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 A happily ever after lasts forever. Except for when the next person opens the book. As soon as the book opens, we spring into action. Until then we remain doing things according to normal life. We automatically go through the motions as we play to the script of the book. 

Our favorite audience is a little girl, who always dawns a smile and cute pigtails. She always tries to read the words but can't, so she fetches old man with a smile and spectacles upon his face. His eyes smile with his mouth as he reads to the young girl.

"Places everyone!" The Book Speaker calls, as everyone stands in place on their page. 

"Once upon a time there was an evil woman, who lived in a cottage." The old man reads, "Her name was Lucillia. She was the prettiest woman in the land. She had golden hair - just like you Bee!" The little girl giggled as the old man read. "She had lips as red as blood and skin as soft as a feather." Most of which the man read was wrong. The only correct parts are the physical description of the characters. I hate the part where I have to tear the mirror off of the wall and smash it to the ground.

"Oh, how naughty! Papa, why is she so mad? I hope she stops being so mad." Said Bee. She looked up at her papa as he continued on.

            "Well, the mirror told her that her sister was more beautiful than she was. Her feelings were very hurt." Said the old man. He turned the page. 

"Oh Bee, Nana is calling. It is time for dinner." The old man picks Bee up from his lap and sets her down. I can hear him walk away. "I don't think that you are bad, Lucy. I am rooting for your good side." Bee closes the book and my body is back in my own control.

I exit the cottage. I live in the top flat of a building. My sister lives in the bottom half. It is her night to make dinner, so I head to my flat to get washed up. Her husband is the prince of the story. She is the princess. I am just grateful that they aren't stuck up.

Once I arrive at my flat, I see a man sitting in my lounge area. "Who the heck are you?" I ask. I am so stunned that I almost can't talk. 

"Oh yeah. By the way I am James. Are you Camilla? Am I still invited for dinner?" He said, standing up. 

“Her flat is downstairs. I am her sister. My name is Lucillia.” I say. I don’t recall this character from the book. He is probably just an extra character in the background.

“Oh! I am so sorry! I didn’t mean to.” He exclaimed, turning red from embarrassment. He stood up and walked to the door.

“It’s okay.” I say, grabbing the jacket he left on my couch. “Here’s your jacket. Tell Camilla that I will be right down.” I handed the jacket to him. He smiled slightly with a slight nod of his head, and left.

I got into one of my nicer tunics, and tied my hair back with a golden ribbon, that matched the gold hem of my tunic. I slipped on my warm, fleece lined boots. I quickly reapplied my lipstick, then I put on my amethyst earrings. I was finally ready. I grabbed the pie that I had made the night before and I rushed down the stairs to Camilla’s flat. 

“Hello Camilla! Hello Rowan! Sorry that I am a little late. I had to get cleaned up.” I said. I set the pie on the kitchen counter, so when dinner was done, Camilla would know where the pie was. 

“You’re not too late. I’m not quite finished making dinner anyway.” She had noodles boiling on the stove. She also had a strainer out for when they were ready.

“What’s for dinner?” I asked, curious to know what I was about to put in my stomach. 

“We are having chicken and noodles with cream sauce. It is a new recipe.” She replied. Camilla stuck the stirring spoon into the pot, and she pulled out a noodle. She grabbed it and threw it hard at the wooden cabinet. It stuck, so that meant that the noodles were ready. 

Camilla carried the pot to the sink and she poured the boiling water over the strainer. After the noodles were strained, she pulled a chicken breast out of the oven and shredded it. It was very tender and it looked easy to shred. Once Camilla was finished mixing the dinner, she put it in a casserole dish.

"Hi again. Lucille, right?" James asked, awkwardly. He seemed uncomfortable. However I wasn't sure if that was nervousness or just him. 

"No. It's Lucillia. I see you found your way to Camilla's flat." I say, putting bread into the oven to toast it.

After fifteen minutes, dinner was finally ready. Camilla and I had set the table, then we joined in on a game of Kings on the Corner with Rowan and James. I was happy when the timer went off because I was hungry. 

“Okay, I am so ready for dinner. My mouth is watering!” I say, getting up from my seat in the lounge. James and I sit at the table, while Rowan and Camilla bring over the casserole dish and the bread. Once we are all seated, we dish out and dig in.”

Ten Years Later

Bee was bored out of her mind. It was pouring outside and she had just finished her library book. She had already tried coloring, but it was incredibly boring. Bee looked at her grandmother’s bookshelf and spotted the old story book that her grandpa used to read to her. She missed her grandpa. He had died last spring, and the only person that had taken the hit harder that Bee, was her mom. Bee’s mom had a close relationship with her grandpa. After he died, the two had moved in with Bee’s grandma. But today was a Saturday, and her mom and grandma were working. So Bee was home alone. 

“Oh I remember that!” Bee said, to herself. She grabbed the book off the bookshelf and hugged it to her chest as she sat down on the couch. She examined the golden edge of the book’s pages. She took in the smell of the book. Then, she opened up to her favorite story in the book. The Princess of the Wicked.

The first page of the story was glowing a shimmering gold color. Bee was spooked, so she tried to shut the book. It wouldn’t shut. She slid the book across the floor and stared at it from a distance. The glow was beginning to dim, she stood up and walked over to it. 

“What the heck?” Bee said to herself. She touched the page and then, the only thing visible for miles was blackness.

Five Minutes Later

“Who is that?” James asked. It was a girl. She was passed out in the middle of the field in strange clothes. She had just appeared out of nowhere. It was not unheard of in The Book; however, it rarely happened in our section of The Book. 

“I’m not sure.” I say. I press a cool napkin to her face. Her eyelids fling open and she crawls a few feet away from James and I.

“Hello, I am Lucillia. This is my husband, James. Are you okay, sweetheart?” I ask her. She looks at me like I have three heads, as she stands up. She walks towards me and her baffled look melts away into a grin.

“I’m Bee!” She says, “You are my favorite story character! Also, I didn’t know that you were married. I thought you were only 16.” She talked so fast that I could hardly make out what she was saying. I look over at James and he shakes his head with a smile.

“Story characters don’t age physically. However, we do get wiser and mature enough to get married.” I respond to her question. I realize that this is the little girl who would always talk to us after her grandfather had stopped reading to her. This girl had grown up to be a lovely young woman. 

“How old are you now, Bee?” I asked. She looked like she was about sixteen. I remember her pigtails that she wore as a girl. Now, she was wearing two long braids and a shorter tunic with baggy black pants. 

“I am fourteen. I didn’t have practice today because of the rain.” She said. She looked around. “So I’m inside of a story book? Will I ever get back to my family?” She asked, pulling a rectangular device from her pocket. 

“Well, come with us and we will help you find a way home.” James said, after a while of his silence. We packed up our picnic and took Bee to our flat. She took everything in, as we walked through The Marketplace. She looked in every direction with her wide eyes. I opened the door to the flat. James practically had to drag her in. 

“Hello? Camilla, I have someone for you to meet!” I yell through the doorway. Camilla has been sewing, embroidering and crocheting, ever since she got pregnant. She was bored and the doctor didn’t want her to do much. So, I went into Camilla’s lounge with James and Bee behind me. Camilla saw Bee and gave me a weird look.

“So who’s this? I don’t remember ever seeing her before.” Camilla stated. She stood up and looked at Bee. 

“You know who this is,” I say, “You may not recognize her because she has grown up.” I raise my eyebrows at Camilla and she mimics my action.

“Who is it then?” She asked. She was getting impatient. I was thinking that she was cranky because of all of her hormones.

“Do you remember the little girl we used to act out to? Her name is Bee. And this is her.” I say stepping aside to present Bee to Camilla. She started to tear up.

“She was the best!” Camilla said, walking over to Bee. She hugged the younger girl and stepped back to look at her. “You are so pretty!” 

“Thank you. You are too.” Bee replied. She was hugging her torso, uncomfortably. She looked confused and tired. 

“Well, we need to find a way to get her back home, Camilla.” James said. “Do you know anybody who might be able to help?” James didn’t really know who Bee was, however, he was trying to help. 

“Yes. Try to see if The Book Master can help. If he can’t help, then go to Kreinea.” I froze. Kreinea was the evil sorceress in The Kingdom. The Kingdom was the next town over from The Marketplace.

“Kreinea? Do you really think that an evil sorceress will help Bee?” I asked. Kreinea was the only character that actually fit her character in her story that she played. She was very wicked. More so than the character that I had to play occasionally. 

“Well, it’s your second option. Like I said, go to The Book Master first. Then to Kreinea. And Kreinea is still a ‘maybe’ on your list.” Camilla said. She looked at the time on her clock. “I have to start making dinner. Good luck guys!”

James, Bee, and I left and walked around. I bought Bee a small trinket to remember us by. It was a butterfly pendant. I was going to give it to her when we figured out how to get her back home. Finally, we arrived at The Book Master’s home. James knocked on the door and a few moments later, a young woman came to the door. 

“Do you have an appointment?” She asked. She was holding a clipboard and had on a pair of spectacles. 

“No, but we were wondering if we could see the book master. It is very important that we see him.” I answer. She purses her lips and shakes her head.

“I’m sorry. I can’t give you an appointment today. If you need to see him, his next available day is about a week away.” The woman said. She took our silence as a no and she slammed the door on us.  

“Well to Kreinea we go.” I say in a nervous tone. We walked to the town stables to get our horses. I decided to share my horse with Bee; James would use his horse. By horse, It would take about an hour to get to Kreinea’s cottage. Her cottage was built into a hill. 


Once we got to Kreinea’s cottage, the sun was set just above the horizon; the sky was glowing red and orange. I knocked on Kreinea’s cottage and she came to the door. Her beauty was striking, but not so much as mine or Camilla’s. And especially Bee. Bee was a pretty little creature. 

“What brings you to me, Lucillia?” Kreinea asked. I gulped and wiped my sweating hands on my tunic. 

“I was wondering, if you could return Bee to the human world. Are you able to do that?” I asked. 

“Come on in.” She said with a sly grin. Bee and I walked in. I made James stay outside. “I can let the girl go home under one condition.” Kreinea says.

“What is it?” I say with a sigh. I knew there was a catch.

“I want to turn your whole story into a story frozen on the pages of The Book. You would be set in one place on the page, and no thoughts other than the ones that the author put into you. You would be exactly who The Book says you are. It would be the same way that it was fifty years ago, before I gave everyone in The Book life. What do you say?” I stood there frozen for a minute. I knew that I was just fiction; I was not a real being at all. However life of being eternally frozen sounded terrible. I pondered over the thought. I finally realized that Bee was more important. I will never be able to actually see her again, but she will remember me. 

“Don’t do it Lucillia! Please, I’m not that important!” Bee cried. I wanted to do exactly as Bee had just said, but I knew that it was wrong. 

“I’ll do it,” I say, “I will take the deal.” I say, flinching. Bee bowed her head. She was upset, I know, however, she would be grateful for it in the future. I handed Bee the pendant. “It is for you to remember me by. I will miss you, Bee.” 

Kreinea takes Bee by the hand and shuts her eyes. As soon as Bee leaves, I will be fixed in on a certain page. I watch every second, until Bee disappears into thin air; then everything is darkness. 

Twelve Years Later

Bee had just given birth to her first child. She was wearing her special pendant all the while.

“Honey, I have the perfect name for her,” Bee said, “Let’s name her Lucillia.” Bee remembered when she had actually met Lucillia, and how she saved her life. Bee smiled, as her husband nodded his head in agreement. Bee kissed her baby daughter on the head.

“I love you Lucillia.” She said, thinking about the woman that she had met twelve years ago. Lucillia had opened her eyes and was staring up at Bee. She reached up and grabbed a hold of the butterfly pendant. Bee didn’t stop her because she looked so much like the story book Lucillia. And just like Bee, “She had golden hair, lips as red as blood, and skin as soft as a feather.” 

March 14, 2020 01:34

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Gretchen Janelle
14:28 Sep 29, 2020



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