Imagination to Reality

Ashleigh has always had a wild imagination. She doesn't have many friends at school, nor does she get to spend a lot of time with her parents. She surrounds herself with her own world, but when the world she thought was hers turns out to be a separate reality, and they need her help.


2. Antheia

Ashleigh sat on the fuzzy, itchy, burnt tan carpet flooring in her living room at home. The Tv with many of its broken dials and bent antenna was off, and even unplugged with torn cords that looked as if they make shock someone if they tried to touch it. She had no pet, not many
electronics to play with either. She had a few books scattered around her currently, and surrounded herself with some stuffed animals.
"Oh no Mrs. Bellsworth, it's the full moon tonight, your husband, he-!!" She voiced an elephant character, whom was talking to a kitten toy, Mrs. Bellsworth, with a ribbon around its neck, and was half chocolate brown half tan. "GRAWR!!" She roared out as a wolf stuffed animal scampered forward. She made growling and snarling noises as the wolf crept closer. She grabbed the cat and let out a terrified scream.
"Ashleigh!?" A worried voice came other. Her mother, who was placing earrings on at this moment, peered through the bathroom door to look at her. "What are you screaming at!?"
"Mrs. Bellsworth's husband became a wolf! She has to hurry because he can't recognize her!" She picked both of them up and ran around. "No, please love! Don't hurt me! You recognize me, don't you?! It's me, Mrs. Bellsworth, your beloved wife! Listen to me darling!" She made the cat plead in a high pitched voice as she backed her against the couch, which in her world it was a tree. Her mother sighed, slightly in irritation and relief that it wasn't anything serious.
"Please play a little quieter dear." Her mother said.
"But it wasn't me, it was Mrs. Bellsworth! You would scream too if the one you love turned into a wolf on the full moon..." Ashleigh grumped a bit.
"Well please tell her to keep her screams quieter, then." The mother had an edge to her voice. Ashleigh didn't say anything more to her, instead she went right back to playing.
"Please darling, I'm sorry I said such terrible things to you, I promise I didn't mean them! I, I love you! Remember that!" She made Mrs. Bellsworth cover her face in fear as the wolf crept closer. He opened his jaws, showing off his large, pure white fangs that dripped with warm, sticky saliva. S.e let out another murderous scream.
"Ashleigh!! I said not do that anymore!" Her mother scolded, this time anger thickening her words.
"But mom-!"
"No buts! Either quiet down or find something else to do!" She commanded. Ashleigh dropped the stuffed animals, and crossed her arms in defiance. Her mother sighed and came over. She had on black work clothes, and kisses Ashleigh on the head. "I have to go now. Your grandfather will be here soon. Please behave? And no screaming when he gets here, I don't think his heart could take that, let alone his ears..." Her mother told her as she walked over, her heels clapping on the tile floor in the kitchen as she swung her purse over her shoulder. "Goodbye, Ashleigh." She then walked out the door without giving her a chance to say anything.
Ashleigh blinked and sat there a bit longer before she picked up the animals again. The wolf opened his jaws, and came down at Mrs. Bellsworth. He stuck out his giant pink tongue, and gave her cheek a wet lick. His tail began to wag.
"Ah, how cute! He ended up recognizing her!" A voice chimed, once again breaking her out of her world. Ashleigh turned to see Kailash. She smiled and hugged her.
"Kailash! I'm so glad you're here, now we can play together! C'mon, you can even be Mrs. Bellsworth, I know how you like to be her." She went on her knees and started grabbing some of the animals.
"Actually Ashleigh, I can't play right now. I want you to meet someone." Folded her hands behind her back.
"I can't leave, my grandpa is coming. If I'm not here when he arrives..." Ashleigh looked at her friend.
"Oh.. Well, in that case I need to go, maybe another day." She began to leave, but Ashleigh gripped her wrist.
"Wait, when he first gets here he always sits down and takes a nap. If you can stay until then I'll go with you." Ashleigh didn't want to be alone.
"Okay! I'm sure she will understand if we wait." Kailash smiled, and picked up Mrs. Bellsworth. "Until then, I guess we can play!"

Right on time, her grandfather was sprawled on the couch, snoring loudly through his scruffy beard. Ashleigh placed her shoes on, and followed Kailash out the door.
"So where are we going? Who am I meeting? Are they like you? Will they want to play?" Ashleigh questioned, anxious to see who Kailash wanted her to meet. If they were a friends of hers, no doubt she would like them herself. Kailash only laughed.
"Questions can be answered later, be sure to follow me so you don't get lost, okay?" Floating on ahead, it was hard to miss Kailash in her pure white spring dress through the dank, dark woods that seemed to thicken the further they walked in. Were the woods always this way? She glanced around some more, nothing seemed to stir. Her blood began to pump as adrenaline raced through her veins. "Ashleigh, careful, this way!" Kailash sang out as she was suddenly beside her and tugging her left.
"Right... Is the woods supposed to be this quiet? I mean it's spring, shouldn't the animals be out, the birds singing, wind blowing..?" Anything at all? This haunting silence was killing her, she could barely hear the squish of her feet as they stepped into the soaked mud, and the snap of twigs when she came across them.
"It is, but they'd rather be where we are going then here." She smiled. "Almost there, just a little longer!" She chirped as her wings fluttered faster.
"Okay, okay." Ashleigh tried to get her to calm down before she left her behind. Hurrying up her pace, she gasped as she tripped over her feet. Expecting to slam face first into cold mud, she collided with soft, cool grass. Blinking, Ashleigh looked up and saw a clearing. The grass was the length of her middle finger and was the healthiest green she had ever seen. Flowers in all colors swayed in a breeze she didn't feel before when walking here. Trees were vibrant and full of green leaves and had beautiful bark. She could even hear the singing of birds and even a rabbit ran in front of her, munching on separate flowers.
"Get up silly!" Kailash giggled as she stood in front of her, and held her hand out to help her up. Ash,Leigh took the gesture and stood on her feet. She looked around the area they were in. Kailash floated behind her, gripped both sides of her head and directed it. She saw her.
She had long blonde hair that flowed down her back in waves, a braid weaves through the top of her hair and the extra pulled into a ponytail. She had flowers stuck in there where it was beautifully appropriate. She had a beautiful green dress on. It was sleeveless and had a light green lace covering the creamy silk underside. Another layer of lace of light green had covered the other layer, and the front of it was bundled up and kept in place with three roses, then another rose was in her hair behind her ear, and by the collar bone on her dress. She glanced over at them, her eyes such a startling green it made Ashleigh catch her breath, as a warm smiled caressed her pink lips.
"You must be Ashleigh, the girl Kailash has been spending so much time with. It's a pleasure to meet you at last." She spoke to her, her voice soft and welcoming. Ashleigh's heart pounded in her chest. She couldn't find her voice. Her throat swelled a bit, but finally she found the need to inhale. Slowly breathing in so she didn't look weird, she nodded.
"Y-yes I'm Ashleigh. You are..?" Ashleigh managed to choke out. She watched the animals surround the woman.
"Why, Kailash didn't tell you?" She threw her eyes at Kailash, whom gave her an innocent look.
"I wanted it to be a surpriseM if I told her she may have gotten too nervous to come." She defended herself. The woman sighed a little and looked back Ashleigh.
"My name is Antheia, but I am best recognized by the nickname of 'Mother Nature'." Ashleigh blinked. Something clicked.
"So you're Kailash's mother?" Well it made since.
"Mother?" She repeated.
"Oh, that's because when I refer to you with Ashleigh, I call you momma!" Kailash swung her arms over Antheia's neck in an embrace from behind as she smiled brilliantly. She seemed much happier with Mother Nature in their company. Antheia smiled and laughed a bit. It was a beautiful sound.
"Ah, I see. In metaphorical terms yes, I am her mother, but physically and by blood, no." Se corrected. Ashleigh tilted her head.
"Everything bound to nature is considered my child, for I am Mother Nature after all. All the creatures and plants are my children, but you don't think I gave physical birth to everything, do you?" She asked as she kneeled into the grass, sitting down and crossing her legs. "Kailash is a nature faerie, she intertwines with my forest, my gardens, but she is different than I. However, having to watch over this particular trouble maker does make it seem as if she were my own." A playful hint glinted in her eyes as Kailash stuck her tongue out.
"So where is her mother?" Ashleigh pried a bit further.
"Faeries such as Kailash do not have mothers. They are born each spring when a new flower bud opens and blooms."
"But you're the mother of the flowers. If the flowers give birth to the faeries and the flowers are created by you, by definition wouldn't that make you the grandmother and technically related to Kailash?" Antheia giggled.
"Yes, but that relates back to metaphorical terms, we are still not made by blood for not all flowers have faeries inside. Faeries in this world are born when children like you believe in and need them. So technically, children are the mothers, the flowers are the carriers." She explained further.
"Enough about me, momma! Talk about yourselves!" KaIlash ordered as she fluttered around. Ashleigh blinked. She realized she was still standing, and sat down instead.
"Remove your shoes, Ashleigh."
"Why?" She asked.
"They are dirty. Why would you desire to wear dirty shoes? The grass is soft, I promise it won't harm you." She assured her. Ashleigh hesitated, but did so and set them to the side. She watched as a rabbit came over and sniffed them, before hopping away. Suddenly something cold slithered up her arm.
Ashleigh froze in fear. A snake, Checkered Garter snake, has found it's way up her arm, moving slowly. It's tongue came out and wiggled before sliding back into its mouth. Its circular, unblinking eyes stared at her.
"Don't be afraid, he isn't poisonous. He's a calm creature, as long as you're calm too." Antheia said as she traced the tip of her middle finger down his slick body with a smile painted on her face. Ashleigh looked at them. Inhaling softly, she tried to relax her body and nerves so she didn't cause alarm in the reptile. Her eye caught something. A bunny had approached her again, sniffing her leg. Then a Robin perched itself on her shoulder, a raccoon came and sniffed her hand. A deer came over and chewed the cloth of her shirt. Ashleigh laughed.
"Looks like they all like you, Ashleigh!" Kailash pointed out as she dropped herself on the deer's back softly.
"Peculiar. Even around here they wouldn't approach a human... You must truly be extraordinary for them to trust so easily." Antheia contemplated.
"Is this a good thing?" Ashleigh looked at them concerned.
"Well of course it is, silly!" Kailash giggled. Ashleigh smiled at hearing that. It made her feel good about herself.
"Well it would appear it is time for us to depart." Antheia said, though she was looking off in a distance.
"Aw, does she have to go momma?" Kailash whimpered out.
"Yeah, do I have to?" Ashleigh agreed with her. She didn't want to leave Antheia and Kailash to a pretty much empty house. No one made her feel welcome there. She wanted to stay. A hand was gently placed on her head.
"Yes, you're grandfather will wake soon. We shouldn't make him worry. Plus Kailash and I have something else to take care of. I assure you Kailash will come visit again." She soothed, her fingertips moving to stroke her cheek gently as she gave a soft smile, an understanding smile. She knew how she felt. Ashleigh smiled back a bit in return.
"Okay... Will you come visit too?" Ashleigh pondered out loud.
"If that is what you desire, then that you shall receive dear Ashleigh." She spoke, and received a hug instead. Antheia blinked a bit in surprise, but she returned the hug. Remaining like that for a few moments, Ashleigh peeled away only to basically be tackled by Kailash.
"I'll come see you soon!" She said.
"Okay." Ashleigh smiled at the faerie. Then Antheia wrapped her hand around Kailash's.
"This is goodbye for now." She said, and suddenly the beautiful clearing was gone. Ashleigh was left looking at a dark woods with silhouetted trees.
"Ashleigh!" An old tired voice called out other. Turning, she saw her house. She was back at the beginning of the woods, where her house was. Her grandpa was stumbling towards her. "Ashleigh there you are! I've been calling for you! Where were you?"
"I'm sorry Grandpa, I was with Mother Nature!" Ashleigh exclaimed as a wild smile grew on her lips.
"Ah yes, beautiful Mother Nature. Hard to resist her isn't it?" He said, hands placed on his old hips as he looked at the woods.
"You've met her Grandpa!?"
"We all know Mother Nature, Ashleigh. She's all around us, always around us." He said, and finally it clicked in Ashleigh's mind. His term of Mother Nature was the woods itself, not the person.
"No no Grandpa! I met Mother Nature in the flesh, in person! Her real name is Antheia and-"
"I'm sure it is. Lets go inside and get some dinner." He said as he began back into the house.
"But Grandpa...!" She sighed as she watched him go. He wouldn't believe her, no matter how she tried. Glancing back at the woods, she turned to go, feeling the mud sink between her bare toes as she headed inside.
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