Monday, October 6, 2014

Autumn Stories-- Day Two

Phew! I got down to the bus stop just in time. :)

All right, here is day two-- a short, fractured fairytale:

We had been counting the days since the first leaf on the Great Maple had turned orange. Twenty days after the first leaf meant the official start of the season of Leafchange, which was the quick breath between Leafgreen and Tree-bare. This year, it was also the day my friends and I would gather in the town square and be shown the Secret Door.
The Secret Door was something spoken of in hushed tones by elders around campfires. Many would try their luck at entering, but only the one with the Pure Heart-- the one destined since before birth-- could go through the door. Whoever could enter through the door would be the next King or Queen.
We had been training for months now, ever since the coming of age ceremony last year when the Queen fainted and fell down the steps. She had been unwell ever since, and the search for a new Leader has been being prepared. On the first official day of Leafchange, all the young men and women aged sixteen must come to the Town Square, regardless or rank, gender, or race.
The anticipation throughout the city made the very air tremble. By this time tonight, we would know the new Leader.
Magic Mirror..I sighed deeply as my cousin finished twisting my hair up on top of my head. It was a pretty hairstyle, I thought, turning this way and that to see myself in the mirror. The looking glass was small, the kind of mirror that you can't see your whole face in at once unless you tilt your head just right. I looked at my reflection, unsatisfied at the pale, grey-eyed, freckled face that stared back to me. My hair was red, carrot-red, lightened by many years spent out-of-doors.
"What is it, Marigold?" asked my cousin. I looked up into her face earnestly. I loved my cousin. We had grown up side by side, closer than sisters.
"Nothing. It's just that... I don't want to be the next Queen," I said, gazing out through the shutters. It was a beautiful autumn day, with chilly breezes sweeping the leaves past and the last traces of yesterdays fog rolling away. It was just right for the opening of the Secret Door. It hadn't been disturbed since the Queen herself had stepped through many years ago. I wondered what it was like inside. Was everything covered in a layer of dust, untouched since the Queen's Choosing Day? Was time inside the Secret Door the same as it was here? Was it another world, or merely a hallucination? I was full of questions, and unanswered questions can make a person uneasy.
"Nonsense," said Mabel, putting her hand on my shoulder. "You must go. It's the law. And besides-- it's an honor to be Chosen."
"I'd rather be reading," I muttered, shaking her hand away.
"Hush, Marigold! Someone might hear you! You know it's not legal for a girl to read," Mabel's voice was sharp. But then she softened. "I would gladly go in your place, Marigold, but I'm a year too old." She sighed. Suddenly I realized how much Mabel must have wanted to have a chance at being the Leader. But the Queen's illness had come just after Mabel's sixteenth year,
"I don't know what to do," I said. Part of me shrunk back from the thought of being the Chosen One. My freedom would be gone-- no more horseback riding, no more reading in secret, no more running free. But another part of me knew the shame and embarrassment of those who were not the Chosen. They would have to go home ordinary, just as they'd come. "I don't know." I said again.
"Just believe," said Mabel. "Like we used to do as children. You were good at make-believe. You had a better imagination than any of us. Just trust that you can do it, and if it doesn't happen, know that we're waiting for you here at home." She smiled brightly at me. I hugged her tightly. I knew-- for Mabel's sake-- I must attend the ceremony.
My turn came. The door was more like a big mirror. There was no handle, it was simply a large looking glass in an intricately carved silver frame.
Drawing a deep breath, I pressed my hand against the mirror. I imagined my hand pushing through the glass the way I would the surface of a still pond. I believe, I believe, I believe.
And I stepped through.


  1. :-O
    You're an amazing authoress! =D very well done. :)

    1. Oh, By the way, i just read your profile. :D Dragons in Our Midst was one of my favourite series! Did you read the rest of them? Oracles of Fire, and Children of The Bard?

    2. Thank you! And yes, I love that series so much! (What I find really cool is that one of the scenes take place in the Deep Creek Lake discovery center, and I've been there so many times!) I've read Oracles of Fire, but I have yet to read Children of the Bard... mainly because I was waiting for the library to get a copy.


Go ahead and drop me a comment-- I appreciate them so much! I try to reply to all comments you leave me as quick as I can, whether it's on my blog or yours.
Rebecca :)