“After you, Miss Donna.” I smiled politely, ushering Donna to our seat on the train. I was trying desperately to impress her.
She paused, studying my face for a brief moment. Wishing I could magically hear her thoughts, my eyes met hers as I tried to read into her every movement.
She grinned slightly, “Thank you, Yellow! You are quite a gentleman.” She giggled softly, before taking her seat.
Across from our seat, Lola comforted Birdie, who was slumped over in her seat, sobbing heavily into her hands.
“Birdie? Are you okay?” I asked with concern.
“Do I look okay?” She snapped, looking up at me with makeup running down her face.
“Well, no but-“
“I’m trying to cope with the guilt of breaking someone’s heart, Yellow.” She cried. “The worst possible thing that could ever happen to him would be to lose me, and I selfishly made that nightmare a reality! He’ll spend the rest of his life mourning me, I just know it.”
Birdie took a deep breath and looked out the window, while fanning her eyes with her hand.
“Oh goodness! What if he… what if he takes his own life? How will I ever sleep at night?” She continued.
“I imagine it would far worse if the both of you had already wed.” Donna added calmly.
“Coming through, coming through!” Clementine announced, making her way to our cab, with Salem right behind her.
Salem and Clementine obnoxiously took up the remainder of the seat next to Donna and I, while gesturing for us to scoot over even more, as I was tightly squeezed between Donna and the wall. I had no idea what those two were up to, but I wasn’t going to try to stop them.
“Need more leg room, scoot over!” Shouted Salem.
“Is there any more room over there?” Clementine asked, gently pushing Donna even closer.
I chuckled nervously, “No, no more room, Clem, heheh..”
Just in time, Uncle Barry popped his head into view, and stood in the doorway.
“Alright kiddos, we’re ready for takeoff.. Remember, this is no normal train ride, so try to avoid looking out the window. You might see some strange things, just ignore them and stay in your seat.” Barry instructed as we all payed attention carefully. “The other adults and I will be in the boxcar beside this one with the animals.”
Pony-Bones Island was a land of mystery and magic, so it was no surprise that the journey there would be anything but bizarre.
Other than the bittersweet feelings of leaving the town we were born in, Salem and I were pretty comfortable and used to circumstances like this, seeing as we traveled via enchanted wardrobe every year to Midnight Hollow, since we were small children. I was just nervous about how shaken up Donna and Clementine would be.
…But surprisingly they were both fine the entire time. The trip took several hours, but we passed the time by talking and listening to Birdie’s fretting.
When we finally arrived, we each anxiously stepped out of the train, as we took in our surroundings.
Suddenly, a faint green fog appeared, followed by a beam of luminous light and sparkles arose from the ground, with all three of the Crumplebottom Sisters who were in the center of it, to greet us.
“Oh, I see there are some…extras.” Beatrice muttered.
“Now don’t you listen to my sister, you are all welcome here, in Pony-Bones Island!” Belinda corrected with enthusiasm.
“I appreciate that, Belinda.” I replied kindly.
“Well we’d love to stay and chatter on, but it’s getting late, and you all need to get acquainted with your new home.” Beatrice said, circling a wand around us. “Hold your breath!”
Instantly, we were all teleported in the front yard of our new house.
The home was absolutely breathtaking! It was colorful and spacious, with an aged, magical charm that seemed to fit our family like a glove.
However, The Crumplebottom Sisters had a smaller home set up for Birdie and Lola right across the street from train station. They said that Birdie is old enough to live on her own, and Birdie happily agreed, as long as she didn’t have to share a room with Salem ever again.
Before exploring our new home, I did my best to calm down all of the pets, who were understandably a bit frightened.
It made me happy that Aurora’s new barn was actually in our backyard now, so now we could be closer to her every day.
The adults said that we can go hang out by the ocean while they get some things in order.
The sun was beginning to set over the ocean, painting the water with beautiful hues of purple and pink. I wanted to talk to Donna about everything that she’s had to endure on this trip, as I can only imagine how frightening this must be for her.
“How are you holding up, Don?” I asked.
“How are you doing? You’ve been through a lot in the past few days, I wanted to make sure you’re okay. I know things like this can be scary to someone who isn’t used to it.”
I could tell that some of my words confused her. The gap in time between our eras was extremely great, which caused somewhat of a language barrier.
“I appreciate your concern, Yellow, but you mustn’t worry, I’m not unnerved at all!”
“Oh… Okay. Well if you ever do feel scared, don’t hesitate to let me know. I want you to be comfortable, Donna.”
“Yellow, I more so find all of this rather exciting!” She beamed enthusiastically.
“That’s great, Donna! Once again, I want to apologize for my sister and Clementine, they can be a bit rowdy. I’m sorry you had to spend almost the entire trip practically on my lap.”
“I didn’t mind sitting so close to you..” She smiled, looking up at me.
I could feel myself blushing as I giggled idiotically.
“I didn’t mind it so much, either.” I said.
“Ugh, I have disgusting sand in my shoes. Let’s go.” Salem grumbled.
Leave it to my sister to ruin a sweet moment between myself and the girl of my dreams.
“Heh, well… We should get back home, you’re probably freezing.” I said.
I crawled into one the beds the adults set up for us that night with a permanent smile glued on my face. I couldn’t wait to see Donna in the morning, and start my first full day in Pony-Bones Island.
The next morning wasn’t as thrilling as I imagined it to be. Donna really slept in, and I found myself waiting hours for her to get up.
After finally coming to terms with the fact that she was most likely not going to get up anytime soon, I decided I’d spend some alone time exploring the town to pass the time.
I made my way to the attic, where I found Salem practicing her spell-casting.
“Salem, I’m going to check out the town. Could you please call me as soon as Donna wakes up? Please?” I asked.
“Can’t you see I’m busy? Beat it, Romeo.” She hissed.
I sighed heavily. “Fine, I’ll ask Clementine, where is she?” I asked.
“Go ahead, she’s in the shower…Your little princess should get a kick out of that.”
“Oh come on, Salem. Just a quick call, please?”
I didn’t really know how common it was to ride horses in town here, probably not like in Appaloosa Plains, but I didn’t have a car, so Aurora Skies would do just fine.
After exploring some of Pony-Bones Island on horseback, I stopped at a little bistro for something to eat, when finally my phone rang. I stumbled to pull it out of my pocket and even knocked my plate over on the ground.
“Salem?” I answered.
“Come and get your little Simsney princess, she keep screwing with all my stuff.” Salem replied.
After cleaning up the plate that I knocked over on the ground, I rushed home.
“Where’s Donna?” I asked immediately.
“Well aren’t you going to say hi to us?” Persephone teased.
I tripped, and stopped myself from falling while trying to maneuver my way around the overly-excited dalmatians.
“Oh um… Hi everyone, how are all of you today?” I asked.
“We know you could care less, buddy. She’s right in there, playing with her reflection in the mirror.” Barry smiled, tilting his head in the direction of the livingroom.
“Oh, Yellow! I didn’t see you there!” Donna gasped.
“I’m sorry, didn’t mean to startle you.”
“You didn’t.” She smiled.
“I did miss you though.” She said.
“I… I missed you too, Donna!” I said, suddenly feeling pretty guilty about leaving her here.
“I have a question…”
I have an answer!”
“Where is this Kingdom of Simsney? And who is is the princess that resides there? I heard Miss Salem call me the Simsney Princess.”
Despite my efforts to contain my amusement, I bursted in laughter.
“Oh, that’s right! You were born before Walt Simsney, weren’t you? No, no.. There is no kingdom! She means you remind her of a Simsney princess, from the movies. Some people would find that an insult, but you shouldn’t.”
“Yes! The movies of our childhood. I might still have them.” I gasped, “I can show you, let’s go!”
I grabbed her hand and led her all the way up to the attic, where some of the old stuff was packed.
“Is this another form of magic?” Donna asked, wide-eyed.
“I guess you can say that.” I chuckled, as I started one of the tapes that I used to watch as a child.
I sat down on the floor, and tapped the space next to me, gesturing for her to join me.
The butterflies in my stomach swarmed about, as she warily sat beside me, looking at me confusingly.
“Just watch that box?” She asked.
I chuckled once more. “Yep just watch the box.”
I watched Donna as she stared up at the television in awe, as the familiar intro played in front of us.
“What is that?” She questioned.
“It’s an animated movie, love. It’s sort of like a play, and and a bunch of paintings, all squeezed together.”
“I’ll say. Now just watch, and be amazed!”
We spent hours that day in the attic, watching movie after movie. Some movies I had forgotten about, so it was like reliving the magic all over again, only along side of the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen.
We shared laughter, suspenseful nail-biting, and tears, I’ll never forget this day as long as I live!
She even held my hand during one of the infamous tearjerkers, and all I could do was stare in disbelief.
As the days went by, the house began to come together nicely.
Although Clementine dressed her, her look wasn’t complete without some magical fairy wings, provided by Salem. Salem could never turn down the chance to prove she’s the best at magic, even if that meant helping someone.
We did go trick-or-treating, although we were fairly unsuccessful at candy collecting. It seems as though no one was ever home.
We still weren’t going to school, so when Thanksgiving break came around, Persephone finally enrolled the three of us. Clementine wasn’t being enrolled here, but she came along with us. She was also missing a lot of school in Appaloosa Plains, so we knew our time with her was very limited.
The Crumplebottom Sisters invited us to their home for thanksgiving. It was pretty interesting seeing their home away from Bewitchment School.
The three sisters stood up at the head of the table to make an announcement.
“My sisters and I want to thank all of you for joining us this evening. Although Thanksgiving is a very mortal holiday that we normally never bother with, we realize it is a tradition for all of you.” Beatrice began. “However, because it is still Autumn, we are supposed to be in Midnight Hollow right now with the rest of the students of magic, so please recognize that we are here for a much more important purpose. In time, you all will understand, but as of now, I need a moment to speak with the heir. Yellow, a word please?”
“Oh, um.. Okay..” I said, standing up awkwardly, as Salem muttered something under her breath about me being referred to as the heir.
Beatrice led me into the living area, as she began to open a large bird cage.
“So I’ll be needing to know, Yellow. Are you certain that Donna is the one? You are certain that you are the heir?” She asked very sternly.
“Yes, yes of course.” I replied.
“This is Starling. She is a very rare creature, Yellow.” Beatrice said, coaxing the animal out of the cage. “Come, Starling, come.”
“Her food can only be created through magic, so this will help you strengthen and refine your skill.” Beatrice explained.
“Not only that, but she will be guiding you on a journey you must endure one day. She is our gift to you, Yellow.”
“That will be explained in detail during your next semester in Midnight Hollow.”
I marveled at the owl-like creature splashed with beautiful colors and markings, as Beatrice held her arm out to me.
“Go on, put your arm out.” She said, calmly.
Slightly trembling, I nervously held my arm out as Beatrice gently nudged the bird onto my arm.
“Hi Starling! I’m Yellow.” I almost whispered.
“Now I’m going to need you to pet the bird.” Beatrice said.
“Uh, okay. She won’t bite will she?”
“Pet the bird, Yellow.” She repeated, her voice much more demanding this time.
I reluctantly brought my hand closer to the bird, when suddenly a loud crunch sent me wailing in pain.
Panicked, the bird flapped it’s wings frantically, and began flying around the room while I ducked in fear.
I foolishly looked at my finger and began to hyperventilate as blood oozed out of the bite.
“That thing bit me!” I wailed.
“Oh Yellow, stiffen up, will you?” Said Beatrice, as she grabbed my arm. “Hold still.”
“Starling has marked you.” Beatrice said.
“If she bites you, that means she has chosen you as her owner. It most likely won’t happen again. After all, you are the heir.”
“Wow! Good as new! I need to learn that one..”
“The bird isn’t the only reason I need to speak with you.” She said, walking away.
“NO, you naive fool!” She shouted.
She took a deep breath to regain herself.
“You and your sister were granted this semester off, to mourn the loss of your Grandmother Morgana. Well, there is a lot that needs explaining this semester, so the both of you will be traveling this winter to Midnight Hollow this year.”