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Copyright © 2005 Chris Gonnerman
Distributed under the Open Content License version 1.0

Eo Journal -- The Exploits of a Little Girl Lost

One cold, blustery day in the middle of winter, a little girl attended a magic show at her school. All the kindergarteners and first and second graders were there. The magician, an older man with grey-white hair wearing a fancy black suit and hat, did a number of tricks for them. When he sawed the principal in half, then put her back together, she looked startled and said "I have no idea how he did that!"

Then the magician brought out a tall cabinet and asked for volunteers. The little girl held up her hand, and the magician pointed right at her. "You, little girl!" he said, "Come up here and help me with this trick."

She got into the cabinet as he asked, thinking to her self "I know how this trick is done. There's a little door in here where he'll let me go to hide." The magician closed the door, said "Abracadabra!" and tapped the cabinet three times with his wand.

Suddenly the little girl was falling through the darkness... falling and falling. It was cold, and she became frightened. Shortly the air became warmer and seemed to be blowing upward, and then she hit bottom, enough to knock the wind out of her but not hard enough to actually hurt her. She felt beneath her and found grass.

She sat up. The sun was rising, over the trees, and soon she could see the small clearing she was lying in. A dirt road passed through it, seeming to start just beneath the rising sun and running away from it into the dark woods.

The little girl got up, brushed off her pants and began walking, away from the sunrise. She figured it didn't matter which way she went, since she was didn't know where she was going, and the sun hurt her eyes.

Soon she walked into a broad, sunny meadow, where a white pony was eating the dewy grass. She decided to make friends with it. At first, the pony seemed afraid of the little girl, backing away and making snorting and nickering noises. She kept trying, though, talking softly and holding out her hand until the pony let her pet it.

She petted the pony for a while, talking softly to it, but what she really wanted was to ride it. When she thought it was calm enough, she tried to climb up. But even a pony is big to a little girl, and it took her several tries to get on.

"How do I steer?" she said to herself. She tried tugging on the pony's ears, but it tossed its head and snorted at her. So then she tried pulling on its mane, but it just ignored her. At last she remembered a friend told her you could steer a horse with your feet, so she tried that, and soon was riding bareback down the road.

It wasn't long until she rode out of the woods and found herself beside a large lake. To her left a little ways away was a small house, looking somehow old-fashioned, while the road passed to the right. She got off the pony to look around, and the pony went down to the lake to get a drink. But for some reason she was afraid of the house, though she didn't know why, so she decided to get back on the pony and ride away down the road. The pony wouldn't cooperate, though, prancing away from her every time she tried to get close.

Then she saw a brightly-colored bird, red, blue, and green, fly across the lake and into the open window of the house. "A parrot!" she said. "Maybe I'll look into the window of the house." She crept up to the window, as quiet as she could be.

Through the window she saw a plainly furnished room, with a table and a few chairs standing on a bare wooden floor. The parrot stood atop a stand beside a modest fireplace.

"What are you standing there for?" asked the parrot suddenly. "Come on in." The little girl went to the front door and found it unlocked, so she went inside. To the left of the entrance was the room she had seen, while to the right she saw a bedroom of some sort.

"I'm Bob," said the parrot as she entered the room. "What's your name?" She answered him. "You look lost," he said, "and hungry. There's some bread and cheese and crackers in the cabinet there... be a dear and get me some crackers, and you can have some bread and cheese." The little girl did as she was told, and as she ate her bread and cheese (separately, for she didn't like them folded together as a sandwich) she watched the clever parrot eating the crackers.

Shortly she was thirsty. Looking around, she saw no sink, or any other fixtures that might contain something to drink, so she walked out of the house and down to the lake for a drink. The lakewater tasted funny, but it was wet and she was thirsty.

"Why didn't you tell me you were thirsty?" asked the parrot, as he landed on a stone behind the girl. "You could have gotten a drink from the well."

"There's a well?" asked the girl.

"Behind the house," answered the bird. She found an old-fashioned hand-operated pump there, with a metal dipper hanging from it, and so she quenched her thirst that way. The water was very cold and tasted better than the lakewater.

Finally she walked back to the front of the house, and stood looking out over the lake. It was midday. At length she asked the parrot, "What is this place?"

"This is the island of Eo," he replied, waving a wing around in a circle. "This is the lake called Shandra, and over there beyond the house you can see where the river Eridane flows out of the lake. The river snakes over most of the island, and you can go almost anywhere on the island by following the river."

"Where does the road go?" asked the little girl, pointing to the sparsely gravelled track.

"Why, all over the island," replied the parrot. "That's Kingshighway, the only road on the island. You can go anyplace on the island by following the road."

The little girl looked around sadly. "It's all very pretty, but I want to go home."

"It'll take a magician to do that," said the parrot, squawking. "The Sorceress Kestrel could do it, I bet, and so could King Argent. But I don't trust either of them. They're tricky."

"Well, I can't just stay here. If I want to go home I'll have to start walking." She looked at the pony, grazing by the lake. "Or maybe I'll ride..."

She rode for what she thought was a couple of hours; she didn't really know since she didn't have a watch. She was very tired; after all, it had been after lunch when she fell into Eo, but was just dawn when she landed. She had been awake a long time, and it was all she could do not to lie down, bury her face in the pony's mane and sleep.

Somehow she stayed awake though. Bob's incessant babbling helped, though she was so tired she didn't remember much of what he said. Soon she came in sight of a bridge, crossing a river. The Eridane, she guessed, since the parrot said Eo only had one river. She was about to ask him when a huge, misshapen manlike figure wearing only an old, dirty hide for clothing stepped out of the brush at the foot of the bridge.

He had huge, muscular arms, and the muscles in his chest rippled, but his head was at least two sizes too small and somewhat pointed. His pointed teeth, though, were truly frightful, and as he began to smile they almost seemed to get bigger. Bob leaned over to the little girls ear and whispered, "It's a troll!"

"Lunch!" cried the monster. "A bird for an appetizer, then a pony for an entree, then a little girl for dessert!"

Additional material (outline)

  • Backtrack to the house, but instead she finds a crossroad, where a man in black metal armor riding a horse in black metal armor lowers his black metal lance at her. She flees, but the armored horse begins to gain on her, so Bob the parrot flies back and distracts the metal-clad steed. The rider is thrown, and in a fit of anger he draws his mace from his belt and swats at the parrot. The girl is just rounding a corner out of sight when she sees the parrot fall to the ground.
  • Caught on the road between the bridge and the crossroad, between troll and black knight, she waits, uncertain what to do next. She hears a rider approaching, and hides with the pony in the trees; a young, gangly man in dark clothing on a dark horse thunders by, his ponytail flying in the wind behind him.
  • She wanders through the woods, leading the pony, because she is afraid to take to the road again. After a while she finds herself on the bank of the river. She is very tired, so she lies down in the moonlight in a mound of grass and sleeps.
  • In the morning she sees a boat passing; the captain, Sailor Sam, sees her and heaves to shore. He invites her aboard and feeds her, asking her what she's doing out alone; when he hears her story he tells her he's making a delivery to Kestrel, and invites her to ride along. He has a shipmate, Sailor Bill, who so far has not left the pilothouse. The boat is strangely designed, having a pilothouse with a mast atop it, bearing a single triangular sail.

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Eo Journal Last Updated 12/24/2005