Finish That Thought #45 (Judge's Comments)
Prompt: You should've stayed on the path
Special challenge: Include either an enchanted or haunted forest
‘You should've stayed on the path!’ the pixie-in-training reprimanded herself. Her pink, gossamer twitched nervously. Pouty lips pulled down in a frown as she examined her forested surroundings. Back and forth, back and forth she paced under a rhododendron leaf with the tulip bulb clutched firmly to her bosom.
The assignment had been simple: Find a bulb and bring it back. It was only recommended to use the well-worn trail from the pixie students who had gone before. Nothing had been said about ferocious beasts in the enchanted forest, which of course was the reason one now blocked her exit.
“Oh, what’s a poor pixie to do?” Hetty lamented aloud. She set the bulb next to her on the branch to wipe the beads of perspiration away and wilted beside it. Leaning against the bulb, she tucked her knees under her chin and watched the large, black furball snooze in the sun by a clutter of clay potting jars across the grassy forest clearing. Her portal.
“Ralph, have you been eating my tulips again?” a voice boomed from far above. Hetty scrambled behind her bulb with a shriek and peeked out.
“Ralph!” The giant lumbered into the clearing, casting a horrendous shadow over the land. Slowly the beast yawned, stretched, and sat up. It didn’t seem to be afraid of the towering giant until it bent down. Instantly, the beast bolted through the giant’s legs and into the trees where Hetty hid. She held her breath as it sulked in the shadows only inches beneath her.
“You naughty cat! Come back here!”
Hetty cowered as the giant whacked something against the trees to scare the beast out. She clung to her bulb tightly as the earth shook and trembled beneath her feet. The next thump sent her spiraling to the ground. Hetty landed in a heap on top of her bulb.
The little pixie raised her head just enough to see two green eyes glowering in the shadows.
“Eeeek!” she cried as it batted her with its paw. Quickly righting herself, Hetty snatched the bulb and dove for the clearing, hoping the giant would not be able to see her. She cried out again as the beast swung another paw in her direction.
“Oh, you naughty cat!” the giant shouted. “Stop playing with my tulip!”
Hetty didn’t dare look behind her, but ran as fast as her legs could carry her toward the pots, the bulb securely held on top of her head. The giant lumbered after them, and the beast was almost upon her when she reached safety. The portal opened wide against the side of one of the pots and she lunged for it as the giant snatched up the beast to give it a good shake.
Hetty tumbled to the floor of the garden lab with her bulb. Professor Puffly looked up from his textbook in surprise at her unorthodox return.
“Trouble?” his whiskers twitched.
“No, no trouble at all,” Hetty said breathlessly. “Here’s my bulb.”