By Lindsay O’Donohoe (Downingtown West High School)
Naturally, as the goddess of curiosity, Aeradae wandering in the woods and exploring every living being was not particularly out of ordinary to her. Aeradae was a lost and weary soul, relying on only the beauty and comfort of nature to suffice for a friend. Her favorite place to venture was a thick but narrow path of trees that lead into a fantastically large forest. On one particular night, she did not know the date for time was infinite and belittling to her, she crept through the entrance. Her hands were gentle and careful, as she caressed the tiny sapling’s leaves, just barely poking out from the earth’s womb.
The frigid air seemed to be whispering to her, and the stars were a warm blanket surrounding her. Aeredae’s smile was like a white light signaling for the earth to just swallow her up and embrace her. She stopped and plopped down onto a soft and cozy grass embankment. She lifted her head and stared at the iridescent sky while giggling as she dipped her toes into the ice cold stream. The lapping of the water was like a calming song enveloping her ears.
Suddenly, the forest seemed to go dead silent and a shiver ran up Aeradae’s spine. She jumped to her feet and whipped her head to the right. The mist began to clear and she heard footsteps far off in the distance. She began to run, bounding like a doe escaping from a fox. She could sense someone was near. All of a sudden she was falling. She landed with a small thump and dizzily stood up. She felt as if she was shrinking. Everything was dark, except for the faint glow of an open door. She was curious of course and slowly stepped nearer and nearer. She slipped into the door and it shut behind her.
She was in a room that smelled of cinnamon and gathered around her was a tiny fireplace with a small chair beside it. A man was sitting in the chair, his broad shoulders casting a shadow onto the fire-lit walls. He beckoned her to sit in the chair next to him. Aeradae was startled but slowly approached the chair. “Who are you?” she asked.
“I am the gate keeper between worlds, and you are in the wrong realm my dear.” He stated. Aeradae was confused. He could be right after all since she had been living solely in the woods since she could remember, but how could it be that she had lived in the wrong world her whole life? She couldn’t let her life just change in an instant. She felt as if her control over her own life was slipping from her grasp. “You were kidnapped when you were a baby and thrown through this door eternally sealed until your mother, Hestina, found the door and just knew you were here. You must come home.” He demanded.
Aeradae was ecstatic but sorrow crept up on her, her not wanting to leave the land she loved. However, she wanted to greatly meet her family and have a normal life, so she took a sapling very gently and put it in her pocket to plant when she returned home. The man opened the door and Aeradae stepped into her rightful home.