We had so many wonderful entries (you can read them all here) but the votes are in, and our winners are:
The Winning Entries!
by Anaya H
The door creaked open and a flash of light greeted Alli as she peered around the door and saw a sun-filled library. She saw the library was full of old, dusty books. The air smelled citrusy. Alli pulled down an ancient leather volume entitled: The Book of Kings. “Huh, this looks interesting,” Alli murmured.
“That is a fine book!” said a voice.
“What?” gasped Alli, pivoting and saw an old lady in a flowing white dress sitting at a battered circulation desk “Who… who are you?” Alli asked fearfully.
“I am the guardian of knowledge. My name is Juliette.” the woman said.
“My... my name is Alli. What do you mean by ‘knowledge’?” Alli asked with raised eyebrows.
“I mean the knowledge of generations, written down for others to read.” Juliette responded.
“Oh. What’s in this?” Alli held up The Book of Kings.
“That contains the knowledge of ancient kings, triumphs and mistakes.” replied Juliette. “Can you tell me how you found the library?”
“I was exploring the barn, then I saw the doorknob, opened the door, and here I am.” Alli responded.
“Hmm. Thank you for that explanation. The library is found only by lovers of wisdom; usually children. Would you like to know more of my job?”
“Sure!” exclaimed Alli.
“My job is to protect these books from those who hate wisdom. I found the library when I was a child and I have stayed here. I need an apprentice to take over my job when I am too old to do so. Are you interested?” Juliette looked questioningly at Alli.
“Me? I can’t! My family …” Alli trailed off, looking at Juliette, who suddenly seemed older. Alli looked at the floor to hide her red face. Then she ran out of the library with The Book of Kings under her arm. Juliette cried after her: “Beware! The door may disappear! It was opened for a reason, yet it may vanish!”
That night in her bed, Alli read The Book of Kings. It was the best book she had ever read. The book told tales of wise kings, foolish princes, empires that rose and fell-the book was wisdom in its essence. Alli made a choice that night.
She ran back the next day, afraid the china doorknob wouldn’t be there. She ran, heart pounding wildly into the barn, climbed up to the hayloft and looked around desperately. Thank goodness! By the pitchfork she saw the beautiful china doorknob and ran into the library. “Juliette! I changed my mind!” she shouted. Juliette materialized next to Alli.
“Really? You have?’’ she cried. Alli nodded looking happy, yet sad.
“Can you make everyone’s memories of me disappear, like I never existed?’’
“I can.” Juliette shut her eyes, and a strong wind whipped though the library. “It is done.” Juliette said. Alli was wearing a dress like Juliette’s dress. Juliette squeezed Alli’s shoulder. “Are you prepared?” she asked.
“Yes,” said Alli in a solemn tone. They stood ready to share wisdom together.
Entry Six: We Otter Do It
by Deborah O'Carroll
The door creaked open. A tall, wobbling stack of parchment pattered into the room on little furry paws. At least, that’s what it looks like when your otter secretary comes into your office carrying the mail.
I’m a respectable young man and a magician, and nobody would believe me if I told them my life is tyrannized by an adorable otter.
I braced myself in my chair. “What is it today, Gavin?”
He scampered up the ramp plank onto my desk, where he dropped the sizable stack of parchment with a whump. Gavin’s bright black eyes blinked cheerfully through a storm of sudden dust. He hummed and twitched his whiskers.
“I don’t suppose you’d like to dust in here sometime,” I muttered, sorting through papers.
Gavin scribbled on the blotter with a feather pen as tall as himself: Not in my job description.
Then he stood hovering hopefully over the papers beside me, plumy feather pen waiting in one paw like an eager question mark.
Teaching Gavin to write was the best and worst thing I’d ever done. Best, because I really had needed a secretary. Worst, because he has this addiction to filling out forms. It’s his favorite thing in the worlds.
Magicians get all sorts of requests to do this or that: find a lost child or cat, speak about Enchanted Forest safety, fix the town square’s fountain, entertain at a party, and goodness knows what else. I do my best to keep up, but my schedule is full, and somebody keeps over-committing me.
The forms arrive in heaps, and Gavin is there waiting to fill them out. To save me time. Of course.
“Don’t have time for this party,” I grunted.
But they asked so nicely, Gavin scribbled. Why not?
“Why not,” I sighed, waving a hand in the air to make his scribbles vanish.
Gavin contentedly filled out the form: Would be happy to come. He signed my name.
I stared at an acknowledgment of thanks, for agreeing to enchant the Prime Minister’s office against thieves next week. “This will take ages. I don’t remember signing up for this.” I squinted suspiciously at Gavin’s innocent whiskery face. “You filled this one out without asking me, didn’t you?”
The pen scratched: You’d have done it anyway.
“That’s beside the point! Don’t let it happen again.”
Gavin nodded amiably, passing another request.
“Save the world?” I exclaimed. “I don’t have time to save the world! Look at my calendar!”
Gavin did—pinned to the wall (beside the clear water tank he swims in). Appointments filled every inch. He turned on me with the most hopeful, pleading expression.
I slumped in my chair in defeat. “Fine. Just this once. But don’t let it become a habit.”
Gavin bounced with joy, and happily began filling out the form with inky flourishes.
“And don’t come running to me when the Prime Minister yells at us for being late!”
Gavin nodded and beamed, scribbling away.
I’m definitely in for it.
Thank you everyone who entered for your wonderful stories!
A blog about all things fantasy from the elements we all love to how to write it. Posts are from our very own Fellowship of Fantasy authors.