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Short Story: A Morning Run in the Park

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PostEaster01 on Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:37 pm

A Morning Run in the Park
by Joanne Easter ©2015

Part 1

Jill inspected the drawings on Callie's desk while she waited for her friend to finish getting ready for their morning run in Central Park.  She picked up one drawing that had caught her attention and studied the different pencil colors that were skillfully blended together to form the face of a happy little girl.

"Hey, you're really very good at this," Jill called out.

"Oh, you found my drawings!  What do you think?" Callie said, walking into the living room wearing a pink running suit with white running shoes. Jill was outfitted more sedately, in gray sweats.

"Callie, you are wasting your time working as a waitress.  You need to visit a few galleries and see if you can show these," Jill said, as she laid the drawing down. "Who knows, you might even be able to sell some of your work. Wouldn't that be great!"

As Callie headed for the door of her small apartment, she called over her shoulder, "And, who would pay my rent while I walked all over New York trying to find a gallery willing to show my work?"

Jill walked out into the hallway and waited while Callie locked the apartment door.  "I understand, but you've really got talent. It's just a shame not to do something about it."

They took the elevator down to the first floor, walked across the street, and then took the stairway down to the subway platform, where they waited for a train that would take them to Central Park. As the train creaked to a halt, Callie and Jill pushed and shoved their way aboard with the crowd. As usual, there were no seats available, so they hung onto the rail and swayed with the motion of the car.  This morning was no different from any other morning; the New Yorkers aboard were silent, indifferent, and sometimes downright rude.  

Both women were glad to escape the crush when they finally exited the subway and crossed the busy street to enter the park.  Jill watched, leaning against a bicycle rack, as Callie walked over to a grassy area and started her warm-up exercise routine. "You really take this stuff seriously, don't you? Running, I mean."

"It's how I stay in shape," Callie said, bobbing up and down in a series of toe-touches. "I'm glad you decided to come with me today. Come on, Jill, loosen up! Got a sudden case of the lazies?"

Jill laughed and joined her friend on the grassy area. She had just started her own set of warm-up exercises when Callie started running in place. A few minutes later, the two women started down the path.

"I usually do five miles, but out of respect for your frail condition, we'll just do three today." Callie said, as they passed several other runners out for their morning exercise.

Jill was beginning to breathe a little harder. Frail, she said. “Humph! Three miles....Are you nuts?"

"No...come on," Callie said, and actually picked up the pace.

Jill frowned in exasperation as she watched Callie drawing ahead, and put both hands around her mouth to shout "Not...repeat...not!...running...three miles!"

"Can't hear you!" Callie called back, laughing, and continued to run.  

This was actually pretty great, Jill thought. Now that she was into the pace, it wasn't too hard. It was a beautiful morning, the trees were glorious in their fall colors, and the air was still cool.  It was a perfect day for a run, she thought.  

They left the other runners, who were older and out of shape, far behind, and were now alone on the pathway. All that could be heard was the slap-slap of their feet hitting the ground, and birdsong in the background. They ran in and out of patches of bright sunlight. Callie caught sight of their marker and turned her head to see that Jill, through a determined effort, had almost caught up with her again. "One mile!" she called, "Two to go!" and heard Jill groan, "Mercy!"

Callie began to ease up a bit, allowing Jill to come up beside her, and they ran together for a while, silently concentrating on the run.  As they neared the marker for the second mile, Jill glanced over at her friend and began to ask, "Did you see those..." Suddenly she was falling, flinging out her arms to break her fall, lurching into Callie so that they both went down in a heap together in the grass beneath an ancient oak.  

As soon as she could catch her breath, Jill gasped, "Ohhh, that hurt!" There was no response from Callie. Alarmed, Jill rolled away and sat up. Callie was curled up in a ball, her face down in the grass. She reached over to give her friend's shoulder a shake. "Are you okay? Callie, are you okay?" she asked anxiously. Suddenly there was a strange muffled sound that began to increase in volume, and Jill realized that Callie was giggling into the grass. Jill slapped her lightly on the top of her head and sat back. "Girl, what are you trying to do, give me heart failure?"

Callie sat up and began to flex her legs tentatively. "Ow," she said.

"That was real dignified," Jill said. "I think that's what they call a pratfall."

"Very funny. You came out of it without a scratch, I bet, because you landed on top of me!" Callie said, inspecting the green stains on her outfit. "Remind me to never to buy a pink running suit," She pulled up the legs of her sweats, one at a time, to inspect her knees for damage. The left was slightly reddened, but the right knee was rather badly abraded and already starting to swell.

"Oh, that doesn't look good. I think our run is over for today," Jill said, sympathetically. "Let's rest for a few minutes.  That was quite a spill you took.  There's some benches right over there. Do you need help getting up?"

"No...I can manage...," Callie said, but groaned as she stood up. Jill took her arm and helped her to hobble over to the bench. Callie sat down with evident relief and pulled her hair back out of her eyes with both hands.

They watched a squirrel playing peekaboo with them, circling around the trunk of a tree on the other side of the path. After a moment, Jill cleared her throat and said, "Uh, you recognize this place?"

Callie looked around and then craned her neck to peer upward toward the sky. "Jill.  Look at these trees. They're huge! I've never seen anything like this in the Park." They were seated in what appeared to be a section of some primeval forest. The massive trunks of ancient monarchs, thicker than the height of a tall man, covered with mosses and lichen, rose straight into the air, branches so entangled that there was no hint of the sky above. The ground beneath was so densely shaded that only scattered ferns grew, in patches here and there.

They both turned as one to look directly at each other's face. "We've run this path several times each week for the last couple of years," Jill said, slowly. "I know every turn, practically every tree. I've lived in New York all my life, and I don't know just where we are, but I do know, this ain't Central Park."

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PostEaster01 on Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:37 pm

A Morning Run in the Park
by Joanne Easter ©2015

Part 2

They nearly jumped out of their skins when a nearby voice said, "Ah, Callie, you're here, Excellent!" Turning about, they saw an elderly man with long white hair, arm in arm with a handsome woman about the same age, approaching them across the grass from the path. They were dressed rather quaintly, in what appeared to be formal clothing from the eighteenth century. The couple halted before the bench, and the man doffed his hat and made a sweeping bow. "Hans Zimmerman, at your service." Covering his head again, he introduced the woman as his wife, Maria.

Maria tugged on his sleeve. "Hans, dear, there are two of them."

He blinked. "Eh? Oh, yes, you're quite right. Callie, who is your attractive young friend?"

Both women were momentarily stunned, but Callie was the first to recover. She frowned and said, "Excuse me, have we met?"

Zimmerman opened his mouth to reply but was interrupted by an angry voice before he could say a word.

"No, no, this is all wrong! Who is this person? There's only supposed to be one of them!" A young man with long tangled hair, wearing a long khaki coat that must have had at least a hundred pockets, stepped out of the darkness beneath the trees and stood beside the older couple, his hands on his hips. He glared accusingly at the two young women, looking back and forth between them. Jill stared in fascination at this apparation. The pockets of his coat were bulging with all sorts of mysterious items, some of which appeared to be trying to escape confinement. What seemed to be a Slinky dangled from one pocket and jiggled as the young man bounced up and down in his agitation.

Callie started to get angry herself, and pointed a finger at the frizzy-haired young man. "Okay, and just who are you?" She gestured to include all of the strangers, and said, "Who are you people? Did you escape from some asylum, or what? How do you know my name...and...just where in the world is this place?"

Zimmerman cleared his throat noisily. "Please, everyone. Ah, this is my youngest son, Hector. He is our space-time engineer."

Hector was still obviously agitated. "Look, father, it's not my fault," he said before either Callie or Jill could respond. "I had everything set up perfect. It's not my fault if someone else stumbled into the extra-dimensional net."

Jill raised a hand. "Hey! Jill here!" She pointed at Callie. "I'm with her. What's going on? Are you all crazy, or what?"

The older man spread his hands in an apologetic gesture. "Ladies, if you will allow me to explain." In an aside, he said, "Hector, calm down and be quiet. No one is blaming you, what's done is done and we'll just make the best of it."

Turning back, Zimmerman said, "Callie, Jill. Let me assure you that we are all quite sane, although we may seem a little odd at times. As to where you are...well, that is a little more difficult to explain." He sighed. "My son could probably give you a technical explanation, but the short and simple version is that this is a very special place. Actually, this is no place and no where. It exists outside of space and time." He pulled himself up straight and extended a hand. "I am the Master Toymaker. Welcome to Toyland."

His hand remained extended as the two women glanced at each other and then simultaneously burst into laughter. Jill gasped out, "I had it right the first time...all of you are crazy!"

Maria now walked forward, gently pushing her husband out of the way. "Please. Certainly this must seem hard to believe, but why don't you just humor us for a moment? Come, walk with us just to the edge of the trees. There is something you should see."

Callie and Jill looked at each other again, and shrugged. They might be lunatics, but at least they seemed to be harmless. Why not humor them for a moment. They followed the Zimmermans through the trees for a few paces and, to their astonishment, came out of the forest to an overlook atop a high cliff, protected by a wooden railing, Off in the distance, but soaring so high into the sky that they had to look up to see the top, was a huge and fantastic castle that appeared to be made of pure crystal. Around the base was a village of small thatched cottages.

Callie grasped the railing with desperate strength and swayed in shock, scarcely able to comprehend what she was seeing. Beside her, Jill whispered, "Callie, this sure ain't Central Park."

With mild satisfaction, Hans Zimmerman softly repeated, "Welcome to Toyland."

There were benches on the overlook platform, and they all sat down together, taking in the amazing sight of the crystal castle. Maria sat between Callie and Jill and took one of their hands in each of her own. "This is where the best toymakers in the universe learn their craft. In a way, dears, we are talent scouts. We search for those persons who have a true vocation to create the finest toys, clothing, furniture, or artwork for children. Those who come here already have the talent; we just teach them to touch their imagination."

Hector scuffed his feet on the stone beneath the bench. "I'm the one who locates and brings the talent here. We've been watching Callie for several weeks, and I set up the extra-dimensional net to scoop her up on one of her runs." He hung his head. "I didn't mean to pick you up too, Jill. Didn't know you were there. Sorry." Hector perked up at a sound from behind them, hooves crunching on the graveled pathway. "Oh, here's our transportation!"

A little while later, seated in a white carriage pulled by a matching set of four white horses, Callie and Jill watched the scenery go by as they descended the mountain into the valley of the castle. Neither were able to utter a single word, but their eyes were wide as the carriage came ever closer to the crystal structure. Seated across from them, the Zimmermans smiled knowingly, understanding their amazement. Soon they were passing among the first of the cottages surrounding the castle. With their thatched roofs, and all the people in colorful garb, it all looked like something out of a medieval fair, Callie thought. Or maybe, a fairytale!

A Morning Run in the Park
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Last edited by Easter01 on Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:39 pm; edited 1 time in total

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PostEaster01 on Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:38 pm

A Morning Run in the Park
by Joanne Easter ©2015

Part 3

At last the carriage pulled up before a cottage that was slightly larger than most, but still built in the same rustic style. "Ladies," Hans Zimmerman announced, "this is our home. We would be pleased if you would join us for our noon meal, and we can answer some more of your questions."

Maria added, "I have stew simmering on the fire and yeast bread still warm from the oven."

Everything was delicious, and their heads were buzzing, but out of respect for their hosts Callie and Jill put off any questions until after the meal. At last, Maria poured them each a cup of hot tea, and they sat and sipped, trying to figure out just where to begin.

"Mrs. Zimmerman?" Jill asked at last. "I know why you wanted to bring Callie here. She has a real talent for art. But what about me? I don't have a talent like that. What am I doing here?"

"Please call me Maria," the older woman said with a friendly smile. "Callie is a born Toymaker. She has an extraordinary gift. Here she will learn to bring her imagination to new heights.

"We had not intended to bring you here with Callie. We did not know anything about you at all." Maria closed her eyes and breathed in the aroma of the tea. "But I believe that nothing happens by accident."

"Jill, close your eyes and touch your imagination. Perhaps you belong here, after all."

The Zimmermans had been true to their word. They had answered every question Callie and Jill could think to ask about Toyland and its residents. In fact, Hans Zimmerman included details in his answers that gradually put their minds at ease.

"Tomorrow we will take you on a tour of Toyland," Hans continued, as he stood and walked over to a table against the wall and started shuffling through some papers.

"Tomorrow?" Jill blinked. "We are staying?" She exchanged a glance with Callie.

Maria stood up and started to clear the table. "We do have a small guest house in town but we would be delighted if you would stay here with us."

"Ummm...just how long were you going to keep us here?" Jill asked, this time with a little more concern. "When do we get to go home?"

Maria put the teacups in the sink and sat back down at the table. "Jill, it takes about two weeks for the gateway to regenerate its energy after Hector brings a new toymaker to Toyland for their first visit. That will give you enough time to learn more about us, and to know whether you belong here, at least for a time."

Jill was upset. "Two weeks? No, no, I have a job. A darn good job, and I don't want to lose it,"

"Dear Jill, there is no reason for you to worry." Maria smiled reassuringly. "You must remember that this place is outside of time. Hector will place you back in your own world only moments from the time you left it."

"At the pre-cise moment!" Hector chimed in.

"Cool..." Callie breathed.

"Ah, there it is!" Hans said with satisfaction, looking as though he had found a lost treasure. He walked over to the table and unrolled a parchment, placing a sugar bowl on one end and a salt cellar on the opposite to restrain the paper from curling back up.

"This is the map of Toyland showing all the shops and residents. Tomorrow we will visit this area here, which houses the woodcrafters," he said, indicating a cluster of shops closest to the castle. Rapidly, he went over the map, pointing out all the different guilds and schools that they would call upon over the next few days.

Callie leaned forward to get a closer look at the map. "Can we see all this in just two weeks?" she asked, with excitement in her voice.

"Hans, remember that Callie has an injury," Maria said. "Her knee is swollen, and she should not be gallivanting about on it. You don't need to show them everything, all at once! Trevor will be here soon to take a look at it, and we'll let him decide what Callie is able to do." She patted her husband's hand, and he cleared his throat, "Umm, yes, dear, whatever you think best."

Callie and Jill both gave Maria a blank look.

Hector laced his fingers together and stretched until his knuckles cracked. "Oh, Trevor is my older brother. He's the doctor here. He's nearly as brilliant as I am!" At that moment the front door swung open, and a handsome sandy-haired man, taller and slim, ambled in and leaned against the doorframe, hands in his pockets.

"Hello all," he said. "Oh, Hector, I see you made your catch. Looks like you got two fish in your net, though." He walked over and looked Jill up and down with approval in his eyes. "I'd say this one's a keeper, too."

Maria frowned at him. "Trevor, where are your manners! These are guests!"

"It wasn't my fault!" Hector said defensively. "Jill fell into the net when I opened the gateway for Callie. She shouldn't have been there!" He subsided at Maria's glare, muttering, "Well, she shouldn't have."

Trevor took a step back and bowed formally to the two young women. "My apologies, ladies, but more for my brother's bad manners," he said, with a pointed look at Hector, "than for my own. Jill, accident or not, your presence here graces our small community. Welcome, welcome to you both!" He held the bow a moment longer, and then, eyes sparkling, straightened back up. "Callie, I understand you have an injury to your knee. May I have a look?"

Callie extended her leg, rolling up the pantleg, and Trevor knelt on the floor beside her to examine it. As he carefully flexed the joint and questioned Callie, Jill pulled the map closer so she could study the details.

"Callie and Jill will be staying here with us for the next two weeks, until Hector is able to open the gateway again," Maria informed Trevor.

"Your knee will be fine in a couple days," Trevor told Callie. "You should try to take it easy for a while, if you can," He pulled a chair out from the table and sat down; Maria brought him a cup of tea and a slice of buttered bread. He took a few sips, and then addressed Jill. "Since Callie needs to stay off her feet, perhaps you would like to take a short walk with me and see the town?"

"You bet I would!" Jill exclaimed, jumping to her feet, and then looking embarrassed when she saw Callie's look of dismay. "I will describe it all to you in excruciating detail when we get back. You'll be up and about in no time, and can see it for yourself."

Jill and Trevor walked through the village, which had a rather medieval appearance. They looked at the displays of finished toys arranged in front of the shops, and through the doorways, where they could often see the artisan at work over their bench. Each shop had a wooden sign hanging from the second story, bearing an elaborate painted picture of the craft specialty of the owner. On one occasion, as they peered into the door of a woodcrafter's shop, the owner gestured them inside, and proudly showed off the product of her labor. She specialized in full-size carousel horses, in various poses, painted with bright colors. Jill's attention was caught by a unicorn in a clamp next to the workbench, freshly painted with a coat of gleaming white, and was startled when she caught a glimpse, through a window in the back of the shop, of the real animal delicately cropping grass in the rear yard. "I work from real life, of course," the artisan explained.

Commanding the scene, of course, was the crystal palace, which glittered and sparkled so brilliantly in the afternoon sun that Jill could not look directly at it, but had to shade her eyes to peer up at the soaring towers and arches. "Who lives there?" Jill asked, "the King of fairyland?"

"Oh, no, we don't have a king. That is the home of the Royal Toymaker." Trevor said.

"What, you mean Santa Claus?" Jill asked, by this point ready to believe almost anything.

Trevor chuckled. "No, Santa has his own place." Jill stared at him; I don't think he's joking, she thought. More seriously, he continued, "The Royal Toymaker and his family are the magic and life of Toyland. None of this would be possible without them."

Later that evening, in a bedroom that had been provided for them after a delicious supper of plain fare, Jill sat down on one of the twin beds and bounced up and down, happily. Callie occupied the other bed, her injured leg elevated on a pillow. "Handsome, huh?" Callie observed. "Lucky you."

"Maybe," Jill responded thoughtfully, pulling back the quilted coverlet. A featherbed, no less!

She burrowed down into the warm softness and thought about the amazing crystal castle, the Zimmermans, and Toyland, and hoped everything would still be here when she woke up.

A Morning Run in the Park
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Last edited by Easter01 on Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:40 pm; edited 1 time in total

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PostEaster01 on Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:38 pm

A Morning Run in the Park
by Joanne Easter ©2015

Part 4

The next morning, Callie was curled up in an overstuffed armchair with a huge book of illustrated fairy tales, Jill standing at the window with a cup of tea, gazing outside at the cobbled street, when Trevor and Hector came down to breakfast.  

"How's the knee?" Trevor asked, pouring himself a cup of hot tea.

"Sore.  It's sore...but it's better!" Callie sighed. "To be truthful, I guess I should stay off my feet a while longer. But, you guys!" The frustration in her voice was plain to hear. "It's absolutely killing me, to sit here while just outside is all this really cool stuff, fairyland and all!" She closed the book with a loud thump. She rapped the cover with her knuckles, "So, what is this, is this stuff in here just imagination, giants, trolls, dragons, fairies...or is it real, too?" Jill had told her about seeing the unicorn.

Trevor laughed, looking sideways at the title of the book Callie was holding. "A little of both, actually. Toyland is only one of the many alternate dimensions. Some of them are inhabited wouldn't want to meet. Nothing like that here, though," he hastened to add. "Here in Toyland are only humans, and a few harmless magical beings."

At that moment, Maria set heaping plates full of johnnycakes, fried apples and sausages, on the table. "Breakfast!" she announced, just as Hans, now dressed in everyday clothes, walked through the back door with a crock of cold milk from the springhouse, "I see you found the illustrated story books, Callie, very good.  What do you think of them?" he said, setting the container on the sideboard..

"They are wonderful! So full of detail, they almost seem to leap off the pages. Will I learn to draw like that?" she asked.

"You already have the technical skills. We will help you find your artist's vision," Hans answered, setting mugs out on the table. "And, much, much, more."

After breakfast Maria shooed Trevor and Jill out the front door to continue their tour of Toyland, while Hans and Callie sat together at the table and went through one of the story books, the older man noting the individual artists and explaining the stories behind the illustrations.

"Callie is sooo excited," Jill said, as she and Trevor walked toward the western edge of the town, an area they had not yet explored, "But so frustrated!"

"She's a born toymaker, Jill.  Her passion is excited just by being here, by the potential of new discoveries," he said. In only a few minutes, they came into a district in which most of the signs hanging over shop doors displayed pictures of scissors. He opened the door to the first large shop they approached; a bell tinkled in the back as they entered. The shop was filled with shelves containing fabric rolls in an astonishing variety of colors and patterns that quite overwhelmed Jill. On one wall was a display of examples of male and female clothing, some sized for humans and smaller sizes obviously meant for dolls; on another wall were embroidered hangings and tapestries; and on a third wall were shelves of dolls and stuffed toys. She walked up and down the aisles in a sort of happy bemusement, stopping now and then to slide out a roll of cloth and examine the pattern and texture, or to tentatively touch one of the display items.  The designs and colors were a tribute to the imaginations of their creators.

On the third morning, Callie joined them in their excursion, but that afternoon, when they discovered the street of the Artists and Designers, Callie was lost to them. She spent the rest of the two-week period visiting each of the artists and discussing methods and techniques, so that Jill and Trevor, amused, were forced to continue along without her. Jill, however, found an obsession of her own, She kept being drawn back to the fabric shops. She would touch the different fabrics and imagine how they could be used to dress a doll or a toddler, or as a quilted pattern for a toddler's crib.

Then, one morning, Jill knew it was finally time to leave when she saw Hector waiting for them beside the door of the Zimmerman house, dressed in his khaki coat of a hundred pockets and pointedly examining a large gold pocketwatch.  "It's time, ladies.  The gateway to your world will open in a couple of hours, and we must not be late. The carriage will take us back up the mountain."

At that moment there was a clatter from outside and Jill saw the carriage arriving, the white horses prancing as they came to a halt before the door. Callie and Jill looked at each other; as strange as this whole experience had been, they were now both reluctant for it to end. Maria placed her arms around both girls and gave them a quick hug, and then stepped back.. "Callie, dear, you are a Toymaker, and I think you know now that you belong here with us. You can return any time. Hector will tell you how to contact us." She turned to Jill, and said, "What are your plans, dear? Your arrival here was an accident, but Trevor tells me that you may have found something to capture your imagination?"  

Jill didn't know what to say; she felt like crying.  This place was so special, she didn't really want to leave.  "Well, you know, I have this really great job, and a nice apartment.  Maybe I'll take some classes at the university on textiles or something...I don't know," she confessed.

"Tic toc, time to go, ladies," Hector said, tapping his watch. Silently, the two young women and the Zimmermans walked slowly to the carriage. Hans held the carriage door open for the three ladies, who climbed in first and sat in the rear seat, followed by Hector and Hans, who took the seat facing them. Hector rapped on the roof of the carriage to signal the driver, and the vehicle started off with a gentle jerk.

"Where's Trevor?  I thought he might be here," Jill asked, looking sadly out the window.

Maria looked at Hans, then said, "He'll meet us there, not to worry," she answered.

Everyone was silent as the carriage ascended the hill, the mood quite different from the surprise and delight of their arrival. After a journey that seemed all too brief, Hector announced, unnecessarily as the carriage halted,  "Umm...we're here."

Trevor, who had been waiting for them, now stepped forward and opened the carriage door, helping the ladies to step down. Jill was last out, and he held onto her hand just a moment longer than necessary.

As the others gathered on the pathway, already planning for Callie's next visit, Trevor and Jill stood by themselves. He took both her hands in his. "Only Toymakers can come and go between worlds as they please," he said, sadly. "If you leave us now, you can never come back. You don't have to go," he said, studying her face. "Please stay here, be one of us...” and, softly, “Stay with me...."

"I can't," Jill said, looking up into his eyes.  "I'm not a Toymaker, I don't really belong here..."

"But you could be...," Trevor said, softly, as Hector loudly said, "Ladies, it's time...." He stood beside a large "X" which he had just marked in the dirt of the path.

Callie gave Maria and Hans and hug, then walked over to stand with Hector, who reached into his pocket. A shimmer appeared in the air, just beyond the X-mark, through which the trees of Central Park could be faintly seen. “Great toy, huh!” he said.

Jill pulled gently away from Trevor and said her good-bys to Maria and Hans. Then she walked over to join Callie, standing just in front of the gateway.

She turned and looked back at Trevor. His lips moved, but she could not hear what he said. She turned about and looked through the gateway to Central Park.

If she stepped through, she could never return...

Callie stepped through the gateway and vanished. Jill looked back. The Zimmermans looked at Jill expectantly; Trevor's eyes were so sad, she thought. Suddenly she spun and ran back to Trevor. "I can't go," she said, facing him, pleading with her eyes.  "I can be a Toymaker.  I can.  I know it.  I loved the fabrics.  I can design beautiful clothes for dolls, I have all kinds of ideas.  I want to stay, Trevor.  I want to learn to be a Toymaker."

"I know you can," Trevor said, and embraced her tightly, as if she might change her mind and run for the gateway that was now beginning to fade. She snuggled into his arms, and then pushed away in a panic. "Oh my goodness!" she exclaimed. "What about Callie?  I need to explain,"

Hans and Maria walked over and joined them. Maria took Jill's hands in her own. "Don't worry about Callie.  She can come back to Toyland any time she wants.  You'll see her again and probably sooner than you think." Maria gently took her arm and guided her toward the carriage. Jill grabbed at Trevor's hand and pulled him along, a broad smile lighting up his face. "And, besides, she already knew you were a Toymaker. We all did," she said, climbing up into the carriage.

"You did?  I don't understand," Jill said, joining Maria, followed by Hans and then Trevor.

Hans thumped on the roof with his fist to signal the driver.  "Jill, we couldn't find the Toymaker within you.  You had to do that.  We could guide you, but the discovery had to be your own.  That was the only way you could stay."

Maria's eyes twinkled with delight as she reached over and patted Jill's hand.  "And, we are so happy you did."

Trevor placed his arm around Jill and looked back over at his parents.  "Not as happy as I am. Not nearly as happy."

Toyland, toyland
little girl and boy land
when you dwell within it
you are ever happy there!

Childhood toyland
mystical merry toyland
once you pass it's borders
you can never return again!

(c) 2015 Joanne Easter. All Rights Reserved.

Toyland Words and Music by Victor Herbert: Here
Autumn Beauty, Central Park, NYC by Carey St. Hilaire: Here
Ancient Tulip poplar grove in Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest: Here
Giclée on Canvas by Peter Ellenshaw: Here
unicorn in christiantoday: Here
central-park-fall by glamourdolly: Here

Tell Me A Story Album:  Here
Posts : 5334
Thanks : 3283
Awards : Bought us a coffee!

Postanidup on Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:36 pm

I am so glad you put this up again, Easter,
We all need a fairy tale in our lives, and I would love to have one like this.
Thank you for sharing it again.
Posts : 10
Thanks : 2

Postshemmiesimmer on Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:06 pm

This a a great piece of work!
Posts : 5729
Thanks : 2432
Awards : Bought us a coffee!

PostBroomhilda on Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:20 pm

OMGosh I could have sworn I posted something on this..this is another one that gave me goosebumps lol..totally in love with it..

Time for a Spring Siggi lol
Thank you so much Crissi, it's beautiful
~hugs and smiles my dear, dear BFF's~
I am so proud of all of you..
Friends call me Sam(F) or Broomie or Broomhilda

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