Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Children of the House on Briar Point: Emily Meets the Sisters

Another girl was at the door.
Rebecca and Rosalind had seen other girls before,
but only on the other side
of the big white fence.
People never crossed to their side.
They rather liked it that way,
because they found it very hard to trust people.

People were loud.
People were rude.
People stole things,
hurt things,
and always showed up where they were not wanted.

“Who are you?” Rebecca asked the girl.

“I’m Emily,” the girl answered her.
“Those are my persimmons lying
on your front steps.”
Her voice shook,
and she was looking at her feet.

“Those can’t be your persimmons,” said Rosalind.
“They weren’t on your side of the big white fence.”

“They are mine,” insisted Emily.
“They fell from my tree,
so they are my persimmons.”

“Oh,” said Rosalind.
“Well, thank you very much.
They were very good persimmons.”

“But you stole them,” said Emily.
“You stole them and I want them back.”

“I’m sorry,” said Rebecca,
“but we’ve eaten nearly all of them.
But we can give you back the ones
that we didn’t eat.”

Emily looked up.
 “Thank you, I guess.
But I don’t have much else to eat,
so please don’t take any more of my persimmons.”

“You don’t have anything to eat?” asked Rebecca.
“Nothing?” asked Rosalind.

“Not much,” said Emily.
“I live alone
and there isn’t much I can get by myself.”

Rebecca and Rosalind looked at eachother.
Then they smiled.
“We have plenty of food,” said Rosalind.
“You can have some of ours.”

They didn’t trust people,
but Emily seemed like such a nice girl.
They didn’t think that such a nice girl

should only go with such a small amount of food. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Aliss and the Rose Dragon, part 2

When Aliss told her parents about the Rose Dragon, they were very surprised to find out that their daughter had befriended a dragon, but they accepted the dragon and told her that she may stay in the garden for as long as she wished.
            Aliss and the Rose Dragon became the dearest friends. Aliss’ morning and afternoon excursions to the garden now included delightful meetings with the dragon as well as the flowers. The Rose Dragon was perfectly agreeable to allowing the girl to climb up on her back and slide down off of her long neck. They would chase eachother through the garden and tumble and wrestle and laugh until their sides ached. Sometimes the dragon would tease Aliss by gently butting her like a young goat while she was tending to the flowers or reading or daydreaming at her table, and sometimes Aliss would retaliate by gently tugging the dragon’s tail and running off  to hide under a hedge or behind a bush. The dragon always found her, and when she did the two of them would laugh and embrace and taunt eachother playfully. Aliss taught the dragon the songs and stories she learned at school, and the dragon would quietly and respectfully listen and nuzzle her in approval when she finished.
            The spring turned to summer, and the Rose Dragon remained in Aliss’ garden. Aliss was released from school and was free to spend entire days with her. At night, the Rose Dragon would open up her rose petal wings and Aliss would climb into them, and the two of them would sleep together amongst the frogs and crickets that came into the garden to sing their songs.
            One afternoon Aliss’ parents were leaving for an out-of-town wedding. They told Aliss that they would be away until next afternoon, and that a friend of the family named Kara would be coming to keep an eye on things.
            “Can’t my dragon take care of me?” Aliss asked.
            “Of course she can,” said Aliss’ mother. “Kara will only be dropping in to make sure the two of you are all right.”
            Aliss’ eyes widened. “What will Kara say about my dragon?” she asked in alarm.
             “We told Kara all about your dragon,” Aliss’ mother assured her, “and she promised that she wouldn’t do anything to disturb her.”  
            Even after this reassurance, Aliss did not trust Kara. When her parents left, she ran to the garden and warned the Rose Dragon, “My parents will be away until tomorrow afternoon, and their friend is dropping by to check on things.” The Rose Dragon bared her fangs in alarm, and Aliss knew she would have to be very protective of her until her parents returned.
            Aliss stayed by the Rose Dragon’s side, and the two of them remained vigilant when Kara dropped by. But when Kara saw the dragon, she only waved politely to her and didn’t get too close. “She is a beautiful dragon,” she told Aliss. “You are very lucky to be her friend.”
            “I am!” cried Aliss. “I am very lucky to be her friend!” Aliss stopped worrying about Kara, and Kara treated the dragon with respect. She let Aliss stay out in the garden, and brought dinner for her and the dragon to Aliss’ table.
            “The Rose Dragon doesn’t eat food like me,” Aliss explained to Kara. “She eats sunlight and water, just like flowers.”
            “I see,” said Kara, and took the extra food inside to save for the next day. As much as she wanted to get to know the dragon herself, she had been told that the dragon was very distrusting of humans, and she didn’t want to do anything that might alarm her.
           Aliss and the dragon spent the rest of the afternoon playing hide and seek in the hedges, and that night Aliss slept curled up in the dragon’s soft rose petal wings. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Children of the House on Briar Point: Emily

Emily climbed over the big white fence
and set out to find who had stolen her persimmons.
At first she thought it might’ve been a squirrel.
“Do squirrels eat persimmons?” she asked herself,
and then she decided that they did not.

“Then perhaps it was a bat,”
she mused to herself.
She did not think that she wanted to meet a bat.
“Do bats eat persimmons?” she asked herself.
She could not answer that question
because she had never seen a bat.

There was another house
on the other side of the big white fence;
a tiny cottage, just like hers.
But it was much older
and built of stone,
and it was painted white
while hers was painted yellow.

What a peculiar little house it was,
and how pretty!
Emily thought someone very nice must live there.

But then she saw the two persimmons
lying askew beside the white steps.

She thought they must not be so nice after all.

Emily cautiously walked to the door—
up one white step, then the other, then the third.
She didn’t know what she was ought to say,
but she knew she must get her persimmons back.

She knocked on the door.
One, two, three little knocks…

Secret Worlds and Fantastic Creatures: The Key

A lonely little key was lying on the bank of a quiet little stream.
The key was plated with real gold and inlaid with real jewels, and carved in an intricate manner that indicated whoever had made it had worked with extreme care and consideration. Clearly, the key was intended to serve some very special purpose. This was a very important key, but it could not serve its purpose lying on the bank of a stream, with nobody around to take it and find its use. 
The key was found by a little bluebird strolling along the bank of the stream. “What a lovely addition to my nest!” she exclaimed. “I’ll weave it in, and I will have the most beautiful nest in the tree!”
She took the key, brought it to her nest, and weaved it in among the leaves and twigs. But it did not make the nest look as decorative as she thought it would; it was overshadowed by the leaves and twigs, and all it did was provide a glare when it caught the light of the sun. The glare was very annoying for the bluebird, and she felt that such a beautiful key really did not belong among leaves and twigs, so she took the key out of her nest and left it on the bank of the stream where she had found it. Decorating a bird’s nest was not the key’s purpose.
The next day, the key was discovered by a nereid swimming along the bank. “Oh my! What a treasure!” exclaimed the nereid. “I am going to keep it with all my other treasures!”
She took the key, brought it to her den, and set it on top of her pile of treasures. But though the key was very beautiful, it looked out of place among the pearls, jewels, and gold coins that the nereid kept. The nereid’s jewels were the size of soccer balls, and the tiny jewels that decorated the key looked very insignificant in comparison. The nereid decided that the key did not belong in her pile of treasures, and she brought it back to the bank of the stream. Becoming a nereid’s treasure was not the key’s purpose.
The next day, the key was found by a big green frog out for a morning stroll. “I will wear this around my neck,” said the frog, “and it will look so beautiful on me that nobody will ever call me an ugly wartface!”
            He took the key, brought it to his swamp, and threaded the stem of a flower through the intricate loops. He tied the stem and slipped it over his head. The key was cold and heavy against his chest, and he found it very hard to walk with it weighing him down. “It’s very beautiful,” the frog mused, “but perhaps it wasn’t meant to be worn around the necks of frogs! Oh well, I suppose it wouldn’t make a difference; I’m such an ugly wartface anyway!” So the frog took the key from around his neck, untied the flower stem, and set the key back on the bank of the stream. But nobody called him an ugly wartface—in fact, he was rather beautiful for a frog. Being worn as a necklace by a frog was not the key’s purpose.
            For the next few days, the key was passed by. Nobody noticed it. Nobody picked it up or tried to find a use for it. It seemed as if the wonderful key would be forgotten. But finally, the key was noticed—not by a bird, a frog, a nereid, or any other creature of the forest, but by a human being from the village nearby. He was walking along the bank of the stream on his way home from a hike, and he nearly tread on the key. He picked it up and examined it. “This is an odd little key,” he mused. “I wonder what it’s for. I’ll hold on to it and find out.” He placed the key in his pants pocket and continued on his way.
         It is unknown what happened to the man or the key, but perhaps he finally found the key’s purpose. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Prince and the Desert Queen, part 6 (ending)

            The prince had to kiss the queen three times upon waking and three times before going to bed. He was made to sleep beside her every night, with his arms wrapped around her and her head resting near his chest. The prince was denied food and made to sit with his knees in the hot sand if he did not comply with the queen’s demands, if he mentioned Princess Clara or his old life, or if he refused the queen’s advances.
            One night, the prince decided to attempt escape while the queen slept; he didn’t know or care where he would go off to, if only it was as far away from Queen Lizana as possible. Taking advantage of the lack of courtiers and servants, he quietly slipped out of the palace and took off running. He ran as fast as he had when he had chased the peahen—an animal which would go on to be despised by him for as long as he lived. He kicked up trails of sand in his wake and the fine clothing that the queen had provided him was dusty and stained.
            The desert seemed to go on forever, and the prince wondered just how much of it was under Lizana’s reign, and how much was just empty desert. Perhaps she was not even a real queen, but a crazy, wicked sadist who came across a long-forgotten palace and decided it was hers. When the prince could no longer run, he fell to his hands and knees and crawled, ignoring the possibility of further bites and stings from the poisonous creatures in the sand. He crawled until his legs were numb, and then he was forced to drag across the sand until he finally collapsed.
            When the prince woke up, he expected to find himself back in the awful desert queen’s chamber, to see her glaring down at him with her icy blue eyes. “You tried to leave me,” she would say in that voice that was so like a snake. And then who knew what she would do to him for attempting to escape?  But he was not back in Queen Lizana’s chamber; he was staring up at a cloudless sky. Grass tickled the back of his neck and the palm of his hands, which were reddened by his crawl through the hot sands.  
            The prince staggered to his feet and beheld his surroundings. This was no desert, but a field. He looked behind him, and when he saw grass in place of sand, he jumped up and let out a joyous cry. He had escaped! He had made it out of Lizana the Desert Queen’s realm, alive, and unscathed except for his sore body and ruined clothes. He would never have to kiss her awful face or return her horrible advances or be denied food or made to sit with his bare knees in the hot sand.
           Prince Ephraim had no idea where he was now, or where he was supposed to go, or even if there was anywhere to go at all. All he knew was that he was free, and his desire to find his way back home to his kingdom, his people back at the palace, and his beloved princess motivated him to continue onward. To this day, Prince Ephraim still wanders through the world of the fairies, endlessly searching for the way back to his kingdom. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Children of the House on Briar Point: Rebecca and Rosalind

This is a story written in verse. New parts of this story will be added every Wednesday, in addition to the regular Wednesday update.

The girl placed four tiny orange fruits into her sister’s hand.
“Here, Rebecca, look at what I found
on the trees by the big white fence!
I tasted one already.
They’re so soft and so deliciously tart.”

Rebecca looked at the small, smooth orange fruits.
She took an experimental bite of one of them.
The fruit tasted like nothing
she had ever tasted before;
it was soft as a cake
and as sweet as a candy,
but there was the slightest hint of bitterness
reminiscent of an unripe apple.

“What is it called?” she asked her sister.


“If you found them by the big white fence
how do you know that they don’t belong
to the people who live on the other side
of the big white fence?”

“Because it was on our side of the fence,”
her sister assured her.

“Was it?”


“Then they’re ours,” said Rebecca.

Her sister sat beside her
and they ate the strange, small fruits together.
The juices dribbled down their chins
and they giggled.
“Rosalind is a dribbleface,” Rebecca chanted tauntingly.

“So are you!” Rosalind shot back.

They laughed.
They were always laughing.