The Staff and the Hollow by Pixy13 ()
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That night I didn't sleep, she kept me in her arms the whole night, sacrificing herself to keep me supported and safe, I watched her rest, she looked so blissful, I can't recall her looking so at peace with the world.
As I sat watching her I thought about all the evenings she had had with me, tickling my toes and tending to me as she waited and hoped for me to come back to her. For all her sacrifices, I had never really had the chance to thank her, even in the most subtle of ways.
While she slept I made my mind certain of what I was going to do with the staff.
I looked at myself in a nearby glass, she had spent hours meticulously working my mass of curls into a carefully made braid, a few stragglers were round my cheeks, but instead of looking like a mess I looked so vastly different. In truth I was different, the Evelyn that came into this world was gone and barely recognisable, especially mentally, she had made me so strong and confident in myself that in truth it took me a while to realise it was still me, I was still the same person just improved.
As she rested I slowly got down and went to run her a bath, it took time to get to the bathroom and every step reminded me that I had far from recovered but this was my little sacrifice and thank you to her for all she had done for me. As I went back into the room she was stirring "Evelyn, you are standing!" she whispered smiling, I took her hand gently and began to lead her to the bathroom. She got into the bath and I began to wash her hair, gently running my fingers through the locks and massaging her scalp, I washed her face showing her my finger to show her the dirt I had taken off, she chuckled back at me.
When she got out I dried her down with a towel before once again taking her hand and leading her outside, we sat there together as the sun rose, both in towels, we didn't talk we just watched the sun fill the sky before I put my hand on hers and just said "thank you for all you have done for me mother" She looked across but realised I didn't need her to respond, she took my hand back in hers as the sun broke the tree tops.
"I know what I will do with that staff, but I need to go back to my Hollow to do it, mother" I said to her as the sun confirmed in my mind that my decision would be right "I need their new Queen to come too" she nodded back "Of course, can you walk there?" she said not even questioning what I was thinking. We headed back in and she pulled out a dress from the package they had brought with them "They gave you this for when you became their Queen, wear it with pride Evelyn and show them all you don't need a crown to be the Queen of the Forest" she was smiling while she stroked my face as she dressed me for the occasion.
We gathered together, the Myra and Aria came along with us, Mother carried me on her shoulders, with them all following deep into the forest towards my Hollow. As we entered the barren wasteland the Sorceress had created, I asked to be let down so that I could walk the last steps, I wanted to feel the dirt of my Hollow beneath my feet and between my toes as I walked to my tree. They stood around me watching and waiting, I started to ascend my tree, every inch I climbed burned deep inside me, once I reached the floor, I collected up the gifts from the Sorceress that I had left behind, that sole buttercup was flourishing in my former home.
As I descended my tree, I went to Myra and collected the staff, I stood upon a piece of trunk from my home nearby holding the staff high in the sky, I made my wish with all standing around to bare witness. As the wish escaped my lips suddenly the sky ignited and a bolt came from the sky connecting with the staff momentarily before the staff simply vanished. I was left stood pointing to the sky, my hand clasping the air between my fingers. I looked back across to my mother and family before I came down from the trunk, I walked up to mother taking her hand and leading her to Myra and Aria, before I took her hand too. "I wished the staff no longer existed, as long that staff existed there would be someone to desire it, with no staff there is no desire to have it and no reason to fight for it" I said to them both holding both of their hands, "now we can have peace among ourselves."
Myra smiled at me, picking me up and holding me high into the sky, mother joined in too, both holding me aloft, my mother took me and dropped me back into her body holding me so tightly "Evelyn I am so proud of you" she whispered into my ears, fighting her tears back. She held me high placing me over her shoulders "My daughter Evelyn, the Queen of the Forest!" she declared proudly.
Her former little slave was now her "Queen of the Forest" I knew she felt deep pride in what we had become, she had looked after me so well and now I had repaid her love and affection in the only way I could, by making her proud.
Mother came to collect me to head back, but I had to ask her to let me stay for a while "If it's okay I would like to stay here for a while, I can't really explain but I need to see something" mother looked confused but agreed. Myra and Aria also seemed confused by what I was doing, "will you be able to get back home alone Evelyn?" Aria asked sounding concerned at my state. I nodded but Myra answered for me "I saw the state she got home in before, this will be easy for her, are you sure you don't want us to stay and help you back though?" she looked concerned but understood I needed to do something which I couldn't explain to anyone.
Mother and Red shook with Aria and Myra as they headed their separate ways, as they left I took my green outfit in my hands looking at it and feeling it in my palms. I looked to my Hollow, my poor wreck of a home and once again climbed it, each inch of progress causing shooting pains in my body. I went inside what was my home and carefully undone the dress I had been given, as I removed it knowing I would never again wear anything so intricately beautiful, carefully folding it up and placing it in the middle of the floor. I put my green top and trousers back on, she didn't control me, as that staff had disappeared into the universe her last breaths had finally gone with her.
I hoped she would be at peace wherever she was.