SHORT FICTION

Thursday, 17 April 2014

SHORT STORY-PETAL LAND

Hello. Today, I'm going to take a step away from my Cat flash fiction and present to you a short story that I wrote. It's a strange little tale that is wonderlandish. I love fairy tales and Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorites. I'm thinking this might be a fun little world to play in and I would like to write more. So this is the beginning. I might publish this but if I do I will add to it and probably make it a around a 12,000 word short story. For now I will give you this for a taste. I hope you enjoy.

PETAL LAND
 
Tessie Dow tended to a special garden that nobody really seen. That was fine because it really wasn't for the general public anyway. A special someone gave her the job to overlook this special garden for them.
They never said much to her. Although on occasion they would comment on the flowers if they were looking exceptional. It wasn't until one day when she was tending the delphiniums that a humming bird flitted by her. There had always been birds in the garden. They were as much a part of the garden as the others were that she tended this garden for.
This humming bird at first appeared like any other as it hovered there darting back and forth to different flowers grabbing nectar from each one. What caught her eye was the color at first. Its bright blue body twinkled in the sunlight. What really made Tessie Dow stand up and notice this humming bird was its bright orange jacket it was wearing. Its jeweled eyes sparkled like sapphires. Tessie Dow had never seen such a sight. Upon getting closer she noticed around the eyes tiny rubies that circled in a pattern around the eyes.
Now the humming bird had noticed her and stopped and hovered in the air before getting close to her. It's long beak almost touched  her nose. Then something magical happened. The bright blue humming bird with the orange jacket started to get bigger and take on the form of someone that looked  human in shape.  
Standing in front of her now was a young man dressed in bright blue with an orange jacket. His blue hair was spiked with navy tips. The ruby jewels around his eyes sparkled in a swirl pattern that touched on his cheeks. His bright blue eyes were electric as they looked down on Tessie Dow. She was captivated by his long silky lashes that framed his intense blue eyes. A silver dragonfly served as a bow tie with its tiny red jewelled head that sparkled when it caught the sunlight.
"Miss Dow, I presume you are. I must say you've done a lovely job of caring for the garden."
His voice sounded like a summer's bird song thought Tessie Dow. She smiled and thanked him as she didn't really know what  else to do.
When he turned, she noticed his blue wings were flat against his orange jacket. The blue of his wings shimmered. Despite his bright colors, she thought he was quite beautiful. He bent down to one of the flowers  and at first she thought he was saying something to the marigolds but then as quick as a blink he plucked one and slipped it inside his orange lapel.
His attention turned back to Tessie. "I have watched you for a while for some time now and I think you are the one. In fact I'm quite sure you are."
Tessie looked at him and not wanting to sound rude she very softly asked him, "What do you mean that you think I'm the one?"
His dark eyebrows rose followed by a smirk. "I don't understand why they didn't tell you before this, now we don't have time to explain."
"Explain what," Tessie Dow blurted out.
"To rule Petal Land of course. Put things right." He came a little closer to Tessie. She looked up at him. He smelled like a mix of mint and sweet peas.
"Things have gotten quite out of control in Petal Land actually. It's all her fault of course."
"Her fault, " asked Tessie Dow in a shaky voice.
"Yes, " he said flatly. His shoulders slumped slightly. "The present queen is what shall we say?" He paused and then said in a rather sad tone. "Not fun."
"I see but I don't see how I am...
"Tut tut dear, we have to get going. We have to over come the Queen Plum before she ruins everything."
"But this garden...
He waved his hand in the air dismissing her worries. "No need to worry about the garden, the flowers will take care of everything."
Suddenly Tessie heard whispers that came from the flowers. We will be fine. Save Petal Land.
Tessie stopped and planted her feet quite firmly on the ground as if maybe they might take root with any luck and keep her in the garden. He turned and looked at her. "What is wrong Tessie Dow?"
"I don't even know who you are and this Petal land?"
The little red jewels around his eyes appeared like they were coming to life. "Of course, how rude of me. Let me introduce myself. I am Rufous and my friend here who has not shown himself yet. Come out." he called.
Tessie heard a rustle in the nearby zinnia bed. She could hear hisses and growls that sounded like they were coming from the Zinnias. Out from the zinnia patch slumbered a sleepy looking orange tabby. His wide bushy tail whipped at the zinnias as he came out. They hissed at him. Tessie thought she heard a chuckle from the orange tabby.
"This is my friend Blossom. Say hello Blossom."
The orange tabby looked casually over at Tessie Dow. He smiled. "How do you do Miss Tessie Dow?"
His voice was low and it echoed inside of Tessie's head. "Fine thank you," she said in a whisper but he heard her. She could hear a purr in her head.
"Take us to Petal Land, Blossom."
Blossom yawned and licked his paw. "Follow me."
The orange tabby's bushy orange tail swished in the air as he sauntered towards the archway that was covered in scarlet runner beans. As they got closer the beans were whispering to her. Be brave Tessie Dow. Save Petal Land and get rid of that awful queen.
Tessie swallowed hard. Blossom vanished in a mess of bean vines. Rufous walked beside her. She looked at the tangle of beans and wondered how they were to go through that and that was to take them to this Petal Land? But when they got to the edge, the bean vines opened up forming an archway of their own and when Tessie looked through the beans she was amazed to see the most colorful world she had ever saw. The smell of sweet peas tickled her nose and the aroma of mint came from his breath.
"Welcome to Petal Land. Shall we?" He offered his arm to Tessie.
She slid her arm through his and together they walked through the bean archway and into the most colorful world Tessie Dow could have imagined. Vibrant greens, yellows, fuchsias mixed with indigo blue brought this world to life.
"What is this place," breathed Tessie. "I've never seen such a place." There was a tree not too far from them. Its  branches hung with rope like flowers of all the rainbow colors. The bark of the tree looked like black licorice. The grass under their feet felt like velvet and was the color of lime green. A path of stone and purple thyme was in front of them waiting for them to take it.
Blossom appeared out of nowhere. "Come quickly before the flying snapdragons find us."
 Rufous gasped. "Oh yeah, we must move quickly. They can smell us, especially you, since you are different."
"Flying snapdragons?" Tessie was looking at him for an explanation but none came. Instead Rufous held out his hand to her. She took it despite the butterflies in her stomach. His hand felt cool but soft. It calmed her.
"Hurry, we must get to the bridge."
Suddenly Tessie felt herself being lifted off the ground. Rufous's wings were a blur as he flew them through the air to the bridge. Blossom had also sprung wings. He looked like a big fuzzy bee.
They lit down as silent and softly as Tessie could ever imagined. This bridge that they had brought her to was a swinging bridge. More of those rope flowered trees grew next to the bridge. The sound of a creek could be heard far below the swinging bridge. Rufous took Tessie's hand and they started to cross. Tessie tried not to look down. They were so high up. The rope trees started to come to life and out from the licorice bark, eyes were looking at her. they watched every move she made.
"Don't pay them any attention dear, they are just curious that is all." That didn't quite make Tessie feel any better.
Screeches behind them filled the air and the eyes of the rope trees hid. "What is that?"
"Snapdragons!"
Once again they were air born and Blossom took flight as well. "Quick, we have to hide," he shouted back at them.
Rufous wrapped his orange jacket around Tessie. The smell of sweet peas devoured her. All she could see in front of them was an orange fuzzy ball of fur with its tail hanging down flying at full speed towards some high up trees.
They whipped through some hanging moss that caught in Tessie's hair. When she opened her eyes she saw an angry looking green spider staring back at her. Squawks of birds that had long necks and wide purple eyes glared at them as they invaded their home.
What is the meaning of this? Tessie could hear their loud shrill voices in her head.
Rufous swooped out of their way and went further up the tree where he landed on a huge limb. When he looked down at her, his blue eyes narrowed. "I see you picked up someone for a ride." He picked up the green spider and dangled it in front of his face by its mossy green web. "Sorry about that but we had to escape." He carefully placed the moss on the upper branch. Tessie knew she heard a huff from the spider as it pulled the moss with it up the tree.
"Emerald spiders have bad tempers."
"What about the snapdragons?"
"They won't find us here. We'll just stay quiet until they pass over."
Blossom came along and hovered in front of them. "I do believe the snapdragons have flown over. We'll have to take an alternate route to the castle."
Rufous did not look happy. "Yes, you don't have to tell me that. I can see that. Someone has ratted on me about Tessie."
The cat's gold eyes went wide. "Well, I hope you don't think it was me."
Rufous sighed, "Of course not Blossom, you are my best friend."
The cat smiled and Tessie heard a purr inside her head.
"Come Tessie, we have to go around the long way which isn't pleasant. Not only do we have to look out for flying snapdragons but also...His voice trailed off as he looked around to see if anything was listening to him. "Wonkywonks."
"Wonkywonks? What is a Wonkywonk?"
Blossom shivered as he heard the word.
Terrible vile creatures that are crazy as loons." His song bird like voice became shriller in Tessie's head. She took if that Rufous was scared of these creatures.
Tessie leaned in closer to Rufous. "Will they hurt us or try to eat us?"
Rufous 's face turned a soft blue as if that was his way of blushing. "All of the above. We have to stay out of their line of scent. They have exceptional sniffers." His nose scrunched up.
"Tell her about the other...thing," whispered Blossom.
"What other thing?" Now Tessie's voice was a shrill.
"Queen Plum let out these hideous creatures called fluffbuns out to guard her territory. They are large rabbit like creatures with pink eyes. Some have red." His nose scrunched again. "They are extremely fluffy."
"Fluffy rabbits are not scary."
"These ones are. Their sharp front teeth are always hungry."
Why did I come here thought Tessie. She was starting to get a headache.
He offered her his arm. "Do I have to?"
Rufous smiled and nodded. "Come my Queen Tessie. Let's go to the castle of Ivory."
The trip was eerily quiet. Blossom flew with his ears partly bent back. This did not make Rufous or Tessie feel comfortable. The flowers were even quiet. Tessie didn't even hear whispers. A large blue purple butterfly mumbled something about don't go there, don't go there.
Tessie watched the butterfly as it followed them for a bit before disappearing into a field of poppies. Things started to turn purple. All the trees were tainted a black purple and even the moss was a blue purple that gave Tessie the creeps.
"Are we there yet? Where is the castle of Ivory?" She knew she was asking too many questions but her nerves were leaping out of her chest.
"Calm down my Tessie. We are almost there. I am wondering where all the Wonkywonks are or Fluffbuns are hiding. This has all the feeling of being watched somehow."
What they didn't know was the Wonkywonks and Fluffbuns were all at the castle of Ivory. But what they were really waiting for was...Tessie Dow.
***
 
The castle of Ivory rose out of the purple black trees and glimmered in the pale sunlight. The three of them had now reached the main bridge leading to the castle. There were no guards at the castle and Rufous instantly knew that they were  expected.
"It appears that whoever ratted on me, knows that we are coming. The Wonkywonks and those disgusting Fluffbuns are waiting for us. I bet they are salivating."
Tessie looked over at Rufous horrified. "Why are we going there then? This is suicide!"
Rufous's ruby jewels glittered and he smirked. "Ah, we will give them a surprise. I have a few tricks up my sleeve you know."
Tessie folded her arms. "I would start performing if I were you."
Rufous laughed. "Now that is a spirit I like. Let's go, Queen Plum awaits."
His humming bird wings spread out behind his back. They became a blur as they lifted him. He held out his hand to Tessie. She took his hand and instantly her feet left the ground. They flew over the purple black trees. The Ivory castle gleamed as they got closer. Tessie thought the castle of Ivory was actually made from real ivory.
Rufous flew her up to the very top tower. They landed on a balcony were there was glass doors. Blossom gently pushed on the glass doors and they silently opened. He sniffed before he went in. Rufous took Tessie's hand as they walked in. The room they entered was a lavender colored room. Wallpaper with lilacs and violet ribbons adorned the walls. A dresser with a very large mirror sat in the corner. When Tessie looked at the large mirror it appeared to look like water. Tessie thought if she was to touch it her hand  would go into water.
Rufous grabbed her hand and steered her away from the dresser. "Don't go near that thing. It will take you to a nasty little realm. In fact don't touch anything or for that matter attract attention from anything in this castle."
"So what am I supposed to do, close my eyes?"
Rufous sighed, "Well, that would be a wonderful trick but I have a better trick." He reached into his pocket on the inside of his orange jacket and pulled out a bracelet. "Wear this, and no one will see you."
Tessie slipped it on. It cinched itself around her wrist making her flinch. "Does it have to be that tight?"
He never said anything. He continued to lead her deeper into the castle. Blossom hovered over the top of some stairs that lead down to where everybody was. Tessie could hear voices that rose up to where they were. One noise sounded like heals hitting the hard floor that gave Tessie the impression that someone was pacing.
Rufous looked at Tessie and winked. Blossom was now down on the ground sitting on the top of the stairs washing his paw. Something wasn't sitting right thought Tessie.
She turned to him and narrowed her gaze at him. "What's going on Rufous?" She glanced over at Blossom who was doing his best to ignore her.
Rufous was now towering over Tessie with a mischief grin. "You see Miss Tessie Dow. I brought you here because this is your home. Your real home. We've missed you terribly but each time I had brought you back you found your way back to that confounded garden." He reached down and picked up her hand with the bracelet on it. He pointed to it. "But this time, I sealed your fate here and you won't be going back to that blasted garden. You are here to stay Miss Tessie Dow."






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