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Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

A Story by SSKaitlyn
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A tale of pure imagination, where innocence is captured by life’s picture book.

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Once upon a time.

That’s how Lady Lapierre started every story. She said those words only when Sophie, her little girl, was perched on her lap, brush in hand, mirror straight ahead. Like mother, like daughter, they had unruly curls of copper, with the prettiest shade of hazel-green in their eyes. Sophie was so small, sitting on her mother’s lap, betwixt a prominent torso and the old victorian vanity Lady owned.

They met in Lady’s room each and every night, just before bed, to comb Sophie’s hair nice and smooth so it could be braided for the next morn. It became a tradition, one that started one frightful morning when Sophie awakened for preschool and her hair broke the old wooden brush her mother had passed down. As comical as it seems now, Lady Lapierre knew she had to do something with Sophie’s untamed tresses. Her daughter hated brushing her hair, because it hurt, and it wasn’t exactly the most exciting thing in the world. Lady had an idea, one that surely worked wonders.

Sophie had been skeptical at first, when her momma waved her inside the master bedroom and pat her knee. Her mother hadn’t done that before, but she trusted her momma. They had this bond, since before Sophie’s birth. Somehow she felt her mother’s warmth and love from the day she started coming into existence. Lady was the only person Sophie loved more than life, and trusted more than herself. There is no love like a mother and daughter’s, and they were the perfect example of that. Everyone knew it, even the man of the house, who worked so often he hardly saw either, regretfully.

“Momma, tell the one about the frog!”

Sophie would exclaim as she wiggled her little body onto thighs. She always asked for that story, at least once a week. It was her favorite, next to the one about mice. Lady Lapierre loved twisting original fairy tales and making them her own. The mice came from Cinderella, the frog from the Princess story. But instead of telling a tale of princesses and princes, she used the animals to tell similar stories. Sophie loved animals to her core, and Lady knew it. So when her little girl sat on her lap, she went with the first story requested, took the brush in her hands and gingerly began untangling a jungle of burnt orange.

“Once upon a time, there was a little frog. He was the most handsome frog in the forest. He croaked the loudest, jumped the highest, and swam the fastest. All the other girl frogs loved him, and chased after his heart..” Lady started, and after telling the story half a dozen times Sophie chimed in, and they took turns while Sophie gazed at an image of adoration.

“But they can’t have it!”

“Oh, goodness no. He never let them have it. He was saving it, for that very special frog. Little did he know, that fateful day would be when he met a toad.”

“A pretty toad, momma.”

“Of course, darling. She was very pretty, but she didn’t see it. She stared at the pond day in, and day out.” Lady continued, and Sophie kept her eyes on the glass before her. She looked so deeply into her hazel eyes, she was paralyzed. Like the toad she stared at her reflection. As her mother went on what she saw shifted, and she started seeing a toad instead of a little girl. A forest formed around her, and she swore she saw the handsome frog in the distance.

“She didn’t move, because she didn’t feel worthy of the handsome frog. Even as he approached her, and offered her a flower, she didn’t believe it.”

“That’s sad..” Sophie’s tone lowers, and she’s sad. She can feel the pain the toad must, and she sighs lightly.

“Yes, it is. He saw that too, and asked her why she was so sad. She told him, she isn’t pretty like him, therefore she can’t chase him. He told her she was wrong, and that she had snared his heart already.”

“Then..then, they kiss.” Sophie brightens again, happy the toad isn’t sad anymore, but grossed out by the idea of kissing. Lady chuckles at her smile, and laughs gently at her daughter’s grimace.

“And then they lived happily ever after.” It’s short, but little girls like Sophie don’t have the attention span for a longer story. Lady wouldn’t know how to draw it out longer anyhow. She had only gotten through a fraction of Sophie’s hair so she waited for Sophie to request another story. Sometimes she did, sometimes she didn’t. When she didn’t want a story she continued the one her mother told, by imagining what would happen if she was really there. Sophie had such an incredible imagination, she could picture herself there in the forest with the frogs and toads, as small as them, running around and swimming with them. She told her mother how she talked to them, what they’d say, and their adventures together.

She did that with all the stories her mother told. Whenever they sat in front of the vanity’s mirror she saw the stories her mother told. She started by seeing herself, then her mother’s words come to life with little fantasies. Lady didn’t mind it. She loved seeing her little girl speak so enthusiastically, with so much life and brilliance. Someday she knew Sophie would become a great novelist. Her mind was too vivid not to be shared with the world.

“Momma, what about the fairy of Faeland. Franz!” Sophie asked one night, just as the bristles of the brush slipped into a few loose tangles. Lady laughed and started the story.

“Once upon a time, there was a fairy. The fairy of Faeland, named Franz. She was a cute little thing, with little wings, and little clothes. She had a big smile though, and a big light. Most fairies are dainty and graceful, like a princess. They never got dirty, and never left home. But Franz, Franz was different.”

“She was more fun!”

“Oh yes, very much so. But the other fairies didn’t see her that way. Because, you see, Franz liked to go on adventures and explore the world. She liked to get a little down to earth and dirty. SHe’d run around, trying to play games and have fun.”

“Those other fairies wouldn’t let her though.”  Sophie can see it now; Franz, clad in earthy greens, floating near a tree all by herself, sad because no one would play with her. Where her eyes meet one another in a gorgeous reflection two heads form. One for Franz and one for herself. Soon their bodies materialize, and Sophie’s sucked into yet another fantasy land of make-believe. She lives the story as her mother tells it, and continues to live it thereafter the happy ending.

“We’re best friends now momma, look!” Sophie would exclaim, while pointing outwards, to the mirror. Lady played along of course, with no intentions of ruining her daughter’s fantasies. She thought it was like magic, how her little girl could transcend this world and find herself in an entirely different one, where magic was possible. Sometimes Lady wished she could do the same, and vanish into one of her little girl’s fantasies with her. Sophie seemed so happy and carefree while in those imaginary worlds. Admittedly, Lady Lapierre was envious of her daughter. When she looked in the mirror she saw her world, the light of her life. But she could never see what Sophie saw. She couldn’t find the fantasies she did, or dive into each story like her. There was more than one occasion where she’d stare into their reflection, at the pretty likeness of hazel and emerald. They say the eyes are the window to the soul. Sophie had one of the most exquisite souls, her mother could see. There was so much innocence and vibrancy, it made Lady proud and joyful. Just looking into those petite irises made her the happiest she could be, because she knew what fate had in store for her little girl. She knew, every time she looked at her angelic face. There were times where Lady had to keep from tearing up. Instead of letting the droplets fall she’d laugh and squeeze Sophie in a tight hug.

 

“Momma, see! We’re gonna cross the lake. There’s rocks to jump on..” Sophie starts to explain one of her stories. She looks up to Lady, who gazes into the mirror with a loving, knowing smile on cerise lips. Sophie grins at her mother, and their gazes meet for a blissful, heart wrenching moment. She asks her momma to jump with her. Lady Lapierre agrees, her eyes twinkling. Then, the two, surrounded by lush fields of green and morning glory, jump from stone to stone in a vast pond of turquoise and cerulean. Birds of rainbow feathers swoosh by overhead, cute little frogs pop up from the water to greet the bunnies and does that drink from it. Anywhere you look there’s a butterfly or three, all different hues. Above a candy colored vista of cotton puffs and a sea of aquamarine floats by, posing as enchanting heavens above the velvet green leaves of twisting trees.

It’s all so magical, it stuns Lady. Sophie skips ahead, giggling with every bouncing step. Her mother watches in awe, her breath having been stolen away. Around Sophie fairies dance and prance around her, making the child giggle more. They add more spring to her step, making her seem ethereal at certain points. Turning, Sophie eagerly waves her mother forward, urging her to join. Lady Lapierre lets a single drop drizzle down from damp irises and she grins at her precious girl. Lady takes a step, feeling the cool grass at her naked toes. It’s so soft, so unreal. Rather than questioning it she relishes in it, and the breathtaking breeze that ruffles her copper colored hair.

She takes another step, then another, before breaking into a light sprint that carries her from stone to stone. Laughing as she does so, Sophie erupts into a jubilant laughter that makes her bounce up and down on the lake’s bank. Light as a feather, graceful as a ballerina, Lady soars across the lake. She reaches the last stone, and Sophie looked at the fairy to her side, smiling at what it spoke to her. When she looked back to where her mother should be, she was standing on the other side of the lake. Sophie stared at her, perplexed on how she got there. She was almost to the other side, then she wasn’t. Lady smiled at her daughter from across the way. Hazel met hazel, copper fluttered, and her mother whispered “I love you.”

When she looks behind her, away from the vanity, she sees the open door to the master bedroom. She turns back around, and meets her own watery gaze of earthy hazel and enchanting emerald. Her tresses are all brushed out in a waterfall of metallic rust, smooth as silk like her mother’s. When she looks at the mirror she doesn’t see little Sophie staring back. All she sees is herself, alone in her mother’s room, old brush in hand, and her mother’s reflection gazing back. One by one, droplets cascade from hazel depths, and she smiles, braiding her hair. Like mother, like daughter, she sits proud and strong. She added to the tradition, by grabbing her journal from the vanity’s drawer, one of many, and details her newest fantasy in ink before turning out the light, and saying goodnight.

She always started it the same; “Once upon a time..”

© 2017 SSKaitlyn


Author's Note

SSKaitlyn
Please enjoy and leave comments. Also, can follow me @sskaitlyn on Twitter

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Featured Review

I enjoyed the beautiful world Sophie makes about the pond, the stones to jump from and the birds of rainbow feathers. Her little story reminded me of the children's story: The Water Picnic: where bear, frog and several other animals make a raft and float onto the pond and have a picnic. What would life be without magical thinking?
Thanks for the story and thanks for reviewing Unified. You stated straightforwardly in the review what I was trying to saw scientifically.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I enjoyed the beautiful world Sophie makes about the pond, the stones to jump from and the birds of rainbow feathers. Her little story reminded me of the children's story: The Water Picnic: where bear, frog and several other animals make a raft and float onto the pond and have a picnic. What would life be without magical thinking?
Thanks for the story and thanks for reviewing Unified. You stated straightforwardly in the review what I was trying to saw scientifically.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A mother's love never leaves. You write beautifully. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to reading more of your work

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SSKaitlyn

2 Years Ago

Thank you for reading and for your feedback. A mother's love truly never leaves, and a daughter neve.. read more

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Added on May 24, 2017
Last Updated on May 24, 2017
Tags: Fairy-tale, story, fairies, magical, mother, daughter

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SSKaitlyn
SSKaitlyn

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They say writing is just writing, that it's not a real job. If someone asked me what I do, I'd tell them I write, rather than disclose my full-time job as a rep on the phone. I don't consider writing .. more..

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