Let’s fly away on your silver and golden wings all the way to a new world where the final round of AAWC will take place. Thank you SO much for hosting this Zielle – it was incredibly fun, and it really helped to boost my imagination as well as to write and photography more!
You can check out my other entries here, (this entry’s prequel) here, (my personal favorite) here, (CRINGE ALERT!) and… here, which is the one I was really excited to continue, but…yeah, you know. But anyways, let us proceed!
Okay, Ilette, concentrate. You can make this flower bloom, you can make it grow, you can make it open up into the crimson rose that it should be. Come on…Ilette…wait, did I do it? Yes, I did it! Yes! This is the best day of my life! Oh, bother, there it closes again – ugh.
I sighed and hopped off the stump where I had been practicing. I wasn’t very good with roses – not a terribly good thing when you live in a kingdom called Rosewyn. But I thought that I had had enough for one day – I totally deserved to relax with my best friend Ilina, didn’t I? I had an uncomfortable feeling that I really didn’t…I had been told often enough to keep on practicing until I did get the flower to open. But, I ignored that feeling and went to seek out Ilina in her tree home.
“AHHH!” was the first thing that greeted me when I entered the door. I hurried to my friend’s side – she was desperately trying to keep away a very spiky looking rose from attacking her.
“What did you do?!” I demanded, pulling Ilina away from that fierce looking plant.
“I don’t know,” Ilina confessed, scratching her rather round head. “I was trying to get that rose to bloom, and all of a sudden, it kind of exploded!”
“Kind of?” I cried. “You call this kind of?! Ilina, it’s a disaster! Where’s your mother? There are thorns everywhere – it’s not even safe to walk! Let’s get out of here – Oh quick, it’s attacking us!” The window stood open, and all I had to do was jump. That I did, without much delay.
We hurried to a wood that was far, far away from the explosive thorn pit. I gave a sigh of relief, but I suck it back in when I saw Ilina’s face. She was looking me straight in the eye with an expression that clearly said she had something to say and she was going to say it and it was extremely important and she’d better not get interrupted.
“Ilette,” she said solemnly, marching over to me. “I have an extremely important announcement to make. I think that you’d better sit down – it might shock you a little bit, and I don’t want anybody to get hurt, alright?”
“Well, that’s comforting,” I said sarcastically, taking a seat on a little branch. “What on earth do you have to say?”
“My long lost brother is in Dahliadyn.”
“WHAT?!” I gasped, staring at her. I flew over to her and put my hands on her shoulders. “Dear Ilina, are you absolutely mad!? You remind me of the tide – one minute you’re calm and mild and think that I’m crazy, then the next you’re big and up and insane!”
“I’m serious!” insisted Ilina, frowning. “Who said I was kidding? It’s perfectly possible for him to be in Dahliadyn – is it not? Well, if you don’t believe me, I think I’m going to look for him myself, whether you think I’m mad or not.” She marched off with her head held high in the air.
“Please don’t leave me!” I protested, rushing after her.
“Come with me!” retorted Ilina, pausing a little. “If you don’t hurry up, I’ll tell you a story. The city kids had hair every color of the rainbow…” she began in a nauseating voice.
“Ugh, fine,” I groaned, stumbling along. “I just hope I wake up soon – I really can’t get over how crazy this is – how crazy you are! For all you know, this adventure could be treacherous. ‘Ya hear that? TREACHEROUS.”
Ilina tossed her nut-brown hair and smirked. That was the thing with her – she dearly loved having her way. Perhaps a little bit too much. When she thought that she was at a safe distance, she picked up her delicate wings and started flying up into the blue sky. I followed close behind – if I had to go on this journey of insanity, I wasn’t about to take it alone.
After we had traveled quite a distance, a thought suddenly occurred to me.
“Hey, Ilina!” I called after that mad faerie. “How are you planning to get to Dahliadyn in the first place?”
“What do you mean?” Ilina’s green eyes looked surprised.
“Well…there’s a simple fact that Rosewyn and Dahliadyn are mortal enemies,” I offered. “And also the matter that there’s The Garden in between them. You haven’t heard? In that garden grow the most beautiful flowers – and they’re all poisonous. They fill your lungs with toxic fumes, and it only takes minutes for you to pass out – or worse.”
“Wow, really?” squeaked Ilina. I nodded, hoping that I had talked her out of this absurd adventure. “How exciting!” she continued. I put my head in my hands and moaned. Crazy girl. Did she really know what she was getting herself into? Dahliadyn? The enemy?
“No, it’s not exciting,” I protested. “It’s dangerous! D-A-N-G-E-R-O-U-S. You’re going to get yourself killed and me too! I’m too young to die – much too young. Okay?”
“I don’t care,” said Ilina stubbornly. “We’re already on our way, so we can’t go back now and there’s no use to complaining. So, do be quiet. I detest whiners. You see – here’s the thing: you can continue on with your miserable life, or you can become someone who can make a difference. It’s your choice,” she shrugged. “And admit it, your life is pretty miserable. Not being able to control any roses besides your fancy lineage, all your siblings having run away because of all your accidents, having your pets taken away because your ‘magic’ kept almost killing them…and whining!”
“Stop,” I snarled, shaking my fist. “Fine, I’ll stop complaining. “But please, quit the insults. We’re almost at The Garden, and I’m really dying to know – how are we going to protect ourselves?!”
“Oh, don’t about that,” Ilina tossed her hair airily. “My mother was a Rose Enchantress – remember? And I’ve learned tons of good spells – millions of protection ones, as you can guess. Mothers.”
Well, we would see about that. When we reached The Garden, I turned to Ilina and gave a look that said, Well?? Ilina threw up her head, closed her eyes, raised her hands above her head, and boom! A golden bubble was placed around us, and with confidence pouring out of her, we marched through the garden.
After we had crossed, she gasped, and the bubble immediately popped. Well, that part was over at least – the hardest, I had thought. But now, we still had the dilemma of how to get into Dahliadyn as Rose Faeries without getting executed – not exactly the most successful rescue mission, you see.
“We should disguise ourselves,” said Ilina when I told her. “I remember a spell that Mother taught me that made lots and lots of clothes. I think she got tired of me always asking for them. Stand still – I’ve got to take your measurements. Here we go!”
Boom! Wow. It really worked. I picked up a silver cloak with golden flowers embroidered on it. It was gorgeous – but of course, I couldn’t wear it by itself. So, I selected a gold-colored silk dress to place under it and flaunted my outfit in front of Ilina proudly. She was dressed in a midnight blue cloak with silver stars stitched unto it, and a silver dress made from heavy velvet.
“Nice,” I gave her a thumbs up. “You look quite…I don’t know, ‘nightful’. Day and night, moon and sun, wonderful.”
“Thank you,” replied Ilina with a smirk. “Look, isn’t that Dahliadyn Palace? Let’s get going – we want to get home by dark, after all.”
We had a tough time of it getting into Dahliadyn Palace, however. The guards snapped at us and tried stabbing at us, and insisted that we couldn’t be let in unless we had a legitimate reason, and then it must be run by the king. When he asked me, I was absolutely blank. What could I say?
“We’re healers,” said Ilina quickly to save me. “We’ve come from the land of Irislyn,” – Irislyn was a well-known kingdom for its famous cures – “And we have come to heal the king of his terminal illness.”
“You look young,” said the soldier suspiciously, jabbing his spear closer and closer.
“Ah,” Ilina smiled wisely. “That’s the magic of Irislyn, you might see. Now, please. The king must see us – we have been sent from our own king, who has always been an ally of him, has he not? When the great snowstorm struck Dahliadyn, we were the one who helped him.”
The soldier returned to be granted permission, and it was granted, much to our relief. I wasn’t sure how much longer Ilina could keep up the lie. We hurried through the marble halls that were sweet with the scent of dahlias, and at last, arrived at a throne solely filled with the bright flower. The king was seated ontop – a youthful man with a red beard and hair.
“Welcome, my healers!” the king rose from his bright throne and extended his hand eagerly. “I have heard of your mission, and I am incredibly enthusiastic to be able to receive you.”
“Ah yes, my king,” I bowed low. “I am the healer Ilette, and this is my co-healer, Ilina. We will only do our services for a bargain, however – the return of a boy that we trained long ago by the name Aris. He is tall with silvery-brown hair, although he is young. He has dark eyes that shine with the luster of the night – we have heard that he is with you, may we take him back?”
“Yes, yes!” the king looked more eager than ever. “This boy is my slave. Aris!” he clapped his large hands. “Come. You now belong to this healers. Now,” he gestured towards us. “For the cure?”
I cast a frantic glance at Ilina. What was the cure? But she smiled at me, and knelt down and began to pray loudly. I followed her example, a little bit confused. We didn’t believe in God – or gods – what was she doing? But, it didn’t seem to be working. Ilina finished, but the king showed no sign of healing. Only fury.
“Vile liars!” he cried, pointing a terrible finger at them. “Guards, arrest them! Put them in the deepest prison, and keep them there forever – it will be a penalty for their hideous lies. But, do not kill them. Imprisoning them will be worse.”
We struggled, but it was in vain. We shrieked – quite loudly, nearly deafening the soldiers. But, it was no use. At the same time, we were tossed into the dungeon, much to our horror, frustration, and disgust. For, it was disgusting. I wanted my roses in here – even if I did fail at controlling them.
It didn’t take long for us notice that we had company, however. It was a girl – probably only a little older than us; a teenager. She had dark brown hair that came past her hips, a burgundy dress, bare feet, and a cross around her neck.
“I didn’t think I would ever have company,” she remarked. “I’ve heard from the guards who you are and heard. I was relaxing quite peacefully when I heard a scream. Then another. It seemed as if they were getting closer. Well, anyways, I don’t think you know who I am. Well, let me tell you. You may call me Zephora. I’m in here for preaching to the king.” I noticed that a heavy chain was wrapped around her foot.
“Hello, Zephora,” Ilina said. “Did you hear how we got here?” When Zephora nodded, Ilina continued. “Well, judging from you what you said, you must believe in that religion…what’s it named? Christianity. So, can you tell us how our prayer didn’t work?”
“Bold,” remarked Zephora with a smile. “Just what I like. Well, I’m very willing to tell you. You see, dears, you can’t just use God like that. You must believe – really believe. When you were praying, you just wanted to get out of trouble – it was kind of like your backup plan. You didn’t put your heart in it, you didn’t trust in God, you had no faith in Him. You can’t just use Him like that – you must, simply must believe. And if you do and confess all your sins and that His Son died so that we could be forgiven, God will too and work in your lives splendidly. Really. You hear?”
“Wow,” I whispered, my eyes widening. “That’s amazing. We were never brought up in a culture that taught that – it’s – it’s, well, I guess that I could say it’s a little fascinating. Like, I don’t even know, a dragon!”
“God is no dragon,” replied Zephora dryly. “But, I understand that it can take a little bit of time to get used to.”
Over the weeks, we considered the news. I tried praying to God once, actually putting my heart into it. And it worked. I felt calm, at peace, relaxed. It was a wonderful feeling. That was how Ilina and I began to grow in our faith walk, and it would never end.
However, there was still the fact that we were in prison. One day, something lovely happened to Ilina. Aris was thrown into prison with us. Well, I suppose it wasn’t really lovely, but after all those years to be united with him…to Ilina, it felt like she was going to explode with overjoy.
“I didn’t want you to find me yet,” he said after a while. “I had this great plan and all – I was sure it was going to work, but now we’re here…well, it’s better than any old plan of mine. I know that we’ll get out – all of us – with you here.”
A new bolt was put on the door. A bolt that was covered in a heavy toxin, so that if somebody touched it, they would immediately be killed. Ilina thought that she could figure out a spell to unlock it without touching it, but it was so strong that she sat for weeks in concentration. When somebody spoke to her, she didn’t even seem to hear.
Aris decided to get a little adventurous one day. He was sick of waiting – we all were. So, he tried to reach for the bolt to unfasten it. I slapped his hand away quickly, held it, and glared at him fiercely.
“Are you going to kill me or something?” demanded Aris, staring at me. “What’s up with you?”
“If you reach for that, definitely. If you stay still like a good boy, I might,” I replied with a smile. “I think that we should have a reason for your funeral when your sister is awake.”
More weeks passed. By this time, we were almost bursting with impatience. But one day, Ilina cried out with the wonderful news that she had gotten the spell. We all crowded around her, eager to burst out of here. But, when she tried it, it didn’t work. It didn’t work.
“Here, here,” Zephora tried to comfort us when she saw us. “Let’s try to pray. Pray with all your hearts – if it’s God’s will, He will let us out of here. I know He will. Spells can’t amount to much – spells are witchcraft, which is wrong. Come on, I’ll start.”
We prayed for weeks and weeks until, one day, a great gust knocked aside the door and all the guards surrounding it. The same wind carried us all the way to Ilina’s cottage and shut us inside the door. We were laughing and crying – it was a miracle. What an adventure this had turned out to be, but a worthwhile one.
POINT CALCULATIONS: 17 Points for Prompts, 156 Points for Pictures, 5 Points for the Picture of Zephora.
TOTAL POINTS: 180
*gasps* *heaves breath* OH MY GOODNESS, THAT WAS A LOT OF PICTURES. It took like ten minutes to calculate all my points. XDD Well, hopefully that should give Team Summer a HUGE boost! Come on, teammates!! If we all post as many pictures, we’ll win for sure!
I’m reading Across Five Aprils right now – it’s so good. Have any of you read it?