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  • E. J. Nowicki

The Five Fliers: Part 3

Updated: Oct 16, 2022

Another week down—another part of the series to read! If you haven't had the chance, you might want to catch up on PART 1 and PART 2. And how did the word search go? A little tricky? Easy peasy? An answer key is posted below. Then, let's have fun with Part 3!


Part 3: Growing Anew

There Aiden was. Looking more tired and irritated than last week.

Again, it was just the two of them as her mom and the other parents had their weekly meeting at Mrs. Jenkins.

For the first time, Tracy wondered if maybe it wasn’t her fault Aiden was irritated. Maybe it was something else...and it dawned on her it had something to do with the parchment and puzzles.

She’d promised herself if it came to it, she’d shout to make him listen. But she didn’t think she could. It just wasn’t her.

All her notes and the solutions to the last two puzzles were in her backpack. She carried the yellowish special parchment with both hands.

Squaring her shoulders, she marched down the yard to the brick wall, barely noticing the dry dirt and little bits of green popping out of the ground.

“Here,” she said with a quiet note of disapproval. She dropped the parchment into Aiden’s hands and stepped back.

“What’s this?”

“I found it two weeks ago when you were leaving. I tried to give it back last week.” She did her best at a stern stare.

“It isn’t mine!” Aiden said and Tracy’s mouth fell open. If it wasn’t his then...who’s was it? But then, Aiden’s eyes widened. In a flurry of movement, head bobbing around he screamed, “PAPER!”

From out of nowhere, but was probably from behind a tree and the rock wall, five creatures zoomed through the air, plummeting into Aiden’s arms and attacking the parchment.

What were they? White and gray long, straight-tailed, creatures! Each about the length of her hand.

And then she spotted the colors! “Oh! Orange Juice! Emerald! Sweet Grass! Rose! Purple Majesty! I understand now!” She recited each one as they flew in front of her.

She’d guessed right! After hearing Aiden mutter those colors she’d taken them as the five true names. It had solved the word search.

All five little heads turned to look at her. They landed on the top of the rock wall, in a row and seemed to puff their chests in a well-mannered kind of way.

“How—how did you do that?” Aiden ran his hands through his hair. “Two weeks! Two weeks of terror! And you just say...what did you say?”

“Their names!” Tracy carefully approached the creatures, putting her hand out so each could smell. Instead of taking a whiff, though, they stuck out their long silver tongues and gave her a lick. It tickled.


“It’s all from the parchment!” Tracy turned back to Aiden. Let me show you.

As Tracy handed over page after page of notes about the puzzles Aiden tried not to pout.

What he’d gone through!

The Five Fliers had gotten back into the basement...and Grams’ things. They destroyed a bunch of yellow pressed flowers she’d had for over fifty years!

His parents wanted to ground him but Grams had stopped them.

And the creatures still hid every time he tried to show someone.

Until now. With Tracy. Not his parents. Not Grams.

“Why do you look like you’ve sucked on a lemon?” Tracy asked and then added, “Sorry.”

He sighed. “Knowing this would have changed everything! No wonder Rose was the best, I got her name right. Orange and Purple I had half right but the Greens...”

“Sorry,” Tracy said again, kicking the heel of her tan boot into the dirt.

“It’s not your fault! It’s a miracle you found the parchment at all! What would have happened if it had flown away in the wind?”

They looked around for a moment but there just wasn’t any wind.

“So...” He flipped through the pages again. “The Five Fliers—that’s what I call them since they seem like a team—”

“Yes! A team to help...” Tracy picked up her solution to the second puzzle, “open the flowers. It was the answer I got after the word search.”

They looked around again. Green sprouts poked through the dirt.

“We have to send them home,” Aiden said. “The sooner the better.”

“Yes, but it hasn’t said how yet. And the third puzzle. Well, look,” Tracy moved the parchment to the top of the pile.

“Wait! I have noticed them getting smaller! They used to be like the size of my forearm!” Aiden said. “I thought I wasn’t feeding them enough fruits and veggies but they don’t seem hungry.”

Tracy gave the Five Fliers a look of concern. “The puzzle explains what happens if we keep them. But then they wouldn’t open the flowers...”

Aiden shrugged. “We’ll have to solve the puzzle and hope the next one tells us how to send them home...” He let out a big sigh. “Another week...”

“How about we swap?” Tracy watched the creatures, mesmerized. “I’ll take the Five Fliers and you can do the puzzle?”

Aiden wanted to cry from happiness. “Yes, please.”

To be continued...


Play along! Solve the puzzle!

Click below for a printable PDF:

(Answer Key Posted in Part 4)


Page 1:

Page 2:


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