Here's my self-imposed challenge: Write a monomyth (epic) using writing prompts given on Gather.
Here are the other parts, if you haven't read them yet.
This part comes through Len's SatWE Challenge:
This Week’s Challenge:
Pretty much wide open with the understanding that you’re going to write something (prose or poetry; fiction, nonfiction, or essay) that includes anything to do with a castle.
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The three teddy bears slept under the blanket next to the dying campfire. Spaulding slept closest to the pond to protect his brothers, but it was a fitful sleep.
Why did the Lady bring me down here? What have I gotten my brothers into? Diamond doesn't want to leave. What if Petey the Pigeon doesn't want to leave either? For that matter, can we leave or are we prisoners? Why did the Lady bring me down here?
It had been a long tumultuous day, so Spaulding did fall deep asleep. He dreamt of screeching eagles, lightning bugs turned into fairies, and a whitewater river swallowing him, tossed about among trash bags, kelp, and a yellow ride-on tractor. Its footrest caught his eye. He yanked and the eye was gone. Something grabbed his other eye. He yanked again, and woke up, but he couldn't see a thing.
He sat up and reached for his shoe-button eyes. They were gone. An eagle screeched and cushioned paws grabbed him.
"My eyes! My eyes! Where are my eyes?"
Teddy yanked his arm to drag him closer to hug him.
"It's okay. Mr. Stuck caught the frankenfish that stole your eyes."
"Oh, no!" Phil screamed.
Spaulding felt the breeze of huge wings flapping. The eagle landed near him.
"He tore the fish apart," whispered Phil. His voice trembled. Spaulding clutched him to his chest.
"Don't worry, Little One." The eagle tapped Spaulding on the shoulder with his wing. "I retrieved your eyes."
Someone spit and Phil jumped up. He ran back to drop something delicate onto the ground at Spaulding's feet. Spaulding reach, but couldn't find them. The eagle's wing feathers pinned the paw to the ground.
"Do you have a sewing kit?"
Spaulding shook his head.
"Then why do you want to touch your own eyes?"
Spaulding pulled back his paw. "What do I do? I, I, I can't see. I need my eyes. How do I protect my brothers without them?"
"I will take your eyes to the Lady's castle for you. She can fix you and you will see again."
"Are you kidding me?" Spaulding yelled. "I was almost drowned. Teddy had his legs shredded. Phil is only three years old. Mommy has no idea where we are. None of us, none of us should be down here and you still want me to go on? You want me to go through this scary, scary land with my two younger brothers--blind? Are you kidding me?"
His shoulders shook. He hid his eye sockets with his paws and sunk his head to his knees. Teddy hugged him around one shoulder and Phil hugged him around the other. And then Phil released his brother's shoulder.
"You're a mean, mean bird." Phil growled.
Spaulding grabbed Phil and squeezed him to his chest.
The eagle's voice softened. "I know you're scared, Little One. Trust me one more time." He tapped Spaulding's shoulder with his wing, but Spaulding jerked away and hugged his brothers. "The Lady would not have brought you down here, if she knew it would cause you harm."
"I'm blind. I'm blind! Is there no greater harm then a blind teddy bear?" Spaulding pulled Teddy closer. "Oh yeah, there is! A shredded teddy bear. We're harmed!"
"She can make you all as good as new. She has powers." The eagle pulled all three bears under his wing. "How did this place come to be? This is her land, her power, and she wants your help. Your struggles aren't over, but they serve a purpose. Please, trust me one more time."
Spaulding relaxed his grip on his brothers and faced the eagle.
"How do I get to the castle if I cannot see?"
The eagle lifted his wing and stepped away. "You have three things better than your eyes. You have your two brothers and the feather named Brian." Spaulding felt him walking around him. "Do you think you can help your brother?"
"I've been trying to help my brothers."
"Not you. Remember, he can't see you and can't hear you nodding your heads. You'll have to talk to him and guide him. Can you help your brother?"
"Yes," Teddy whispered.
"Better than you have," Phil answered.
Spaulding swung his paw, but missed.
"Sorry, but he's a mean-"
"No, he's not. He saved me and got my eyes back. We're just scared. Can you help me?"
"Of course. I'm a big boy."
Spaulding smiled. "Okay, but this is up to you two now. Do we keep going or do we go home?"
"Can't we do both?" Phil asked.
Teddy snickered. "Yeah, both."
Spaulding faced the area he last heard the eagle. "Okay, but I'm going to kick some serious tail feathers, if I find out I shouldn't trust you."
"Fair enough," the eagle said from the other direction. "Let me take those eyes to the castle now to keep them safe."
Spaulding felt Phil reaching into the grass right in front of his foot and then heard him run towards the eagle. "One question first." Spaulding smiled, recognizing Phil's deficient voice. "Which way to the castle?"
The eagle flapped his wings. "Follow the river. It's a day and a half away, Tiny One."
"I'm not tiny," Phil shouted as the eagle flew away.
To be continued….