Above is the blog hop photo prompt, below is my story that goes with it. Enjoy!
Joey let his feet dangle freely under the bar stool. He was careful not to let his toes kick the base of the counter; it annoyed his mother who was working on “the winery books.” Si Hayden’s flamenco guitar melodies piped softly through the empty tasting space. Letting out a bored sigh, Joey settled into what would be another long afternoon at St. Chapelle. He rested his chin in his hands and let his eyes wander to the painting on the wall. The portrait lamp above it shined a perfect spotlight on the blue door in the center.
I bet there’s forest behind that door, he thought, with lots of cool wizard creatures who do magic and stuff.
The tiny hairs on Joey’s neck perked to attention and the skin on his arms prickled with goosebumps.
Cautiously turning on the bar stool, he peeked over his shoulder and was surprised to see a heavy blue door that wasn’t there before. Wait! That door? The painting!
Whipping back around to face the painting, Joey gasped in horror. Sprawled in front of him was a thick forest of black trees, trunks gnarled and branches twisted. Joey’s brain felt like it was waking up out of deep slumber. The earthy smell of hot swamp mud filled Joey’s nostrils causing him to gasp for a breath. The air around him was heavy and damp. The color of the sky reminded him of the time he’d mixed orange soda with the fancy brown mustard his grandmother smeared on the ham at Easter. The orangey brown backdrop against the black trees gave made Joey uneasy.
He scanned the landscape. “Who’s there?” Joey called out sternly, trying to hide the shake in his voice.
“It is I, Behemogon. Sire Joey, I’ve been waiting; I worried you might not hear my signal.”
Joey’s eyes went wide at the sight of the creature that materialized in front of him, though he didn’t feel scared. Massive in muscular stature and standing over nine feet tall like giant human, Behemogon was blanketed in bristled coarse fur, a mixture of brown and white. Two opalescent dragon wings spanned in magnificent splendor from behind its hairy back.
Joey felt a sense of familiarity with the friendly beast. “What is it Behemogon?”
“Sire Joey. There’s been a terrible tragedy with your princess,” the beast paused, its emerald eyes, outlined in long, black curly lashes showed fear. “A foreign runway appeared on the north side of Mythic Palace. Sire Joey. They have taken her… the heart of this land has been stolen. We have been discovered.”
He didn’t know why, but Joey understood the gravity of his friend’s words. “We must prepare for battle, Behemogon. I fear the time has come.”
“Sire JOEY!” Behemogon called out desperately and disappeared into a swirling mist.
“Joey! Joey!” the sound of his mother’s voice called him. “Honey, wake up. Why are sleeping in front of the door?”