Prompt for February 23: The Hole in the Wall

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[Prompt from http://daily-writing.blogspot.com/ .]

He just knew it didn’t exist. James told himself over and over that it was simply a figment of little Rose’s imagination. A fairy hole? Ha! It was no fantastic a story as anything he came up with when he was five. Yet there he was, shifting his weight from elbows to knees, his belly scraping the dirt like a serpent, trying to get to the base of the stone wall. Rose wanted to show him her new playmates. And, like the intelligent older brother that he was, James had obeyed her wishes.

He silently cursed his affection for her as his arm raked against a thorn branch. Not only would he get dirt on his new shirt, effectively ruining his appearance for the ceremony later that day, but he would also have to make a visit to the healer if he kept hitting those blasted thorn bushes. And to have the healer’s hands on his skin once more? James tried not to think about it.

“It’s up here,” Rose shouted. She pulled up along the side of the wall, her small frame fitting easily under the bushes.

“Let’s see what you’ve found.” James tried to make his tone light, but all he wanted to do was get back to the marketplace and spend time with his friends.

Rose had been right—though most children had a seed of truth to their imaginative musings. Some stones near the base of the wall had been torn or crumbled away, leaving a hole that pierced straight through the wall. While Rose could no doubt fit through the space with ease, James doubted he could get one shoulder through, much less his whole body. The edges of the hole were jagged; he was starting to wonder if he should even try.

“That’s a nice hole in the wall,” James muttered, trying to think of what else to say to Rose.

“It’s pretty over there,” she said. “Jamie, go see how pretty it is.”

He sighed. There would be no salvaging his shirt after that. But one look at her wide willow bark eyes pulled so ferociously at his heart strings that he could do nothing by run a hand through her raven curls and stare at the hole.

He set himself as low to the ground as he could and, ever watchful of the sharp stone points reaching out to him like claws, James edged his head through the hole.

And there, before his eyes, was the shortest, slimmest, woman he had ever seen.

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