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Whispering Woods

The Fab Four and Magical Music

By Andrea Corwin Published 20 days ago 12 min read
13
(c) A. Corwin

Ringo figured he would be the last to go, but there was nothing he could do about it. He knew he wouldn't have been in the group at all, except for poor Petey not fitting in.

Sir Paul and he were inside the Lost Forest, playing music, as they had done yearly since Yoko and John brought them here. The profits of the songs they composed here had created schools and hospitals and rebuilt war zones; no one knew of this, not their manager or family. It was a pact between all of them and did not end with the deaths of comrades.

The Lost Forest existed since before Socrates. Meadows of clover and poppies surrounded it. Only those that the giant Beings allowed could find this place. An invisible barrier began where the meadow stopped, and its magnetic field subliminally turned people away. Wrinkles in the atmosphere could momentarily crack the barrier. Frequently a mischievous Nymph broke the rules and allowed entry.

Paul and Ringo were exceptions to the Forest's strict laws and its distaste for mankind; they came once each year.

Eminent Ancients who ruled the Forest had an agreement with the composers: they were allowed entrance on the same date each year, could stay for five days only. After the five days, they must be gone before sundown; if not, they would be held within it and never leave again. All of the Fab Four band members agreed to this forty years in the past. It was invisibly engraved into the palms of their hands. Holding their hand upward under a lit ceremonial white candle made the invisible rules legible in their palm. Yoko wanted nothing to do the pact and the possibility of being stuck there forever. John never discussed her decision with his bandmates, but once she told him she didn't want any part of it, she was not included in any further discussions. The four bandmates agreed they would become one with the sacred Forest upon death.

John and George, dead for many years, had merged with the trees upon their death, becoming soul-trees. All four wills declared each was to be cremated and put in a pine box. GPS coordinates corresponding to the Forest's edge were written into the wills, as was the order that the pine box must be left there on the first full moon following the cremation. The will stipulated that a woodsman caretaker would watch over the boxes that night and then scatter the ashes in the meadow. The truth was that the boxed ashes were spirited away by Nymphs into the ancient woods.

**

"Eddie, soon you will disappear if those woodpeckers continue to hammer you," Ringo said, referring to the thrrumppp and loud taps of a Pileated Woodpecker.

"I know, I know. The soldier ants have many rooms and piles within my belly; I feel them marching on their paths, and the wind whistles through my trunk. This is the way of life in the Forest; I probably have another one hundred human years to go, though."

"Oh, for chrissakes, Sir Paul, stop that damned song. We already know!!"

"Tsk, Tsk. Such language, Carmella! You don't like George's prophetic song?"

"We are thousands of years old, and human prophecy and connection to mortality are boring," she pompously replied.

"All right then." The music stopped.

**

Image by Enrique from Pixabay

A waif of a girl stood one mile away under a bright sun at midday. She stared across a treeless meadow. Mopey, her Bloodhound, lay on his side resting. Sleeping was his favorite pastime when he was not on a scent trail.

"Mopey!" He jumped up, at attention, his tail in the air, forehead wrinkled, eyeing his companion, waiting for a command. "We need to search today," she said to him, holding a handkerchief under his nose. Lucinda watched him breathe in the scent, his nose twitching. “That's right, Boy. We need to find her. Let's go!"

AI Generated via Gencraft

Mopey trotted ahead of her, but didn't stop until they came to a natural depression in the field. Lucinda watched the Bloodhound sniff the ground then sit down. She kneeled in the grass to look closely. Using her hands, she raked them across the grass, dirt gathering under her nails; suddenly, there it was! Pammy's silver toe ring, covered in dirt. It was the ring Pammy only took off her second toe for a pedicure; Lucinda had given the ring to her best friend on her twelfth birthday. It had a green crystal embedded in it. She patted Mopey on the head, hugging him.

"Let's go, Big Guy, we need to keep on."

Mopey's understood that the ring wasn't the goal. The handkerchief had told him who the hunt was for. He loped now, Lucinda pacing him with her long teenage legs, and they stopped when they got to the invisible treeline, not knowing they were at the edge of the Lost Forest.

**

Pammy was missing for three days. Her mother was frantic; Pammy had gone to her book club and then to a movie, and should have been home by ten o'clock, but never arrived. Lucinda asked at all of their friends' houses and all spots where they hung out. No one had seen her.

Mrs. Cannon, Pammy's mother, gave Lucinda a handkerchief of Pammy's. "We will find her, I promise. We will bring her home safe." Mrs. Cannon nodded, fat tears brimming over and rolling down her cheeks. She grabbed Lucinda by the shoulders and nodded again, and with a final intense gaze, pushed her on her way.

**

It was still early in the day. Pammy's ring with its green crystal was in Lucinda's pocket. The Forest allowed them seamless entry. A song floated through the air between the trees and shrubs. Lucinda watched actual musical notes undulating on waves of air. She headed away from Mopey, sidetracked by the floating notes and soon, the two were separated. It would be more difficult for Lucinda to find her way. She didn't know these woods and had no light or communication device.

**

"Someone approaches!" Carmella announced.

"How do you know?" Eddie asked her. A cloud of tiny, winged creatures swarmed Eddie. Carmella's branches bounced as she laughed at his antics under their wings.

Finally, the Nymph Queen alit on Eddie's largest branch.

Photo by Michael Starkie on Unsplash

"Eddie, you old scoundrel, it has been five hundred nymph years since we spoke, and it seems like yesterday." Eddie's bark rippled, just as a horse does when trying to scatter a fly. He hated the tickling that came with this type of winged being. Crawling beetles, bugs, spiders, and ants were fine. Thankfully, this being didn't visit often.

"Why are you here, Queen Emmaline?"

Emmaline scowled at his rude tone and rose from Eddie's branch. Iridescent wings of pink and purple kept her aloft, her hip-length white hair streaming behind her. She zipped back and forth like an angry hornet, then hovered, facing Eddie. "There is a child lost. Another one became separated today from her Bloodhound dog. We must get them out of the Forest and back to their human parents. The first child is injured and afraid. I sent Rathmus to ward off her captor, and the villain fell to his death in the ravine. Good riddance! I will have no foul play of human children in this sacred Forest. It will not be tolerated. The injured one is inside your dead ancestor, Yaniosha." Emmaline said.

"Yaniosha! Oh my, she is that deep into our woods?"

"Carmella, Sir Paul and I may be able to help," Ringo called from where they sat.

"No! It is not allowed. You must leave our woods. Your annual songfest is over," Emmaline said while circling around his head. "At nightfall, you must be gone, or you will never leave. You know that!"

"Would that be so bad?" Ringo mumbled to Paul, who elbowed him.

"We can call them with our music," Ringo told the Queen.

"Oh. What is so special about your music?"

"I don't know. People had always liked it before we broke up and even after. The song Across the Universe is a good choice; its lilting melody would float among your massive trees and land on the frightened child and the one separated from her dog. Shall we try?"

Emmaline eyed Sir Paul steadily and then gave her consent.

**

Lucinda heard the song echoing and bouncing off the enormous trees. She began calling Pammy's name. Tiny pinpricks of light started encircling Lucinda, and in wonder, she leaned against a tree, watching them.

"Hello Lucinda."

She jumped away from the tree because she had felt the tree trunk quiver when the voice spoke. A tree branch was swaying down to touch the ground as if bowing. "I am Neal, Advisor to Her Imminence, Marcella, our oldest and wisest tree. I am a Douglas Fir tree. Marcella is a Sequoia."

Lucinda stared at the tree, then touched his branch. He caressed her cheek with one frond of a limb, sending her vibrations of goodwill.

"I'm trying to find my missing friend Pammy. I found her ring, but now I don't know where Mopey is." She held out the ring toward Neal.

"Mopey will come to you soon." At her questioning look, he explained. "Our tree roots are all connected, so we communicate. Your friend Pammy is injured and sitting inside the deceased Alaska yellow cedar, Yaniosha. You must create a gurney to take your friend home. We cannot have humans invading our land or hovering in their polluting air vehicles. Ah, Mopey arrives."

Pammy saw Neil's branches sway slightly, and then Mopey loped up to her, his tongue out. On top of his forehead were four tiny nymphs with iridescent wings clothed in white. They swarmed Lucinda, tugging her hair and blowing into her ears; she had difficulty not swatting at them.

"Enough, Nymphs! Lead the girl to her friend. Take the dog. Go now." Neal pointed the way, and Lucinda ran behind the nymphs, trying to keep up in the heavy undergrowth. They were flying; always one nymph returned to help when she got too far behind.

**

Ringo and Paul had reached the edge of the Forest. Paul began singing Let It Be while they walked to the middle of the meadow. "I miss George," he said, and Ringo nodded.

"John was a good bloke. We had such good times then."

"We're even now, Mate."

"What?"

"They knighted you too, Sir Ringo. We held on, didn't we then, to the end, and our trees will be knighted ones! We must remember to tell Marcella."

"I imagine she knows this, Paul. She knows everything, doesn't she?" They chuckled together, old friends with a common cause.

**

Lucinda reached Pammy, hugging her, both girls crying in relief. The Nymphs brought heavy vines to tie tree limbs together for a gurney. She laid shorter branches crosswise and rolled Pammy onto it. The harness was created with more vines and fitted to Mopey; they began their trek back home with the Nymphs guiding them.

"Neal says the girls are together, and the Nymphs are leading them out," Carmella reported to all.

"Then everything is well," Queen Emmaline said, bowing to Carmella. She flitted skyward and hovered at the face of Her Eminence, Marcella, the original Sequoia from whom all others were birthed.

Marcella lifted her roots slightly and rocked backward. "Thank you, Emmaline. As always, we are grateful for your watchful presence and the help of the Nymphs. Human children are precious to us."

**

"What is that?" Paul pointed.

"I think it's the girls who were lost!" Ringo replied, and they both hurried to them.

"You are hurt," he said to Pammy. "I'm Ringo and this is Paul. We'll help you; let's go."

Paul and Ringo let Mopey continue pulling the gurney. They escorted the dog and girls, providing reassurance and a feeling of safety as they crossed the vast meadow.

Near the edge, a woman stood by a vehicle. "Look over there, Pammy!"

**

Pammy's mother was waiting with her beat-up truck on the road beside the meadow when Mopey ran up. The girls turned to thank the men, but they had disappeared.

"Mom, the Forest is enchanted! Trees spoke to me, and a tiny, winged creature frightened off my kidnapper. And two men escorted us safely out of the Forest." Lucinda nodded her head in agreement with the parts she knew. Mrs. Cannon just smiled, chalking it up to delirium and pain.

As they drove home, the radio played I'll Follow the Sun. "Mom, that sounds like one of the men who helped us out of the woods. It's his voice!"

"Okay, Honey, let's get you checked out at the hospital."

**

"George," Marcella said, "Your soul-tree Douglas Fir is very strong. Unlike the one they planted in New York City, John’s Redwood here in the Lost Forest will live for many years. It will be a while before your other bandmates join, but their music is embedded within our branches. When Paul and John return next year, we will ask them to create protection songs. Our Forest breezes will spread them, our trees will sing them, and birds and bees will carry them throughout the Lost Forest. The melodies will comfort children who strayed here and lead them back out to the meadow. Vegetation worldwide will be restored, and our wildlife will be renewed. The waterfall will carry the notes through the stream; fish that people catch downstream will nourish their bodies, and melodies embedded in the fish they consume will uplift their spirits. Together, we will heal the Earth with music. We will add these tunes to the Great Masters' music, and the notes will float around the world."

"Marcella, if I may ask, what trees will my mates become when they pass from human form?" Douglas Fir-George inquired.

"That is not yet decided. We do not write the future for humans in our Forest. I can tell you that they will be Knighted Trees."

The surrounding trees' surprised whispers to this announcement sounded like leaves ruffled in a breeze.

Marcella flexed, spreading her roots deeper for the night, swaying gently and sighing in an ethereal whispering sound.

Noticing that Her Eminence had entered a meditative state, Marcella's guide appeared, winging silently to her. Marcella's entire being quivered in pleasure as a black swan with turquoise wing tips gently landed upon one of her branches just as darkness draped the Forest. The swan's amethyst eyes blinked once, and she closed her wings over her head.

AI Generated with Gencraft

Copyright © 4/2/2024 by Andrea O. Corwin

PsychologicalFantasy
13

About the Creator

Andrea Corwin

🐘Wildlife 🌳 Environment 🥋3rd°

Pieces I fabricate, without A.I. © 2024 Andrea O. Corwin - All Rights Reserved.

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Comments (14)

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  • Oluwatobi Samuel6 days ago

    wow!!! Amazing Story

  • JBaz6 days ago

    What a clever and well written story. Because of the musical inlay I was swept up in the ride. Hearing tones of mystical rides as I read. ‘Let’s get you checked out if the hospital’ nice touch.

  • Laurie Meyer10 days ago

    Thank you for taking me on this magical journey…I was carried away on a moss cloud by the forest nymphs. What a beautiful story. I want more of your fantastical story!

  • KR15 days ago

    Your story beautifully blends elements of fantasy, friendship, and the power of music. The enchanting world within the Lost Forest and the touching journey of Lucinda, Pammy, and their loyal companion, Mopey are truly captivating. The mystical beings and the deep connection between music and nature added layers of magic to the narrative. Thank you for such a mesmerizing tale that left me feeling both uplifted and inspired.

  • Matt15 days ago

    Excellent story telling, from inside the forest perspective

  • Ainy Abraham17 days ago

    A captivating story. Good luck for the competition.

  • Ralph Thompson18 days ago

    Very cool story

  • Krystle Balhan18 days ago

    Thanks for sharing more of your writing! “Across the Universe” was a perfect pick to bring the girls home. 🌌

  • Shirley Belk19 days ago

    Loved how you intertwined the Beatles into this mystical magic.

  • No words to say 👌. Loved it!!!

  • So glad Pammy is okay hehehe. Mopey is my spirit animal, I love to sleep too! Oh I also loved the name Yaniosha, so pretty!

  • Katie Erdman20 days ago

    Very well written! I like the idea of the notes playing on the wind and that the girl can see them. ❤️ Also I can definitely see the 4 conversing with nature like that and then going there after their time on earth. Very unique!

  • “M”20 days ago

    🫶🏻

  • John Cox20 days ago

    Wow! What a wild ride!

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