It was cold, it was dark, and it was wet. The little girl, panting hard, ran helter skelter down the hill and through the trees, away from the girl in red, with the wicker basket full of things that went squish and dripped dark, oozy liquids through the wicker weave of the basket, away from the safety of dry land, towards the bayou, deep and muggy and overcast.
Suddenly, the girl stumbled, her ankle twisting as it caught on a raised tree root. WIth a small cry, she hit the ground and scraped her palms. Gritting her teeth against the pain, she pushed herself back to her feet and eased her weight onto the injured joint. It twinged a bit but held and she began to hobble along again, gritting her teeth against the constant twinges of discomfort.
For hours, she trekked deeper and deeper into the swamp. But even those on the lam need rest and the little one eventually came to a stop beside a pond that rested against a wall. Making a pallet out of leaves, she curled up in her cloak and slept the deep sleep of the truly exhausted.
When she awoke, early morning sunlight trickled through the trees and it was warmer. "Oh, Lawdy," the little girl said quietly. "Where might I be?"
"You've come to the Space of Dreams," a deep voice croaked next to her.
With a start, the little girl said, "Who's there?"
"Ove' here." Curiously, the little girl lookedaround, eventually zeroing in on the pond, where she saw nothing but a frog on the banks.
"Where? All I see is a frog."
"That would be me," the frog replied.
"AHH!" the girl shrieked. "Oh Lawdy, I'm hallucinating now."
"Noo. You've come to the Space of Dreams, where anything is possible. Including...me."
In wonder, the little girl crawled closer. "I always knew the bayou was magic."
The frog chuckled and hopped closer. "Indeed. Now, I'd be willing to bet you need to find a way home?"
The girl nodded, her hood falling off to reveal hair the color of a raven's wing. It was a striking contrast to her pale-as-snow skin. "I do."
"I can show you the way. But first, a favor from you to me." The frog straightened up. "I was once a prince, but a witch cursed me to remain a frog unless a girl with hair as black as a raven's wing and pale-as-snow skin would kiss me in return for a favor from me."
The girl considered and then leaned forward, offering her hand for the frog to hop on. Raising him to her face she placed a gentle kiss upon his head and then carefully placed him back on the ground.
As she watched, the frog began to morph, growing larger and larger, his skin darkening, teeth sharpening.
The girl screamed and jumped up to run, but it was too late. The shadow man had already latched on to her leg and began to drag her back towards the pond.
Created: Apr 07, 2014PrincessaKyla Document Media