Hey ya'll! Took a bit of a break for uno momento. We are having problems with our computer. I'm having Audrey (Not My Daughter) put this up on her phone even as we speak. If I can convince her to keep putting up posts, I will. Until we meet again, fair well pilgrims. Here's the a little bit more of chapter four.
Chapter 4 (continued)
“No she isn’t,” Princess grumbles in a raspy voice. “Carry on.”
“Where are the kind people?” Princess demands, furling her brow. “You don’t understand Setchra, you don’t have a tummy.”
Princess searches around and finds a stick at the path’s edge, she picks it up. The little girl holds it upright and places Setchra’s pearl on top of the twiggy body, pretending her pearl is the head.
“Now you understand, tummy hurts!”
The throttling spasms in her abdomen subside. She feels guilty for making her pearl hurt.
“You are my new baby.” She cradles the stick. “It will be okay, baby. I will protect you.” She maternally holds the stick closer to her chest, trying to keep the pearl on the tip of the stick.
“Do you walk like me or swim like Setchra?”
“I can swim,” her low, creaking, pretend voice says.
“Really? Show me.”
Princess holds the stick up high and pretends to hover her imagined baby over the distant green-topped trees, keeping the pearl secure between two little fingers. With one eye closed, she moves the stick up and down like a dolphin diving in the leafy green treetop ocean. As her hands move, she tries her best to hold the pearly head against its brown stick body. When her baby rises above the treetops, she makes a splashing sound. “Woossh! Spooosh!”
Far off in the distance, a fading blue sky reflects a shiny object that catches her attention. Clutching her pearl in one hand, she drops the stick and shields her eyes with her other hand.
“What ‘tis it?” she asks her pearl.
“We should go see,” her raspy voice answers.
At the pearl’s urging, Princess skips off eagerly.
The early morning light graciously releases yellow beams through puffy white clouds. All around her, Princess listens to song birds welcome the day. She feels as though they sing their repetitious melody for her and her alone. Wanting to contribute, she hums with them in a high-pitched, squeaky voice that could never match their soprano chimes.
Princess hobbles along until her bare feet flap on a new, hard surface. She feels a sudden chill under her feet and looks down. Her twitching toes abruptly find themselves atop a brown, tan, and gray cobblestone road with dried horse manure on it. Princess squats down and pokes at a flat yellow stone, noticing the gray cement between the stones.
“A very unusual path,” she observes, pressing her finger on the firm cement.
Inquisitively, she moves faster towards the shiny object, sparkling above the treetops. The pale child energetically skips off a few paces, until the memory of her parents brings her to a guilty halt. Her shoulders slump and she hops backwards once, rebuking herself for feeling joy.
“I know, I miss them, too,” she sniffles to her friend in her small hand.
Princess decides to reverently fold her arms and it seems as though she is going to cry, but doesn’t, for she has no more tears to shed. Instead, she walks down the road holding the pearl in her clenched fist.
The light blue sky deepens to a slightly brighter shade, but Princess’ eyes remain fixed upon the glistening object in the sky.
In a short distance, the tree line reveals a dark blue cone pointing directly into the bright morning horizon. The glistening object is a golden needle at the top of the cone, reflecting the early morning light above the green treetops. Beneath the bushy trees, gray mist covers the valley like a sea of vapor.
Still unsure of what she’s seeing, Princess throws Setchra up in the air so that the pearl can get a better look. Momentarily blinded by the rising sun, she fails to catch her prize. Frantically, she scampers around for a moment, then finds the pure white sphere on the lightly blemished cobblestone surface.
“Oh my! I was so worried,” she professes, cupping both her hands around it.
“You swore you would protect m—” Setchra whines in a raspy voice.
“What was it you saw?” Princess demands curtly, cutting herself off.
The little girl whispers to herself, “Tis a blue cone with sparklies on top.”
She giggles then sprints down the road.
Her itchy, scratchy burlap dress shuffles back and forth while her little feet smack against the hard road. Soon, the tree line reveals a radiant white base holding the blue-coned top, similar to a sturdy stem on a budding rose. As she continues along the path two smaller, identical pillars, also with blue cone tops, stand beneath the larger pillar to its left and right.
“Tis many towers,” Princess tells her pearl.
As she continues on the path, a giant white rectangular curtain wall comes into focus, towering over the forest.
“Tis a castle,” Princess rumbles in Setchra’s voice.
“A CASTLE!” she shouts, sprinting faster than she’s ever run in her life. In just a few moments the little girl tires, her heel aches, and she feels a cramp piercing her side. She pinches her abdomen for relief.
“Why do you pinch your side?” her pearl asks.
“Because, Ma says it feels better!” Princess answers herself in gasps.
“Does it help?”
“No,” Princess whimpers.
She holds the silent pearl in front of her face, as though scolding it. She releases an impatient growl.
Princess continues her journey with incredible excitement, as the massive castle seems to rise out of the green forest. White birds fly over the forest and pass in front of the blue cones. Their tiny bodies are mere specks against the azure backdrop.
Princess watches the morning scene with wonder, until her stomach growls. “Ooowwwccchhh, tummy hurts!”
She looks at the pearl and licks her lips.
After a brief pause, she decides, “No, I couldn’t. I eat what you eat.”
She continues walking towards the township, nibbling on her bottom lip. Tall grass turns into open green fields. From where she is now, the castle is still a half-day journey by foot and a morning ride by horse.
“We’re never going to get there, Setchra!” Princess whines as her shoulders slump and her excitement fades to a frown.