It was coming up to the October half term break. Gaby & friends had moved from Scarborough to be nearer the National Cycle centre in Manchester however they had ended up with their own sports complex when they discovered an old quarry on the land that went with Merlingwood. Gaby was chatting to Nena. “Ever since we have moved here things have got very quiet. Unlike those first few weeks in Scarborough it has been dead quit here. Your wedding was a brilliant day then we had to start at a new school. Since then we have had extra swimming, cycling, running and dancing lessons. While I thought I would not take to ballet I discovered I like it. Mum is a hard taskmaster and ensures we all give at least 100% in our performance. There are a few things I need to talk to you about Nena. First I noticed there is an electronics fair coming to the International conference centre in Harrogate & I would like to go there. Can you arrange the transport with Den and the boy's? I know they have been busy doing other things. Also I have been extolling Blackpool to my German cousins & they would all like to go there in the half –term period. Remember though we all need to be on Sharphaw for the 31 st October as that is when Loki-Master makes his move.”
Nena went to see Jenny. “Actually Nena going to Blackpool is a good idea. Even we oldies would like a break. I suggest The Nor beck Castle Hotel as that should be able to accommodate us all.”
Nena went to her office and started making the arrangements for the half term break. Nena was looking at the details for the electronics fair when Kiko walked in to her room. “Oh you got the message it was me who wanted to go there. Father and the remaining girls are taking their time getting here. They appear to be stopping at every port they can. He though has been instructed they all have to be here before the 31 st .”
07.00 Thursday came it was going to be the girls first trip out after arriving in Merlingwood. They where going to York some of the girls from the Skipton youth club where to accompany them. The sisters Em & Pamela & Stephanie Warren where in one group. In York their first port of call was the Great Minster. Here kings of England had been crowned and buried. They paid a visit to the crypt. In the crypt archaeologists where working. They had uncovered part of a Roman Temple. Gabriel was quite interested in this & got talking to the archaeologist she said she was called Wendy Robinson & normally based in Wales. This find and several others in the city had got everybody quite busy. Later the same day Gabriel had made friends with the Russian archaeologist working on a new excavation. She promised the girls she would let them know of any further developments on the site. Whilst Gabriel was there a Lead coffin was found. After a lot of planning it was lifted and taken to the Yorkshire Museum. Gabriel & friends where fortunate to be at the opening. It was found to contain the remains of a long dead female. She was wearing a dress that was almost intact.
11.30 The After this they decided to take a Horse drawn carriage round the city. The driver took them all round the city describing the sights to them. Then he asked if they had been to the Chocolate factory. The girls replied “No. But it sounds like a good Idea.”
The driver. "That for a couple of pounds extra he would take them round Roundtrees (Now Nestle).
Maddy said, "She was a chocoholic & hopped that she could get a fix”. As he drove to the factory he pulled out his mobile and telephoned somebody. The somebody was his daughter who happened to be the manager of the factory.
13.15 His daughter met them at the gates. She told her father to be back in an hour to collect the girls. She explained to us that normally she did not show guest around the factory, but was doing this as a favour to her dad. Gabriel told the manager they where on a school trip to York & where staying in Skipton. "Oh I was born there & still have friends there. Perhaps you Know of or have met them.”
Gabriel. "As we have only been in the town a short while. I doubt it very much. So far all we have met are our teachers & Ballet instructors."
"In that case have you met Sarah Hope she is my cousin.”
Gabriel. "Yes in fact she is with another group here today and we are due to meet up with her at five."
13.30 The manager asked, “Have you girls eaten yet?”
They told her they had intended to get something to eat once they got back to York.
The manager. "In that case instead of a trip round the factory how would you like a meal in the canteen my treat."
Ally was rubbing her tummy and nodding her head. So with that they went to the canteen.
The manager, “I will take you back to York myself & have a talk with your teachers”. Back at the meeting point the manager waited with the girls. She explained to the teachers that all of them could have a trip round the factory. The Teachers thought it was a good idea. Until Justine pointed out that the girls would be late for their tea. T
The Manager. "I am sure that I can fix that." . So one of the teachers sent a message to say the group had been delayed in York and would be returning very late.
16.30 . Sarah got to meet up with her cousin and the entire party was shown around the factory. At the end of the tour they where given some samples to take away. The girls talked about the places different groups had gone. One group that had included Kiko & Sisters had gone to the Yorvik exerbition. This had recently been recreated.
Kiko, "It was great". "It was like going on a ghost train".
Ally. "It was more like smelly vision". The girls then explained how the smells and aromas of the venue where wafted at you. "They even have a Viking on the Loo "
The same group had also gone into the Castle museum & Clifford's tower.
Kiko, “I enjoyed the tour round the castle as it reminded me of my former home. I was interested to find out that the Lancashire witches where really from Yorkshire. Those that got tried at York got let off while those taken to Lancaster got executed. The mention of witches brought a dirty look from Justine as if Kiko had said something wrong.
Nena & Jools had been with another group they had been to the York Dungeons & had walked round the city walls. They also had been to an archaeological dig this one was taking place in the grounds of a large hotel. They had discovered the Mausoleum of one of the three Roman Emperors that had died in York. A considerable amount of the structure was visible & to protect it from the elements a tent had been erected over it. During the dig grave goods had been found whilst the group was there a stone slab was located and removed. The archaeologist said, "it was too dangerous to let anybody go down with out protection. The girls gave the archaeologist their addresses as he promised to let them know what he found below the slab of stone.
The last group, which contained Brigid & Julia, had been on a river cruise. Then they went into the Abbey gardens & Yorkshire Museum. They had missed the opening of the coffin. But we found a third dig it was supposed to be looking for Roman remains in the abbey Gardens. What they found was totally different. They found the remains of a Second World War command centre. This had been sealed at the end of the war and everybody had forgotten about it. They now intend it to be a Museum about that era. The trip back home took just over an hour. The girls had a lot to talk about and write up. Gabriel sent an email detailing the day's events and how things had unfolded to what remained of her friends in Worksop.
10.00 A week later the girls where to find they where going in the same direction. This time though they where not travelling as far they where only going the 22 miles to Harrogate. In Harrogate they found a fashion show was taking place in the Royal Baths so as well as visiting the electronic show they decided to go to the fashion show.
Ally “Let's see if we can get in.”
Maddy. "There is no chance of us gettinh hold of the tickets as they will have gone weeks ago".
Gabriel said, "If we don't ask we will never know". With that they went to the entrance door and got let in. "Oh you got here said a voice" as they where ushered into a side room. In the room was a very distraught woman." I am glad you finally made it.”
Gabriel." I think there has been a mistake or misunderstKatng. We are not models we are school girls & we came to see if we could get some tickets.” The lady explained the coach brining the models had broken down & she thought they where them who had arrived late.
11.00 As she spoke the telephone rang it was the girls the replacement coach still had not arrived. That does it now I will have to cancel. Then burst into tears. Ally looked at Gabriel then said to the lady. “While we are not models we are willing to go on for you if it will help at all.”
Ally. “What about the rest of our group.” With that Gabriel made a few telephone calls.
Gaby. “How many models do you actually need?”
“Well there should have been 40 models on the coach. Even with ten I could manage to put om my show.”
Gabriel, "The rest of our group & teachers will be here soon. There are 37 of us in total today. Gabriel spoke the group name in at the door. The lady called Nicole quickly measured all the girls from Gaby's group and she found that she could use 20 of them as models.
“If your friends will act as dressers we will manage. The stylist and makeup ladies where already there. Gabriel followed by Maddy & Ally where the first on stage. The lady said she had one section that was supposed to be twins could she and Maddy do that for her. As they looked alike. Maddy said they where sisters. The rest of the day went without a problem. Then for the finale Gabriel & Maddy where dressed in identical wedding dresses with the others as bridesmaids. At the end of the fashion show the lady came on stage. She asked the girls whom where still in gowns to come on stage again. “I wish to thank these young ladies for stepping in and helping me out at the last minute.” “If it had not been for their help the show would have been cancelled”. “The coach bringing the models was involved in an accident on the A1M
16.30 “In four weeks time I will be back here when I launch my schoolgirl collection.” “I would like to ask the girls if they would agree to come back and model the collection for me.” Ally looked at Maddy & Gabriel.
Nena. “I think I can speak for all our girls. They will be very please to accept you offer and partake.”
Nicole in token of her gratitude offered the girls an evening Gown each. With spending so much time at the fashion show the girls never got to look round Harrogate. Nena promised them they would try and visit some of the sights the next time. Back at Merlingwoodthe girls could not stop talking about the days events
08.30 Four weeks later the girls received an invitation to partake in the fashion show as promised By the House of Nicole. Nicole had been commissioned by North Yorkshire to redesign the school uniforms for the entire county. This time instead of being at the Royal baths complex the venue was at the Harrogate International conference Centre. Besides the buyers from various firms the House of Nicole had also invited Pupils & teachers from the local schools. This was to get their in put on the proposed new uniforms.
10.30 Gabriel & friends took with them the 5th year and upper & lower 6th.year girls. On arrival Gabriel & the 20 others found they where to model the new uniforms. Nicole also asked for some more volunteers to model the old uniforms. Eventually after measuring the girls 20 where found whom where ideal for the job. Gabriel was one of the first on the stage she was modelling a new uniform. While Stephanie modelled the old style uniform. Nicole gave a brief description of each outfit as they came on. Ally & Adrienne where the next pair on and where wearing the old and new sports wear. The day continued like this going through all the possible variations and including dance & Gymnastic wear.
17.15 At the end of the day the girls where asked for their in put on the designs and which uniform of combination they preferred. Eventually new uniforms that the girls approved of and also the teachers approved of where agreed. It was then up to the various manufacturers to get them into production & ready for the new School year in September. At the end of the day all the girls who had been modelling where given a complete set of New uniform. All the girls came on stage for one final time in the uniform of their choice. From these the audience was asked to make its selection of the new uniforms.
17.45 This was not the end for Gabriel & friends. A scout from one of the top modelling agencies had noticed their efforts over the weekend and four weeks previously. After the show she went to see Gabriel & Friends with an offer. If the would like to go to Leeds she would arrange for a make over and Photo shoot for them. A week later they went to Leeds by train and spent the entire day being made over and having their portfolio created. All the girls enjoyed this and they where promised they would be put on the books of the agency.
Half term was here and the girls were off on Holiday. Gaby & the girls had decided to go to Blackpool for the week. After looking on the Internet Gaby found a hotel that could accommodate all of them. As the girls crowded round Gaby to see what the hotel looked like. Gaby took them on a conducted tour of it via the Internet.
Kat wanted to know about the resort. "What is there to do there" so Gaby brought up Blackpool on the screen. With that they where taken on a tour of the Town starting with the Pleasure Beach & followed by the Tower.
Em. "The pleasure beach will do for me".
Jools Said " I want to go to the Tower".
Kiko & Nena Said "We want to go To the Zoo".
The discussion was ended when Jenny blew a whistle & everybody turned to see what was wrong. "You are supposed to be young ladies not squabbling apes.”
Carol. "There will be plenty of time for us to do all you want and more. I would like to see some shows". With that Gaby brought up a list of the shows. There were dozens of shows on but one was an ice dance spectacular at the dome. The river dance was on at the winter gardens. There was the tower circus. After planning it out it was decided to go to a show every evening. Gaby booked all their seats for them She also found out that she could pre book the Pleasure beach & Zoo. With that she did so.
Finally half term was here. They where off to Blackpool. They had booked into the Norbeck Castle Hotel at Bispham a couple of miles out of Blackpool. The school had closed the night before & now they where off as the coach arrived to take them on the journey to Blackpool. It was a relatively short journey it only took an hour and 15 minutes to get there along the motorway. As it was the start of the season there where many special offers. Driving along the motorway was dull & uninteresting as countryside gave way to the urban sprawl of Lancashire then back to the countryside again. The coach driver decided to take them up the front of Blackpool. So starting at Starbeck and finishing at Bispham they saw all the lights before they got switched on. Kat got excited when she saw the Pleasure Peach. Then they gave a big sigh when they saw the massive edifice that was the Norbeck Castle Hotel. Here conferences where staged. It had its own entertainment and shopping complex. The leisure facilities were out of this world. As the coach pulled up in front of the hotel a bevy of porters and bell boys took the cases to their assigned rooms. The manager was in the reception to greet the guests. A photo was taken of each of the girls and this was printed on to an identity card. This card will allow you into your room it is also to be used when taking meals or having drinks in the hotel. All of these are included in the price you paid. "We also have a special concessions for the busses and tram.”
After discussing it with the others & finding out that they had a long distance to the zoo and pleasure beach or tower Gaby said, "We better all have a weeks pass for the trams then as we can not expect Den to run us all the time as he is also on holiday as well as us."
The Pleasure Beach was the first on their list of things to do. So after breakfast they descended on the tram station. They did not have very long to wait before a tram arrived. They where the drivers first customers of the day. "Where too" said the driver
"Pleasure beach " chorused the girls. By the time they arrived at the pleasure beach the tram was very full with some people having to stand. There was only one passenger left on the tram as it trundled on down to star gate.
"What's first” asked Em.
"Big Dipper then the Playstation" replied Pamela.
Even Carol & Jenny decided to have a go. Their screams reverberated around Blackpool as they did the circuit.
After going on the Playstation Jenny said, "I will be going home white instead of brown. The next was the log flume this was a nice peaceful ride even through some of them got wet. After this the girls split up but arranged to meet for lunch. The morning was taken up with the various rides. Then the girls discovered that the passes included a ticket to a couple of shows. After meeting up for lunch they went to see a show. Then it was back to the hotel for a wash & change. They all dined back at the hotel then they had to catch the tram back to the pleasure beach and the ice dome. As several of them could ice skate they knew it would be very cold so they wrapped up in preparation for the show.
The music started with the theme from the river dance. The ice dancers performed many different dances from around the world. Although it was cold Gaby & friends enjoyed the dancing very much. Ally & Em where discussing their forthcoming trip to Europe. They happened to be over heard by two of the ice skaters. At the intermission Gaby & friends where in the lounge get refreshments. When the ice dancers came up & introduced themselves. “This is Petrova my sister & I am Vladimer we are from the Russian Ballet. This summer we dance on the ice here. We over heard you talking about the fact you are to dance in Europe.”
Gaby. Currently we are students with the Northern Ballet and some of the Royal Ballet stars would be join us on our journey and that some of the girls would also be entering cycle races across Europe.”
Pertova. "Have you ever danced on ice?"
Gaby. "While most of us can skate none of us have ever danced on ice."
Vladimer. "In our last act we normally ask for members of the audience to come & join us on the ice. Would all of you like to give it a try?”
The girls thought it was a fantastic idea. Carol & Jenny where not so sure. Petrova took Jenny's hand "come with us" so the group followed them back stage. Petrova asked the girls which routine they where practising for first.
Carol. "Swan lake & Gaby is the understudy of Darcie.”
Petrova looked at Vladimer. "Ok we will do it, " he said. Back stage first the girls where fitted up with skates. Petrova then took them on to a practise rink.
"I just want to see how you manage,” she said. All the girls managed fine.
Vladimer came back. "Hurry we do not have much time left before we go back on." Back at the changing room the girls found the rest of the dancers ready to change them into costumes. It did not take long for the girls to change. While they where changing. Somebody was putting their hair up for them. All to soon the dancers had to go back on stage but the girls could see all the show from where they where.
A very slim but elderly lady came in "I am Anna I used to be the Prima ballerina with the Russian these days I teach the children" pointing at the dancers. Vladimer tells me you dance with the Northern & are to be joined by my friend Darcie. "Come child as she took Gaby's hand tonight you will be the star. For the final scene we will do an excerpt from Swan Lake. Vladimer will dance opposite you the others will join the rest of troop in the chorus.”
Just before the final scene Anna skated on to the rink with a microphone in her hand. “Ladies & Gentleman usually at this point we ask members of the audience to join us on the rink. However tonight we are having a change. For we have discovered that members of the Northern & Royal ballet where in the audience. At the intermission we asked them to join us for the last scene. They are shortly to be going on tour in Europe & this will be your only chance to see them on ice here. They will be doing an excerpt from Swan Lake for you and will be joined by the Russian ice ballet.”
Anna came back "I have been on the telephone to Darcieand apparently you are who you claim. She wishes you all the best".
The final scene came all too soon. Carol was the only one who got out of being on stage. Even Jenny went on, but has she had been training with the girls previously this was not a problem. At the end of the show there was several curtain calls. Anna came to see the girls. “If any of you ever need a job dancing come and see me. I wish I could join you on your travel.” Then as an after though she said, "Do you know exactly where you are going?”
Gaby replied, “No but Darcie will. "
With that Anna was once again on the telephone. Darcie gave her details of where the group where due to go starting with la Scarla in Milan & finishing at Amsterdam. Anna called Vladimer & Petrova and introduced them. “This is my son & daughter.”
Petrova came with a list. “We are to dance in Brussels & Amsterdam in July. When we looked at the dates we found we would be there at the same time as you.”
Anna. "We could also make it to Skipton for your night at the civic hall." The girls said they where looking forward to meeting up with them again. All too soon the night was over & the girls had to queue for a tram back to their hotel. As they where queuing Petrova, Anna & the dancers joined them at the tram stop. As they boarded the tram they discovered they where staying at the same hotel. The lights were by now switched on and so they got a good view of them on the way back to the hotel.
Anna asked the girls if they had found the dance room yet. When they said “No”
"In that case I better show it to you." In to the room the girls went. Anna explained we do our entire practise here. With that she switched on the music. “How about some practise.”
Petrova returned with leotards and shoes and handed them out to the girls.. “This is the uniform of the Russian ballet. Will you join us we practise untill 2.00 then after vodka retire?” The girls quickly changed in to the Red leotards & red shoes.
Anna. "Good now you dance with the best."
Vladimer partnered his sister then changed over to Gaby. The next day the girls had left free so they used it to practise in the dance room. They where eventually rejoined by the Russians.
Anna "I have a surprise for you. Last night after my telephone calls Darcie decided to come up with Miss Grey. As she spoke they came into the room.
Miss Grey. "In a couple of weeks I will be returning to Skipton to see you all." after a short break for the introductions we where back to our practise. This time it was Anna who put us through the ropes even Carol had to partake. Miss Grey & Darcie also donned on leotards and danced under the watchful eye of Anna.
When they stopped for refreshments that where brought in to them. Gaby spoke to Darcie about Anna. Darcie explained "Anna was one of Russia's greatest ballerinas & that it was a honour to be able to dance with her. That is why even Miss Grey is dancing. As they come to the end of the set piece they where dancing. Anna took Gaby by her hand. "Child one day you will be the Prima ballerina of the Royal & be far greater than me." Until that day you will take my crown and be the Prima for the Russian. For the rest of this week will you take Petrova place and dance opposite My Vladimer in the shows?”
Petrova. "Mother you cannot ask Gaby to do that she is on holiday."
Anna." Miss Grey I think you will agree with me Gaby is good enough to take over for the week from my Petrova."
Darcie. "Well I for one will have to watch out or she will be taking my job away.”
“Well Darcie although I could do it for a short time. It will be impossable for me to do it regular. Since it was discovered from whom I am decended.”
As they where talking Gaby noticed Petrova massaging her ankle. "I damaged it & I should have been resting, it but we did not have a replacement.”
"In that case I will forgo my holiday and step in, but I will need help with your routine.”
Petrova explained there was nothing difficult her brother did all the hard work.
Miss Grey. "Gabriel it would be good practise for the girls and it would allow to get some experience in being on the stage."
So with that Gaby took up the offer. As the ice show was alternate nights Gaby would actually have four shows to do. This did not interfere with any of their other plans.
Gaby got up early to practice her moves she was joined by Darcie. Darcie informed Gaby, “Miss Grey had to select several of them to go to London for further training & she would be one of them. Gaby Please do not let on that you already know for it is supposed to be done by Miss Grey in a few weeks time.”
Vladimer came and joined the girls at the barr. Then Petrova came in she was in tears. Gaby went up and gave her a cuddle. "What is wrong Petrova?"
"The doctor says "I an not to dance for at least five weeks maybe longer. We can manage one week with you filling in but what about the rest?"
Carol, “Mrs Grey & Anna have had a word with each other. I have a suggestion said Miss Grey, Skipton is only just over an hour a way if a taxi brought and returned Gaby each night for the show would that help out.”
Anna. "That is very well while we are here, but in London we are to do two shows a night & we would not be able to use Gaby then."
Miss Grey turned to Gaby. "Gaby would you be willing to stand-in for Petrova & travel from your home every other night for the show?"
Maddy answered for her. "Gaby would love to so long as at least four of us get to accompany her."
Miss Grey looked at Gaby who nodded her head. “Well that gives me a breather to find a replacement for London.”
Darcie whispered something to Anna. Petrova gave Gaby a cuddle and kiss, “Thank you for helping out.”
Darcie, “We will work something out so do not cancel the shows.”
The next day all the girls went into the tower and they visited every floor. They did the walk of faith walking above the ground with only a sheet of glass between life & death. There were shows on different floors. One of the best things the girls enjoyed was going back in time to the age of the dinosaurs. The woolly mammoth trapped in the tar pit being attacked by the great sabre tooth tiger. Eventually their time capsule brought them back to the present. After waiting for the others they went into the toy exhibition past, present & future tots for children of all ages.
After working their way around all the floors they arrived at the great ballroom. After watching for a few minutes the girls decided to partner each other on to the ball room floor. A young man came across and told them to get of the floor. "It is only for serious dancers.”
With that Gaby told him to bring the manager. By the time the manager had arrived Anna had joined the girls. "You have taken our money and we wish to dance. Your lackey has ordered us off the ball room".
The manager. "He was sorry but usually children where only allowed on the floor unless accompanied by their parents."
Anna, “Young man do you know who I am?"
Yes “replied the manager.
“Would you ask any of my dancers to leave the dance floor?”
"No madam I personally would consider it an insult if anybody did that to you.”
"Well if that is the case can then you explain why the Star of the Royal Ballet, Northern ballet & Russian ballet has been asked to leave the floor?”
"I am sorry madam I did not realise that you also had been asked to leave please accept my apologies."
"Young man I did not mean myself if had it would have taken all our diplomats to resolve it. As it is your staff has just ordered Her Majesty Gabriel Bond Queen of Northumbria & her princess companions off the ballroom floor. Gabriel who just has agreed to dance for me. Until she goes on tour in Europe she will be practising both dancing and cycling. As she spoke Darcy came with Petrova & Miss Grey.
The manager recognised them at once. “Is there a problem?” asked Miss Grey.
Gaby, "Of course there is no problem. The young man in question recognise us and we have been given complementary tickets to the circus and free entry for life to the ball room."
The manager was about to deny it. When he noticed a smile come across Miss Greys face. "That is a very generous offer is that extended to us as well?”
The manager before he knew what he was saying said "Yes."
Gaby. "Just to be clear you have no objections to members of the Royal, Northern or Russian Ballet dancing on your ballroom floor." The manager by now a crowd had gathered replied “Of course not."
"In that case lets get dancing said Gaby. Maddy whispered something to Gaby who nodded.
"Pertova can you go with Carol & collect a few items for us.” asked Gaby. Petrova & Jools got the manager to drive them back to their hotel. They quickly collected tights leotards and shoes. Then they returned to the waiting car. As soon as they returned the girls all changed in to the costume of the Russian ballet. The Great Wurlitzer descended to the bowels of the Tower to be replaced with a smaller organ.
The organist asked for request. Anna stepped forward & handed him some music. As she handed him the music she took the microphone. “Ladies & Gentleman today as a special request for our friend the manager. Members of three ballet companies have combined to give you a special one off showing of Swan Lake in this Grand Ballroom.”
As the organ started the girls came on to the ballroom floor. The manager was speech less as they all came on in the costumes of the Russian Ballet. He turns to find Darcie & Miss Grey attired the same.
"Oh my god.” said the young man who had previously ordered them off." They where real dancers."
The manager turned to him. "We both have a lot of humble pie to eat. At one time you would have found your head on the chopping block for insulting a monarch."
"I thought they where having me on until the other three arrived then I realised we had made a big mistake.”
As they danced scenes from Swan Lake a great cheer went up from the assembled audience. Then Gaby said, "Can we have the Great organ I fancy some ball room dancing now." As the organs changed yet again.
The girls changed into the national costumes that Petrova had brought for them to dance in. Gaby took the manager on to the floor. "I am sure you can do a simple Waltz."
With that she allowed herself to be led around the floor. At the end of the dance Gaby turned to the manager and said "Well do we still get our tickets and free entry passes."
The manager apologised for the mistake and gave them the tickets and passes.
“Cool.” said Maddy, "We even got a full refund on the entry fees we paid.”
That night they all went to see the tower circus. After the show was finished they went back to the ballroom to dance. This time there was no mistake as the girls took the floor.
Miss Grey, "She is definitely a superb dancer."
Anna, “When do you intend to put her on stage?”
Miss Grey, "Darcie will be going sick & Gaby will have to take her place at Covent Garden. I think she could also manage the two shows with the Russian. But first we have to get her and some of her friends to London."
The following day the girls had time to go to the Zoo before Gaby had to put in an appearance at the Ice rink. The others decided to go and watch Gaby, but took along their own costumes just in case.
Gaby took over from Petrova with ease. Petrova as she watched with her mother said, "Gabriel she is a suburb dancer. I feel privilege that she allowed us to dance with us."
Anna took her daughters hand, "Ah she may not know it but she is truly one of the greats. And so young. Don't worry you will soon be back at the barr.” For the final scene Gaby's friends decided they would join again with her on the stage. "They instructed Anna that they intended to go on each time Gaby did & that they would do the final scenes with her."
Anna,”I think we had better arrange a coach rather than a taxi for them.”
Petrova, “Mother have you notice how they all close ranks. If they so desire nobody would get close to Gaby.”
Anna, "Yes my daughter they guard her better than a Tsarina then that is what she is. They may be her Princess companions, but they also are her protection."
After the show they all went back to the hotel where Gaby joked they should have their own private tram. Back at the hotel they took to the pool before dancing untill 2.00 am eventually they all crashed out.
Isle of Man.
The following morning they should have all had nothing to do. But at 7.00 there was a telephone call to their rooms. They had to get up and go for breakfast. In the dining room they found they where to be joined by the Russians. Darcie had stayed but Miss Grey had gone back to London.
Carol & Jenny explained they where going to catch the tram to Fleetwood. From there they where to going to the Isle of Man on the ferry. Gabriel & the girls looked very surprised at this news. Anna came into the dining room. ”Jenny have you told them yet?”
"I was just explaining. "
“Girls you are now all members of the Russian Ballet & as such you are expected to dance in Douglas tonight. We stay overnight at the Sephton Hotel and return tomorrow afternoon. You will also have plenty of time for sightseeing or doing your own thing.
Maddy pulled out the seasickness tablets. " I think we might need these.”
In fact they found the journey across the sea rather uneventful. There was plenty of entertainment on board the Ellen Vallin. Once they arrived at Douglas. The reception area looked like a giant lemon squeezer. A coach was waiting to take them to their Hotel but first they where given a tour of the island. As they approached a bridge the coach driver stopped and asked everyone to get out.
“Today we introduce ourselves to the fairy people.” said the coach driver.
Carol & Jenny looked across at Darcie but kept their mouth shut. As they introduced themselves to apparently thin air Gabriel sat on the parapet of the bridge looking in the opposite direction. “It's a quaint custom they have of introducing new people to the little people.”
Gabriel turned round to see a boy sat at the side of her. "Hello I am Gabriel. Who are you?”
"I am Vespasian the son of Oberon”.
All of a sudden there was a shout that Gabriel heard but the others apparently did not. A blond blue eyed teenage girl came intro view. "Oh there you are. That was naughty of you to run off like that." She turned to Gabriel. Thank you for finding Vespasian for me. I owe you. Mother and father must thank you for finding him.”
Gabriel. “It did not matter, Vespasian had just introduced herself.” Her friends have almost finished introducing themselves to the fairies. This brought a giggle from Vespasian and his sister. Gabriel explained that they where to dance at the Winter Gardens and where all staying at the Sephton Hotel in Douglas. Tomorrow they would have free time before returning to Fleetwood on the Lady Galadrial.
At the Sefton hotel they settled in Gabriel was hungry again so off to the dining room they went. The Winter Gardens where next door to the Sephton hotel. After recovering from their journey they took a short trip to see the Laxey wheel and then all to soon it was time for their evening performance. After the show Vespasian and his sister turned up with their parents.
“Young lady we have met before in Scarborough I did not get chance to chat with you as you had other things to do.”
Oberon took Gabriel's hand into his. “The house of Oberon owes you a great debt. Would you and your friends like to visit us tomorrow before you return to your home?” The following morning Gabriel and her friends went with Vespasian to his home.
“It is only a short journey " Soon the girls found themselves back by the Fairy Bridge.
Carol again looked again at Darcie & Jenny. Vespasian sister Tinkerbell had noticed Darcie caution. "You do not need to worry you are quite safe.”
Jenny, "You know then what we are."
“We can always tell when we are in the presence of friends.”
Carol "Please do not let on it is not time for her to know yet her full duties."
Oberon and his family showed the girls around the island. Then Carol looked at her watch. “I am sorry, but we will have to return to the hotel now.”
After we left Oberon and his family Gabriel looked at her watch. "That is strange I could have sworn we had spent at least nine hours with Oberon ,but only a few minuets had elapsed.”
Carol looked again at Darcie then they went into the other room. Darcie “When do you intend to tell them that none of them are human although they look it?”
Jenny “Not yet there is plenty of time. You will have to deal with Em first. Carol turned to Darcie even my own daughter Maddy so far does not know her destiny yet. After shopping in Douglas the girls returned to the lemon squeezer and departed for Fleetwood.
That night though they had another show to perform at the Winter Gardens before returning to the Norbeck Castle Hotel. All too soon their holiday was over. They managed to extend it by a few days so they could go to Stanley Park and the zoo. For the trip to the Zoo Den and the drivers had decided that they would take the group in the coaches. They were waiting outside Blackpool Zoo for it to open at 10am. They where one of the first groups in the zoo that day. Once inside they split up into individual groups. Gaby wandered off with Maddy they all had agreed to meet at the Tropical Rainforest restarunt for their lunch. Whilst in the Zoo Gaby was approached by two little girls. “Please can you help us. Our mummy has got lost.”
Gaby. “Where did you last see your mummy.”
“We had just been looking at the Lions when a lot of little girls passed us and we sort of got muddled up with them.”
“I am Gaby & this is Maddy I bet anything your mummy has followed the little girls to the restraunt and that is where we will find her. You have not told me what you are called.”
“Sorry I am Daisy & this is my sister Lily. We asked mummy to bring us here today.” Eventually Gabby & Maddy found the others and the restaraunt. There talking to Justin was a lady with bright red hair. She looked up and smiled.
“So Daisy & Lily the true reason you wanted me to come today has become apparent. Apart from loosing you in a horde of Tinys. I see some of my Brother Oberon's children among these present. Although there are many here today I do not know. I though have enjoyed having a chat with my sisters Brigid & Justine. I should introduce myself I am Verbeia & I live in North Yorkshire with my tiny daughters.”
Gaby held her hand out. “I remember being informed about the three matriachs. Obviously it was you Justine & Brigid the story refered to.”
Daisy & Lily went across to the other tinys who made room for them at the table. For the rest of the day the three newcommers accompaind the girls around Blackpool. Eventually Verbeia managed to spend some time with Gaby. “I had to return your majesty. Yes I know full well what you are. Your tinys are broadcasting too all and sundry to return to their ansestoral homeland. As I speak fae little and large are packing up and finding transport to your kingdom. You besides being Queen of Northumbria have many other titles. Your friend Stella has already shown you that it is possable for you to inhabit many worlds at the same time. I like my sisters are here to teach you many things and offer you protection. My tinys are happy that they now have others of their sort to play with.”
Eventually the holiday in Blackpool had to return home to Skipton. Two days after returning home they had to start School & after they had finished lessons they found a coach was waiting for them to take them back to Blackpool. All Gaby's friends accompanied her to the dome. For the last scene they all participated in it.
Alternate nights the girls went with Gabriel on the coach. This left only the weekends free. Anna called one day, “Gabriel can you and your friends return to the Isle of Man with us for a special show.”
Carol made special arrangements with the school for the girls to go. This time the coach took the girls straight to Fleetwood. There they meet their friends for their journey across the sea. Back at the Winter Gardens the place was packed out. The Casino next door to the Winter Gardens was also overflowing. Gabriel noticed something strange about the audience. They all look like Oberon & his family.
Carol spoke to Jenny “Have you noticed the audience tonight.”
Jenny replied, " No" But then looked. "Oh my god!” she exclaimed.
The audience are comprised entirely of Oberon's family. At the end of the show the girls where informed they where to stay the night with Oberon & his family. Oberon's wife came to greet Jenny like a long lost sister. “Jenny how are you?”
As Jenny was about to answer Oberon came in. “Jenny relax the Empress is quite safe with us.”
Jenny. "Oberon I have no intention of telling her about her full inheritance yet. There is still plenty of time. Although after Verbeia and the tiny's showed up Gaby is getting more suspicious. Besides we must introduce the others first.”
Oberon, “Tonight we are all friends together.”
Carol, “Oberon only Jenny and myself are of the faith. Gabriel and her team have still to find their calling. Before long though most of the will have joined us and by October next year all will be as one. From information recieved it will not be this year Loki makes his move, But next October. As it is he is already far two late.”
The party seemed to go on all night and into the next day. Eventually the girls fell asleep. After a short nap they said they would have to return to the boat.
Oberon. “What is the rush you have hours yet as he showed them the time.” The girls spent what appeared to be days with Oberon and his family before returning too their boat.
Gabriel "That is very strange I could have sworn we had spent the last few weeks with Oberon but only 23 hours have elapsed.”
Carol. “Jenny before long we are going to have to tell them. Gabriel is already questioning why so little time has elapsed.” The coach journey only took an hour and a quarter before the girls where safely back home. Back at the school Gabriel was playing on her computer. She had already emailed her friends in Worksop.
The return to the Isle of Man caused a flurry of emails. Gabriel decided to look up the Isle of Man to see what she could find on the internet. One of the things described was the Fairy Bridge and how visitors are asked to respect the little people. There on the computer screen was the name of the fairy people and her consort. Gabriel mouth was open wide. For there was the name Oberon as consort to the fairy Queen even their family was named.
Gabriel blinked & then called Maddy and Em. "Have we being consorting with the fairy people on the Isle of Man ?"
Maddy. “On an island like that it was probable that some had called themselves after the fairy folk. Besides we are still here. They did not harm us.”
As Maddy spoke the screen changed to show an artists impression of the fairy queen with somebody alongside her. All three girls stood transfixed watching the screen.
It showed Jenny alongside the fairy queen in a golden robe. Maddy broke the silence. "That's looks like my mum and your mum with Oberon's wife."
Em. "You are both silly those are artist impressions of the fairy people. Just then Carol walked in to the room.
“What are you looking at girls?
Gabriel. "Its only details about the Isle of Man and its inhabitants.”
That night Carol told Jenny .I found the girls looking at a photo of us with Oberon's wife. Luckily they thought it was an artist's impression & somebody like you was used. We have another 5 weeks yet before they get split up. The following morning Gabriel was up bright and early. She decided to have another look at the computer. Gabriel went straight away to the site she had been on last night.
Maddy came in with Daisy. Gabriel, “Maddy get the young family members excluding Jenny & Carol". Kat, Kiko & Jools along with Em joined them. “Look what I have found. This site was associated with the previous one. It is called the enchanted land in the realm of Oberon.”
As Gabriel spoke 3 black cats came into the room. Gabriel. Funny I thought that there was only one cat here.”
Maddy. “It must be mother and kittens. Gabriel, Maddy & Kat each picked a cat up and started stroking it. Kiko took over working the computer.
All of a sudden there was a flash and the girls found themselves back by the Fairy Bridge. "How did that happen?” asked Gabriel. As she was still stroking the cat.
Vespasian & his sister Tinkerbell greeted the group. “The queen bids us greet you and ask us to escort you to a place of safety.” Gabriel and the others went with them.
Oberon. Greeting friends, welcome to my realm I see you found the doorway. The queen asks me to bring you through when you arrive.” With that they where escorted to the throne room.
“Greetings to the blood of Galadrial the great”. Boomed a voice.
Maddy. “How did we get here?”
Oberon took Gabriel's hand. “Please let me explain for you should know the truth.” As he spoke he noticed the three cats.
“Gabriel you brought your cats with you.”
Gabriel. "They came wandering to the room just before the flash & we picked them to stroke them.”
“In that case we better see who is watching you.” With that he touched the three cats. The first was Darcie.
Gaby. “Darcie is that you or is I imagining it.”
Darcie. "My mother has detailed my sisters & I to watch over and guard you. Sorry I did not do a good job."
The next cat Debbie was stroking turned out to be Carol when she transformed she was in a gold dress. "Mum" said Maddy. That only leaves one cat the last one turned out to be Jenny. "Aunt Jenny" exclaimed Kat who had been holding her on her knee.
Jenny. "That dammed computer".
Darcie. "Gabriel everybody here has your best interest at heart. Some of us have always been around to protect you even when you thought you where on your own and looked across at Maddy. You though unwittingly managed to collect your own protection looking at Maddy & the other family members who surrounded Gabriel. Even now they all protect you.” As they had closed round her.
Oberon. "Gabriel this land you now are in is enchanted. When you return no time will have passed. That is regardless of how long you stay here. As most of your family is already here I will explain or try to explain. This problem started about 90 years ago. The universe is in balance but one-day evil forces attempted to wrestle control from your Great, great grandmother. Because the balance had been up set your world suffered two-world ward and many minor ones. Shortly after this your grandmother and great grandmother both vanished along with most of your grandmothers sisters. Two escaped. One you know as Justine and we all know better the other as Briget.”
As the name was mentioned Briget appeared. "Somebody call my name”.
Oberon."Gabriel & her friends found the doorway." As a boy you posed no problem, but when you started to change then you where at great risk from the opposition.
Gabriel. "Do you mean we or I am a fairy princess or something.”
Briget took Gabriel's hand & said "apart from Oberon & his family who are the true fairy folk we are not. My mother wherever she is, is the Empress of all and Queen of the white witches. Whilst you are all here you will learn many things. All of this will be placed in the back of your mind. However it would be better for all of you to forget this conversation until the time is ready.
In the year 2009 it will be exactly 90 years since the problems started. You will have until October 31 that year to get ready for your duty. You must celebrate on the three sacred hills of Sharphaw, Roughhaw & Pinhaw.”
Gabriel spoke I know where Sharphaw is as to the other two I have no idea where they are, but I can find out with my computer.”
Briget. Gabriel there is no need to look for them as they surround your ancestral home & for the last few weeks that has been your home. Oberon spoke in the meantime my servants have been scouring the world looking for news of your missing family. We have located your Great, Great grandmother and now they are attempting to get her released.” Oberon took the girls round his realm.
One of the first persons they met was Pan he was playing his flute. Gabriel took his hoof as she said that was played beautiful please play for us while we dance. The next person she met up with was Herne the hunter. The Guardian of the wild woods he was in conversation with the Goddess Diana. As they shook hands with her Oberon introduced he & they started to bow. I remember meeting you in Studley Royal Park. When I found White socks.”
Gabriel. “My great grand Mother may be the Empress of the Fae people, but I certainly am not.” Herne & Diana demonstrated their ability with a bow and Arrow.
Gabriel. “ May I have a go. I can use a air rifle for target shooting. I had not tried with a real bow and arrow until a few weeks ago when I used the bow belonging to The British Paralympic champion."
"Any friend of Oberon's is our friend." They said as they set up a target. All the girls had a go with Gabriel coming first and Maddy a close second.
Herne and Diana presented Gabriel and Maddy with a complete hunting set including horn. Diana. “ This is only for emergencies.” As they walked round further they met two men in discussion.
Oberon “That is Michael & Peter they are on vacation here.” As they neared the men stopped arguing.
Michael."What have we here."
Peter opened a book and then said. “Welcome Gabriel Lynn Bond to this realm I hope you are being cared for well or I will have to have words with somebody.”
Tinkerbell took hold of Gabriel's hand. “Pete.we do know how to look after our guests correctly. As they walked away Gabriel thought she saw an old man in difficulty and ran to help him.
As he struggled to get up he looked at Gabriel. I do not need to ask your name Gabriel for I am Gandolf the white. You remind me of your Great Grandmother at the same age.
Gabriel. "I am sorry I never knew her and MUM has never mentioned her to me or my siblings.”
Jools stepped forward. "None of us have any knowledge of her or what she even looked like.
Gandolf. "In that case I will show you your Great grandmother and your mother as a child. The girls watched as the reflection on the nearby pond started to change. That is your Great grandmother, and the child playing is your mother.”
Gabriel. “It looks like here. Did mum come here often?”
Before Gandolf could answer a voice said, “Yes and she & your aunt loved it.” Gabriel looked for the voice she recognised. “Thank you Gandolf of the White. I will talk with them now. After the disappearance of various family members I had decided to live a normal life, but now it falls to me to teach Gabriel & companions what they need to know.”
“I met and fell in love with your father. Until you met with Aunt Briget I thought everything was going to be normal for you & the rest of the family. I though was burying my head in the sand like an Ostrich. I soon learned it was not to be. Ever since your problems started we have had to keep you under close observation. Justine, Carol, Briget and I have constantly been close to you with out you realising.”
Maddy "Aunt if you could perform magic why did you not use it to help Gabriel stop changing?”
Briget. "It was a great temptation for them. I had to ensure they did not use magic. We the family need Gabriel as she now is rather than as she was previously. Gabriel & most of her friends will have to battle with the evil forces before long. As a boy he would not have been strong enough but soon you will be.” After spending what appeared to be years with Oberon they returned to school to find only a few minutes had elapsed. Also all the knowledge was locked in the back of their minds until it was needed
Sharp 13.01.09 © 2009
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