June introduces us to a new Write, Edit, Publish Challenge. I’d like to thank Denise Covey and her team of awesome writers, Laura, Nilanjana and Olga for their combined efforts in running this bloghop. Well done ladies.
The challenge this month is Caged Bird. Tell a story in 1,000 words or less. Post pictures or a poem. Good luck to everyone who is submitting their work. And for other writers reading, it’s not too late to participate.
For my story of Caged Bird, it continues the saga of Primrose. If you haven’t read about Primrose yet, you can read the two stories I’ve already posted below, Stealing Pearls followed by Primrose and Anvil. Or, you can click on Faerie Tales in the pages above and read all three in order. Her story will be completed next month, so be sure to come back.
Primrose twirled, her faerie wings flapping hard. The ruby and emeralds embedded in her forehead and cheek caught the moonlight that reflected off the human lake. Her giggles floated above her like bubbles in multiple colors. She touched down, tipping her toes in the waters as she danced in the middle of the lake.
She was safe, at night, in the massive forest. There were human cabins here and there, but none were close. She waited until the humans were all in bed and if anyone was camping, she flew to the opposite side of the lake.
Her tight curls were in the shape and color of primroses. Her faerie dress tonight was midnight blue. She’d come here by accident the first time. When she flew from the faerie portal, she’d said “trees” and ended in the middle of this huge forest. The trees even dwarfed the humans. Curious, she came every day for two weeks until she found the lake, which she named, ‘Glorious Pond.’ In order to return to it from the portal the lake must have a name.
Not that it was a pond. No, it was a lake that stretched for leagues.
She swallowed a few giggles which made her giddy with happiness. Then she noticed movement by the shore. She stopped and hovered mid-air. Whatever it had been was gone. Probably a deer. She’d seen a herd of the beasts earlier and landed on the nose of one of them. It sneezed and she flew up, laughed and touched her wand to its forehead. The deer reared from the ground before crashing back down.
There was only one drawback to the lake and forest. No one brought their precious items from home. She’d inspected all the cabins. No jewelry boxes, no bracelets, necklaces, earrings or anything else. One cabin had an impressive display of fishing lures, but they didn’t tempt her.
Something shiny caught her eye in a tree close to the beach where she’d seen the deer. Curiosity floated up her faerie limbs until it reached her nose. She tweaked the tip of her nose and then flew across the waters to the shore.
The shiny thing seemed to float just under a tree limb. Primrose looked this way and then that. No humans, no deer. A raccoon crept out on the other side of the shore. Somewhere, a terrible stench reached her. It must be a skunk.
I’m safe. She flew toward the shiny object to discover a metal bird cage. The dome of the cage came down and was secured in a wooden base. Is it iron or copper?
Inside the cage was a bar held up with links to the top. Once, in her travels to this human world, she’d seen a bird cage and she knew that the creatures would perch on the bar. She tapped it to test that the metal wasn’t iron. All faeries hated iron.
The door to the cage lifted up to expose an opening. Primrose flew inside. She stood on the bar, then sat and began to swing. Her laughter pinged against the metal making music. Then a bang. She flew from the bar and turned. The door had slammed shut.
Fear sped along her nerves. She flew to the door and tapped it with her wand. A dull thud told her the horrible news. It was made of iron. She couldn’t get out.
A loud noise caused her to cringe and cover her ears. Voices. “Look.” “We got it.” Two children arrived. A boy and girl.
“Oh, see how pretty she is?” The girl said.
“I’ll feed it to my praying mantis.” The boy grinned.
The boy took the cage down and handed it to the girl. “What will you tell mom?”
“I’ll hide her.”
“She’ll find it sooner or later, Gretta.”
Gretta slugged her brother in the arm which caused the cage to move with violent force and even turn over. Primrose was thrown around like a pile of seeds. When it was over, one of her wings was torn. The pain made her gasp.
“Be very quiet.” Gretta had her face close to the cage and peered in at her. “Oh, you’re hurt. How do I fix it?”
Primrose stepped as close to the cage bars as possible. “You can’t fix it. Let me go.”
Gretta’s face pinched with a frown and pressed lips and then changed to a grin. “You can talk. What are you?”
“I am faerie. If you don’t let me go, others will come and curse you.” She knew they wouldn’t curse the children or any human, but Primrose herself would be in big trouble.
“What’s a curse?”
“That’s when my kind changes you into a fish.”
The child opened a cabin door. It was dark inside. Her brother led her up the stairs. His flashlight illumined wooden walls, a deer head, a door and a bedroom. Gretta turned on the light as her brother left and shut the door. The bright glare of the overhead fixture blinded Primrose for a moment.
Gretta knelt, and shoved the cage under her bed. “You have to sleep now. Tomorrow we’ll play.”
A moment later, the light off, Primrose heard Gretta climb into bed, cover herself and whisper something against her pillow.
Primrose lay down on the wooden floor of the cage discouraged. Perhaps something would come to her in the morning and she’d free herself.
Word Count 909
Did you like this story? Feedback is always appreciated.
To read other stories submitted for this challenge, go here.