25 May 2012

Long ago, in a farway place...


Long ago, in a faraway place, there was a land filled with wonder. In this fantastic place there was a little girl. She was very special, for she had a magic ... 
hat that allowed her to travel anywhere in the world while she slept. She had found the hat in the forest one day when she was out picking blackberries for a pie. The hat is a beautiful shade of emerald green felt with a red silk sash. She picked it up and placed it on her head and brought the hat home. She kept it hidden under her mattress. Each night she would put the hat on, and once she nodded off she was whisked away on an adventure. The only trouble was that she could not control where the hat took her. 

Once she woke up only to find she was plopped right in the middle of Wisconsin! What I am doing here, she wondered. And then she saw it. A castle in the middle of a cornfield! Odd place for a castle she thought...

{found via Pinterest. From ZsaZsaBellagio.}

She walked toward the castle and was surprised as the drawbridge swung down to allow her approach. She could see a figure in the doorway waiting for her. Could it be the one she was waiting for so long?

His hand reached for hers. She hesitated but the look in his eyes told her he would not bring her harm. 

He said, "Princess, you've arrived at last!" He led her into the castle and she was amazed at all there was to see.

And then something caught her attention....it was a magical key, bright and sparkling. As she looked closer, she saw her name engraved on the key...."Angelina"...

She reached out to grasp the key. It was tied to a long, beautiful silk ribbon. As her hand touched it, the figure in the doorway vanished.

Angelina grasped the key tightly and ran to find him. She began to investigate the castle, moving from room to room. She happened upon a large golden door, but it was locked. "I wonder if this key will fit that lock," thought Angelina. 

She took her key, unlocked the door only to find the most gorgeous quilt she'd ever seen. It was purples, pinks, greens, browns and more. It was done in the Log Cabin style. Angelina wondered if it had magical qualities. She took the quilt and wrapped it tightly around her and was immediately turned into a butterfly with the most amazing wings. The patterns were exactly like the quilt. "I feel so special," Angelina thought. What could this magical transformation mean?

Angelina continued to explore the room, using her new wings to get to the farthest corners of the large room. It was a room full of interesting treasures, dusty cabinets of curiosities, clusters of creations. She continued to explore the room, using her new wings to get to the farthest tops of the cabinets and on all the dusty shelves. While exploring all the nooks and crannies of the magical room, she came across a bottle that glowed. When she uncorked the bottle a purple smoke came out and in the smoke a man appeared! 

"I am a guardian of the castle," the mystery man explained. "Someone invaded the castle and imprisoned me  here. Please help me free the castle and its inhabitants. There is something that can help you. It is a magic horn."

Angelina flew to the top of the cabinet to see a shiny horn that looked like it had been there for years.

"Take the horn to the edge of the woods and face towards the sunset," continued the man."At the moment the sun reaches the horizon you must blow the horn. This will summon the white unicorn and the wise witch. Both of them will help you rescue me and the others, too. Seek the magical wise spell from the wise witch."

Then his expression turned sad. "Unfortunately, you will have to use the white unicorn horn as your wand when you cast the wise spell." At this, the man disappeared in a puff of smoke.

She removed the magical quilt and became human again. Angelina sat down on the quilt and was stumped. "Fiddlesticks!" she exclaimed. "How am I going to do that?" And suddenly it came to her, she would just have to ride that unicorn back to the edge of the woods where she would place the magic quilt over it. She hoped it might transform the unicorn into a magic wand the way it had transformed her into the magical butterfly. 

Inspired to save the mysterious man and the castle inhabitants from their fate, Angelina grabbed the quilt, the horn and the key and made her way to the woods. There she found a brilliant white unicorn in a grove of trees. Angelina approached the unicorn and stroked his silky mane, to assure it that she meant it no harm. She gently placed the quilt on the unicorn, hoping that he would be transformed. The unicorn shivered and then ab blinding light shone from every part of its body. But he instead turned into a jeweled box with a golden lock. 
{Found via Pinterest.}

Angelina took the key with her name engraved on it and opened the box. Inside she found a map explaining the simple truths of this mysterious castle, but part of the map was missing. Angelina looked at the map in her hand and noted a large X on the map that looked to be behind the castle. She ventured to the back of the castle and found a garden of sparking flowers. In the center was two rows of pink daisies criss-crossing into the shape of an X.

Looking closely at the daisies, she noticed a spot at the center of the X where she could place the jeweled box. Within moments, a burst of glittering light shown from the place she had set the jeweled box and from that light came a thousand tiny sparkling fairy wings. The fairies flew up around her and placed a sparkling wreath of flowers on her head. They then spoke to her, in soft high pitched voices, and told her to follow the map to the River of Wisdom to the Land of Simple Truths. There she would find a group of elves waiting to greet her.

Angelina did as the fairies instructed and followed the map to the River of Wisdom. The elves greeted her by singing in a blend of beautiful voices. They treated her like royalty and led her one a grand procession. They led her around a tree in the center of an opening in the woods. They covered her in flowers and sprinkled sparkly fairy dust all over her head. 

When she looked down Angelina found that the flowers had turned into a beautiful gown and the wreath on her head into a glittering crown. And there were shoes - Oh my - the wonderful shoes! 

"These shoes will surely carry me to the 'Land of Simple Truths'," she thought, "Where I will learn the secret of living happy...the truth everyone has been struggling to find since eons...and the secret that will set the man in the castle free."

Just then one of the little elves nudged her and disrupted her thoughts. He indicated that she needed to hurry off to the little cottage in the distance to seek shelter from the gray clouds now looming overhead. She grabbed her jewel box, and  her shoes whisked her across the field to the little door covered with lush velvety vines and delicate purple flowers. Her soft hand gently turned the ornate brass door handle encased with sparkly gemstones. As the door opened she found a treasure trove of jewels and brass waiting to be assembled. Ideas and imagination flowed as she began to make little trinkets to share with the world, the 'simple truths' that she had found. And while she was engrossed in trying different techniques, the fairies and elves whispered to her about the blissful moment when she would get to the "simple truths"...the messages to live a happy life.

She busily worked for about hours amongst the fairy sing-song whispers, when suddenly she heard a high pitched trilling noise, like the notes from a magical flute. This brought her out of her revery and she looked down at the map again. The missing links on the map were now visible, showing a partial route to her final destination, a city called Vintaj. "I wonder what magic Vintaj will hold for me," she thought. "But how do I get there?" For the path to Vintaj was not clear, as if the route had been erased.

Angelina happily returned to her work create a memento to remind her of all she had seen and heard and felt on her journey so far. On one of the shelves in the cottage she noticed a small bowl with some clay and began playing with it. Angelina liked the way the clay felt in her hands and she sang with delight when she saw all of the beautiful colors of inks and paints suddenly appearing before her as she touched the clay. Each new thing she touched brought another piece of the puzzle into view. 

She wasn't sure what she was doing at first but the creations were so perfect that she thought the fairies must be guiding her hands to form squares, circles, cylinders, all manner of shapes. She than began to play with color taking cues from the "garden of sparkling flowers" she had visited earlier in her journey, and began toying with words drawing inspiration from the joy in her everyday life. 

"Every day may not be good but there is something good in every day," thought Angelina. She believed this with all of her heart, it was her greatest truth. And yet, she knew that she must use her unique magical skills to discover the "simple truths" to share with the world, for a simple truth is meant to be given to others to bring light to their lives and to enrich the world with its power.

Angelina knew that she had to continue her journey along the River of Wisdom. And while she sat pondering over shapes,colors and words, she was surprised to see a hot air balloon lightly land at the door of the little cottage. Without a moments hesitation, Angelina slipped out of the little cottage and boarded the basket of the balloon with the wonderment of a little girl.
{Found via Pinterest. From ZsaZsaBellagio.}

The balloon immediately rose. She was lifted high above the magnificent landscape all around her. Little birds took flight next to the balloon and their wonderful songs filled the air with joy and harmony. The scenery was breathtaking. As the sun began to set she realized she was heading for the mountains in the distance.

"I wonder where the this journey will end?" she thought to herself. 

Just then, hovering in the air before her balloon appeared a griffin. He had a great wide wing span and his wings were of giant rustling feathers. He had a wise and knowing look about him. He wore a simple golden crown and he spoke in a voice, deep and clear, "We have been awaiting your arrival Princess Angelina."

Sensing that this griffin was there to guide her, she touched his shimmering feathers. With a swift swoop of his giant wings, he lifted her off the balloon, cradled her with his paws, and whispered in a low husky voice the first clue to finding the "simple truths."

Around his neck hung a chain with a half heart locket. The griffin placed the locket around her neck saying, "Inside this locket is the Compass of your Heart. Let this compass be your guide. When you are lost it will help you find your way." 

She clung to him wondering how she would return to her world to share the simple truths she had learned. As she glanced down at the compass she realized it was the sparrow's compass and it was inscribed with the words "Property of the Kingdom of Vintaj." 

"Ah! Vintaj," she thought. "Maybe in that special place I will find the answers I have been seeking!"

All of a sudden the skies opened up and a loud clap of thunder shook her to her core. "Whatever am I going to do now?" she thought as she clung to the neck of the griffin.

The griffin's wings carried her safely down to a silver pavilion in a beautiful clearing in the woods. There she found a woman, wonderful and wise, who told her that she had an loving heart. "This must be the wise witch," thought Angelina. 

The kindly old woman addressed her, "Dear Princess Angelina. My name is Lady Erina. You have traveled far and wide to find the 'simple truths' and I am here to help you unlock them. They are within you and all around you. The key is to slow down and see them to appreciate them. When you do, you will recognize their wisdom for your own life and be able to share them with others. That is your gift to the world. For sharing 'simple truths' with others is the sure way to unlock their gifts for your own life."

Lady Erina continued, "Focus on the stillness in your soul and learn to see with your heart and your mind together and magically the simple truths of life will become increasingly clear." The wise woman went on. "To achieve harmony between the mind and the heart, is to take a dip in the 'river of wisdom.' This river is all around you, flowing through you. It is in the air and the trees, in the wind and the rain. The key is to be still and know that it is there."

The kindly woman held her hand, and guided her through the woods amongst hedgehogs, squirrels, owls, dragonflies, exotic birds, and all the springtime flora fauna, until they arrived at an unusual willow tree. To the Angelina's astonishment the tree opened and inside appeared a land of many colors. She stepped inside to find a world distorted by fantastic dancing and swirling colored light. Voices whispered in her ears, each one quiet, but roaring in their numbers. Overwhelmed, Angelina jerked backward and felt herself falling and landing at once into what felt like the familiar warmth of her own bed. The chatter in her mind hushed, and she opened her eyes to see that she was alone in a forest glade, lying on the magic quilt, and right beside her there was a half-heart locket, that matched exactly the half-heart she was wearing given to her by the griffin.
{compass heart from Etsy}

Angelina matched the two halves and they snapped together like a puzzle. It was then that she noticed that a little slip of stained and age worn paper was peeking out from the other half of the locket. Angelina quickly grabbed the end, and as she tugged at it she realized there was more. She kept pulling the end with her tiny fingers, and more and more paper glided out - almost like a scroll. As much as she was excited, it was tiring her out, and she stopped to take a quick breath. Just when she stopped, an antiquated bluish ink came to life on the scroll.

Angelina closed her eyes for a minute, overwhelmed with what she saw unfolding. And then with the clarity of youth she opened them again and read. 

"You hold the power, you hold the key, to your own simple truths. You have always known, but you needed this journey to awaken your inner enlightenment." 

As she read these words, she felt a sudden surge of happiness and empowerment - happiness much deeper than the joys of a little girl, and empowerment far beyond her years. Just then the delicate fairies appeared and danced around her forming a halo around her head, and the elves followed with their sing-song voices returned rejoicing in her enlightenment. Angelina danced and frolicked with the sprightly creatures and celebrated finding the magic to release the spell.

Angelina rested under the sheltering limbs of a great oak tree. Caught up in her own daydreams, she lost track of time. Blades of grass rustled by her side, and she was awakened from her thoughts. The kindly woman was gone. The animals were strolling back to their homes, the flora fauna had wilted for the day, and she realized she had to find a shelter for night in the green glade. That night, wrapped in the magic quilt, Angelina fell fast asleep in the soft moss under the trees. She snuggled up under a large tree, her beautiful quilt around her. 

But little did Angelina know that her journey had not yet ended. Each night as she wrapped herself in the quilt she would be whisked away. She slipped in and out of dreams, drifted along the rim of real and make believe as she skimmed above magnificent realms. In the mornings when she awoke, she began to sketch and record all the things she had experienced. She grew and changed and found many friends far and wide who would inspire her. Over the years she would draw inspiration from these sketches with her "treasure trove of jewels and brass" and the half-worked clay trinkets to share her knowledge of the "simple truths" with the world.

One night she drifted off to sleep under the velvety blanket of the starry night, she wondered about the Guardian of the castle and all those held imprisoned there. Did the white unicorn and the wise witch help them escape, or were they still held prisoner in the castle? She didn't know that the prisoners had been freed by the white unicorn and the wise witch. They had been transformed into fairies and elves, her friends in the forest. They guided her, entertained her, inspired her.  

It was the same witch that had transformed into the kindly woman to walk with her. Now here she was all by herself, yet very much protected and loved. But something was missing. She was always guarded by these magical friends but she knew that there was something more that she had to search for. The sunflowers in the field on the edge of the forest swayed in the mild nocturnal breeze, and the sweet smelling pollen blessed little Angelina in her sleep. Amidst the calmness of the night she heard a strange cry whispered on the breeze. She perked up and listened closely, straining to hear. The cry was a call for help!

Woodsy and Motley her precious owl friends were wide awake and sitting by her side with frightened faces, instead of being calmly perched on a tree branch,and resting between hunts. There had been a great disturbance in the forest. The Great Dragons of the Mountains were on the move. Did someone disturb a dragon egg? or was it another forest fire? Or were they headed for the valley? Had something driven them from the mountain tops? What could have done this? Angelina knew she must find out right away.

She quickly gathered her bag full of the treasure trove and her creative clay trinkets, and looked around to see which direction she should head in. Just then, there was a squeaky sound from her bag. She looked inside, and to her amazement, the map was highlighting a new path heading towards towards the fabled city of Vintaj. Angelina knew that this is where her destiny was leading her, but she was fearless and accustomed to strange things taking place. But why was she being called to the land of Vintaj? Was she to help someone in need? Was she to find what was in her heart? No matter. The map was guiding her and so she would follow. 

To her amazement one of the great dragons swooped down and, with its great wings, placed her on his back. As they flew away the other dragons provided an escort. They flew across the Sea of Hopes and Wishes. Angelina found the dragons to be a cheerful lot, and not as scary as their size and talons would lead you to believe. They flung her in the air, turning somersaults, and passed her around from one to another, puffed out smoky bubbles, and performed tricks during the flight.

Angelina rolled with laughter and forgot about the task at hand until another uncanny reminder announced itself. The compass locket she wore began to glow and spin wildly. It was then that they heard a loud gushing sound and witnessed a river emerge below them. The sparkling blue waters were blinding the dragons and Angelina, and they slowed down in their flight preparing to land. While they skillfully descended towards the ground, the river looked large yet peaceful, as if it had been there for ages. And along the banks flora fauna came into life to complete a scenic landscape. Angelina felt a sudden surge of happiness and burst out in song! The notes carried across the land and it seemed as if time paused to listen. However while in the midst of singing something something caught her eye. There was motion behind the waterfall as if a great gate were slowly opening at the dulcet tones of her song.

There, emerging from a ledge behind the great waterfall, stood a woman wearing a regal flowing gown and a man with a large crown on his head. There behind them was an opening to a land of enchantment. Instantly, Angelina realized they were her mother and father, whom Angelina had not seen since she was but four years old. Just behind the waterfall was the opening to the grand city of Vintaj, the city that she had been told to seek.

With tears of joy, Angelina ran into the arms of her lost mother and father. They laughed and hugged each other while the dragons puffed out smoke bubbles and danced around them to express their happiness. Now it all made sense...

Angelina was just about to say to her parents how much she had missed them when the dragons froze and turned their heads to the sky. Drifting through the clouds a large hot air balloon was coming towards them and it looked like it was going to land right where they were standing. As the balloon descended closer to them, they noticed a festive banner hung to its side saying "Welcome to the Land of Vintaj" and there were pastel colored balloons bearing names of Angelina and her parents.

Angelina hugged her parents, all three of them laughed, and cried, and laughed some more. Suddenly, among the small crowd of people that gathered happily around them, she saw him. In his face she saw herself. He is my reflection she thought. Could he be my twin? She looked up at her parents in astonishment. They nodded and smiled. The boy smiled and waved. Her heart leapt and she ran towards him. 

"Are you...my long lost brother?" said Angelina. 

"I am," he replied. "I am Arick. We have been seeking you for many years. We are so glad you found us and that the Compass of your Heart has lead you to the Land of Vintaj. Come and live in peace and harmony with us."

Angelina knew that the Compass of her Heart had lead her to this place. She joined her brother, Prince Arick and her parents, the King and Queen of Vintaj, taking her rightful place in the kingdom. Princess Angelina never forgot the magic that brought her here, nor the strength and courage that was always in her heart. She grew to rule the Land of Vintaj with her brother by her side, sharing her 'simple truths' with all the people and encouraging them to find their own magic within.

And they lived happily ever after.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Whew! That was quite a story that you wrote! I am sorry that it took me so very long to put it all together into a form that made sense. You are all very creative and I was overwhelmed by how enthusiastic you were about this challenge!

I promised that I would gift a lucky random comment on this story thread with a three month subscription to the Simple Truths Sampler Club. For such a rousing and entertaining story, I think that this deserves TWO spots, don't you?

Pixiloo and Beaditi

Congratulations! You are each the winner of a three month subscription to the Simple Truths Sampler Club (June-August 2012). Please email your address to enjoytheday{at}tesoritrovati.com.

The Simple Truths Sampler Club will be hitting the milestone of a one year anniversary in June and there will be lots to celebrate, things to give away and blog hops to happen. Stay tuned in early June to find out more!

Just a reminder that the Challenge of Literature blog hop will be on Thursday, May 31st. I will reveal what I did for the Verse & Vision II exhibit and we will share our creations inspired by our favorite writings.





6 comments:

Cynthia said...

Erin, You did a great job of putting it all together!! I'm glad it has a happy ending!
Congrats to the TWO winners. I'm sure they'll enjoy their own simple truths.

beadrecipes said...

What a great story! And I think you did a fantastic job of pulling it into shape. Looking forward to next week's hop!

jeanniek said...

Glad there was a happy ending. I was following this and sure took some twists and turns. Congrats to the winners. What an awesome prize.

Kristen said...

Look how you made us all write a story! I loved it!!!! Congrats to the winners!!! I am totally jealous! LOL

Beaditi said...

I am so excited to win the "simple truths" ! Thanks Erin....
Looking forward to discovering them :)
Kaushambi

LiliKrist said...

What a great happy ending =)
Congrat for the winners.

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