Bridget's Adventures in the Towel Cupboard
Part One: The Beginning of the Whole Thing
Once upon a time there was a young girl named Bridget. She had chestnut hair and dark eyes and was extremely attractive and ever so funny and charming and intelligent and….. well, anyway, one day she was sitting in her room, reading a book she had read only once before, and thinking to herself, “Wouldn’t it be nice if there really was magic? I bet there is; I just haven’t found it yet. I’ll find it one day, just wait and see.” It was at this moment her mother called her in to do dishes. Bridget groaned. Dishes had to be her least favorite chore in the world. “Change the towel before you start, Bridget.” her mother said. The towel was just something to set the dishes on, as they had far too many dishes to set all of them on the dish rack.
The towel cupboard was an intimidating structure, tall, wide, and deep. Now you ask me, ‘Writer, how can a towel cupboard be intimidating? It’s just a towel cupboard.’ Aha, maybe so, but this was a special towel cupboard, and although it was not obvious, certain people could sense that this was no ordinary towel cupboard, and Bridget was one of these.
There were no towels in the front. Crud, they must all be in the laundry, she thought. She reached back farther just to make sure, and a sweet smell, like warm grass and roses, hit her in the face. Her mother must have placed one of those sachets in the back. But it smelled fresher than that. Curious, she climbed up to the shelf it seemed to seemed to be coming from and crawled farther in. This cupboard was the type that was large enough for that.
The smell became stronger, and sweeter, and Bridget went forward a few more feet. It was then that she realized that this cupboard should have stopped by now. “If this were magic,” she thought, “there would be grass, not just wood. The cupboard doesn’t go on forever.” And then, there was grass. Soft, lush, beautifully green grass, and the wood floor of the cupboard disappeared. When she looked behind her, there was no trace of the towel cupboard at all. It was like a dream. “Like magic.” she thought.
It was twilight here, the moon just starting to peek above the horizon on one side, and the sun just setting in a splendor of purple and orange and pink at the other. There were roses all around, and the grass was still warm underfoot. There was no one about, it seemed. It was quiet and peaceful, and everyone knows it is rarely so when there are humans around. Or any creatures, for that matter.
She wondered if anyone had ever lived here, and where she was, and if it had a name. “Well,” she thought, “if no one lives here, then I suppose I’ll have to name it myself.” She strolled along, bending and smelling a rose here, – oh, they were every color: deep purple, ocean blue, midnight black, blood red, brilliant orange, and the brightest of pinks, and they smelled heavenly – touching the softness of the grass there, and feeling the magic in the air, as she pondered names in her mind.
It could have been an hour later, and it could have been just minutes – time had no value there – when she looked up and gasped at the stars. Now she knew what people meant when they said the stars looked as if you could touch them. She actually tried to, and was certain she was just an inch away – if she were only just the slightest bit taller! They were larger and brighter and, quite simply, just more real.
Up until now, there had been no trees, at least not that she had noticed. Now, pines randomly dotted the landscape before her. They were dark green and majestic, rising high over her head. Somehow, straining to look at the tips of them, she realized she was tired, and she yawned impressively. Searching for a place to sleep, her eyes fell upon a smaller tree, a baby tree, really, and the soft grass underneath. She fell asleep moments after she lay her head down.
Something was growling, Bridget realized, quietly maybe, but definitely growling. She wasn’t sure if she should open her eyes, but curiosity overcame her, and she tentatively opened them just a little. Nothing was there. Except grass and trees, and – where on earth? Then she remembered. She also realized she was starving. That had been the growling noise, she guessed. At least, she hoped so. But it seemed as uninhabited as it had the night before. She would need water and food – soon.
Pulling herself up, she looked around her. The sky was endlessly blue, not a cloud in sight. To the right was the rose land. She didn’t know what else to call it; you couldn’t exactly call it a garden. To her left were trees; farther on, they thickened and became a forest. She wanted to go back through the bower of roses, but she had seen no food or water there, and from what she had read, you could find berries and roots in the forest. She didn’t exactly know how one would go about digging up the correct roots, but she knew how to pick berries, and which ones were and were not poisonous, assuming the berries here were the same as the ones at home.
So she set off for the forest. The forest was beautiful. The trees were dark green, and sweet-smelling pine needles were scattered over the ground. As she walked, she heard nothing. “There should be something – maybe birds chirping, or squirrels and rabbits chasing each other – but something.” But there was nothing. The silence wasn’t ominous, just – silence – but it was beginning to make her wonder. Why were there flowers blooming at every turn and trees towering high, but no animals? Why was there grass, and water rushing if – water rushing! She ran towards the direction it came from. When she reached it, she stood transfixed, gazing down at the miracle in front of her.
A small stream trickled and danced across rose-colored stones – no, that’s wrong, roses seemed to be every color there – across deep pink stones that lay on a bed of pure silver. She reached down into it. Water lapped at her arm as she fingered the silver dust that lay at the bottom. “Fairy dust.” she thought. “It must be.” She cupped her hand and dipped out some of the water. It was clear, pure-tasting, but it also had a hint of raspberry.
After she had drunk her fill, she stood up to get her bearings. Where were her bearings? She couldn’t seem to find them. Instead of bearings, she found berries. They were small and purple and entirely unfamiliar, but she had no choice. They were sweet, and apparently nonpoisonous.
What seemed like hours later, she stepped out of the forest and into the sunshine. She was on top of a hill. Below her was the forest; farther away was a patch of colors. “That must be the rose bower.” she thought. Other than that, everything was green. Until she looked up. The mountains above her were brown, yellow and gray. Dead. It made her feel sick. Behind her, a pair of green eyes watched closely.