(A intro story I wrote for second graders at P.S. 86K)
Briann slammed her bedroom door with all the strength she could gather.
“You never let me do anything!” She yelled.
She was angry at her parents for not letting her sleep over her friend’s house. She sat on her bed crossed arm and upset. She yelled from the top of her lungs.
“I wish you were gone—all gone!” She laid on her bed and stared at the moon that was smiling outside her bedroom window. She closed her eyes and whispered, “I wish they were gone.”
The next morning she opened her eyes and noticed a very tall man, slim, and dressed in a large overcoat. His black hair combed back, He stood leaning against her windowpane with one knee bent up. He spun something on his finger, but Briann couldn’t tell what it was. She was curious to know who the man in the window was.
“Who are you? What are you doing here? What is that spinning?” He stared at her and smiled.
“Many questions for an angry, spoiled child.” Briann grew upset.
“Angry?! Spoiled?! I am no such thing! Well, maybe a little angry.” He stopped spinning the object on his finger and held it in his hand. She recognized it, “It looks a lot like my house.” He smiled at her again.
“Yes it does, doesn’t it?” he spun it again, “That’s because it is.” Briann stood surprised.
“You must be joking.” she said.
He shook his head. “But how? I’m lying in my bed.” Briann argued.
“Are you now?” He laughed.
Briann looked down and realized she was on a bed of hay and no longer in her bedroom. She jumped off and saw that she was in a great big valley with mountains and trees. No one was in sight, no neighbors, not her parents, not her house. She became frightened, “What did you do with them? Where are my parents, my house?” He looked confused.
“Aren’t you happy? You said you wanted them gone.” She thought for a moment because she knew he was right.
“I know, but I was only angry.” She began to sob, “I want them back.” In a serious tone he spoke.
“You can’t. They’re gone. That is what you wanted.”
“There has to be a way!” He got down from a crate and walked slowly back and forth.
“Well, there is a way, but I don’t know if you’re up for the challenge.” She practically yelled.
“I am! I am!” He stopped spinning the tiny house and looked towards her. He waved his hand to the left and revealed off in the distance a tall stone castle with large windows. It reminded her of a castle she once saw in a book.
“In that castle lies a hundred doors, but only three of them will lead you to the door to your family. There are riddles and scary things inside that castle; things your eyes have never seen. If you enter the wrong door, you will stay in the castle forever.” He looked at her with his dark eyes, “Are you ready for that?” Briann stood quietly in thought and knew she had to do it; at least try to get to her family.
“Yes, I am.”
He smiled and the tiny house disappeared from his hand. “Very well then. You may begin.”
He through a glass ball on the floor in front of them that blew up in smoke. Briann coughed and coughed, waving her arms around to clear the smoke from her face. When the smoke cleared, she realized she was now standing in front of the castle door. She couldn’t believe it, she thought to herself, “How did I get here? Who was that?”
the door to the castle was brown with iron latches, it stood at least seven feet tall. She had to push her whole body against it in order to open it. The door made a screeching noise as it opened. When Briann walked in, she couldn’t believe how beautiful it was inside. The floor had crimson tiles with golden numbers. In an arch, were twelve closed doors lined up in a row. Each door had a Raven’s head for a door-knocker. Their beaks curved in and, they each held a golden ring on the tip. Briann wasn’t sure how she was going to find the right door. She had to enter the three correct doors if she wanted to return to her family.
As she approached the doors, someone spoke. “I am the right door.” Briann looked around, “No I am.” She walked closer and realized it was the Raven’s.
“How do I know which one is truly the right door?” Briann asked.
“You must answer a riddle.” said the first Raven.
“Yes a riddle.” said the second Raven.
“You must answer it correctly if you want to find your family.” Squawked the first Raven.
“Correctly.” Said the second Raven.
“Yes-Yes I get it.” said Briann.
All twelve Ravens spoke at the same time.
“John had five spoiled daughters: Mina, Nina, Gina, Tina, and Lina. Which one of his daughters were the least spoiled?”
Briann grew upset, “Now how am I supposed to know that?!” She stood there in thought, as she held her hand to her chin.
“Come now child answer the question!” screeched the sixth Raven.
“Yes- Yes we haven’t got all night!” Yelled the fourth Raven.
“I just need a minute!” Briann said.
She tried to focus as the Ravens squawked. It was hard for her to focus with all the noise the Ravens were making. She thought to herself, “The least spoiled…” The noise grew louder and louder, and she couldn’t take it anymore.
“Oh! Can you please be quiet?!” Briann yelled and heard a voice behind her.
“Such an annoying group of Raven’s aren’t they?”
Briann turned and saw a large black cat as dark as night, sitting he was her height. His light green eyes shone like jewels. He was the biggest cat she had ever seen.
He bowed his head, “I am Aslan.”
“Briann.” She curtsied. She wanted to answer the riddle right.
“Well, child do you have the answer?” The third Raven asked.
“Yes!” Briann said. “None.”
“Excuse me?” asked the tenth Raven.
Briann laughed as the room filled with noise. “None. None of his daughters was the least spoiled because they are all spoiled! You are either spoiled or you’re not!”
The room fell silent. Briann waited nervously with Aslan the cat by her side.
“Correct.” The sixth Raven said. Suddenly the very last door opened.
“I’ll take you through.” said Aslan.
They walked through the door…