan from the park!” he shouted.
The lout lifted up the lid of the beehive and lit up the inside of the hive up with a torch. Peter could see that boy’s hair was all stuck up with concrete. Big drops of rain bounced against the wooden floor of the hive.
The bee flew out of the hive and began to attack the boy. It flew to a spot right under his eye.
“Ah!” the lout shouted, flicking the bee off his eyelid with two fingers. Then he ran off.
Pileloop shouted: “Follow me!” He latched onto the inside of the lout’s raincoat. Peter and Pink Pileloop jumped after him.
“It’s not the countryside, it’s a nightmare full of ghosts,” the boy said out load, “I’m going home, back to town.”
“Yes, go on, that’s what you should do!” Pileloop blurted out.
The boy turned up his collar to shield himself from the rain. At that moment, knowing they had to get to somewhere dry, they flew into the one of the pockets on the boy’s trousers. It was dry and safe in there. Apart from them, there was money and an old ticket in there.
The rain was falling quite heavily now, and boy ran to the bus stop. A bus appeared, and he started to feel around in his pocket for some change. He pulled the old bus ticket out of the same pocket where the Pileloops were hiding. He wanted to throw it away, but then thought better and threw it carefully in a rubbish bin instead.
The Pileloops, having flown out of pocket to avoid his hand, watched him.
“Looks like we’ve worked wonders on him!” They agreed to each other, and then looked worriedly at the sky and noticed that it was already getting dark.
“Peter,” said Pink Pileloop, “I’m really upset that you were late because of me and will have to stay here for ever.”
“There’s still one hope!” shouted Pileloop, “look!”
Peter and the girl stick their heads out of the trouser pockets.
Chapter 17 The Return Home
A bus pulled up, and Peter’s grandmother got out. She went into the bus shelter to get out of the rain, and got out her umbrella.
“Hooray!” the friends shouted and flew out of their hiding place. They sat on the struts of the opened umbrella, dangling their feat in the air and were taken home.
Back at home, Peter lost no time and got into the barrel.
“Help me!” shouted out Pileloop to Pink Pileloop as he started to shake off the dust from the boy. The barrel span around, faster and faster. Peter felt the lightness of his body seeping away, as he felt heavier and heavier. A few seconds later, it was all over.
“Success!” Pileloop sighed and wiped his forehead. “We’ve been through so much together today! It’s been a day and a half! Get out, Peter! Or do you feel like you want to stay in the barrel?”
The boy opened his eyes and poked his head out of the barrel.
“Why can’t I see you?” he asked.
“Well you can hear us, can’t you? Look at yourself in the mirror!” commanded Pileloop.
Peter went over to the pier glass and looked into the mirror. It was covered with waves of grey and pink dust. The boy carefully moved the dust away with his hand.
“Oooh, ooh, careful, it’s ticklish!” Pink Pileloop said.
Outside, the rain stopped. “It’s time for us to go!” Pileloop said.
“What about the hat? We left it behind again!” stammered out Peter.
“It’s with the Star Pileloops, who will look after it until the next festival,” said the old man. After a year has gone by, other Pileloops will take charge of the hat and look after it, it’s safer that way.”
“What about you?” asked Peter.
“I’m free now! I’ll go and hang around with Black Pileloop for a year in his castle, we have some stories to tell each other.”
“So will I ever see you again?” Peter asked.
“You will see us every day,” Pileloop said laughing. “Dust is everywhere.”
“Can I tell my friends about what happened?”
“Of course,” Pileloop answered, “only I have to tell you that nobody will believe you.”
Peter didn’t want to part with his new friends. He tried to make the seconds last longer, and thought up some more questions to ask them.
“Peter!” grandmother shouted from down stairs. “Where are you?”
“In the attic, grand mother. I’m coming!” the boy said.
“Goodbye!” the boy said.
Grey dust rose up in a cloud and flew out of the attic window.
“Goodbye, and thank you for everything,” said Pink Pileloop.
Peter felt as though some warm lips lightly touched his cheeks. Without thinking he raised his hand and pressed the kiss to his face.
Peter went over to the window and looked at the sky. Somewhere, in the Milky Way there was some star dust, which this very night was going to join the Pileloops’ Festival.
He stood there for a while, smiled and waved his hand:
Then she said: “Goodbye? Until we meet again!”