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Short Story Contest Winner #1: The Magic in the Music Box

May 3, 2012

By Camille K.

Tap. Tap. Tap. Amanda listened to the rain as she sat by the fire.  Tap. Tap. The flames danced as the wind pushed and pulled.  She got a brown mustache as she sipped her hot cocoa and ate her marshmallow.  She stared at the flames, deep in though.

“Amanda!” yelled Jake, her pesky little brother.  “Mom said you need to clean your room!”

“Ugh,” Amanda sighed.

“Amanda!” Jake snapped.

“I’m coming!  Plus I’m older than you, so you can’t snap at me!” Amanda yelled, stomping off to her room.  “My room’s not even very messy,” she said under her breath.

“I heard that, Amanda,” her mom said in a warning tone.  “Just please pick it up.”

“Okay, fine,” Amanda said.

“Thank you.  Oh, and Jake, you should clean your room, too,” Liz, their mom, said.

“What?!” Jake yelled.

“Ha,” Amanda said, and with that she cleaned with a smile on her face.

“Hm.  I didn’t know I owned this,” Amanda said, picking up a delicate looking music box.  She marveled over the intricate looking pattern on the polished wood.

Box photo by Serenae on Flickr

Slowly she started to spin the handle and a pretty, almost magical, sounding song came out.  Amanda waved her arms while she spun in circles and laughed.  Her auburn, wavy hair flew behind her and her dress puffed out like a cloud.  She took a deep breath in.  Who knew cleaning could be so much fun?!

Suddenly she felt like she was getting lifted in the air, like her feet were no longer on the ground.  She leaned her head back and laughed.  But when she put her head back up, she hit something.

“Ow!” Amanda squealed as she opened her eyes.

She looked up and saw that she had just hit the ceiling.

“What am I doing in the air?” she asked herself, both panicked and confused.  Her feet were literally just hanging in mid-air.

“How could this happen?” Amanda wondered.  Then she remembered the words around the music box: “Now you have the gift to fly, granted to you by the Gods of the Sky.”

“Wow, I thought that was just a little rhyme, not a spell.  I mean, I’ve always wanted to fly, but I didn’t know it would be so scary.  I wonder how I get down…”

Three seconds later she crashed down, face first, and hovered one inch above the ground.

“That was freaky,” Amanda quivered.  “I really need to work on that.”  And with that, she fell the final inch.

“Humph,” she said as she sat up.

“Okay…UP!” she demanded.  Nothing happened.

“Up! UP! UP!” she tried again and again.


“Fly up!”

“Away I go!”

“Away I blow?!”

“Ugh, ugh, ugh!  It’s not working!  How come when I want to fly it won’t work, but when I don’t want to fly I end up crashing my head into the ceiling?” Amanda asked, defeated.

“Oh well, at least my room’s clean.  Maybe I’ll just sit by the fire again and try to forget about all of this.  I was probably just dreaming anyway.”

So she went by the fire, but she just couldn’t forget about it.  The more she tried to forget, the more stuck it got in her head.  Also, she got more frustrated.

“What should I do?” Amanda asked the flames.  But all she got back was waves and sparks.

“You should tell me what this is!” Jake demanded.

Amanda turned around only to see her brother holding her music box.

“Oh, the music box, of course!” Amanda exclaimed.

“What?” Jake asked.

“The music box!” Amanda yelled again, grabbing the box from Jake.  “Of course!  Since I flew the first time with it, maybe I’ll fly again!  I thought I could just fly whenever I wanted, but I guess it’s just when the music is playing!”

Amanda ran to her room and started turning the handle.  The sweet little tune came out and filled the room again.

“Um…maybe I should do was I was doing before,” Amanda said.  So she closed her eyes, spun around, took a deep breath, and hoped it would work.

Still, nothing happened.

“Well, I guess I really was just dreaming all of that.  At least I still have the music box,” Amanda said.

So she wound up the box again and spun around.  Amanda laughed while she twirled and leaped around the room.  Her feet bounced off the ground while she flung her body into the air, her hair soaring behind her.

But when Amanda thought she was about to land, she didn’t.

“I knew I wasn’t dreaming,” she said.  “I’m flying!”

She soared around her room, hitting a few things, until she opened the window and flew out.  She flew above houses and trees, rivers and streams!  Amanda even flew with birds!

Then she decided it was time to go back so she flew through the window back into her room.

“I guess this will always be my little secret,” Amanda said, “and maybe cleaning my room isn’t so bad after all.


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