Jayme, an anxious freelance writer with young kids, is still trying to carve out a space for herself in the industry.
Autumn and impending holidays are nearing. She’s getting back into the writing work flow. Of course, it isn’t going as fast and smooth as she’d like it too, but she’s realigning her ducks after putting a major project down due to lack of sight. She wrestles with some confidence and focus issues but is dedicated to finding flow.
One morning she is partaking in some free-writing and stumbles onto an idea for a short story. Her inner-not-so-helpful critic immediately snaps at the loose, fragile concept. Jayme goes for a walk and listens to Weezer. Her dogs sniff away at the bushes and mailboxes. Whispered voices pass between neighbors standing by a blue pickup truck with spray painted windows. Anxiety and story telling muscles drum up a heist, then fleeing citizens. Thoughts of the government ordering neighbors to be walled in cycled through her head as she transitions from walking to writing.
Jayme is nothing if not stubborn, so she sits and writes and thinks and works through the scenes and ideas. Not all ideas should be accepted at face value. They are only stepping stones to the true intention. Her upbringing conditioned her not to trust herself or her environment, so it is challenging to let go. Thoughts of the drawered manuscripts skulk on the corner of her idea and oncoming epiphany. She changes the music and gets a glass of water. "It's a grind," she tells herself as she combs through the previous paragraph. "I know there is an idea in there somewhere. I'm the right path."
A small creature pops its violet-furred head in a fluid string of dialogue. Its beady red eyes studied her looking as surprised as she feels.
Without a better idea of what to do next, she spit out a simple but appropriate greeting, "Hi."
The weasel-like animal waved its narrow-toed paw. "No pictures please."
"What are you?"
"I should ask you the same question."
"I think this may be too weird."
"How can you judge me without understanding what my purpose is? I'm here. Just, as you are."
Jayme followed the animal, which calls itself Top, into its warren. It isn't a cozy, twig filled animal home but a string of potions and stolen goods on aged shelves. There is a smell of magic between the mud-filled walls she had never smelled before. Jayme stood between the script of spells reaching deep into the earth and the door to leave before too much heart and time. She danced with the decision as if she had a choice.
"Well, are you going to follow me?" Top crinkles its snout, giving his whiskers the look of brushes for dirty floors.
"Are you what I've been looking for?"
"Maybe. It's hard to say right now."
Top grew impatient and wandered over to the pebbled path that led to a small pool of pink water. Jayme watched the turquoise birds flutter about feeling over whelmed. She sighed and wandered over to Top.
Top pointed a claw at the rose bubbles swirling in the center. "There are secrets deep in there."
Jayme offered Top a flat hand.
He sniffed it, unsure.
"Let's do this together."
Top bobbed its furry head and scurried up her arm. He perched on her shoulder with his mouth near her ear.
"Jump," he whispered.
Tunnels twists into stairs that fold into waterfalls. Hand in hand the two new friends explore a world one knows wells, and the other knows only what their willing to see.