Yep, another contest post. 🙂 The story today is the fourth part of the Beyond the Looking Glass. (See the last part here. If you want to see all of the parts, just search “Beyond the Looking Glass” or “CWWC” in my search box.) Thank you guys so very much for your lovely and encouraging comments on it so far! You are so sweet. ♥ ♥ ♥
Anywho, I have a plot twist in mind for the next part which I think will surprise you. Heh heh. (Loren, I used the three prompts from this challenge.)
Beyond the Looking Glass, Part 4
I eagerly approach the fairy, but when she feels my shadow drop on her, her face suddenly contorts with terror and she rushes back into the toadstool house, slamming the tiny wooden door. A few seconds later I see her miniature pixie face peering anxiously out of a curtained window. She scans the forest. When she sees me, her face freezes in terror again, then melts into intense relief. Strange. What is going on?
The fairy scurries out of the toadstool and beckons me to lean down.
“Why are you here?” she whispers fearfully. “I don’t… I can’t believe that you’re one of Them…” She trails off and mutters to herself. “No, she can’t be on Their side. She is not one of them, I just know it.” She gazes up at me with her wide, green eyes that sparkle with fear. “Why are you here?” she asks again.
So I tell her. I tell her how I got to the land beyond the mirror; I tell her about the strange schoolroom, the riddle, and my surprise when I learned that silent, angry Mademoiselle Trumente is my mother who once loved me so much that she sacrificed herself to save me; and I tell her about the last message on the blackboard: “Go to the fairies. They will know what you need.”
During my story, the fairy’s eyes had constantly roved the forest, then returned for me. She was obviously afraid of something. Now I can’t stand it anymore. I have to know what she is afraid of, so I ask her.
She sighs. “So you don’t know Them. Very well, I will tell you, but you’ll wish you had never asked.”
A shiver runs up my spine like a mouse with cold feet. The fairy begins a sort of ballad in her soft, silvery voice.
“They are cunning, they are brave,
They are brutal, they are relentless,
And they are hunting us.
White creatures, ghostly in the mist,
Stooped and spiny.
Horrible creatures that flit from tree to tree
As tall as trees themselves,
Or small as flowers growing in the sun.
We can never know what form they’ll take,
But we can always know
That they will be terrifying.
They steal into our village on silent feet,
But their silence is a loud and terrible silence.
In the morning, our village wails and mourns.
One more fairy gone to the land of no return,
One more friend lost to Them.
But now, we will fight back.
They are brave, but we are braver.
Bravery is overcoming fear;
We will overcome our fear
And destroy Them.
Now the fairy lifts her head and she looks beautiful standing there, proud and defiant. But she is tiny. How can such little fairies ever hope to conquer such strange, terrible creatures as tall as trees?
“I am so sorry.” I say, meaning it. “But what about me? Was the message right when it said the fairies will know what you need? Do you know what will save my mother?”
The fairy looks me in the eye. “I do. There is a plant called the Healing Lily that grows in the mountains. For centuries the fairies have prized the Healing Lily as a cure for blindness or deafness. It will cure your mother… if you can obtain it.”
I nod my head with excitement. “Oh, that is wonderful! How am I to get this Healing Lily?”
“That part is not so wonderful. The plant lives on the mountain, but so do They. You will come with us, and help us fight Them, and when They are conquered, you may take the flower.”
I gasp. I have no experience in war; I am not strong; I do not know how to use a sword or shoot a bow and arrow. And I most definitely do not want to meet Them. I struggle to find my breath.
“But – but isn’t there some other way? I won’t be much help to you – I don’t know anything about fighting.”
“We will teach you.”
“But…” It is no use. I know I must fight Them or never save my mother.
That night at dusk I cloak myself in a dark cape. The fairies have given me their largest lantern, which is still rather small for me. I return to the fairy ring to see dozens of fairies standing solemnly in front of their houses, watching me. Young and old, men and women, boys and girls, all are watching and waiting. The first fairy I met – who I now know as Gwendolyn – nods at me. I take a deep breath and wave to the fairies. It is time. It is time for me to test my bravery. I must carry the message to the surrounding kingdoms: “War on Them tomorrow.” The elves and dwarves and all the other people of the forest have been preparing for this moment for months. Now I will be the spark that lights the match, and tomorrow the fire will burn against Them.
I turn and hurry down the woodland path, consulting the fairies’ map every so often. It is certainly true that I can cover ground much faster than the fairies ever could. My hair streams out behind me as I run silently over the moss. I pass a dwarf graveyard, spooky in the misty night. Are They lurking behind every tree that I pass? Are They waiting for just the right moment to jump out and capture me? Will they put out the spark before it has time to light the match? I take a deep breath and remember what the Gwendolyn said: Bravery is overcoming fear. You can do this, Adele.
Oh no! What will happen? 😛
And now for the BIBPC entry. This is the LAST category, guys! BIBPC was lots of fun – thanks for doing it, Megan! The category this time was Photo Editing.
Story behind the photo: You may have seen the unedited version several times already on my blog, because I just really like it! It’s a picture of bubbles on the top of our aquarium. On PicMonkey I tinted it purple (obviously 😄 ), and added a few effects and basic touch-ups. Ahhh, purplicious! 😀