Taylor Brodwick and the Mystery of Elysium
Author's note: It started when I was on the swing in my backyard one day.I imagined falling off into a magical... Show full author's note »
Chapter 2Chapter 2
I opened my eyes, to find myself on the ground, in the grass, face down. I sat up. Was that dirt in my mouth? Gross. I sputtered, then pulled a strand of hair out of my mouth.
Suddenly, I realized that I had just fallen off a swing. That was weird. Why hadn’t I felt any pain? How hard had I hit the ground? I stood up and looked around.
Have you ever seen that movie, The Wizard of Oz? You know, the one where that girl opens the door and realizes she’s not in Kansas
Next, I saw trees; emerald green trees as far as the eye could see. There were no trees in the Evansten backyard. These trees were tall, too. So tall they seemed to touch the delft-colored sky. Their trunks were nutmeg-colored, and a few had round holes in the center. The air smelled earthy, like the backyard, but it also smelled damp, unlike the backyard. I was in a very different place.
I started walking around. As I paced, I came up with a theory. I had fallen from so high and had hit the ground so hard that I was starting to see things. This entire place was just a vision. Soon, my mother would get worried, come over to the Evansten’s, see me on the ground, take me to the hospital…
That’s when I realized neither of my parents knew I was here. I had snuck out, hadn’t I? What would happen is they’d be worried sick, put me in a lost ad in the newspaper, only to discover me dead as soon as my dead body started smelling. Oh, help, I thought. I absolutely had to wake up. So I did something crazy. I walked over to the nearest tree and banged my head against it.
“Wake up, wake up, wake up!” I shouted. “Wake up wake up wake up, WAKE UP!” And I banged my head so hard against the tree that I felt myself get knocked to the ground.
“Ouch,” I murmured. I touched my forehead with my finger. Then I brought it down in front of my eyes. It was red with blood.
“Ouch,” I said again, this time as a groan. I fell backwards onto the damp grass. Was today hit-your-head day?
In the distance, I saw something. A white horse, galloping towards me. On its back was a person. Whether it was a child or adult, a boy or a girl, I didn’t know. All I knew was that I had to get up, and fast.
I slowly got up onto my feet. My knees felt week, and my feet heavy. I fell to the ground again. As the horse got nearer, I saw its rider was a boy. He was about my age, twelve or thirteen. He looked like a guy from a fairy tale.
The horse got nearer and nearer. I backed away slowly, but I didn’t get up. My heart started to beat fast. Now I’d die even if this place was real. He was only twenty feet away. Make that ten, nine-
Neighhhh! The horse stopped. The rider had seen me!
“Hey, what are you doing? I could have ran into you!” he said.
“I- I- I just-” No sound would come out of my mouth. The boy hopped down.
“Here, let me help you.” He pulled me up.
“Get off me!” I snapped. I know it was rude of me. After all, he was only trying to help. But I was tired and grumpy, and on top of it all, I had a big cut on my forehead.
“You look awful,” he observed.
“I hadn’t noticed,” I replied sarcastically.
“What did you do to your head?”
I didn’t answer. Instead, I started walking away. He followed me.
“My name’s Jack, by the way. What’s yours?”
I still didn’t answer. Instead, I asked: “Where am I?”
“Why, you’re in Hazelwood, of course!”
“Yes!” he replied eagerly. “Welcome to the Hazelwood Forest!”
“I’ve got to get out of here,” I murmured to myself.
“Umm, I’m not trying to say you’re dumb or anything, but how could you not know that?”
“Maybe because when I fell of the swing into this place, there weren’t any ‘You are Here’ signs.”
“Did you just say you fell of a swing?”
“That’s what I said.”
“And then you just… appeared here?”
I kept walking.
“Where is this swing? Could you take me there?” he asked eagerly.
“It’s not here anymore.”
“But you don’t understand. If you fell off the swing I think you fell off of, it could change my future!”
“Well, I’m afraid your future will have to stay the same, because it’s not here anymore.”
“It must be around here, somewhere. What’s your name again?”
I really wished he’d leave me alone because I needed to find away out of here. The Hazelwood forest was getting more and more real by the second.
“My name’s Taylor. Do you have any more pointless questions to ask, or will I be able to think by myself now?” I said rudely. After I said it I felt bad. Not that I acted like it.
“You must let me come with you, Miss Taylor.”
“I said go away! Your horse is waiting.”
“Oh, Prince won’t be waiting for me. He’ll always know where I am and how to get there.”
“By ‘Prince’, do you mean yourself or the horse? I asked, eyeing his old-fashioned clothes.”
He looked at me as though I were crazy.
“The horse, Miss Taylor.”
“I know what you were talking about. I was being sarcastic.”
“Of course, Miss Taylor.”
“Why do you need this swing so bad, anyway?”
“It’s a really long story that I can’t tell you just yet.”
“Well, what can you tell me?”
“All I can say is that if I find it, my life will be everything I’ve dreamed of. And if I don’t…” Jack didn’t say anything else.
“Look,” I began. “I’m really sorry, but the only way you’ll find that swing is if you could somehow get to where I live.”
“Well then this is perfect!”
“What do you mean?”
“We can help each other! I can help you find your way back home, and you can help me find the swing!”
I became quiet.
“What do you say, Taylor?”
I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t really want to get caught up in some quest, especially with this old fashioned guy. I mean, it sounded as if something horrible would happen to Jack if he didn’t find the swing. I didn’t want whatever terrible thing that would happen to him to happen to me, too. But I really needed to get home. Back to my life. And Jack sounded like he knew something. Maybe he really could help me. Maybe
His face brightened.
“Oh, brilliant! I knew you’d say yes, I just knew it, Taylor!”
“But you’ve also got to help me, Jack.”
“Oh, and I’ve got one rule.”
“And what is that?”
“My name is Taylor, not Miss Taylor.”