If you ask any person on the street the same question, it’s a large possibility that most of them answer the same. The community of this town I’m living in is no different as humans share the sense of ethics and the ability to be affected by other people. Attitudes spread like wildfires through town if something was to happen that was out of the ordinary even affecting the ones you love. I’m one of those out of the ordinary. Joshua Joseph Larkin is my name, seventeen years of age and a great rugby player. I live near a town named Sligo in Ireland, North West to be exact. My life was one of the standard ones in Ireland, quiet and plain with little change or surprises. That drastically changed one week.
I woke up and bumped my head in the ridiculously large bedpost as usual, while reaching for my alarm clock. Thick fog floated past the narrow window opposite the bed. “Typical morning,” I grunted to myself as I scanned the room for my purple socks. I found them under the dresser curled and dusty, as if dug up from an ancient tomb. Disgusted, I unwillingly shook them clean or I’d have to go all the way down to the cottage across the field to get a fresh pair. Properly dressed up, I wandered down the hallway following the smell of fried sausages and bacon. “Ah the usual Irish breakfast, too bad we only have it at the weekend,” I thought while enjoying the smell of roasted ham, sausages and bagels.
“Tea is ready,” My mom yelled so loud that even the leprechauns must have heard her from the woods. Not that the leprechauns did exist, but if they did then they must have heard it. As I wobbled down the hallway, my sister came out of her room dressed as if she was on her way to a birthday party or such. She always made herself fancy at weekends as people often came to visit us for breakfast or supper. “I’ll get the cushion chair!” I yelled as I stormed past her for fun. “No way,” she answered throwing herself in my way. The cushion chair was everyone’s favourite chair, it had pillow pads on it compared to the other chairs made of uncomfortable yew. We ran like crazy down the hall, one trying to best the other. For a moment it seemed like I would win, but the cheating hag pulled the chair away from underneath me just before I was about to sit down. In the fall I knocked over my father’s teacup splattering hot tea all over him, which knocked him over as well. “Sorry!” I blurted as I tried to look as innocent as possible. “What the hell do you think you’re doing!” he raged smashing what was left of the teacup to the floor. “I...I didn’t mean to do it,” I staggered as if I looked an angry ox in the eyes. “You… Are grounded for a week!” my father grunted looking like he wanted to kick me. He always had a temper and that would never change, but he is still smart enough to not hurt anyone. That’s my father.
The breakfast was a lot quieter than usual. My sister had taken the good chair, but I knew better that to complain. My father had gone upstairs to change his shirt, and my mother just stared at me with a blaming glare. Of course the whole lot now blamed me for disrupting the peace in the house, and it was all so cold that our regular morning guest was chased away. Suddenly my sister broke the silence. “Why is everyone so quiet?” she complained, “even if Josh here did something bad, it doesn’t have to spoil my fun.” “Thanks for the meal,” I murmured as I walked back to my room in a dark mood. “This isn’t much of a Sunday,” I thought to myself as I pounded my punching bag with almost no interest at all. To someone with my aspect, my life was over.
“Did you stay at your room all yesterday?” My sister rattled as she saw me asleep leaning on my punching bag. Me who was not aware that it wasn’t a dream smirked and started laughing. “What’s funny?” she barked and smacked me across the cheek. That was all I needed to wake up, and with a dazed look I checked my watch, and found out that I was late for school. Hastily I grabbed my rucksack standing by the door, and on my way down I was able to brush my teeth and fix my hair at record speed. I grabbed a bagel as I rushed out the door almost tripping over the cat. The bus was waiting as usual, as I continually was late for school, it was almost a routine. “Late again?” the chauffeur murmured as I jumped inside just before he got tired of waiting. “Again I apologise,” I shrugged as he gave me a hateful look. “It will happen again,” he said, “I’m sure of it.” I carefully snuck to the back of the bus without attracting too much attention. All the students in the bus were grumpy after having to wait for me for several minutes. I carefully apologised to my buddies as I passed by them, only to be answered with angry glares. A large bump almost took my balance as the bus started driving, and I fell into the closest empty seat.
It was the time of the year where the moon was still up when I went to school, and the half-dark and the moonlight coloured the environments blue. I watched astonished as the moon was bluer than usual. “This is amazing,” I thought to myself as I looked up at a perfect crescent moon. I had not seen anything like that before, though everything was a little mystical about the area which I lived in. In the shadow of Benbulben the great mountain of Sligo, it felt like anything could happen. As I glanced down the glen, which was almost nothing but a huge valley of trees, I spotted a very concentrated ray of moonlight upon a clearance in among the trees. Curious about this, I carefully mapped the surroundings in my head. “This is the strangest day by far already,” I murmured as Big Jimbo decided to use me as target practice, “and some of it is very annoying.” I looked back outside the window. The concentration was stronger now, shining even brighter. “Very strange indeed,” I thought, “perhaps I should go and see what is up with that later on, mayhap after school.”
As the sun rose drastically, the mystical blue moonlight dissolved into bright colours of day. At school, I couldn’t concentrate because of the event earlier that morning. “Joshua!” the teacher snapped at me, “pay attention.” I got several warnings that day, as I frequently drifted of during the lesson. They sent me to the principal, and even there I didn’t bother. Because all I could think about was the clearance in the woods and the mystical moonlight. I even made a plan on how to get there faster. So I decided to get of the bus at the location where I saw it all. And there I was, glancing past massive trees and boulders towards the ring of open ground. “I’ll just think of it as an expedition.” With the speed of any boy with a heavy backpack I ran into the forest keeping a steady course. Leaping over logs and boulders I persisted to see the place with my own eyes. “Something strange has happened there, that’s for sure. Those moon-rays were not natural.” As my curiosity was stronger than my common sense, I ran to face what was inside despite what warnings and reasons my mind came up with. I probably developed it as a kid as my grandmother always told me stories and adventures of old heroes. After a while I had quite a sense for the supernatural, and this was anything else than something any sane person would never believe to have seen.
As I looked up at Benbulben, I noticed that I was not far from my destination. “A few more minutes,” I thought to myself. The rucksack was quite heavy and slowed me down a bit, so it wasn’t quite as fast as I would wish. But in the end I crossed the border between thick woodland into the circular clearance. The rucksack made some strange ripping sounds when I tossed it to the ground, so I laughed a little nervous hoping that I didn’t break anything. The grass was greener here than in all of Ireland, it was so beautiful and fresh colour that I almost wanted to eat it. Then I remembered of course that eating grass was not my thing, no matter how tempting it was. So I decided to do the next best thing, and that was to fall to the ground and roll around in it. Eventually I got bored and decided to explore the area a little further. As I reached the centre I managed to glimpse a small area of dead flowers, pin pointed directly in the middle of the ten yard in diameter circle. “Strange,” I thought, “those must have been planted on purpose.” I kneeled down beside them and picked up a dead bloom with a gentle hand. “Roses.” I carefully studied the withered flower and noticed its strange colour. It wasn’t a hint of red, or white, but a darker colour. Rapidly I fetched a pencil and a clean sheet to draw on, and carefully I sketched the crooked flowed trying to imitate its shades of dark. All day I sat there trying to get the right nuances and shapes, as well as studying the rest of the little flowerbed.
The day was reaching dusk, and the sun was on its way down. Me, who still sat there wondering, grew restless though not wanting to go home as the usual feeling should be. The light withered and the dark blue of the night slowly snuck upon me. Moonlight gleamed down upon me and the roses, although something was not right. I felt a presence behind me, almost as if someone stared at me. “Who is there?” I said loudly, hoping that someone would respond. I was answered with a giggle from the darkness confirming my suspicions. Again I repeated my question more polite and sharper hoping to get more than a giggle. And again from the other side of the circle the giggle repeated itself. Silence was the only option for a minute, and I sharpened my senses prepared for anything. Suddenly out of the shadows stepped a figure still with her face concealed. “Who are you?” I shrugged and glanced upon her. I could see that it was a girl from the looks of it. She removed stepped even closer revealing her face. It was special features I had never seen before, sharp and hawkish, and even so very beautiful. “I’m Tonille, Pleasure to meet you,” she almost sang with a polite gesture. I nodded to respond the gesture. “I have never seen you before,” I said confused as I thought I knew everyone in Glencar. “I have never seen thou neither,” she responded, “What is thy name?” Surprised by the ancient English I told her my name trying not to smirk. She came towards me, grabbed my arm and dragged me towards the roses. “Look,” she whispered pointing towards the old roses, “this is my reason for being here.” As she spoke, the ground beneath the roses moved slightly. The old withered roses fell to the ground and dissolved, only to be replaced by new spires of the beautiful plants. It all happened within a minute, and in the end the whole flower bloomed with grace and style. As the plants sprung free, I could see the true colour of the bloom. “Dark blue roses?” I whispered, “That is not supposed to exist.” “Many things is against the law of nature, in the centre of the forest,” Tonille answered me, “T’is here the forest receives its magic.” Astonished I grabbed her arm in excitement, and before I realised what I had done, she grabbed mine as well smiling at me. “This is what keeps this forest green, and the flowers blooming. T’is only a few people who can see this, if not led to it.” After some time watching it together and trading words about each other, we decided it was time to leave. “Take this,” she said handing me one of the roses and a handful of glimmering dust, “Put stardust in the water, and the bloom shall not wither.” “Thank you,” was the only reply I could think of at the moment. I smiled to her, and she to me. And we walked away happier than we had even been before.
I arrived at home only to meet my father furious at the doorstep. “What the hell do you think you are doing boy?” he growled, “not only did you not come home, but you skipped rugby training as well.” All I could do was to shield myself as well as I could by thinking of something else. Of course I had skipped Rugby; I trained rugby every day as a result of my father’s conviction of making me the new Jason White. After the slandering, I snuck up to my room trying not to wake anyone. There I put the blue rose into water, and then adding the silvery powder. I soundly fell asleep while admiring the beautiful flower, which also reminded me of Tonille. The next morning I actually woke up early after having the best night sleep ever. I smiled as I woke up my sister for once, almost scaring the living daylight out of her. I had lots of spare time that morning, and as a result I was able to have a proper breakfast. I even had the time to take a shower, fix my hair and brush my teeth. The bus-driver was astonished as I actually stood there waiting for the bus, and not the opposite.
At school I danced around, smelling flowers and even paying attention in class. I felt like a new me. Perhaps it was the magic of the blue rose or perhaps the fact that I now was in love with a girl named Tonille. The whole day was a dance on roses, and I memorized everything they told me at school. I found it a lot easier to pay attention, as if my eyes had been opened. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday went by and I visited Tonille at the circle every night. After all the fuss about the flowers and the magic of the forest, I was not surprised at all when Tonille told me that she was one of the forest elves, which explained her old style English as she had not spoken to a human in a hundred years. That did not bother me one bit. I was still just as much in love with her. The whole thing was almost like grandma’s tales and fables which I had come to believe in. I did not know if the feelings were mutual, but I showed up every night even so. Every time I did so, my father grew more angry and fierce every day, as I did not uphold the curfew. I also skipped Rugby every day as it did not interest me anymore. Honestly it never did because of my father, but now I had the will to say so.
Days went by, and Saturday morning I decided to stay in bed for a while. I got up as the usual style, just without the bumping my head this time. My room was the same old room, except for the glowing flower on my dresser. I walked down the hall, just to hear the usual sound of my family eating breakfast. This time we had even invited in the usual guest. To my terror I heard that it was Mr. McBarlon, my rugby trainer. Carefully I stepped over to the stairs and eavesdropped. “That boy used to be one of my best,” Mr McBarlon said loudly in his usual tone, “Now he has skipped all my trainings this week, what’s wrong with him?” “Calm down,” My father persisted, “I’m sure there is a reasonable explanation for this.” “Yes there is,” Mr. McBarlon growled, “My son says that Joshua is a puffer, because he dances around all day and smells flowers.” “That’s enough!” my father yelled and crushed his fist into the table, “get out!” “I’ll be happy to,” Mr. McBarlon frowned, “I don’t want to be in the same house as a puffer.” After he left my father stomped across the floor and up the stair where poor me was eavesdropping. “You!” he yelled, “have tarnished my entire reputation, now everyone thinks of me as the father of a wimpy homo. Are you a puffer Josh?” “No!” I yelled, “It’s just because I’m happier than usual, they aren’t used to see me smiling at all.” “I don’t believe you,” he yelled, “and that flower in your room, that’s going right in the bin. It’s time to discipline you as a real man, be prepared to take a beating.” “Bring it!” I roared and crushed an iron fist into his jaw sending him backwards into the wall. From there I ran to my room, fetched the flower carafe and my boots. And as my father rushed to my door trying to unlock it, I was already halfway down the drain outside the window. As I ran for the woods, my father roared from the window: “You run, because you will never have a place in this house again!” followed by series of complaints from both my mother and my sister.
For hours I ran without looking back, only with tears in my eyes and even so a smile like grin on my face. There was mixed feeling about it, because I didn’t know if I was to cry or laugh. I was finally free from my father’s ambitions, but still homeless and no way to see my mother and sister whom I knew loved me. The only place I could think about was the circle with the roses, so I directed myself towards it. Hours went by and I was way too tired to continue walking. “Now I’m lost!” I repeated to myself over and over again. In the confusion I had forgotten the direction and walked in circles. It had become late afternoon, and the skies were completely gone. Even so it was freezing as a result of me not bringing a jacket in the moist climate of Ireland in late winter early springtime. I just kept on walking, as I had no wish of freezing to death. Hours came and hours went and the darkness fell upon me only to be replaced by the blue light of the moon. My mood brightened slightly as I saw the column of light shining down on the forest. “There is my q,” I humorously joked with myself as I redirected my course, bound for the rose clearing.