Here is my entry for the last CWWC challenge!
After spending weeks in anticipation of this party, the day was finally here! Last month I had gotten an invitation in the mail for a masquerade ball, complete with dancing and food. I was overjoyed! I loved dressing up, dancing, and food, so a masquerade party sounded like entirely too much fun. I meticulously planned out a shopping trip to the mall to find myself a costume. But my shopping day didn’t exactly go like I had planned. First, my best friend Ashley couldn’t go with me, because she realized she had already made a babysitting appointment for that afternoon. Then, while I was at the mall, I stopped at Pizza Plaza for a bite to eat. They make the best Meat Lover’s pizza around! But I forgot that the costume store was in the “No Food or Drink” section, and calmly walked right up to the store with my half-eaten pizza slice in hand. Three words: supernatural mall cops. A mall cop was walking by several feet away with his back turned towards me. Just as I was about to enter the store, he turned around and sniffed his nose like he had smelled something, saw me with the pizza, and sprinted over shouting at me, “No food or drink in here, young lady!” I was so embarrassed that I didn’t have any appetite left for my pizza after that. When I finally walked into the costume store, I was so overwhelmed by all of the possibilities that it took me over an hour to choose an outfit. Finally, though, I decided on being a knight – er knightess, if that’s even a word – since I had loved stories of knights and castles since I was young.
But now everything was ready and my costume was on. “Bye Mom! If any of my friends drop by and wonder where I am, tell them I’m at 42nd street at the masquerade ball.” At that, I rushed out the door and onto the sidewalk. Ashley was carpooling me to the ball, since I hadn’t gotten a true driver’s license yet.
Ashley pulled up in front of a grand stone building with people in costumes milling about. I complemented her on her costume (she was dressed as a peacock, complete with a beautiful shimmery mask and real peacock tail feathers), and scurried into the building. Everything was so beautiful inside, both the costumes and the building! There was a long ornate table filled with delicious-looking morsels which I promptly made a beeline for, although my beeline was somewhat roundabout because I met a bunch of my friends and stopped to talk to them before I made it to the table. While filling my plate, I encountered another knight, only this was an actual knight, not a knightess! And the knight was super tall – like 6’ 5”.
“I see you got the message,” the knight chuckled, looking at my costume.
“Yep!” I replied, grinning.
“Your costume looks great!” we both said in unison.
“Oops,” I giggled. “What’s your name, O knight in shining armor?”
“Arthur,” the knight said, bowing.
“Really?” I gaped. “Like King Arthur! So a knight costume was a perfect choice for you. My name’s Olivia, which has absolutely nothing to do with knighthood, I just like knights and castles and stuff.”
“Uh-huh,” Arthur nodded.
I moved down the table, loading my plate with delicious delicacies. (That’s fun to say: “Delicious delicacies, delicious delicacies, delicious…” okay you get the point.) Arthur moved down the opposite side of the table. I sat at another beautifully decorated table with some other people I didn’t know in the least. Which didn’t bother me at all. We chatted awhile and complemented each other’s costumes, until the dance music started. There was music from every era to fit every costume. There was even medieval-sounding music! Arthur and I danced during that song. After we danced, he led me to a balcony at the back of the building, where no one else was, and shut the door behind us.
“Hey Olivia, I need to tell you something.” He led me over to the side of the balcony, and said, “Look down, and what do you see?”
I was a little puzzled by Arthur’s behavior, but as I was a trusting soul, I leaned over the stone post and scanned the city below. “I see the city of Luz and the mountains, and the river. Ooh! And three pretty white doves!” At that moment three of the purest, whitest birds I had ever seen flew up around me, and one settled at my feet.
Arthur smiled. “Those are my doves, from my homeland. You see, I don’t live in Luz. I live in Archland.”
I gazed at him, wide-eyed. “Archland! As in Archland of the silver seas and gold trees?” I had heard of Archland before, from my parents. It was almost a legend, like something you hear about in fairy tales. My mother and father were practically the only people that had ever seen it. On my mother and father’s honeymoon, they biked all over the country. One day they came to a forest, and biking through the forest, they found a cave. When they walked into the cave, they found that at the other end was a door. That door opened back into a forest, but not the forest they had started in. It was the beginning of Archland, a country where the waves were capped with silver foam and the trees were always as golden as autumn. The people of Archland were different too. They lived in large stone houses, almost like castles, and whenever they went out, they donned sturdy clothes that looked like armor. They kept livestock like pigs, cattle, and sheep, and also a few other breeds of animals that only lived in Archland, one of them being a species of pure white dove. They still lived by the rules of chivalry and honor, and when they met my mom and dad, a family of Archlanders invited them into their castle to stay overnight, but they admonished them never to tell anyone (except maybe their children) about Archland after they got home, because they didn’t want their peaceful land being overrun with humans from a different world. Not that my parents were disturbing the peace, they assured them, but they didn’t want their land to turn into some sort of circus attraction. My parents agreed. And I remembered another thing my parents had told me. They family they had stayed with had a newborn baby boy named Arthur.
“Yeah. I live in the Archland.”
“But how did you find me?” I questioned him.
“I’m a detective. That’s what I do – find people.”
I eyed Arthur skeptically. With his wonderfully crafted armor suit and amazing height, I didn’t think he was telling the truth. He was much too noticeable to be a detective, sneaking around and all that sort of thing.
“Mom told you, didn’t she?”
Arthur shook his head. “How did you know? I can never tell a good lie because my eyes always twinkle when I try to lie, but I thought maybe since my helmet covered my eyes you wouldn’t notice. I wanted to see how you reacted.”
“Well, you would be pretty conspicuous for a detective,” I said, looking him up and down. “And I figured maybe Mom and Dad would have told you where we lived when they went to visit, just in case your family wanted to visit us sometime. And we live in the same house as Mom and Dad did when they first got married, so, I thought maybe you went to our house, found Mom, and after a… maybe emotional reunion (at least on Mom’s part), you set out to find me.”
“Aww, shucks,” Arthur half-groaned. “Well, I suppose it’s for the best, since even if I could tell a lie, the law wouldn’t let me. I would never feel right about myself if I lied all of the time.”
It took me a minute to sort out what Arthur was saying. I mean, of course it was a very good thing to always tell the truth, but I was puzzled about the law part until I remembered that he lived in Archland. The law of Archland was very strict about such chivalrous matters as telling the truth.
“So what are you here for?” I queried.
Arthur looked down at the floor and shuffled his armored boots. “Mother and Father sent me on a mission to your family because Archland is in danger.”
I gasped for, like, the fourth time in one hour. “What’s the matter?”
“About a month ago, another man named Dexter from your world entered Archland, and was enchanted with what he saw. He was determined to tell his buddies and turn the cave into a sort of tour for people from your land to visit ours, even though we made it clear to him that we wanted our land kept secret. Who knows how long it will be before he carries his plan out, and then Archland will be overrun with crazy tourists.” Arthur sighed. “Father remembered a legend he once heard about there being a key “to close the door from world to world forevermore,” and he had never paid any attention to it until he realized that there actually was another world when your parents visited us. Father fished up the paper with the legend from his library, and it says that a child from your world needs to activate the key (once we even find it). We immediately wondered if your mother and father had had any children (since we trust your parents), and thought that perhaps the child could do it. So I found your parents house after a lot of searching, and went to find you. Only…” Now it was Arthur’s turn to look me up and down. “I realize that you aren’t exactly a child.” He gave a little nervous laugh. “Not that I would have it any other way, of course,” he assured me. “You are a very beautiful young lady, it’s just that… well, you know, we were hoping for a child for the key’s sake.”
I blushed at his complement. “Well, I am only fifteen, so I guess I’m not a true lady yet.”
Arthur started in surprise. “Oh! You are only fifteen?! I thought you were older than that!” I grinned. He continued, “But I would say that fifteen will be young enough for the key. I don’t know if you knew this or not, but in our world, people live longer, so fifteen to us would be like five or ten to you. I just forgot the different time frame, that’s all.”
“So.” Arthur unveiled his mask, revealing a pair of clear blue eyes, and kneeled before me. “Do you agree to help us, O knightess in shining armor?”
I gazed into Arthur’s eyes. “I do.”
I liked that one pretty well. 🙂 I’m still going to continue the story for the 2nd challenge, but I’m not quite finished with the next part. It should be up pretty soon!
P. S. Do you like my new theme?