• amtoby

The Magic of The Firefly Inn

Updated: Sep 25

Written by Ashley Tobias

Commissioned by 'Girl's Tale' for Podcast Use


 

NARRATOR

Hello my lovely active listeners. Willow here!... Your friendly neighborhood Firefly and boy do I have the best little heart-warming story to share with you on this beautiful, beautiful day.


A story about love, family, and self-discovery.


The story I'm about to share with you is centered around my friend named Summer. A spunky, bubbly, intelligent beyond her years, needs to be involved in whatever is happening at the moment, 8-year-old girl.


Summer lives with her mom Mia, who owns the only Bed and Breakfast in all of Portland Oregon. Well, the only one worth staying in.


The Firefly Inn.


(Said proudly) I’d like to think Summer and her mom named the Inn after my family and I. Especially since it’s one of the top places we like to frequent and shine our light on… (she thinks about it and pauses) Yeah. Yeah! Ya no what? Let’s go with that! They definitely named the Inn after us!


Okay but anyway, moving on. The Firefly Inn is a tucked away, cozy cottage. Yellow and blue on the exterior, a pale purple and cool shade of blue on the inside. It just looks and feels like home. Even if it’s not YOUR forever home, and you just happen to be passing through like so many do, you just can’t help but feel at home, happy and cozy.


Summer, though an only child, keeps to herself. Not because she’s sad or lonely, but on the contrary. Summer’s imagination is a wild one and keeps her busy all day long. From detective work, to coming up with new ways to try and solve world hunger, she is always on a mission. ‘Operation Firefly’ is what she calls them.


Summer spends her days helping her mom run the Inn, assisting guests in finding their lodgings, daily activities and showing people around her flower garden.


FX: BIRDS ARE CHIRPING IN THE BACKGROUND


SUMMER

And this is my absolute favorite. Do you know what this one’s called?


GUEST #1

Ohhh, I’m afraid I do not.

(a newly arrived guest explains)


MIA

Bug, why don’t you let them get settled in first.


GUEST #1

Oh, that's okay (the guest explained) I love discovering new things. Don't we all? Go on dear.


SUMMER

It’s called Lantana plants. I like them the most because 3 different colors make up the one flower. See? Orange, yellow, and...


GUEST #1

Pink. Yes. So lovely.


SUMMER

Yepp. My favorite color of them all.


NARRATOR

Remember how I mentioned Summer likes to pretend she’s a detective? Well, every day after her mom finishes up her work and starts preparing dinner for the two of them, summer would sneak into the office and find the new list of guest names arriving later that week. Then, she would come up with a backstory for each person or family.


NARRATOR

Let’s see... A few months back there was a couple in their mid 40’s visiting the Inn. Summer liked to call them the Snufflebums, (chuckles) even though that’s not what their last name was.


(Narrators voice changes to an English accent)


NARRATOR CONTINUED

They arrived from across the pond, you know, England! The husband spotted the famous chef Guy Ferrari on the tele one day talking about all the famous diners in Portland, Oregon.

Mr. Snufflebum felt so drawn to this show as he was a lover of fine cuisine, that he dragged his wife to America just to see for themselves which diner had THE BEST burger and vanilla milkshakes. They stayed for a total of 72 hours, 40 minutes, and 35 seconds.


Then there were the Johnsons who stayed at the Inn for a few days. They had twin children- a girl and a boy! Summer imagined the kids using only their minds to communicate with one another, because I mean how cool would that be? And since they were perfectly identical, they would continue to fool even their own parents daily as to which one they were. They were here for a total of 144 hours, 20 minutes, and 45 seconds while their dad was here on business for a week.


And we can’t forget Ms. Davidson. Recently widowed, or so Summer imagined. She would frequent the Inn a few times throughout the year. She was always traveling alone and always wearing the most beautiful and expensive outfits. When Ms. Davidson would leave to explore the town during the afternoons, Summer would imagine sneaking into her room to try on her pearls, gloves, lavishly expensive hats, and gowns. Oh, the gowns. If only the gowns fit better though. After all, Summer was just a kid.


And just as she would imagine quickly sneaking into Ms. Davidson's room without notice, she would daydream sneaking back out with seconds to spare without being caught. Completely undetected. (beat) Ms. Davidson’s stay lasted for 96 hours, 15 minutes and 20 seconds.


See what I mean? Willlllllld imagination.


SCENE 2


NARRATOR (CONTINUED)

One hot Saturday Summer and her mom decide to have a lazy, private morning before the guests awoke, and take a dip in the lake behind their Inn.


FX: SPLASHING AND LAUGHING IN THE WATER


SUMMER

Tag! You're it!


MIA

Ok, I'm going to get you!


SUMMER

Mom, you have to close your eyes.


MIA

Oh right. (She laughs to herself) hmm. Okay,


SUMMER

Are you ready?


MIA

Ready!


SUMMER

Marco? —


MIA

Polo.


SUMMER

Marco?


MIA

Polo.


SUMMER

Marco?


JACK

Polo!


NARRATOR

... said a voice they were not expecting to hear.


JACK

I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten you. I’m Jack and this is my daughter Lizzie.


LIZZIE

(Lizzie makes an audible “mmm” noise, as her “hello”)


JACK

Do you happen to have any last-minute availability for the night? We’re just passing through on the way to visit my parents.


MIA

Of course! Please, follow me to the main office.


NARRATOR

Mia quickly throws on a bathing suit coverup and turns to Summer.


JACK

Lizzie, sweetie, why don’t you stay and get to know…

(beat)

I’m sorry, what’s your daughter’s name?


MIA

Summer.


JACK

Yes. Summer for a bit?

(beat)

Nice to meet you, Summer.


SUMMER

Nice to meet you too. And Welcome to the Firefly Inn.

(She says in a very inviting tone)


MIA

I’ll be back in a bit, bug.


JACK

(Addressing his daughter Lizzie) Be right back sweetie. (kisses on her the forehead)



SUMMER

So, first time in Portland?

(She asks, but Lizzie doesn't answer.)

Let me guess… you’re from the big apple?

(Still not answering)

No, no of course not. Let me think. ( humming to herself as she thinks)

(beat)

You are from the, (she thinks on it and then blurts out) the south! South Carolina? Wait, No, Texas! Nashville??

(beat)

Hmm, but your dad doesn’t seem to have a southern accent. So maybe you ARE from the big city. Or New Jersey? Pennsylvania?

(beat)

I've never been to any of those places. Just here. I'm sure they are cool to visit though, or live in, if that's where you're from.


NARRATOR

Lizzie continues to stare out into the lake- watching the other girls who have now packed the water with their floaties and pool toys.


SUMMER

It's pretty here, huh? I love watching the birds and listening to what they have to say. They have a lot of opinions ya no, but people don’t often care to hear them out.


FX: SUMMER WHISTLES AT THE BIRDS, TRYING TO COMMUNICATE WITH THEM, AND THEY WHISTLE BACK.


NARRATOR

While Lizzie remains quiet, taking in her surroundings. Summer continues along with her questions, determined for Lizzie to respond to one of them.


SUMMER

Are you hungry? I can take us to the kitchen to get some breakfast.


NARRATOR

As summer starts describing the food, her eyes get all sparkly eyed and she begins skipping back and forth with excitement thinking about all the delicious meals she’s had.


SUMMER

Our Inn’s chef is an AMAZINGgggggg cook. They make the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever had in my entire life and don’t even get me started on the breakfast potatoes, and then the homemade danishes for dessert. And that’s just breakfast! FX: VOICE BEGINS TO DULL AS THE GIRLS FROM THE NEXT SCENE TALK ABOUT SUMMER AT THE SAME TIME.Then there’s the finger sandwiches she makes for lunch, with the most delicious strawberry and clementine salad. Food critics literally come and stay at the Inn, just for the food alone!


FX: SPLASHING AND GIGGLING VOICES


GIRL #1

That girl seems strange.


GIRL #2

SUPER strange. Who is she?


NARRATOR

Summer stops skipping as she hears the other kids talking behind her back.


GIRL #1

I think she lives here.


GIRL #2

Lives here? Like In a hotel? Why?


GIRL #1

Who knows... but like, what’s with her hair?


GIRL #2

I know right?! It’s so big


GIRL #1

Yeah, and bushy.


GIRL #2

Her hair looks like a dirty frizzy mop... I hope she didn’t get in the water with her hair like that.


GIRL #1 & 2

Ewwwww!


GIRL 1 & 2'S MOTHER

Brooke? Alexis? Time to come inside for breakfast.


GIRL #1

Coming mother!


GIRL #2

Yes, coming Auntie!


NARRATOR

The two girls gather their belongings, and brush past Summer before heading inside.


FX: the two girls giggle and burst into laughter. Girl #1 “Did you see her face?” Girl #2 Hilarious !


NARRATOR

Summer silently grabs her things, and reaches into her backpack pulling out a baseball hat that reads- ‘Summer Vibes.’


SUMMER

(feeling hurt and embarrassed) C’mon, let’s go inside.


LIZZIE

You shouldn't listen to those girls you know. They don't know what they're talking about.


SUMMER

(Summer gasps in shock at Lizzie’s suddenness to speak)


LIZZIE

… And you really should just let your hair dry naturally. That's how you take care of hair like ours anyway.


SUMMER

Like ours?


LIZZIE

Ya no… Mixed hair. Your mom's hair is straight so I'm sure you got your hair from your dad.


SUMMER

Right. Yeah, my dad.


LIZZIE

Here. You can use my towel for your hair if you want. It's a microfiber towel so it's good for our curls.


SUMMER

Thanks, but (quickly thinking before she answers) I have one upstairs.


LIZZIE

Okay.


SCENE 3


SUMMER

Well, here we are. (trying to put on an act and disguise how upset she is) The room where all the magic happens. (beat) Good morning, Lindsay!


FX: SKILLET NOISES ARE BEING MADE AND CLANKING OF KITCHEN DISHES


LINDSAY

Hello girls! And who is this?


SUMMER

This is Lizzie.


LINDSAY

Nice to meet you, Lizzie. I'm so happy you're both here because I could use your help. I decided to try a new recipe this morning and I'm in the market for some taste testers before I serve them to all the guests --- so please, wash your hands and then try some of my special blueberry scones. They have a hint of Honey in them, a dash of cinnamon, and a tiny bit of Nutella. You’re going to die!!


NARRATOR

Lizzie quickly takes a bite of the scone and her eyes open wide.


LIZZIE

WOW! This is DELICIOUS! mmhmm.


SUMMER

See, I told you. The best in town.


NARRATOR

Lizzie helps herself to another, and then another.


LIZZIE

(With her mouth full she asks Summer) Don’t you want any?


SUMMER

Oh, I do. I just have to check on something first. Enjoy. I’ll catch you later.


NARRATOR

Little did Lizzie know, Summer needed to check in with her mom, to make sure the morning was running smoothly, just like she usually does, and if I’m being honest, she just couldn't shake off the nasty comments about her hair.


SCENE 3


SUMMER

Hey Mom. (trying to hide it but sounding defeated)


MIA

Hey Bug. (Noticing Summer seems a little down) Everything okay?


SUMMER

(Quietly and unconvincing) Yeah. Just wanted to check on you, is all. (with a bit more excitement) Do you need any help?


MIA

All good honey but thank you. (beat) Why don't you go spend some time with the other kids. It's not all the time we have this many kids your age running around here. Ya no?


SUMMER

Yeah. You're right. (Back to pretending things are fine)

(beat) Mom, do we have any microfiber towels?


FX: THE MOM IS SHUFFLING THROUGH PAPERS, STAPLING, AND FILING, AND SAYING THINGS LIKE, “WHERE IS THAT… UGH I THOUGHT I FILED IT HERE. I GUESS I DIDN’T”


MIA

(preoccupied) Um, I'm not sure bug. You know where the extra towels are right? You can check in there.


SUMMER

Oh. Okay. Sure, I'll go check now.


MIA

(Noticing Summer seems a bit disappointing). What do you need the towel for?


SUMMER

Apparently, it's good for curly hair.


MIA

Is that right? Hmm. I didn't know that. Can’t you just use a regular towel?


SUMMER

I mean, I guess. I dunno. Whatever, no biggie mom.


MIA

(in the middle of filing papers, Mia asks) Can you pass me the...


SUMMER

Yeah mom?


MIA

YES! … Never-mind. Here we go. Found what I was looking for. Phew. (beat) Alright Bug, I gotta get back to work. I love you.


SUMMER

Yeah- Love you too, mom.


NARRATOR

If only Summer had talked to her mom at that moment, explaining how she was feeling down and sad about her hair, and the girls' comments. Her mom could've helped to make her feel better. (beat) I wish I could’ve made her feel better- But alas, I’m only a wee little firefly…


Okay, Anyway, sorry, back to the story.


While Summer was making her way to her room upstairs, she politely greeted the other guests as she passed the common areas.


SUMMER

Hello, Mr. Beatrice. How’s your afternoon so far?


MR. BEATRICE

Very, very pleasant. Thanks for asking Summer.


SUMMER

Oh, Mrs. Goldman, did you ever find your glasses?


MRS. GOLDMAN

Oh Summer, I did! Thank you. Can you believe they were in my purse the whole time? (she laughs)


SUMMER

(giggles in acknowledgement)


GUEST #1

Oh Summer, I hate to bother you but your mom seems a bit busy so I thought I’d ask you. What time will dinner be served tonight?


SUMMER

Dinner is between 5:30-7. See you then!


FX: GIGGLING NOISES ARE HEARD IN THE BACKGROUND


GIRL #1

Here comes that weird girl again.


GIRL #2

Ooh yeah. Shhh, shhh, here she comes.


SUMMER

(says to herself under her breath) You can do this. Okay. (beat) Here we go.


SUMMER

(Clearing her throat) Excuse me. (Said in a stern voice)


NARRATOR

… Summer says, as she quickly walks by the “mean girls” who are now hanging at the bottom of the stairs blocking the passageway.


FX: SUMMER BEGINS TO RUN UP THE STAIRS AND STOPS AS SHE HEARS MORE COMMENTS BEHIND HER BACK


GIRL #1

Excuse me. (she mimics in a mean girl sort of way and scoffs out loud) Hey, did you notice she put her hair away this time?


GIRL #2

Yeah! Good! No one needs to see her dirty scruffy hair anyway.


GIRL #1 & 2

Gross. (as they continue to laugh some more)


FX: SUMMER CONTINUES RUNNING UP THE STAIRS


NARRATOR

Remember how I was telling you Summer was the life of the party? A spunky girl, bubbly and full of energy? Well, not anymore. Summer felt sad, alone, helpless, and confused.

Now, let me explain to you…the way the second story is setup with the bedrooms, you can clearly see what is happening below because of its interior balcony. So when Summer was approaching her room, she noticed Lizzie once again witnessing the interaction between her and the girls.


SUMMER

So, speechless again I see?


NARRATOR

Summer looked at Lizzie, Lizzie looked at Summer, and with tears filling her eyes, feeling defeated, opened FX: DOOR OPENS and slammed the bedroom door behind her.


LIZZIE

Sum-- (exhales in disappointment) FX: DOOR CLOSES HALFWAY THROUGH THE WORD SUMMER




 

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.......... To read the entirety of this story, contact Ashley Tobias ..........

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