Walking in the warm summer rain was an adorable young girl. Her face was riddled with fear, confusion and hope. She held in her hands a piece of paper with an address written on it. She had received the letter a few days ago. It was addressed specifically to her. The girl had followed the road she was on, to the address printed on the letter. The girl found herself standing outside a rather large and ominous looking iron gate. There were vines growing on the hinges which twisted their way onto the grey metal and small flower buds protruded from the green vines. The girl pushed the gate open and then passed through it. As she passed through the gate she felt something inside her change. She took a deep breath and closed the gate behind her. She slowly walked up the cobblestone pathway and saw yet another gate up ahead.
The cobblestone felt funny under her feet as she walked, it made her giggle. Her cheeks felt hot under her hands as she giggled to herself in the rain. Her short brown hair plastered to her tiny head and her clothes clung to her tiny body. She knew she was cold, her hands were white as sheets, yet she did not feel cold. Her nose was running and her ears burned but she did not feel cold. Again there stood a tall vine covered gate before her. This time there stood a soldier in front of the gate. He wore a bright red cloth military suite. It was a simple suite with lines of white cloth trimming along the cuffs and middle of his suite. He had pressed against his chest a long rifle. He glanced down at her but did nothing more. The girl went to open the gate like she did with the other one, but the soldier blocked her way. Without knowing why, the girl showed the soldier her letter. The soldier looked at the piece of paper, raised an eye brow and opened the gate. The girl tucked the letter back into her wet pants and passed through.
As she passed through the gate she was welcomed into a grand courtyard, complete with a fountain. The pathway wrapped about both sides of the fountain. Around the fountain were various statues and shrubs decorated with pretty flowers. She walked to the end of the courtyard, amazed at the splendor she saw before her. She stopped at the end of the path to look at the white citadel towering over her. There were gargoyles perched on every corner of the building. Tall towers protruded from the building making it almost look like a castle, there was something very inviting about the building. The front door of the citadel was propped open a bit. From within the citadel appeared an old man. He wore a black and white suite with shiny black shoes. The man closed the door behind him as he approached the girl.
“Hello there. My name is George and I will show you where to go.” His voice was friendly and so was he. The girl timidly followed the man back to the citadel doors.
Once inside, the girl’s eyes had to adjust to the faint lighting. When her eyes had adjusted she gasped. She was standing in the biggest hallway she had even been in. The floors were covered in a deep red velvet and the walls were planked with oak wood. The scent from the wood made the hallway smell so good. Paintings and fancy pottery sat upon shelves placed along to hall. The man led her down the hallway and into a lobby area where he bid her goodbye and instructed her to wait there. The girl found a large, green chair and sat. Her cloths had started to dry now and her hair no longer felt wet. Out of the silence of the lobby came the sound of rushed footsteps. There from the far end of the lobby the girl could see a plump stout woman racing towards her. The woman wore a purple dress and square glasses. As she waddled her heels scrapped upon the stone floor, and her cheeks were bright red. The woman held a stack of papers in her arms. There were papers flying into the arm as the woman walked. The girl was frightened by this woman. The plump woman went to the girl and studied her.
“Where is your letter?” The woman asked her, her voice weak as she was out of breath. The girl pulled the letter out of her pants pocket and gave it to the woman. A small smile appeared upon the woman’s fat face, her eyes suddenly seemed nice. The girl smiled at her.
“Please, come with me.” The woman said a little louder now that she had regained some of her composer.
The girl walked behind the purple dressed woman. The woman escorted the girl down another hallway where they took a set of stairs up to another level of the citadel. There the woman brought the girl down a hallway to a large wooden door. Before the woman knocked she fixed her hair and flattened her dress. She knocked and waited a minute before she opened the door. Sun light poured in through the large cathedral sized window in the back of the room dowsing the room in golden rays. Towards the back of the room was a long wooden desk. Sitting behind the desk was an older looking gentleman. He had a white mustache, short gray hair, and a gold ring on his left hand. He looked up from the book he was reading as the two women entered the room. The plump woman went to his side, whispered something in his ear, and then handed him the girl’s letter. The man looked at it for a moment and then placed it on his desk. The woman rushed by the little girl, leaving her alone with the man. The man stood and walked out from behind his desk. He sat stately upon the rim of the desk.
“Please, sit down.” The man motioned to one of the chairs in front of his desk. The girl timidly walked over to the chair farthest away from the man.
“What is your name my dear girl?” He asked her kindly. She swallowed.
“It is Marin.” She squeaked. He smiled.
“That is a very sweat name, Marin.” He replied to her.
“Why am I here?” She questioned him. He gazed out the window and then returned his attention to the little girl.
“You are here for many reasons, but I am not the one you should be asking that question. It is you. You are the only one who can answer that question. I know this all sounds very confusing right now, but I promise it will make sense soon.” He explained to her kindly.
“Ok.” She replied.
“Now, you look tired and I am sure you must be hungry after that long walk you took to get here?” He clapped his hands together. Marin thought for a moment, she was hungry and tired.
“I am.” Marin replied as she stood with her hand to her belly.
“Lauren.” The old man called. The woman in the purple dress returned to the room.
“Marin here needs something to eat, some new cloths and a bed to sleep in.” He told her, the woman nodded and waited for Marin to join her.
“Come on Marin, I will show you to your room.” Lauren spoke as she closed the door behind them, the old man vanishing within the room.
They walked down a small hallway and at the end of the hall was a set of golden doors. Lauren pressed a button next to the doors and they opened. Marin had only been in one of these before when she was much younger. The two of them entered into the small carpeted room. The doors shut, Lauren pushed another button and the room began to descend. The last time Marin was in an elevator she was with her mother, they had been on vacation. There weren’t any elevators where Marin lived, only stairs. The elevator stopped, the doors opened and they exited. Lauren walked Marin down the long hallway to a door. The number on the door was 566.
“Marin, here is a key to this room. This is the room where you will be sleeping.” Lauren held out her hand, the small golden key lay within. Marin took the key from the woman.
“I have to go now. When you get hungry, got to the elevator and push the button that has the number four on it. That will take you to the cafeteria. Ok?” Lauren said. Marin looked into the woman’s eyes, they were so kind.
“Ok. Thank you.” Marin replied. She watched as Lauren returned to the elevator leaving her alone in the white hallway. Marin had seen her mother unlocking doors before and was sure she could do this. Marin placed the key in the lock and turned it, the door popped open. She smiled at herself as she entered the room and shut the door behind her.
The room she found herself in was different. The walls were painted a coral color with hints of dark red, the floors were wooden with some area rugs. The bed was placed against the far wall in the room, which looked exactly like her old bed at home. The comforter was the same horse design as the one back at her home and the pillows were the same, even her horse stuffy was there. She ran over to the bed, jumped onto it and grasped her stuffy. How it made her feel safe. She lay in her bed for several minutes holding her stuffy. A tiny desk was placed next to her bed facing out at a window. She heard kids laughing outside. Marin, still holding her stuffy, looked out her window.
There was a small group of kids, about six or so, all of which were about Marin’s age. They were playing duck, duck goose. Marin loved playing that game, she never won, but it was fun. She watched them as they played. In the group was a young boy, he was darker skinned with black hair and wide spread eyes. He wore blue pants and a red t-shirt. Just then the boy looked up into Marin’s window, their eyes meet. He smiled at her and waved. Marin blushed and waved back. The boy then returned his attention to the game. Marin sat watching them play their game.
Loud banging woke Marin, someone was at her door. She looked out the window, it was dark. Had she fallen asleep? She didn’t remember. Marin went to the door and opened it, there standing in the doorway was the little boy she had seen playing. He was smiling at her.
“Hi, my name is Michael, what’s yours?” He asked her excitedly.
“It is Marin.” She replied.
“They are serving dinner now and I was wondering if you wanted to eat?” Michael asked her. She was hungry.
“Yes.” She said excitedly. Michael smiled an even bigger smile. Marin closed the door to her room she joined Michael in the elevator. The two little kids stood silently in the elevator as it brought them to their destination.
“Have you ever been in one of these before?” Michael asked her loudly.
“Yes, but we were on vacation then.” She replied.
“I live in a building where my dad and I take one every day to go home. They are fun to ride!” He was a happy little boy. Marin smiled as he made beeping noises. The elevator beeped and the doors opened. Marin followed Michael out into a hallway, at the end of the hall there was a large arch way which lead to the cafeteria. The two of them walked into the cafeteria. Marin saw hundreds of people from all age groups there.
“I will show you where I sit.” Michael said as he took her hand. He took a seat in the back of the room where there was a small group of younger kids collected. Marin sat next to Michael. None of the other kids paid her any attention. Michael gave Marin a plate with macaroni and cheese and chicken fingers.
“I love mac and cheese and chicken fingers!” Michael told her, so did she.
“Why are you here?” Marin asked as she put a large spoon of pasta into her mouth. Michael swallowed.
“I was hurt in my head.” He replied, he did not seem fazed by what he told her.
“Hurt in your head?” She asked him.
“Yes, my dad was driving, it was dark. I love chicken.” He spoke through a mouth full of food.
“Why are you here?” He asked Marin. This caught her off guard. She was about to tell him she did not remember when suddenly she did.
It was late and Marin was tired. Her mother and she had been on the road all day. Marin was coming back from visiting with her father, who lived far away. She only saw him every other weekend and on holidays. They pulled into the drive and Marin’s mom carried her inside. Her mom placed Marin on her bed and left the room. Marin had forgotten she climbed out of her bed. She had gone to the stairs to call to her mother. The phone rang, and the dog ran by Marin, Marin fell.
“Ma’am, you are going to have to wait out here in the waiting room. The doctor will be out in a minute” Said a nurse to an exhausted looking woman. The woman clung to a horse stuffy, her purse and her phone. She wore a blue winter jacket and pajama pants. Her long brown hair was put up into a pony tail. It was the middle of the night and the emergency room was quiet. The woman had been waiting for almost an hour now, waiting to see how her little girl was doing. The woman sat anxiously in one of the waiting room chairs. Finally the doctor came out to speak with her. The doctor was a young man and he had grim look upon his face as he sat next to her.
“Deb, your daughter Marin hit her head pretty hard when she fell down the stairs. We stopped the bleeding and the swelling has stopped.” He paused as he made eye contact with her.
“She is stable and her vitals are fine…she’s in a coma and I cannot say when or if she will ever wake.” He told her. Deb wept. The doctor held her hands.
“I know this is hard news, but she is young and the young heal quickly.” He explained. The doctor showed Deb to her daughter’s hospital room. Deb stayed by her daughter’s side the whole night, crying.
The next morning Deb went to the hospital cafeteria, she needed to eat something and get out of the hospital room. She sat alone at a table, sipping coffee as she pulled out a picture of her daughter. She put the picture down and saw an equally dismayed looking man. He had a tray of food in his hands and he looked ragged. She waved him over to site with her, her table being the only one with an open seat. He sat down and thanked her.
“Thank you. I was worried I might have to eat this in my son’s room.” He told her as he opened his coffee.
“Oh, your son is being treated here?” She asked him politely. He shrugged his shoulders.
“I guess that is what you call it. He was treated when he came in, now he is being monitored.” He said this like a question, Deb looked confused.
“We were in a car crash last week…he’s been in a comma ever since.” He told her, his eyes watering up. Agony pained her chest as he listened to him.
“I am so sorry.” Deb told him. He waved his hand at her.
“Why are you here?” He questioned her. It took her a moment to respond.
“My daughter…she fell…down the stairs last night…they say they don’t know when she will wake up.” She could feel the tears and sorrow welling up inside her. The man pulled out his wallet and withdrew a small picture from it. He placed it on the table so that Deb could see the young boy in the picture.
“Oh he is adorable. How old is he?” She asked.
“That strapping young boy is Michael and he’s nine years old this past October. He loves to run that boy.” Deb smiled as she too placed her daughter’s picture on the table.
“This is my sweet little girl, Marin, she turns ten this March. She loved to ride horses.”
Marin and Michael’s bodies will lay trapped in motionless sleep, their souls now freed of their physical form.
Page | 11
Marin, a young girl, finds herself wondering down a long lonely road where she is headed she does not know. Marin finally comes across a large castle where she is left with many questions. Why is she here, how did she get here, will she ever be able to return home? The headmaster of the castle answers the questions he can, but leaves Marin wondering and wanting to know more. While Marin is being introduced she meets a young boy, who will become very important to her. In what way, she does not know yet. This boy makes Marin warm and feel welcome in this odd and strange place she has found herself in. What will happen to Miran and the boy? Will Marin ever find out what the Castle is?