The Princess and the Dreamer…Part Six

…She couldn’t place the images on the walls and yet they felt so familiar. A man in a suit and tie, a smile on his face and kind eyes with wrinkles around the edges, a familiar mouse on his shoulder; the grin of a cat, like the crescent moon that had smiled down at her from the sky before she began her journey; a girl, much like her, wading through the same colored pools looked at her with a quizzical brow. As the end of the hall, she noticed a door. She reached out and turned the knob of the door slowly, sure she would find a dragon on the other side. There was no dragon; there was only a bedroom. Fear crept into Ashling’s heart as she lay down on the bed and her body felt as though it was being sucked down into the mattress. Darkness overtook her, and she fell into sleep. As she slept, an image of her father’s face came before her; his eyes distant and miserable. She awoke with a start and sat up, facing her own image in a mirror.

Next to her on the bed was the mouse that had followed her throughout her entire journey. In amazement, she reached out to touch the tail of the mouse. It began to twitch and sparks shot of the mouse’s tail, as its body began to change. Sizzling with magical energy, Ashling looked on in amazement as she felt her heart begin to throb. The man from the painting stood before her, transformed. He looked at her with kind eyes and took a crown from his pocket. He placed it on her head, plucked three stones from a pensive in the center of the room and said, “Your majesty, love has revealed your true nature. Take these to your father, place them in the fire, touch them to his chest and he will be healed.” She took the stones in her hand, and looked at herself in the mirror once more. Turning to say goodbye, she was shocked to discover that her benefactor had disappeared as easily as he had appeared in the first place, leaving only the whisker of mouse on the bed as a marker. And so it was that Ashling returned home the same way she came; with loving wishes from the townsfolk and pouting from Peter.  She did as she was told and peace came, not only to her father’s heart, but to those of all she touched…and they all lived happily ever after


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