Of Smoke and Mirrors

This is a short story that is about 18 pages. It's centered around the dream the main character Abby, a teenage girl, has been having lately. The dream is loosely based off of The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland.

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8. Close Your Eyes to See

 

Chapter 8: Close Your Eyes to See

 

There was a small stream running through the forest floor. We were walking by it, just glancing at the gentle babbling brook. I was so absorbed by the stream that I bumped into Adam who stopped walking right in front of me.

 

“Hey!” I grumbled.

 

Adam just gestured for me to look up. I peeked over up his shoulder and I saw a weird person with some kind of deer or elk. The person was wearing a large white poncho with a red hood. I couldn’t see their face, they were wearing a red mask with white cheeks. In fact, I couldn’t even see an inch of them or their skin at all. Their elk had colorful Christmas lights hanging from its antlers, around its body and down it its legs. The elk was wearing a saddle and reins, which the person used to lead it.

 

They gave a shy wave at us once we got a little closer. Adam waved back, “Hey there.”

 

I laughed awkwardly since I didn’t know what else to do. “How you doing…” I didn’t know what to say, they were so strange and ethereal. I couldn’t even tell if they were a man or a woman or what.

 

Fortunately they spoke and interrupted my line of inane ramblings, “We don’t often see outsiders in this here forest.” Their voice was quiet and I still couldn’t determine anything about them. The person remained a mystery. “This one is known as The Guide,” they bowed slightly to be polite. Their elk snorted and shuffled its feet.

 

Adam and I weren’t sure how to respond so we just awkwardly bowed back. “I’m Abby,” I introduced myself. “And this is my brother Adam.”

 

The Guide nodded, the lights from the elk’s antlers glimmered off the mask they wore. “May this one ask as to what the outsiders are doing here?” The elk’s Christmas lights twinkled brightly in the shade of the trees.

 

“We’re just looking for the Mad Baroness,” Adam answered.

 

“The Mad Baroness?” The Guide’s elk snorted.

 

“Yeah,” Adam said. “You know where she is?”

 

“This one does,” The Guide responded. “The Mad Baroness is accompanied by her white mice deeper in the heart of this here forest. Keep on this path and the outsiders shall find her before long.” They gestured to the path along the stream.

 

“Thank you,” I breathed. We were getting closer to finding our way out, I could feel it. But I had just had to ask about their strange mask. “One more thing, can I just ask a quick question?”

 

The Guide cocked their head to the side for a second but then they gave me a permissible nod.

 

“What’s up with the mask? Can you even see through that thing?”

 

They chuckled, “No this one can’t see out of this mask but that is this one’s purpose.” That made no sense so I just stared with a questioning look. Sensing my confusion, The Guide explained, “You must first close your eyes in order to truly see. This one’s eyes were useless long ago.”

 

Adam raised an eyebrow. That answer only raised more questions but neither of us wanted to pry even further.

 

We thanked The Guide for their help and once more Adam and I were on our way. The lullaby of the ghosts’ whistling led our way down the brook.

 

 

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