The little girl stared at the rose bush in awe, her hand reaching out toward it longingly. Her violet eyes showed sadness beyond her years, her once beautiful dress was muddy and torn along the hem as if she had been running through thick forests, and her silky chestnut hair was tangled horribly. A bird called one sharp note as if to warn her and she jerked her outstretched hand back as if it had been burnt. She stumbled two abrupt steps toward the rose bush and stared out trying to find the bird that had called. She looked and looked for it but it was hidden well for she gave up and turned her attention back to the blooming roses. Her small hand took a petal from the bloom and pressed it to her cheek. She reached to pluck the whole flower off the bush but a thorn pricked her finger, she yelped as she brought her finger back quickly. She watched as a small drop of blood formed on her finger, then she smeared it on the rose bloom.
Something moved in the bushes and she tried to hide herself, the creature moved away from the clearing and she slipped back out. She was feeling very sleepy so she laid down next to the rose bush and fell into a deep sleep. The creature came back and stood over her, its head lowered and five sharp fangs bit into her ankle. Her eyes flew open and that scared the creature, it ran without looking back. She gasped in pain as poison ran through her body, the rose bush was the last thing she saw before her violet eyes closed.
Seven years passed and the rose bush grew to be enormous. Altharia lay asleep on the grassy ground almost underneath the rose bush. Her skin as cold as stone had a bluish hue to it, the rose bush had tried to consume her body but it had just become a protective cover for her slumber. The night was darker than tar when she awoke, afraid and alone. She cried out when she saw she was trapped beneath the thick rose bush. Two animals heard the calls and came running, they puzzled over the young woman under the thorny surface and tried to lift the roots but the root tips were buried deep under ground.
"How does a young woman get stuck under at least years worth of tangled rose clutter? Tell me Atlas how did she do it?" the fox-like creature said to his beaver-like friend.
"I don’t know Seyfried, I think she has been here for years, I don’t know how but she has. Could you quit screaming dearie? It’s beginning to hurt my tender ears," Atlas replied shyly.
So Altharia stopped screaming and the two creatures pulled and pulled until they were exhausted. Altharia’s eyes suddenly glowed with a bright violet light her slender hands reached out toward the vines, they closed on two of the thickest branches of her cage. Two thorns pricked her hands and her blood ran down the branches to the dirt, absorbed quickly into the dark rich soil. The branches all around her glowed purple and rose out of the earth, slowly uprooting years of growth. Her hands let go of the rising branches and the glow faded from her eyes, she looked over at the two amazed creatures and smiled serenely. Her tall and lithe body rose out of her crouched position, she managed to take three steps out of the little enclosure when her body finally gave out. The branches snapped down as the two creatures dragged her limp body away from the blooming rose bush.
"Well, I guess she didn’t really need us huh Atlas? We’d better get going, good riddance little fleshling." Seyfried said starting to walk away.
"Oh please don’t leave kind sir, I fear I have gotten lost in the forest and the little bird wont tell me how to get home. You see, my mummy came for a nature study and I begged to be taken, even though a six year old is far too young to go, or so says grand mere. I saw the rose bush and got distracted..." Altharia trailed off miserably. Atlas looked pleadingly at Seyfried and Seyfried sighed gustily.
"Fine fleshling, but if you slow us down I will not be responsible for the consequences, there are beasts in this forest that would devour a sweet young lady like you," Seyfried looked quickly around and set off at a moderate pace. Even the pace being as slow as it was the most Altharia could do to keep up with her legs that had not been used in years, Atlas helped when she started to wobble.