The Princess and the Pea – Part Three

A forest of trees is shown with a path through the middle
In the forest
Image from Pixabay

Willow took a step towards Eadon timidly, still looking into his eyes. He stood there, staring at her… that was when she remembered she still had the visor down.

She stepped back.

“I’m sorry, I…” She reached up, touching the visor lightly.

“Why do you wear it?” Eadon asked, tilting his head.

“I… Well… You’ll see. In time,” Willow said, looking away.

As she turned her head Eadon noticed random small braids in Willow’s hair, and he thought they made her look even more beautiful.

What was he thinking?! He couldn’t like her! He had another princess he had to marry and fall in love with!

This close to him, Willow noticed little freckles scattered across Eadon’s nose, something that couldn’t be noticed from far away. They made him even cuter.

What was she thinking?! She didn’t have time for a boy. She had a forest to protect and a life to live.

 You see, dear reader, what both Willow and Eadon noticed, but didn’t want to accept, was that they were falling for each other. They both had expectations which held them from acceptance. Eadon had to get through the forest and marry the perfect princess on the other side. Willow had to protect the forest and get Eadon safely through it. They were both very conflicted.  

“Um, well, if you’ll follow me, please,” Willow said, cheeks flushing.

Eadon’s face turned red, too. “O-okay…”

Willow led Eadon into the forest, away from the path. The trees were enormous, and soon Eadon couldn’t see the path he was supposed to be on. He kept following Willow, though. There was something about her that made him want to go wherever she went.


Finally the two came to a clearing. It was a beautiful meadow full of wildflowers and swaying, bright green grass. In the center was a huge tree with a thick trunk and far-reaching branches. Nestled in between the leaves was practically a fortress. Eadon realized it was where Willow lives.

A fortress it was. It was quite an incredible structure, and it’s a wonder how Willow pulled it all together. 

The tree house was neatly built, made of a dark brown wood that could have only come from the trees in the forest. There was a metal plating tacked to the walls, and there were open holes for windows. A rope ladder hung down from the entrance and swayed in the breeze. There was a porch, too, along with a swing. It had a roof of the same wood-metal combination as the walls.

Willow skipped through the meadow happily, looking back at Eadon as she went.

“Come on!” she called to him once she had reached the ladder. He was busy staring at the house in wonder.

He slowly moved to the ladder in a trance-like state, his steps slow and his eyes staring. Still staring up at the house, he reached out for the rope and once he found it he started up it. Soon he was standing on the porch of the tree house. Willow was leaning in the doorframe casually.

“Well, come on in then,” she said, opening the way for him.

Eadon stepped inside and his eyes grew with even more wonder. Willow had completely changed the inside from a rugged tree look to practically a castle. It was beautiful, given what she had to work with. There was a bed in one corner, near a window; a small kitchen area on the other wall; and a closed-off area which could only be a bathroom. Glass shards of all colors hung from the ceiling and caught the sun’s rays.

Willow was a wonder herself, just like her treehouse. She had built a running water system inside the house, and a safe heating system. Eadon may be questioning where she got the materials to do all this, but I know. I won’t tell though, that’s Willow’s secret. Okay, okay, I’ll stop interrupting.

“How did you…  Do all of this?” Eadon asked, looking around, amazed.

“Mm, let’s just say… I had help, and… I have my ways of doing things,” Willow responded mysteriously. Then she pulled out what appeared to be a chair and said,

“Now, sit. We have a lot to talk about.”

There you go, my friends, you’ve now been introduced to our brave warrior, and you’ve witnessed how she and the prince met. What comes next? You’ll have to wait and see…

 

 

The Princess and the Pea – Part Two

A green goblin is shown from the shoulders up, with two sharp teeth
Goblin
Image from Pixabay

Where were we, my friends? I sure hope you didn’t forget about me; the beautiful, amazing, magical, simply- you know, I’m gonna stop there, don’t want to get too carried away… Ah yes, I believe our warrior has arrived. For those of you who don’t remember, the prince has headed into the forest to meet the princess on the other side, and he has come face-to-face with a pack of troublesome goblins. That’s when she arrived. 

The prince looked up in surprise as his sword clattered to the ground, along with the arrow that hit it. His head turned to look in the direction from which the arrow came flying. He saw nothing but trees, and the goblins who were running into the forest.

“Who’s there?” he called, jumping off his horse. He bent down to pick up the fallen sword, but held his eyes on the woods.

One of the goblins ran forward, snatched the arrow, and screamed at the prince. The scream was so loud it startled the horse, who ran back down the path to the safety of the castle where it had come from. The little creature hurried back into the woods with his prize.

The prince sighed as he watched his horse run off. He’d have to make it to the princess on foot now.

“I said, who’s there?” he called once more, and this time, he got a reply.

A figure slowly emerged from the trees. “I am Willow, loyal protector of the enchanted forest,” she replied. “And who are you?”

The prince swallowed with uncertainty. “I… I am Prince Edward Anthony-David-Oliver Newfree the Second. Everyone calls me Eadon, though.”

Willow chuckled. “What a name,” she said, a grin forming. “Although ‘Eadon’ isn’t all that bad, you know.”

Eadon smiled. “Thanks,” he said quietly, shuffling his feet with nervousness. He then said, more clearly, “Can you… can you come into the light? I can’t see you very well.”

“Alright,” Willow said, then came all the way out of the woods where Eadon could see her.

She wasn’t very tall; at least five feet, much shorter than Eadon himself, and though she was short, her legs were long. On her small feet were brown, sleek boots that came to her knees. A layered skirt made of varying shades of green and brown fabric just reached the top of the boots. The bottom of her dark-green shirt was tucked into the skirt, and the sleeves were short. Wrapped around her arms were strips of brown fabric up to her elbow. In on hand she held her bow, which was made of a green crystal material, along with wood. In the other hand was the arrow the goblin (who was now standing at her side) had picked up; on her back were more arrows, all made of the same green crystal the bow was made of. Willow’s hair flowed down her back in thick waves and it appeared brown, but in the sunlight it shone a dazzling golden.

What was most peculiar about her was the visor she was wearing. Eadon couldn’t tell what it was made of; nor could he tell if Willow could actually see through it.

She could see him, in all his handsomeness… *ahem*… you’ll find out why she’s wearing it soon.

The visor covered her eyes only, and the strap went back into her hair, wrapping around her head. On it were markings, a language of some sort, almost like the ancient runes Eadon had been taught. At first the young prince had thought that the visor acted as sunglasses for the girl, but then he realized that the sun barely shown through the thick canopy of trees.

Meanwhile, Willow was observing Eadon, as he was doing with her. She took in his royal uniform, quite unsuitable for the forest. It was blue, the color of the Newfree family, and consisted of relaxed, nice pants, a white t-shirt, and a jacket overtop, which buttoned halfway. A red sash went across his chest, over the shirt but under the jacket. He was tall, a whole foot taller than Willow, and seemed very athletic. His light brown hair was slightly disheveled and hung over his forehead, almost in his eyes. Oh, his eyes. They were the most beautiful shade of brown Willow had ever seen, and she had seen a lot of brown in her life. She felt like she could get lost in them forever.

But she couldn’t. She had a forest to protect, and, now, a prince to deal with.

 

The Haunting

A light blue book is shown on a floor, covered in dust and cobwebs
Image from Pixabay

It was simply a cloudy and cold January day, that day I found a new side of life that I never had really believed was real before, just made up.

The day wasn’t supposed to be anything out of the ordinary. Our only plans were to go to dinner at one of the homey restaurants along the main road. Before we left I took my dog Brady for a walk. I just took him up the street to the dead end.

The last house on the right had been abandoned for years and was falling apart. A few neighborhood rumors said that years ago, it was a poor single mother who lived with her young-adult son who lived in the house. Supposedly, the son had mental problems and killed the mother. No one ever really believed this was true, and no one even knew where the story came from, but the house sure gave off a creepy vibe.

When we reached the house, I got a strike of curiosity. I tried to walk up to the door, but Brady pulled away. I kept trying but he just wouldn’t budge. So, I finally just tied his leash to the lopsided mailbox. I ran to the front stoop and stopped. My sensibility told me to get away, but my curiosity said to open the storm door and knock. My curiosity won, so that is just what I did. No sound followed, so I proceeded to turn the knob. To my surprise, the door was unlocked. My chest pounding, I opened the door.

The foyer I entered could have been out of a horror film. It was very dark, and the floor was coated with soot. The light fixture was covered in cobwebs and rust, and the walls were smothered in mold and filth. I thought I heard water running, so I walked up the stairs into what used to be a living room. I turned right and entered the kitchen. It smelled of sewage and rotten garbage. It turned out that the sound was not water running but the groan of a spirit in distress. I wanted to scream but I couldn’t. It seemed as if something grabbed my arm, and before I knew it I was dragged into a small bedroom. There was a human skeleton lying on the floor, clothes on and everything. It seemed to be the clothing of a middle-aged woman. On the walls was writing that expressed the words, “HELP ME.”

I though I was going to die of fear. Unfortunately, I didn’t. I heard whispers and screams of little kids, ladies, and men all emitting the words, “No! Please, No! Don’t kill me, please! Let me go!” I felt such horror and terror, I couldn’t say a word. I could feel myself being dragged down the staircase to the basement, which was just as bad if not worse than upstairs. I was pulled into a room that had thousands of sticky notes on the walls that read, “I’m sorry” and “the devil told me to” and “you should have just left me alone.”

After not being able to move for almost a minute, I suddenly felt released by the void that held me still. I flew as absolutely fast as I possibly could out of that earthly form of hell. Brady was still in the same place, his innocent eyes staring at me as if nothing had happened in the 10 minutes I was inside. I untied his leash and we walked home like normal. Then my family and I went to dinner like we were supposed to.

I never told anyone about what happened to me that day, but I will always remember it and learn from it.

Surprise!

A bicycle is propped up against a building with bright lights in the background
Image from Pixabay

It was May 5, 1996. Kevin was sitting on his bed reading when he heard the telephone ring. It was his friend Bobby. “Hey,” Bobby said, “wanna come over for dinner?”

Kevin lived in a quiet neighborhood in southern Massachusetts with his mother. It was a small run-down Cape Cod style home with torn window screens, chipping paint, a few roof shingles loose, and a few window shutters missing. His father left when Kevin was 8 years old, said he couldn’t handle having a family. It hurt Kevin really bad, but he’s learned how to deal. His mother works 2 jobs and can barely pay for the mortgage and groceries in the same month, but for the past 5 years, she has made it work. She is real hard on Kevin and gets snappy all the time, so he gets out of the house whenever he gets the chance.

“Sure,” he answered. He told Bobby he’d be over in 10 minutes. He quickly tapped down the stairs, told his mom where he was going, grabbed his jean jacket, and went out to the shed to hop on his bike.

When he approached the door, he combed his fingers through his hair and rang the doorbell. Bobby’s mother invited him in and he sat down at the dining room table. It was spaghetti night, Kevin’s favorite.

“So how are you doing Kevin?” Bobby’s dad said cheerfully.

“I am okay. Momma was real tired this afternoon, so I was glad I could get out for a while so she could have some time to herself,” Kevin replied.

“I know she works tough hours,” Bobby’s mom said.

“Yeah,” Kevin said, not wanting to be too self-centered and say how she could be a little nicer to him.

After dinner, Kevin and Bobby went into the living room to play Checkers. Later on, Kevin went home. No one was there, so he figured his mother had gone out for cigarettes. He was hungry for a snack, so he went into the kitchen. On the cupboard was a note that said, “Needed to get a few things. I’ll be back by 8:30.”

Kevin went in the living room to watch TV. 8:30 came and went. Then 9:00. Then 9:30. Kevin was getting worried. He walked down to the corner store where his mother usually went to grab odds and ends. She wasn’t there.

The owner said she had stopped by a little while ago. He recommended that Kevin walk down the street to the celebration hall. Kevin thought this was really strange, but he figured he had no reason not to.

When he arrived, he knocked on the door. It squeaked open slowly, and the room was dark. All of a sudden, the lights flew on and his mother, schoolfriends, and extended family all shouted, “Surprise!” Naturally, Kevin was shocked. They were throwing him a spontaneous party, planned by his mother who wanted to express how she loved Kevin, even though she knew she didn’t show it really often. He was ecstatic.

It was a wonderful evening for everyone, especially for Kevin and his mom.

She’ll Never Be the Same, Part 4

The hands of a doctor are shown holding a tablet and a pen
Doctor

I open my eyes. Light filters in through my window. Everything is so soft . . .

I sit up with the speed of a lightning bolt. Was it a dream I had last night, or did it really happen? I rub my temples. I’m so confused.

I stumble downstairs. Dad is in the kitchen, eyes empty.

“Come and sit down,” he says, motioning for me to sit across from him.

I obediently sit.

My dad sighs. “Last night, honey—Chelsea, Tina, and Tina’s mom crashed on the way to the sleepover.”

I nod politely, though my mind is on fire. It really did happen.

“Tina was fine, just a couple of bruises, her mom was fine, a broken leg, and Chelsea—” Dad pauses, looking down at the table. “She . . . was not okay.”

What happened to her?” A tear drips out of my eye. My voice is thick. “Did she die?”

Dad looks up at me and says, “She got paralyzed, from her upper back down. She can’t move. And, we don’t know if this is permanent, but she can’t speak.”

My soul feels crushed. I don’t know whether to feel relieved that she didn’t die, or sad that she got paralyzed.

“Can I go see her?” I ask.


I feel scared walking through the halls of the hospital where we were last night. I’m scared that something else will happen.

We enter Chelsea’s hospital room. She is lying on a white bed with a paper gown on and bandages covering parts of her body. She looks like she’s sleeping.

Mom is sitting in a chair in the corner of the room, reading a magazine.

A man enters the room. “Ah, hello,” he says to Dad. “I’m Dr. Heldon. You must be Chelsea’s father.”

Dad nods.

“I bring some unfortunate news,” Dr. Heldon says. He eyes the three of us sadly. “We have reviewed Chelsea’s brain scans, and Chelsea’s brain has been damaged.”

“What part of the brain was that?” Mom asks.

“The part that allows her to understand speech and to speak. It has been damaged so much so, I’m afraid, that she will not be able to comprehend words or communicate again.”

This hits me like a punch to the stomach. I’m on the floor, gasping for air. Tears flow freely down my face.

It’s all my fault. If I hadn’t been so mean to Chelsea, all of this wouldn’t have happened.

“Honey,” my mom says, stroking my hair. “At least she isn’t gone.”

“She is gone,” I whisper. “Chelsea will never be the same.”

This is all my fault.

I wipe the tears off of my face and look over at Chelsea’s bed. Her green eyes are open. I walk over to her.

“Hi, Chelsea,” I say. “I know you can’t understand me, but . . . I’m sorry. I love you.” I start crying.

I open my eyes, and Chelsea is looking at me sympathetically, smiling.

My heart expands and for a moment, I feel okay again.

The Elementals – Book 1 – How It All Started

Group of students talking
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Chapter 13 – Worried Friends

Back at the school, Inferno, Marina, and Thunder were fretting over their friends. They were back at school the next day, and the skeleton attack was the buzz all over the place. But Inferno, Marina, and Thunder were more worried about Earth, Hickory, and Blaze than another attack.

“Ohhhh what if they got caught?” Marina said, nervously fidgeting in her chair.

Thunder put a steady hand on her shoulder. “I’m sure they’re fine. You saw how Earth fended off the skeletons. Besides, they’re on a moving train, what could possibly get them?” he reassured Marina.

“What about the conductor?” Inferno inputted. “And Hickory’s leg is damaged, isn’t it? My bet is they’re already dead. Might as well start planning a funeral,” she added grimly.

Marina gave her a look. “Don’t say things like that! Do you want your friends to be dead?” she snapped.

“Well, no, but still. Anything could’ve happened,” Inferno replied.

Marina sighed. “I guess you’re right,” she said solemnly. Inferno smirked, proud of making Marina agree with her.

“See? Maybe if Earth doesn’t come back, I can be in charge,” she suggested with a bit of demand in her voice.

“Who said Earth was in charge? She’s just the bravest out of the six of us, admit it,” Thunder said.

Inferno faked a look of hurt. “I thought I was the bravest!”

“And I thought you and Earth were best friends,” Marina added.

“We- we are!” Inferno said quickly.

“Then why are you talking about her like you aren’t?” Marina questioned.

“I’m not, it’s just that, with her gone, I mean, she is brave and all, b-but I just thought that I was the bravest, and I should totally be leader, because, well, because I should, and, um, I’m qualified for it!”

“‘Qualified for it’?” Thunder scoffed. “You’re just being selfish and you want all the glory for yourself.”

“Guys!” Marina cried. “Stop fighting! We need to stick together! There’s only six of us, and probably thousands of skeletons. We can’t risk losing any more of us.”

“Well said, Marina, well said,” Thunder said, clapping lightly.

“Okay, everyone. Pull out your textbooks and open them to page 23, the section on early humans,” their teacher said. The students unwillingly pulled out their textbooks and began reading.

Thunder slipped a note onto Marina’s book while she was reading. Cheer up, it said, They’re fine. Besides, I’m here for you. – T :). Marina read the note and smiled. She looked at Thunder and mouthed “Thank You”. Thunder nodded in response. As long as they were together, everything was going to be fine.

 

The Elementals – Book 1 – How It All Started

Train tracks over water
Image by Peter H from Pixabay

Chapter 12 – Long Way Down

Earth didn’t sleep good that night. The train was too rickety, the boys snored too loud, and she kept having visions of her friends they left behind being taken. It was all too much. She just laid there in the dark, green eyes wide open, thinking of what to do. Then another vision came. In it, Inferno turned evil, double-crossed the rest of the team, and there was another land. Earth didn’t think much of it. It’s just a dream, she thought.

To take her mind off all the things she’d seen last night, she prepared survival kits for herself and the boys.

“Looks like someone was up all night,” Hickory said, eyeing all of Earth’s work.

Earth chuckled. “Yeah, I couldn’t sleep, I kept having these weird dreams.” she cracked open a bottle of water. “Want any?” she shook the bottle lightly.

“Yeah, actually. Thanks.” Earth handed him a bottle. “So what were these dreams about?”

“Oh, nothing, I’m sure they don’t -“

“Earth had weird dreams last night?” Blaze interrupted, sitting up from his sleep. “Ooo, I’ll take one,” he said to the water. Earth tossed him one.

“Kind of ironic that a fire element wants water,” Hickory joked.

“Hey, a guy’s gotta live,” Blaze responded, taking a sip of the water.

“Guys, get back on track,” Earth snapped. “We have to get off this thing and back home. Grab your bags, we’re going.”

“Wait, like, now?” Hickory asked, surprised.

“Yes, now. Who knows how far away we are. Alright, come on.” she threw open the side door of the train car.

The train was on a bridge. Earth peered over the edge.

“There’s no land in sight, only water beneath us,” she observed. “Give me a crate.” Blaze handed her a crate. Using just her hands, she dismantled it and refashioned it as a raft. Then she threw it out the door.

“Wh-what did you just do?” Hickory asked, stuttering in shock.

“I just dropped our floatation device into the river we’re going to jump into,” Earth explained.

“J-jump? I can’t even w-walk!”

“Why don’t you just try? I think my powers enhanced my already strong reiki. Oh, wow, that’s a long way down…”

“Don’t say that!” Hickory scolded, carefully standing up on his good leg, holding onto a crate for support. He gently placed the hurt leg on the ground and put some pressure onto it. He winced, then put more pressure on it until he was standing up straight. “H-hey! I think-” he took a step “-it’s all healed!” he took another step, then another, and another, until he was next to Earth at the door of the train car.

Earth looked at him. “Didn’t I say it would be?”

“Yes,” Hickory said, giving her a quick hug. “Thank you.”

“Alright, you two. Let’s go,” Blaze interrupted, joining them.

“On three. One… two… three!” Earth yelled, jumping at three. The boys followed her. They held onto their survival bags as they fell.