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Writing: The Magic Ring

Posted by samatwitch on February 26, 2012

Apparently, February 26th is National Tell A Fairy Tale Day in the United States, so I thought I’d celebrate in this corner of Canada by posting one of mine. 😉

This started as a short story written for my Children’s Lit class.  The requirements were that it had to start with “Once”, although it didn’t have to be Once Upon a Time; end with “After”, although it didn’t have to be Happily Ever After; the story had to include the colour green, a talking animal and a magic amulet of some sort.  (My original story did end with “after” and not Happily Ever, but I have since expanded this as the beginning of a possible book.  You may recognise Brenna from “Frog For Rent”.)


“Once you cross the bridge into the woods, you will no longer be under out protection, Brenna,” said the Queen to her daughter.  “We can watch you through our magic mirror, but by the time we reach you, it could be too late.  Wear this ring, and guard it carefully.  If you need help, twist the green stone three times in a counter-clockwise direction and help will come to you.  But remember, only use it when absolutely necessary, as there is a limit to how much magic one person is allowed to use on a quest.”

“Thank you, Mother”, said Brenna,  “and thank you, Father, for the basket of food and the bottle of water.”

“The food and water have been spelled so that you will never run out of either no matter how long your journey lasts, Brenna,” replied the King.  “The folded square of material in the bottom of the basket will open to become a safe tent for you to sleep in at night.  Be careful, my daughter.”

“Don’t worry, Mother, Father,” said Brenna, her eyes dancing in anticipation of her great adventure, “I have Samantha to protect me, don’t I, Samantha?”

Samantha, her tawny and black fur sparkling in the summer sun and her whiskers pointing straight out, looked up and purred her answer, “Always, Brenna.”

And so their adventure began.  Brenna, the eighteen-year-old daughter of the King and Queen, accompanied by her ever-faithful talking cat, Samantha, set out to find her childhood playmate, Trevor.  He had left his home several weeks before, and nobody had heard anything from or about him since.

As they traveled along the path towards the woods, Brenna and Samantha talked about how they would find Trevor.  Samantha could smell his scent, even though it had been weeks since Trevor had traveled this way.  Brenna’s talent was being able to communicate with animals, even if they weren’t magical like Samantha.  Brenna knew Trevor had been going to the neighboring country to seek his fortune, but he had promised to send word when he arrived and she had heard nothing.   That was not at all like Trevor.

All too soon Samantha and Brenna reached the bridge, on the other side of which lay the unknown forest.  Cautiously they walked across, knowing Brenna’s parents could no longer protect them.  They were truly on their own now.

Brenna and Samantha continued along the path, going deeper and deeper into the dark woods.  The farther they walked, the thicker the trees and the closer together they grew, until the two companions had barely enough room to walk on the path.

Startled by a sound behind her, Brenna turned around, only then noticing that the path disappeared as soon as they took a step forward.  It was a one-way path, never a good sign.

Finally the trees seemed to be a little less dense and, in the space of a few minutes, they stepped into a clearing, in the middle of which was a pretty little cottage.  Samantha warned Brenna not to go inside, but when the princess asked her cat if Trevor had done so, Samantha had to admit that he had.  That decided Brenna.

At first she knocked gently on the door, but there was no answer.  Brenna knocked harder.  When there was still no answer, she opened the door and entered the small house.  Everything inside was dainty and pretty, but it was evident that Trevor was not there now.  When Brenna and Samantha turned to leave, however, they discovered the door had disappeared and none of the windows opened.  They were trapped!

Brenna started to explore the cottage more thoroughly and came across a small door, just big enough for her to walk through.  Even though Samantha did her best to discourage her, Brenna stepped over the sill.  Immediately, the door closed behind her, and Brenna found herself in a large, dark corridor, filled with an unpleasant odor.  Having no other choice, Brenna held her breath as much as she could and, accompanied by her faithful cat, she followed the tunnel for a long way before it opened up into a very large cavern.

Her eyes went immediately to a cage hanging on the far side of the room, and she gave a cry of dismay as she recognized Trevor trapped inside.

At the sound of her voice, Trevor looked up in alarm, “Go back, Brenna, go back.  This cave belongs to an ogre who has been keeping me captive and trying to fatten me up for a meal.  I’ve been hiding most of the food and feeding it to the rats whenever the ogre goes out, eating only enough to keep my strength up.  But I’m afraid he’s losing patience and is going to eat me anyway.  Go back before he sees you!”

Just then the ground shuddered and rocks rumbled.  It was too late, the ogre was on his way back into the cave.  Brenna tried to hide, but although the ogre’s eyesight wasn’t very good, his sense of smell was excellent.  Before you could say, “Abracadabra”, the ogre and plucked Brenna from behind the chair where she was trying to hide and popped her into a cage identical to Trevor’s.

“Please, Mr. Ogre,” said Brenna, “please let us go.  We’re really not good to eat.  We’re tough and our muscles will get caught in your teeth.  How about some tasty bread and cheese from by basket?”

“Bread and cheese,” scoffed the ogre, “I want a nice juicy snack, and you look just about the right size.  You’re sure not big enough for a whole meal.”

“That’s right, I’m not,” said Brenna bravely, “but I can help you find all kinds of lovely food that you’ve probably never tried before.”

“Like what?” asked the ogre, becoming curious.

“Like nuts and berries, and honey and … oh, all kinds of delicious things.”

“I’ve never tried any of those things,” said the ogre.  “But I’m sure they’re not as tasty as a young lady such as yourself.”

“Oh, but they are,” replied Brenna, “even more so.  I told you, I’m tough and not very tasty at all.  Why don’t you at least try some of these things?  If you don’t like them, you can still eat us later.”

“Brenna!” cried Trevor, “What are you saying?”

“Don’t worry, Trevor, Mr. Ogre will like the new food so much, he won’t even want to eat us.”

“I hope so.”  Trevor was not convinced, but he knew how determined Brenna could be.  “I hope you have a backup plan.”

“I do,” she whispered, rubbing the green stone of her magic ring.

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