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Eternity Place
Margaret, Age 12, Barrie, ON

The ivory wisps of clouds were tinted with watery streaks of deep pink and plum. The sky looked as if its peacefulness had been marrauded with the impulsive works of a child’s hand and the graceful works of a paint brush.

The clouds nudged the brim of the hazy heavens, and the heavens heaved, letting streams of dusty sunlight yawn onto sleepy land forms below. Silky mauves cloaked the dewy, damp shoulders of rolling hills below, and illuminated the pearly flowers knotted between lacy fibres of carpeting moss, and even danced gleefully on the surface of echoing ripple pools and tinkling streams.

Watching below were Jane and Rose, two best friends, paused in a trance while making their way to explore the forest near their house. “Ahhhh...” breathed the inquisitive Rose, looking about her surroundings and wondering how such a scene came to be.
“Nice, I know! This should be our private place!” squealed the bubbly Jane, gesturing around the space nestled between the ridges of a lavender rock, beside a babbling stream. The water in the stream was translucent and smoky and rose majestically over stones of peach and lilac, and plummeted downward to disperse into bubbles of solid, elegant silver, which flowed into small pools with echoing ripples and gem like pebbles scattered around their floor.

They sat up with a sigh and began to stroll towards the thicket of deep green pines, where a balmy scent lingered thickly, a scent of leaves and vegetation. They laughed and giggled and shared talk the whole time until they came to a crisp, mossy clearing. There was a small cottage with log beams covering the angular roof and cream paint covering the exterior. A hazy blur of soft blue, light purple, and vibrant fuchsia hung in the air between patches of misty, choppy grass. This was encased in a neat, bleach white fence. The girls gasped, enticed and mystified by the cottage in front of them.

“Let’s go inside, I’ll bet there’s something mysterious in there!” said Jane.

“Oh, all right!” sighed Rose, cautious as always. They quietly tip-toed up to the small wooden, latched up door and it slowly creaked open. They slithered through the door as if frightened by the mystery looming densely in the air around them. Works of art were scattered around the floor and hanging from the wall. There were vases smashed, with ornate cherry blossoms dancing on the surface of a pond painted on the smooth porcelain, and a beautiful statue of a Japanese woman in a traditional kimono. She had long velvety black hair and a silky red pink kimono. Several Japanese style paintings of bridges and babbling streams and frolicking flowers and delicate butterflies were perched on the cream coloured wall. But one tall painting stood out the most. It was a painting that was sparkling clean, and clearly its tranquil appearance was cherished. With sparkling midnight blue and blustery swirls of cream sparkling in the sky, passages for the twinkling gems of stars to slowly pass through on their gradual escapades, and the illusive glimmer of a moon.

Below, you could see the frigid breeze seeping through the buttery pink blossoms, and the vibrancy of the blossoms left a bright haze against the sky, piercing through the quiet eeriness of night. On the other side, peachy lavender clouds had several crevasses and cracks between their frothy texture, and ribbons of cloud warmed the tips of another identical tree, a cherry blossom tree. This time, instead of having a strange otherworldliness about it, it had a cheery vivacity that hung like a mist about this half. At the bottom, Eternity was scribbled in thin, slanted lettering. And below that, John Ruddle was barely scribbled messily too. “This one is my favourite!” grinned Jane.

“It has something strange about it, that I almost want to solve,” said Rose. “If only there was some clue!” By impulse, Rose and Jane turned around and saw a navy blue diary sitting on a small neat desk top. Everything around it had a quaint, orthodox feeling to it. Jane looked at Rose and their turquoise and jade green eyes met and blazed with excitement.
 
They walked to the diary and Jane opened it. Several beautiful paint sketches were scribbled through the pages, from Japanese flowers and gardens to skies and beaches and even lagoons. Notes like "Ask mayor Wood about opening an art museum," and lots of splotches of colour, like experiments. “Wait!” said Jane. “I remember Mayor Wood. He was terrible!” and suddenly Rose remembered too. Mayor Wood, disgruntled and grumpy. Sometimes the girls even thought him to be rather truculent, as result of his dictatorial behavior toward children and adults in their small town. He was rather diminutive and pudgy, with small slitted eyes, regarding eyes, shrewd but devious eyes, and a band of wrinkles across his forehead. He was overthrown and placed in a lower value of jurisdiction.

The girls flipped through the rest of the book and came to the end. This time, there were paint sketches of large, protuberant eyes in shades of bleak yellow. There were notes like "Bring Mayor Cole down," and "Kill Mayor Cole," vindictive and blood thirsty.

“He must have gone crazy by this part...this is so disturbing!” said Jane, wincing at the bloodthirsty scribbles and disturbing paint sketches. They came to the conclusion of the diary and a small pack fell out of one of the pages.

Rose untied the ribbon attached to it, and out fell several hundred dollar bills. The girls gasped. Rose quickly counted the money and shrieked. “Ten.... Thousand....dollars!” she croaked.

“What do we do?” asked Jane, mystified.

Suddenly Rose’s shocked, puzzled look glazed over into a witty smile. “I know--we shall save this man’s sanity for eternity to come--and we shall open an art museum in this very cottage called...” she paused, looking pensive, “ Eternity place.”

The End

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