Lady of the Plants- Rough Draft

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
This story won an online “Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words” story contest. We had to pick a picture from what the host had selected and write a story about it.

Submitted: May 30, 2016

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Submitted: May 30, 2016

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Like all fairy tales, this one will start with once upon a time. Also, this will include the tale of a fair maiden and her sweet Prince Charming. But, this tale will also include a horrid tragedy. This is the story of Lady Paige.

I guess that I should at the beginning. Yes, I’m talking about the beginning before the beginning. Once upon a time, a little girl named Paige was born to a poor farmer’s family out in the rural regions of- well- it’s not important. From birth, her parents knew that their daughter was destined for something more than life on a farm. At the age of five, Paige had started helping her mother out in the house. She would try to wash dishes or sweep the floor, but each time she always ended up breaking something or drifted off into one of her many daydreams.

“Can I go and help Papa in the fields, Mama?” she asked one day.

Her mother looked out across the cropland and spotted her husband going to the barn with the horses in tow. “No sweetheart, working in the fields is a man’s job. It’s no place for a woman,” she said.

But this did not deter the child from her dreams. When Paige was thirteen, she discovered that she had a gift. It was the year of a terrible drought and the crops were slowly withering away. Paige’s father was very upset over this because it was the only way that he could provide for his family. Paige went up to him.

“Let me try Papa, I know that I can make the plants come back to life,” she said with her chin lifted high into the air.

He laughed and patted her shoulder. “You are very sweet, dear one. But I’m afraid that not even you can stop the field from dying.”

Paige got on her knees and rested her head on his lap. “Please,” she begged, “At least let me try.”

The worn out farmer sighed, “So be it then.” He waved her away.

Paige was ecstatic to finally be able to prove herself worthy of working in the fields with her father. She knew exactly what she would do. She would simply dump the water trough out and put it on a wagon. Then she would fill it back up with water from the river and have one of the horses drag it out to the field. She would dump bucket loads of water on the dying crops.

Rubbing her hands together eagerly, she set to work. She pushed and shoved on the trough but it was so full of water that it wouldn’t budge. She growled and kicked it, screeching as pain shot through her foot and up her leg. Frustrated, she stomped out into the field, up to the first crop and scolded it as if it were a child. The plant drooped further to the ground. She blinked, unsure of what she saw.

“Why do you sulk?” she asked it. “Sweet Jesus have I gone mad! Why am I talking to a plant!?”

She reached out and touched it. The stalk of corn shuddered under her touch. Paige immediately felt guilty for yelling at it. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I didn’t mean to yell. I was just angry because I hurt my foot.”

“Paige, come in and eat your supper! It’s still warm,” her mother called from the kitchen.

“Okay!” Paige turned back to the plant. “Please don’t die; we depend on you for our own life. Please. I don’t want you to die.” She shed and single tear that splattered on the leaf.

With that, she turned and headed into the house. What happened over the next couple of months shock Paige’s entire village. Her father’s crops not only survived the drought, but they grew to enormous sizes and produced many vegetables to harvest. Most of it was sold at the market. When her father asked her what she had done, she simply said:

“I talked to the plants.”

Every year since, her father would tell her to go and talk to the plants. Every year they produced the best crops out of any farmland. But Paige did not stop her abilities there. She went into a nearby forest and would whisper soothing words to the sick trees. She would sprinkle seeds in the ground of her mother’s herb garden and whisper words to them as well. Eventually, the town called her the plant whisperer. As she grew older, she would head into town often with her father and sell the seeds from last year’s crops. Her father would allow her to pocket all the money that she had earned. But these seeds weren’t just any seeds, these seeds she had talked to as she pried them from the old plants. She would tell them to grow nicely for the other farmers.

Her father would often boast about his daughter’s gifts. So much so that she eventually became known as Lady of the Plants. One day, on a particularly busy day in the market, a man and his son approached her father’s stand.

“What can I do you for gentlemen?” he asked.

The older man patted his son’s back. “My son wishes your permission to marry your daughter,” he stated. His chest puffed out with pride.

The son was about the same age as her. He locked eyes with Paige and smiled. Paige blushed and looked away.

Her father laughed. “Marriage? You must be insane. My daughter is too young to be married.”

Paige stepped forward. “Am not! I am eighteen years old. If anything, I am too old.”

“Please sir,” the boy had spoken. “I will make sure that she is taken care of. I’ll let you visit you and her mother whenever she wants. I’ll treat her like a queen. Please let me take her as mine.”

Paige looked at the boy’s handsome, determined face and blushed. She had never thought of marriage in her life before. After another hour of arguing, her father reluctantly agrees. Paige soon finds that her fiancée’s name was Daniel. But unlike most arranged marriages were the bride was held against her will, Paige truly loved him. Likewise, he truly loved her.

Months went by and Paige eagerly awaited her wedding day. She sat in the shade of an old oak tree prattling on about the excitement of her wedding. The tree seemed to sigh with happiness when she told it. Paige removed her wedding ring and held it tight in her palms. She opened it and stared at the lovely gold ring. Just then, an acorn landed in her palm. She looked up at the tree.

“Thank you, wise old tree, I will treasure your seed and keep it with me always,” she said.

The summer breeze blew through the branches, making the leaves rustle. She smiled and stood. Brushing off her skirt, she waved good bye to the tree and strolled back to her house. When she got home, she was greeted with an unusual surprise. You see, word of her abilities had reached the castle just north of the village. Men in shiny armor stood in her living room, arms folded and hard looks on their faces.

Confused, she asked her father what was going on. He refused to meet her gaze. One man said that she has caught the eye of the king and that he wishes to marry her tomorrow. Tears came to her eyes as she begged her father to not let her go. He still refused to look up and her mother was crying in another room.

The guard snatched her up, put her on a horse, and they rode all night to the castle. As soon as Paige got there, she was whisked away by maids. They herded her up to a tower all her own and changed her into “proper” clothes. They then left her to sleep for the rest of the night. But the Lady of the Plants was restless; she wanted to be home with the man that she truly loved. She sat by her window and sobbed. She still had the wise oak tree’s seed clutched in her hand and when her salty tears touched it, the seed shuddered.

Paige gasped and opened her hand. The seed had already started to sprout. Before she could comprehend what was going on, a knock sounded from her door.

“Come in!” she called.

A young man entered her room. His face was so handsome that with one look, it made her weak in the knees. She gripped her bed pole for support. The man smiled. It was a smile that read that he was hot and he knew it. Paige stifled a snort of disgust for both herself and this cocky boy. He bowed deeply to her.

“Good evening Lady of the Plants. I am Randall the third. You and I are to be wedded tomorrow. I have simply come to ask of this room was to your liking,” he smiled and winked at her.

More tears came to her eyes. Irritated, she blinked them away. Unfortunately, Randall noticed.

“Do you not like it?”

Paige couldn’t help herself, she started to cry. “I want to go home,” she whimpered. She felt humiliated for sounding like such a child and looked away.

Randall’s face darkened. He pursed his lips together and abruptly left. Paige collapsed on the bed and cried harder. The seed wiggled in her palm again. She opened her hand and smiled. Going to her window, she whispered some soothing words to it before she dropped it out. She made extra sure to apologize for its long fall and it not being planted properly. She then went back to her bed and cried herself to sleep.

Thankfully, Randall had declared that their wedding wait until the next day before they wed. Paige had a feeling that he was still mad at her for requesting to go home. Randall had ordered that Paige be kept up in the tower until the wedding. The room was small and made of bricks, but it was summer time so Paige didn’t have to worry about freezing to death. She spent countless hours pacing back and forth, pondering her escape plan. It was almost noon and nothing had come to her yet. With a sigh of frustration, she went to the window and stared out. The sight depicted a beautiful forest just a few yards away. She sighed, wishing she could be home and in the woods with her wise old tree.

Why do you fret?

Paige gasped and backed away. “Who was that? Who’s there?”

Do you not know the voice of the wise?

She looked around, her fear growing.

Don’t you remember those days in the woods when you would tell me all your secrets?

“Could it be?” She went back over to the window and stared out into the forest. “Is it you Wise old tree?”

Of course, my dear. Why are you sad? Why do you fret? If this troubles you, then why didn’t you seek my help?

Tears came to her eyes. Though the plants have never spoken back to her, she couldn’t help but feel safe and warm by the old tree’s voice. “I couldn’t. I don’t know how.”

There is a reason why I allowed you to take my seed with you. It is supposed to help you whenever you are in need.

“You mean, I could use the seed to help me escape?”

Of course you can, we trees never tell a lie.

“But how? It’ll take many hundreds of years for it to grow. I’ll be dead and buried by then.”

Paige heard a soft whistle that she assumed was the tree’s way of laughing. My dear. My seed will only help you if you ask for it. Good day. I hope to see you again soon.

With that, the voice was gone. Paige looked over the edge to where she had dropped the seed. To her surprise, it had grown into a small sapling. She took a deep breath and spoke, “Please. Please, little tree. Will you help me escape so that I may find my true love?”

The sapling seemed to dip in acknowledgement before it stood tall again. Still not sure whether the tree’s idea would work or not, she continued to pace and think about a different escape plan. When the maids brought her some dinner, she thanked them before settling down to eat. She couldn’t figure out a way to escape and the tree’s promise looked like it had been broken. She set the food down on the ground and cried. She would be wed tomorrow and Daniel would probably wonder why she had gone off to marry another man. She eventually cried herself to sleep.

Something tickled her cheek sometime in the night. Paige kept swatting it away, but the thing kept tickling her. When she opened her eyes, she was shocked to find a tree branch beside her. She shrieked and moved away. Staring at the window, she saw that a full grown tree had grown into it. Its branches wove their way across her ceiling. Part of a twig snagged on her skirts and gently tugged her towards the window. This was it. This was the escape that the old tree had promised. Suddenly knowing what she had to do, she went to the window and peered down. The tree twisted in such a way that it roughly looked like a spiral staircase. She sucked in a deep breath and gripped the branches.

“I’m ready,” she whispered.

Right as the tree wrapped itself around her waist, her door burst open. Paige met Randall’s fiery gaze. She screamed and fell.

 


© Copyright 2017 Miranda Reyes. All rights reserved.

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