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“Whispers of Myth”by Pragnya Ravi: June 2024 Runner Up

Rune stepped into the library. The peaceful aura of the ancient building was infectious. Her footsteps echoed in through the empty building as she walked towards the towering statue in the center of the fantasy section. It was a beautiful dragon. Rune stroked the engraving in the base. She had read the words many times and murmured them to herself.

I may not be faerie or gryphon or knight,

Nor princess or witch casting spells in the night,

But my home lies in stories of dragons and sprites,

These magical places with mystical light.

As she finished the rhyme, the stone began to grow warm. The sensation was initially pleasant, but it soon heated until it was unbearably hot. Rune yelped and jumped away. The stone began to glow a dull red in the place where she had touched it. She backed away from the statue. There was a loud grinding of gears, and Rune stared, dumbstruck, as a bookshelf shuddered once before swinging open. She gasped, and instinctively stepped closer to the doorway, overcome with curiosity. Rune could see the start of a tunnel, and a light coming from inside. 

Taking a deep breath, she stepped into a large room, with a sword in the center, embedded in a large rock. A plaque underneath read, The Sword in the Stone. Next to it sat Cinderella’s Glass Slipper. She turned to see an old wooden wheel with a needle attached. Sleeping Beauty’s Wheel.

Rune shook her head. This wasn’t real. 

“They’re all fake.” She muttered to herself. 

Rune walked over to a crooked stick labeled Merlin’s Wand. She shook her head, chuckling as she waved it. A small glowing orb shot out of the end, turning Sleeping Beauty’s dress blue. Rune’s jaw dropped, and she held the wand at arm’s length like it was an explosive. It wasn’t real. It simply couldn’t be. 

“This is a dream,” she whispered to herself, but part of her knew it wasn’t true. 

Her voice shook as she processed the fact that her biggest dream might not just be a fantasy. 

“Magic is... real?”


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