Maryalise’s World

            Thank you for joining me on this tour of Maryalise’s world. Are you ready now? We will be traveling on the wings of imagination.

             To where?

            Sorry. The exact location is a well-kept secret. It is wherever the reader wishes it to be.  You haven’t read about Maryalise yet? Well, that must surely be your next project, but for now, let’s be on our way.

            We are arriving at the back door of the aunts’ house and will be entering through the kitchen, which is on the east side. No one—well hardly anyone—ever goes in the front door of this spacious white Victorian house. Please note the gingerbread trim and the wide porch that wraps around the east, the south and the west sides of the house.

            As we enter the kitchen, we will tiptoe past Aunt Janet and Aunt Lillian who are sitting at the kitchen table which is covered with a red-checked table cloth. Aunt Janet seems to be the one dominating the conversation. Her gray head leans forward as she gestures with slender, bony hands. Aunt Lillian is softer, rounder. The tight curls of her mousey brown hair, streaked with silver, bounce up and down as she nods her head. As she leans forward, she gives the impression of submissiveness, but the twinkle in her eye reveals a different message. If it is important enough, she will stand up to her sterner sister.

            Entering the hall, we glance to the left. This room is grandly called the library. It has a sofa and two comfortable chairs with a small table between them. A bookshelf behind the chairs holds an assortment of large and small books.  Down the hall and on the right is the parlor. It has heavy red velvet curtains on the window that looks into the garden. The sofa has wide arm rests. A small round table beside the sofa has a Victorian lamp with crystals hanging on little hooks around the bottom of the shade. A wide staircase goes to the second floor. Hold on to the wide banister as we climb the stairs. There is a squeaky step halfway up that you may wish to avoid.

            Maryalise’s room is on the right—except  here in this house we must remember to refer to her  as Mary Alice since that is the name her aunts’ have chosen to call her while she is hidden in the mortal world. The bed has a metal  headboard and footboard, and  a warm comforter is pulled up neatly over the pillow. There is a slight lump in the center of the bed which makes us wonder if Mary Alice has hidden Annie’s notebook under the mattress again. The table by the bed has a flashlight on it which is very useful for reading in bed at night, adventuring in the dark, or defeating monsters. A sturdy wooden chair sits beside the window which overlooks the flower garden on the east side on the house. A wooden stick has been placed on the window sill. This is used to prop the window up. If you open the window and lean out, and you will see the top of the trellis with Jasmine blooming on its vine. If you were to climb out of the window, you would be standing on the porch roof above the kitchen door.   

            The aunts’ bedrooms are across the hall. Aunt Janet’s room has heavy dark curtains to shut out the light when she has one of her headaches. Aunt Lillian has chosen white lacy curtains that let in the sun. A book, The Language of Flowers, is laying on the nightstand beside the bed. Aunt Lillian doesn’t mind if Mary Alice curls up on her bed to look at the pictures in the book. Aunt Lillian’s gardening hat hangs on a hook on the wall.

            At the end of the hall is the entrance to the attic. There is a door at the bottom and another at the top of the steep, narrow stairs. The attic is filled with an assortment of discarded items. The pile of blankets in front of you hides Annie’s chest. The only light is a bare bulb hanging in the center of the room. The window on the far wall faces the east. The light coming through it is very dim because it is covered with dust. A small circle has been smeared in the dust so you can look down at the garden.

            Now we must retrace our footsteps and exit the house once more. This time we will go past the kitchen and out the door at the end of the hall. If we were to traverse the porch around to the west side, we would see the three chairs where Mary Alice sits with her aunts to watch the sun set. However, right now we will walk past the two large flower pots on either side of the door and go down the steps into the garden. The enclosed garden is filled with flowers—roses, pansies, lilies, snapdragons, daisies, dandelions. Mary Alice frequently pretends to be  Maryalise when she is here in the garden. She listens to the flowers singing. Sometimes a mortal visitor may hear them sing—but don’t count on it being you.

            The paths in the garden are made of flat stones spaced a footstep apart and they meander through the garden. One path leads to the garden shed where Aunt Lillian stores her gardening supplies. Behind the shed is a pile of weeds and branches. At one time there was an entrance to an underground cavern hidden here, but it has now been magically sealed. If you look carefully, you may see a slight indentation that marks where the entrance once was.

             If we follow the longest path, which leads to the end of the garden, we will pass a large thistle plant. That hole near it is rabbit’s hole. Maryalise and her father, Thistle, came through it when they were escaping from the underground cavern. Continuing on, we arrive at a small stream, ending in a pool. You may try to skip a stone, if you wish. Maryalise believes that if the stone sinks, there is foul magic in the garden. By the side of the pool is a large willow tree. Look around the garden carefully. If there is no one to see us, we can part the branches and slip into Maryalise’s secret thinking place. You may feel the magic protecting spell as you cross the white stones that circle the tree. In a small hollow between the roots of the tree, is a small wooden chest that holds treasures. Don’t bother trying to lift the lid. It has a magic lock and only Maryalise has the key.

            Creeping out of this secret place on the far side of the willow tree, we will circle back around to the center of the garden. This is the location of the portal to the Fairy Realm. You don’t see it? That’s not surprising since no mortal may view it unless Thistle, who is the guardian of the portal, chooses to open it and allow you a peek into the Fairy Realm. Today is your lucky day. See? The portal is opening.

            The light is brighter in the Fairy Realm. The colors of the flowers, birds and butterflies are more vivid and exotic. Flower Fairies and pixies dance in the meadow and fly above it or ride on butterflies. The tinkling music of the waterfall mingles with fairy music as the droplets splash into the crystal pool. Do you see a slender fairy in a pink tunic? The dainty one with honey brown hair and the radiant smile? That’s Maryalise. One glimpse Thistle gives you of the Fairy Realm and then the portal closes.

            Thank you for visiting Maryalise’s world.

Copyright : May, 2013

Rose Owens