The night was long, cold and eerie. The Princess struggled to find a comfortable position on the small porch of the cottage as she drifted in and out consciousness. She forced herself to keep her eyes closed so as not to observe the shadowy figures moving about the clearing. Whether they were real or imagined, she did not want to know. Thankfully, the restless moments of wakening were quickly overtaken by her exhaustion. As dawn approached, the Princess became keenly aware of her own hunger and thirst. She needed to get back to the castle, but the door to this room seemed to have a magnetic attraction on something deep within her soul. She dozed briefly until daylight came.
The little clearing was so peaceful. The sun light pierced through the forest trees as the sounds of singing birds filled the air. How could there be something so dreadful in this beautiful place? The Princess just had to see what was in that room. What was drawing her here? Why was so much emotion and fear attached to this place?
As the Princess got up and approached the door, apprehension once again attempted to overtake her. Somehow, she mustered the strength to face whatever it was that was causing the fear. Her shaky hand gripping the knob, this time she was able to push the old, creaky door open. She stood in the doorway for a moment and peered into the dimly lit room. Yes, this was familiar. This had been her playhouse as a little girl. As her eyes skimmed the objects in the room, she recognized each item as having once been a part of her life. Some items made her feel warm and safe. There was the little table and chairs with the tiny china tea set still set for a tea party. Over in the corner was the little doll bed that her father had made with his own hands. Her favorite doll was still swaddled and appeared to be soundly sleeping. Next to the doll bed was her little rocking chair where she used to sing as she pretended to rock her baby doll to sleep. The Princess remembered daydreams of one day being a real mommy and how wonderful she imagined that would be. From that little rocking chair, she dreamed of someday being the best wife and mommy in the world.
Why had she been afraid to enter this room? Why had it been so many years since she revisited this wonderful place? Why had it been suddenly abandoned?
As the Princess felt more relaxed now, she allowed her mind to wander farther into her childhood memories. She was surprised that she was actually enjoying her little journey. Suddenly her gaze fell on an object on the floor beside the little kitchen set where she had once pretended to cook wonderful meals. She moved closer to see it. As she bent down to reach into the shadows, terror once again swept over her. With her shaky hand, she grasped the soft furry paw of her favorite, most valuable, childhood treasure. The Princess brushed the dust off of her old tattered teddy bear. It had been given to her as a very special gift. It wasn’t just an ordinary teddy bear. This teddy bear was considered to be a valuable collector’s item, something to be taken care of, held onto and cherished. And that she had done. Tears began to trickle down her cheeks as the ugly memories associated with her teddy bear emerged into her conscious mind. The waves of emotion once again consumed her as she clutched the teddy bear to her chest. She now knew why she had not come back to this place, why this place had become a room of terror. She had a choice to make now. Once again, she could run as fast as she could far away from this place, never to return, or she could face this thing that terrified her and allow this past part of her history to become part of her story. The Princess knew that she had to come back here. She had to face what she feared, possibly reclaim a part of her that had been lost. She laid the teddy bear back on the dirty floor where she had found it, the same place it had landed years ago when innocence was stolen. She vowed to herself to come back to this placed. It would just have to wait for another day.
To be continued…
Do you think bad memories should be buried and left for dead or brought to light and faced head on? Any of your own stories that you would care to share?