Fearytale

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
A little girl in white silk is glimpsed in the forest. She has no family and no home, and the villagers feel trepidation when they see her. They believe she is a bad omen and fear her, apart one little girl. She seeks out the mysterious figure, curious of where she came from and who she is.

Submitted: September 20, 2011

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Submitted: September 20, 2011

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Once upon a time there lived a little girl. She had long brown hair and eyes the colour of sweet honey. She lived in the forest, but nobody knew where her house was, or who her family was. She wore clothes of white silk and a braid of blue flowers, the flowers of the forest, like a crown atop her head. Folks from the village rarely saw the little girl, but when they did catch a glimpse of her silk dress fluttering between the trees in a brief moment, they felt a sense of trepidation. They started to shake. They ran from the trees, back to the village, terrified. The little girl became a bad omen.

The villagers would stay away from the unfortunate glimpser, as if they thought by touch bad fortune would be passed onto them.

However, there was one villager who didn't believe that the little girl of the forest was a bad omen. Her name was Eleanora, a sprightly spirit who wondered about the way trees grow old and twisted, and the birds sing cheerfully every day until the sun goes down. She was curious of the little girl. She dreamed of a hut, its bricks were hard-boiled sweets, the colour of the rainbow and its roof was made of strawberry laces. The little girl's mother kept sweets in tall glass jars and gave them as gifts to any child who befriended them. Eleanora had to know who the girl was and where the house of sweets was.

The morning after the dream, she tied her hair up with a silk red ribbon, as the day was windy. She wore her best dress and shiny shoes and followed the daily route with other children to the school, an ancient church in the centre of the village. She didn't like the stone monsters that hung from the corners of the grand building, sneering down at the people walking below, so she was relieved to not see them for a day. She broke off from the group of children in front of her and crept towards the trees.

The forest was bordered with Aspen Trees. Narrow trunks stretched up towards the clouds. She peered up and the birds up there squawked and shot from the branches in a thunderous clap of wings, as if they were sentries watching for the enemy. Now rushing to alert their army. She imagined a great black mass of feathers, an army of birds staining the blue sky like blotted ink on paper. She hugged her arms tightly.

No army of birds came. Eleanora pushed forward through the leafy towers, scanning the trees eagerly for a glimpse of white silk or flowing brown hair. She had never been this far into the forest and her dream of a house made of sweets was becoming just that; a silly, fading dream. She was about to give up when she saw it. A ripple in the wind. A flow of glossy locks. The little girl.

As if in slow motion, muted, the little girl was like a butterfly. She was laughing without making a sound, her golden eyes on the visitor, who stood gazing in a shock. Eleanora quickly bolted after the image. She was not far behind the little girl, following deeper into the forest, but she didn't notice this. She only kept her eyes on the silk dress. The girl still seemed to run in slow motion, like she was not part of this earth, yet Eleanora could not catch up to her in her natural speedy sprint. Although she knew the little girl was different and strange, she was not afraid.

The tree trunks were thicker as she descended into wilder terrain. The little girl glanced back and laughed soundlessly at her, a playful laugh. Eleanora continued to give chase, not noticing the faint sound of music.

After a while of following the girl in white silk, she stopped. Eleanora froze, a few yards behind her, for they had reached a clearing. There were many more girls in the clearing: some had yellow hair and some had black hair. Some wore dresses of thin cloth, the colour of the tree trunks, and some also wore dresses of coloured silk. All of the girls were dancing and skipping, circling a being in the centre of the clearing. At first it looked like a man, half naked with a hairy chest and a long beard, but through gaps between the girls, she could see his legs were too furry for any man, and he stood on horse's hooves instead of the five-toed foot of a man. He was not a creature from the earth, Eleanora thought. Then she noticed he also wore a braid of blue flowers, as did the dancing girls. In his mouth he held a painted pipe, into which he blew a merry tune. She felt like dancing herself. The girl in the silk dress beckoned her to follow.

Eleanora felt no fear as she skipped to the circle with the girl, the girl with no home and no family. But as her follower danced, she realised that the whole forest was her home and the girls were her family, and now she was a part of her family. They danced to the jolly tune of the pipes, around the jumping piper, with the sunlight high on their backs.

 

At school, the teachers spoke of the young girl who plays and laughs without making any sound in the depths of the forest. They warn the children not to go looking for the girl in the silk dress, or the girl with the silk ribbon. For if they go too far into the forest, they will get lost, and they will never find their way back to their home. “The girls of the forest are bad omens,” they say. “They will lead you deep into the forest, where nobody goes, where nobody can find you. They will never take you back home. You will never be seen again.”

 

The little girl, who once had a name, is sometimes seen by the children of the village. She beckons them to play and follow her. Sometimes they watch her run in slow motion to the heart of the trees, and sometimes they may only glimpse her between the thin trunks of the Aspen Trees. Just a sparkle of black shoes, or a ripple of red silk.


© Copyright 2019 J P Grocock. All rights reserved.

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