"Another three years passed by. I am so proud of you. Make a wish dear."
For a moment it was as if time stood still. I closed my eyes, saw little me and the woman who gave birth to me in the cupboard bed, how she wrapped her arms around me, and fed me. In a flash, I saw myself hide underneath the bed and stand on the marketplace. How I changed and how lucky I was Carmen found me. I made my wish, opened my eyes, and blew the candles. They all applauded and looked so pleased.
"Let's have the stew first," Carmen said while she quickly took the pie away from me. "Later you can eat all the cake you want."
It was a great party. All those I loved were present and even the owls sat on the windowsills and celebrated with us. It was a lovely night. The moon shone, the stars twinkled and a breeze brought me my favorite bouquet of scents.
It was Rosemary who gave me another present. Two bottles with the name 'in case of need' on it. As I studied them and held them against the light she told me it was exactly what I thought it was. Carmen smiled as I showed her my newest trophies but made me promise I would only use it for me and, like the label said, in case of need.
"It's for emergencies only, dear, don't forget it."
How to know if it was the right moment, when I needed it?
"You'll realize when the time is right and who knows you never need them nevertheless it's a valuable gift. Not many can consider themselves lucky enough to be part of their community ."
NaNoWriMo2020 source photo: pixabay.com
Till late at night we played games. Games Rosemary partly made up and some Carmen said they played in her childhood. How many years passed by since that moment she didn't mention. To me, it felt as if she always had been a grown-up. It was hard to imagine what she had looked like as a toddler or teenager. She had never told about her life before me, her childhood, or her parents. It was as if they never existed and she just arose out of the blue like a good fairy, or a goddess so save and take care of me. For a second I was lost in thoughts. Why didn't we celebrate her birthday? The moment was over as Rosemary announced it was storytime. We gathered together in front of the fireplace, and my emotions were forgotten. Storytime was one of the best moments of the day. Rosemary was an enthusiastic storyteller but Basil turned out to be even better. His story taled about creatures I never heard of before. Some of them should still exist and live in a forgotten part of the world. A world down under and a secret place.
"You can only reach it by taking special underground tunnels. It's there, believe me, it is. You can find it in the books."
Carmen raised one eyebrow as he mentioned the books.
"Alright I admit it's not mentioned in each book but there's one that has all answers. It can show you the way. Maps it shows you, drawings of places. Places in the past, present, and future but... the route of the tunnels are only shown to the travelers."
He paused and seem to be in thoughts. Just as I wanted to ask him how he knew he continued his story.
"It was long ago and deep down where I went. I found an entrance to the tunnels, they showed me the way at that time. The way to a safe place. I followed them out of curiosity and even if hadn't all the pilgrims would have pushed me in the right direction. They ran off, escaped to a better life although I am not sure each one of them found it. During those days tyrants made life hard. They said those who reigned with an iron fist killed many and they fought against each other. One of them, a real maniac, murdered all males and transported the females in the opposite direction. I remember I saw the train they mentioned once pass by. While I wandered into the tunnels I heard the stories, the warnings, and a certain group of friends talk. Like I admitted I was curious and the whole situation was bizarre I wanted to learn more. You should know there was no war or misery where I came from but there was one in the part of the world they tried to escape from."
I was not the only one interested in hearing more. Carmen bit on her lower lip and asked, "What did you do next? Did you discover anything?"
"I told you I followed the group out of curiosity, and like you know I can read minds. I mean everyone's no matter if they are animal or human, in a safe place, whisper, think or speak in riddles. I overheard this group of travelers on their way to a secret place. I should say the young boy and the wolf planned to go over there. The boy read a book about it, some tale but first, they intended to save the traveler's partner. He had a map of the secret land, the boy I mean, and showed it. A book showed it to him. The land, this secret place, and all those living waited for someone's return. At least it is what the boy with the map assumed."
"You know the name of that book, " I asked. I would love to have a book like that.
"You mean the book with the tale?"
His answer was disappointing. He couldn't remember it was mentioned.
"Don't expect me to keep a filing case with files about every book and thought I once heard."
Basil believed the book was a collection of tales, a storybook since a chapter was mentioned. This book was the one I intended to look for. So far I read one and nearly knew it by head. Not one of the tales mentioned a story about a waiting land.
"And if you mean the book that answers your questions," Basil continued,"bthat one is useless if it shows you nothing. As I understood everyone can ask but it depends on who you are if an answer is shown. The pages can remain blank and it's name is... Atlas."
It became silent.
"Atlas sounds like a nice name", I said, "I wonder what it means".
"He is a Titan and carried the celestial vault, or if you like the heavens," Rosemary added to the conversation.
Total amount of words: 2364
The prompt used 'filing' is provided by @mariannewest
A part of this episode is not published here.
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