Once Elana crossed into the ring of toadstools, she was spell cast. Consumed with evading her pursuers, she failed to notice how her bare feet brushed the mottled plump mushrooms and leafed clovers, stirring up a spell. Spring’s enchantment fell over her quickly as a feverish dream.
Her vision blurred like an oil painting melting in the sun. She blinked and rubbed her eyes, but they were filled with the soft pink blush of apple blossoms and a streak of vibrant sunshine. Her breathing grew heavy as she sniffed the fragrant scent of dew-dripped lilac and the soft aroma of sunlit sage. Reeling, she lay down in the mossy vale. Petals from budding branches fell in her hair and vines grew beneath her, tickling her toes. The trickle of stream water mingling with the murmuring patter of melting snow played in her ears like a lyrical song, lulling her to sleep at twilight.
Before she knew it, one hundred years had fallen away like sand rippling through the spiral hole of an hour glass into the irrevocable abyss of time past. As those around her faded from bones to dust, she roamed the wood as the runaway maiden of Spring. Her hair was eternally threaded in flowers, her blossoming figure accentuated in a shift of leaves, and the golden amber of her eyes framed through a mask of knotted birch bark.
Time had no meaning in the whimsical land of Spring. While seasons passed in the world around it, in Spring, sprouting blossoms were everlasting. For Elana this was the ultimate diversion, a heavenly glade of peaceful reverie. She had always savored the season of blossoming life, looking forward to the first signs of green blades as they pushed their way up through the muddied earth and the lingering rays of sun that shined well into the eventide. Besides, while she was there, no one could find her and she would never have to marry anyone…
Never did she think about the passing of time in the real world. And never did she imagine that the love of a man would bring her out of the trance, for it was a man that provoked her into running away in the first place.