The above links will take you to read my other posts. Enjoy the second half of Chapter 2. Its about to get really good.
The Bramblewood Tales
Chapter 2: A Discovery: Part 2
It was a village that Olive had discovered, but it most certainly was not the kind of village the sisters were expecting. And whats-more, the inhabitants of this village definitely did not know that the two little girls were observing their every move from their hiding place behind the mossy oak.
“Let me see” whispered Story with excitement, thinking that they found some people who could take them back to Grammy’s house. The girls secretly watched the creatures below, making mental notes of exactly who these “people” were. Story and Olive soon realized that these creatures, though they seem to be similar to human beings, looked somehow different. In fact they looked quite peculiar all together. They had floppy, wavy hair of a strawberry blonde to a honey brown color and each of their adorable little faces were decorated with tiny freckles and all of their eyes twinkled brilliantly. But in fact, some of their eyes seemed to stand out more than others. The ones with the seemingly larger eyes had tiny features every where else except that their eyes were as big as their fists. What was true about these was the same for some others except about their noses. You could hang a whole wardrobe on the tip of their noses, but their eyes were perfectly normal unlike the others. But, oh my word, there was another group of these odd little creatures. Their eyes and noses were of a normal size but their ears were so big, it’s a wonder that when the wind blew, it didn’t take them along too.
Trying not to giggle at these funny looking features, the girls, still hidden, watched the villagers as they scurried around seemingly working very hard. The ones with big noses were picking flowers and tree bark and stirring them into a big pot made of thickly packed clay over a small fire. The girls could smell the most beautiful aroma, much like the field of wildflowers, coming from the pot that made them once again long to dance in that glorious field.
The ones with big eyes were starring intensely at the whole of the forest, holding their chins in concentration. Every now and again, they would run over to a single leaf, and turn it over so that the prettier side was showing, or take some moss and carefully paint the side of a tree until it was picturesque. The longer they worked the more stunning the forest became as if they were artist and the forest was their canvas.
The ones with big ears seemed to be taking a break as they laid on hammocks made of big leaves, lazily smiling and relaxing. But all of a sudden, one of them would sit up and whistle to a bird or a cricket that had gone slightly out of tune during the beautiful chorus of the woodland music, and they would whisper into their ears, and with a nod, the bird or cricket would return to their post and begin making music again. And it was the most gorgeous sound that has ever entered into the ear of a child. It of course sounded familiar because who hasn’t heard the glorious choir of the birds, insects, and wind deep within the heart of a forest.
As the girls watched in wonder at the strange little village before them, they decided together that they should make sure the villagers were not hostile in nature before they made their presence known to them. No sooner had the two decided this, that the most dreadful thing was about to unfold. A tiny storm began to brew inside of Olive’s little button nose! After all, even though she very much enjoyed the sweet aroma coming from the pot in the center of the village, they had thrown in a dash of dandelions that Olive was most allergic to so before she could stop herself “Aah-choo!”. She sneezed. And it was the most dreaded sneeze in all the world! After exchanging a look of sheer shock, the girls both quickly peered around the mossy tree over at the village once more to see if the villagers had heard the uncontrollable sneeze. But the village had become completely vacant with not a sound, not a stir, and no one in sight causing the girls’ eyes to grow wide with frozen terror. “I think they heard us.” gasped Story, scarcely getting the words out.
In an instant of complete panic, the girls turned to high-tail it out of there, with which they were growing accustomed to doing. But as they whipped around, ready to run, they, instead, abruptly stopped and pressed their backs up against the tree trunk as if they had just been caught drawing pictures on their mother’s living room wallpaper. They held their breath as they starred into what seemed like thousands of angry eyes glaring back at them. Story desperately searched for a place to escape, but there was no such thing. They were completely surrounded by hundreds of these strange looking people who didn’t look at all happy to see them. Trying to hang on to any hope they had left, the girls continued their intense starring contest with the angry villagers. After a while, the sisters noticed that the back of the crowd began to part as if someone was making their way toward them. After what seemed like hours of waiting impatiently to see who was coming, a beautiful face appeared from behind the crowd. A creature, just like the others, but elegant and proud. Though she wasn’t as tall as some others of her kind, she seemed to tower over them as they all looked up to her adoringly. While all the others wore clothes of tannish browns and mute greens, this beautiful one wore a gown of violet silk that draped around her body and lightly touched the forest floor. She was a one with big eyes and in those sparkling green eyes there was strength and kindness. “She must be their leader” whispered Story into Olive’s ear. “Hmmm… so you do speak?” asked the beautiful one. “Y-yes we do. My name is Story, and this is my little sister, Olive,” whimpered Story with her head hanging down in nervous embarrassment. “How do you do.” Olive said softly, hardly making eye contact. “I am Queen Sundance, and these are the Scrimynops. Where have you come from and for what purpose are you here now spying on us like you were?” demanded the Queen with a raised eyebrow. “What do you mean ‘where do we come from’? We haven’t meant to come here. We are from outside of this forest and we are lost. But we don’t know how we got here!” cried Olive. “Shhh, sweet sis. Calm down. Your majesty, what she says is true. We have no purpose here and all we want is to go home.” explained Story. “Ah I see, well don’t say that you have no purpose here because everyone is made with a purpose and where ever you end up, that’s where you are meant to be. Forgive me for being rude but are you two… how should I put this…humans?” asked Queen Sundance softly as if she had said something quite inappropriate. “Of course we are.” said Olive, who was now calm, “Aren’t you?” A rumbling giggle came from the surrounding crowd. The Queen spoke up to explain, “No we are not. As I said before, we are Scrimynops.” “A skrimawhat?” asked Olive. “A Scrimynop. Pronounced Skri- mi- naup. We are about the size of a human child’s hand.” retorted the Queen. “ I’ve never heard of a Scrimynop before. And what do you mean you are the size of a child’s hand. I am a child and we are about the same size. What has happened to us? We noticed that things looked different. Is this just a bad dream or something?” asked Story, longing for an explanation. “Oh no. Quite the contrary, my dear. You are wide awake and deep within in the Bramblewood Forest, which is the most beautiful place in the world, in my opinion.” assured Sundance. “Ask them why they have shrunk.” piped in a Scrimynop from the crowd. “I don’t think they know, but they might. Why have you shrunk?” ask Sundance redirecting her attention to the girls. “I have no earthly idea! I don’t know; I don’t know why we have shrunk!” screamed Story with frustration. Both girls began to sob lightly hopelessly fearing if they would ever be able to return home. “Calm yourselves, and dry your eyes, my sweets.” comforted the Queen. “We will figure all this out later. But for now, why don’t we eat some supper and you can relax a bit and we will have a meeting first thing tomorrow morning to discuss what we should do. Bark, please show the girls around and make them feel at home.” With tear-stained cheeks, the girls thanked Queen Sundance for her generosity and followed the rest of the Scrimynops to the center of their village, which they soon learned was referred to as The Brambles, because their village was almost completely surrounded by bramble bushes.
As the girls and the residents of The Brambles strolled to the center of the village, the one the Queen called Bark, who was one with a big nose, walked closely with them, for Queen Sundance had ordered him to look after the two human girls.
After a long silence, Bark took a deep breath and slowly asked “So are you really humans? I have never seen one before and all the stories I heard about them made me think they were giants. I heard you said that you think you have shrunk, but how is that possible?” “We are humans and we have no earthly idea how we have gotten so much smaller. Nothing makes any sense. And at least you have heard of humans before. I have never in my life heard of a Scrimynop. I’ve heard of pixies, elves, and mermaids, all who are magical pretend creatures, but never a Scrimynop.” Said Story with a slight hint of frustration mixed with utter confusion. “Oh but they are real” exclaimed Bark in almost a gasp, “Well, I don’t know about elves and mermaids, but certainly pixies are real. In fact, we are related to the pixies, but that is another story for a different time. The reason why you probably have heard of pixies is because they are typically not very good at hiding. Pixies, in general, are a lot fussier than we are and almost like to be found by humans because they know that everyone will be talking about them and searching to get a glimpse of their glorious beauty. Well that’s what they think anyway. Let’s just say they are very into their looks. But not us, Scrimynops. In fact we have never ever been seen by humans because we are experts at hiding, of course…well until you two came along.”
As the three walked in silence for a few seconds because neither party still knew what they truly felt about each other yet, their awkward silence was abruptly interrupted. “I’m sorry, what was your name again?” asked Olive innocently. “Ha ha ha ha” laughed the two female Scrimynops walking near just as they all arrived at the center of the village where the meal would be served. “His name is Maple Bark. I suppose they thought he was a sissy little girl when he was born.” taunted one of them as the other giggled. “Quiet, Songbird. You know I don’t like to be called that!” yelled Maple Bark angrily. “You can call me Bark, That’s what I prefer to be called. Songbird and Wildflower just like to push my buttons every now and then about my full name because they know it embarrasses me. “said Bark to Story and Olive. “Why don’t you like your full name? asked Olive. “It is so girly and prissy sounding! Even though I am small, I am pretty tough when I need to be, but that name makes me sound like a wimp. Let’s see, how can I explain this… ok see that stick over there?” Both girls nodded. “Well I can take that stick in my bare hands and break it in half if I wanted to. That’s how strong I am.” remarked Bark who seemed quite pleased with himself. “Oh I see, you must be very strong,” agreed Story even though she was fairly confident that she too could break that same stick in half, but decided that it wasn’t worth busting Bark’s very pretentious bubble.
As the three along with the rest of the group approached the dining area, the girls’ tummies began to rumble and tumble something fierce for they remembered they hadn’t eaten a thing since breakfast. “What are we having for supper, Bark?” asked Olive. “The same thing we have for every dinner, black berries!” He said with excitement “The only thing that changes is how they cook them. For supper, it’s more of a black berry soup. Very tasty” Bark added as he began licking his lips with anticipation. “Huh, well this will be interesting. I’m sure glad I like black berries” said Story brightly, as she remembered all the times she had walked in the woods with her family and how her dad loved picking blackberries and eating them on the spot. “Good! We love black berries. In fact that’s why we dwell here, in a way. This is the deepest part of the forest and where heaps and loads of bramble bushes grow. “What exactly is a bramble bush?” asked Olive. “These wiry bushes that surround our village are bramble bushes. Blackberries grow on them, and they also help keep out predators because the bushes are so thick. We’ve made our dwelling place inside these bramble bushes because they are quite easy to hide in when we need to and also we can get a quick snack whenever we want something to top off our bellies.” said Bark. “Wow that’s nice. Well let’s eat! I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse!” said Olive with a smile, which caused many Scrimynops to give her a look of pure amazement.
Each of the Scrimynops and the girls got in line for their soup that came out of a big pot made out of clay much like the one the girls saw before that smelled so sweetly of the forest’s delicate scent, which the Scrimynops referred to as the Bouquet Basin. When they approached the pot, the girls were surprise to have their soup served in an acorn lid because they were naturally expecting a bowl, though the acorn lid seemed to work quite nicely.
As the girls sat down , they could feel all the Scrimynops’ eyes upon them. The locals did not quite know what they thought about these human girls yet. Slowly, they began to warm up and soon started asking the girls questions. They asked where they were from, what does it feel like to be human, and so on. The girls loved the Scrimynops’ fascination.
Shortly after everyone had finished their supper and had wrapped up question and answer time with Story and Olive, the girls heard a loud trumpet type sound and all the Scrimynops instinctively got up from their seats, and made their way to the bramble bushes for bed. Both Story and Olive were more than ready for a long, restful night sleep, and so they followed these peculiar villagers toward the bramble bushes.
Now befriended by the Scrimynops, Story and Olive began to feel better about their unusual predicament. And they were especially glad that they were in the safety of The Brambles for the sun had now completely left the earth’s surface, and the woods were dark and lifeless. Though most of the birds had gone to their nests for the night, the insects had their own symphony that covered and flowed through the forest like a soft, light rain. The girls tried their best to relax, not knowing what tomorrow would bring or if it would ever bring something familiar ever again.
End of Chapter 2: A Discovery
This post is dedicated to new friends. Moving to a new place can be exciting and a little scary. New friends seem to come out of unexpected places and, in my experience, turn into lasting friendships.