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Flora & The Shadowlands

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    Flora & The Shadowlands

    Part of a children's writing unit in university. Thought you might like to read something. I dunno. Lemme know what you think.

    1. In which I introduce myself, Flora, and Imaginary
    When I set myself up to write this, I had to ask some
    questions. First of which was, of course, "where did this
    typewriter come from, anyway?" It wasn't here before. There
    aren't any doors or holes it could have come from. It probably
    won't be here when I finish. My captors had no reason to give me
    a typewriter in the first place, and I have no other story to
    tell than this one. But it is beyond my control and there truly
    is nothing else for me to do in this empty room, so I suppose I
    shouldn't think too hard about it. The next question that came
    forth was a lot harder to answer. "Where do I start?"
    This isn't my story. I'm hardly even in it, more's the
    pity. Everything before I come in has been cobbled together by
    hearsay, interviews and perhaps the ramblings of the homeless
    man who lives on my street corner. It is a story of a little
    girl by the name of Flora who refused to do what her parents
    told her.
    Maybe if she had I wouldn't be in this tiny prison. But if
    she hadn't, I shudder to think what would have become of
    everyone. Despite her defiant streak and insatiable curiosity,
    Flora's bravery would prove to save Shillsworth from
    destruction, and possibly the world as well.

    But before we get into this story, perhaps you'd like to
    know where we are to begin. Shillsworth, a small town in a quiet
    corner of our countryside. This tiny town is not well known, and
    may never be. It achieved some fame in the early nineteenth
    century from a new miracle crop of imaginary peaches. This
    imaginary sweet was a delicacy across the country, imaginary
    peaches and cream becoming the dessert treat of high society for
    the year. But winters are hard and imaginary fruits do not keep
    well in any climate. It is in this town that our story begins.
    Flora Edgar Clarke was the third child of Edgar Clarke and
    Deloris Clarke, a well-to-do family situated on the edge of

    Unlike the rest of her family, Flora was known in most
    circles as one most disrespectful. You see, parents of this town
    subscribed to the view that children should be neither seen nor
    heard. They were to sit quietly in the drawing room until it was
    time for their parents to deny them a meal or time to harvest
    the imaginary peaches. I once took the time to visit before I
    found myself in this prison and I found it still much the same.
    The streets are silent of the afternoons where children would
    normally be running wild and free. Truth be told I saw no
    children at all during my three-day stay. It really is quite
    unnerving to experience and I suggest you try it. Go on, find a
    town where no children play of an afternoon despite very well
    maintained public parks and facilities. While you may not find
    it as bizarre as I did, television and the Internet did not
    exist at this time and children were forced to use the outdoors
    to enjoy themselves.

    Moving on, as I was in town I also took the
    time to see Flora's home. Their family had since left and I can
    only assume that the boards on the windows were not there
    before. The grey paint was peeling from the walls, and the
    stilts that held the home aloft had begun to bend and bow under
    its weight. But behind the house was more important. A huge
    field of empty dirt that once held one of the many imaginary
    peach orchards that kept the town afloat. Not too long ago,
    Flora would have been running through this field despite her
    father's muffled grumbling. And this is where we join her for
    the start of the story.

    Flora wandered the orchards, her eyes darting back and
    forth. Her ragged dress was filthy from dirt and the faint blood
    of her adventuring days. Her dark hair was dishevelled, her face
    spattered with mud and dust. When cleaned up she could almost be
    considered pretty, but children in these times might not
    recognise the wonder in this girl's eyes and cheerful grin
    developed through days spent ignoring her parent's demands and
    running outside to play. However, that grin had faded this
    afternoon to caution and worry. Something was dangerously wrong
    here. Shadows crept around her in the late afternoon sun.

    This was concerning for a couple of reasons. First of all, in an
    imaginary orchard there were usually very few shadows. Their
    presence in what was essentially an empty field gave her cause
    for concern. For another, they stood upright and wandered around
    her like you or me. Shadows are not usually in the habit of
    walking upright, being typically two-dimensional. The way the
    sunlight glinted off of their teeth and claws (Do shadows even
    have teeth and claws? Here is where I began to suspect that
    these were no ordinary shadows) proved to Flora that she was in
    really, really big trouble.


    The shadows vanished. Instead of the strange black fog
    monsters that were surrounding her, now Flora could only see her
    father waiting at the gate to the orchard. His typical look of
    disapproval had twisted into his lesser-used scowl he had always
    reserved for when Flora had truly done something wrong. This
    proved to Flora that she was -still- in really, really big
    Perhaps it is time you learned of Flora's father, Edgar.
    Edgar was a man not unlike an oak. Huge, stocky and powerful, he
    also had the expressive abilities of the oak. Perhaps less so,
    as an oak's branches would sway, given a strong enough breeze.

    Edgar's brow was locked in a disapproving furrow, as if he had
    made the mistake of making this face in a cross-breeze and was
    cursed to remain this way forever. But this theory fell through
    when one remembered that Edgar not only never smiled, he also
    never laughed or seemingly felt or expressed anything that would
    be out-of-place from this expression through words, gestures or
    some well-hidden diary under his mattress. That diary, much like
    Edgar himself, consisted of barely-legible grumbles. It was only
    when he yelled that his mouth opened enough for his words to be
    understandable, as you may have noticed before. Where Edgar's
    voice was usually a muffled rumble, when his ire was raised it
    became a roar. She made her way back to him, head bowed in a
    calculated attempt to appease him.
    No luck. His voice was low, measured. A sign of him being
    truly furious. He stopped mumbling when angry. She hurried
    toward the household he had come from.
    Behind her, something beyond the sight of Edgar's furrowed
    brow shimmered in delight. It just has to wait for the girl's
    father to keep her away and then all will be perfect. The other
    shadows began to shift into being once more to observe Flora and
    her father return to the house.