The Story Well sim story, Fantasy Faire 2018
The Story Well
There’s a little island in the middle of the vast sea. It emerges from the water like some verdant whale back of enormous dimension. Here, there are no cars, no electricity, not many conveniences… but there are walkways to follow, and other paths not so well defined, which are the preference of children. They make good use of the trees for their games. They also skip into the galleries of paintings, because everyone on the hill seems to love pictures, and there are no doors to prevent curious children from enjoying these.
Just in front of the Blue Palace which dominates the summit of the hill is a well. It is simple, but the people consider it magical. From it, each day, people fish up children’s drawings. Where these drawings come from, nobody knows. How they survive the currents is equally perplexing. Nevertheless, the pages arrive in a continuous flow, and from this resource, parents fashion stories to accompany the pictures, reading them to their sons and daughters.
A particular sister and her brother have the curiosity of a cat. Every day these two children sneak to the well when no one is around, to peer down into its dark depths. Today, they can almost see something in the darkness, like stars in a misty night sky. “What do you see?” they ask each other. “I see thousands of fish jumping out of the ocean to attack a ship”, says one. “I see giant children surrounded by clouds of floating pages” says the other. “Where?!” says the brother. “Where do you see that?!” says the sister. They were both bending quite seriously over the edge of the well. All it would take was the gentlest of breezes to make them loose their balance and fall headlong down the well’s shaft. And this soft breeze is provided by a little bird in pursuit of a plump fly, whose path zigzags right past the children. Down they go, screaming in terror. An echo returns the voice in its watery amplitude, as if a thousand children are joining in.
Suddenly, they come to a soft landing onto a flexible surface which gives in with their every move so that it is nearly impossible to remain standing. When their eyes adjust to the darkness, they can see the interior of a large cave with crumbling remnants of an ancient civilization, whose walls are covered with very active light bugs. The wobbly surface they landed on is a paper raft, a large drawing of a ship upon which they now ride. All around them in the water are more pages of children’s art. Looming close by, is the top of a spiral staircase, extending below the waves. More distant, is the grotto’s entrance leading out to sea. As the raft drifts on its way in the direction of the entrance, it will pass right next to the staircase. “I want to walk down those stairs to see where it goes”, says the boy. “But I want to see where this trail of drawings comes from”, says the girl. There was not much time to decide whose idea is the better, so each child chooses their own desire. The boy jumps off the raft to the stairs. The girl remains on the floating page which takes her on a current of artworks floating atop the ocean. Looking back toward her island, it patiently becomes smaller. Looking ahead, she sees a never ending trail of pages seeming to be born of the eternal sky. Then the sister turns once again to face the tiny dot of her island. Her brother is somewhere there… below the sea which was as enormous as the sky itself. What will he find there? What will she find at the end of the trail of drawings? Their prospects seem to her as exciting – as they are lonely.
Written by Haveit Neox & Lilia Artis