By Daria Rose Mariotti (Sun Valley High School, Aston, PA)
She felt drawn to the door.
Not only was it shaped strangely, but it was also in a tree with weeds growing at its base, and golden leaves lying dead around this particular spot. Maybe it was the beauty that had drawn Linda to leave the orphanage and travel aimlessly down roads to this particular spot, like a controlled puppet with a bag stuffed of warming snuggies. Sitting down Linda’s eyes grew heavy as the sun began to set on the forest’s horizon causing the cold brisk wind to feel colder against her skin. Looking around she felt at peace with her five fluffy blankets and the whittling leaves falling off the trees like sad rain drops into an endless ocean. As time beat on Linda found it harder and harder to keep her eyes open with the smell of burning wood and fire embers filling the air from her near by camp fire as it kept itself breathing.
Lurking in the distance was Kayo, one of the “tree people” who was sent to watch over Linda as she grow up. With his brown hair, muscular shape, and tall figure it was harder for him at times to blend in while still being near her. He had taken an oath long ago, that whatever was to happen he would protect Linda with his own life. Then, when the time would come introduce her to the life of the tree people, a world where she was royalty, and Kayo didn’t think this was a hard job.
Fire ignited around the base of the near trees starting the ceremony in the late night, but Linda laid still in her peaceful sleep. Fire raged itself to life in tall, red, flaming hot walls around the door Kayo felt the normality and impatience that came along, just waiting for Linda to get her self up and walk towards the door. This was the sign that all of his long hours of virtually babysitting as Linda grew up had payed off to the moment of truth. She was ready for her introduction to the new world.
Slowly making his way around the inflamed circle of trees, he looked at Linda’s beauty he began to pity her. He knew how it felt to be alone, lost, and shunned, but also not to grow old and that is the same thing she is about to be thrown into. Now though there was nothing he could do besides be the one at the door with open arms.
Her eyes fluttered open but she was blind to Kayo, and was focused on the door. Beautiful in the dark lighting, and meaning everything to her as it filled her heart with warmth. As he took her blanketed self up, Linda slowly traveled towards the half open wooden passage. Feeling the presence of another she turned around and saw a familiar face without a name.
No words were exchanged, even as Linda put one fuzzy boot in front of the other traveling forward, sucking in and out the crisp autumn air as her heart beat raged. Kayo was next to the door in a flash with open arms and a smile, but the only thing she had to do was turn around. Walk away from what she thought was a weird dream and secretly that’s what Kayo wanted.
“Linda stop! Please think this through, you are about to go through a door in a tree?” Kayo argued.
Nodding, Linda walked through the opened door into the bright white light and to her next life leaving behind the forgotten little girl she once was. As she walked further she began to shimmer and shimmer, until she woke up with her head on the soft pillow and the covers tucked under her sides.
The soft hum of cries filled her ears as the bed next to hears belonged to a small six year old who witnessed horrible things. As much as Linda wanted to admit it she wholeheartedly belonged here, and did not need anything blocking her reality, at least she received a good bedtime story out of this younger kids.
This was her real hectic life and for now she loved it.