Beccijo of theenchantedcupboard requested a story where the toys of NaturalKids come to life in the fairy ring of mushrooms that the Halloween Fairy brought for Lucia, and I came up with an odd little tale. After I wrote and edited it a bit, I wondered if I were merely repeating the motifs of the Pertwee Family chronicles written in 2006.
Remember, as with all of the stories for my Local Story Writing Month challenge, this is a rough draft that's posted to entertain you and spur me on to write with imagination. If you would like to leave a comment that indicates you read the story, "Marked as read" is perfectly acceptable. I will not respond to comments except to say "Thank you" because once the story is out there, I need to step away from it. My reciprocity will manifest itself in leaving friendly comments on your blogs if you have them.
DOWN AND OUT IN THE ENCHANTED CUPBOARD
Nomi watched in terror as the Giant Hands reached for her sisters and brothers. Her siblings cowered in their tissue-paper beds. “Run!” they called as the hands reached down again. Nomi couldn’t run, as she had no legs, so she rolled behind a padded envelope and held her breath.
“Hmmm,” a voice said. “I was sure that little red-haired fairy was in here with the others.” Nomi held her breath as the long fingers poked among the pieces of tissue-paper that once cradled her siblings. The Giant Hands withdrew, the doors closed, and Nomi heard the latch of the Enchanted Cupboard slide into place.
Nomi could not remember her life prior to the Enchanted Cupboard. All she knew was that once she was not, but when she opened her eyes for the first time, she was.
Sometimes, Nomi dreamed she was part of a shivering forest, but when she woke, she found herself once again in the communal comfort that was the Enchanted Cupboard. Numerous brothers and sisters pushed her on swings and gave her piggy-back rides. They sang her to sleep and told her stories of the magicians who had created the Enchanted Cupboard for all the people who lived behind the doors.
Then, the brothers and sisters began to disappear. Nomi didn’t understand how they had gone, but the new brothers and sisters who arrived soon after reassured her that they would stay. However, they left as well. Nomi never saw them leave and assumed they had slipped out by a secret way. That was before she saw the Giant Hands.
That night, when the cupboard doors closed, Nomi was alone. There were no brothers or sisters to tell her stories or sing her songs. Nomi wanted to hide under the tissue-paper blankets, but knew that the Giant Hands would not cease searching until she was found. She decided that it was time to leave the Enchanted Cupboard and make her own way in the world.
Nomi pushed against the doors of the cupboard, but they did not budge. She knew the doors weren’t locked, but the latch on the other side barred her from escape. Nomi cleared her throat, and squeaked loudly. After several squeaks, she heard the padding of soft paws and a scratch at the door. The paws thumped and thunked with impatience as Nomi continued her best impression of a mouse. Then the latch moved, the door swung open, and Nomi had a new challenge: the household cat.
The cat was disappointed that Nomi was no mouse, but decided that she’d make an excellent cat toy instead. The heat of the cat’s breath made Nomi’s hair curl. “Back off!” she yelled at the cat. She leapt as high as she could and bonked the cat on the nose. The cat hissed, and Nomi rolled away under the cupboard.
“Hey kid, what are you doing here?” a dust bunny snarled. “Get out of here. Shoo.” Nomi sneezed and rolled on.
Morning came. Nomi peered up from under the Enchanted Cupboard. On the other side of the room, she saw a table with a forest full of vivid green trees. A fairy ring of red and white mushrooms gleamed invitingly. “This is where I am supposed to go,” Nomi said. “This is the forest from my dreams.” She made her way to the fairy ring by hopping (unfortunately, her wings were only painted on), and landed right in the middle.
“Aha, there you are,” a voice said. “But how did you get all the way over to the mushroom ring?” Oh horrors, it was the Giant Hands. Nomi howled. It was unfair. As the hands scooped her up, Nomi tried to bite the hands.
“You poor little doll,” the Giant Hands said. “You must have felt so lonely in the Enchanted Cupboard. Well, you will have plenty of company where you are headed.” Nomi felt herself falling down into a mesh net. To her surprise, the mushrooms followed. Nomi examined them closely. The red mushrooms with white spots were reminiscent of the deadly amanita muscaria toadstools, but these mushrooms were neither poisonous nor edible. Like her, they were made of wood. They couldn’t talk (they were mushrooms after all), but Nomi found some comfort in being surrounded by them. Nomi was surprised when the Giant Hands tucked into the mesh bag a silk blanket, soft as spider-webs but colorful as fall leaves.
For several days, Nomi traveled in darkness. She was jostled repeatedly, but cushioned herself with the silk blanket. Then, finally, she saw daylight again. A smaller pair of hands lifted her out of the bag and said, “Look! A fairy doll came with the mushroom fairy ring.” Nomi was set down upon a flat surface along with her silk blanket and eleven red and white mushrooms. She saw other people upon the table. Some were made of wood and others out of wool.
“Welcome to our table!” they called out.
That night, Nomi sat with her new friends among the wooden mushrooms of the fairy ring. For the first time, she was the storyteller. She told the story of the Giant Hands and her adventures in and out of the Enchanted Cupboard, the very one that I have just told you.