Daffodil Fields

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John was a stubborn boy. He supposed he got it from his father, though the only reason he thought so was because his mom said so. He guessed that this wasn’t a good thing by the annoyed and worrisome look his mother gave him whenever she talked about Johnathan Sr.
“Mom, why’s the field full of swords?”
He also proved himself a curious boy. When he was little, he always wondered what was making all those scratching noises in the house. It kept him up at night, hearing the whatever-it-was scurrying from one corner of the house to the other.
“Why were you in the field?”
The old daffodil fields. For some reason, the adults always told their kids to never go there. John heard stories from his classmates about the field having hosted a battle, or aliens coming to visit in the night to pluck children off the Earth for experimentation. Frankly, he thought it was all nonsense.
“I wasn’t! I was just outside it, and-”
He knew so. The kids spreading ghost stories about the daffodil field at school were the same ones who told him his house was haunted by a ghost. When John checked his attic to look for the spirit, all he found was a family of squirrels that snuck in through a faulty vent. They were a lot less scary than cute, though they looked like somebody had given them a mud bath.
“Honey you know you’re not supposed to go near the field; you could have been hurt!”
He wondered why that would be. The swords looked old, rusty, and no doubt dull from the exposure. John was curious, but he wasn’t stupid. He knew exactly what happened when you touch sharp rusty things: you get tetanus. He knows that because he had to get a shot for it just a month ago. It wasn’t a bad thing either; he got free candy for not screaming in the doctor’s ear.
“Nobody ever goes in there, why should I be scared?”
John was very familiar with the concept of “stranger danger.” However, it had not yet occurred to him that an empty space was not necessarily safe simply due to a lack of strangers. Nobody ever went into the daffodil fields, but he did not know that there was a reason nobody entered. Nobody ever exited either.
“It’s not people that you should fear.”
It was a lovely day to go wandering, John decided. The sky had just emptied itself of rain, leaving only thin clouds to provide shade to the hot land below. The flowers seemed to just drink up the sunlight and give it right back in their golden blossoms.
The fields were vast in both area and beauty. Daffodils as far as the eye could see, coating the hills in a yellow blanket of petals. John wished he could take a picture, but alas, he didn’t bring his phone. Couldn’t have any foreign signals scare off whatever was there, you know?
He treaded lightly into the field, not wanting to trample any innocent flowers or stab his sandal-clad foot with a discarded blade. The plants reached up to his knees, obscuring anything on the floor of the field. Each daffodil plant had to be gently moved out of the way so he could find a spot of unoccupied dirt or grass to step on.
John halted in his tracks when he heard high, airy giggling. He turned around sharply, only to find more daffodils swaying in the breeze. He shouted, as intimidatingly as a nine-year-old could muster,
“Who’s there? Show yourself!”
“Hmph, don’t tell me what to do, boy.”
John whirled around again, now seeing the speaker. A girl, almost his own age, was crossing her arms at him. Everything about her was almost sickly pale, and her slight build did nothing but help the image of a child just released from the hospital after a long battle with... something. Despite this, she was stern and steady on her feet. The boy’s face twisted in confusion,
“How’d you get out here without me seeing you?”
“You don’t have eyes on the back of your head,” the girl said, dismissively.
“What are you doing here, anyways?” John pressed, suspicious, “Most grownups don’t let their kids go out here.”
“I’d be asking the same about you,” the girl chuckled, “Some mom you’ve got, letting you wander around the Court unsupervised.”
“What does that mean?!” the boy asked.
“You know,” the girl put a finger to her chin, smiling a little in her thoughts, “It’s been a while since I’ve had a boy in the household. Certainly, you must pay for trespassing.”
“What in Sam hill are you talking about?”
The girl closed the distance and enclosed his wrist with her dainty hand. John pulled away in surprise, but no matter how hard he tugged, he could not break her iron grip. He snarled at her in a mix of anger and fear,
“Let me go, you- “
He stopped cold when he looked at her face. During their whole conversation, he had never noticed her eyes. Her eyes were nothing but a pitch-black void, eye sockets not empty but filled with darkness. She grinned a smile full of too many teeth, the field opening behind her like the gates to hell.
“Welcome to the Seelie Court, Johnathan.”






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