Anyways, the princess finally reached the border and as she stepped across, fell back down onto the ground. Somehow, she felt different but she shrugged it off, as, like everything else around her, it was of little concern. In fact, she had to stop and take a moment just to try (oh so hard) to remember the three things that the nurse and queen had told her that she must absolutely remember. It took her until the sun had reached the horizon before she suddenly remembered the first thing: She had to see the wicked witch! But she couldn’t remember which wicked witch. Looking around, she decided to take the small path that lead down a hill (upon which she had dropped) towards the single, simple wooden cottage that lay at the foot of the hill.
Quest 1: The search for a wicked witch.
The princess sighed. She was still feeling somewhat happy, but somehow there was another feeling that reached her. She sighed again. It was a weird thing, she thought, to sigh. She had certainly never done it before, for she never found a need to. It seemed as if everything in her past was a blur, with nothing but bright colors, string, and strange shoes. She looked down and examined her feet. Certainly she wasn’t wearing them now. How odd, she thought. Perhaps she would have thought that it was a dream, if she knew what that was. But she certainly didn’t, so she couldn’t come to that conclusion. She sighed again. Somehow sighing seemed to made her feel just slightly happier, so she did it again. And again. And again. Until she started hyperventilating, at which point she became slightly dizzy and fell over to hit her head against the wooden door of the simple wooden cottage that was at the foot of the hill she had landed on earlier. The door opened and an old man in loose blue robes and a large pair of glasses stepped out to look at her. Light spilled out from behind him and rolled away into the darkness like fog. In one hand, he held a rather large rock and with the other, he held the door open.
“Come in and don’t bang your head against my door,” he said, almost crossly, “it’s an old door, and it isn’t used to having young, radiant females bang their heads against it.”
The princess blinked blankly at him, and then remembering what the queen and nurse had told her, asked, “My name is Isabella... something. and ummm... and I’m looking for an the wicked witch of the... I’m afraid I’ve forgotten again.”
The old man raised an eyebrow and peered at her though his large pair of glasses, “I’m afraid I can’t help you. It’s not my custom to help strange young girls with their witching problems.” With that, he turned to go back inside.
To Isabella’ amazement, she sank to her knees and cried out, “Oh, kind sir, please help me!”
The old man sighed and turned to beckon at her, “If you want me to help you, you had better come in. I don’t like the dark. And close the door.”
Isabella blinked, shut the door and then tried to walk into the cottage. This only resulted in her forehead crashing into the wooden door, which was opened a minute later by the same old man, looking more irate than before. He sighed, grabbed her arm, and pulled her in roughly, slamming the door behind her. “That’s how it’s done. You close the door AFTER you come in, see? That’s so you don’t crash into the door.” Isabella nodded dumbly. The old man sighed, stepped back and put the rock down on the table that occupied the entire wall to the left. The table was covered in scraps of paper and book and other things that Isabella couldn’t identify. On the right, a rather small, but fluffy looking bed lay in general disorder. Along the wall that had the door, chairs were set, facing towards the center of the room. On the far side of the wall was a rather large mirror. The floor was made of wood, and circles formed complex patterns, in an inward fashion. Isabella frowned at the mirror. She didn’t recall having pointed ears back at the castle. The old man turned to watch her. “So, Isabella, I take it that you’re from the kingdom up the hill?”
Isabella looked blankly at the old man. “Up The Hill?” she asked, “We had always called it Our Nice Kingdom.”
The old man rolled his eyes, “that’s what everyone calls their kingdom. Each and every single princess that wanders in tells me that their kingdom was called ‘Our Nice Kingdom’. Fifty straight years, somewhere between negative one and one a day, you silly little things come wandering in. And no one has enough creativity to tell me that their kingdom something other than ‘Our Nice Kingdom’...” He broke off, seeing Isabella’s somewhat hurt look. “I’m sorry, it’s just that... oh, nevermind, I don’t think you’ll understand. Anyways, welcome to The Middle Of Phish. I’m the official Greeter and Redirector. People often come to me to look for help in finding lost things. And you look like you need a memory. So, perhaps, let’s start there. Stand in front of the mirror, if you please.”
Isabella obediently did as she was told. The old man went to his table and picked up several small stones and then walked back to her. “I want you to close your eyes. Don’t open them until I tell you to.” Isabella closed her eyes and she heard the old man pacing around her, muttering under his breath. Then she heard the sound of stones being dropped onto the wooden floor and more muttering. Suddenly, there seemed to be a flash of light and she saw herself, the queen, and the nurse. She heard them tell the other her, “Remember, you need to find the wicked witch of the southeast.” At this, she opened her eyes and shouted, “I remember now, it’s the southeast!”
The old man, who was standing in front of her, leapt back in surprise. The surprise turned to anger and fear, when he saw that she had opened her eyes. Isabella blinked at the expression on his face. “Wha...” she began, but then stopped when she saw the mirror began to pulse. The image that was originally in it, her memory of herself, the queen, and the nurse, faded and was replaced with a dull, pulsing blue. Suddenly, bright cracks appeared in the mirror and spread across it’s surface. The old man, who had been backing away from the mirror turned and dashed out of the wooden door, slamming it behind him. The mirror pulsed faster and faster and then suddenly shattered into what seemed like a million little pieces. These flew towards Isabella, and as each shimmer hit her skin, she could feel them, icy cold, wiggle their way through her blood stream. She began to be pulled towards the now empty mirror frame, which shimmered a dark purple. Then, everything went blank.
The old man came back in an hour later, cautiously at first, then more bold. He sighed and pushed the stones on the floor, now charred, to the side. Then he turned his attention to the mirror. “I hope she didn’t get sent to heaven like the last one did... the screams... and those complaints afterwards.” He shook his head and crawled into his bed, snapping his fingers at the candles, which faded from view.
+ 1,624 words since last post.
- Word count: 2,529 / 50,000. We are 5.058% done -