by Brianna Schaurer, age 13
The afternoon sun beamed summer rays down on Vitalia, the land before time. The land was enhanced with lush valleys, snow-capped mountains, and tumultuous waterfalls. The highly esteemed and beloved King Felix IV and his only son and daughter, Prince Sapphire and Princess Emerald, lived on the side of a rolling mountain in the fairy kingdom called Caelix Garden. Sapphire and Emerald, along with the royal children from the twelve other kingdoms, were competing to paint the mural for the Unadia Festival, which was an annual festival that brought the twelve kingdoms of Vitalia together in harmony, humor, and high spirits.
Every year for the festival, a child was carefully designated to paint a mural on the high stone wall surrounding the meadow that protected Caelix Garden from unsolicited outsiders. This tradition started when the twelve fairy kingdoms banded together to fight off invading evil fairies. To commemorate the fallen fairies and the unity between the kingdoms, Filiana, the only daughter of the king of Caelix Garden, had painted a magnificent mural on the protective wall surrounding the meadow where the intrepid warriors had battled for their lives and their families’ lives.
Weeks passed in silent agony as Sapphire, Emerald, and Ruby, a girl from an island kingdom, waited to be told whether or not they had passed to the final level. Two days before the festival, Emerald and Sapphire received a letter telling them they would compete against each other for first place. In the art academy on the day of the festival, Emerald was bestowed the honor of painting the mural for the festival, leaving Sapphire in an incandescent temper. In a fit of rage, Sapphire grabbed a bottle of paint and squirted it all over Emerald, who retaliated by throwing a paint brush at him, streaking pink paint down his shirt. Sapphire’s actions resulted in a monumental paint fight. Emerald unexpectedly stepped into a puddle of paint and fell to the floor while Sapphire laughed uncontrollably. Sapphire practically flew to the roof of the academy in victorious success.
Suddenly Emerald’s winged unicorn, Stella, nimbly landed on the roof beside the bragging Sapphire. Stella grabbed Sapphire’s shirt with her teeth and tossed him into the sparkling blue pond, which lay beside the art academy. The onlooking artists could hardly suppress cheers for Stella. The head officials, who were present during the fight, threatened to take away Emerald’s privilege because she had directly contravened the purpose of the mural, but a contrite, dripping Sapphire begged and pleaded them not to take it away. Emerald painted a nearly perfect mural on the day of the festival, but she realized something was missing and asked Sapphire to help her complete the work of art. As they stood before the laudable mural, which they had completed together, their proud father put his arms around them and gently admonished, “My dearest children, together you have made your wrongs right, but remember, ‘pride goes before a fall.’”