Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
Today marks week 12 of the 52 week writing challenge!
A few weeks ago, I ran a Twitter poll to decide the prompt for Sunday 26th March. It was pretty close, but the winner was Portal:
Therefore the prompt for Sunday 26th March is ‘Portal’:
I wrote most of this on the train to and from London. I’m pretty productive when I have nothing but a notebook and pen, and I’m stuck on a train because 3 out of 4 were delayed: rail services in the UK are awful!
Sienna was not a wary child. Where other seven year old girls would cling to their parents legs at large events or parties, she would peek out, take a look, and run head first into the centre of the room. She would run between the legs of other parents. She would slip under tables, lined with food and drink, and jump out at the unsuspecting adults to give them a fright. Sienna would giggle and run away when they glared or yelled, ‘SIENNA!’ in loud, angry voices when drink spilt over their fancy clothes. She did not need to hide with her parents. That was no fun.
It was this independence and quest for adventure that led her to the woods at the bottom of the garden of their new house. It was huge, a large assortment of different shades of green and brown and red, and well worth exploring. Her parents would never find her.
A sad smile graced Sienna’s face. They probably wouldn’t even notice she was gone. Her new little brother made sure of that.
A glow by a tree stump caught her attention, and she shook her head. She did not need her parents to scold her or tell her to come inside anyway. Sienna moved towards the glow.
Her mother had told her stories of fireflies: How they captivated young boys and girls and led them far from home. Her mother had been trying to scare her, to curb what she called a ”wild and wilful nature.’ Sienna did not know what wilful meant, but the story did little to dissuade her. Following the fireflies sounded like an awfully big adventure.
Sienna reached the glowing dot. Her face scrunched up, and she tilted her head at it. It did not move. It hovered in front of her, still as the kids at school when they played the statue game. As she looked closer, the glow faded a little and a figure took shape. The first thing that caught her attention were the wings. Was this a fairy?
But how could it be? The fairies in her picture books had wings that looked soft and sparkled. This creature had sharp edges to it’s wings, and a dark circle ran around the edges.
“Are you a fairy?” Sienna asked, never one to hold back with her questions.
“Yes,” the thing replied, with a nod and a small smile. “You are a really big fairy, little one.”
“Oh.” Sienna exclaimed, and she turned to look at her back. Wings. From the fancy dress party. This fairy thought that she was one of them.
Sienna paused. Her mother had told her that it was wrong to lie. She bit her bottom lip. On the other hand, if the fairy thought that she was one of them, she might get to visit the castle. After all, in her picture books, all fairies had castles…
“I am, but my wings are broken, I cannot fly,” Sienna replied, with the straightest face that she could muster. It was the face that her mother used when she told Sienna that they were out of ice cream. Sienna hoped that she was a better liar than her mother was.
“Oh, we can fix that,” the fairy assured her with a smile. “Follow me.”
Sienna paused and bit her bottom lip. On the one hand, her mother had always told her not to talk to strangers, but on the other hand, was a fairy a stranger? In her books, fairies were always magical and kind. Sienna nodded. The fairies would not hurt her.
She moved towards the fairy with slow steps, and felt as if she were floating. The fairy waited for her with it’s head cocked to the side, patient, as Sienna picked her way carefully over fallen branches and through the leafy glade. Her steps led her deeper into the forest.
The daylight, which had filtered through the trees in great beams at the edge of the wood, became less and less bright as she went deeper. Sienna looked up. The leaves were thicker here, and they stopped the sun from reaching the floor. She shivered and wrapped her arms around herself. Her head turned to look back over her shoulder. Perhaps she should turn back…
The fairy was in front of her eyes in an instant, so close that Sienna blinked and took a step back. When she made out the tiny figure, it was pointing to the left.
Sienna turned to look, and she let out a huff of air.
A single bright beam of sunlight streamed down through the trees and into the clearing ahead of her. She raised a hand to her mouth to cover a smile.
“Beautiful,” Sienna murmured. It was a word that she had heard her mother use to describe the sunrise.
In the dead centre of the clearing, surrounded by tree stumps, stood a tall tree. Sienna looked closer as she approached it. Her hand reached out to trace the small dents in the trunk. An axe lay shattered nearby. Sienna grinned. The tree was magic: It could not be cut down!
“Awesome!” Sienna exclaimed, as she turned towards the fairy. “Is this your castle?”
The fairy shook it’s head and motioned towards the back of the tree. Sienna peered around the edge, eyes alight with curiosity and smile wide. What she saw made her gasp.
There, at the base of the tree, was a glimmering pink portal. It was beautiful.
The fairy gestured towards the portal. Sienna bit her lip and glanced behind her, and then back towards it. She took a slow step forward. The fairy huffed and waved it’s hand. Sienna’s eyes glazed over, and she fell into a trance. Her slow steps became strides. The portal shimmered around her as she went through it, and the fairy followed with a smirk.
Sienna blinked away the dream-like state she was in, and her vision swam with ripples of pinks and purples. It was like an odd coloured pond, which had been hit with a stone, like when she and her friends tried to skim them on the lake. She was not afraid. The ripples always settled eventually, so Sienna waited. When the ripples cleared, it was still so bright. She raised a hand to her face to shield her eyes.
When the glare became more bearable, Sienna lowered her hand. It stretched out in front of her to touch a golden tree trunk, and she took a few tentative steps forward. The world back home was dull and had no colour. This though. This was something else entirely.
The trees were brightly coloured. Orange, pinks and yellows. Each one had flecks of gold, and sparkled with fairy dust as hundreds of fairies flitted around her from tree to tree. The sun shone easily through the light blue leaves, which were so thin that they let the light pass through them. It was a fairy grove.
Sienna cast her gaze over the bright green grass of the forest floor. It was clear of foliage, and when she bent to run her hands over it, her fingers slid easily over the soft blades of grass. Less blades, and more like feathers. She giggled, and toed off her shoes to let her bare toes curl against the grass. It was as soft as the rug that her mother had in the dining room, and Sienna squealed in delight. Her shoes were tossed carelessly aside, and the portal rippled as they fell back through.
Sienna was too busy to notice. Her eyes roamed the glade. A group of fairies had surrounded her now, and they beckoned her towards the centre of the clearing. A ring of squishy pink mushrooms sat in a circle, around a bed of flowers of all the colours of the rainbow. The fairies led a bright eyed Sienna into the middle of the circle. As she passed, she reached out to touch a mushroom. It bounced up and down like jelly, and Sienna giggled.
One of the fairies lay a delicate hand on her nose, and Sienna turned to look ahead. They had led her to a throne of mushrooms. It was then that Sienna looked around and noticed a shimmer of purple around the whole clearing. One of the fairies nearby tapped on it, and a purple wall shimmered into view. Sienna could make out high windows and brickwork.
“This is your castle!” Sienna exclaimed, as she turned to the fairy who had led her here.
“Sit, my child,” the fairy directed with a smile.
Sienna turned to the throne and reached out to touch it. It wobbled just like the smaller mushrooms did, but it appeared sturdy. She pulled herself up and sank into the chair. It wobbled around her, but Sienna sank back into it with a sigh of comfort as it became steadier.
A sudden thought occurred to her, and she sat up straight. The chair jiggled beneath her.
“This is your throne! I can’t sit in it!” Sienna protested.
“Relax, child,’ the first fairy insisted with an easy smile and a wave of her hand. “It has been waiting for you.”
From both sides, fairies of all colours and shapes appeared, bearing trays laden with cups and bowls made entirely of leaves. Sienna reached out to poke one of the cups with a careful hand. It was hard to the touch.
“Magic,” a new fairy explained. “Magic holds us all together.”
Sienna grinned and picked up the cup. She took a sip. Her eyes closed and her mouth twitched into a smile as the golden liquid slid down her throat. It tasted of home made cakes, golden honey, and was sugary sweet. A drink fit for a queen.
“This is delicious,” Sienna complimented with a smile towards the assembled fairies. They beamed at her and rushed forward all at once, offering treats, sweets, and cakes.
Sienna relaxed back into the comfy throne and grabbed a frosted brown cake. When she bit into it, liquid oozed out from the inside and dribbled down her chin. She licked her lips and grinned.
Her attention was drawn upwards as a group of fairies hovered towards her. In their little hands, they held a circle of roses, a crown. They flew above her head, and Sienna’s eyes could no longer follow them. She felt the crown settle on her head and grinned.
Her grin faded to a smile, which then faded away completely. What of her home? Her family?
“Am I your queen?” Sienna wondered aloud. The fairies were worshipping her. They wanted her around. Not like her family.
The fairies did not respond, but, as one, they bowed before her.
That settled it. Her mother and father did not need her any more. They had her brother now. It was far more exciting here, and Sienna was comfortable and content. Here, they treated her like a queen, so here she would stay.
Behind her, unseen to the young girl queen, the fairy that led her here smirked. She watched as cogs began to turn behind the chair, and lights flickered on as night fell. The human child was young, and her imagination would live for many years to come. It would power their society, and keep them safe from the demons in the forest. They just had to keep her sweet and happy…
Thanks for reading! One of my favourite books growing up was ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ by Enid Blyton. This piece is influenced a little by that, and is another idea that I might continue if I get around to it: Although that list is long enough already 🙂
If you are interested in learning more about Faeries, check out Ronel’s post: Faeries and Fae.
I have come to the end of my work experience in editorial. Originally, I intended to post about it once a week whilst I was there, but time constraints made it impossible: Keeping up with Sunday Scribbles and my blog proved hard enough!
What I’ve learned from my adventures in editorial will be posted when things have settled down again, maybe as part of #AuthorToolboxBlogHop in April!
Next Sunday’s prompt:
The prompt for Sunday 2nd April is ‘Storm’:
If you try next weeks prompt yourself, let me know how it goes. Post your attempt on your blog on the 2nd of April, and leave a link in the comments below this post so that I can read it 🙂
If you can attempt the prompt in less than 140 characters, you can also #sunscribbles on Twitter. I am super interested to see what you all come up with 🙂