So I did promise a first draft of a short story so here goes, This is the kinda thing I have been writing so far…
The sun was shining bright and hot in the cloudless sky, the birds tweeted happily and the village was a hive of activity. Men walked around with chests bare, carrying timber and hessian sacks full of wheat and other materials. The women washed their clothes and hung them out to dry. Laughing and calling back and forth to each other as they worked. Children were either busy with their chores or had finished for the morning and were running about playing tag and hide and seek and any other manner assorted games. The mood was one of happiness and joy, the winter storms had passed and the village was determined to enjoy the warmth of the spring for as long as they could.
Amelia was one of the few children who had yet to be allowed to venture out into the sunlight. She had been tasked to sweep the floors by her mother, a task that had proved to be a longer one than Amelia had anticipated. She gazed longingly out the window at the sun hovering just above the treeline of the forest that bordered their village. She wanted to go out and pick flowers to decorate her room with, her seventh birthday was drawing near and she wanted it to be pretty for the occasion. She had managed to clean most of the floor but there were still a few patches of dust left that she had missed and she was so bored of the job.
After a few minutes of deliberation she decided on her plan and carefully lifted up the edge of the rug that lay in the centre of the kitchen floor. Quickly she swept all the dust she could see under the rug before letting it flop back down again, covering the dirt from view. Amelia knew that she would be found out for this eventually but it saved her time and with the sunlight wasting she didn’t care. Having completed her genius plan she dropped the broom to the floor and ran to the stairs. She called up to her mum that she was finished but didn’t wait for a reply before running gleefully out the house.
Amelia skipped down the cobbled street, dodging round men and women trying to get about their business and even past a group of her friends who were stood at the corner of a house trying to decide who was going to be the first person it in a game of tag. They called to Amelia to come and join them but she just skipped on by calling out that she was going to pick flowers. As she left the town through the main gate the doorman called to her to be careful and not to venture into the forest but Amelia ignored him and raced out into the fields.
The flowers had come into full bloom early this year and they filled the fields like a sea of red and yellow, rolling like waves in the cool breeze and Amelia skipped through them joyfully. She had decided that she didn’t want any of these flowers, they were common and every little girl in the town had picked hundreds for themselves. No Amelia was going to go into the forest and pick some of the rarer flowers that sat between the trees. Those were the most beautiful flowers that there were, she had seen them when the teacher had taken the towns school into the forest to look for birds, she had wanted to be allowed to pick some then but the teacher hadn’t allowed her, she said it wasn’t why they were there and that she’d get lost if she left the group. But now there was no teacher to stop her and Amelia knew that she couldn’t get lost if she only stayed to the edges.
It wasn’t far from the edge of the village to the forest and soon Amelia found herself in the shadow of the tall trees. Even here at the edge of the forest the flowers were so much prettier than those in the fields. There were red and yellow ones yes, but also beautiful purple ones and vibrant orange ones, bright blue and some that seemed to shine, golden, in the sunlight that still managed to slip its way through the gaps in the trees. Amelia picked herself a large bunch of each of them and was about to turn and run back to town when she heard something floating through the trees.
There was something different in the air, it sounded like someone singing, but it was not words that Amelia heard. It was beautiful and as soon as Amelia heard it she had to know who was making it. She started cautiously into the forest, aware that she shouldn’t be venturing into it alone but she loved music and she had to find out who was singing, she wanted to know how to make such a beautiful sound. She slowly walked a little deeper, taking solace from the fact that the sun was still bright above her and shining down through the trees. Amelia wasn’t far into the forest when she started to smell a sweet smell in the air that accompanied the song that was becoming ever clearer. It smelled like sweets and fruit juices and seemed to float to her nose on the same gust of air that brought the music to her ears. Amelia pressed onwards until she could see a clearing through the trees. She stopped just at the edge, the sunlight in her eyes and she turned back to see how far she had come. Through the trees behind her she could still see slithers of outside the forest and even what she thought was the wall that surrounded the town. Satisfied that she wasn’t very far into the forest, and would have no trouble getting back. Amelia stepped into the clearing.
As Amelia stepped out into the clearing she no longer had the glare of the sun in her eyes and after blinking a few times she managed to clear her vision and get a proper look around the clearing. Where she had expected to see a person standing in the clearing she saw nothing but a few moss covered rocks and a small puddle, but what caught her eye was a small clump of brilliant white flowers that sat right in the middle of the clearing. Their flowers were larger than any other flowers Amelia had seen hat day and they were breathtakingly pretty though in the middle of the petals was a second but that had not yet opened to the sun. The land around them was so empty of anything that it was as if the very forest itself had moved away from them, to abandon them on their own. Amelia thought that they were the most beautiful flowers in the whole forest, they seemed to glitter in the sun and as they bobbed in the breeze the music that she had been hearing seemed to grow slightly louder. Somehow these flowers were the source of that beautiful music. As she entered the clearing all the flowers seemed to turn towards her in unison, though initially unnerving Amelia just could not look away from how beautiful they all looked. The wind rushed through the trees and the leaves swayed like a beckoning motion. Amelia giggled; it was like the flowers were asking for her to come to them. They were on their own after all. They must be lonely.
Amelia walked up to the group of flowers, still singing to her as she came. Amelia sang a few notes to accompany them. Her teacher had always said she had a perfect voice for singing. She had decided that she had to pick every single flower in the clearing; they were too beautiful to be abandoned here and if she left only a few behind they would be even lonelier. As Amelia approached the flowers they all turned to the air and opened their strange second bud, releasing a thin mist of pollen was emitted from each. The pollen glittered and shone in the air, being taken high by the wind before slowly drifting back down, flittering and sparkling in the air, twisting and swirling like a ballet dancer. It fell like a curtain falling over her, warm to the touch and simply disappearing when it toughed her. Amelia spun around, dancing with the pollen, her hands brushed with shimmering gold from the mist in the air. She was in such wonderment that she started to laugh and giggle and to her amazement the flowers around her seemed to join in on her laughter, echoing her enjoyment.
The leaves of the flowers brushed up against Amelia’s legs and she realised that she had spun into the midst of the flowers. They were all around her now, their brilliant faces looking up at her. She sunk to her knees, completely surrounded by the beautiful white buds. She couldn’t help wondering why these flowers were so beautiful but kept their buds closed up after releasing their pollen, especially seeing as every other flower in the forest had already opened up. She reached forward lazily for one of the flowers, but as she did so it seemed to swerve away from her hand, seeming to laugh as it did so. Amelia giggled again and left the flower alone, thinking it probably shy. Amelia yawned, starting to feel slightly tired after her run to the forest and she lay back amongst the flowers. She felt that she could just close her eyes and go to sleep, the flowers standing vigil over her and as she had this thought they flowers seemed to lay their leaves across her legs and arms as if holding her.
Amelia lay there staring up at the glittering pollen still hanging in the air. She was blissfully happy, this had been the best idea she had hand and as she lay there, listening to the still singing flowers and watching the pollen fall she thought that she never wanted to have to go back to the village. Just as Amelia felt her eyes start to close her thoughts drifted to her mother who had probably already discovered her devious trick and Amelia thought that she had probably better collect her flowers and leave, she didn’t want to worry her mother if she were to try and find her. She tried to move her arms to get up but found they felt very heavy, full of sleep. Amelia looked around her but all she could see on either side of her were the flower bulbs looking down at her, closing in on her it seemed. Then Amelia felt something moving around her and looking down at her body she saw those green stems starting to slide their way up her body, like skinny green snakes, wrapping around her legs and arms as they went.
Amelia opened her mouth, about to tell them to stop, she didn’t like this game but she couldn’t manage to emit words. All that she could do was emit a faint grown as one of the flowers snaked over her chest and reared up above her. It seemed to hover, poised over her for a few moments as is examining her before finally opening up its brilliant white bulb and revealing rows of serrated yellow teeth.