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A Crown of Flowers This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Maria had been given the day off from her chores. It was one of the few days of the year that she would not have to practice being a “lady”. Today she was allowed to run around, get dirty, scrape her knees, or pretty much do whatever she wanted. Her mother had given her one rule: “Maria, you cannot go into the woods. They are dark and dangerous. I don’t want you to get lost.” So of course the first thing Maria did was run headlong into the woods. She did not see the problem with the woods. They seemed to be a perfectly peaceful place. The sun was shining down on patches of flowers that Maria picked until she made a crown of them, which she then placed on her head. She was the queen of the forest and all the animals. The cute little deer and birds would obey her, and she would play with them all day. Caught up in her own imagination Maria ran deeper still into the woods to look for her woodland subjects. She could not say how many hours she had spent running through the woods before she collapsed on a bed of grass but it was growing dark and Maria was very tired. Her eyelids grew heavy and before she knew it she was asleep out in the forest.
Maria woke with a start. Full dark had descended upon the forest and she could have sworn that she had heard something. It came again, a sound that echoed through the trees. A multitude of voices singing with such a lovely tune but Maria could not understand the words. Maria, mesmerized by the lovely music, stood and began to walk towards the sounds. The closer she came to the sounds the clearer it became until she could finally make out the words.

Bend and break hear the bones
We’re coming out to catch you
Snap and crack feel the pain
Nobody’s gonna find you

Such violent words from such beautiful voices, it terrified Maria. Turning she began to run into the night trying to escape the voices. They followed her though, chasing her with their lullaby of death.

Run fast you can’t escape
Your heart is ours to take
Dead hands feel the cold
Your life has gone away

They were growing closer, the voices had taken on a sickly tone now. The beauty was gone from them. Now it sounded like death. Tears began to cloud Maria’s vision. Added to the darkness of night, she never saw the root that she tripped over. Unable to stand, Maria huddled against an old, burnt oak tree as the voices came nearer and nearer.

Down you go dragged below
No more time to fight
Through the earth goes your soul
You’ll never see the light

Crimson blood through your veins
That’s what draws us near
Sweet death here we come
You’re out of time my dear

When morning came to the forest there was no singing echoing through the trees. The birds were chirping happily and the sun shone on patches of flowers. Deep within the woods, at the base of the old, burnt oak tree was a withered crown of flowers. Though picked fresh yesterday, they had turned black and grey in the night and their owner was nowhere to be found. During the night when the voices come back to sing, one can hear a new voice -- one of a young girl -- singing along with the rest.



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DragonRiddlerThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 2:31 pm:
It's beautiful... :) 
 
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MaryelleThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 10:20 am:
A great story, I like especially that there is no real background, just that Maria sets against her mother's instruction, like children always do. The song is perfect, I really could imagine hearing it to the sound of a harp or fiddle. Somehow like a fairytale, just darker, good work keep it up.
 
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