By Veronica Lynn
Word Count: 2293
Summary: A college student’s wish helps her learn to have fun.
Morgon awoke with a start to find that she was, quite literally, left standing on the outside. She was all alone and in almost utter darkness. The only light present was coming from above her, from a lamppost that was bizarrely placed in the middle of a large forest.
Mouth agape, eyes wide open with panic, she whipped her head first to the left and then to the right, in a futile attempt to identify her surroundings.
“Where am I? What is happening?” her mind screamed. She considered the possibility that she was the victim of a kidnapping, but that seemed unlikely. Could she have been on the receiving end of a prank? Doubtful—for who would the culprit be?
The lone child of a serious-minded accountant and his scrupulous, safety conscious stay-at-home wife, Morgon’s only sisters were her fellow Kappa Gowns—the all-study, no nonsense sorority at Providence University. The Kappa Gowns were a sorority in name only, all of the members being too busy with their own burdensome class load to socialize as a group. Morgon knew that in the estimation of her sisters, there was only one appropriate spot for hazing and that was in the dictionary. As for her parents, Morgon knew their philosophy: “Everything in moderation, exception education. One can never have too much education.”
Honoring that creed was how Morgon had ended up nineteen, still residing in her childhood home, with neither a real friend nor an enemy to speak of. She hated how closely she resembled the nickname, Morgon Fun-None, that had plagued her throughout middle school. Even worse than the unflattering moniker was how ignored she had felt all through high school. The realization that she was too much of a loner to even be considered as the target of a practical joke did not sit well with her. Being super-studious and avoiding silliness may have kept her out of trouble, but it also kept her incredibly lonely. More than once she had wondered if being so perfect all the time was in fact a huge mistake.
But she was currently in no position to philosophize.
Fear overwhelmed Morgon’s heart. She realized it could be hours before anyone noticed she was missing. School was out for the weekend. Her parents would assume she was busy studying and not disturb her.
It was growing colder by the minute. Was she doomed to die of exposure—she who had yet to feel as if she had really lived? Then again, did it really even matter if she survived? It seemed as if her whole boring life was already completely mapped out for her. The entire world may be a stage, but being cast as “Student” and only a student was a role she found distasteful. She was an excellent student, and in a way, that was the problem. Morgon longed for a challenge. From the depths of her soul, she wanted to break free from the norm—to be fun as well as smart, and to live an extraordinary life. But her strong sense of duty and a real affection for her parents kept her close to home. Going off in search of something more seemed like a slap in the face of the parents who had given her everything. She was convinced that attempting to move out on her own so soon after high school would devastate her parents. Little did she know that Mr. and Mrs. Tyler were looking forward to selling their home, purchasing an RV, and traveling the country, just the two of them. Morgon’s parents were staying put for Morgon, just like she was staying put for them.
A twig snapped. Something was with Morgon in the woods! And it was heading towards her! The wood dweller’s tread sounded too dainty to be a bear or a moose. The closer the creature came, the more its steps sounded like those of a human.
Morgon wanted to run, but was worried about losing her one advantage—the light. Standing her ground and taking charge was the best way to handle the situation, she decided. If she was going to go down, she would do so fighting.
“Who’s there?” she yelled loudly, trying to sound more in control than she felt.
“It’s me,” a feminine voice called back. “It’s Elsa of Arendelle!”
“Elsa?!” Morgon was incredulous. “Impossible! Elsa is a cartoon.”
“It’s entirely possible,” Elsa answered with a laugh. “For here I am.”
Elsa was emerging from the forest as she spoke. “What’s a cartoon?” she inquired.
Morgon need not have worried about sufficient lighting, for the odd wanderer brought light with her. The girl glowed, literally, and she was a dead ringer for the Elsa advertised in commercials for the newly released film, Frozen 3. This “Elsa” even had the same iconic braid and shimmering blue dress as Elsa from the movie posters.
“Okay, who put you up to this?” Morgan demanded with suspicion. “Why are you here? And where is here?”
Elsa was entirely unfazed, quite cool as a cucumber. “This is the Enchanted Forest. I am here because of you. You put me up to this,” she regally responded.
Morgon was shouting now. “Me?! What do you mean? How did I put you up to this?!”
“You wished it,” Elsa explained. “You wished upon a star.”
“NO, I DIDN’T!”
“You must have, for here you are! When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true!” Elsa smiled, looking as if she was about to break into song and dance at the mere mention of star-wishing.
“Jiminy Cricket!” Morgon muttered.
“Yes!” Elsa said, clapping her hands together in satisfaction. “You know him, then! Oh, isn’t Jiminy a dear? He always gives the best advice! Do you get to visit with Jiminy often? How is he? I miss him!”
“I don’t know Jiminy personally!” Morgon sneered. “No one does! Jiminy is a cartoon! Just like Elsa, whom you are impersonating! Now, who are you, really?” Emboldened by annoyance, she grabbed the girl’s delicate looking arm, intent on shaking the truth out of her.
Big Mistake! Whoosh! A burst of cold air mixed with actual snow flurries assaulted Morgon, knocking her to the ground and momentarily stunning her. When she came to, she saw Elsa hovering above her.
“Now then,” Elsa said, in a firm but pleasant tone to the still sitting Morgon. “Let’s try this again, shall we? I’m Elsa…and you are?”
Morgon stated her name, too flabbergasted to say anything else.
“It’s wonderful to meet you, Morgon,” Elsa responded. “Now get up, please, and come with me.”
Under the warmth in Elsa’s beautiful blue eyes, Morgon’s frustration and defensiveness were fast melting away. She reached out and grasped the welcoming hand that Elsa had extended. Elsa effortlessly pulled her to her feet. Elsa was apparently much stronger than her delicate face and slender build suggested.
“Where are we going?” Morgon wanted to know.
Elsa replied, “I am housesitting for my friend Lady Tumnus the Fawn. Her home is not from here. We can talk there.”
Morgon silently nodded her assent and the two unlikely companions headed together in the direction from which Elsa had come. Within minutes, Elsa ushered Morgon inside a charming stone dwelling located in a valley. Lady Tumnus’ home had red walls and was carpeted throughout. Immediately adjoining the kitchen was a lovely parlor. The room was the focal point of the house and contained a mantle-covered fireplace, two sienna-colored chairs, and a filled-to-the-brim bookshelf which took up an entire wall.
“Make yourself at home,” Elsa said graciously, “Would you like some hot chocolate with cinnamon?”
“Okay,” Morgon responded absentmindedly. She was still trying to wrap her mind around Elsa, the strange surroundings, and everything that was happening to her.
As Elsa worked in the kitchen, Morgon perused Lady Tumnus’ impressive home library. There were at least one hundred volumes, covering a myriad of fascinating subjects. The books that Morgan found most appealing were the extensive collection of novels. She couldn’t remember the last time she had read for fun.
“Here we are!” Elsa re-entered the room carrying two pewter goblets.
Morgon hastily returned the book to its place on the shelf, expecting Elsa to reproach her for having touched it. “Sorry about that,” she said.
“No need to apologize,” Elsa said kindly. “Books are meant to be held, read, and enjoyed. Now have a seat and try this cocoa.”
Morgon and Elsa each settled into one of the suede upholstered chairs. The sweet scent of cinnamon mixed with the sensation of warm, velvety chocolate on Morgon’s tongue caused her to sigh in pleasure. “This is delicious, Elsa. Thank you.”
“My pleasure,” Elsa answered, smiling. “Now, let’s discuss your reason for being here. First things first—tell me, Morgon, what prompted you to wish upon a star?”
“I didn’t wish upon a star.” Morgon insisted. “I told you that already.”
“And I have already explained to you that you must have.” Elsa countered.
Morgon just stared at her.
“How about you retrace your steps?” Elsa suggested patiently. “Sometimes taking a step back is the best way to move forward”
Elsa reclined in her chair, the epitome of a lady-in-waiting.
“What do you mean?” Morgan inquired.
Elsa ignored the question and tried a different approach. “Tell me the last thing you did before you entered the Enchanted Forest.”
“I can’t remember, “Morgan said. “But chances are I was studying, since that is pretty much all I ever do. ”
“And why is that?” Elsa asked.
Morgon did not bristle at the question. She could tell that Elsa was not being accusatory, but sincerely curious. “Scholastic achievement is really important to my parents, and pleasing them is important to me,” she explained. “And so, I study… and study… and study.” Not sure what else to say, she shrugged.
Elsa reached over and squeezed Morgon’s hand affectionately. “It is very honorable to want to please your parents, Morgon. I applaud you for it. But shouldn’t you do things that you like, as well?”
“What would cultivate happiness in your heart, Morgon? If you could do anything in the whole wide world, what would it be?”
“No one has asked me that before,” Morgon said. “I guess I’d have to think about it.”
“Thinking about what you want is wonderful, Morgon, and doing what you want is even better.” Elsa leaned in towards her in a posture that suggested Elsa was about to reveal a precious secret. “I learned the hard way that when it comes to expectations, whether self-inflicted or society-inflicted, sometimes the very best thing to do is…”
“Let it go?” Morgan interrupted.
“Why, yes,” Elsa exclaimed. “How did you know?”
“Lucky guess,” Morgan grinned.
Elsa smiled and then sat quietly, allowing Morgon time and space to process all she had heard.
Eventually, Morgon found her voice and spoke up. “Elsa, I really appreciate what you shared with me. You hit the nail on the head about handling expectations. I’ve mastered how to be considerate of others, now I need to learn how to create a life that I feel is worth celebrating.”
Elsa smiled her encouragement. “And what would you like more than anything else in the world?”
“Options! I want options,” Morgon replied.
“You have options, Morgon. You’ve always had them,” Elsa responded. “All that remains is for you to avail yourself of the endless options available to you.” She rose to her feet as she spoke. “You are smart and you are fun, and you are going to have an extraordinary life. Promise me you will always be true to yourself.”
“I will,” Morgon said, also standing.
Elsa pulled her new friend into a hug and told her, “I wish you every happiness.”
“Thank you, Elsa!” Morgon exclaimed, startling herself awake.
She was in her bedroom, hunched over her desk. Her head was resting on top of an open textbook. Across the room on her dresser, a digital clock flashed the time: 1:23 pm.
“What a strange dream,” Morgon muttered to herself. “It felt so real.”
She sat up slowly and regarded the book in front of her. “Nap time is over, Morgon. Get back to work,” she chided herself. “Now where was I? That’s right, astronomy… I was studying astronomy.”
Suddenly, it all came in a flash. The events of the day played out like a movie in her head. Morgon remembered everything: the same boring old drive home from the university library, the billboard for Frozen 3, lugging her ridiculously heavy book bag upstairs, locking herself away in her room to study, feeling chained to her desk, hating her life, feeling oh-so-tired and valiantly striving to fight off sleep. In her mind’s eye she saw how she had finally succumbed to weariness, resting her cheek on the photograph of the North Star displayed inside her open textbook. She even recalled uttering, “I wish I had time to go see Elsa. I wish…” right before everything went dark.
A smile found its way onto Morgon’s lips, spreading until it filled her entire face. “Thank you, Elsa!” she said again.
She was finally wide awake and knew exactly what she needed to do. Abandoning her textbooks, she went downstairs and found her parents sitting in the living room.
“Hey, Mom and Dad,” she said, feeling alive and full of energy for the first time in ages, “I’m going out to see a movie. Do you guys want to join me? It’s my treat!”
Morgon’s parents did not hesitate.
“Don’t mind if I do,” her dad said with a good-natured smile.
“What a wonderful idea!” her mom exclaimed. “I’m so glad you thought of it.”
“So am I, Mom,” Morgon grinned. “So am I!”