Grandmother says little children should always say a prayer before bedtime. The evil witches, goblins, and trolls will make a stew out of your soul, and you shall never wake to the light again. Every night the ghouls and goblins look for innocent victims who have not said their prayers. Today we picked strawberries and apples. We baked a cake, and we play games sang songs until late. Grandmother says it’s time for bed. I’m so tired I forget to say my prayers. I fall into a deep sleep and a dream. I hear a distance voice saying, ‘Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake. I pray the Lord, my soul, to take.
The young maiden screams hysterically as the ugly green trolls hunt her frenetically through the thicket forest. Flowers are wilting, and the earth scorched as they scramble to pursue their prey. The beast knows that their mistress will be happy if they could capture the maiden from earth. Miranda is tired she is about to give up the flight, she hears a haunting voice telling her to go back in the direction of the trolls. Up ahead she sees a castle with a lit courtyard. Just as she enters the courtyard of the castle, she turns to hear a horrifying scream. Her pursuers have stopped the chase they appear to be afraid. Miranda hears a voice, and everything goes black. Wake up, Miranda! Grandmother Leisha shakes her to wake up for breakfast. Grandmother shouts out I’m going to take a bath and make breakfast. I want you out of that bed and ready in thirty minutes. We have a long trip back to your parent’s house, and we’re baking apple pies for your mom and dad.
Miranda remembers a dark skinned man in a great huntsmen coat carries her up the stairs. Now she is awake but not frightened. Miranda is curious to know whose lands she has entered. The servants appear they do not speak, but Miranda understands them and follows. They take her to a dining room laid out with fresh fruit, roasted meat, wine, fresh milk, apple juice, and pastries. Miranda yearns for ice cream, and it appears. She wishes for her favorite chocolate, and it seems in her hand. Miranda believes it is the castle of a powerful sorcerer. She is confused she remember the dark skinned man taking her to the room and then he appears. Who are you! My name is Atlas prince of the netherworld. You must remember the path you took to get my dwelling. It will be dangerous, but I shall guide you back to that path and your way back home. Miranda remembers the way vaguely, but she cannot remember her other life or anything. At dinner, Atlas conveys to her that she slipped into his world through her dreams. Moreover, she has six months to find the path back to her world, or she will spend eternity in the netherworld. After dinner, they walk in the garden and breathe in the sweet air. Months have passed, and Miranda and Atlas journeyed for miles in each direction in the forest hoping to find her way back home. They travel in the day and return to Atlas castle by nightfall. The forest encounters many goblin, trolls, and strange creatures. One afternoon, Atlas dueled the blue knight, who wanted to take Miranda for himself. The following week he killed Damian the black baron in mortal combat for the right to Miranda. Miranda found it strange that all these powerful people who in fact were demons would pay so dearly to have secure her by any power. Atlas revealed to her by capturing a mortal female in the netherworld the demons would be able to keep her locked away in the netherworld yet still use her body and enter her world and enslave many people by starting new religions and using magic. Atlas told her that most people who enter his world encounter the wolfmen or goblins. They take flight falling into the bottomless dark pit and die a natural death in their sleep in the mortal world. Miranda assumed it would be sad to die that way. However, the only fond memories she had is the memories of Atlas enchanted castle and the mysterious forest. Miranda is falling in love with Atlas she wants to marry him. One late afternoon at sundown walking on the beach at the edge of the mystical forest Miranda lies down on the sand listening to the waves crashing; she falls into a deep sleep and dream. In the dream she’s in Atlas arms looking into his eyes, she whispers I love you. Atlas gives her a kiss and says he’s found her path back home. Then she sips a sweet nectar from a golden chalice, and she is drifting away. Miranda pulls on his jade necklace, and it gives way falling into her arms. Miranda hears the distant voice of Atlas saying remember always to say your prayers at night asking the God of light for guidance. I won’t forget you yells, Miranda; I love you I don’t want to go. The memory is fading, but Miranda hears the voice of Atlas saying, I will always remember and love you. I’ll always be with you. Miranda moves away from the netherworld her physical features change back to a thirteen-year-old girl.
She gives out a loud scream her grandmother has thrown a bucket of cold water on her. Wake up sleepy head. We have a long journey to your momma house. I had a dream granny! What kind of dream honey? I don’t know it’s strange I cannot remember. Miranda climbs out of bed to brush her teeth and clean up. Grandmother yells out what do you want for breakfast and where did you find such a beautiful jade green necklace? What necklace? The chain on the bed next to the fantasy fairy book titled Castle Grey East of the Enchanted Forest. It seemed odd Miranda hears a familiar and envisions a tall regally dressed man saying, ‘
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord, my soul, to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord, my soul, to take.
Miranda says to herself I will never forget to say my prayers. For some reason, she knows she made that promise to her grandmother and someone she cannot seem to remember.