What Lies Beneath?

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

It started as a nightmare.

Sirens blasted, and my ears began to feel as if they were bleeding. I rushed off to the bunker alone and terrified, Aunt Mildred was away on holiday.  I whipped the door open and flung myself to the bottom. Terrified of what would happen, I pushed the mud with my feet and grinded my teeth. I began to get dizzy and toppled over.

I woke up with mud splattered across my face. “This is a newly bought dress,” I moaned. I stood up and started to sway. One step at a time I made it to the door. I gently pushed it and looked down at my feet to see pointy garden decorations. They appeared to be shaking their fists at me. I knelt down, getting my knees even dirtier, apologizing to the gnomes.

“Hi there, Miss.” Startled, I realized he wasn’t shaking his fist but waving.

He started to ramble in a squeaky voice. “Oh joy I can’t believe you’re here, you’re finally here! Oh just wait- you have a lot in store for you. You will have to meet Nixy, Oh joy.” The red gnome jumped up and down.

Concerned and confused, I looked around, “Who’s Nixy?”

“Nixy’s a fairy, and she’ll explain everything.” He pulled on my sleeve.

I hesitated. “Do you have a name?”

“Oh yes, sorry, I’m Rally, nice to meet you.”

“I’m Felicity, but people call me Sissy.”  “ Yup I know.” He pulled my sleeve once more and led me away.

I followed him on a small, rocky, mossy path. He led me to an area surrounded by trees.

“Nixy,” he called loudly.  A fly popped out of a speckled mushroom.

“Nixy, Felicity is here.”  I noticed that the fly was in fact a fairy.

“She’s here to save us from the trolls.”

“What did you say?”  I stumbled back. “I didn’t sign up to exterminate any trolls.” Nixy flew up to me, her glistening wings fluttered behind her.

“Oh, but you have to dear.  It’s your destiny,” she said as she swirled back down to the mushroom.

I shook my head, “I won’t fit.” She flew back up, poured an orange goo on me, and watched as I struggled to understand. I started to shake and sparkle and the next thing I knew,  I too was Nixy’s size. She smiled and waved me into an adorable little house.

Rally, Nixy and I sat at her table.

“Here’s the plan, so w-” I cut her off quickly and told her, “ I can’t get rid of your troll problem.” Her wings fluttered in annoyance and she said,  “Not with that attitude!” I gave in and began to listen.
“As I was saying, our plan is the three of us go over Drimple Mountain and demolish the whole troll population with this,” she pulled out a bottle of red-orange glitter.

I rolled my eyes. “How could we possibly kill them with glitter?” I pulled back from the table and Nixy looked offended.

“This is a magical troll extinguisher; if you get it to the head chief, we can extinguish them all.”  I hesitated for a brief moment. “Okay.”

After we packed supplies, we headed on the trail up the mountain.  “Are we there yet?”

“No,” Rally said.

“Are we there yet?!” I said again with even more anxiety a few minutes later.

“NO!” I dragged my feet and complained until we reached the top.

“We made it!” I said with great joy.

“Nope,” Rally pointed down the hill.  I sighed and threw myself on the ground. After a whole day’s worth of traveling, we spread out sleeping bags and cooked hot dogs around a campfire.

“Tomorrow, we will reach the village, and that’s where you come in. “The village knows what we look like, but they have never seen you,” Nixy stated. “Every four hours, the chief accepts gifts. If you go, you can get close enough to the chief and sprinkle it all over him.”

“He is the main lifeline to the other trolls,” Rally said.  I nodded and flopped down on my sleeping bag. Thoughts raced through my head. Would I really be able to pull this off?

The next day, I grabbed the glitter bottle and made my way down the mountain. I headed towards the throne room and waited my turn to see the Chief. I knelt down before him and he screamed, “ Peasant! Filthy human peasant! The king shouted with anger.

“No, it’s alright, I come with a special present.”

“Come closer,” he demanded, while looking my filthy dress up and down. I swiftly went as close as possible and sprinkled the glitter all over him.

“I got you glitter.” I dashed off towards the door, but he was too weak to keep up. He fell to his knees and dissipated into thin air.  As I ran back to Nixy and Rally on the borders, I noticed that no other troll was strolling through town.

“I did it,”  I said as I reached them.  We all hugged and they shed tears.

“I’m glad I could help, but I need to get home.”

“No problem,”  Nixy said as she pulled out a bunch of magical glitter.  As it began to trickle from her hand, we said our goodbyes. She threw the glitter in my face, and it was all over.

Lying in a pile of mud, I slowly opened my eyes. Will I ever see Nixy and Rally again? I had too many questions. I stumbled to the door. I felt no breeze or rain so time must have passed. Aunt Mildred sprinted to me from the back door. She lifted me in her arms and twirled me as she said, “ Where have you been? I thought you got swept away.”

“No Aunt Mildred, I just got back from Drimple Mountain.”  Rally and Nixy were just here, but they sent me back.”

“Did you hit your head?” she asked.

“No, there were fairies and gnomes, I swear.”

“Okay,” she said as she brought me inside to lay down on what felt like a cloud of feathers. She went to get me soup and by the time she came back, I had drifted off.

“It wasn’t a fairy tale,” I mumbled.

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