Wednesday 20 May 2015

Wednesday's Writing Prompt: Beyond the Yellow Door

In a fun attempt to bring new ideas to my "writing board" I've joined the talented Vanessa Barger's blog ring. See my story, "Beyond the Yellow Door" below based on this photo:

Beyond the Yellow Door

Siri knew the path by heart, having done it every week since she was a little girl. First, follow the tulips past the moonstones, all the way to the lone woman. From there you turned left and it was just a hop, skip, and a jump over the creek and then a sharp right to reach the cottage where treasures were hidden beyond the yellow door. It had been ten years since Siri started the run, and every week she looked forward to what lie in waiting.

She slipped through the keyhole and was immediately struck by a strange odor. Usually the witch that lived in the cottage spent the day baking to prepare for her exchange of treats for Siri’s fairy dust. But there was no smell of cinnamon buns or bread in the air; only something sour that made Siri’s toes curl.

The other thing that was missing was any sign of light. Shadows drifted about, like a heavy fog that had settled inside. Siri shuddered in the uncomfortable atmosphere, but still proceeded to flutter inside, searching for the baking itself.

She flew over to the table but it held only one dirty dish. This was so unlike the old witch. Where was she and where were the treats? Siri landed next to the plate and saw that the remnants of food had started to mold, and flies had left their young to hatch alone on its surface. She was confused. What had happened here?

A breeze inside stirred up the shadows, collecting them into a whirlwind in the center of the table. She ducked down, behind the plate and waited to see what was going on.

“What a mess,” a sharp voice came from the whirlwind. “Every single time I have to clean up after you. I’m sick of it.”

“Just be glad I came and got you before it was too late.” A second voice filled Siri’s ears.

“Too late! I’d say six days is a little long to leave body.”

Body! Siri ducked lower and a shiver ran up her tiny spine.

She peeked around the plate and saw that two figures had appeared. The first was a tall lean creature with small horns from her head. She looked like an ancient fairy, called fae, but Siri had only seen pictures in history books. The second was a short, plump pixie, with small, stubby, wings in comparison to Siri’s long slender ones. The pair walked to the end of the table, opposite Siri, and looked over the edge.

“How did this happen again?” the tall one asked. “You were supposed to get in, get the stuff, and leave. You had ample time.”

The little one threw up her hands. “I did get what you asked for, but then I saw some ground wolfstooth sitting on the shelf nearby. You know how I get when I’m hungry, I couldn’t help myself. I snuck over to pinch some for a snack and WHAM! The box closed shut on me.”

“It was a trap.” The other creature rolled her eyes. “You are so gullible.”

“Am not. When the witch came back she saw me and came to grab me for lunch. I wasn’t about to let her turn me into soup, so as soon as the box opened I blew the ground wolfstooth into her eyes. She fell backwards, banged her head on the table, and the rest is history.”

“Unbelievable. And now we have a witch to dispose of. Do you know how hard it is to hide a witch? If the council catches wind of this all of my plans will be ruined! Now go over to the other end and take off her shoes.”

Siri panicked, looking around to see where to hide. If the pixie found her she’d never make it out alive. Fae were notorious in story books for keeping no witnesses. She crawled to the edge of the table, and peered over the edge. Two pointy witch books stuck out from underneath a swarm of black flies. Ewww.

The pixie’s footsteps grew closer and Siri knew she only had one choice. She flipped over the edge of the table, disappearing into the buzzing horde below. The flies were like mindless beasts, all bumping against one another as they tried to get low enough to feed on the decay that lied beneath them. Siri forced her way through, stepping on their soft bodies as she hid from the perpetrators up above.

“Got the shoes off!” The pixies voice reached to Siri’s ears through the incessant buzzing.

“Now get her hat!”

“Too many flies. I’m not going that way.”

“Let me come see what you’re complaining about now.”

Oh no! Siri moved faster, if they got ride of the flies where would she hide?

“PURGE!” the sharp voice cut through the air.

With the one command a black shadow whisked from above, sucking the flies up one by one. Siri ran along the horde, not daring to fly lest she be sucked up herself. As the witch’s rotting face appeared up ahead, Siri knew she only had one choice. She ducked under the last of the flies and pried apart the witch’s stiff lips, slipping in between them where she waited in hiding.

She covered her mouth as she gagged at the putrid smell of death, not wanting to give away her location. The sounds above were muffled, but Siri could tell the pixie was close.

“Hat is in my possession now.”

“Good, roll her over.”

Siri felt the witch’s body flip over as she knocked around inside the mouth. When everything was calm she pried open the lips to hear what was happening.

“It’s time to make this look like an accidental fire.”

Siri’s heart jumped in her throat. A fire! Siri pried herself out of the witch’s mouth, onto the wooden floor below. Shots of fire burst around the kitchen, lighting up all of the shelves of goodies and magic. Smoke filled Siri’s nose as the witch’s body began to smolder.

“Empty the rest of that container. We may as well take it all now.”

“Got it. Let’s get out of here.”

Puffs of smoke whisked upward and Siri jumped out to see the whirlwind wish the two creatures away. The fire jumped across the thatch roof, spreading to the other side of the cottage. If Siri didn’t run now, she’d never get out. But first she needed to see what was so important for the pixie and the fae to get their hands on.

She flew to the top of the table and saw a small jar lying empty on its side. As Siri grabbed it, a beam from up above crackled, crashing onto the table beside it. She jumped away, flying to the yellow door, where she escaped through the keyhole just in time.

Outside she stumbled in the air, crashing into the shallow creek below. She swam to the bridge, pulling herself up onto the rocks, as he body shook from coughing. When it subsided she rolled to her back and held the jar up. Its label was gone, somewhere in the creek below. All that remained was one rounded, pink petal.

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