Storyteller

Welcome to this dream...

*"Once upon a time began a tale," said the storyteller, "A tale of a beautiful enchantress."

"I've heard this one!" the excited girl exclaimed. "She's the Enchantress of Fire, right?"

"That's right. But look!" The storyteller reached into his pocket and brought out the most beautiful marionette the girl had ever seen. Her hair was the blackest of black, long, and blowing wildly around her face. Her lips as red as blood, her eyes amber. The long, flowing dress she wore was like fire; brilliant oranges and reds falling in strips around her long legs.

"Oh! She's beautiful!" the girl cried, closing her eyes. In her mind she heard the enchantress singing, saw her dancing. "She's exactly the way I imagined her!"

The storyteller winked and handed her the puppet. As the girl took it, it seemed to dance right there in her hands, without moving at all, as if she were real - no strings attached.*

Now thirteen, the girl stared at the little puppet, remembering her favorite storyteller. She walked along the bookcase, admiring each puppet in turn. After the enchantress, the storyteller had given her six other marionettes: two clowns; a ballerina; a soldier with a drum; a man who looked rather like the storyteller himself; and, her favorite, a man dressed in all white with feathers, resembling a dove. The storyteller had also given her a music box that played a tune that reminded the girl of a circus.

'I wonder whatever happened to that man,' the girl thought, picking up the enchantress and the dove man to put on a show for herself.

She had become quite a good puppeteer with her beloved marionettes, almost as good as the storyteller was. As she began her story, she made the two dance together to the music of her music box. She had the soldier play his drum and the clowns jump around him. The ballerina danced around the enchantress and the dove. The storyteller told the tale off to the side. And right as the pace of the music was quickening and the story was getting good, the girl's door opened.

"Bed, honey," her mother told her, closing the music box.

The girl sighed, carefully put everything away, and hopped in bed. As her mother went to close the door, she stopped and picked up the enchantress.

"I'd forgotten these little things' charm," she quietly stated, admiring it. "They're beautiful..." Suddenly snapping out of her trance, she placed the enchantress in her spot on the shelf, turned to kiss her daughter goodnight, and left.

As the girl lay in bed, she stared at the beautiful dove man, and it started to dance. It wasn't just him though; they all were! She sat up in her bed and stared at them - but they were still.

"I must have been dreaming," she told herself, and she laud back down.

Suddenly, she heard the storyteller's voice telling her a story as the dolls sang. But this time, they weren't puppets anymore. There they were, in front of her, in her room. But it wasn't her room either! She was standing in a clearing in a forest, a glass door standing in the middle. The storyteller sat on top of the door watching the ballerina twirl around it. But there wasn't just one; there were tons of them. And all the clowns and soldiers! But still one storyteller, one dove, and one enchantress. They were all singing, dancing.

They were leaving! She tried to follow them, but she could only draw nearer to the door and the storyteller.

"To get to them," the story teller chimed out, "you must pass though here." He pointed down at the glass door. Looking at it more carefully, the girl realized it was just a piece of glass, floating about an inch from the ground. It gave off a comforting warmth and seemed to be playing the tune in her music box, softly and distantly. She touched it, and suddenly was filled with a happiness like she'd never felt before. The glass was almost liquid...

Slowly she walked around it, examining it. "But it's just glass... there's no way through," she observed.

"Go on."

She picked up her courage and stared into the glass once more. All at once, she jumped, closing her eyes, and landed right on the other side.

"Good," the storyteller commented. "Now see if you can..."

"Catch us!" chanted the clowns from all over the forest.

Suddenly, an almost eerie music began and the clowns popped out from behind the trees everywhere, and then disappeared. The girl began to walk around, looking for the dove.

'There! Behind that tree!'

He smiled at her, luring her closer. 'Oh, those icy blue eyes!' She spotted the enchantress, who leered at her and disappeared. Looking back to the dove - 'He's gone!' She stared up into the trees and saw the storyteller there, smiling.

Suddenly, she began to run. 'Where is he? I must find him!' They were all running. She chased them. How did there get to be so many of them? Hundreds of clowns chanting "Catch us;" hundreds of soldiers beating on drums, marching away; so many ballerinas gracefully spinning and leaping away; all appearing and disappearing everywhere.

"No! Wait!" She cried.

He smiled at her again, and then disappeared. 'Wait...'

The enchantress danced away singing a spell.

'Where are they taking me?'

Deeper into the woods they ran, the storyteller always sitting up in the trees, watching.

'A clearing! But where are they all?'

Only the enchantress was there, singing. The lullaby was so sweet, so sad, so powerful. The dove stepped out, smiling so kindly, walking - almost floating- to the enchantress, who began to dance. The lullaby wasn't just a lullaby; she was casting a spell on him! It was the story he'd told her, the one she always told...

They danced and danced. 'No! Not him!' But he still smiled at her.

They appeared from the trees again, laughing. All the clowns leering at her, teasing her, the ballerinas dancing with the soldiers, singing.

'But where did the enchantress go? Where is the dove?'

The clowns were laughing, pointing, taunting. 'Stop!' All those drums... where did all the music come from? Who was singing?

Faster, faster they were dancing. The enchantress' voice echoed from the trees. They danced around her, taunting, teasing, laughing, chanting.

She was scared... running, looking for the dove. 'Where is he?'

She came to another clearing...or was it the same? The music began again, and the dancing around her was no longer teasing. 'A ball!' the storyteller conducted the music, telling a new story with no words - a tale that tells itself. They danced, waltzing and twirling and bowing and singing. What fun! And, oh! The dove! He danced in the canter, and the girl walked toward him - gone! 'No!'

The enchantress - how beautifully she sang! The girl twirled as the enchantress sang, smiling. The dove danced there; the clowns surrounded him!

The music slowed, and they spun around as one, forming circles around the dove. She joined them and watched the dove. Suddenly, the music quickened - Lost! 'He's leaving!' She ran after him, clowns and soldiers slowing her as the music got faster and faster and - stopped.

Just the dove and the enchantress remained, dancing in the clearing. She was singing. The girl looked up and saw the storyteller...the puppet master! He had them on strings the whole time! 'He's not real...'

She looked up at the storyteller and cried, "I'm going home!!!" And she ran.

"But you are home!" the clowns called, beginning to chase after her.

"No!"

'Where's the door? I have to go home! I have to go home...'

"I have to go home!!!"

They were popping out of trees, she was singing, he was no longer her smiling. He was crying, running after her. She kept singing, they chanted and shouted, the drums pounded, dancing, spinning, so dizzy!

"Leave me alone!"

"You don't want to go back!"

'Where is that door?' She was lost... or was she? The clearing! The door!

"You can't get back through there," the storyteller told. "You can try, it won't work."

And she touched it - no longer was she happy; she was cold. It was like ice and hard as steel. She stepped back, looking through the glass to the enchantress singing. Smiling, the girl mad a fist.

Crash!

The music changed. The enchantress no longer sang the same; it was sad.

They all cried out, fading. The storyteller looked shocked, falling from the tree - and he broke.

Her precious porcelain marionette!

"It must have fallen from its shelf," her mother suggested, picking up the pieces. "I'm so sorry...I know you loved it..."

"Wait!" The girl cried. "Take them all. I don't need them anymore."

Goodbye to my dream world
Goodbye to my dream world
Goodbye to my fantasy world