She smelt of summer roses, the simple ones with five petals that come in shades of white to deepest pink that line the dunes that stretch and wonder into the surf along the shore. So, sweet, so like the promise of nectar, that the bees and hummingbirds all came to kiss her. Her mother at first tried to beat them away. Covered in stings, she realized they never stung her child and that they let her be when she stopped trying to shoe them away. She laughed and giggled, never cried and never fussed. Birds dropped flowers on her and sang sweetly lovingly through the early morning and into the night just for her.
The garden at the house bloomed even when it snowed. Birds from every corner of the world stopped to sing, to rest, and to enjoy the warmth that never left. The bees built hive after hive dripping with sweetness that her mother and father gathered and sold. Her parents had no clue of what was going on. This wasn’t normal and though there was no harm being done. It all was very strange.
The village became rich reselling the honey to the traders of far. Not only was it the most amazing nectar of pure gold ever harvested, it healed wounds, burns, and even hearts.
They started protecting the location, telling tall tails to keep the world away. Selling it only at the farthest market, the one by the shore. They would only transport it under the cover of a new moon. Soon, enough it was only a handful trusted to go there and within a couple of years a wall was built around the small magical valley.
The child grew and siblings arrived. Two brothers and two sisters. The birds and the bees never bothered them, not that they bothered her, they just liked to hover and stay close. It was a happy home. It was always a day somewhere in the middle of spring leaning into summer. Anything desired or wanted was provided, if not by the earth, then by the traders. No, one really thought about an outside world, no one ever wondered where everyone was going and coming from. Though the number coming and going where fewer and fewer. As the value of the honey rose and the greed of the traders grew. The village grew into a city. The secret more closely protected and guarded.
One day the little girl whose name could only be Rose, started asking questions.
To be continued….