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CWC S3R3: No butterflies next year.

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avatar DinowCookie
Event Host
Level 50 : Grandmaster Dinosaur
Mom? I'm going to play with Marie!

Who is Marie, dear?

Marie is my friend, she lives in the forest, all on her own.

Oh! Can I meet her?

No, mom. Marie doesn't like adults!

While mom continued washing up the dishes, reminiscing the imaginary friend she used to have as a kid, little Isabel cheerfully hopped on her way into the forest where she would go play with hers.


To find Marie, you have to walk off-path. You need to know exactly the way to get there, no-one else knows but Isabel. It's to your left by the big fallen tree, then past the pond and over the little hill. You cannot see Marie's house from behind the little hill. That's why no-one knows, Isabel figured.


Marie has chickens, and a garden full of fruit and vegetables. Especially the strawberries are tasty. Isabel is convinced they're the best strawberries of the entire province. But Marie does not want to share them with anyone else. There will be people on my doorstep asking to buy strawberries all the time! See? Marie really does not like adults. These strawberries are for Isabel.


Marie built her house all by herself, out of wood, stone and other things from the forest. It's a small house, but it is enough for just one person. Isabel asked if Marie would not rather have a big house. But no, this is just perfect for me, it's like I live in the forest and not in a house.


Marie loves the forest. The deer, foxes, birds and rabbits. The insects too, butterflies. Marie has a beautiful flower bush that attracts butterflies. Isabel tried to catch a butterfly, but Marie did not allow it. If you hurt them now, there might not be butterflies next year. She explained.

With a belly full of strawberries and a mind full of questions answered, Isabel hopped home again. She had to help with laundry this afternoon. Mom wouldn't be happy if she would be home late!

Did you know? Marie likes to live in the forest, not in a house.

Mhm, the forest is lovely.

Did you know? Marie grows the best strawberries in the entire province!

Mhm, they must be very tasty!

Did you know? Marie says if you catch butterflies now, there won't be any next year.

Mhm, you might hurt them when you catch them.

Mom enjoyed hearing about Isabel's fantasy friend. She admired her daughters imagination. It really incorporated all of the fascinating aspects about what you can find in the forest.


Can I bring a cookie for Marie tomorrow?

Mom had baked cookies while Isabel was playing in the forest today.

Of course sweetheart!

Clever. But what would be the harm in Isabel eating an extra cookie?


Wake up! Wake up! Out of bed! Grab a blanket and go outside! Quick!

Dad stirred up the household. A harsh smell of burning filled the house. Was the house on fire? Mom, dad, brothers and sister and of course the dog rushed outside as soon as possible.

Run, toward that hill!

While dad stayed behind trying to protect the house with buckets of water, mom, kids and dog made their way toward the hill. Only when they arrived at the hill, some distance from their house, Isabel could clearly see what was happening. The house was not on fire. Yet. The forest close by was! Oh no!

Marie! Marie! We must help Marie!

Isabel ran back toward the fire, bursting out in tears at the thought of her dear friend getting caught in it.

No Isabel! Not a step further young lady!

The little girl let herself fall to the ground, crying and whining and worrying. And mom sat down with her, and mom tried to explain. Marie isn't real honey, it's all in your head, don't you worry now. But mom wasn't comforting, mom had it wrong. How could you say that!? I told you all about her...


The night passed, a week passed, the fire had stopped and the house survived the disaster. But the forest was gone for the most part. In front of the house lay a barren field of blackened soil and burned remains of the trees that stood blooming there just a while ago. The last smouldering had stopped after a big storm rained over the province and it was now safe to walk into what no longer was a forest.

Isabel begged her mom to come with her and look for Marie. Mom agreed, hoping to prove that it was all imagination and that no-one lived in the forest. They looked around for a couple of hours. But the big fallen tree where you go to your left, was nowhere to be found, and Isabel could not remember where the path must've been. Let's go home honey, and you can draw what the house looked like, and what Marie looked like, so I can see.


Mom hoped that drawing would get Isabel's mind off searching, and help her forget about this imaginary friend. Isabel agreed to come home.

And draw she did. Portraits of an old lady, images of butterflies swirling around flowers, drawings of chickens pecking insects off the ground and scenery of a small, wooden hut with plants and forest animals all around. Today, tomorrow, every day. And as the paper ran out, she drew on the wall, on the furniture, in the sand. Marie was real. Marie was real.

Oop! That turned out very colorful but mildly creepy! My entry in round 3 of season 3 in Chiaroscuro's writing contest. The challenge was “Lost in the Fire”, read all about it at this link.

Word count : 926


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