The caramel stalks on the hill glowed golden in the late afternoon sun. Melli, a Caramel Fairy, took a deep breath. She smelled the sweet, sugary scent of fresh caramel. Sitting on a branch of a chocolate oak, she gave a heavy sigh. It was nice to relax after a day’s work in the fields.
From the tree she could see out to Caramel Hills and Candy Corn Fields. This was one of her favorite spots in Sugar Valley. A gentle breeze blew her short, dark hair. The cool air reminded her that the weather was turning colder. While she was sorry that the long, sunny days of summer were over, Melli loved the change of season.
Autumn was the busiest time of year for the Caramel Fairies. Many of their candies were grown and harvested in the autumn months. And Melli’s favorite was candy corn. Not only did she love the sweet treat, she loved the Caramel Moon Festival, too.
This event, the best event of the fall, was held during the evening of the full moon in the tenth month of the year. Princess Lolli, the ruling fairy princess of Candy Kingdom, officially named that moon Caramel Moon. The candy corn was at the peak of perfection at that time, and all the candy crops needed to be picked when they were ripe, so all the fairies in Sugar Valley came to help. The festival was a giant party with lots of candy corn, music, and dancing.
“Hi, Melli!” Cara called out. Cara was Melli’s little sister. She flew up and sat on the branch beside Melli.
“Hey, Cara,” Melli said. “How’d you find me?”
“I knew you’d be here,” Cara told her. “It’s almost Sun Dip and you always wait for Cocoa here.”
Melli laughed. Her little sister was right. The chocolate oak at the bottom of Caramel Hill was at the edge of Chocolate Woods. The old tree was the perfect meeting spot for her and her best friend, Cocoa the Chocolate Fairy. They always flew together to see their friends at the end of the day when the sun dipped below the Frosted Mountains. Sun Dip was a time for meeting friends and sharing news of the day.
“I just heard some golden news,” Cara went on. A smile spread across her face. “You’ll never guess who is playing at the Caramel Moon Festival this year!” Her lavender wings fluttered so fast that she flew up off the branch.
“You found out who is playing?” Melli asked. Her dark eyes sparkled with excitement.
All year long, fairies tried to guess who would play the music at the late-night celebration. After the candy corn was picked, all the fairies celebrated by the light of the moon. Good music was a key ingredient to making the party a success.
Since this year Melli was old enough to have planted the seeds in the fields, she was even more excited about the festival.
Cara grinned at Melli. She usually didn’t hear juicy information before her older sister. She wanted to savor the sweet moment of knowing something before Melli.
“Come on,” Melli urged. “Please tell me! I want to know!” She grabbed Cara’s hand.
“Well, it’s your favorite band,” Cara said. She looked as if she would burst with excitement.
Melli’s mouth fell open. “The Sugar Pops are coming here?” Her purple wings began to flutter, and her heart began to beat faster. “Are you sure?”
“Sure as sugar,” Cara said. “I was at Candy Castle to make a delivery and I heard the Royal Fairies talking about the Caramel Moon Festival. The Sugar Pops are really coming!”
The Sugar Pops were the most popular band in the entire kingdom. Their music was fun to dance to, and Melli knew every single song by heart. She also knew everything about Chip, Char, and Carob Pop. The three Pop brothers sang and played instruments. They had the sweetest songs.
“Hot caramel!” Melli exclaimed. “Wait until I tell everyone at Sun Dip!” She reached out and hugged her sister. “Thanks for telling me, Cara. This is fantastic news.” Her mind was racing. “If they sing ‘Yum Pop,’ I will melt!”
Cara nodded. “Oh, they have to play that song!” she exclaimed. “It’s their best one.” She smiled.
Melli looked toward Chocolate Woods. She kept an eye out for Cocoa. Cocoa loved the Sugar Pops too. Actually, all her friends did. And this year they would be able to stay and help harvest the crops, which meant they’d also get to see the Sugar Pops perform.
“What about me? Do you think I can watch the Sugar Pops?” Cara asked.
“I’ll see if I can get you permission,” Melli said. She leaned in closer to Cara and put her arm around her. She didn’t want to see her sister so sad. “Maybe you can come for one or two songs.”
“Thanks, Melli,” Cara said. Her wings perked up a little at the possibility of seeing the band play.
Just at that moment, Cocoa flew up to the chocolate oak. “Hello, fairies!” she called out. “What’s new and delicious?”
Melli and Cara both grinned.
“What?” Cocoa asked. She looked at the two sisters. “What are you up to?”
Melli’s wings flapped and she floated off the branch. She couldn’t contain her excitement! “Cara found out that the Sugar Pops are playing at the Caramel Moon Festival!” she burst out.
Cocoa clapped her hands. “Choc-o-rific!” she shouted. “That is the sweetest news I’ve heard all day!” She sat down on one of the chocolate oak’s branches. “Wait until the others hear about this. And this year we’ll get to stay the whole night!”
Melli nudged Cocoa. She knew that Cara was feeling sad about not being old enough to stay for the night concert. “We’re going to see if Cara can come for at least one song,” she told Cocoa.
“‘Yum Pop’, I hope,” Cara said. She held up crossed fingers.
Melli and Cocoa laughed.
“Come on,” Cocoa said. “Let’s head over to Sun Dip and tell the others.”
“I want to go check on the candy corn crops before Sun Dip,” Melli said. “All the Caramel Fairies were working near Caramel Hills today. I haven’t been since yesterday. I’ll meet you at Red Licorice Lake.”
Melli gave quick hugs to Cara and Cocoa.
“I’ll see you later,” Cara called as she flew back home to Caramel Hills.
“See you soon, Cara,” Cocoa said. “And, Melli, bring some of your caramel!”
“Of course!” Melli called. She still had a smile on her face as she flew toward the fields.
The Caramel Moon Festival was bound to be the most extraordinary event of the year!
© 2010 Helen Perelman