What Lies Beneath?

By Madison Blair (Sun Valley High School, Aston, PA)

“Hello?” called out a quiet, broken voice. It slowly started to hit Aurora that running away didn’t seem as great as before. She knew at home there were dishes to clean, a drunken father on the couch, and screaming brothers, though what was here? The lack of leaves on the massive trees were even more unsettling to her. She was alone, but for once in her life there was no bickering about why mom wasn’t home or why she took all the money. It was just quiet. Aurora didn’t know if she wanted to smile or panic, but she had to sit down, on her feet she seemed to tilt from all of the things she was trying to understand. There was no sun and no moon, the sky just seemed black so she stared into the abyss of the night until her eyes shut. She could fall into a new life, a life that wasn’t her own.

Morning crept into the sky sending shades of purples and pinks into the dead forest. Aurora found it to be incredibly beautiful, but with the sun up things seemed different. The trees looked bigger, uncomfortably bigger. She stood up, brushed off her pants, and turned to take in her surroundings. She turned to the left of her, there was a dandelion, ordinarily that would never be a problem until she was looking up at it as if it were a tree. Aurora began to panic. She wasn’t sure what to do.

A voice came out of nowhere shouting, “We found her! We found her!”

The chanting was followed by another unfamiliar voice “She’s awake, and weird looking”

“Is it a she?” the first voice called back.

“Yes, I’m a girl!” yelled Aurora before seeing what she was yelling at.
From behind a bush two large animals emerged. She knew she should probably run, but before she could even take a step she was lifted into the air. She screamed. She was flying through the air, falling into a patch of flowers. The flowers were laughing. This wasn’t happening. She couldn’t believe this.

“Knock it off,” came another voice unaccompanied by a face

Behind a patch or underbrush, that suddenly seemed like a forest in itself, a creature appeared. Aurora could not positively identify what this thing was right away, but she was pretty sure it was a fairy. It had long paper thin wings that appeared torn or burned and it’s skin was tinted a green with dark charcoal symbols or words, she wasn’t really sure, but it looked branded into the skin. Aurora thought she ought to scream, but her voice was caught in her throat nothing but a squeak came out. She closed her eyes tight as the thing came closer to her.

“What a pretty face,” said the supposed fairy as it traced a cold finger down Aurora’s jaw line. “What a shame would it be if something were to happen to it.”

“Get away from me,” Aurora said in an attempt to sound strong, but her voice was barely a whisper.

The fairy laughed. “Vivian, we have to go,” the creature turned her head to her subject.
“Are you Vivian?” Aurora said.

“Do not speak to me, and walk. We have many things to do,” Vivian said to Aurora.

Aurora didn’t move nor did she open her eyes. Vivian’s face turned red, “Now!” she screamed.

Aurora took a wobbly step forward. “Come on Miss, I’ll help you,” Aurora turned to see who was talking to her. Her knees gave out when she saw a rabbit standing on it’s hind legs, holding out his front paw for her. The rabbit caught her and led her into the forest. The walk seemed long. For what seemed to be hours Aurora just started at her feet. She kept considering if she could run, but where would she go? She couldn’t be more than 6 inches tall, if even that. This problem left her being dragged through a forest with giant trees and giant flowers by a rabbit.

Hours passed and day light drifted away when the traveling stopped. Aurora looked around, and was puzzled due to the fact that they were still in the middle of nowhere and she was tired. Vivian moved her hand back and forth as it wiping a window and a door began to appear.

“Hello Vivian. Welcome home,” said a deep monotone voice.

Startled by a face that rested on the door, Aurora looked back down at her feet.

“Hey, Pete,” Vivian said. “I got another one here. These doofuses say she’s the right girl so we’re gonna head to the chamber.”

“Well, come on in.”

Aurora had so many questions, but was too frightened to ask. Vivian took her to a castle that towered over the other homes and shops of the village. She lead Aurora inside, for the other animals had left. She had found safety in the rabbit and not having him arose more fear.

“This is where the queen lives,” said Vivian.

“Is she your queen?” Aurora asked.

“Yes, and she is yours so I expect you to show respect.”

Aurora felt Vivian had become nicer to her than before, but fear still screamed inside her that she should run.

“Remove your clothes,” Vivian demanded.

“Pardon me?” Aurora’s face flushed red, “What did you just say to me?”

“Take your clothes off.”

“I will not!” screamed Aurora.

“Do it,” said Vivian in a quiet growl. “I could just kill you now.”

Aurora didn’t know if that were true, but she wasn’t going to sit around and find out. She removed her shoes and her socks and laid them in front of Vivian. She took of her jeans and her face turned completely red. She removed her shirt and threw it to the ground.

“You’ll have to get rid of those to,” said Vivian looking at Aurora’s undergarments.

“You have got to be kidding me,” Aurora said, completely completely uncomfortable by the exposure. Vivian did not have the face of someone that was kidding, so Aurora took off the rest of her clothes and used her hands to try and cover herself as much as possible.

“Go inside. Someone will be back for you soon.”

Aurora went inside the room with her head down. She hoped no one had witnessed that. The room was so much bigger than she had imagined it would be. She sat on a large bed that was covered in beautiful blankets and pillows that welcomed her like a friendly smile. She laid down and wrapped herself in a silk blanket. She started thinking about her brothers, wondering what they are doing right now. She actually missed them. Although her thoughts were quickly interrupted with her body’s call for sleep.

A loud banging on the door jerked Aurora from a deep sleep. She stood up, dragging the blanket in front of her. She pulled back the door where a small green creature dressed in silver armor was waiting for her.

“Well, hello,” she said with a smile trying not to freak out.

“I’m here to take you to the gown room,” said the little slimy creature handing her a soft gold robe.

She nodded her head said stepping outside, and putting on the robe. The little green guy took her to a room filled with elegant, amazing dresses from wall to wall. She ran her fingers along the many fabrics.

“I’m gonna have to get you fitted for a dress, ma’am,” said a man the emerged from a pile of even more dresses.

Aurora felt like she recognized this man, but she didn’t know how. She shoved the feeling aside and let him direct her to a platform for her to stand on. He helped her up and told her to hold out her arms. She did as she was told.

“My name’s Aurora,” she said

“I know who you are,” he said looking up at her face. “My name’s Antonio.”

“How do you know me?”

“You’re the princess,” he said, casually handing her a dress.

“The what?” Aurora asked completely confused. “You have got to be kidding. No, you’re wrong. I already know this is all a dream. You’re all in my head. This isn’t real. I just have to wake up.”

“Go behind there to get changed,” Antonio said pointing to a fold screen.

She did what he said. “What do you mean that I am a princess?” she continued with the questions.

“I’m not the one to explain it to you,” he said. “You will be filled in later, ma’am”

Aurora stepped from behind the curtain. She looked into a mirror to see herself. She was wearing a beautiful, floor length, lavender gown. Her mouth dropped, and all of a sudden pieces of blurry memories, or dreams she couldn’t tell, were flashing through her mind. She didn’t know what it meant or what they were. She grew dizzy and fell to the ground.

She tried opening her eyes and getting up, but there was a throbbing in her head. She could faintly make out voices.

“She’s starting to remember,” it was the guy that had given her the dress.

“Tisk tisk. We can’t have that,” came a female voice that Aurora recognized and she was filled with fear and uncertainty.

“Vivian just let her be. She is harmless.”

“She doesn’t deserve what is truly mine.”

“It isn’t yours,” Antonio screamed.

“Well it should be! What does a child know about running a kingdom?”

“She deserves to be told the truth,” Antonio said in a softer tone.

Aurora’s heart dropped. She laid as still as possible until she heard Vivian storm out of the room. She attempted to get back on her feet.

“Here let me help you,” called Antonio.

“I’m fine,” Aurora said coldly, pulling her arm away, but she lost balance. She fell back down to her knees and finally started crying. “I just want to go home.”

“You have so much to learn. Please let me help you,” Antonio said in a soft voice. Aurora did not argue. She was so tired so he went to help her up.

Aurora was sent back to the room she had first been brought to, and not long after Vivian was at her door. A soft knock came, but she didn’t wait for a response before entering. She held a tray with a glass of water and a small sandwich. Aurora was sitting in bed crying. Vivian came over and sat the tray on a nightstand.

“Oh, poor thing, don’t cry,” she said.

“I just want to go home,” Aurora answered in sobs.

“Here, drink this,” Vivian said handing her a drink.

Aurora took the drink and thanked Vivian. She took a sip and within seconds the glass fell from her hands and she dropped back on to the pillow that rested behind her. Her eyes slipped back into her head as blood trickled down her chin.

Vivian rose from the bed and smiled.

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