I am doing the next challenge for CWWC!
I am using all three of the prompts-
(I'm surprised! I think every post I've seen has used all three prompts for their story!:D)
So, this story is way longer than my last one, but I really do hope that it draws you in and makes you actually want to read it.
If not, please read it anyways.XD LOL!
Lilah stared at her mother's unfinished painting. The brush strokes were so light yet placed with purpose. Lilah touched the canvas softly with a finger. The painting her mother had begun was of a coffee cup, but inside the coffee cup was the beginning of a tiny world, with a forest and birds flying. But it was unfinished, with only half a moon hovering over the forest and the forest itself had bald spots where trees should have been. Lilah had always loved coffee, even though her mom said it was bad for a fourteen year old to drink as much coffee as she did, and reading about other worlds and new places, so she felt as if the painting was somehow meant for her. As if her mother was going to paint it specifically for her before she died. But it wasn't finished, and her mom was gone. Lilah's vision turned blurry as tears fogged her eyes. She refused to look away from the painting though, and after a few moments, words began to form out of the trees and the birds she had stared at for so many days. Lilah paused.
Could her mother have tried to send her a message through this unfinished painting?
Lilah took a couple steps away and squinted her eyes, and the message began to unfold letter by letter.
Princess, my dear, hold your head high, if not, your crown will fall off.
Lilah smiled, 'Princess' was always her mom's pet name for her. She continued to read the message.
I love you, but I will be with you even when I am gone. I will be there in the memories, like when we went to the fair and rode on Glitter Bell. Let those memories be a message to you of my forever love that defies the bindings of this life. The love we have shared will not disappear when I leave, remember that I love you and Ben, and I always will. -Mom
Lilah gasped and put her head in her hands. Her mom really had made the painting for her. She knew she was going to die from the cancer. She reread the message over and over, then a new thought occurred to her.
Glitter Bell. Memories being messages. Fair.
She and her mother had always gone to the annual town fair and it had become a tradition that they had both adored. Her mom had always had deeper meanings in her words, it wouldn't be that far off to believe that this message was a clue to another message planted at the fair. Lilah hopped up and reread the message.
“It must be on Glitter Bell!” Lilah whispered, then nodded her head. The next message must be on her somewhere. It was her and her mom's favorite carousel horse, and her mom had even gotten her a Christmas ornament of a carousel horse that looked almost exactly like her.
A spark ignited in her as she read the message in the painting one last time. It was like she was still connected to her mom, to her best friend. She glanced down to her phone to check the time.
“Dang it!” Lilah muttered. The fair would be closing at 5:00. She had to hurry if she wanted to get there in enough time. She bolted out of her room and down the stairs. Her older brother, Ben, sat at the small wood dining table with papers strewn about.
“Ben! Drive me to the fair, would you?” Lilah cried as she threw on a coat over her dress. Ben's eyes grew wide.
“I thought you said you weren't going to the fair because it was too painful without mom. It was your thing,” Ben replied, standing up.
“I-I changed my mind. I need to go right now! Get your shoes on and grab a coat!” Lilah ordered as she slipped on her own shoes.
“It's too late. Didn't the fair end at 4:00?” Ben asked, looking at the clock mounted onto the wall above the pantry.
“No! It ends at 5:00, please, Ben. I need to go!” Lilah pleaded as she grabbed his arm and pulled him towards the door.
“Why do you have to go right now? It's late. Let's just go tomorrow. The fair will still be there and I'll be off of work by 1:00,” Ben suggested and pulled away. Lilah shook her head, feeling tears bubble up to the surface. She shook them away, wondering why she was feeling this way.
“No. I need to go right now! I can't wait another night,” Lilah responded. She wouldn't have been able to sleep knowing that her mom had a message waiting for her. She had to feel like her mom was still with her.
“What's so important that we go right now?” Ben asked, staring at Lilah. “Are you okay?”
Lilah glanced at the clock.
“I need to go! Don't drive me then!” Lilah shouted and raced out the door. She knew the way to the fair. She didn't need him to take her. She sprinted down the street, not daring to look back. Her wavy golden hair flew behind her as she zipped past and towards the fair. It was just down another street, then to the right and she would be there. She would have another message. She flew to the fair and stopped at the gates. A man in a striped shirt and slacks was letting the last stragglers out and locking up.
“Wait!” Lilah screeched breathlessly, as she tumbled to him. “I need to get in there!”
“Sorry, you'll have to come back tomorrow,” the man began to close the gates, but Lilah pushed through him and knocked him to the ground.
“Hey!” He shouted and struggled up, but Lilah was already on a memorized path to the carousel, her and her mother's favorite ride. She reached the carousel and hopped onto the platform, scanning it for Glitter Bell.
“There you are,” Lilah muttered as she reached the yellow horse. It had a saddle painted red and blue and Lilah hated to see paint peeling away on the horse's pale mane.
“We are closed! Get back here!” The man shouted as he hobbled closer to her. Lilah tore her gaze from him and focused on the horse. A message had to be here somewhere! She busily ran her fingers on the saddle and looked inside of the horse's mouth, but she didn't see anything.
“It has to be here!” Lilah cried, feeling frustration clench her heart. The man stepped onto the platform and grabbed her shoulder.
“You need to leave,” He commanded, but Lilah was too busy searching for a message.
“She had to have had more to say! I can't lose her completely! There needs to be more!” She gasped for breath and the man pulled her away.
Lilah spun around and saw Ben running up to her and the man.
“What are you doing?” He shouted and Lilah squeezed her eyes shut then glanced back to the still carousel horse. She spotted the pole running through its back and noticed how it was loose and practically coming out.
“Mom has to have left another message!” Lilah cried, yanking away from the man. She leaped to the platform and ripped the carousel horse out of the socket. It came out easily and Lilah tumbled to her back. She had to get away and search the horse more thoroughly.
“Lilah, what are you doing?” Ben yelled as she ran past them with the horse dragging behind her. She banged the gates behind her with a clash and pulled the horse into a nearby alleyway. She hoped that they wouldn't find her quickly. She laid the horse on her lap and gazed into its dim blue eyes. Lilah scanned it's face and took in every detail of its saddle and body. She stabbed her fingers into the hollow part of the pole, praying that there might be a slip of paper tucked inside.
There was nothing.
“No!” Lilah wailed, resting her head on the horse's muzzle. Realization crept into her mind and a tear slipped down her cheek as she remembered the note in the painting. She had jumped to conclusions. Her mom just wanted her to know that she loved her. Nothing more. Lilah couldn't bring her back. Nothing could, not even hidden notes. She would be gone. The message in the painting whispered itself again in her mind.
She had missed the point. The point was of her mom's love. Her mom wanted her to be okay.
But Lilah wasn't.
“Lilah! Are you okay?” Ben appeared and rushed to her. Lilah looked up into her brother's brown eyes.
“No,” She said, her voice hushed as tears slipped out of her eyes and her chin quivered. “But-" She paused, "but, I will be.”
If you made it to the end- THANK YOU! LOL! I hope you liked the story!:)