Rose screamed with delight as her parents lugged a small Christmas tree up to her room. “What in the world were we thinking when we gave Rose the room on the top floor?” her father panted, wiping the sweat from his forehead.
“You’ll have to set it up yourself, Rose. We’re exhausted”, her mother told her.
“Well,” the girl counted on her fingers and thought for a second, a mischievous glint appearing in her eyes. “There are still five days to Christmas. I can wait until tomorrow to set the tree up…”
“NO!”, her parents exclaimed at the same time. “We’ve done our jobs, the rest is up to you.”
“Well, then”, she said, the glint in her eyes still glowed. “Guess it’s up to me. Violet, do you want to help?”
Her parents left the room sighing exasperatedly, partly because of their daughter, and partly because of the long flight of stairs that awaited them. Rose’s younger sister shuffled in. “Of course I want to help!” she said eagerly. Together, they set up the tree in no time at all, humming merry Christmas tunes together.
Finally, the part both girls were looking forward to the most, came: it was time to decorate the Christmas tree. Rose and Violet excitedly fished out a variety of baubles and gold-and-silver streamers. Soon after, the Christmas tree was draped with decorations. Suddenly, the younger girl gasped.
“What’s up, Vi?” Rose asked. In her hands, Violet was holding possibly the most beautiful thing either girl had ever seen: an ornate, golden star, with an astoundingly intricate design.
“Where did we get this from?” Rose whispered, awestruck.
“It’s gorgeous…” Violet murmured back, not able to take her eyes off the piece. Rose gently placed it on the top of the tree. Almost immediately, a golden aura spread across the room, and the star seemed to glow. Rose and Violet gaped at it, stunned. Suddenly, they heard something.
“Is it just me, or is something -creaking..?” Violet asked.
“It’s definitely not just you”, Rose replied anxiously. The star, which was wobbling precariously on the top of the tree, now fell. Violet ran forward just in time, to neatly catch it in her hand. Breathing a sigh of relief, the young girl looked up to see the wall in front of her quivering.
“GET BACK, VIOLET!” Rose screamed. Violet stumbled backwards, alarmed. Suddenly, a deafening silence filled the room. A thin layer of mist had shrouded the section of wall behind the Christmas tree. Rose approached it cautiously, and stretched out a finger as if trying to touch it. Slowly, the mist faded away. Behind what once was a solid, sturdy wall, was now a gateway. It looked like it was made of pure gold. And carved on it were designs – which, as the girl realized, were detailed roses, leaves, and other plants. The same breathtaking design, which was on the star. There was, as Rose noticed, a large lock on the gates. It had a simple carving of two flowers on it: A Rose, and a Violet. Rose beckoned her sister to come forward, which the latter did, albeit hesitantly. Seeing the lock, the younger girl held her breath. Instead of having a keyhole, like any other ordinary lock, there was something there that strangely looked like a mold. Something like a gap that needed to be filled. A star-shaped gap. Slowly, Violet bout the ornate Christmas decoration out of her pocket. She placed it in the gap. A perfect fit.
The gateway swung open, revealing a golden staircase that descended into darkness.
TO BE CONTINUED IN THE NEW YEAR
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