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2011-2012 Fiction

"Fire Snowflake"
By Amanda Stuth

Bella yawned as the index fingers of her clocks hands pointed five; it was time for dinner. Bella was a beautiful butterfly; gold and jade green wings that shown bright in any light, and a long slender body with long, dainty legs. She placed yet another purple grass blade scarf on her snail shell table, and walked to her kitchen where she found a good supply of cerulean daisy petals for dinner with a side of cotton candy dew. She had just sat down in her spider web-back chair when she saw a shadow run across her window. “Who could that be? Why are they near my tree house?” Bella crept over to the window and peered outside; the wind was howling as lurking clouds moved in.

Suddenly, there was a knock on her tree bark door, startling her so, that she dropped her petals. With a sigh she walked to door, and grabbing the cricket leg handle, she opened the door, only to find her friend and neighbor, Verdun the slug who was the color of the sea. “Hello Bella, check out my new hat,” he said as he slimed his way through to the living room.

Bella stared for a moment; Verdun had an old, worn out, small shoe a top of his head, with laces hanging down to the side of his face. Bella was not sure what to think, “It’s simply superplendous!” she exclaimed. Verdun bowed as Bella curtsied. Bella offered Verdun some petals or dew, but he explained he was there for a rather different reason.

He told her there was a music contest in the town of Lumiere, where singers, telloogan (a flute mixed with a violin) players, and grandorgus (piano mixed with a drum) performers lived. “You will be a shining toad stool and light up the night!” 

Bella had wanted to become a singer since she was a young caterpillar, but never believed it could happen. Bella decided she would go to Lumiere town, as long as Verdun came with her, knowing they would have to pass through some strange and scary lands to get there. “We will leave at the first sight of a morning darlup,” which was a strange asparagus colored bird with a body like a finch, but wings like an eagle and tall feathers a top his head. Verdun left and Bella began to pack her sack with petals, dew, gum juice, and her cerise moss blanket for cold nights.
The next morning, Bella and Verdun were off. After walking for two hours out of Mountain Meadow Land, they came to the land of Vie, where babies floated down from the sky on small pink or blue clouds, for this was a land of life. If someone was on the very edge of death, bringing them to Vie would spare their lives, but they could never leave or they would parish, turning into rain drops that float to the heavens. They came to a stop when five different roads lay before them. “Well which one should we take? Only one of them tells us where it leads.”

Suddenly out of the Razzmatazz Forest, an iridescent, turquoise dragonfly with a long tall stretching almost two miles and an owl’s eye on her head. “I can help you to decide, if you will tell me where you are going,” she said as she came nearer to them.

Bella hesitated, not knowing if she could be trusted.

 “We are going to the town of Lumiere so that my friend Bella can become a singer!” Verdun exclaimed.

“Enough!” the dragonfly yelled, “there is only one pathway to your quest,” she said as tears fell from the owl’s eye.

Bella became frightened. “Who are you and why should you be trusted?”

The dragonfly smiled showing blackened teeth, “Why I am Chalantrem the gypsy. I know and see all with my owl eye. Through the land of Mortedon you must go and find the one called Tonsurant, who will tell you what to do.”
Bella looked at the word on the post; it was the one they were to take. When she looked back, Chalantrem was gone, but a burledon was in her place; a small, plum like, fuzzy creature with tiny wings like a bee.

Bella and Verdun decided they would go down that pathway, holding tightly to each other, though it was not hard to do so since Verdun was slimy. They traveled down the dark path with only the moon’s light to show the way. Within ten full turns of a clocks hand, they found themselves in a wide open piece of scarlet grass blades with the rest of the Wisterian Forest. In the very middle of the scarlet grass lay a piece of nanuke paper, made from sparrow tears, with a riddle: how is a snowflake made of fire? Bella and Verdun became quite confused. “This makes no sense; a snowflake cannot be made of fire,” Bella said when a gust of foul wind swept through and on the other side of the small piece of scarlet grass, lay a long black mass, shiny like oil. Bella and Verdun stared at the mass, waiting to see if it would move.

Bella stepped forward about a thumb nails length when the mass raised one end up and glowing, sharp, white teeth glared at Bella and Verdun. “Why, hello there. Are you lost?” it asked.

“No. Are you Tonsurant? Chalantrem sent us here,” Bella squeezed out of her vocal chords.

His grin got bigger almost forming a circle, nodded his head, and he moved closer to Bella and Verdun whom were frozen with fear.

“What are you?” Verdun asked.

“Why, can’t you tell? I’ll give you a hint; I’m slippery and slimy, and live in the water; if you invite me to dinner you better have blood, for I slurp it. Can you guess?”

Bella answered, “You are a leech.”

Tonsurant laughed a high pitch laugh, “If you are on your way to Lumiere town, you have to find me a way to make a snowflake out of fire.”

Bella explained that was quite impossible; “Then I guess your wish will never come true, if you can’t make mine come true.”

Tonsurant began to slither away when Bella asked, “How are we supposed to know how to make one?”

Tonsurant kept his back to her, “You will have to sit and think.” Suddenly an electric eel cage dropped over them and they were trapped! “You will now have plenty of time.” He disappeared into the forest, leaving them alone in the night.

After sitting in their defeat for several moon phases, a pollikny ball rolled up to the cage. The pollikny ball was manatee with a square body and rounded edges and little arms that came out of each side. In a hair-past-a-freckle came a grasshopper juggling six pillokny balls. He stopped when he saw us, “What are you doing in there?” he asked as he picked up the ball he dropped.

“We have been trapped by Tonsurant and won’t be set free until we know how to make a snowflake out of fire,” Bella said with her head lowered as a maple tear fell from her eye.

“I can show you how, but I don’t think it would do you, or anyone, any good.”

Bella looked at him, “Why so?”

The grasshopper explained that Tonsurant wanted a fire snowflake in order to control the town of Lumiere and all its creatures, but he was not smart enough to know that he needed to go to Lumiere.

Bella was shocked; she had never heard of such a thing.

The grasshopper then pulled out two long tangru poles that were rubbery dough and used it to get them out of the cage. “I am called Telleros and I am a juggler among other things.”

Bella was glad to meet him and introduced Verdun and herself to Telleros.

 “Oh my, I can help you to Lumiere town. You are not that far from it; just a tapeworm’s length away!”

They set off being careful not to run into Tonsurant. They passed through Zebra Tree Forest and Egg Yolk Pond until they saw bright lights and a large sign made of flamingo candles that read: Talloo to Lumiere Town! They walked under a large archway made of music boxes.

“We made it!” exclaimed Bella. They walked along the Bass Drum Road where there were buildings after buildings full of music. Bella found the microphone building where the contests were being held. They all went in and Bella signed up to sing. While Bella was backstage, Verdun and Telleros had a seat in the bubble seats in the Silent Auditorium.

Bella ran into a tap dancing centipede who wore a beetle suite with red tap shoes. He introduced himself as Merbanda. Bella felt there was something odd about this centipede, even though he was the only centipede she had ever met.  Merbanda performed before Bella, and then when Bella performed she received a standing ovation. All the other contestants came to the stage; everyone was nervous.

A chubby, old, white ladybug with a candle burning on her head came to the center stage and announced that after much deliberation, it was decided that Bella was the winner. The crowd cheered and roared. “As a prize for your honor, you receive the much sought after fire snowflake.”

Bella gasped at the sight of a fiery snowflake with a blue flame.

Suddenly Merbanda screamed and grabbed the fire snowflake, “It’s mine! Mine! I shall rule over you all!!!” he yelled. Off came the yellow beetle suite and the red tap shoes and out came Tonsurant.

Bella ran to Verdun and Telleros, “What are we going to do? We have to get it away from him.”

Tonsurant raised high the fire snowflake and called to it, “I command that I have rule over all creatures in Lumiere town and that all the creatures be turned into burledons!”

A flash of light struck, but it struck Tonsurant. Once the pea soup smoke cleared away, all that stood where Tonsurant was, was a little, shiny, black burledon.

Telleros jumped over to the fire snowflake and picked it up. He carried it over to Bella, “Only the good can use this for good reasons.” He handed it to her and all bowed down to her.

For the rest of her remaining years, Bella served over the town of Lumiere, helping every creature.