Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Cave

   As I run along the side of the creek in the dappled sunlight, I can't hear anything but the gurgling of the water and the autumn wind zipping past my ears. I struggle to keep up with Dorian as I dodge large rocks and muddy spots on the ground. Finally, we reach the place where we can cross the river, and I let him go first. A fallen tree that is just wide enough to walk across and not break, but I crouch down as I cross, trying not to look down at the cold river below. My heart beats in my ears as I step onto the bank on the other side, walking quickly from the steep edge that would send me into the river.
   I sit down at the base of a large tree as Dorian climbs into the lower branches, and starts picking at the twigs and leaves on the branch he is sitting on. I look up at him, holding my hand up to shield my eyes from the suns rays as it drops below the trees. 
"Should we go back?" I ask as I begin to worry.
"No, we just got here. What, you  don't trust your brother to find his way back?" he replies, dropping leaves down on me as he laughs.
"Little brother," I say as I wave my hands to swat the leaves away from my face, "And I only agreed to come with you because you said there was, something amazing."
"Come on, Agnes," he tries to persuade me as he climbs down the tree, and starts walking further away from the river. 
   I get up hesitantly, and walk quickly to catch up with him. We go uphill for awhile, the trees around us getting taller and the branches getting thinner as we walk on a dusty path. I struggle to keep up with Dorian's relentless pace as I feel sweat coating my dusty face. He shouts something ahead, and waves his hand at me, and I struggle to catch up with him as I grab at the hems of my skirt so I can walk quickly.
"What? Are we there?" I ask, out of breath as I look around.
"Yes, we just need to go down there," he replies as he gestures to the cliff side beside us.
   I give him a look of shock as I lean forward to look down. There is a small rocky path against the cliffs that leads down the side of the mountain. He grabs my hand and tugs me toward the path, taking a step forward to show me it's okay.
"Dorian, this is ridiculous. We're going to fall," I say as I glare at him.
"Please, just trust me, I'll help you down. You won't believe what is in there," he replies as he grins at me.
"In where?" I ask, worry showing on my face.
"The cave. That's where we're going. Please, just let me show you."
   I reluctantly take a step forward, holding onto his hand tightly as we make our way down the side of the mountain. I try to look forward as we turn a corner, and I see the cave's opening. I sigh in relief as I walk a little quicker, still not letting go of Dorian as we enter the cave. A steady stream runs out of the cave and off the cliff and I take my shoes off and hold them in my hands as I step into the cold water. I follow him into  the cave, and as the setting sun's light stops illuminating the way, I begin seeing countless blue string-like things hanging from the roof of the cave.
"What are those?" I ask quietly as I reach up to touch one, standing on my toes in the cold water.
"They're glow worms," Dorian answers quietly as if talking loudly would disrupt the placid atmosphere of the cave. 
   My eyes widen as I curiously touch one above me, watching as it pulses dark then light again. I lose track of everything else as I walk speechless through the cave, looking around at the beautiful life around me.
"It's like the stars, Dorian," I whisper as I look over at him, seeing a his face silhouetted by the blue lights glowing above and beside him.
"I know. I knew you would like it."
"I don't want to leave, it's so beautiful," I whisper as I look over at him sadly.
   As I continue walking into the cave, I run my hand across the cold stone walls, the water nearly up to my knees. I look ahead, seeing the water slope upward into a rounded tunnel. I pull Dorian along as I nearly crawl up the steep passageway. I reach a large cavern at the end, with a seemingly endless ceiling covered in layers of glowing blue. A clear pond sits in the center of the cavern, and I can see the shallow bottom with the glow from the ceiling. 
"It must be really late, Dorian. Should we go? We don't want to be forbidden from going on adventures again," I whisper, listening to my voice echo softly around the cavern.
"Yes, but we have to come back," he whispers back, tracing lines in the gravel on the ground with his foot.
I turn back, carefully making my way down through the tunnel into the front part of the cave. We walk quickly, admiring the quiet beauty as we wish it a silent farewell. Dorian stops at the entrance to the cave, and I turn around to look at him. He crouches down, and, with a smooth rock he picked up from the cavern, traces some letters into the sand-like gravel.
"Agnes," I read as he stands up.
"So everyone knows that the cave is yours," he says simply.
"Thank you very much Dorian," I say quietly as I smile at him.
   He puts the rock in my hand, which I tuck away in my pocket, and I put my shoes back on my feet. We make it back to the top of the hill, and run all the way down to the river through the skeletal silhouettes of trees. I stop, my legs weak from all the running, and look at the log bridge. I let Dorian go first, and I walk close behind him, trying to keep my balance. I feel the log shake around and see him struggling to keep his balance. He waves his arms in the air as he starts losing his footing on the log, and I panic. I lunge forward and grab him by his shirt collar, pulling him back to stand up. My heart is beating in my ears as I step off the log, still holding onto him.
"You have to be careful!" I exclaim as I walk with him away from the edge, worry still eclipsing all my other thoughts.
"I'm alright Agnes, I just don't want to get home too late. I was trying to hurry," he explains as we walk.
   We make our way through the trees that stretch up into the cloudy sky like towers and creak in the wind. I see the glow of our home up ahead, a beacon in the fog that has set low on the ground, it's tendrils moving around our ankles as we rush through the forest. I slow my pace as we approach the door, and I push it open slowly, feeling a rush of warmth and the aroma of dinner greet me. Our parents greet us and asked us where we went. I close the door behind Dorian as he tells them we were exploring, and they usher us over to the warm fire. Our mother fusses over us as she sees the state of our clothes. I pick up a notebook from the side table and a pencil and open it to the next blank page, and start writing about the fascinating cave.
   I feel a weight in my pocket and remember the rock that Dorian had given me. I walk out of the main room and into my bedroom. I place the rock in my windowsill, and stop to look out of the window. I observe the dark forest that seems endless from my window, and I watch as the wind makes the trees shake. Dorian comes up to my doorway, and I don't turn around, still mesmerized by the strong trees being shaken by the wind.
"Would you like to go to the cave again?" he asks as I turn to look at him.
"Yes. Let's go tomorrow," I say as excitement shows in my voice.
   I wish him a goodnight and try to go to sleep, looking over at the rock, my reminder that the magical place actually existed. As I drift off to sleep, I see the glowing ceiling behind my eyelids as I dream, and await the next adventure.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Flash Fiction: Chandra's Adventure

As prompted by Chuck Wendig's recent blog post, I have decided to participate in the Flash Fiction Challenge. I chose to choose my 3 words out of the 10 prescribed, which are moon, scorpion and mint. Enjoy:
   The pale moonlight cast a mysterious glow on the earth as Chandra jogged away from her home, her bag slung over her shoulder. As she dashed through the field of soft mint leaves that brushed her ankles like feathers of a bird in flight, she felt free as the cool summer breeze mingled with her curly hair that flew behind her. When her mother found that she had left her studies, she would probably be a nervous wreck, but Chandra let all of her worries go as she inhaled the invigorating aroma of mint that surrounded her.         
Because they had recently moved to this new place, her mother was worried of all the wild animals and poisonous things. She had given Chandra a large book detailing all of the animals, insects, plants, and more that she had the potential of running into in this new place. She remembered what she had been reading about just before she had snuck out of her window to get some air, the Indian Red Scorpion. If stung by one, there were detrimental effects. It was native to her country, and she thought about how it could be skittering on the ground in front of her this very moment. The thought of this made her jump over the mint row to her right into a new one as the hair on the back of her neck tingled at the thought of the creature below her feet. She glanced down the moonlit row as a precautionary measure, and then continued on carelessly.
"Hottentotta tamulus," Chandra whispered under her breath. She had memorized the scientific name of the scorpion, although it seemed like useless information to her. The thought of scorpions fled her mind as she began to see the wall in the distance amidst the haze of the warm summer night. It had seemed so tall when she read about it in books. But in real life it seemed so doddering, maybe standing at a good four meters. As she approached it she slowed, observing every detail. It was composed of thick metal bars, reminding her of a prison, that ran up to a wide bar at the top which all of the vertical bars were fused to. She could easily slip her hand through the bars and reach out to the other side, but what she knew about the other side made her hesitant.
A bright light began to emerge from her left side, which she quickly identified as the headlights of a truck. It was gradually advancing, and she could have easily just stepped to one side and let the car drive past her. But it scared her, having just found this mysterious wall cloaked in shrouded moonlight. So she turned and dashed back towards her home, through the fields, heavy with their fresh aroma. Chandra had thought that she heard a shout behind her, but she didn't look back to investigate, and quickened to a sprint. Once she got back to her house, she quickly climbed the stout tree in her front yard and ducked in through her still open window. Sneaking down the stairs, she found her mother washing a pan in the kitchen. She gave Chandra a questioning look, to which she nervously smiled.
"How were your studies tonight, Chandra?" her mother inquired. "They were wonderful. I learned all about the Indian Red Scorpion," she replied, relieved that her mother didn't seem to notice that she had gone.
"Good. You should probably get to sleep now, you don't want to be too tired tomorrow," her mother suggested, continuing her work.
Chandra turned back up the stairs, jumping up them two at a time, and went to her room. Closing her door, she turned off the light and sat in her windowsill, opening her bag. she took out a leather-bound journal with an intricate weave of shapes all around the border. Opening it to the next empty page, she began to draw the wall and wrote about her late night adventure. Once she had finished, she fell asleep, thinking of the mysterious wall cloaked in moonlight.
The next morning she awoke, braiding her lengthy hair, and quickly put on a midnight blue tunic with golden trim and black leggings. Grabbing her journal and bag, she crept down the stairs, and managed to go out the front door without her mother hearing. The golden sun was just creeping up onto the horizon, a hazy figure in the corner of Chandra's eye. Since the sun was a spotlight on her, Chandra decided to take a lesser-known trail through a few trees to reach the wall. By the time she reached the wall, the sultry air was like a blanket wrapped around her. The dark metal fence was starkly contrasted by a deep blue sky with bits of pink clouds. As she approached the fence, she peered beyond, at the land that seemed so dramatically different than hers. There were small shanties and huts cropped together and a few people were in front of one talking, heads down. A few huts were in a tight circle, and a group of tired elderly men sat around a fire in the middle. There were some women with choppy haircuts that made them look featureless scrubbing away at old clothes in a mud-caked washtub. The strange part for Chandra was that none of them seemed to notice or pay any attention to her. As she walked down further and further, there seemed to be rougher conditions. Chandra stopped in front of what appeared to be a store. Many people were crowded in it, and a few people were selling things just outside the doors. As she leaned closer, fully intrigued, she forgot what she was doing. Before she knew it was happening, there was an angry man with long tangled hair that had taken ahold of her foot.
“Give me all your money! And don’t lie,” he shouted with a deranged look in his eye.
“I don’t have any!” she shouted back, and she lost her balance, falling to the ground.
“I don’t believe you! All of you people have better lives, and pockets full of money,” he snarled back with frightening certainty.
Chandra tried to kick her foot out of his grip, but couldn’t. Two men on the other side had started trying to pry him away, but he was determined. Looking to her right, she saw it. An Indian Red Scorpion right beside her. Grabbing it like the book had instructed her to, she sat up and quickly threw it between the bars and onto the insane man’s coat. He immediately let go, running away and wildly pulling his coat off to avoid getting stung.
“Thank you,” Chandra voiced to the two men who assisted her.
She then turned and ran back home, cutting across the mint fields, leaping across several rows before following an undeviating row to her home. When she got into her front row, panting, she climbed the tree that she had the previous night, and began writing about what had happened amidst the cluster of branches. Although she had had a frightening experience, she was determined to continue adventuring under the veil of moonlight.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

What The Water Gave Me

It was a rather uneventful day in the suburb of Lewes, until Florence decided to wade in the quick, rushing river. As she initially plunged her feet into the icy water, she shouted in surprise. She was headed for the opposite bank, where she had seen a glimmer of something bobbing in the water. She attempted to hold up the edges of her multilayered green dress as she waded deeper into the river. Her teeth began to chatter and sharp pains shot into her submerged legs. But she persisted, and grabbed the shiny locket snagged on the branch. Immediately, she turned around to return to her side of the river. Florence held the locket in her hand above the water in an iron grip, and did not loosen that grip until she had gotten out of the freezing river. Once she was on the shore, she ran back into her house, a cabin a few hundred feet away from the chilling river.
As she sprinted in, nearly slipping, and dripping cold water everywhere, she surprised her brother, who was previously asleep in a chair in front of the crackling fire. After a cruel awakening, he shouted, "What happened Florence?"
"I found a locket in the river
downstream Jacob, take a look at it!" Florence exclaimed.
She opened her hand to reveal a glistening silver circular locket and an equally fine chain that accompanied it. Jacob stood up and began examining it. He lifted it from her hand, searching for engravings to signify the owner.
"Ah!," Jacob stammered, "It-it seems to have some initials and a note engraved into the back."
"What does it say?" Florence questioned.
"To my love, your words mean more than you will ever know," he read, "Then there are the initials L.W."
Florence thought about all of the kind folks she had met at the market, and what their initials were. She thought about the Williams, but realized no one in that family had L as their first initial. But then, she remembered the secluded couple she had seen leaving town many times, and calling the town doctor on many occasions. It belonged to the Woolfs, who were Leonard and Virginia. She had heard from the grocer once that Virginia was a writer.
Florence voiced her realization with Jacob. She planned to find the Woolfs next time she was in town to return the lovely locket, and ask Virginia how she lost the locket.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Holland Road

As I looked up and gazed into the sky, I felt a cold drop fall on my cheek. I felt another on my outstretched hand soon after. Within a minute, hundreds of snowflakes were slowly making their descent towards the ground all around me. The ground crunched underneath my footfalls with the increasing cover of snow.
Up ahead, I saw a street lamp flicker on. The next, and the next lamp lit up following the first. This pattern continued down the long street, gradually lighting my way. Soon, I recognized the sign that read 'Holland Road', and turned down it. Skeletal trees encompassed me on both sides as I walked down the ancient cobblestone path. I maneuvered around a few indents in the road filled with an slush. After awhile, the old cobblestone path turned into a bumpy dirt road. The path turned a corner, and suddenly the skeletal trees surrounding me disappeared as the road began downhill. I tried to control my pace down the steep and winding hill, but the combination of speed and ice did not help.
I nearly slipped as I came to a halt at the gates blocking the road. Fishing in my left coat pocket, I found a black, skinny, and ice cold key and turned it in the lock on the gate. I removed the key from the lock and pushed the gate open. Walking though, I pushed the gate closed behind me with my foot. The rough downhill road gradually turned into a smooth rolling slope. Shrubs dotted the landscape along with numerous boulders, all vaguely visible in the darkness that swept over the hills. Although the stars shone clear on the moor surrounding me, they were only a dim spotlight to the beauty that was all around. The moor appeared slightly green, for the northern lights were casting a green hue across the land. Mesmerized, I nearly stumbled off of the path multiple times. The northern lights weren't supposed to appear here until 1868, but a year early wasn't bad at all. But soon, I saw the lights of a warm home up ahead. I quickened my pace, excited to arrive. The icy gravel crunched under my boots as I walked up to the door. I took a deep breath and rapped on the door four times. I heard the quick pattering of feet inside the house, and locks being undone on the door. The heavy door creaked open slowly, as a woman looked at me from behind it. Her face was thin along with her her fingers, and her black hair hung limply by the sides of her face. Her brown eyes widened as she took in who I was. She pulled the door open fully and embraced me tightly, as if the winter winds would sweep me away if she let go.
"Erlina" I whispered, surprised.
"Alastar! I didn't expect you for another month! How are you?" Erlina inquired.
"I'm wonderful now that I'm back!" I replied, smiling.
We walked into the kitchen, and I took my hefty bag off of my shoulders and set it on the kitchen table. As I began unloading it, Erlina got a look of astonishment on her pale face.
"There's more than enough food here for the winter Alastar. I thought your brother wasn't sending any more for at least a fortnight!" Erlina exclaimed.
"I know, it took my by surprise. I left as soon as I received it." I commented,"It looks like we will make it through this famine after all."

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hopeful Wanderer

Aikaterine walked swiftly on the path, silently traveling through the active forest around her. Colorful dragonflies flew past as bright red birds with gold-tipped wings shot after them. Ancient owls hooted boldly from their perches in the purple hued trees that were spread across the hills. Small luminous plants grew on the trunks of the trees and were sprinkled around on the ground. As she advanced further down the mossy path, she began to hear the violent smash of the salt water waves onto the rocky shore. Quickening her pace, she passed through a monumental archway, engraved with many engraved runes that told stories of the ancient forest and its inhabitants. The way was illuminated by the outstanding marker and its tales of the past. She stopped, tapping one of the runes, and felt connected, in that instant, to a past people and time.
A few yards ahead, she caught sight of a grouping of small buildings on a hill. After passing by a multitude of small cottages, she began down the other side of the hill, and saw a glimpse of the coast. Running rapidly down the hill, all she could hear was the cool wind whistling past her ears. A pale white fox dashed out in front of Aikaterine, nearly tripping her. But she regained her balance and soon enough reached the shores of the great ocean.
The strong winds that blew off the waves whipped through her loose red hair as she walked beside the sea. In the distance she could see the boat docks. As Aikaterine neared the docks, she could see several of the citizens of the town she had just passed through fishing off the docks. The docks stretched far off of the shore, so it took Aikaterine awhile to reach the end. She greeted the fisherman, who politely greeted her back. Walking to the boat dock just a few feet ahead, she greeted a fellow traveller. They conversed, and determined that they were going to the same place. Aikaterine, tired from her extensive journey, sat on a nearby crate and set her bag beside her. She stretched her feet in her tall leather boots.
After a short while, the ship that Aikaterine was waiting for became visible on the horizon. Within several minutes, the ship began to turn as to approach the dock sideways. She stood upon its arrival to the dock, and waited to board until it had been cleared for loading.
Once she had found the small cabin that she had rented for the two day trip across the ocean, she rested in her bed. Waking with an abrupt bump from the ship, Aikaterine got out of the bed and groggily went out into the deck. A beautiful sunset shot color into the sky and reflected over the calm ocean waves. The brilliant sun colored everything a dim red as stars began to peek out at the edges of the grand display. Aikaterine stayed out on the deck, even after the sun had sunk below the waves and the stars dazzled in the dark sky. The moon was just a sliver of light in the dark, calm night.
As Aikaterine came closer to a new destination and drifted farther away from her home, she felt at peace. For wherever she could ever go, the beauty of the world would never cease to show itself.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Chasing The Sun

The pollution clouded the sun and the wind was hot and full of dry dust. The citizens rushed to their destinations, cloth wraps over their mouth to protect from the dust. It was not clear because of all of the dust that stuck to and covered every surface, but everyone seemed to dress in a similar color of light brown.
One man stood out from the crowd. With a fitted black coat covering his tall figure and long dark brown pants that barely covered his ankles, clad with white socks. he strolled quickly down the street, looking as if he had important work to do elsewhere. His blue and grey eyes were shielded by a pair of antique riding goggles. His brown hair was slicked back and did not move although the winds persisted. A minute smile shone on his symmetrical face.
The man began to increase his speed and was nearly jogging. The surrounding citizens have him strange looks and began to point and whisper.
He started into a quick run, as he rushed past people, scaring and confusing most of them. One of them shouted angrily at him as he rushed past, determined to not stop.
Large clouds rolled in and only the lights on the street lit his way. An authority was chasing him, shouting at him to stop immediately. But he easily outran the out-of-shape authority, who eventually stopped, giving up on the chase and gasping for air.
Then he saw it, the separation. It was a 31 foot fence made up of everything from old boards to large pieces of concrete. With a running start, he jumped up and with his right hand caught ahold of a rather large fence post sticking out of the wall horizontally about 5 feet from the ground. He swung his left arm up to the bottom shelf on a small bookcase embedded in the barrier. His feet scrambled up and found footholds in the mass. By now, the authority had alerted the other authorities, who had let out large ferocious dogs. The man quickly began climbing higher. By the time the dogs reached him, he was a good 15 feet above them. He quickened his pace, knowing that the authorities had firearms and didn't care for his life, especially if he was about to defy their biggest rule, do not leave.
He was about 22 feet up and, as he predicted, the authorities began to fire at him, not caring for his life. A few bullets came extremely close to him, but he continued on. Then he made it to the top. He opened his black coat, revealing rope attached to a harness that was secured to him. He tied the en of the rope to a large steel cable
Protruding out of a gargantuan block of cement. Then he began to propel quickly down the other side of the wall. Soon, he felt the ground, but here it was luscious and soft, for it was a blanket of grass and soft moss. He turned and saw thousands of trees filling the hills that laid ahead of him. Birds soared overhead and the sun shone brightly into his eyes so that he was disoriented. Then someone walked in from of him and handed him sunglasses. He immediately switched his goggles for the sunglasses and recognized the person. It was his sister, Molica who had been separated from him by the wall.
"Hello Tom." Molica said, smiling at her brother.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Winter Winds

Louise was 14 years old when she first saw her after the tragedy. Her aunt, Gottlieben, was a kind woman. She had piercing green eyes and wispy grey hair that was always done back into a perfect bun. She wrote in her journal every night, and read many books. Gottlieben was always optimistic, and she treasured her home and even her most distant family.
Louise walked down the hill from the Vietsburg Castle where she lived every day to her aunt's quaint cottage to take care of her. Louise learned how to cook delicious meals, helped her in her grand garden, and assisted her in keeping the house clean. She had done this every single day from the day she turned 10 to nearly her 14th birthday.
One day, Gottlieben and Louise went on a walk around the castle grounds. It was snowing and everything was beautiful and white. The moon lit up the blankets of snow and they sparkled in the night light. They eventually went back to the cottage because the winter winds quickly became too cold.
A few days later, Gottlieben developed pneumonia. Every day, her condition worsened, no matter how much Louise tried to help her get better. She passed away after a few weeks of having the illness, and five days before Christmas.
Louise was utterly heartbroken, and stayed in her room, which was up in the castle turret, most days. She didn't care to open the curtains and look out on the beautiful castle grounds and the town. Instead, she sat at her desk and thought about everything she could've done differently. Was it the cold winter wind that took her aunt? The crack in the wall that made the house a bit colder? She stopped writing in her journal and cooking; for each reminded her greatly of her aunt.
Aunt Gottlieben's will was read to the family, and in it Gottlieben left Louise some of her most beautiful jewelry, such as her beautiful garnet necklace. Louise wore the precious necklace every day so she could have a piece of her aunt close to her heart every hour of the day.
As spring approached, so did Louise's birthday. On her birthday, her mother came into her room and tried to reason with her to go outside and get fresh air. Louise wouldn't go, so her mother dragged her out of her room by her arm. As they descended the old spiraling steps, Louise grasped the garnet necklace with her free hand. They eventually made it outside and Louise's mother told her to get some fresh air, to take in the renewed landscape.
She looked on the grand Vietsburg Castle with new eyes. It seemed as if she had never layed her eyes upon the large turrets and great walls, enveloped in ivy and old trees, slowly climbing with their ancient tendrils across the castle walls. Every window was a unique stained glass masterpiece, each telling it's own family story or ancient fable. Moss and succulents grew in between the cracks of the old granite stones that made up the castle.
Louise decided to ascend the steps to the top of the old, now unused, watchtower. Her heart beat in her ears as she made her way to the top. Finally, she was on the highest level. She could see all of Ravensburg. The tops of the trees were populated with birds, and many people bustled over the cobblestone roads in the town. It was a warm day, and an untamed wind was picking up the blossoms off of the trees and swirling them through the air.
Louise turned to look at the rest of the countryside, but instead saw her aunt, standing on the opposite side of the watchtower. She was somewhat transparent, but appeared friendly and was smiling at Louise.
"I've been waiting for you to come outside Louise." her aunt said calmly.
"You''ve been gone." Louise muttered, confused.
"I am. But I need your help. My will was not completely right. There is one other item I wish to give you Louise." aunt Gottlieben explained.
"What do you mean? You gave me your garnet necklace, what else?" Louise questioned.
"Come with me to my old cottage and I will show you." Gottlieben said, with one hand gesturing towards to stairs to guide Louise towards the cottage.
They descended the stairs together, and Gottlieben began talking to Louise. Soon, they were at Gottlieben's cottage. Louise took the key to the door out of her coat pocket where she hadn't removed it since December. She put the crooked key in the lock and turned the knob. The door creaked slightly as it was opened because it had been unused for so many months. Louise stepped into the remote cottage, and a flood of memories with her aunt came back to her.
"Where is it, Gottlieben?" Louise asked.
"Come with me and I'll point you in the right direction." Gottlieben answered.
She led Louise to the broom closet in the opposite side of the house. She gestured for Louise to open it. Louise swung open the door and quickly jumped back as two brooms clattered to the floor.
"The box on the top shelf, it's yours Louise." Gottlieben said, seemingly relieved and smiling.
Louise retrieved the box and set it on the floor. The top was a sliding lid, and Louise carefully removed it. Behind the lid were journals, all with dates on them and in perfect order. A single tear ran off of Louise's cheek and splashed to the floor.
Gottlieben spoke, "Now you have my whole life, from when I was younger than you. Every problem, sorrow, or joyful memory is in those books. You don't have to feel like I was cheated out of life. Once you read these, I think you will realize that my life was full and I am at peace."
"Thank you." Louise said quietly, clutching the necklace in her hands and staring at the journals.
"And one more thing Louise." aunt Gottlieben added, "Do not blame the winter winds."
Louise said goodbye and soon Gottlieben was gone. Louise took the box of journals and went back to the castle, ready to live again.