What Lies Beneath…

By Amanda Maher (Sun Valley High School, Aston, PA)

Mama won’t tell me what’s behind the purple door. She says we don’t talk about it or it will bring dishonor to our family and to our village. Our village was founded by my great-grandfather after he discovered a big wooden door deep in the woods. The door led him to an unknown space that he decided to call his own. He started a community with many villages full of creatures, just like us. Instead of living in fear in the human world, the gnomes, elves, ogres and us, the fairies, each have their own village within the community. My great-grandfather named our community Crystal Cove.

“Kelly, time for dinner,” Mama called interrupting my thoughts. I flew down the hall into the dining room where the table was set. I took my seat and waited for mama to say grace. Every night when she prays, she prays for Daddy. I’ve never met Daddy before but Mama tells me he’s a wonderful man, strong, brave, handsome, and very caring. I’ve asked Mama what happened to Daddy before but she just told me he would be back home as soon as he could. I decided to ask Mama for a real answer because I know there was more to the story.

“Mama, what happened to Daddy and why isn’t he home yet?” I asked shyly. Mama put down her fork and took me into the family room where she sat me on the couch.

“Kelly, I know now you’re old enough to know the truth about your father. Your daddy’s in trouble but there are people who are trying their hardest to save him.”

Worry washed over me as I asked, “Well, where is he and why is he in so much trouble?”

Mama sighed, “Honey, he’s behind the purple door and if he doesn’t get out soon the dark man will kill him.”

“It’s been thirteen years, why would the dark man want to kill Daddy?” I whimpered.

“The dark man only uses his powers for harm. He is a warlock who hated your great-grandfather. He did not let his kind into Crystal Cove because of the harm he caused and wants revenge upon your father and the community. That is why we do not speak of him or we will be looked at with dishonor, but certain people who look up to your father have been trying for over thirteen years to save him.” I heard enough, I was going to save Daddy myself because obviously nobody else had tried hard enough. I stood up and flew out the window only hearing Mama call after me about a curse. I didn’t care how dangerous this would be, I was willing to take any chances I had to.

I flew until I reached the door. As I approached the purple door, I prepared myself for whatever was ahead of me. I pushed but the door wouldn’t open, so I pushed harder and the door slowly creaked open. A giant, long, dark hallway now faced me. I took a cautious step forward into the hallway. I couldn’t go on half blind, I used a little of the pixie dust I brought with me and made a light ball that would follow me. I call it Jay. Jay led the way down the wet, eerie hallway until we came to a split that led several different ways. I stood there in puzzlement trying to decide which path would lead me to Daddy. Left or right? I would go to the right and see where I ended up. At this point I didn’t care what I had to go through to get to Daddy. I just needed the security that he was still alive and loved me.

Jay led me down the right side path. We came to another small wooden door. It was locked but there were steel bars on the top half that I could fly through. I was cautious and told Jay to stay close as we kept flying down the hall. I was rewarded considering I found Daddy locked behind a huge prison cell at the end of the hall. I stopped right in my tracks as tears ran down my frozen face. My eyes locked with Daddy’s for the first time. After thirteen years I finally got the opportunity to meet my father. Mama was right, he was handsome. He had dark blonde hair, ocean blue eyes, and he was very muscular.

“Daddy?” I asked quietly.

“Kelly, is that really you?” Daddy asked me shocked.

“Yes, it’s me and I’m here for you.” I told him.

“It’s amazing to see you, I’m so sorry I wasn’t there for the first thirteen years but I was kind of in a tough situation,” my father explained sympathetically.

Tears were running down both of our faces now as I cried, “Don’t be sorry, we are together now that’s all that matters.”

“Kelly, no I am not going to let you risk your own life to save mine. This man is very dangerous and I do not want you anywhere near him. Go home to your mother. I know she is worried sick.”

“No, I waited thirteen years for this moment and I’m not leaving without you!” I nearly screamed. Daddy looked down in shame and I knew I had to get him out of the cell and home with me and Mama.

“Kelly, please.”

“Not going to happen, I’m sorry Daddy. Where are the keys to get you out of this?”

“The dark man has them in his office. If you are not going to give up I will tell you how to get me out of here,” Daddy said.

“I’m not leaving without you.”

“Okay, then listen closely, if you walk down the same hallway you did to get here the dark man’s office is down the left hallway. You have to be extremely careful when going down this hallway, fly high. Jay has to be close to you at all times! In the middle of the hallway you will come to another break, take that path and the office will be the first door on your right. Before you enter make sure he or any of his minions are not in sight.” Daddy explained to me. I nodded once and reassured Daddy I would be back.

I flew high, just like daddy told me to. Jay followed orders too, he stayed as close to me as he could. I reached the split in the creepy hallway and took the left path this time, still flying high. Jay got dimmer and dimmer as we continued down the hall. It eventually got so bad that I had to pick Jay up and land on the ground so I could add more pixie dust. Jay got brighter almost immediately and we kept moving. I found the door Daddy told me about.

I looked everywhere, up, down, left and right. Nobody was in sight so I flew through the small opening in the bottom. The office was huge! How was I supposed to find the keys in here? I turned around when I heard a small creek and noticed I had a bigger problem, standing in the doorway was the dark man. He was tall, black, and to my eyes ugly. Jay had the right idea and bolted for the door and I immediately followed.

 I was not quick enough, the dark man cursed me. I screamed in terror and agony as I dropped to the concrete floor. I couldn’t move, all I could hear was the dark man’s mischievous laugh as I heard him leave. I didn’t know how I was supposed to save Daddy now. Terrified, I called for Jay and Jay came back into the office. I had an idea but I needed Jay’s help. Jay has no arms, legs or a face but he has a strong heart that he would use to help anyone. I told him if he could get the keys to lay on his back then he could carry them to Daddy and he could get himself out. It took Jay a few tries but he got the keys and left.

As I lay there in excruciating pain all I could think about was Daddy. I didn’t care if I was here forever I just wanted Daddy to be okay and away from this horrible place. Daddy flew into the office faster than I ever would have imagined anyone could. He picked me up off the ground very gently and told Jay to lead the way out.

I was in total shock that we made it out of the purple door alive and with our honor. Daddy put me down for the slightest second and pulled put a key. He locked the door from the outside muttering something I couldn’t understand. There was a scream of defeat that came from inside the door.  Daddy threw the key into the bushes, picked me up and rushed me home.

Mama was home on the couch crying to herself when Daddy flew in. She jumped to her feet and kissed Daddy but panicked when she saw me. By then my eyes were drifting shut and my body was completely limp. Mama knew I had encountered the dark man and got all the pixie dust she could gather as Daddy laid me on the couch. At this point I didn’t care if I lived or died, my dream of my father coming home and us being a family came true. Mama put something on my head and said a few words that made me scream in pain. My scream made Mama wince, she tried again and again but it was no use. Daddy tried this time, something about it was different. Daddy was more gentle with his words but it didn’t matter because after he was done my eyes closed and my heart stopped. Mama and Daddy looked at each other and cried over me.

During that time something happened though. It must have been the combination of love, compassion, and sorrow, the tears combined together made my heart beat again. My eyes slowly opened and I looked at my parents with a grateful expression. They were in shock but just as grateful as I was. We all were alive and together and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

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