A search for a girl who mysteriously vanishes in a magical garden across an old bridge
| Ten year old Lucas Warren was comforted by the serene mood the trees and berry bushes created. He was sitting at a table enjoying a family picnic in Paradise Garden. This peaceful place was taboo to many people. His parents thought the stories of angel sightings, strange creatures and ghosts was a modern myth-but Lucas and his younger sister of seven, Tabitha, knew better. It was in the afternoon and the two had little time to explore before they crossed the old bridge back to town. After they quickly ate, their parents, Ron and Carol dismissed the two and an exuberant rush of excitement went through Lucas and Tabitha that made both of their hearts race. Their bodies trembled with joy as they ran towards a shady grove.
They stopped and looked as golden sunshine glittered through the bushes and trees. “I wonder if elves live here. It looks like they could be here,” Tabitha said as she peered around at the sparkling dew on the dark green leaves.
“Look! that stuff could be fairy dust.” She ran to a bush and shook the trees as water drops splashed her face.
“Nah, that’s just water sis,” Lucas said as he turned his head towards a curious light deeper into the grove. He squinted at a tiny blue object that flickered. “Tabitha come here!” Lucas yelled to his sister motioning with his hand to come.
Tabitha’s mouth dropped as she froze in wonder at the shinning mystery. “A fairy! It’s a fairy!” she shouted and ran towards the light with a gleaming expression, forgetting any danger.
“Tabitha! No! hold on! You don't know.....” He was interrupted by his mother’s call. “Lucas, Tabitha time to leave. It’s getting dark.”
Lucas turned into the direction of her call. “Hold on mom, I’ll be right there,” he shouted back. He turned around and his little sister and the light were gone. Terror and helplessness took hold of him as his eyes darted in every direction looking for her.
“Lucas, Tabitha come on,” their mother yelled impatiently.
Lucas couldn’t conjure any sensible thought and all he could feel and think about was anxious fear that gripped his insides causing pain and tightness around his diaphragm. The tormented child began to cry helplessly as he called for his sister. “Tabitha, Tabitha! Please come out! Where are you!”
"Lucas, what are you yelling about?" Lucas faced his mother. “Son, what's the matter? Why are you crying,” She said as she ran and embraced him tightly. It’s okay son I’m here.” Lucas sobbed on her shoulder then looked up at his caring mother and father as he spoke through tears.
“She’s gone mom. I can't find her. We were looking at the light over there in the bushes. She said it was a fairy and ran to it. Then she was gone, “ he said.
Ron spoke as he tried to keep alarm out of his voice. “Son, calm down. Tell me; where did you see her go?”
“I told you she went away in those bushes.”
"Oh Ron, what if she was kidnapped," Carol said as she put her hands over her mouth.
"I don’t think someone could have grabbed her and ran off with her so quickly,” he spoke as he breathed heavily. I’ll just try and look fore her.” He spoke in a calm voice as he tried not to panic or sweat profusely.
Ron walked towards the bushes and searched everywhere throughout the foliage. Time seemed to go excruciatingly slow. After a half an hour carol spoke up. “Ron if we can’t find her we have to go to the authorities.”
“I'll find her Carol. I just have to look longer,” he said as his anxiousness started to come out. Thirty minutes passed and Ron had explored all around the area.
“Ron, I don’t want to accept it but she’s not here.”
“I don't understand it. Where could she have gone?” he answered.
“Oh, my little girl, where are you!” Carol broke out with indescribable pain in her voice and cried into Ron’s chest.
“We’ll get her back Carol. We’ll get the best detectives to find her.”
Ron walked out of the bushes into the clearing with his arm around his wife who was still crying. They did not bring there picnic items but crossed the bridge and followed the road back to their car in a gravel lot. With fearful thoughts still pervading there feelings they realized already that the police had a slim chance. No matter how doubtful the situation was they held onto whatever hope they had. The very life of their child was in the balance and hope was all they had. That hope was now out of their hands and Tabitha’s fate lied in the abilities of others.
“At what time do you remember your daughter disappearing?” the constable inquired.
“We're not sure exactly, but it was right after she and her brother ran of to play. It was about thirty minutes after twelve. We went to get them after they didn’t come as soon as we called,” she sniffled as she held a tissue to her nose. “But when we came there was only Lucas.”
“So you didn’t see her disappear? What did your son say?”
Ron answered as he tried to keep calm. “He said that they were both looking at a light further up in a dense bush area. Then he said that Tabitha thought it was a fairy and ran to it. That’s the last thing he saw. Would you like to speak to him?”
“That won't be necessary. Honestly Mr. and Mrs. Warren we don’t have a lot to go on. One thing that strikes me is the strange mysterious quality of the case. Like what's been released from the media there have been a number of people gone missing in Paradise Garden. In each of these incidences something out of the ordinary was involved. Even our best detectives are baffled about these cases. " Ron and carol gave him a peculiar look.
"Okay, I'm not supporting the reports of supernatural beings and unicorns and stuff in Paradise Garden, but there's something wrong with that place. I'm just saying to be wary."
Both of them looked down in dismay. "Thank you for your help," Ron said with dull sadness.
They left the desk and were about to leave when a British man's voice was heard behind them. "Excuse me Mr. and Mrs. Warren, but I couldn't' help over hearing your conversation with the constable. I am Dr. Benjamin Krine. I've come to this town with the soul purpose of investigating cases like yours. I've spent years in the field of paranormal study. I have come across things that would make a person cringe in fear and also behold in wonder. If you would allow me, Id' like to examine your case."
Ron looked at him in offense. "I'm sorry sir but we are not interested in your services."
"Ron wait. We've tried everything. I'm not saying that I fully believe in the rumors but we have nothing to lose."
Her husband looked down, shook his head and sighed. "Okay Carol. I'll do this for you. I just don't want you to get your hopes let down by this yo yo..I mean Doctor."
"Very well, there's no time to lose. Where is the bridge that leads to the garden?"
"You want to leave right now?" Ron said. "It's already dark. Don't you want to wait till tomorrow?"
"In my experience most of the paranormal activity happens at night and in secluded places much like how your daughter vanished in that dark shady grove. Quickly now, you'll have to give me a ride. I came here by train."
"Okay, let's get going," Ron said as he sighed once more.
"Excellent, let me retrieve my things I left in the suitcase holdings at the train station."
It took about half an hour to reach the gravel parking lot that led to the bridge on the outskirts of town. Dr. Krine held out a large lamp from a suitcase. It was now dark time. He pulled out a binocular-like device and looked through it as they passed over the bridge. He put it down and held up the extremely bright the lamp.
"Take me to where your son saw her disappear."
They led him to the grove and once more he looked through the device. He pressed some dials and they heard a sound like a can opener working. He removed it from his eyes.
"There is a human DNA trail that ends right in that spot where your son saw her. No person dragged her off somewhere. We're dealing with passing into magical realms. The reason the trail suddenly stops is because she literally disappeared. You mentioned that your son said she saw a fairy correct?"
"U..Um yes but I can't believe all this. Is this place really enchanted?"
"It's obvious than that it was a fairy that transported her into another world. It may be had to swallow sir but this is the only explanation. Either she has to return on her own or we have to bring her back by going where she is."
"How do we do that?" Ron asked.
"Believe it or not there are invisible portals that could be anywhere, such as in a tree or a grove. I have another device that will allow me to see them." He put on another kind of electronic tool resembling a face mask and put it on.
"I see one at the base of that oak tree."
The Doctor walked towards it, then suddenly the three heard a loud roar as they looked towards the sound and saw a rustling in a large canopy of trees. The roaring came closer until it stopped right before coming out into the open grove area. Two red dots like eyes veered at them from the tall bushes.
Carol gave a hard swallow and she stared at the two red dots several yards away from them. "Doctor what is that over there!" Carol said.
Dr. Krine put one of his devices up to his eyes. "It's a dragon."
The couple gasped with fright.
"It's just a young one. They're afraid of light. That's why it hasn't devoured us yet. This lamp will protect us. It will leave. don't worry," the doctor said. "Just try to focus." Looking through his device he walked towards the invisible gate way to a supernatural world.
"So how do we get in," Ron said condescendingly.
"Magical matter." He pulled out a cylindrical parcel the had a beautiful blue glow. "This parcel holds a substance called paraplasm. It is the basic element of metaphysical and magical beings. Even that dragon you saw possesses it. You may not think it , but dragons are magical just like fairies, phantoms, and ghosts." Dr. Krine Withdrew some of the paraplasm out of the parcel with a large syringe and squirted at the base of the oak. Immediately a round blue glowing portal opened up.
It's perfectly safe. I'll go first." He vanished into the portal and then came back out. "You see, I'm completely fine. Now hurry up."
"We'll go together," Ron said reassuringly. With that they both went through holding hands and entered after the Doctor.
What they saw was wondrous. All around them were magical creatures that filled the sky. In the air were golden phoenixes, winged griffins and dragons. On the ground they saw unicorns and some of the plants and trees walked and spoke to each another. They saw a lake filled with mermaids and serpent-like sea monsters that burst out of the water.
"I'll need something with her DNA," the doctor said.
"Oh. I have a tissue I used to wipe her face with," Carol replied.
"Perfect." He then pulled out a cylindrical apparatus and put the tissue inside it. He lifted up the binocular device and looked. "I see her bio rhythm reading up on that mountain that's floating over that lake. She's there for sure."
"That mountain, it's suspended in mid-air!" Ron said.
"How are we supposed to get up there?" Carol spoke after her husband.
"We'll get there by the same means we arrived; through a portal of course. I'll use a hand held DNA tracer device to see which portal she passed through." He walked back and forth through the trees and bushes looking for a portal. Knowing their thoughts he explained why he wasn't using the optical device. "The reason I'm not using anything else is that here all magical elements are in plain sight. She went through here,"he said pointing to a spiraling portal identical to the one they arrived through.
Without any doubt or fear all three entered the portal. On the other side they were on an open porch filled with people of all ages. It was made of white stone over looking the ground far beneath. A beautiful fountain was in the center and there playing in the water was Tabitha. Ron and Carol were overjoyed as they ran to her but were stopped by winged lion that landed in between them. "Who are you and why have you come here,"the magnificent beast spoke.
"Please we just want our child beck,"she spoke through tears. The beast was obviously gentle by the sound of his deep but soft voice.
"You may have her only if she chooses to. You see, no one stole her from you. We offered her the chance to live in this utopia of magic. She came by her own free will as did every human here. Come let us see what she decides. "
All four approached the fountain. "Mommy daddy you're here! Isn't it so wonderful! Hello Trophimus."
"Hello Tabitha," the lion said. "Tabitha what do you want to do? Stay here or go back with your parents?"
Her smile faded and she looked down then at her mother and father. "Mom I don't want to leave. Can't you stay here too?"
"No, they can't, You have to choose," Trophimus said.
Tabitha looked with longing in her eyes. "I want to go home." She stepped out of the fountain and ran for her parents and embraced them.
"Very well. I will return you to your own world. Nimbus send them home." A creature with wings that shone with a flashing blue lights, no smaller than their hands, flew towards them. In a burst of light all four humans were back in the garden.
"Thank you Doctor Krine,"Carol said hugging him.
"Your welcome. Indeed though it was a pleasure."
"What will you do now," said Ron.
"The supernatural is not exclusive to this garden. It's all over the world. Where the unexplained is, I will be there to investigate. Perhaps we will cross paths in the future. Good bye.'"
What were they to do with all that they witnessed and experienced? Would anyone believe in them? The only thing that mattered was the retrieval of their precious Tabitha.
Questions remained in their thoughts. Who would be the next person to travel to the other world. Would the myths of the garden finally be revealed to be true? Were there really other magical places in the world like Doctor Krine had said ? Out of all the good, bad and an ultimately unbelievable experiences they had witnessed, nothing was better than having than having their daughter back.
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