Beyond the Cottage

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

It was finally time to see the cottage my grandfather and grandmother had left me after their respective deaths. I hadn’t seen them in some years but we had regularly spoken on the phone when the wind would allow it. You see their cottage was far out in a forgotten but beautiful countryside and an ancient landline phone was the newest piece of the property in quite some time. I was to meet Mr. Blakesley, their long time attorney and will-preparer. I arrived after several hours of driving to a charming little cottage home, made from stone and covered with a thatched roof that even had a picture-esque little creek flowing gently beside it. I must have been early as Mr. Blakesley was nowhere to be seen. Since it was now my property after all, I thought I should have an unbiased and lonely look around. It was an absolutely lovely home that I often wondered why I was never invited to as a child but instead to their home which was considerably closer to the city. 

Beautifully plush and green all the way up to the edges of the house were dilapidated old planks that made up a fence. I could see some lovely little fuschia, ivy-leaved bellflowers, elder flowers and some very curious flowers that looked alien to me. I went around and peeked and spotted a cozy little path behind the gate into the large back garden of the land. As I entered through, the sky turned darker seemingly due to the covered shade of the path, and my arms were lined with goosebumps as the air blew cool through the leaves. There was a plethora of fauna, foliage and beautiful flowers. Trees hung low and branches had moss growing up and down their twisted limbs. Pops of pink, purple and yellow flowers peeked out along the garden’s imperfect edges. 

I looked down and saw such strange and curious creatures, most of whom were of small stature and had equally as much moss as the rocks and trees around them. Some were only a foot tall at most and could be seen scurrying through my legs and around my feet with rocks and twigs in their tiny little hands, no doubt heading back to their own tiny cottages made of said rocks and twigs. I hadn’t seen them for myself, but I imagine they were cozy, miniature stone homes with mud as the cement holding them together. It was only a minute before some of the critters took notice of my foreign and towering appearance. A slender purple and green fur lined creature, who was approximately the size and shape of a fox, affectionately rubbed its silky body against my leg. My hand was hesitant as I brushed it along the top of the creature’s silken man but my reluctance was unnecessary as the beast let out soft sounds of endearment. 

Three more creatures moved into my eyeline but made almost no sound as their feet scuttled around. They were humanoid but very small, only around two and a half feet tall, built lanky and thin like children. Sage colored skin was visible through wispy, long black hair around their heads, with the very crown of the head composed of almost none. They wore tattered black and brown tunics and robes, strung over and around their little bodies like rags. Long beakish noses peaked out from the thin strings of hair that covered their faces, an eye would shine every so often as they looked up from their hunched postures and beckoned me with pointed fingers. “Komme, kommeee…” the first and closest to me said as his wet and slimy claw grazed my leg. They spoke in a language not my own but I understood it still. “Kom og dans med mig..”, one after another they hissed at me, and waved and pulled their arms towards them. “Kom og dansss” another said as if to plead with me that I would come and dance with them as they haven’t had someone to dance with for many years. This conclusion was nothing but pure intuition and has no logical foundation but it was nonetheless the truth.

A scaly, green hand grabbed my own and at the very moment it made contact and grasped my hand my vision transformed before me into the blackness of night, a towering bonfire raged in the middle of a grassy knoll, the creatures danced around it with their hands swinging over head, sometimes holding one another’s hands but more often flailing and thrashing wildly around. Jovial, folksy hums along with the croaking of frogs and chirping of crickets made up the soundtrack of the evening. My hand was grasped tightly still and the little person pulling me was much stronger than they looked despite their small stature. They pulled me as they hustled towards the fire and I gave one hard and final heave and was released and hurled backwards right on my bottom. In that instant I was back in the sunshine behind my grandparents cottage once again, surrounded by magical creatures looking down at me. Bushels of hollyhocks and moss hung down near my face, framing the scene with bright hues of green and lavender, contrasting my horror previously experienced. I flung myself up and ran for the ancient wooden gate that granted my entrance, flinging it open, I heard it smacking back and forth from my might as I ran through the gate while shouting for the estate manager. 

“Mr. Blakesley, Mr. Blakesley there’s something crazy back there!” I exclaimed and caught my breath as I slid into position in front of this tall, stoic impassive man.

He abhorred my release of such an emotional response. “Calm down this instant sir.

He towered over me by at least a foot, feet at attention, with that one eyebrow permanently scowled against his forehead, he slowly rotated towards me. I began explaining my tale and before I could get to the most frightening part, he cut me off with his own personal brand of sharp and absolute speech.

“You must bring them a gift each Autumnal equinox or they shall make you dance until you fall into their eternal fire, wherein they shall continue to dance,” Mr. Blakesley merely stated this as fact as he stared at me with a cold, stearn, stoney face.

“Please, let us go inside the cottage where we can discuss everything about the property, do follow me closely” He led me towards the curvy path leading towards the front door and darted ahead of me with his head forehead and hands neatly laced around a folio behind his back. With a dramatic twist and now only inches from my face Mr. Blakesley said to me, “Oh and this statement is without suggestion, you must do as I say and listen, as it is very important young man; you must be absolutely, positively, unmistakingly, without a single doubt in your mind sure to always close the gate behind you from that section of the yard, do you understand?”

Submitted: September 24, 2022

© Copyright 2023 Kevin Yozviak. All rights reserved.

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