So, considering this is the longest story I’ve posted so far, I thought it deserved a “Behind the Scenes” post. And I have a lot to say about! I was planning on doing those in between the last and second-to-last parts; but as I want to be able to talk about the whole story without giving away the end, so stay tuned for a “Behind the Scenes” once the the story is done to hear more about how this story unraveled!
Amelia woke up and looked around her home in the dim sunlight that crept in between the shutters. She was lying on her bed, on top of the coverlet, completely dressed, with Jerry curled up on a fold of her pink rose-petal skirt—needless to say, unusual. Storms must scare her worse than she’d thought. Last night seemed like a dream.
The leaf-roof was designed so that water would pour off of it onto the ground, because the mud-bricks would go mushy if they got wet and the house would collapse, but the walls were still a little damp and oozy in some places from all the moisture.
Amelia stretched and got up, waking the centipede by tugging her skirt out from underneath him and muddying her feet on the damp dirt floor. She drug the table back to its place, opened the door and windows, splashed off her face, changed into fresh clothes, and began looking for some breakfast. All she found was the leaves she had cut before the spider-hunt. She would have to look for more soon.
But food was still getting more and more scarce. Even if Cianna had not fretted on and on about it, she could not have helped but have noticed the decreasing supplies as she had helped the Hawthorns cook. Amelia only dared to eat one of the leaves for breakfast. She looked at the drooping, rain-beaten, beetle-gnawed leaves around her as she stepped out of the open door into the cool, rain-sweetened world. She hoped the storm had washed the invading bugs out of the forest.
Washed out or not, the beetles had left their mark. But a good rain was too refreshing to waste with being gloomy, and after a one-leaf lunch, Amelia set off into the ferns—slowly and nearly up to her ankles in mud—looking for something new to hang on her necklace, looking for food, and looking for adventure.
Jerry came scampering after her—pitiably encumbered by the mud—obviously determined not to let his mistress get out of sight after her long absence. “I’m not silly enough to try any such thing again,” Amelia complained, but she picked him up to comfort him, and carried him with her, fifteen of his legs tucked up against her chest, fifteen dangling over her arm. He rested his head contentedly on her shoulder, his long antennas mingling with her gently blowing, red hair. “If you knew what happened to me you would forgive me for not coming back for days, but as I can’t make you understand—“ Amelia stopped mid-sentence, as she came into a clearing in the ferns. There in the middle of it, rising out of the mud, stood a single mushroom—food!