Once there was two Kingdoms that sat along a narrow river.
On one side lived the Kingdom of the “Blondies” where all that lived were born with gorgeously long blonde hair, and cool blue eyes.
On the other side of the river, resided the “Gingers”. Who too were blessed with beautiful long locks of red hair, and earthy green eyes.
However, because of this distinction the Kingdoms did not get along very well. Insults like “blondes are brain dead” or “red heads heads are filled with lead” were bickered back and forth for decades and generations. The disdain both sides had for the other was so much that any mingling between the two was strictly forbidden. This did not stop both Sylvia, and Racheal however, too young girls who regularly meet each other in the middle of the river in a canoe before sunset everyday. Sylvia was a platinum blonde with breathtaking blue eyes, and Rachel sported short Red hair with emblem eyes. Both Neverminded there differences in appearance. They would- in secret wander the forest to pick berries, shoot rabbits with a slingshot, or just walk, and talk as good friends do. Racheal liked climbing trees, etching drawings in the bark, and loved listening to Sylvia sing. Sylvia loved to catch bunnies in the woods, make fruit baskets, and sing for her best friend who was always eager to listen.
Unfortunately, on one fateful evening when the girls stayed out longer than usual, and got lost in a revolving trail, their fathers came looking for them. Both when were shocked when they found their daughters huddled by a tree together. They pulled their daughters close to their sides and drew their swords. Stabbing his sword deep into the dirt Sylvia’s father made a fine line in the soil.
“Cross this line, and I will make the rest of you as red as your locks.” pointing the sword to Racheal’s father.
“Keep your daughter away from mine you troll” replied the Ginger warrior.
They dragged their daughters along and went their separate ways. The two girls who had become best buds cried as they both clung to trees and its roots to resist their fathers.
Sylvia would not let this end their friendship despite her being confined to her room 24/7. She would still sneak away through the small air shaft in her room to escape to the river at night hoping one night Racheal would return the favor. The gesture was never met, even after a month had gone by. Every day in that month Sylvia would run to the river hoping she would see Racheal already in the canoe they shared. But instead she would sulk back home friendless
Sylvia then grew resentful of the Gingers for severing their bond, and Racheal too became frustrated at the Blondies for allowing this to happen to their friendship. Suddenly all the terrible things they once heard about the opposite kingdom started to ring true in their heads.
One day as Sylvia was out picking berries for her basket alone still feeling the sting of losing her friend, walked off the trail, and wandered into a cave curious of what she could find inside. She thought this cave could send her to a different world a world better than the one she was forced to accept. Dank, and gloomy the hundreds of bats that hung from the roof of the cave led Sylvia to a crystal-clear pond that when Sylvia crouched down and peered into saw a grim future.
With her pale stoned face inches from the water it suddenly illuminated a crimson red, and she foresaw the buildings and castles that belonged to the Ginger kingdom lit into a fiery blaze. Everything was being burnt to cinders, as warriors riding horses from the Blondie kingdom pillaged the land. Racheal, and her people would surely perish.
Horrified over what she had just seen, Sylvia fled home and sulked in her bed. She wept tears over what she presumed was the future. Her body ached like a volcano, doomed to erupt. Her heart had not broken, but shattered into tiny bits. She did not eat for days taking her meals to her room only to feed to her guard dog later. Her body became as thin as string, and her gorgeous blond hair had begun to wither, as flowers underwatered wilt away. Yet one day as Sylvia looked to the ceiling and realized in her puddle of tears that neither her or Racheal were responsible for their people’s rivalry. They were merely victims. And they did not severe their bond on their own. That was the fault of there fathers. So instead of letting things be as they were, and accepting what life threw at her….
She decided to make a change.
Her father, unfortunately could not make light with her plight.
“Those Gingers are evil!” He would shout to her face as she tried to open his thick noggin.
But Sylvia was determined she would save the Ginger kingdom, and Racheal somehow. She went to schools, and daycares to teach men, women, and children about how she thought the negative views of gingers should be erased and new more positive views over there neighbors should be promoted. She campaigned all by her self-becoming healthier and more rejuvenated by her cause.
She tutored children both her peers and younger than her about love and acceptance. She was trying to break barriers while others were intent on breaking a 12-year-old girls spirit. Men and women cursed her for poisoning their children with ideas of loving the Red-haired people. This broke Sylvia who grew more discouraged as more of her fellow people some which she was neighbors with and knew since infancy, branded her a traitor.
“Keep away from my son’s ears, you rotten girl!”
Using red dye, she dyed her hair a reddish brown walking the streets as a Ginger child.
“A bold little thing she is” said a vendor selling apricots.
He threw an apricot at her square at the middle of her back.
“I can spot red dye a mile away missy. Wash it off” he said in a grumpy voice.
She was undeterred school she looked at her peers and saw fear. The same fear that rabbits have before you smite them with a pebble and a sling. She waved her new hair due in all of their faces.
“We are all the same, we are made of skin “she proclaimed atop her desk. Her class mates seemed intrigued to listen. Her teacher dragged her to a bucket and whipped her with a stick as she forcefully scrubbed out her dye.
Feeling defeated and drained Sylvia came back to the river to cry out her frustrations and hopelessness. She skipped rocks across the river before they drowned in the water. The pebbles skipped so gracefully across the water that Sylvia hated the idea of the pebbles having to sink to the bottom of the bank. At this river, she had spent many unforgettable moments with her best friend who was known doomed to a violent future. No one would listen, and no one seemed to care. Because of the ignorance of her people other innocent and ignorant people would burn. And for what? Sylvia thought. For their hair color being different? Just as Sylvia was about to lay her blindingly bright blonde hair on a bed of flowers, she saw in the reflection of the water on the other side of the bank, the glossy red hair she had come to know and love.
“I saw the pond in the cave too!” Shouted Racheal. Her voice soothed Sylvia’s pain like the warmth of a mother’s hug could only do. Then, like a beacon of good fortune Racheal held up an arm that was severely wounded and bruised. She too had tried to make change in her kingdom, and payed for it more severely then Sylvia had. Reunited, Rachel’s mangled arm, and Sylvia’s malnourished body were now a symbol of the hate and oppression they had lived under. From this their spirits were lifted and there hope to change their kingdoms was restored. They would not stop fighting now knowing they were in the same boat.
Sylvia’s father looked on behind her. He saw all the emotional toil he had brought on his only daughter, and was just as weak to see her friend go through much the same. His eyes grew heavy as he dropped to his knees and held his Sylvia in his arms, and apologized for all the wrong he had done to her.
“Please forgive me” he sobbed holding her thin body in his colossal arms.
She had finally broken her father. He promised that the views once held by the Blondies would change and that the Gingers would be our trusted neighbors. He would too join in her crusade to promote love, and acceptance in the Blondie kingdom. He knew know that hatred could kill even without fire or swords.
They brought Racheal into the kingdom and along with her friend they stood in the main street with Sylvia’s dad between them both. He shouted at all the people of his kingdom for letting this happen to two innocent girls who showed off the physical anguish like purple heart badges, in all the spectators faces. People had then started to form crystals in their dry eyes. Women came and hugged the girls, men fell to their feet and asked for forgiveness. Hatred kills even without fire and swords. Together two young girls changed the hearts of two Waring kingdoms.
Through love, and only love.
Once there was two Kingdoms that sat along a narrow river.