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Fantasy Fiction Bedtime

She dragged a stone and sat on it trying to peer through the slit. Oh, the stone was not tall enough. She wasn't able to see outside clearly when she sat on it. She looked around and ran to pick up a dry leaf that had fallen into the log. She laid the leaf on the log floor and folded it several times and pressed it down with both her tiny arms to lessen the bumpiness. She kept the bundle of folded-dry-leaf on top of the stone. The leaf crackled as she adjusted herself on top of it. Now the seat had the right height, and she could keep watching outside as much as she wanted.


Morana was her name. She lived in a mushroom growing inside a decaying log. She won't go out of the log during the day; when the sunlight filled the forest. She only came out at night; in the realm of darkness. For, she was a malevolent dwarf that caused death and decay by simply being present.


It was early morning and Morana was ready to do what she usually did, almost every day. The forest was slowly coming alive. The silence was quickly broken by the chirping of birds. The air filled up with the scent of blooming flowers and soon came out the benevolent dwarfs that made flowers bloom and plantlets grow from their mere touch.


Morana kept looking at them as long as she could. She was always mesmerized by their beautiful clothes made of colorful flower petals. She sometimes imagined herself in one of them; a beautiful gown made of sunflower petals, running and dancing with other benevolent dwarfs. A smile would always draw across her chubby face making her cheeks turn red at such thoughts. Once she even tried to make a nice flower-petal dress for herself; she secretly went near a freshly bloomed, beautiful daisy flower. She climbed onto a stone nearby, and with trembling hands touched its petals. To her dismay, the flower soon wilted and dried up.


She looked at the benevolent dwarfs and thought how beautiful they were with pink smiling faces and green eyes. She wanted to become their friend. When she slept, she would always dream of playing with them. In her dreams at least, they adored her, despite her pale skin and jet-black eyes that turned red whenever her dark magic worked.


She didn't spell flowers, leaves, or plantlets to wilt and die intentionally; she only had to come in contact with them, and the magic would happen on its own.


Although Morana was aware of all the names of the benevolent dwarfs in her neighborhood, none of them even knew of Morana's presence in the old decaying log.


The other dwarfs were playing with a ball made of pollen, which accidentally got thrown onto the log where Morana lived and fell through a hole into it, only a few feet away from Morana. The dwarfs started looking for the lost ball everywhere.


Morana took a glance at the disappointed dwarfs who weren't able to spot their ball and with trembling hands, she walked towards the ball. She kept looking at it for several long seconds, closed her eyes, and let out a deep sigh. She tried to keep her powers under control and picked up the ball from both her hands. Taking a small peek at the ball through a half-open eye; she saw that the ball was still golden and not turned brown under her power. She slowly opened her eyes and with determination quickly came out of her hiding place.


The other dwarfs didn't notice her silent approach at first. She walked silently towards Rosemerelda who was the closest to her. Holding the ball in front of her, Morana whispered Rosemerelda's name, who turned with a startle hearing a deep whispering voice.

Rosemerelda had never seen a dwarf, like the one who was standing close to her; with a pale face, black untidy hair, and black eyes. She was wearing a dress made out of a dry leaf, with stains of berries. Actually, Morana had tried to add some color to her dress by trying to paint on it with the juice of berries.


Rosemerelda remembered the dark stories about malevolent dwarfs that her mother used to tell her, warning her not to wander too deep into the forest. Malevolent dwarfs were cruel and cunning. They hated light and colors. They always tried to steal away happiness.


Before Rosemerelda could react, her friends had already started to panic. They were shrieking, running away, and calling for help. Rosemerelda was frozen with fear. She couldn't reach for her friends as they had already run far away. She turned and looked again at Morana.


Meanwhile, Morana could feel her heart beating fast, and a ringing sound in her ears. She knew she had taken the wrong decision. She should have waited, hiding in her log, pretending not to exist. But now, there was no turning back. She could feel her power taking advantage of her overwhelmed feelings and rising inside her.


Rosemerelda watched Morana's eyes turning red, and the golden ball in her hands drying and turning brown. Her shriek wasn't escaping her trembling lips. But then she was dragged away from Morana by Forge; her brother.


Forge noticed the strange dwarf when he stopped his search for the ball midway and turned to see why everyone was shrieking. She stood their dark and bold handing over their ball at Rosemerelda who stood there unmoving appearing to be frozen. He wasn't scared by the stranger until her eyes turned red, that's when he thought to grab Rosemerelda and run away to safety where others had already gone.


Morana ran away to the log and hid in her mushroom. But the dwarf community was shaken by the story of a malevolent dwarf hiding close to their habitat, who had even attacked their children. Soon the story reached Queen Esmerelda.


"The creature had tried to attack your daughter my queen!"

"Where is Rosemerelda now?"

"She's sleeping my queen. The poor child has a fever. I wonder if that disgusting creature spelled her!"

Forge overheard the conversation in his mother's room.

"She didn't attack mother, I thought she was giving us back our ball, but then she destroyed the ball" he shrugged his shoulders.

"Did you see her Forge?"

"Yes mother, she was just like us but paler and had black hair and red eyes"

"Did you see her spelling your sister?"

"No, Rosemerelda was very scared. She swore she heard her calling her name."

"The dark creature had spelled our princess!" the queen's adviser seemed to hate dwarfs of darkness.


Not only him, but the whole kingdom was frightened by the story of a malevolent dwarf spelling their princess. Queen Esmerelda had to order the soldiers to imprison the creature of darkness to restore peace in her kingdom.


It took no time for the soldiers to destroy the decaying log and find Morana.


Forge was sorry for her when he saw her at the palace being chained and caged. She stood balled up, hiding her face in her knees and lifting it slowly only to see what was going on. Her black eyes were swollen and wet. His heart would tell him, that she was innocent but he had his doubts.


That night Forge couldn't sleep. His mind was disturbed by the thought of a lonely dwarf, feeling scared and cold in the palace dungeon. He decided to check on her and find out her true intentions.


Down to the dungeons he went in stealth, hiding in the shadows and escaping the eagle eyes of guards. He kept watching Morana hiding away in the darkness to see what she was up to. Hours ticked by but she did nothing but keep hiding her face. The paintings on her dress were cute. Flowers, birds, and smiling dwarfs. He wondered why she wouldn't draw all the bad symbols of death and darkness.


Then she stood up, dried away her tears with her hands, and came closer to the prison bars to talk to the guard.

"Please let me go! I didn't mean to hurt anyone."

"Get back you dark creature, don't think that I would fall for your nasty tricks," the guard would shout.

Forge understood that he was scaring her even more, her lips began to tremble and her hands began to shake. She held onto the prison bars. But soon, her eyes turned all red and the bars began to melt. He was scared by her power and so was the guard, who called others in alarm. But very clearly he remembered seeing Morana's eyes wide with fear as she looked at her own hands.


The next morning came the news that the creature of darkness has destroyed a prison cell and also attacked several guards.

Meanwhile, away from the kingdom of benevolent dwarfs stood the kingdom of malevolent dwarfs where the forest was always dark and shadowy and filled with marshes. Where the only life forms available were frogs, rats and owls apart from the dwarfs.

The fears of other dwarfs weren't something pointless as the dwarfs of the darkness were nothing like Morana. They were wicked and cruel.


From ancient times, the benevolent dwarfs and malevolent dwarfs were in constant wars that never ceased. Day and night the good dwarfs protected the forest and the life in it from the dark powers. Every single day a few brave dwarfs would suffer death, sickness, and disability. But somehow life and death would always balance. Until powerful Remorus became king of the malevolent dwarfs.


Remorus showed no mercy; he hated life, laughter, and happiness. The malevolent dwarfs were unstoppable under his blood-thirsty guidance. Many suffered death and the ones alive, lived hidden in barrows underground while darkness overruled the surface.


Remorus's rule was breaking the balance between life and death. The forest was slowly turning lifeless. But soon, a young and brave dwarf called Lumina defeated Remoras.


Remorus was clever, never giving up, and furious but Lumina was gifted. She was the eldest daughter of King Arthur, sister of Esmerelda. No dwarf ever had seen such powerful magic. Remorus was not powerful as Lumina. The dark armies suffered severe damage and had to retreat. But Remorus shot a poison arrow right through Lumina's heart.


Before she died, Lumina had spelled her power into her ring and gave it to Esmerelda who was by her side when she died. Esmerelda having a brave heart just like her sister ruled the kingdom after King Arthur using the power of the ring to protect her kingdom. King Remorus was still out there, looking for his chance to return.


King Remorus walked up and down, his dark cape floating behind him. His brows knotted together and his nostrils flared. Anger boiling in his eyes.

"Keeping one of our children as a prisoner!" he roared. "How dare she?" The news about Morana had by now reached the Dark palace.


King Remorus hadn't only been waiting all this time, but he was preparing for the next attack.

"It's time to break the silence again."


Dark had fallen in the kingdom of light. Prince Forge and Princess Rosemerelda were on a mission, moving in the shadows of the dungeon. The guards in the dungeon were fewer that night as most of them were summoned to the army with the news of the malevolent army approaching their kingdom.


Forge distracted the guard near Morana's cell by making the guard follow him while Rosemerelda opened up the prison and unlocked all the chains imprisoning Morana. Morana looked astonished. Rosemerelda looked at Morana's face all wet with tears and her bruised ankles and wrists.


"We are so sorry," she whispered.

Morana was too surprised to speak. Happy tears welled in her eyes. At least one person liked her.

"How did you know my name?"

"I was always there in the log, watching you play. I meant no harm."

"Why didn't you come out?"

"I knew no one would like me."

Rosemerelda touched Moranas hand and smiled at her.

"Where is your family?"


Morana remembered being carried on her father's shoulders, her mother beside them talking to her and laughing. She was so small. They played all around the forest at night. She remembered her mother touching a leaf and her eyes glowing red. She was awed by her mother's beauty. She then showed the bright red leaf in her arm at Morana.


"Death is a part of life just like birth. It's sad, brings grief but death is essential for the life cycle to be active."


Unlike Morana, her mother had good control over her powers. She made leaves dry up into different colors; red, yellow, brown, purple. Her dress was made of dry leaves of different hues and her hair adorned with a crown of multi-colored, dried flowers.


She remembered hearing shouts and booms nearby, her mother took her off her father's shoulders and ran away into the forest. She kept calling for her father all the way, but her mother hushed her and cradled her. They were being chased. An enchanted thorny vine encircled them, although her mother spelled it, the thorns had already poisoned her. her mother instructed her to run away and hide until her father found her.


"Life is not forever Morana, enjoy it while it lasts. Although our powers are dark, remember that light is unworthy without darkness."


She ran as far as she could as her mother instructed her. She waited for her father, but he never came. She was hungry. She saw a dwarf mother giving round juicy berries for her child. She slowly came out of her hiding place and slowly walked towards them. Their eyes were wide with fear when they saw a creature of darkness coming out of her hiding place but maybe as she was small they handed her a berry. But when she took it to her hand, the berry just withered and died making her eyes turn all red. The rest of the memory was not pleasant.


It was the last time she went near other dwarfs. She never found others like her. She thought that they were extinct as she didn't know that they were driven away to a faraway place in the forest. She was not ever able to control her powers completely although she learned to eat berries without spoiling them and forever in hiding she lived wishing, she was like others.


"They died."

"Come with us. We'll help you escape."

Forge had now joined them. They guided Morana out of the palace and into the forest.


Morana was running as fast as she could, away from others. When she heard shouts and booms. She climbed onto a tree, higher and higher until she saw what was going on.


She could see two armies fighting. She couldn't believe her eyes! There were more like her! Life and death were fighting against each other, light and darkness trying to overpower one another. Precious lives being lost on both sides. Children would become orphans like her. She could recognize Queen Esmerelda on the war front. What if she ….,what would happen to Rosemerelda and Forge?


Rage, disappointment, sadness, grief began to overwhelm Morana but mixed with them was compassion and forgiveness. Her power had seized her. She rose into the air more like a fairy than a dwarf. And like a lightning bolt, she landed on the war ground, separating the two armies with a powerful wind.


No one had witnessed such power after Princess Lumina who had the power to control the wind, water, and fire, in addition to the normal power of benevolent dwarfs. But most of all, they were surprised to see that this power was now owned by a malevolent dwarf.


"Life and death both are parts of one cycle. It's foolish how you act as if you don't see that. Why can't you see the similarities between us hidden among our differences?"


King Remorus looked at the little girl wearing a dress made of dried leaves. He looked at her pointed nose, wide mouth, and big black eyes which were turned all red with power. Tears began to prick his eyes, and his heart throbbed to hug her tight.


The memory of his wife dying in his arms and telling him to protect their daughter; kept darkening his mind, suffocating his heart and numbing all his senses turning him into a monster. He had been destroying everything, avenging his wife and searching for his lost daughter. Finally, he found her, how much had he missed her. His daughter.


"Morana!"


Morana identified his voice. All this time she thought he was dead. Her dark eyes turned golden as she ran into his arms. Plantlets and flower buds sprang from where her foot touched the ground.


Everyone wondered why nature gifted Morana; the daughter of the dark king Remorus, with such powers.


The war between the two kingdoms stopped. All the dwarfs learned to live peacefully, respecting each other's powers and using their own wisely.


Morana was always the strange one among her friends, but she didn't wish that she wasn't different than others. She learned that one can be different but still fit in. She knew that whether our powers are dark or not, we can always choose whom we want to be. In the end, our perceptions and actions would define who we are.

April 08, 2021 06:28

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9 comments

14:10 Apr 09, 2021

A beautiful story giving a great message! The plot was able to keep me attracted until the end.

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15:28 Apr 09, 2021

I'm happy to hear that you liked it! 🤩

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Corey Melin
17:26 May 14, 2021

Very well done. Love the imagination, and overall loving the fantasy element. Always on top of my list of good reads. Of course, you condensed the story from what I would say would be a great novel into a short story. Never know what might come your way.

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04:45 May 15, 2021

Thank you for reading the story and leaving a comment. It uplifts my spirit and make me want to write more!

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Samadhee Ismail
08:48 Apr 15, 2021

Nice story!

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05:52 Apr 26, 2021

Glad you liked it 😊

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09:55 Apr 11, 2021

Awesome story!! I love the writing style too great job!!

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17:36 Apr 12, 2021

I'm glad you liked it Lily. thank you for stopping by and reading the story!

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21:30 Apr 12, 2021

No problem :)

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