Through the Trees

This little scene was inspired by a picture prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth.  It’s set in kind of an alternate universe of my Cross Family universe… The Engels are all adopted by a family friend, following the death of their parents.  This scene is set soon after that, when Johannes is just six years old.  Maggie is a neighborhood girl around the same age.

**

through-treesJohannes took Maggie by her hand and pointed through the tangled branches.  “Look,” he said, “Do you see that?”

“What is it?” she asked, her eyes widening.

He shook his head.  “It looks like a castle, maybe,” he said.  He grinned at her.  “Do you want to go and check it out?”

Maggie nodded.  Together, they moved towards the large building.  It was shrouded with fog and seeped in shadows, like something out of a fairy tale.

Soon, they stepped out of the trees.  “It’s so lovely,” Maggie said.  “Do you think a princess lives here?”

“Maybe,” Johannes said.  He led the way up to the front gate.  Then, he stopped and turned to Maggie.  “Do you hear that?” he asked, his eyes wide.

“A giant?” she said, her voice faint.  The door of the castle started to open and the children screamed and ran back towards the trees.  The giant was right on their heels.  Then, they scrambled under the bushes and were out of reach.

“What are you kids doing?” the giant asked.

Laughter answered the question, but not from the two kids. Konrad stepped out onto the front porch.  “They’re playing Daryl,” he said, shrugging.  As Johannes and Maggie peered out of the bushes at him, he grinned.  “Giant?”

“Who else would live in a huge, shadowy castle?” Johannes asked, grinning.

Konrad chuckled.  “A castle, eh?  I thought it might have been a witch living in a house made of gingerbread,” he said, shrugging.

Maggie shook her head.  “It was a witch last time,” she said.  She looked up at Daryl and frowned.  “You’re supposed to say ‘fee fi fo fum’.”

Daryl chuckled softly and then said, “Fee fi fo fum.  I’m gonna get you!  Here I come!”  The kids screamed as they scrambled back into the bushes.

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