Here’s another short story!
by Phoebe Eckstein
Magic streamed from the box, like long white ribbons unraveling. Amazed, Arthur watched as a fantastical world appeared before him. There was a castle floating in the middle of the room, sized for people no bigger than his palm. It had small cobble stone walls and covered with bright green walls. Arthur reached out to touch it, but it wasn’t solid like stone. It sort of felt like jelly.
Small people also were emerging from the box and gliding toward Arthur. Within a moment, floating around Arthur were miniature royalty, wizards, families, children, and animals. The people were dressed for summer, with dresses, short-sleeves and shorts. They were walking through the air on small yellow cobble stone paths that floated on nothing. Tiny buildings of all kinds – shops, houses, mills, and other structures – also drifted at the end of the paths. The people chatted with each other as they strolled in and out of shops, and waved to Arthur. It looked like a whole village had been shrunk and was now hovering right in front of him. But the most wonderful thing was not the people, or the floating castle, or the bright colors. Instead of birds flying through the sky, there were tiny dragons of all colors flittering over the floating village. They looked like miniature lizards with wings and flying in circles and spirals, chasing each other, and thoroughly enjoying themselves. Their scales shimmered like precious gems.
When his grandfather had told him there might be something interesting in the old, wooden box, Arthur had never imagined anything quite like this. At nine years old, he had already stopped believed in magic. Well, until now. But, he still couldn’t believe it.
As he gazed in amazement at the people, dragons, and structures floating in front of his eyes, a princess slowly stepped forward, or rather floated from the castle toward him and stopped a mere few inches in front of his nose, which almost caused him to cross his eyes. She had a red and pink gown and long flowing brown hair. Her cheeks were rosy red and her eyes were as green as the grass outside.
“I am Princess Alessandria, and this is my world. These are our people, and this is our home.”
Before she could continue, an overjoyed fairy with shining white hair, blue tipped white wings, and a star-tipped wand flew up toward Arthur and circled around his face.
She tapped Arthur on the nose with her wand, and then chuckled.
“I am the fairy godmother. This box contains our land and many, many others.”
Even though they all so were small, Arthur couldn’t understand how their village, much less many lands, could fit inside the box. “I guess its magic,” he thought to himself.
The Princess smiled and then continued. “We came to greet you. Because you opened our box, it is now your duty to protect it. We will trust in you, and hope you will protect us from all dangers, as many have done before you. But now, we must return so we can go on with” she hesitated, “our lives. I do hope you understand.”
Before Arthur could try to figure out what she meant, all the tiny people waved and called their good-byes. Even the tiny dragons seemed to wave as they turned toward the box. Then, as swiftly as they had come out, all the yellow cobble stone paths twisted and turned towards the box, and everyone, including the animals and dragons, raced down the paths, closely followed by their little shops and houses, and the castle.
As they disappeared from sight, Arthur’s eyes widened and he quickly closed the wooden lid once the last bit of enchantment disappeared. He then hurriedly pattered down the stairs to the kitchen where his grandfather was making tea.
“Well, did you find anything interesting? Exciting? Maybe magical?” his grandfather inquired with a twinkle in his eyes.
“Oh, Grandpa!” Arthur set the box on the table, and ran to embrace him.
“Ah yes, when I was a boy I would peak into the box quite often,” his grandfather said as he patted Arthur on the head. “Just think, a whole other world in the palm of our hands.” Then, as the lines grew taut across his forehead, he looked squarely into Arthur’s face and said sternly, “But, we must be very careful. They are now your responsibility. Do you understand?”
Arthur nodded nervously not quite sure what his grandfather meant.
Then, as if someone had pulled a light switch, the kettle on the stove whistled and his grandfather’s expression instantly returned to its normal cheeriness. “Ah, there we go,” said his grandfather as he turned around. “My tea is ready.” And he went to tend to the kettle.
Arthur sat down at the table and gazed at the box. There really was magic in the world, he thought. Just the thought of it all made him smile.