“Hello, Mr. Owl.”
Emerald eyes peered above at a snow white owl perched upon a stone pillar in the middle of a green park.
The owl tilted its head to the side, its mismatched eyes peering down, at the young girl of barely six, with curious eyes.
A voice behind them shifted both their attention.
“Give me the child. Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered. I have fought my way here beyond the goblin city to take back the child you have stolen. For my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom as great….damn. ”
“Sarah?” The young girl waved at the other in the gown striding through the field like a maiden of old.
Grass green eyes shifted from the red book within her hands to the young girl across the way from her.
“What would the goblin king truly have to gain?”
The brunette teenager let out a sigh of frustration, “Diana, I’ve told you not to interrupt.”
“I know...its just…” The little girl plopped down on the grassy floor beneath her, her back rested against the stone pillar where the owl still sat. She gazed up at the sky, as she adjusted the round glasses at the tip of her nose. “The fae do not simply give away wishes or dreams for that matter. What made her special?”
Sarah strode forward her pastel skirts flurrying around her as she made her way toward her little sister.
“He loved the girl.”
Diana picked at a dandelion that lay at her feet, taking off each of its petals before gazing back up, “But why? The only thing he’d seen from her was her selfishness.”
“It’s a fairytale, it doesn’t need to make sense.”
“I guess.” Brown sweatered shoulders shrugged.
A rumble of thunder above their heads caused Merlin to bark nearby.
“There you are, Merlin. I wondered where you had gone.” Diana strode forward to bury her head into his grey and white fur before wrinkling her nose at the damp smell it gave off. “Playing in puddles again, ol’ boy?”
A ruff answered her back, causing the small girl to giggle.
The bell of the town square’s clock caused Sarah to let out a cry, “Oh no! It’s already seven o’clock. We need to run. Come on Diana, bring Merlin.”
Sarah picked up her skirts and began running; Diana followed after her only to turn back briefly as she saw a flash of white out of the corner of her eye.
“Bye, Mr. Owl!”
“It’s not fair!”
Diana sighed out loud as she walked in through the back door of her parent’s home, after making sure Merlin was dried off.
“Hello, Irene. I’m sorry we got back late.”
“Thank you for taking care of Merlin, Diana.”
Robert Williams rounded the corner, wincing as he heard his oldest daughter’s door slam from above.
“Of course.” Diana smiled before looking at Toby in his arms. “Have you had a rough day Toby? I’m here now.” Looking back up at her father figure, she held out her arms, “I can take him, Bob.”
He smiled gratefully at her, carefully placing Toby in her arms. It never ceased to amaze him how little Diana’s lithe frame could hold his ever growing little toddler of a son. Toby however always seemed to calm once he was in her arms, mesmerized by her bright green eyes and her gentle voice.
“I can take care of Toby instead of Sarah, Irene.”
The strawberry blonde haired woman smiled bittersweetly down at her, fingering her pearls around her neck.
“You are still too young, Diana.” She shook her head, “Despite how old you might act you are still only six.”
“I’ll go talk to Sarah.” Robert began the climb up the stairs, while Irene paced in front of the front door checking her watch.
“You look very pretty, Irene.”
“Thank you, Diana.” She stopped her pacing and turned toward the little girl holding her son like he was a precious treasure. “You’ll make sure he’s taken care of, won’t you?”
Diana nodded, her shoulder length hair bouncing showing off the odd scar that framed her forehead.
Irene tilted her head at the young girl, a moment of contemplation came over her. She remembered the day she met Robert’s two little girls. Sarah always looked at her like she was the enemy, however little Diana always looked upon her with an appraising respectful air. The brief hesitation she remembered feeling when she found out Diana had been adopted, dissipated quickly when she saw how the little girl’s existence tempered the fiery temper of Robert’s blood-related child. Without Diana, Irene was sure their family life would have been wrought with much more stress; for she always seemed to act as a happy mediator.
“I know you will be fine, you all will be.” The redhead nodded with a smile, just as her husband came down the stairs.
“Ready to go, my love.” Taking his wife by the hand he waved at his daughter and son before they both left for their date.
Toby was crying and she couldn’t get to him. Instead she was stuck in the restroom, hoping that Sarah would come out of her hobbit hole to try and calm her little brother.
She had just finished up when the lights flickered in the bathroom, causing Diana to finish washing her hands quickly before exiting into the hallway.
Toby was no longer crying.
Instead there was only an eerie silence.
Goosebumps spattered across her arms, as she felt what was like static electricity in the air. So much so she thought she could almost hear it crackling in the air.
It was familiar, so very familiar and yet this time Diana knew the feeling wasn’t coming from her. No, the almost electricity feeling in the air was coming from somewhere else. Eyes widening she raised down the hallway before making it through the open doorway of her parent’s bedroom. Running to the crib, she found no Toby.
Diana’s eyes widened as she heard a low-pitched giggle to her left and then a high pitched cackle to her right.
“Toby?” Sarah’s voice warbled in fear behind her.
Turning towards her sister who stood in the center of the room, jumping at every sound, “Sarah, what did you do?”
Lightning flashed at the window and thunder shook the room.
“I don’t know!”
Sarah’s eyes were frightened and ever so guilty. She turned toward Diana eyes wide, “I didn’t mean it, Diana. I didn’t mean it!”
Scratches at the window caused both of them to look toward the window, an owl was seen flapping its wings against it. Suddenly the window burst open and the owl flew toward Sarah’s face causing her to raise her arms in defense.
Diana stepped backwards into the shadows of the room, just as she did the owl flapped once back to the window before turning into something else. It’s shadow turning into that of a man.
As Sarah stared at the Goblin King before her, asking for Toby; Diana peered at him from the shadows. She was sure he was the same owl from the park. He was definitely fae as well, his beauty was too perfect, too angular and sharp to be of any other sort.
Her eyes narrowed as she viewed him offering Sarah a sphere, ‘her dreams’. When rejected the sphere turned to a snake that made Sarah jump back with a scream. When it fell to the floor, Diana peered at it. It’s unblinking stare locked with hers.
As quietly as she could, she spoke to it. ~Come to me, little one. My sister is one who may tread upon you.~
The snake unseen by the two in the center of the room, slithered to the young girl where she offered it her hand. It wrapped itself around her wrist. ~Thank you, speaker.~
Diana turned her eyes back to the scene in front of her, of the goblin king showing his kingdom through the portal he created in her parent’s bedroom window.
Diana hesitated only for a brief moment before she grabbed a hold of the Goblin King’s cloaks train before the three of them disappeared reappearing upon the hill overlooking the labyrinth.
Closing her eyes Diana willed the tingling she felt within her to hide her from view, keep her from being noticed. As she stayed, holding tightly to the king’s train even as he vanished leaving Sarah to complete the labyrinth in order to get Toby back. For Diana knew where the Goblin King went no doubt that’s where her little brother would be.