A fantasy story for the Lair Contest.
|The weather was temperate and, the morning sun splashed the sky with the vibrant hues of tangerine and canary. Tenesse kept on fidgeting in the bed, until her mother reprimanded her to get awake. Being a malingerer, she missed school a number of times. Tenesse was in a High School of Wales. A girl of sixteen years old , she opted to take English and Linguistics as majors. A girl of good looks, Tenesse had auburn hair, a pretty face, and a pleasant personality. With disdain, she used to read Mathematics and Pure Science subjects and ,secured poor grades in them. She used to get inattentive and lacked zeal in these subjects. She used to sit in the back benches and used to babble with some of her friends, in these periods. One day, Mr. Watson, her Maths teacher scolded her severely and asked her to go out of the class. Feeling greatly abashed, she leapt out the boundaries of her school and absconded in the nearby woods. She traipsed on, dragging her feet with tears ,straining her fair cheeks. She had moved a long way and it struck her all on a sudden that, she had lost her way in the wilderness. Her brain had now become a pulpy mash of tomatoes and she found it hard to concentrate and, find the way back to her home.
Tenesse eventually sat down in the grassy ground, splaying her legs. Her eyes moved here and there. She saw a placid lake nearby lying in its still repose. The serenity seemed to calm her a bit and she glanced at the beautiful scenery surrounding her. The lush green vegetation along with the shrubs and trees bearing flowers of myriad colors and fruits that seemed juicy and luscious,seemed to enchant her. As if in a trance, the place began to grip her with an invincible charm. She soon got engrossed in a reverie, which was very natural in an ideal place like this and, grogginess filled her eyes. She was soon asleep.
The sky was painted with hints of red and fuchsia and dusk was about to set in. The dark canopy of the coniferous trees silhouetted against the deep-purple sky spread an inky sheath about it. Tenesse woke up and saw pale blackness surrounding her. A twang of fear convulsed her. “What was she doing here in the sylvan glade?” She uttered it to herself.
“ Where is my home? How will I go there?” She mumbled.
A frenzy of anxiety gripped her with its icy arms and she began to tremble. Her heart began to pace faster and she was beginning to lose her mind.
With utmost perk, she hollered” Is there anyone? Help me Jesus.” No one answered her but her shivering stopped. She startled when a snake glided by her at about, barely an inch from her. She saw the snake wriggling away from her and began to squeal in blithering fright. She howled like a cat and got berserk. She had ophidiophobia and got possessed by it. She groaned frantically and swooned.
The moon peeped among the tiny, candy clouds and stars twinkled in the night sky. A mellow light filtered through the latticed branches and caressed her face. Tenesse woke up to see the night star gleaming at her with a lovely smile, preening herself in the mirror of the sky. She saw a raspberry plant and broke some of the berries to quell her burning hunger. The water bottle in her school bag had finished by now and finding no other means, drank a few spoonfuls from the lake. It seemed to quench her thirst a bit.
She then sat down and relished the picturesque beauty of Mother Nature and a scent of Gaia caught her nostrils. She saw the bright moon, as if waving at her with a radiant smile and chanted the lines
“ Slowly, silently now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon.”
This was a quote from a poem ‘Silver’ written by the great poet Walter de la Mare , which she had learnt at school.
A deep groan from inside the lake pierced the stillness of the night. To her sheer bewilderment and surprise, she saw a dragon-like serpent with butterfly-like wings, rising from the waters, making a great bustle. It resembled that to be a amphithere that, she had read in the mythical legends of her fantasy story-books. She got intimidated by this gigantic creature of nearly forty-five feet long and it was standing before her and, flailing its gargantuan wings. Her blood coagulated and her heart pumped faster. She found it hard to respire and a paroxysm of terror killed her. The lifeless body of the girl groveled before the amphithere which looked at the corpse hypnotically.
“ Don’t kill me. Help me please. I promise you that I won’t skip my classes and become a good girl. I want to live. I beg you. I plead you to save my life. Please forgive me. Don’t lash me like this. I want to go home. I love my parents and so they do. By Jove, save my soul.” Wild screams of Tenesse reached her mother’s years and she rushed from the kitchen to see her daughter talking to herself, in a terrible nightmare and, throwing her legs in a tantrum.
Rachel poured a bucket of water and bedraggled Tenesse, to wake her up to the reality.
“ Why are shouting like this? What’s the matter with you?” Rachel assured her in a soothing voice. With bleary eyes, Tenesse looked at her mother, sitting before her and caught a glimpse of the familiar walls of her own room and said, with bursting excitement in her voice,” You know Mom, I had a horrific dream. I saw that I lost my way in the woods and encountered a real amphithere, who was going to kill me It was standing before me with its full size. There was something eerie in its eyes and I tried to avert its gaze but could not. Thank God, its nothing but a nightmare.” They both chuckled.
for round twenty two:
Amphitheres are dragon-like creatures with serpent bodies and feathered wings. They have no legs and kill by strangulation or burning. Their gaze is hypnotic and they can grow up to 45 feet in length. They are rather poor fighters, preferring to avoid conflict.