It was a cold winter night with a heavy snowfall. Wrapped in a blanket Blithe sat looking out the window. The sleeping gown she was wearing couldn’t keep her warm, with her fire getting low. With her recent broken heart, she couldn’t sleep.
“What are you doing up, lady Blithe?” Ada walked into the room. “I didn’t expect you up when I fixed the fire.”
“I just can’t sleep.” Blithe mumbled. “Don’t tell my aunt that I’m up.”
“I won’t, but you need to get some sleep.” Ada fixed the fire for Blithe. “You might want to stop crying; your aunt will be mad if your eyes are puffy.”
“Meow.” Blithe’s cat, Ari, meowed in agreement. The cat jumped up, so he was sitting beside Blithe.
“Not you too.” Blithe said to Ari, rolling her eyes.
Ada smiled. “Everything will be okay, I just now it.”
“Thank you for the fire.” Blithe called as Ada walked out the room.
Blithe picked up Ari and placed him onto the bed. She pulled back the blankets and climbed into bed. She pulled the blankets towards her while Ari got comfortable. Closing her eyes, Blithe thought of the past few days.
When Blithe was about to fall asleep, she heard knocking. She got up, waking Ari who meowed in annoyance. The knocking wasn’t coming from the door, to Blithe’s surprised. She walked over to the window, but she couldn’t see anyone.
With the knocking continuing, Blithe walked over to her wall, thinking maybe something was going on in one of the rooms beside her. She glanced at her mirror and was surprised by what she saw. A little girl with blonde hair and a pink dress looked at Blithe. Another little girl with blonde hair and a purple dress hid behind her. The two girls looked like twins.
“Hello.” Blithe said to the two little girls.
“She can see us.” The girl in pink whispered to the girl in purple.
“Of course, I can see you.”
The two girls turned and run. Blithe in turn reached out to them, and with great shock her hand went through the mirror. She pulled her hand back and turned to Ari to see if he had seen what just happened. When she turned back to the mirror she tripped and fell through the mirror. Ari jumped up and followed Blithe.
The two girls giggled, causing Blithe to look up at them.
“Are you okay?” The girl in the pink dress walked over to Blithe.
“Where are we?” Blithe asked the girl.
“Brooke-hollow.” The girl in purple skittishly replied.
“I don’t think I have heard of Brooke-hollow.”
The girl in pink took Blithe’s hand and led her out of the tunnel they were in. The girl in purple opened the wooden door that blocked the tunnel from Brooke-hollow. The world of Brooke-hollow was in the middle of night and the middle of summer. The stars brightly lit up the sky. The trees and grass were crisp green. Firefly’s danced around the grass.
The two girls led Blithe and Ari through the forest and into a small village. The shops and houses lined the path to a small castle. The girls stopped in front of the castle’s gate.
“Where are you taking me?” Blithe asked.
“You need somewhere to sleep, so we are taking you to our home.” The girl in pink said to Blithe. “And you need a change of clothes, you can’t walk around in a night gown.”
The guards opened the gate without saying a word. They looked straight ahead only acknowledging the girls with a small nod.
Waiting at the castle’s door was a tall man that looked to be around Blithe’s age. He had messy light brown hair and stormy blue eyes. He looked annoyed; a frown graced his pale face.
“Where did you two run off too?” The man asked the two little girls. “Josephine went to check on you and when she couldn’t find you, she had Robert wake me because they were worried.”
“We made a new friend.” The girl in pink ran and hugged the man.
“Hello.” Blithe gave a small smile. “I’m lady Blithe Harris and this is Ari.” She motioned to the cat at her side.
“Oh, we forgot to tell you.” The girl in pink remembered. “I’m Ivy and this is my sister Marigold.”
“Why are we at this castle? Do you work here?” Blithe was still confused.
“You don’t know who we are?” The man was surprised. “I am Prince Marcus Addams and my sisters are princesses.”
“I am sorry.” Blithe quickly curtseyed to the royals.
“Where are you from?” Marcus was curious about the beautiful girl in a sleeping gown.
“The other side.” Marigold replied for Blithe. “We brought her from the tunnel.”
“You must be tired.” Marcus sighed. “Josephine will take you to a room while I talk to my sisters.”
“Thank you.” Blithe curtseyed again.
A red headed woman stepped forward. “Right this way misses.”
Blithe woke startled. She did not recognize the room right away. The green walls and matching carpet were new to her. The blanket was a light grey, and it smelled unfamiliar. Ari was nowhere to be found.
“Good morning misses.” The maid from last night entered the room, caring a blue dress. “I am here to help you get dress.”
“Thank you.” Blithe said getting out of the bed.
As Josephine helped her get dress, Blithe looked at the maid. In the daylight she could see that maid had freckles that sprinkled her nose and cheeks. Her eyes were a stone grey and her red hair had almost a copper color to it. She seemed to look ten to fifteen years older than Blithe.
“I hope the dress fits, this use to be the queens dress. Rest her soul.”
“What happened to the queen?”
“She passed in childbirth when the princesses were born. It was hard on everyone.”
“I understand. My mother and father passed not too long ago.”
“Well let’s get you to breakfast before you’re late.” Josephine finished lacing up the dress.
“Can you walk me to the dinning room? I am unsure where it is.”
“This way misses.”
Josephine quickly got Blithe to the dinning room. Sitting at the table was Ivy and Marigold with Ari at their side. Marcus was looking out of the dining room’s window. A maid had a tray of food in her hands, walking out towards the door.
“Am I late?” Blithe asked curtsying.
“You don’t have to curtsy every time you see us.” The prince motioned at the empty seat beside him.
“Good morning Blithe.” Marigold seemed less nervous.
“Good morning Marigold, good morning Ivy.”
“Sorry we took your cat.” Ivy said motioning to Ari that sat between her and her sister.
“He probably enjoyed having children to play with.” Blithe smile.
“What is your plan for today?” Marcus asked, unfolding a newspaper.
“Well, I would love to explore, before I go home.”
“We can skip classes and go with her.” The twins said with excitement.
“I will take her to explore. Your classes are important.” Marcus looked over at his sisters with a serious look.
“I promise to come see you two before I leave.”
The village was quiet, the only sound was that of children laughing in one of the shops. The baker was making fresh bread, which Blithe could smell even once the bakery was out of sight. The town’s tailor was fixing holes in clothes, only looking up from her work when the prince walked by.
“What do you think?” Marcus asked Blithe.
“It’s so quiet. It was never quiet back where I’m from.” Blithe replied.
“How different is it?”
“Other than the quiet, back home everything is packed together. It’s crowded in London, that’s where I’m from.” Blithe smiled at two children that ran by her. “And there is a smell sometime, when we are in a dry spell.”
“At least your family is there.”
“Just my aunt and uncle. My parents died along with my brother.” Blithe frowned. “They got ill while I went to visit my aunt and uncle. Had I been there I would have gotten sick too.”
“My mother died, which you probably know by now. My father is ill.” Marcus understood how Blithe felt.
The two walked quietly out of the village and into the forest. The forest now looked different in the daylight. Now Blithe could clearly see that the trees were filled will gold fairies. The flowers in the grass sparkled in the daylight with looked like fairy dust.
“Are you okay?” Marcus looked at Blithe. “You look sick.”
“Fairies, there are fairies in that tree.”
“You should have seen them flying around last night.”
“Those were fairies. I thought they were fireflies.”
“What are fireflies?” Marcus had never seen a firefly before.
“They are like fairies, just with out the magic.” Blithe thought hard on how to explain fireflies to someone who had never seen one. “They light up at night, just like the fairies. But unlike fairies they are insects. You do have insects, right?”
“Of course, we have insects, like bees and butterflies.”
“But you don’t have fireflies.” Blithe added in a joking tone. “Maybe you will have to come to my world.”
“I wish I could, but I’m needed here.”
The twins and Marcus decided to walk Blithe and Ari back to the tunnel. The twins cried as Blithe hugged them goodbye. The girls petted Ari and then left, not wanting to see their new friends leave. Ari jumped through the glass before Blithe.
“You can come visit.” Blithe gave a half-hearted smile. “My aunt would love to have a prince stay with us.”
“Maybe once my father is better.” Marcus stepped closer to Blithe.
“I’ll be waiting.” Blithe kissed Marcus and then rushed through the glass.