Misty, I used the word prompt, did a plot twist, and included swans in my story. Loren, I used 7 prompts. I don’t have time to add the pictures, but they were the monsters one, the hunting us one, the muddy forest one, the blue butterflies one, the Here Be Faeries one, the dragon-on-a-branch one, and the shattered glass one.
My commentary is going to be brief because I don’t have much time. (As usual for writing posts. XD )
Remember, Adele has just found her father…
Beyond the Looking Glass, Part 7
“But… how are you alive? I thought you fell down a chasm!”
“I did. But I fell down here and as you can see, I survived to tell the tale!” Father grins. “The trolls were quite hospitable when they found me, and gathered up countless little things to make me comfortable. I took a while to recover from that fall.”
I remember something from Gwendolyn’s history lesson: “A little over a decade ago…the trolls living in Their land found something, we know not what…”
Now I know what they found – Father! Thirteen years ago Father fell into their world.
Father goes on, “Now I know why they were so eager to protect me: they wanted to conquer the world, and I was to help them. Apparently the troll king was not a favorite with his subjects, but they had no choice but to obey him. He commanded them to capture hundreds of Saepertines from the forest…”
“Wait, what are Saepertines?” I interrupt.
Father raises an eyebrow. “Look around you.”
I do, and see with a shudder the ghostly white, spiny monsters, stooped, terrifying. All this time They had miraculously kept back from Father and me.
“Oh,” I whisper, “you mean Them.”
Father nods. “When I saw a Saepertine for the first time, I was terrified, and when the trolls told me I was to be their Master I nearly fainted. But luckily they were as afraid of me as I was of them – they had never seen a human, you see. That was why the troll king needed me for his plan – they would finish off any troll in an instant. Soon I had them trained to despise everyone except for me and the trolls. All these years I have been trapped here longing for a sight of you and your mother.” His eyes light. “How is your mother, anyway?”
I look down at the ground. “She… she isn’t doing very well. She’s nearly deaf, and…”
Father cuts me off with a cry, “My Susan?!”
I nod sadly. “That’s why I’m here.” I tell him how I came here, and about the Healing Lily.
Father looks relieved. “So she won’t be deaf for long, then. But how are you going to get back to our world? I’ve been looking for an escape route for years.”
“The fairies and Ferrymen will help. They can help me with anything.”
Suddenly I’m jolted back to our immediate situation by the appearance of a soldier at the top of the pit. He, too, is paralyzed by fear at the sight of Them. “Father!” I shout, “We have to save the soldiers!” I realize that during the time I was sitting here talking, hundreds of soldiers may have met their death, falling prey to Them like I almost did.
“They are cunning, they are brave,
They are brutal, they are relentless,
And they are hunting us.”
Father face pales, and after giving me a quick hug, he disappears down a tunnel that must lead to other pits. I swallow hard. The monsters surrounding me evidently know that I am a sacred object, not to be touched, but I’m still frightened. I feel like Daniel in the lion’s den.
Father soon returns with a solemn look on his face. “Some soldiers have gone, never to return, but the Saepertines will reap no more harvest.”
I take a deep breath. “So are we ready to find the Healing Lily? Can you sneak out with me without being noticed?”
“Of course! Jonathan Gray can do anything with his daughter at his side.” He winks at me.
Oomph! I stumble over a log and land headfirst in muddy water. Yuck. By the time we reach the top of the mountain, Father and I are both covered in mud from head to toe.
Finding the Healing Lily is definitely not easy. For half an hour Father and I stumble over rocks and peer down crevices. As I turn to climb down a boulder, a faint glow catches my eye. It’s those butterflies again! I see the same glowing blue butterflies as I did when I entered the fairies’ kingdom. They explode in a glowing blue cloud when I approach them, and reveal the Healing Lily at last! According to Gwendolyn’s description, the Healing Lily is a small, cream colored flower with a brilliant purple center and five long, delicate petals. Yep.
“Father! I found it!”
Leaving the fairies was sad on both sides. Gwendolyn was happy that I had found the Healing Lily, but sad to see me go. Before I left, she flew up to me with a serious look on her face.
“I just thought I should tell you, Adele, that your mother may have to pay a price for using the Healing Lily. It’s known to have many nasty side-effects, especially if the person who takes it is really deaf. Sometimes…”
I quickly cut her off. “Thanks for the warning, Gwendolyn. I’m sure we’ll be alright.” I’m in a hurry to get back, so I race over to Father and pull him away from a conversation with the fairy king. “Goodbye, everyone! Thank you all so much!”
I thought over my adventures as I once again passed the sign with “Here be Faeries” painted on it. So much has happened since I saw that sign for the first time! I will remember this journey forever.
In the blink of an eye the forest disappeared and I’m back at the Ferrymen’s world. The swans are still floating serenely on the lake, and the dragon-bird Ferryman is still sitting on the branch of the tree. At our approach, he flaps down and escorts us to a mirror which reflects his whole land. Father and I hold hands and crash through the glass. I open my eyes to shattered glass shards all around me. The Healing Lily is still clutched tightly in my hands.
Father and I slip quietly down the stairs, where I prepare the lily as Gwendolyn instructed. Halfway through the process, Mother appears at the door and stares at us silently. Father beams at her, but she shows no signs of recognition.
I pour the mixture into a glass, and hand it to Mother. She looks confused, but drinks it all down anyway. I wait eagerly for her to say something, for a change to come over her.
It does. The change is beyond my wildest dreams.
My mother has vanished.
Before I can think, I feel a touch on my arm and a broken voice speaks to me.“Adele, my daughter, Jonathan, my husband! Welcome home!”
I gasp. “It’s known to have many nasty side-effects…” One of which, apparently, is invisibility.
Duh-duh-duh-DUN! What will happen?