Just some small bits of a children’s story I am trying to write for my niece and nephew. I need to flesh out the idea before I can go any further.
Once upon a time there was a princess. She lived in the town of Baldonnel, with her mother the Queen, her father the King, and her brother, Prince Sebastian.
Baldonnel was a beautiful village at the edge of the world. The town was nestled quietly in the middle of Whitewood Forest, and was beautiful and grandiose in a way that can barely be described. Isabelle and Sebastian had lived there their entire lives and loved every single inch of their home. Their rooms were in the south end of the castle, high up in one of the turrets, and overlooked the moat that encircled the entire castle. Every morning, when lessons weren’t on the schedule, Sebastian would wake up Isabelle by jumping on her large, white, canopied bed. “It’s a beautiful day outside”, he’d yell, whenever the sun shone. Or “let’s go play in the rain”, whenever it didn’t. His favourite thing to yell, “it’s snowing, it’s snowing!’ Whenever winter would come, his favourite time of year. Together, the two best friends, would run down the castle steps and out the huge front entrance, across the bridge and into the forest. They could get lost for hours running around the woods, and exploring the land that would one day belong to them.
Isabelle was thirteen years old and perfectly content in her life. She maybe never thought there was anything spectacular about herself, but she didn’t know self loathing either. She was average height, if a bit skinny for her age, with shoulder length blonde, curly hair. She had blue eyes, but not sky blue; more like the sky on a rainy overcast day. Her mother told her she was beautiful, and she guessed she believed it, but it never really factored much into her life. She was too busy playing in the mud with her brother to care too much about her looks, and she had few people to compare herself too.
Sebastian was the spitting image of his father. Tall for his age, and even at eleven, looking every day more like a grown man. He had dirty blonde hair that he always kept haphazardly long and messy. He had the bright blue eyes that Isabelle always thought she was missing; sky blue, on a clear and cloudless day.
One day, by the murky waters outside the castle walls, the two children stood by the water’s edge, daring one another to jump in. “It’s too dirty!” Isabelle yelled. “It’s too deep!” Sebastian replied. But they both laughed loudly and continued to push one another closer to the edge. It was a sunny day outside, and without the prospect of lessons on the horizon, they were free to do as they pleased.
Isabelle and Sebastian reached the edge of the forest. Past the point of no return. It felt to them that if they took these next few steps, there would be absolutely no turning back. They knew they had to continue on, knew that for the sake of their kingdom they had no choice, but those next few steps were still the hardest they ever had to make.
After a brief pause, and a brief glimpse into each others eyes, both Sebastian and Isabelle stepped forward. Out of the forest, out of Baldonnel, and into the unknown. From here, they didn’t know what to expect, whether they could handle it, and what would be waiting in the lurking new world that now surrounded them.
To get their minds off of their newfound fears, they began idly chatting about nothing, but the importance of their words grew greater the farther they stepped away from home. Because although White Wood forest could seem scary and spooky at times when the shadows stretched across the open spaces between the trees, when noises like the creaking of trees followed them, echoing loudly no matter where they were; it was still their forest. They belonged there, as did the rest of their village, and it was there they felt most safe. But out beyond the safety they had always found in the trees, there was the unknown, and wasn’t that the scariest of all foes?