Chapter 1: The Storm
This is the story of Finn the Human, and I probably know more about it than he does. He thinks that the first time he ever came to my castle was when he rescued me from that nasty Ice King when he was only 12 years old. I know different, though. I'll never forget the real time Finn the Human first came to my castle.
I had just barely turned 6 years old.
Mama was home from a very long foreign policy trip in Aaa and I wanted to spend every second I could with her. It was raining like nuts outside, so all the candy people were on lock down; candy people can't go out in the rain or else they dissolve! It's not a pretty sight and it's a butt to clean them up and mold them back together again! Mama and I were doing all the sleepover junk I loved. We did sugar facials, painted our nails, told ghost stories, and she even let me do some of my first experiments in her lab! It was one of my favorite memories with her, and would have just been an uneventful night if it wasn't for the loud banging on the castle doors that started when I was nearly asleep in Mama's arms.
She shot up from the bed and yelled, "Guards, who is that at this hour? Are they in danger?"
I heard Peppermint Butler shout back, "A very large woman, your majesty, with her young."
"Well, that can't be threatening," she muttered to herself. Then she turned to me, "Stay here, my little Bonnibelle. I'll go see what they need."
I nodded without a word and watched her flee from our safe, warm, dark fort we'd made on my bed towards the noise and confusion.
"Let them in!" she said, "It's freezing out there!"
I heard the wind and rain rush in the door as Peppermint Butler opened and slammed it as soon as the woman had gotten in. I only knew she was in because she was wildly screaming and crying at the same time. There was so much fear and sadness in her voice that it made my heart hurt. Even though Mama told me to stay, I crept out to the head of the stairs. I wanted to be just like Mama and help this woman, too.
The woman was drenched to the bone and had little cat ears, with a mass of sopping blond hair down her back. She must have been twice the size of mama, but the little bundle in her arms was no bigger than my candy bear. It kind of wiggled around a little and I think it was screaming, too, but the feeble sounds were drowned out by those of his mother. I locked eyes on that little bundle; I'd never seen a baby, not in person.
The woman talked in a thick, accent, and was very panicked, so I could only understand isolated phrases from her, "Please….you must take…must take FINN. His father dead and….everyone dead…hunting us…must be protected. I cannot protect FINN. They will kill me, too."
"Slow down, please, we will help you." Mama said, embracing her, "Your baby will dissolve being this wet, let our butler dry him and put him in new clothes."
"Diss-ol-vee?" stammered the woman slowly.
"Well, from the looks of you, I guess you'd just catch cold."
The woman nodded and held the bundle out to Peppermint Butler, looking away from it. It was hard to tell with the rain, but I think she had tears in her eyes.
The large woman and Mama continued to talk about who was trying to kill them, but all I could do was watch that little peppermint man with that tiny bundle. He looked up and saw me, then winked. I knew he wouldn't tell Mama I was eavesdropping. "Since you're up, Princess, help me come put this baby in some of your old clothes."
I nodded, taking my new assignment very seriously.
Up in my room, Peppermint Butler laid a towel on the floor and unwrapped the soaked blanket. Inside was this wriggling, shivering, pink little boy with nothing but a diaper and white bear hat on. I looked in amazement at his soft pink cheeks and those pudgy little fingers. Before I knew it those little fingers clutched one of my own tightly, and his little blue eyes gazed at mine.
Peppermint Butler took off his cute little hat and a mass of wet, shiny blond hair fell around his face. I wanted to feel it- to brush it out of his eyes- but I was startled by Peppermint Butler's loud gasp.
"What's wrong?" I exclaimed.
"Princess," he said slowly backing away, "this boy is human!"
I really did not understand the significance of what he was saying. "So what? We still hafta help him! He's only a little baby. Besides, humans were all over the place before the Great Mushroom War, right?"
He wasn't listening to me, but was pacing back and forth madly, muttering, "A completely un-mutated human. I thought they were all killed!"
"You can't kill him!" I grabbed the little baby in the towel and hugged him tight. He cooed in my ear and his grubby little hands clutched locks of my hair.
"No no no, Princess, of course we won't do that. I just want you to understand that helping him would be very dangerous, for our entire kingdom. That woman downstairs wants us to keep him, but we simply can't make that sacrifice for our people. There are some very dangerous creatures out there that have it as their personal mission to kill all humans. They don't want them to start another Mushroom War. We may have to just give them food and provisions and send them on their way."
"NO!" I screamed so loud that the large woman's and Mama's talking ceased for a few seconds downstairs. "If you send them away, then they will just get killed later! This is Finn, and he will never start any wars! We will raise him here with the candy people, and I will be his mama if I have to! When he grows up, he will be righteous, and brave, and kind! He will be a hero to the entire kingdom!"
Peppermint Butler sighed and said, "Alright, just give him here and we'll get him a new diaper."
I held Finn away from him, "You promise you won't give him away?"
"Yes, Princess, I give you my word."
I liked Peppermint Butler because he always talked to me like I was an adult, but his attitude just wasn't making any sense to me. I cautiously handed Finn to him and watched him take off the diaper so I would know how to do it, too. I got all weirded out and my face kind of crinkled. He looked and smelled funky under that diaper.
When that kid was finally in a new diaper, Peppermint Butler carefully handed him back to me and chuckled, "You're just like your mother, always trying to help people, whether they're made of candy or not."
"Yes, I suppose she is," said Mama's voice. She stood in the door way smiling at me.
"Mama, we can't get rid of him, we can't!"
"I know, sweetie, we're going to raise him, ok?"
"Holy cabbage, really?"
"Watch your language, young lady! Cabbage is disgusting."
I giggled, "Sorry, Mama. Hey, where's Finn's mama?"
My mom looked away, towards the stairs, "She's gone, Bonnibelle."
"What? She didn't want to even say goodbye?" my eyes filled with tear as I looked at little Finn, "Didn't she love him?"
Mama walked over and put her arm around me while gazing at Finn, "Yes, I think she loved him very much, but she had to leave. It was her best chance for both of them to survive. It was very hard for her to leave, Sweetie."
"Why were they in danger, Mama?"
She was quiet for a while before she said, "I'll explain that to you when you're older. For now, just spend some quality time with Finn. He seems to really like you!"
I hugged Finn tight, "Ok, Mama. Was his Mama wearing a hat, too? Why did they both have hats?"
"To hide the fact that they were human. Please, Bonnibelle, no more questions tonight."
I nodded. Finn farted. Then he giggled.
Once his hair was all dry I laid him down next to me and ran my fingers through it until I fell asleep.