The third and final part of what I’ve written so far. I’ll be updating this particular tale less frequently, but I do intend on writing more of the story as soon as I find the inspiration.
Once Upon a Raindrop, Part III
Had I fallen asleep? The room quieted for a moment and I listened for the clack of my aunt’s heels on the hardwood.
“It’ll be all right.” The voice, gruff but friendly, continued. “I’m here for you.”
Toby loomed over me, but he was smiling, his fish-hook mouth curved upward. I hugged his leg and bathed in his fur, momentarily comforted.
“Maggie?” He whispered this, and then patted my head with his oversized paw. “Your mother gave me to you for a reason. She said when you could understand them, it was time to go. I need to help you go.”
Confused, I looked into his button eyes and saw myself crying. I missed my mother, I could fit in a mouse hole, and my aunt was coming home any minute.
“Just close your eyes, Maggie. Close your eyes and sing your song and go there. Go to your better place.”
I did as told; then opened my eyes once more. I looked up at Toby.
“It didn’t work.”
“Of course it didn’t. You need to believe a better place exists before you can get to it.”
Clack. Clack. Clack.
Toby picked me up and I stood in a field of fur. “Hurry,” he pleaded. “She’s coming!”
I closed my eyes again so that my lids felt like they were burning into my cheeks. I pictured a place with green, green fields of grass, golden sunlight, and houses shaped from flowers. Clack. A dark forest surrounded the bright place. Clack. An evil queen. Clack. Clack. Clack. Clack.
The noise stopped; the sounds of my aunt’s high heels faded into the sounds of chirping birds and running water.
I kept my eyes closed for what seemed like hours. I could almost feel Aunt Rue stick her heel in my foot and dig, laughing as she did it; but there were no heels, and the smell of my aunt—like sour milk and bonbons—was replaced by the scent of flowers and fresh-cut grass. It was when I opened my eyes I noticed my outfit, unlike my dream, remained unchanged; my wings, nonexistent. I had only moments ago been fairy-like. Now I donned only jean shorts and a blue T-shirt, running shoes, and a ponytail. I cried then, not because I could not fly, but because my better place did not mean a better me.
I grew tired of sitting. I rose up and turned, enchanted by the workings of my imagination. I had landed on a small grassy patch, surrounded. Forest was on all sides of me, with arrows pointing in the cardinal directions at the patch’s center. There was writing on each wooden arrow, with a symbol of some sort etched in the point—to the north, a flower; to the south, a faded crown; to the west, a mountain; to the east, a fish. The continued sound of running water relaxed me as I made my choice. I headed south in search of royalty.
The forest’s canopy started to fold into itself the farther I walked into the forest. Darkness—like attic darkness— began to shroud me and the trees, too; a breeze whispered through my hair, “Little girl.”