The entire story Odd Friends.

This is a tale for and about those who feel out of place, those who are odd, and those who find each other in unexpected places.

Odd Friends Part Eight – The End

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I think it’s time for me to go home. The girl looks sad. So does the creature, but then again, he really always does.

Thank you for the adventure, whispers the girl, as they reach the end of the forest. Come back soon, friend, the creature says and touches her hair gently..

**

What an adventure.

Finally returned to the dark and cold house she calls home, the girl notices that the house doesn’t feel so very different from the forest. Dark and damp, with unknown things hiding in the dark, the only real difference is that the house has walls.Coming home - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-OlssonIt feels comforting to return, now that she knows there is a place where she actually fits in. That there’s somebody out there feeling just like she does. That the world is larger and more exciting than what is between the dark, dank walls of the house.Goodnight - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

At night, lying in her good, old, dusty bed, she looks to the stars on the dark sky and falls asleep.

**

In a another place, in a small clearing in the forest, below the same starry sky lie the creature and the rabbit. The creature cannot sleep. He keeps wondering and pondering. His small mind is filled with impressions and thoughts. And loss.

Why must I be alone, when I’ve finally found someone like me.

Why - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-OlssonThe end

Odd Friends Part Seven

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There are things in the water - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

Wait, what? Who is it? We don’t know anyone around here, the creature looks onto the water in bewilderment.

We’ve missed you. A chorus of low voices in choir exclaims. Come closer to the water, you will see how beautiful it is here.

The creature and the rabbit seem dumbfounded at the sound of the eerie, yet charming voices. Startled by her own thoughts, the girl returns to the present after scrutinising her mind, trying to remember something. Friends, don’t go near the water, her voice is but a whisper. Slowly stepping away from the shoreline, she’s hoping her friends have heard her and will follow.

Stumbling on a rock, she falls to her knees, shrieking, terrified.

Abruptly awoken from a seemingly hypnotic state caused by the things in the water, the creature and rabbit turn around to find the girl lying on the ground. They rush to help her up.

Panicked squeals break the air - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

A splash behind them, and suddenly a black tentacle shoots out of the water towards the girl and grabs the girl’s foot.

Panicked squeals break the dense air, while the creature grabs her scarf to pull her to safety. Appearing out of nowhere, the crow grabs the other end of her scarf and together they try to tow her away.

The struggle seems endless, the tentacle causing waves in the otherwise still water. At long last the tentacle loses its grip and the girl is dragged into safety by her two comrades.

As quickly as they appeared, the dark callers vanish below the water’s surface..

Out of breath - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

The three friends are all out of breath, standing on shaky legs. Moments go by quickly, yet slowly, as smoke on a frosty morning.

Without a word, they turn toward the forest again, treading on heavy legs.

Eventually they reach familiar ground, having wandered through what seems like the entire forest. Nightfall has arrived again, and they lie down in a clearing, relieved to see the still, starry night sky.

Stargazing - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

Odd Friends Part Six

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The creature grabs on to dry roots protruding from the walls of the cave, holds the girl’s scarf tight and begins to climb upwards. The girl, with the rabbit in her arms, feels the cold sweat on her forehead slowly disappear as soon as they start moving towards the light that must be somewhere far, far above them.

Climbing into freedom - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

Click illustration for larger version

The climb seems to last forever. The air is still, and apart from the sound of dry dirt crumbling and falling into the eerie gloom below there is no sound; all they can hear is the heavy breathing of the creature climbing the dirt walls.

Finally, the light is breaking through. The climb ends where the fall began, and everything is now shrouded in a morning mist.

Freedom at last - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

Click illustration for larger version

Thank goodness, that you saved us, the girl says finally having the courage to speak with her full voice again. Heaving for air, the rabbit lies flat on the moist ground trying to regain strength after being squished in the firm grip of the girl.

**

Almost crawling through the forest - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

Click illustration for larger image

Almost crawling through the forest, the fright only just loosening its grip of the three odd friends; everything returning to normal.

None of the three want to mention or question the unknown they met below ground.

You think you know something, but you really never do, ponders the girl silently. Her worldview having been dislocated.

**

They reach a lake in the dusk. Silent ripples break the otherwise still surface of the tar-like water.
It’s beautifully tranquil here, they agree in low voices, not wanting to disturb the peace. They stand still by the water’s edge for a while.

Inky ridges - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

Click illustration for larger version

Low splashes. The quiet is disturbed by dark shadows coming out of the water. Inky ridges appear from the water. Eyes can be seen in the dusk.

You’re finally here, almost whispering, layered voices seem to come from the obscure beings. We’ve waited for you for so long.

 

Come back later for part seven..

 

Read the story from the beginning

Odd Friends Part Five

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Everything is a blur of dark greens, blacks, scratchy branches, and desperate panting. - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

Everything is a blur of dark greens, blacks, scratchy branches, and desperate panting. Running fearfully through the forest, away from an unknown danger, all three odd friends are thinking the same thing. What happened? And where are we?

Feeling watched and not yet safe, the three of them keep running at a fast pace.

The forest being pitch black now that the twilight is over has crept into darkness – it has become a death trap. The trees are tall shadows only just visible in the nightfall. Branches crackle beneath their feet, their footsteps and heaving is swallowed by the darkness.

Suddenly, with another step the ground seems to disappear from under their feet, and dreadful, endless falling ensues.

Falling endlessly - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

**

Fusty, thick air. Complete blackness. The creature lifts an arm to see if his hand is visible in the dark, but is quickly reminded that his arms are far too short to be seen anyway.

Friends?

His husky voice resounds in what must be a very large cave.

I’m here, the little girl answers. A low rustling comes from the opposite side of the creature. The rabbit being unable to respond in words, stomps its long feet on the ground.

It certainly is dark down here, the creature mumbles doubtingly.

Recognising the dark, the little girl has no fear. I’ve tried this before, there’s nothing to be frightened of, she proclaims, almost proudly. Or maybe I’m wrong, she says, when a low whispering sounds from behind them.

Still completely blind, they clearly feel and hear the presence of somebody else. Of something else. - Odd friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

Teeth chattering. Shuffling in the darkness. A silent chuckle.

Welcome below, an alarming voice sounds from within the dark.

Startled, the three odd friends move closer together. Or at least they think they do; it’s quite impossible to see anything in this darkness.

Still completely blind, they clearly feel and hear the presence of somebody else. Of something else.

A dragging noise comes nearer and a low sound of what can only be described as rattling bones sound from all around them.

 

Read the story from the beginning

Odd Friends – Part Four

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The Meeting - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

They look each other up and down. The girl tilts her head to the side and ponders over the creature in front of her. It is nothing like anything she has seen in her books. Big and furry. Oddly cut like a huge egg. Sad eyes. Unusually short arms.. You’re a peculiar shape, says the little girl at the creature. Well, so are you, replies the creature. True that, agrees the little girl.

They both look to the rabbit, and silently agree that the rabbit looks no different from what you would expect a rabbit to.

**

After a good nights sleep in the fresh air of the night, the three strangers begin to stir amidst unknown flowers and sounds. Both the creature and the girl awake with butterflies in their stomachs – the creature is too curious to feel sad.

The girl leaps to her feet, excited for a new day. So you live here in the forest. You must be forest creatures. I’ve read about these beings that live in the forest, giants, do you know of them? Are they real? Speaking quickly and almost out of breath, the girls’ eyes widen.

The creature and the rabbit eye each other, hesitantly. They are, the creature concedes. The rabbit shrugs. Can we see them? The girl enthusiastically asks.

Fear fills the furry tummy of the creature: Then we would have to go to the Giants Glade. But it’s not safe there..

Stories told while only some listen - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

The creature continues to tell the girl things she’s read of and more, things that both frighten and excite her. We would have to leave at dusk, the creature explains, casting a glance at the rabbit who’s distracted by a withered dandelion. We have to be quiet. They can’t see us, let alone touch us. Then we’d be caught in their darkness.

**

The Giants - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

Later that night, on a small bank surrounded by trees, they lie quietly watching the strange dance of the woodland giants. A curious musical noise is coming from the clearing.
The sight is both beautiful and loomingly haunting.
All of a sudden, a crackling above breaks the silence – They all look to the sky. Flapping his wings hastily, the crow is circling hastily above their heads. He caws: Move – you’re in danger!
The warning - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

Odd Friends – Part Three

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The creature eyes something strange - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

One day, on one of their seemingly endless walks in the forest, the creature eyes something strange. A smaller being, though larger than the rabbit, yes maybe the size of a tree stump, is walking along the trail between the large trees. A peculiar being, unlike anything he has seen before.
The creature decides to follow. The rabbit notices little, but being busy with God only knows what he follows too.They follow - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

They follow the tree-stump-sized being for quite a while. By now the rabbit has also noticed the scent of something unfamiliar. The strangeness of the situation has them unsettled, they try to be as quiet as the forest allows while hiding in between trees and larger vegetation. The suspense is palpable.

This. This is life - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

Whether she has been walking for minutes or hours, the little girl is not aware of. This world is new to her. So many strange noises, unfamiliar colours, scents, plants. The little girl feels her little body fill with intense impressions. A bird in the top of a tree, a rattling in the leaves, a rustling in the bushes behind her. This. This is life, she thinks to herself.Suddenly a dark shadow covers her own - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

Suddenly a dark shadow covers her own, bringing a cool sensation in the summer night. She turns around..

Odd friends – Part Two

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On a moonlit hilltop far into the forest - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

On a moonlit hilltop far into the forest a creature and a rabbit lay on the dark, damp grass. While the rabbit is deep asleep, the creature lay in the astounding silence of nature. He cannot sleep. He keeps wondering and pondering, why must life be so hard for someone like me.

The creature feels large and misshapen - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

The creature feels large and misshapen, not fitting in with the rest of the world. So much larger than the rabbit, and yet so much more fragile. His friend, the rabbit, is full of vitality and doesn’t seem to mind or notice when the creature is unable to keep up.

The branches of the forest trees whip and lash out - Odd Friend by Kira Bang-Olsson

The branches of the forest trees whip and lash out at him, when he tries to follow. And he doesn’t seem to fit wherever the rabbit does. The rabbit is his only friend, but also a very good one.

Yet, he feels awfully alone sometimes.

He feels awfully alone sometimes - Odd Friends - by Kira Bang-Olsson

Time and time again, he even tries to explain his only friend how life feels to him, but he still comes up short, lacking the words to make the rabbit fully comprehend.

Life surely isn’t easy when you’re a huge ball of fur and emotions - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

Life surely isn’t easy when you’re a huge ball of fur and emotions.

Odd friends – Part one

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She never felt quite at home - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

In a dark and cold house in the middle of nothingness lived a little girl. She had lived there for what felt like all of her life. In the house were long, resounding hallways, tall, dirty windows, tables that went on for miles, and ceilings with a distinct stale odour of damp. Even though there were other people in the house (her family), she never felt quite at home. It was as though she did not fit her physical surroundings at all, because the house did not want her to.

Strange yet familiar- Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

Wherever she went, it seemed as if the house wanted her to leave. Rather than reflecting images the mirrors of the house housed strange, yet familiar, creatures only visible by pale, nearly transparent faces with black eyes glittering in the dark. She never could recognise what greeted her when she stared into them.

The darkness eerily crept up on her - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

At night, she would lie and stare into the darkness, hide her nose under the old, dusty duvet. This was the only time of day the house would be completely quiet. Even the resounding hallways were silent. Only the peculiar raven would pick at the window, time and time again.

Still, as the darkness eerily crept up on her, it also gave her peace and a strange feeling of safety.

 

The girl liked to read fairy tales in heavy, dusty books - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

During daytime there was not much to do around the house. The girl liked to read fairy tales in heavy, dusty books, though. Since the hostile house wasn’t furnished with comfortable sofas, she would always lie on the cool floorboards, under which she could hear squeaking and crawling. In the books she read about creatures of the forest, giants, and other strange things. It felt comforting to know that the entirety of the world didn’t amount to the dank walls of the house.

She didn’t go out much, nobody ever did. Actually, she had never left the premises, not knowing what dangers await her on the outside.
One day, out of boredom, she decided to peak out the front door – just a peak, merely leaving the door half open.

She went outside - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

She barely noticed the massive main door slam behind her as she went outside. The raven circulated high above her head. From time to time it would cackle, before suddenly flying deep into the forest. There’s not much to stay here for, she thought, – I might as well follow.
So she did.

Soon she crossed the threshold into the strange forest - Odd Friends by Kira Bang-Olsson

Soon she crossed the threshold into the strange forest.

Odd Friends – A fairytale

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Odd friends cover - by Kira Bang-Olsson

Odd friends

Written and illustrated by Kira Bang-Olsson
Edited by June Egelund-Jenkins

 

This is a tale for and about those who feel out of place, those who are odd, and those who find each other in unexpected places. This story is still being written and will be illustrated with different kinds of illustrations – they are both meant to illustrate the story and at the same time be an artistic and personal exploration. You might have seen some of the illustrations before – or maybe not, but most of them are new.

This fairytale has no ending yet – but it will.

Stay tuned – and come back to experience ‘Odd friends’. Part one will be online January 21. 2017.