I am a little sad that this months prompt challenge has come to an end. So sad! It has been my favorite over all and I actually got a novel idea out of one of the short stories. I am so excited to start working on that.
But, here you go. Here is the last prompt challenge of June!
It wasn’t until after Holland had completely moved in that she found it. It was her first house. She had worked hard to buy it and she was excited to finally have a place to call her own. After being in foster care all her life, until she was 18, and renting cheap apartments with bugs and drug dealing neighbors, she was finally home and safe. This was going to be the start of a new life. She would finally allow herself to have friends and to invite them over for parties. She had a job, she had gone to college. Life was finally looking up for Holland and she had never been so happy.
Holland was amazed that she hadn’t noticed the door before. She hadn’t noticed it when the closet was empty. She hadn’t noticed it when she was putting in new shelves. She hadn’t noticed it when she filled her closet with the few clothes she owned. No, she didn’t notice it until she fell and her hand went through the wall. There in the back of her closet, hidden behind a wall was a door. She peeled away all the plaster and stared at the ancient looking door. It was rough, wooden, and had an odd knocker with the face of a lion. The knocker was golden and despite being hidden for who knew how long, it was shiny, as if it had just been polished. There were no handles on the door, no way to open it and Holland had tried.
She had spent all day pushing and pulling on the door. She had even bought a crowbar to try and force the door open. She was tired of trying, so she left it alone for a few days.
One day, while standing in her closet trying to pick out clothes for a night out with new friends, she felt a pull towards the door. She couldn’t stop thinking about it and ended up standing in front of it, staring at it. She lost the desire to go out, she just wanted that door open. She wanted to know what was behind it and it was going to drive her mad if she didn’t figure it out. She lifted the knocker and knocked three times. She laughed at herself for thinking it would work, but jumped back when the door swung open.
Behind the door was darkness. She could see a set of stairs, but not where they went. She pulled out her fun, turning on its flashlight app and started down the stairs. She felt like she had been walking for hours when she finally reached the bottom. She stared back up the stairs, seeing the opening into her closet. It was right there, just a few steps up, yet the walk down…she furrowed her brow and shuddered. Her instincts were telling her to run, but curiosity got the best of her. Whatever she found in this secret room couldn’t be any worse than what she had already seen in her life.
“You shouldn’t be here.” Someone said from behind her. Holland spun around, facing an old hag. Her back rose in a hump and her hands shriveled up beside her body. A hood covered most of her face. One hand held a staff, at the end of the staff was a crystal that lit up the room. “You should go back now, child. Back to where you were happy, back to where you were free.” The woman stared at Holland, her face looked pained. “Why would you come back?”
“Come back?” Holland finally choked out. She saw flashes of something, flashes of a life before this life. She couldn’t remember her life before the age of 10. She had just shown up in the system with no parents and no memory.
“You ran away. You ran so far away. Not even the king could find you. He searched in every world, unable to find you, to catch a hint of your presence.” The hag continued. “Why, child, why would you come back?” She wailed and black tears streamed down her face. “You fought so hard the first time.”
“I don’t remember.” Holland said, scared and confused. Her hands shook and her breathing became heavy and quick. “What did I run from?”
“Your father!” The hag screeched. “The king!” She closed her eyes and cried more. “Your throne.” She whispered.
“Princess, why have you returned. Run, go back now.” The hag looked around. “Get back into the world you flew away too. Go now!” She pushed Holland towards the stairs. “Run, child run! Don’t come back, you are too good for this world.”
“What if I stayed, couldn’t I help. I could change things. If I am a princess.”
“No. You don’t remember. You have no choice in the matter, your father will never die, he will always own you and your words. You are just a new face for us to all find hope in. A hope that will be crushed and taken from us. Please, go. You tried once already and your father bested you.”
“Maybe I am stronger this time.” Holland said, not understanding where her sudden need to protect the hag came from. She was starting to remember something, fighting a fairy. A fairy? A fairy man with a crown. That must be her father. “I am stronger this time.” She said, straightening her back, standing tall in front of the hag. “I found a doorway back home because I am ready now.”
“Just be free.” The hag cried out. “Just stay where you are happy, stay death does not loom over you.”
“No.” Holland said, her memories racing back to her. She only had to get away long enough for her power to get stronger, for her father to weaken. Her mother was in on the plan as well. While her mother stayed behind to slowly poison the king, Holland and left to hide until she was ready, until he was weak enough, until it was time to take back her home and bring it out of the dark. “I was mean to come back and save you all.” She said to the hag, smiling as the woman looked up at her with both fear and relief.
“This way then, your mother is waiting.” The hag began to straighten, her hump back smoothing out as she grew taller, the hood of her robe falling to show long, golden hair.
“Lada?” Holland asked as the woman began to look familiar. “My sister?”
“It is I.” Lada replied. “It is good to see you sister. I am glad that you are home, but we have a lot of work to do.”
“Destroy father and take my rightful place as the Queen of Fairie.” She stated as the last of her memories settled into place. Not only was she to save the fairy folk, but she was to save the human world as well. She was home, really home, and she had a battle to win.
I do hope you enjoyed it and I hope that you enjoyed all the ones from this month. Friday I will announce next months prompt challenge. I have a feeling it will be just as much fun!
Leave your thoughts in the comments!