Alya Khomenok

В прошлом юрист и редактор юридического журнала, в настоящем — автор рассказов и сказок. В начале 2000-х годов стала лауреатом конкурса «Письмо человеку, которого я потерял», организованного среди всех школ в стране. В студенческие годы и после, работая юристом, писала научные статьи, интересовалась медицинским правом. Но «однажды» (как и в каждой сказке!) я попала в Школу молодых писателей и … влюбилась! В художественную литературу. Во время учебы я написала более 10 рассказов и две сказки: «Эллис и Рождество» («Ellis and Mr.Christmas») и ее продолжение «Эллис в Непоправимом Лесу» («Ellis in the Irreparable Forest»). Первая сказка, проиллюстрированнная Кристиной Тепловой, издана в прошлом году. В этом году вышел сборник рассказов выпускников Школы «Вешчуны ідуць на Беларусь», в котором есть, в том числе, и мои произведения.

I am a writer, an editor and a mom.
I studied Law and Human Rights and helped people with their legal issues. But my real passion has always been writing! My first attempts at writing resulted in short stories just for myself and my family, but overtime the audience of my readers grew wider.
In the early 2000s I became a winner of the writing competition «A letter to the man I’ve lost» organized among all schools in the country.
As a student and later on as a lawyer I kept on writing… articles on medicine law! There were 20 of them in addition to the editor’s column in a medicine magazine.
It was until one day, or «once upon a time» (like in every fairytale!) I found myself in “The School for Young Writers” and… fell in love with fiction! During the course I wrote 11 novels and 2 fairy tales. One of them is «Ellis and Mr.Christmas» and soon I am coming up with the sequel «Ellis in the Irreparable Forest».
I have got two nice daughters who are major listeners and readers of my fairytales.


Ellis in the Irreparable Forest

ЭЛЛИС В НЕПОПРАВИМОМ ЛЕСУ (СИНОПСИС)

Каркулья Эллис попадает в необычный лес, который может исполнить любое желание. Она находит там новых друзей: девочку Лидди, улитку Марту и хомяка Хэма, но… теряет себя. Она не помнит, кто она и откуда. Ее подозрения, что лес не такой хороший, как кажется с первого взгляда, подтверждаются, когда она понимает, что из леса нет выхода. А тут еще и голос, зовущий ее по имени. Сказка о том, что добро возвращается еще бОльшим добром.

Ellis opened her eyes slowly.

It was dark and warm around her. It smelt of bark, moss and a bit of bark beetles.

“A tree hollow,” Ellis thought and started touching the walls and ceiling in search of a switch.

Finally she found a precious light bulb and a cord. Ellis pulled the cord carefully, heard a click overhead and a mild yellow light illuminated the room.

She looked around. The tree hollow was so spacious that there was enough room to fit ten crawkulians and one crawkukin.

“What a tree must it be to house such a big hollow?” Ellis whispered to herself with curiosity.

She was at a loss and looked out through an oval hole that was marked with a neatly written “FLY OUT HERE”.

She was both surprised and frightened at the view: Ellis found herself so high that she could hardly see the ground. She raised her head just to see an enormous tree crown stretching up into the clouds.

Ellis slipped outside, flew round “her” tree that turned out to be a giant oak and got down. Such a meteoric flight made her dizzy. When she finally touched the ground she even needed to sit down to catch her breath.

The grass and leaves were wet, earthworms stirred to and fro.

“It has been raining,” concluded the observant crawkulia and looked at the nearest trees that seemed to be even higher and wider.

Ellis noticed an orange blur on the branch of one of the trees. She came closer to examine it more thoroughly. A Creature with neither wings nor feathers or fur was hanging upside down. It was swaying either from side to side or to and fro and looked like a huge bell. Hundreds (or even thousands) of thin strings were glued to its head very close to each other. They made fancy curls. Clover and chamomiles flowers as well as orange ears of wheat were sticking out of the curls here and there.

“A newcomer is here!” announced the Creature, jumped off the branch and approached Ellis in just three leaps.

“Welcome to the Irreparable Forest! My name is Liddy. My house is there, on the hazel-tree, opposite the oak. I seem to be the most talkative one here. Who are you?”

“I’m Ellis,” answered the guest, hardly recognizing her own voice. “I am a crawkulia and…” She wanted to add something else but didn’t manage to recall anything. Ellis gave a bewildered look at her new friend who understood everything at once.

“Don’t worry. Nobody here remembers anything at all. Sometimes it’s just a name, at best. Think yourself lucky,” comforted her Liddy, waving the bouquet made of yellow leaves. From time to time she adjusted the wheaten-coloured bunches of strings that were tumbling across her eyes. “Let’s go, I’ll introduce you to everyone living here”.

Liddy dragged Ellis to a glade full of stumps. On the way Liddy explained that the thin strings were her hair and she took much care of it; that she didn’t have paws, but arms and legs; and that she was a seven-year-old (at least she thought so) girl.

“You may call me LIDdy or LidDY! Which way do you like more? So you are in the Irreparable Forest. Do you know what it lives on? On our fantasies! If you want winter just imagine it and get ready to play snowballs. Do you want summer? Then think about it and… here we go! You may put on your sunglasses! Do you understand?”

“Yes, I do,” nodded Ellis. “And what about…” She wanted to clarify if it was possible to ask the Forest for a sand storm, waterfall and ice slides.

“Sure! Everything is possible here!” chanted Liddy in response. “There is only one thing that is forbidden in this Forest. You must not fly or go to the thicket at the forest edge. The Forest is very thick there, you may easily get lost.”

“How do you know?” asked Ellis.

“Everyone knows it. The Forest keeps anyone out of that place,” Liddy brought her eyebrows together ominously, “and seems to feel at once if somebody is heading there. More and more trees seem to appear on the way. Do you understand?”

“Yeah.”

“Everyone” whom Liddy hurried to introduce to Ellis turned out to be a pearly snail Martha and a spotty hamster Ham.

Martha was sitting on a huge leaf of burdock motionlessly but having caught sight of the approaching guests she leapt down and rolled to meet them halfway.

Ham, who was known for his shyness and a perfect ear, peeped out of his underground shelter as soon as he had heard the steps of the companions.

As Liddy and Martha settled themselves on a stump that once used to be an enormous maple, they started, in eager rivalry, to tell Ellis about wonderful transformations taking place in the Irreparable Forest every day. As for Ham he was so embarrassed at the presence of their guest that he would not get out of his hole. He just sniffed from time to time when Liddy was telling funny stories about him.

“Why is Ham sitting alone in his hole?” asked Ellis.

“Don’t be offended with him,” answered Liddy, “he is very shy”.

“And very kind,” added Martha. “Every morning he gathers dry twigs and, just like today, imagines some rain that will water raspberry and blackberry bushes”.

“The trouble is,” explained Liddy, “that the moment he turned up in the Irreparable Forest he didn’t remember anything. Not even his name. Poor creature, he was so scared that all he could do was to repeat ceaselessly “I’m hhhhhh-oooo-mmmm-hhhh-aaaaa-mmm”. That’s why we started calling him Ham.

“Tomorrow he will get braver and you will get acquainted!” summed up Martha.

After that all the three set to cracking nuts laid up by Liddy and disсussing what to imagine for the evening. Martha suggested that it would be nice to see a rainbow. Liddy started imagining it.

“Done! What a performance we are going to see in the evening!” she exclaimed and dragged Ellis to the raspberry bushes to have a bite.

That very evening Ellis, Liddy and Martha were comfortably sitting on a broad branch and watching the sky illuminated by a rainbow, then another one, and still one more. Ellis had never seen such a beauty before!

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