The Haze

The Haze in SL (taxi)

Links to reviews:

Echt Virtuell

Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Million Happy Endings

(Elle’s Nightmare)

  1. Something Different

The little girl was tossing and turning in her sleep. Soft moans and murmurs could be heard from under the covers. She was dreaming, for certain. But something seemed different. There was sweat on the girl’s forehead and her face wasn’t peaceful as usual. What was she dreaming of?

Elle was standing on a rocky ground, staring at a scarecrow. The loosely hanging clothing was flapping from the harsh and cold wind that was blowing. She shivered and wrapped her arms around herself, rubbing to get warm. The scarecrow looked very creepy, almost like a skeleton. With wavy, thin fingers that moved in the wind, it seemed to be waving, or pointing,  ahead. Curious as she was, she started walking into that direction, even though a shudder moved through her as she passed the scarecrow.


  1. Denied

A strange, dark and barren landscape opened up to her.  The howling wind deafened her.  Slowly she moved forward, walking towards what seemed to be a house. It was hard to see in the distance. There seemed to be a fog hanging over the land, even though the wind should have cleared the air.

The house was abandoned, some overturned furniture was left and nature had found its way inside. Not that the plants were lush and green and nice. They had a sickening colour to them. It made Ele sad to look at them. She moved further into the abandoned village and saw a figure at one of the ruined buildings. “Hello! I’m Elle, who are you?” she called out as she waved, happily moving towards it. “Go away!” A grumpy, growling voice greeted her.  She halted instantly and looked at the gnome, for that was what it was. Surprise showing on her face. “Excuse me?” she asked, confusion clearly showing.

Snapshot_008“Go away! Move along! Make yourself scarce! And be quick about it!” The gnome beckoned her forward. “But, I wanted to ask you…” she started before getting interrupted. “I don’t answer questions. Leave me alone. Don’t make me get my pitch fork!” The look on the gnome’s face changed from mere grumpy to menacing. Elle sighed, hung her head and nodded, biting her lip. “Alright.” She mumbled softly, walking past the gnome further into the strange landscape. She felt sad that the first sign of life had been such a disappointment.


She noticed a statue further away and walked up to have a closer look. It was a statue of a small, thin boy who seemed to be looking in the distance, waiting for something, or someone, to arrive. Elle sighed. So many questions! Who was the boy? What had happened to the people in the village? Why was the gnome so mean to her? She looked around hoping to find somebody who might help her, as they had always done in her dreams.


  1. Chased

She was running, heart beating heavily in her chest. Looking behind her she saw a winged creature, flapping as it flew after her and a ugly looking creature that looked like a strange dog barking and running below it. They were chasing her, screaming at her in a language that made no sense. She didn’t know why, just that the ruin behind them and these creatures scared her so much she was shivering.  And running for her life.  It seemed they were gaining up on her. She cried out for help and tried to run even faster.


  1. Battled

Suddenly she was somewhere else. The wind howled over a plain, sand danced over the ground. At first she thought she was looking at piles of rocks scattered around the plain, but with another shudder that chilled her to the bone she realized she was looking at dead creatures. They looked like figures from a movie she once sneaked a peek of, watching through a slightly opened door when her parents were watching tv and whenshe should have been asleep in bed. Trolls or demons, that kind of thing. They seemed to be made of stone.


Someone was watching the plain, like her. She hid behind the pile of rock that seemed to be the only bump not made out of bodies and took a cautious peek. Carefully, afraid of being chased off again. The creature looked like a warrior. She couldn’t tell if he was alive or not. His features had a skeletal look on them and he didn’t seem to move. He had a strange looking weapon in his hand, bits of which were fluttering in the wind. So were his clothes. She clasped her hand in front of her mouth to stifle a scream when the head slowly moved to turn and look straight at her. She was frozen and couldn’t have moved had she wanted to! Panic took hold of her and her breathing got heavy, her heart beating out of her chest by now. Staring back at the warrior, unable to help herself she swallowed hard and waited. The creature seemed to be staring at her for ages. Then it slowly moved back and he was overlooking the plain once more. She thought she saw his shoulders move as if he had just sighed deeply, but she could have just imagined it.  After a while she felt confident to move again, the warrior being as still as before.

  1. Captured

She was on a ridge, trying to keep her balance, walking slowly to the other side of a large ravine. When she reached the other side she saw another ruined building. Still the curious child she decided to check it out. She climbed on top of the rubble until she reached the roof. She turned around to take a look at her surroundings when she felt something pushing at her back and before she knew it she fell down a hole. Scrambling to her feet, surprisingly not bleeding or feeling any pain from her tumble down, she started to climb up again, only to stop and stare as a creature came into sight, staring at her from the edge of the hole. Big eyes on sticks were looking at her. The creature reminded her of the watchers she encountered in her dreams once. They had been colourful and bright though, and helpful. This one looked like the creatures from her cousin’s space comics and there was nothing helpful or bright about it! “Gurgu!’ it screamed, hopping excitedly. “Gurgu!” then moved the eyes down to stare at her. The big Snapshot_014-2mouth snarling at her. “Gurgu tsa cha!”  It seemed to be a warning, a threat. It sat down, eyes on her. She was trapped. It was clear she’d get hurt if she tried to move past the creature. She moved back down again and shivered once more. It was pitch black and she couldn’t see anything at all. Who knew what was down there with her in the shadows? Fighting back the tears which she felt welling up, she sat down, as close to the light as she could, hugging her knees. She had never felt so afraid and alone before.

  1. Cursed

When she opened her eyes again, the chill hadn’t left her. Her environment had, however. She found herself wandering around in a dark forest. Strange creatures  were lurking among the trees and their screeches and growls made her teeth chitter.  She saw some flowers which looked pretty but when she got up close they were just as scary as everything else. Little skulls were staring at her. She felt eyes on her from just about every corner!   A creature with very thin legs walked towards her. Snarling menacingly. She backed away. Watching the creature carefully she kept backing away slowly. Something tugged on her hair. “Ouch!” she cried out, rubbing her head. Looking up she saw a huge rat, standing on its hind legs. It was like a creature she had seen in a cartoon movie once.  It held a doll in its hand and was wrapping the strands  of hair it pulled off of her head  around the doll. Then it looked up at her and opened its mouth wide, showing its sharp teeth. The screeching  sound that came out of it was similar to fingernails on a chalkboard. The rat was laughing as it took a pin and pushed it into the doll. Instantly she felt a very sharp sting in her arm. “Ouch!” rubbing her arm she stared around her, wondering what happened. The snarling creature was still there, but kept its distance from the rat. It took several more stings on several places of her body for her to realize it was the rat’s doing. She looked at the doll and then back at the rat. The grin was even scarier  than the pain she felt. “Go away! Leave me alone! What did I do to you! “she cried out, tears now streaming down her face. Suddenly she remembered the gnome she had met before, her own words sounding so familiar as he had said something similar. She started to move her ams, hitting the air around her, swatting at things that weren’t there. “Go away, go away!” She rushed away – away from the rat, away from the thin legged creature – away from the creepy flowers, out of the dark forest.



  1. Robed

She was on a narrow bridge, crossing another deep ravine. On the other side she climbed up a hill and saw another ruined building. Hoping she might be safe there, she stepped inside. Tripping over something in the dark, she stumbled further into the room. A flickering light seemed to be coming from upstairs. Thinking there might be a warm fire there, she slowly walked up, looking back every now and then just in case the creatures had followed her. When she got upstairs there was nothing that even remotely looked comfortable. Just a hole in the ground where the light seemed to be coming from. Peering over the edge she saw a figure, barely visible. A wavering figure of….yeah, of what? A robed person. Was it a priest? A monk? Or perhaps just a hermit? It was a ghost, that much she knew for sure. It looked up at her briefly, a soft smile on his face. Then he seemed to forget all about her again. Sighing softly, realizing she’d not get any conversation or friendliness from a ghost, she moved back down the stairs again.

When she came down again she saw people gathering. A group of robed men were moving down from the stairs of the roof, huddling before the pillars, curiously watching her. Even though there was a group, she didn’t get any of the menacing sensations she had experienced with all the other creatures she had encountered. Their demeanour was friendly. They bowed their heads reverently towards her.  Communicating amongst themselves through wordless conversation they seemed to reach a conclusion. One of the men had a robe draped over his arms. He walked up to her, head bowing, arms reaching out to hand her the robe. Not having been warm since she arrived, she didn’t even think of it and just accepted the robe, wrapping it around her as quick as she could. It fit her perfectly. Suddenly she remembered the ghost in the hole. Hoping these people were more helpful than the rest, she looked at the one who had handed her the robe. “I’m Elle, I think I am lost. Can you tell me where I am? And who is the man in the hole upstairs?” feeling a bit more comfortable as she was finally warming up a bit. Her questions seemed to agitate the friendly men and they gestured between themselves again. Most of them were shaking their heads vigorously. Then one of them, one who looked much older than the others, moved towards her and touched her arm gently. He pointed upstairs and shook his head again. Then he pointed outside. All the other men looked at the spot he was pointing at. It was a tower on top of a steep, high mountain. They all pointed towards it and the older man gently nudged her to move outside again. Elle wasn’t sure what they meant, but as they had been the friendliest so far, she figured the tower was her way out of here. She thanked them all, for the directions and the robe and forgot about her other questions, eager to get home.


  1. Lost

Snapshot_024She was walking around in a castle, continuously walking up and down stairs, through doorways, trying to find her way out. Each time she thought she had found it, and then there was a wall where a door should be, stairs going nowhere. It felt like a maze, a labyrinth she remembered from a movie. Frustrated she called out for help, but there was not a sound. Only the wind,  blowing through all the openings,  seemed to be howling at her. Out of one of the windows she saw the high mountain and the tower on top. “That’s where I need to go!” she called out in frustration. “I want to go home! Let me go home!” She banged on the walls of the castle, stormed up and down stairs again. Then, taking a moment to catch her breath in one of the rooms, she saw a crest hanging on the wall. She stared at it angrily. Thinking it was the crest of whomever had lived here. Blaming whoever they were she picked up a rock and aimed to hit the shield. “Stupid people!” she called out as she threw.


  1. Granted

And then she was at the foot of the high mountain. Desperately trying to find a way up.  There was no path, no ladders, nothing. And when she tried to climb up the rocks, she had to stop after a few metres. It was just too steep. She’d fall down. Feeling defeated she sat down and started crying. After all this time she found the mountain, and now she couldn’t get to the tower anyway. Would this nightmare never end??!

Swoosh, swoosh! Something was flying over her head. Heavy wings were moving air, she could feel it. She looked up with teary eyes, seeing some creature moving above her. She blinked a few times to clear her view and then clasped her hand in front of her mouth to stop another scream from escaping. There was a dragon flying there! She scrambled up and looked around for a  place to hide. The dragon looked at her as it circled above. Expecting it to torch her with fire breath she cringed, unable to find somewhere to shield herself.  She closed her eyes and waited for the inevitable. And waited, and waited. The sound of flapping wings had stopped. With her heart beating heavily, she slowly opened her eyes….and looked straight into the huge dragon’s face. It tilted its head as it looked at her curiously. Nostrils vibrating, tongue licking the air. It had huge, sharp teeth, but its eyes were friendly.  The dragon lowered its head and gently nudged her side. Hesitantly she reached out to touch its nose. It was warm and softer than she’d imagined. The dragon nudged her again. Then it lay down on the floor, looking at her and then turning its head around. Did it want her to climb on the back? Elle was unsure. As the dragon nodded at unspoken thoughts she gave it a thin smile and climbed on between the spiky pieces on its back, holding on to the one right in front of her. Legs tightly against the dragon’s sides. It was going to fly,wasn’t it. It was going to….ohhhh and they were off! The dragon flew off with heavy beating of wings and a growling sound that seemed to vibrate across the land. It took her for a ride all over the land she had roamed around in. She saw all the places she had gone to appearing in front of her. The forest with its creepy creatures,  the strange figures of monsters that had chased her, captured her. They all came to see the dragon, then cringed and scrambled as it roared again. The gnome tried to hit it with his pitchfork, the skeletal warrior merely glanced up for a moment. The robed men waved and bowed at them, the castle with its strange interior seemed to beckon her, but the dragon flew around it and then went higher and higher and higher. Until they reached the tower. It landed on a wall and made sure she’d slide down the right way. She fell on the ground and with shaky limbs held onto the wall, trying to get up again. “Hello, little girl.” She looked up in surprise. Someone was actually speaking to her, and nicely too! She saw a boy standing on the  wall, caressing a little dragon that was perched on his arm. The dragon who had taken her up roared once more and then flew higher up the tower and perched on a ledge, watching them and the lands all around.Snapshot_015-2

“H..h..hello”, she stammered, still in shock of the whole situation. “I’m Elle, who are you?” she asked. The boy smiled. “Why, I’m the Dragon Keeper, of course.  Pray tell me, how did you manage to get Peety  to fly you up here?” pointing at the dragon above. “She usually ignores all creatures unless they’re a threat.” Elle shrugged. “I don’t know, she found me trying to climb the mountain and took me on her back.” “Hm…” the Dragon Keeper pondered. “I suppose you could have found the Chalice then. Did you find and touch it?” tilting his head as he looked at her again.  Elle frowned as she thought hard. She didn’t remember touching any chalice. “I don’t know, I don’t think so?” The boy looked surprised. “Oh, that is strange then. Because touching the Chalice will make Peety come look for you straight away, and if she deems you dangerous, you’d have been ashes by now!” he laughed loudly at the shocked look on Elle’s face. “No worries, you are safe, little girl! Peety likes you.”  The dragon roared in agreement from above. Elle glanced up and then back at the boy. “What is this place, I don’t think I have seen it before.”  The Keeper grinned. “Oh, but you have! Last time you were here you couldn’t walk yet though, so you probably have forgotten.” He waved at the lands stretching out in front of them. “This is the Haze, little Elle. This is where you go to when your dreams are strange, scary and confusing.” Elle shivered. “It has been scary a lot. There are not many nice people here.” She stared down, not really seeing anything because the fog was still heavy. The Dragon Keeper laughed again. “Yes, well. They are not supposed to be nice. Though you would never really get hurt, not physically at least. He stroked the little dragon’s back again which growled softly at the touch, almost like a purring cat. Elle watched it for a moment before answering. “I don’t really like it here, even though you seem nice and your dragons too. The robed men gave me a warm robe for my comfort, they were nice as well.” Only then did she realize that she hadn’t been wearing that robe for quite some time. “oh..” . The Dragon Keeper nodded. “They are the keepers of the Chalice. If they helped you, you did find it. Not many people that come through here find the Chalice and are granted the right way passage out.” Elle’s face brightened and she  looked at him with hope in her eyes “Does this mean I get to go home now?!” He nodded. “Yes, once you are at the tower, you will find the way back home in fairly calm weather…” He looked down towards the  plains in the west. “Not everyone is that lucky.” Elle wondered what he meant, or whom he was talking about.  Then she remembered about the statue of the boy. “The statue, in the village, that boy. Is that you?” The Dragon Keeper looked surprised for a moment. “Oh, you mean Ralph? No, that is not me. That poor soul roamed these lands for ages before he found his way out.” He smiled reassuringly to her. “Alright, let’s get you back home, shall we?” And he reached out to touch her arm.



  1. Found

She was passing through a gate and then another one, and then there were colours. Such lovely colours everywhere. Such a relief after all the darkness and barren lands. She smelled the flowers, touched the trees and finally got a smile back on her face. Glancing behind her she could still see the Haze through the gates, but blurry and non-threatening. A memory in the making.

“Elle, Elle, wake up, sweetie.” Her mother was stroking her arm gently as she woke up, warm and safely tugged under her duvet. “Hi little one. Are you awake now? We woke up and heard you scream. Did you have a bad dream?” Elle sighed softly and nodded. “Yes, mommy, it was horrible.  There was….erm….and then I ….er…” she tried to think but it all became blurrier and blurrier with each second. “There were dragons!” she remembered. But all of the rest were now only memories of emotions and sensations. “I was scared, so scared. And alone, and cold.” She shivered a little and let her mum hug her tightly. So safe and warm and protected!  “Well, it’s all over now.” Her mother kissed her on the forehead. “Back to sleep now, darling. It’s the middle of the night, you know.” Elle nodded and hugged her duvet around her. She’d not go back to the Haze that night, but the fear she had experienced stayed with her at the back of her mind from then on. And before our little girl would be all grown up, she’d see more of the Haze than she would have cared for!


Niamh’s Journey of Dreams

A new build is finished on Mistwood Isle!

Niamhs Journey Opening Poster

This time it has been a collaboration between CybeleMoon and myself. We took Cybele’s Tales of the Tuatha and turned it into a world.  Parts of her stories can be found in the storyboards on the sim, where you can follow in Niamh’s footsteps.

For the full tales, please look at: CybeleMoon’s Tales of the Tuatha.

Inspired by those tales and the pictures Cybele added for the atmosphere, I started painting and building. Working together, inspiring one another as we were building up the sim, we came to a finished project on Easter Sunday. And we are very proud of it!

Special thanks to Elwyn Lorefield for creating the fireflies.

Niamh's Journey - Firefly Forest

You can find the world of Niamh’s dreams here: Niamh’s Journey of Dreams

Make sure you wander and not cam from one point, cause there are multiple Windlight effects through the sim!

Cybele made a trailer/video for the sim! Niamh’s Journey of Dreams

More pictures and blogposts about Niamh’s Journey can be found here:

CKB Art Group on Flickr (feel free to post your pics of the sim here!)

Cale’s Storyteller’s Notebook

Inara Pey’s Niamh’s Journey of Dreams

Cybele’s Are you ready to follow Niamh?

Owl Dragonash’s Niamh’s Journey

Orca’s Niamh’s Journey of Dreams

Eddi & Ryce Photograph Second Life

Riverpearl’s Million Happy Endings

Niamh's Journey - Gate to Tir Na Nog 2
Gate to Tir Na Nog
Niamh's Journey - White Swan
White Swan
Niamhs Journey Profile Pic
Bird’s Eye View of the Sim

The Little Girl and The Forest Beyond



1 The Painting

She was lying in bed, waiting for the Sandman to do his job and make her go to sleep. While her mind was going over all the things she had done today, her eyes moved around her room. It wasn’t fully dark as there was a street light near her window and with the little bit of light seeping through the curtains she could make out the things in her room. Her little desk with the books on it,  the teddy bear she got for her 4th birthday in the corner, the stack of toys behind the chair.  Then her eyes moved over the walls and stopped at the painting that hung on one of them.


She didn’t know who painted it, but it had been a gift for Christmas. She smiled as she looked at the two  mushrooms standing in a field on a starry night.  Her imagination was triggered by  this painting. The mushrooms, the flowers, the trees in the distance. So intriguing! Wouldn’t it be nice to roam around amongst them? And then, of course, that hill. That mysterious light shining from its opening. What would be inside? Was it a pile of gems? A horde of fireflies? Or possibly…fairies?! She grinned. That would be wonderful. Of course, it could be a group of grumpy gnomes for all she knew, sitting around a fire.

As sleep started to fall upon her, her mind was seeing all kinds of creatures she might come across if she would be roaming around in the painting. And butterflies, she just loved butterflies…..   The little girl fell asleep.


 2 The Mushrooms

In her dream she opened her eyes again, then blinked a few times. She was staring at a huge mushroom. Two mushrooms! Oh!  Mushrooms from the painting! She jumped up and down excitedly.  “Hello, hello! So nice to meet you.” She called out to them. The large purple headed mushroom smiled at her. “Hello Elle, nice to finally meet you too.”

She chatted for a while with the Mushrooms, asking them about the world she was in now, but they said she’d better find out for herself. “I love adventures!” she had called out, clapping her hands excitedly. “We heard of you from Pinkie Papillion, the butterfly”, the red Mushroom said. She told us of your other adventures. If you look well enough, you should find her home, somewhere in this forest.”  Elle beamed happily. “It would be wonderful to see Pinkie again. I can’t wait, I’m going to explore these woods. See you when I get back!” With  an energetic wave she was off, on her way to new adventures. The Mushrooms smiled as they watched her go, glad the girl had finally made her way into their world.


3 Nosie The Pixie

Elle set out straight for the intriguing light that shone from the big hill. Happy that her curiosity about what would be inside would be satisfied at last! “Ouch!” she called out after something hit her head. She looked around, it was a pine cone. She looked up at the trees around her and then another cone hit her head. “Ouch, stop it!” she called out again, frowning angrily. She saw the tip of a red hat between the pines. “You! Come out, show yourself!”  trying to sound as stern as her mother when she called out to Elle when she was caught doing something bad.  Slowly the hat moved up and a face could be seen. A creature with a barky looking skin, a tiny pointed nose and purple pants, reluctantly emerged from the trees.


He looked down at his big feet, one of them sweeping the floor before him. “Didn’t mean to get you all boooo” he said with a raspy, throaty voice.  “Was just playing with you.” Elle crossed her arms, imitating her mother still, and looked at him. “Well, you should ask me if I wanted to play first, shouldn’t you?!”  The creature bit his lip and nodded remorsefully. “ Are you the sleeping girl?” he asked softly. “You look like her.”  That was when Elle realized that as much as she had looked at the painting, the painting and everything in it had been looking at her as well! “Oh! Er…yes, I think I am. My name’s Elle, who are you?” Sensing she wasn’t really angry any more, the creature looked up at her and showed a big smile. “I’m the pixie they call Nosie.” Tapping his nose as he spoke. “It may be small, but I can smell better than any of them!” pointing to somewhere behind him. She glanced around him but saw only trees and the hill with the bright light. She pointed towards it. “What is that, Nosie?” He turned around to see what she was pointing at. “Oh, the hill! That’s where the fairies live.” He tilted his head looking at her. “You want to see? They won’t mind, they like visitors.” She nodded eagerly. “Oh, yes I would love to meet fairies!”  Nosie started to walk towards the hill. “Be careful when you enter, they don’t always watch where they’re going.”


4 The Fairy Hill

They walked to the hill, the light shining brighter with each step closer. Nosie nudged her forward. “In you go, sleepy.” She smiled and walked into the opening, the light so bright it blinded her for a moment. When she opened her eyes again she cried out in disbelief. “Oh, how beautiful!”  There were creatures flying everywhere, there were ant hill like houses with little windows in them, strange flowers and everything was glowing. The inside of the hill looked like a night sky, she felt like she was among the stars. The creatures flew right past her, some even went through her! They appeared and disappeared, making it hard for her to see them properly. “Hello!” she tried to say to a creature that was gone the next moment. “Excuse me, hello!” she tried again to another creature. The creatures made all kinds of sounds, but they didn’t acknowledge her at all.


Nosie had followed her in and grinned. “Flighty creatures they are, haha!” He pointed at one of the bigger creatures.  “That’s Luna, she’s head of all fairies. But she seems to be too busy…” He tilted his head, took a deep breath, seemingly sniffing for something. Then he nodded. “Yes, something’s wrong.”  Elle looked at Nosie. “What do you mean?”  He pointed at the creatures. “They’re upset, that’s why they’re flying so fast and wild and why they won’t talk to you. “ He looked at them again, sniffing deeply, pointing his ears upwards. “It’s the Gardener!”  His face looked shocked. “The Gardener…he’s ill! Oh that is bad news, bad news!” Elle didn’t understand. “The gardener? Who’s the gardener?” Now it was Nosie’s turn to look surprised. “You don’t know?! The Gardener! He’s the one who keeps the forest alive! Every creature, every tree and flower. And he’s ill. He has to get better! Or our forest will die with him!” The pixie was crying now. “We have to help him, we have to!” Elle bit her lip and nodded. “Yes, we have to…but how?”  She didn’t know what was wrong with the Gardener.  Nosie gathered himself, wiped his face and started to walk outside. “We’ll ask the bird.”


5 The Owl

Elle followed him out of the hill, unto a path on the right. They walked among the trees until he stopped and pointed up. “This one knows all.” She looked up and saw an owl resting on a branch. “Hello owl!” she waved.the-owl

“Do you know how we can help the Gardener?” The owl looked at them both and shook its head. “Not me, no, but I know what you have to do.  Find the Bare Trees.”  Elle blinked. “Bear…trees?”  Nosie laughed. “No, he said Bare, as in …no leaves or needles. Like the one inside the hill, behind the hillhouses, The Spirit Tree.” He pointed to the hollow hill.  “ I know where another one is! The Old Man. It’s not far from here at all!” He waved at the owl and rushed off. Elle followed quickly, shouting a goodbye to the owl as she sped after the pixie.


6 The Old Man (Bare Tree)

And after just a few corners on the path they stood eye to eye with a huge tree, bare trunks, and an old man’s leafy face looking back at them.  “Hello Old Man. Have you heard of the Gardener?” Nosie asked him soon as he arrived at the tree. the-old-man

The tree seemed to shake its branches for a moment and a deep voice answered. “Nosie and Elle, you will be the keepers of the keeper? I think you will, mhm.” The tree bowed a little towards the path that was ahead.  “You’ll need to find the Bare Tree with the fruits. The fruits will heal the Gardener.” The kids nodded solemnly, though neither had ever heard of that particular tree.  “It is well hidden.” The Old Man said. “You’ll need all the help you can get. Look around for any of the creatures in the forest. Some are bound to know where to go.” The two thanked him and were on their way again. Walking along the path among the pines.


7 The Butterfly Tree (Bare Tree)

They walked further along the path until they reached a grove. “Oh look!” Elle clapped her hands happily. “Butterflies!”  They were everywhere, flying around them.  And then she saw the tree. Another Bare Tree, completely covered in butterflies. “We found another one!” she called out to Nosie.


And then she noticed the pink butterfly flying towards her.  “Pinkie!”  “Hello Elle! You are here! Pinkie is happy to see you here!” the butterfly chirped happily.  The girl smiled and nudged Nosie as he walked up to them. “I know her!” she said, pointing at the butterfly, which was now flying around their heads. The pixie sniffed and shrugged. “Pinkie Pester is how I call her…” grumbling softly. Elle raised her eyebrows. The butterfly laughed in her tiny highpitched voice. “Nosie is a little jealous of Pinkie. Pinkie knows more than he…” Nosie glared at the butterfly and swiped his hand towards her. Pinkie just flew a little higher. “Pinkie knows you are looking for the Bare Trees, trees like my home tree here.” She fluttered around the Butterfly Tree for a moment. “We butterflies know all, we just forget we do sometimes.” Another highpitched laugh. For a moment the butterflies which covered the tree were moving their wings all at once and a little faster than before. It made the tree look like it moved, swaying in the wind.  “Walk among the flowers, they say. Listen to Pinkie now, walk among the flowers!”

And with that cryptic message, the pink butterfly was off again, fluttering away on the wind. The butterflies on the tree seemed to calm down again and Nosie and Elle walked out of the grove, in search of flowers.


8 The Hedgehog

The path took them to a small hill. As they climbed on top they saw a meadow full with flowers in front of them. “Beautiful!” Elle exclaimed again. “Yes, but so big…and not a Bare Tree in sight!” Nosie grumbled. “How will we find that blasted tree now!!!” looking all over the meadow for a clue.  “Excuse me”, a tiny voice said below them. Elle and Nosie looked to their right and saw a hedgehog.


“Oh hello there” Elle smiled. “We are looking for a tree.” The hedgehog nodded.  “Many trees here, but you are looking for special one, right? You are going to help the Gardener?” its voice hopeful as it looked between them.  The girl and the pixie both nodded. “yes, we are. We are looking for the Bare Tree with fruit.” The hedgehog moved towards the flowers. “The Headfruit Tree, yes. You have to walk among the flowers.  Take the easiest path, where flowers grow low.” Its nose pointed towards a place where the flowers grew so low it looked like a carpet. “Thank you, hedgehog! We will go and find the tree!” she called happily. This time Nosie was the one rushing after her, after tipping his hat to the hedgehog.


9 The Headfruit Tree (Bare Tree)

And then as the path ended into another grove, she saw the Bare Tree. Elle couldn’t believe her eyes. When she got closer she saw actual heads growing on the tree. They looked a bit like strawberries, but they had faces! And ears too! She was gawking at them with her mouth wide open. Nosie bumped into her as he finally caught up with her. “Wow, I never saw this tree before! Look!” he walked up to one of the fruits to poke at it. “Watch it!” a low, angry voice shouted at him. “You want to lose your finger, hm?!”, making biting motions with its teethless mouth. Nosie quickly stepped away from the tree. “They speak!” He seemed to be as surprised as Elle was.  They started to talk at the same time. “How can we possibly…..” “We can’t just grab…”  They looked at each other and then back at the tree again, sighing deeply.  “How can we pick one of them and return to the Gardener… I don’t see how…”  Elle mumbled softly, sounding a little defeated.  She couldn’t possibly kill a creature, not even to save the lives of many. It was unfair. She sat on the ground, Nosie sat with her and they both stared at the tree, confused and feeling intense sadness washing over them.


“Oi! Just cause ye can’t poke at us, don’t mean we won’t help ye!” One of the other fruits shouted at them. “Ye speak of the Gardener, what of him?” Elle and Nosie looked up. Nosie started talking. “We were told to find the Bare Tree with fruit. We need to bring the fruit to the Gardener. He’s dying and only the fruit can save him.” He stared at his feet. “But we can’t pick you from the tree and let you die….we just can’t…”  going to Elle and wrapping his arms around her. Elle had started to sob softly. She didn’t know what to do and couldn’t stand for this world to end. But she couldn’t see how to help the Gardener without hurting the fruit creatures.  The fruits suddenly seemed to all talk at once, hushing voices, a murmur on the wind. They couldn’t hear what was being said. Then a soft cough to ask their attention was made and they both turned to look at the tree again. One of the fruits spoke. “We have heard of the Gardener’s sadness and pain. It is said the world is withering as he can’t keep up with all the work. So many things to look after, so many trees infected with diseases that need healing, so many creatures needing his attention… We are prepared to meet our fate if we can help save the Gardener and this world.  We will die for it.” A shiver went through the tree, as well as through the girl and the pixie. Nosie was grimacing, happy the fruits would make such a sacrifice, but still unhappy about having to be the one to pick the fruits off the tree.

Elle seemed to stare in front of her for a while. She didn’t say anything in response. Nosie frowned and nudged her. “Elle, you have to say something!” Elle shook out of her reverie and looked at him bright eyed. Then at the tree. “I may know how to do this.” she said with a hopeful voice. “You are called headfruit, is that only because of your shape?”  she asked the tree.  “Not only because of how we look”, said the same fruit who spoke before. “We have special powers, we are good with heads.” Nosie looked confused, not understanding what they meant, but Elle’s face starting to brighten and a smile appeared on her face. “I know what we need to do! We need to find the Gardener and bring him here! It’s his head that needs fixing!” She grabbed Nosie’s arm and tried to tug him with her. “Come on, let’s find the Gardener!” Nosie still didn’t understand but scrambled after her anyways, not sure they’d know where to find the Gardener at all.


10 The Gardener

The flowers gave way to grass again and shortly after they reached a stretch of water with a bridge over it. On the other side they saw a group of fireflies moving over a bare stretch of land. There were a few rocks and there was a bench. When they came closer they suddenly saw a man sitting on the bench. He had a rake in his hand. He had a sad , worn look on his face. Nosie nudged Elle in her side.  ‘That’s the Gardener”, he whispered to her.  Elle sat down on the bench, next to the Gardener. “Hello, my name’s Elle.” She said with soft voice. The Gardener looked at her with a gentle smile. His face had dark shades here and there. “Hello Elle. How nice of you to visit here.” He sighed deeply, looking back in front of him, staring at nothing. “You will have seen it at least once before….” His voice broke. He shook his head, deep sadness pulling his shoulders down. He seemed a defeated man.


“I’m sorry to hear you are not feeling well.” Nosie said, moving forward, wanting to place a hand on the Gardener’s shoulder, but hesitating, unsure if he could approach or not. The Gardener was unaware, staring at the ground now. “It’s just…too much…I can’t work it all out anymore. So many dangers, from so many sides.  There’s sickness and disease spreading and I can’t stop it all.” Overwhelmed with emotion, his eyes starting to water. Elle bit her lip and then patted the Gardener’s knee. “We are here to help you. We are going to take you to the Headfruit Tree and if we are lucky, they’ll help you heal”, she told him with a face that showed worry.

The Gardener looked up in surprise. “The Headfruit Tree? The lovely little red fruits?”  He scratched between the few hairs on his head and leaned heavily on the rake to get up from the bench. He had been sitting there for quite some time. “I do not know what they can do, but it will be nice to see the little ones again. It has been a while.”  Elle and Nosie supported him on either side as they slowly made their way back to Bare Tree.

When they arrived the girl and the pixie directed the Gardener towards the tree, taking his rake away so he could touch it with both hands. Then they moved away a bit and sat down on the ground, staring hopefully at the scene before them.  Soon as the Gardener put his hands on the tree all the fruits started to murmur again. He rested his hand against the bark and a low murmer was heard in reply. This went on for quite a while.  During this time Elle and Nosie saw the Gardener straightening up a little, shoulders moving upwards, arms holding the tree tighter.

Then suddenly he let go and turned around, a big smile on his face. His eyes shining with hope and determination. “It will be alright! We will be saved!” He danced around the tree, happy and energetically. “I couldn’t see it because I was so wrapped up in seeing troubles ahead. But the solution is simple. I don’t have to do it alone. I need to work on getting everyone to help. Each little creature and each tree in this world can do something that will keep the diseases from spreading. Together we can save our forest!” Elle and Nosie jumped up and ran towards him, dancing around the tree as well, yelling loudly that all would be well.  The creatures of the forest started to gather around them, hearing the joyful shouting from afar. The butterflies, the fireflies, the critters, the fairies, the spirits. They all gathered at the grove and joined in with the happy dancing and shouting. After a long time and lots of plans made and tasks distributed, Nosie and Elle fell down to the ground, exhausted but oh so very happy.

The Gardener looked at them with a big smile on his face. “Thank you Elle and Nosie. You have been and always will be the true Keepers of the Forest. Now go back and get some sleep.” He picked up the rake from the ground and guided her back to the big mushrooms.  “There you are again, little girl!” The biggest mushroom smiled at her. “Time for you to go back to your room, isn’t it?” She nodded and  felt her eyes grow so heavy she couldn’t keep them open again. She knew what was happening and that she’d fall asleep and wake up in her bedroom, outside the painting again.  “I love the forest beyond.” She murmured as she drifted away  into the darkness again.


11 Your Story!!


Not all the creatures and trees or scenes have been included in the story of the Little Girl and the Forest Beyond. The ones that have are certain to have unmentioned stories to their lives yet!

If you like writing stories yourself, you are hereby invited to use the installation for inspiration!

Write a story, a poem, a song about any of the things in the Forest Beyond and send them to Ceakay Ballyhoo,

either by notecard or through mail (


The best story will be worth 500 Lindens!  Final date for submitting will be 12 February 2017

The Little Girl on A Watercolour Wander

This is a story written around the pictures on display on LEA12, at A Watercolour Wander. If you like to check it out, here’s the url:

A Watercolour Wander

(Opened 18th August – closing December 2016)

A Watercolour Wander.png

1 A Starry Forest Night

The little girl was lying safely in her bed. She’d had her lullaby and her bedtime story and had been  gently tucked in and kissed on the forehead. Her mother and father had quietly left the room, leaving the door ajar just far enough for a tiny little stripe of light to seep into the room.

She was slowly falling asleep, events of the day remembered and ebbing away as she started to drift on the waves of dreams.

The little girl in bed.jpg

Suddenly something startled her and she woke, opening her eyes, sitting up. Feeling giddy from sleep she looked around and her eyes grew bigger.

There were no walls anymore! Her door had disappeared. Instead she saw trees and water and mountains, all in beautiful dreamy colours.

She sat on the edge of the bed and put her feet on the grass. Well, grass… it was green, but it felt a little wet. She looked down and saw that there was paint on the ground. Her feet were now coated with it. She blinked a few times, not sure what to make of all of this. She looked around again and saw a path that lead to a forest.

“Oh, an adventure!” she clapped her hands happily. “This is wonderful!”  She got out of bed and started to walk towards the forest. The paint on the ground was dry now, her feet slowly losing the shade of green.  She looked around with an open mouth, admiring the colourful landscape she had woken up in.  The pines looked like they were made from paper, the hills were green and midnight blue but bright and it gave her a fairytale feeling. She heard sounds from critters and other little creatures roaming the forest at night.  She liked that.

1 Starry Forest Night

The girl was fond of nature. Nothing would make her happier than wandering around in the woods near her home, exploring, watching the deer and rabbits, listening to the birds and the wind rustling the leaves of the trees. She never felt alone as long as nature surrounded her, enveloped her and made her feel so alive and happy. Her father smiled and ruffled her hair whenever she came back from an afternoon of exploring. Her mother sighed a lot, mumbling things about girl things and washing machines.

She walked up a hill and looked up at the stars. So many of them  there! She stared at them until her eyes started to water. With a big smile she continued down the hill, wandering through the trees, feeling the familiar thrill of exploring the unknown.

At one point she saw a tree with a broken branch and frowned a little. Hadn’t she seen that one just a while ago? After a few other trees with distinctive marks she knew it for sure. Somehow she was walking in circles. She kept coming round the same way.  She bit her lip, feeling a little nervous. She couldn’t be lost, she never got lost. She always found her way home again. She glanced behind her, but didn’t recognise which way she had come. Rubbing her face she closed her eyes for a moment, trying to remember the lessons her father had told her.  She couldn’t use the sun, cause it was night, but she might find her way by keeping an eye on the moon.

The little girl started walking again and then blinked once more. Did she just see something between the trees before her. She stopped and stared.  There! Something was there! A little animal perhaps? She slowly moved closer. She saw a glimpse of something that looked like a snail’s head, and a rush of pink and blue, crashing through the undergrowth. She decided to follow it. Moving quickly through the trees, jumping over branches, avoiding other ones so they couldn’t  hit her face. She saw a small glimpse of colours every now and then, but she mostly followed the noises the creature made. High pitched cries, that made her think of an Eagle flying over the tops of the trees. She didn’t pay attention to her environment as much and wasn’t aware that it was slightly changing. She was definitely not walking in circles anymore.

She only realized that herself when she noticed dawn had arrived. Through the trees she now saw daylight. Suddenly the cries stopped and the creature managed to get away without much noise at all. She looked and looked, but it was gone. A little sad that she hadn’t been able to find out what it was she walked on, slower now. The trees around her were a mix of pines and broadleaves. The colours changing from night to daytime.


2     Mr Nut at the Forest Tunnel

The path she was on hollowed, the trees grew closer together here. It gave her the sensation of entering a tunnel. Trees grew over the path left and right, natural arches.  She noticed movement again and this time she saw what it was straight away. On the right side of the path was a squirrel and it was moving frantically up and around one of the trees. It was bigger than the ones she ran into in the woods at home. “Hello there, what are you looking for?” she asked softly, kneeling down to be smaller and less threatening, not wanting to scare it away.   “The missus! The missus!” it said in obvious panic. “The missus”?  she repeated. “Is that something you can eat?” The squirrel looked shocked. “NO, there’ll be no eating the missus! She’s my wife! Mrs Nut! I can’t find her, she is not here…” he rushed up and down the tree again, looking behind it. Then he looked at the little girl again. “Can you see her, can you find her? I can’t think, I don’t know..” Utterly lost and desperate he grabbed the little girl’s arm. “Please help me?”  The little girl smiled and nodded. Not a thought was given to the fact she was having a conversation with an animal. It was nothing strange or so it seemed. “Of course I’ll help you.” She picked up the squirrel and put it on her shoulder. “Let’s go.” She walked further down the path, while Mr Nut settled on her shoulder, making sure he wouldn’t fall off. “I’m Elle by the way” she told him.  Mr Nut mumbled something unintelligible and his eyes ricocheted through the forest.

2 Mr Nut

It took them a while, wandering between the trees, looking under branches, behind rocks, up any tree that they thought they saw something move, but at last they found her.  Mrs Nut was crying softly, a bump showing clearly on her head. Mr Nut jumped off the little girl’s shoulder and rushed towards her. Mrs Nut cried out in surprise and quickly rushed up a tree, then turned to look at them. “Who are you?!” she squeaked.

“Come on, Mrs Nut! It’s me! Your husband. I’ve been looking for you everywhere!  I’m so happy to have found you!” Mr Nut jumped against the tree, but didn’t rush after her.  Mrs Nut looked at him in confusion. “I don’t know you!” she squeaked. Mr Nut shuddered and looked back at the little girl. “I do not understand what is wrong…”  The little girl glanced from the upset Mr Nut to the scared Mrs Nut in the tree and scratched her head. “I think she hit her head and doesn’t remember who you are, Mr Nut..”  “But…that…that….oh how awful!” he exclaimed. “What to do, what to do?” Starting to move below the tree again in a frantic fashion.  The little girl tried to remember what she had been told by her mother, that time when she had fallen down from a tree and had a concussion . She remembered she had to stay in the dark and rest a lot.  “We need to get her down from the tree and take her home, Mr Nut.  She has to rest in a dark place, and we need to make her calm, she needs to be calm.” Mr Nut nodded and stopped running around.  It took them a long time to coax Mrs Nut out of the tree and finally managed her to come down, reassuring her nothing bad would happen. She let the little girl pick her up and carry her to the hollow tree that was their home. The girl told Mr Nut to put his wife in bed and sing a soothing song to her while she went to find some chamomile. She collected water from the river nearby in the flask she always brought with her on her wanders and which had miraculously appeared just when she needed it.  She got a little pan from Mr Nut and built a small fire, a safe distance from the trees, and made some tea. When it was ready she handed the pan back to Mr Nut and told him to give it to his wife so she’d sleep and rest. And have her drink some more in the coming days. She should not leave the hollow tree for at least three days. By then she should be fine again, or so the little girl hoped. Mr Nut hugged her and said “You are a good friend, Elle. If you ever need any help, you can call me anytime.” The little girl smiled and scratched behind his ears. “Thank you, Mr Nut. I will find you and ask how Mrs Nut is doing soon!”  She put her flask back on her belt, and looked along the path. “Time for me to walk on again.” She waved goodbye to the squirrel and moved along the path through the woods.


3 Meeting Pinkie Papillon amongst the Flowers and Butterflies

She walked through the trees and then at the end of the narrow path she saw bright sunlight shining through. She got out of the forest and found herself in a field. Lovely flowers and grass everywhere and big butterflies flying around.  A happy smile appeared on her face. “Such lovely little animals, and the sun feels so nice and warm!” She felt hungry and reached into the rucksack that she had on her back, (which I’m sure hadn’t been there a moment before!) for the packed sandwiches. She saw a rock and settled against it, unwrapping her breakfast. She was just chewing on a mouthful when one of the butterflies flew towards her and settled next to her on the rock.

3 Meeting Pinkie Papillion

“Hello!”  A tiny little voice chirped at her. She looked at the butterfly and smiled. “Hello, beautiful butterfly, are you resting?”  The butterfly moved its head closer to the little girl. “I am yes, Pinkie needs to rest every now and then, flying is exhausting!” The little girl offered a small bit of her sandwich. “Would you like something to eat, Pinkie? Nice to meet you, I am Elle.”  The butterfly flapped her wings a few times. “No thank you, I’m fine. So, you’re wandering about again then?” settling on the stone, enjoying the warmth. The little girl nodded. “Yes, I love it here.  “This is a very good place, Elle”, the butterfly chirped. “If you keep away from parts of it, that is.”  A funny high pitched sound followed, as the butterfly seemed to laugh. “Do you like stories? Pinkie loves telling them, you see.” The little girl nodded eagerly. “I love stories! Please tell me one?” “I will, sweet Elle, I will. I will tell you the tale of the Forsighted Fish.”  The little girl pondered over that title, not entirely sure what foresighted meant. “Not to worry, Elle, you will see.” Pinkie promised. Then she began the story.

“In the Pastel Sea there once lived a fish. It wasn’t the only one, of course, but there was something about this fish. It was different from any other fish. It wasn’t because of its colours, lovely shades of red and orange as they were. There were more fish with beautiful colours around. It wasn’t because of its size. The fish was quite average in build.

No, it was because of its peculiar talent. The fish could see into the future.  Many creatures of the waters would come and visit the fish to hear of the things that lay ahead. However, the fish was quite particular to whom it spoke and of what. Many a creature returned home, none the wiser on how to become more important, strong, cunning or wealthy. But whenever a creature visited the fish who’s future foretold of danger, the fish would warn them and guide them to a safer direction.

Then, one day, a mermaid came to visit. She had swum a great distance and was pretty tired by the time she reached the home of the Foresighted Fish. Her red manes floated in the water, as she slowly swayed with the reeds. “Hello Fish.” She greeted with great respect and solemnity. “Could you spare me a little of your time?” The Fish swam closer to the mermaid and spoke with a calm and soothing voice. “Of course, my dear. For you I have all the time in the waters.” The mermaid smiled sadly. “I have a wish to know of things that will come upon my path. I have  had a terrible dream…”  The Fish swayed with her in the water, staring at her for a time before answering. “Your dream has a ring of truth in it, my dear. Your home is not safe anymore. It will collapse, the towers will crumble…” it shook its head sadly. “There is nothing to be done, the airbreathers cannot be stopped. “ The mermaid started to cry. The Fish nuzzled the mermaid’s arm. “But you can save your people. Return home immediately and bring them here. This is where they’ll be safe till the end of times.”  Not a moment to waste, the mermaid nodded, shouted a thank you and swam back as quickly as she possibly could. After a few days she returned, bringing with her all the surviving merfolk. The stream of creatures was endless as all the mers had heard of this safe haven and they all wished to be rid of the airbreathers. The Foresighted Fish was happy for them. It also realized there was no room left to have visitors anymore. And, because it wouldn’t just help anyone, it decided to leave home and roam around all the waters, helping where help was really needed.”  Pinkie stopped and moved to the cap of Elle’s flask, which she had been drinking from during the story.  Elle poured a little bit of water in it and Pinkie started sipping. “What a lovely story.” The little girl said. “If you look closely, you might find it. It is rumoured to swim around these waters of late.” Pinkie replied, feeling rested and refreshed. “I think it is time for me to move again. But I will keep an eye on you and maybe I’ll tell you another story later.” She fluttered her wings again.  “Once I need a rest again.”  The little girl smiled and nodded. “I would love that very much. Thank you for the story, Pinkie. I will move along as well.” She gathered her things, put them back in the rucksack and on her belt and started walking again, following the path, still pondering on the story.  What a lovely day she was having!


4 The River

Happily skipping she followed the path until she came to a bridge. She walked onto it and looked at the river below. Suddenly she heard a slurry voice. “And where is it you are going, little girl?” She giggled, it sounded like her mother spoke, but with a mouth full of cough syrup. “I don’t know, river.” She replied. It was the most common thing in the world, to have a river speak to you. “I am just following the path. Where are you going then?” she asked in return. “Oh, I’m wandering as well, but I don’t follow any path, I make my own” the river replied. “My task is to shape the land. To move the earth, to polish the stones, to sustain all living things.  What is yours?”

4 The RiverThe little girl blinked a few times and thought hard for a while. “I don’t really know.” Worry showing on her face. “Is that bad?” The river gurgled and laughed. “It will be an adventure to find out, won’t it? You can take your time, little girl. There is no rush for you yet. Just be wary of the silence. The silence is bad, very bad.”  The girl looked surprised and asked what the river meant, but it had stopped talking, too busy with all the things it had to do.  The little girl waved goodbye and skipped along again, over the bridge through the meadows towards  the trees.


5 The Birches

Soon enough she was surrounded by birch trees. Her heart was light with joy, feeling good amongst the trees.  Breathing in the fresh air, smelling the trees, the grass, the flowers. Hearing the buzzing of insects, little critters moving around, birds  singing their lovely songs. Their white and dark skin looking like drawings, like writing even.  She gently touched the trees she passed, her fingers tracing the cuts and lines in the bark of the trees.

She remembered a story her grandmother used to tell her, about Beith-Bey, a young girl who lived alone in the forest. Who had angered a wizard by trampling on his things by accident. The wizard had turned the girl into a birch tree.  Grandmother had told her that the markings on the birches were the warnings the girl tried to send to other people roaming the lands.  The little girl smiled. Her father had told grandmother to stop scaring his daughter and that the markings on the birches were stories. Good stories about the adventures people were having in the forests.

5 The Birches

She stopped and stared between the trees. For a moment she could have sworn she saw her grandmother, sitting on a chair, reading her book. She blinked and looked again, but there was nothing other than trees, grass and flowers. She wandered amongs the trees, enjoying the feeling of the grass under her bare feet for a while.  Then, with a big smile on her face, she continued onto the path once more.


6 The Silent Mountains

After a while she noticed the trees started to lose their colour. She frowned and looked behind her. There was no sign of the lovely birch forest now, it just got darker and darker everywhere.  Above her clouds were gathering, blocking out the sun. She bit her lip, slowing her pace, not sure what was going on.  Then she realized there were no sounds anymore. No birds chirping, no little critters running around, no insects wriggling in the grass. There were no flowers anywhere. Just… bits of grass that looked like they had been burnt. The little girl shivered, suddenly feeling cold and alone. The forest around her was gloomy and dark. Bare trees, staring down at her. She had never felt so small in her life! She wrapped her arms around herself and closed her eyes for a moment. But the silence surrounding her only got worse that way.  She sighed and felt tears starting to form in her eyes.  She tried to think of good things to shake off this horrible feeling of loneliness and then remembered Mr Nut and how he told her to call for him if she needed anything.  “Mr Nut! Mr Nut! I need your help! Come find me, please?!!”  she called out as loud as she could. There was an echo coming back from the mountains, which made her shudder. She swallowed hard and very very slowly moved down along the path, dreading each step.

6 The Silent Mountains

Each step was slower than the last one until she finally stopped walking altogether.  She couldn’t move her feet if she had wanted to. The silence overwhelming her, paralyzing her.  She wanted to be home, with her parents. In her bed, safely tucked in. Feeling warm and protected and loved. This place was cold and mean and scaring her. Then she saw movement from the corner of her eye. “Mr Nut? Is that you?” she called out, but there was no answer. Suddenly a high pitched cry was heard, piercing through the silence. Yet it didn’t scare her, she felt relief. She wasn’t alone after all! “Help me! Please, I can’t move!” she called out again.

“Oh, my. Oh my!” something muttered behind her.  Then she saw Mr Nut, shivering and looking even more nervous than when they had met. “Mr Nut, you came! Oh thank you, thank you!” she was so happy she reached out to pick him up and hug him, halfway through realizing she could move again! “You saved me!”  twirling around with the poor shivering squirell in her arms. “Yes, well, no, er…” it replied helplessly.  “We’re not out of the woods yet. We need to go, and now, please.  Put me down?”  The little girl nodded and put him on the ground. He ran left, then right, then left again. He stopped and scratched his head, seemingly being lost as well.  Then they heard another high cry and he called out to her. “This way!”  following something that was rustling under and between the dark grasses. This time she could make out a little more of the strange creature she had seen before. Its skin was light with purple and blue and pink shades. She also thought she had seen orange eyes staring at her. Eyes on sticks…. She ran after it and Mr Nut, going as fast as she could to get away from that dreadful place.

Slowly the forest changed again, colour seeping back into her surroundings, though it all seemed to be quite purplish. Soon as the last of the mountain was passed the strange creature disappeared and Mr Nut stopped running after it. “We’re safe! Now please, Elle. Don’t ever go to the Silent Mountains again. It is too dangerous!” The little girl looked behind her and shivered again. “Yes, Mr Nut, I won’t go back there, I promise. “ They started walking in a slower pace now. “Oh, I have to ask you, how is your wife?” the little girl suddenly remembered.  “Oh, she’s doing alright. She has started to remember a few things but still needs a lot of sleep.” Mr Nut replied, sounding cheerful.



In the room the little girl had been tossing and turning in her bed. A leg stuck out and there was sweat on her forehead. She had been murmuring and moaning in her sleep.  Her teddy bear had fallen out of the bed and was now lying on the ground. However, she had calmed down after a while and was sleeping more peacefully once again.


7 The Rock at  Lavender Forest

The little girl and Mr Nut walked onwards,  following the path again. They came across a rock that looked a lot like a huge head. Its top was green with moss, but it had spikes that looked like hair.  There were two little pools of water that looked like eyes.  The little girl thought she recognized a nose and a mouth as well. She watched it for a while as they moved towards it.  Still she was startled when the stony lips moved as it spoke.  “Travellers of the Woods, spare me some words?”  Mr Nut turned towards the rock, climbed on its face and settled on the mossy top. “What can we do for you, Spike?” he asked, while the little girl came closer and sat down in front of the rock. Spike looked at the little girl and smiled. “I just like to chat for a little bit. Not many visitors drop by this way, you know.”  The eyes moved to its right. “Too close to the Silence here.” The little girl followed its stare and shivered again. “Can you tell me what is going on over there?” she asked, pointing towards the Silent Mountains.  The rock shook a little as it laughed. “Yes, I can. Are you sure you want to know though?” The little girl glanced back once more, but, in the safe company of friends she felt confident enough and nodded. “Yes, I’m sure.”

7 The Rock at Lavender Forest

Spike smiled.  “Very well then. Something awful happened there.  It was many a year ago that another little girl visited these woods.  She was a very angry girl and she rushed through the forest, not seeing all the beauty around her. At one point she met one of the Forest’s spirits an started arguing with it about her dress having been spoilt.  The spirit was not the friendliest of creatures and it put a spell on the child. The next time she’d start a fight with someone, she’d turn into a tree…”  Mr Nut sighed softly, looking at the little girl. She was listening wide-eyed and worried.  “Not long after that the girl stepped into a puddle and started screaming angrily. A passing bird was caught in the middle and she took it out on the poor thing. She was screaming so loudly that she didn’t even notice how her feet got stuck into the ground and how branches and twigs started growing out of her arms.  Only when the bird started to stare in shock did she take a moment to look at herself and then started screaming again, this time in terror. Before the bird’s eyes she turned into a tree, a birch. Her body full of markings and cuts.  The bird was clearly upset and tried to move closer to see if it could help in any way. This angered the tree girl yet again. “Go away, leave me, this is your fault, you hear, your fault!” she snapped at it. Then she started to scream again, full of anger and resentment.  The air started to shimmer as it heated up. The girl tree started to glow as she ranted on and on about all the things that were wrong with everything and everyone except herself. “How dare you spoil my day, you are a rotten bird! This forest is so stupid, I hate it! I hate it!!” Anger built up and up until the bark and the roots just gave out and the heat enveloped them entirely. The bird started to fly and slowly moved further away from the tree girl as small flames appeared on her sides.  The tree girl was so angry it never noticed she started to burn.  The bird watched in horror as the tree girl and the trees around her started to catch fire and not before long the entire area was ablaze. All the little creatures living there fled, rushing away from the flames. The tree girl ranted on and on until she was consumed by the fire. And once the fire died down….there was only silence left…”

Spike stopped and looked at the little girl in front of him. Tears were running down her cheeks. “What a horrible thing to happen.” She sniffled.  Mr Nut nodded. “Indeed it was. And because such a thing should not ever happen again the Watchers came.”  The little girl looked up at him.  Wiping her tears away she asked : “The Watchers? Who are they?”  Spike looked to his left this time. “They are somewhere along the path. They guide our visitors. They’ll help you when you get lost. They protect you from harm.”

The little girl realized that they were talking of the bright coloured creatures she had spotted twice when she was in trouble. “They make sounds like eagles, don’t they?” she asked. Mr Nut nodded. “They sent your message to me and then helped you escape the Silence.”  The little girl smiled and glanced forward. “I would love to meet them and say thank you.”  Spike closed his eyes. “Then I think you should be on your way again, dear girl. And thank you for your time and company. It has been a while since I got to tell a tale.” Mr Nut scrambled down on the ground again. “Time for me to check up on the Missus.” He said. “Be safe, dear Elle and if you meet the Watchers, say hi for me. But, they are very shy, you won’t stumble upon them easily.”  Elle nodded and waved as he rushed off to his hollow home.  She said her goodbyes to Spike as well and was on her way once more.


8 The Bird among the Blue Birches

The lavender coloured trees slowly gave way to other trees. Birches, again, but not as green and beautiful as earlier along the path. These birches were grey and blue, and they had no leaves at all. It made the little girl feel a bit sad.  Then she spotted a statue between the trees. Or was it? It stood on top of a cut tree. Curiously, she came closer to have a better view.  She saw at once that this was a bird, but it couldn’t be a statue, it had feathers, real feathers. She moved closer and put a foot on one of the branches to lift herself up a little higher. Then she noticed the tears. The bird was alive and it was crying! “Oh you poor thing! What is the matter?” she exclaimed, reaching out to stroke its head. “So sad, so sad…” the bird muttered, not moving in any way. “You are a child, you are not angry, are you? Please don’t be angry..” more tears fell to the ground as the bird stood still on the tree stump.

8 The Bird among the Blue Birches

“Oh, I think I know!” the little girl replied. “you are the bird that saw what happened to that other girl, aren’t you?” She smiled and patted the bird reassuringly. “I’m not angry at all. Nothing is going to happen, I’m safe.”  As she kept petting and stroking its feathers the tears started to slow down. “It must have been very awful to have seen it happening.” The little girl continued.” “I was already sad just listening to the story.” The bird seemed to incline its head a little to lean into her petting.  “Everybody tells me it wasn’t my fault and that I should not be sad anymore. It’s been so long ago.” It said with a tiny and very sad voice. “But you still feel sad, don’t you.” The little girl smiled softly. “It is ok to feel sad, you know. It was a very sad thing that happened. But if this sadness is numbing you and keeping you here like a statue, then it’s a problem.”  The bird moved its head quite noticeably now. “So I don’t have to be happy and cheerful, I can be sad if I want to, or need to?” The little girl nodded. “Of course you can. Just don’t let it hold you back.”  It was fascinating to see how her words send a ripple of relief through the bird. It ruffled its feathers, flapped its wings testingly and wriggled its claws. “Oh….it feels good to move again!” The years of stiffness slowly moving away like a shadow fleeing from the sun.  “Thank you, little girl. Thank you very much!”  The little girl smiled  and gave the bird a kiss on its head.  “That other girl was lost forever, but I believe the woods have made sure it will not happen again.” She climbed down and stepped on the ground. “Now, I should be going, I am looking for the Watchers.”  The bird watched her leave and the little girl heard it singing a lovely sad song as she walked on.


9 The Lady and her Lover

The woods turned into warm colours, golden, deep red, orange. It made her think of autumn.  The wind moved through the trees, making them sway back and forth.  One of the trees swayed a bit more than the others and then it moved a branch toward her. “Hello there, wanderer!” it said in a cheerful voice. “Nice to see you.”  The little girl smiled, not at all bewildered by yet another creature speaking to her. “Hello, tree. Nice to see you too.”

The tree bent down and whispered in her ear. “Do you see that lovely lady further down the path?” its branches pointing to one of the trees in the distance. There was one that really looked like a woman, ivy hung around her like a dress. “Yes, I see her!” She said excitedly.  “She’s the lady of my heart, little girl. I am deeply in love with her.” The little girl smiled. “I’m happy for you.”  The tree laughed. “Yes, I am too, but…she is so far away, I can never reach her!”  The little girl frowned. “Hm, I see, that is a shame.” She walked towards the Lady and waved at her. “Hello, lady, how are you?” she asked. The Lady smiled upon her and her dress rustled around her. “I am fine, only a little alone.”  The other trees around her chuckled and swayed back and forth.  “She’s in love, but they’re too far apart. They have to call out  just to express their love for one another.”  The leaves of the Lady turned a brighter red, as if she were blushing. “There’s no privacy here, none at all.” She sighed with the wind. The girl looked between the two trees and pondered over this problem for a while.  A butterfly was flying nearby and it fluttered towards them. “Hello!” It was Pinkie Papillon. “I hear you escaped the Silence, but only barely!” Shaking her head. “I warned you, didn’t I? Oh well, good thing you have friends here.”  It settled on the male lover tree’s branches. “Have you figured it out yet?” she asked.  The little girl shook her head. “No, I don’t know how to help them.” Pinkie fluttered her wings and flew over to the Lady. “Are you sure?” she asked.

9 The Lady and her Lover

“Maybe…. “ the little girl looked between the trees. “Have you ever tried to grow your branches to one another?” she asked. “So you can touch?” All the trees started to react at those words. Chattering and swaying and all excited. It might just work!  Slowly, and out of season, both trees started to extend their branches, little twigs growing, getting bigger, dividing, more twigs growing until at last their ends met. Gently wrapping around each other the branches intertwined, like a lovers’ embrace. No more need for shouted professions of love. Both trees seemed to glow with warmth, so happy to finally be connected.  Leaving them to their newfound happiness the little girl waved at the other trees and moved on. Pinkie was coming with her. “How are you enjoying yourself?” she asked. “Oh, the path is taking me to most interesting places, Pinkie. It is quite an adventure. And I have made many new friends!”  she answered happily, starting to skip again. “Soon it will be morning though.” Pinkie spoke solemnly.  The little girl looked surprised. “What do you mean…isn’t it in the middle of the day now?” she had not uttered those words or she noticed that the sky was darkening again, twilight falling upon the woods. Pinkie fluttered away without another word and she was left to herself.


10 The Watchers

A familiar mix of purple and pink started to take over the environment. Trees became sparse until they were gone altogether, hills and strange looking plants appearing instead.  In the distance she could make out buildings, towers or something like that.  She was admiring the colour of a bush when she noticed a movement.  “oh! Are you a watcher? Please, don’t run away I won’t harm you at all. I just want to thank you” she spoke softly, for fear of scaring it away.

10 The Watchers

The creature stood still staring at her. It was indeed one of the creatures she had seen before Funny little creature, standing on two legs, skin blue and pink.  Its’eyes bright orange and on sticks, like snail eyes.  Then the eyes moved and it slowly walked towards her. “You the girl of courage, the girl of smart.”  It said somewhat cryptically. “Safe you are, safe we keep.”  The little girl smiled, not entirely understanding what it said, but happy nonetheless. “Thank you for keeping me safe, and for watching over this magical place…” she wanted to say more, but she suddenly felt quite tired. “Almost morning” the creature nodded as she yawned.  “What do you mean? She asked. But the creature didn’t reply to that. Instead it pointed at the tower closest by. “In you go, out you come.”  The little girl blinked at yet another cryptic sentence, but was too tired to think it over. She just went where it had pointed and entered the tower. She had taken no more than two steps inside, where it was pitch black, and then she found herself outside again.


11 The Fish

She looked behind her but everything was gone. Just a blur of pastel colours was all that was left behind. She sighed, but knew she had to move on. She came to a bridge and noticed something in the water. It was a fish. It seemed to have been waiting for her, for as soon as she walked onto the bridge it swam closer by. “There you are” it said in greeting.  “Thank you for your help in keeping things safe.” The little girl smiled. “It was a great adventure.” The fish bobbed under water and above again. “I’m glad you enjoyed it, I knew you would. But now, little girl, it is time for you to go home. It is almost time to wake up.” The little girl was feeling a little sad. “Does it have to end already, I don’t want to go home.” The foresighted fish, for that was who it was, chuckled and replied. “Not to worry, little girl. You will drop by plenty of times again. Your friends will be waiting and adventures will be had. Now, off you go, back to bed!”

11 The Fish

The little girl wanted to protest some more but her eyes grew very heavy and she closed them, just for a brief moment. But when she opened them again, she was back in her bed, safely tucked under the blankets and the walls were all around her, her room intact and familiar.

She sighed and smiled. She was home. She had woken up. She stretched and quickly got out of bed. Not feeling sad for waking up. She knew she’d be back to that magical place soon enough.

“Dad, mum! I have to tell you something!” she rushed out of the room, looking for her parents. it had all been a dream, but what an adventure!