WFOL 2024 Challenge

Winterfest Guests


by Nelly


After having walked down the stairs bringing everyone to the Great Hall and having taken part in the Winterfest Opening Ceremony, Catherine was particularly touched.

She had never seen anything similar. She recognized that the World Below was really a different world, with its own hierarchy, ideas, rituals, times, and places…

It seemed unbelievable that one person created such a magic place and involved so many people who, coming from the World Above, would have thought about it as madness. But now, thinking well, they joined together setting up an extraordinary community. And that night the exceptionality of this world was testified by the presence of many helpers proud to hold in their hands the Winterfest celebrating candle.

Catherine explored for the first time the Great Hall accompanied by Vincent, who told her about all its stories. Vincent was touched by the interest shown by his loving Catherine.

Suddenly, our heroes stopped nearby some wonderful tapestries adorning one of the walls of the Great Hall.

Catherine stared at them, hypnotized, and asked Vincent to tell her something about those wonders.

He said that they had been found many years ago and now they were adorning the Hall so as to protect it.

Catherine stared at a particular figure: a brave knight fighting to protect his world from the invaders.

Suddenly, the knight turned his head towards her, returning the gaze.

Catherine opened her mouth wide, shocked, and turned herself towards Vincent to know if he was seeing the same thing. That moment Vincent left her as Father was calling him.

Catherine looked at the tapestries and the knight returned her gaze again. He smiled at her and said, softly, “Good evening, Miss Catherine, my name is Jacob, and I’m a knight belonging to the order of the World Below.”

Catherine, always more shocked, replied, softly, “Good evening, Mr. Jacob. How do you know who I am?”

“You are my Queen’s reincarnation. She reigned over the First World Below with King Vincent I. We are not here by chance, but to protect you as you will always protect us, perpetuating our values, our union, our community.”

“Jacob Wells is my reincarnation. He’s a knight like me. Vincent Wells is my King’s reincarnation. His arrival to the World Below, your meeting, and your future union were already written by destiny. Take care of our World: love each other, respect each other and be strong and brave. We’ll always be there for you, my dear King and Queen…”.

Catherine bade farewell to the brave knight, and when Vincent invited her to dance, she looked at him as she had always known him.

… And she knew why…


  1. Wow, great idea. What a magical and unusual guest…and an intriguing combination.

  2. A very sweet story and one that will last forever

  3. Nelly, I love journeying into the magical aspects of the tunnel world, and you always create them so beautifully. Thank you for writing this story!

  4. Nelly, you always take your reader to a magical place! Thank you for this story!


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CABB logo: crystal and rose




CABB logo: crystal and rose







by AM

“Local temperature is 89 degrees with a heat index of 102. Stay inside if you can. Drink plenty of water and remember, don’t overdo it. It’s a scorcher out there today, folks”.

Catherine cursed the weatherman as she wiped the sweat off her forehead.  “Great. What a perfect time for the air to go out.”

The thought of going outside made her cringe. It was Sunday, so her office would be locked.

“I need to get out of this heat. I’ve got it!” Catherine giggled as she had a wonderful idea.

She went through recycling looking for something she could use.

“Nothing,” she said, frustrated.

She hurriedly changed into a comfortable t-shirt and jeans and hurried to the nearest store. She would’ve run if it hadn’t been so hot.

She sighed with relief when she stepped foot into the cool store.

She picked up some water guns.

No, too violent, and would be frowned upon, she thought as she put the guns down.

She went searching for safer things.

Balloons? No, leaves a mess to clean up.

Her eyes lit up when she saw them. “Spray bottles!!! Perfect!! Hmmm. There’s 50. That should be plenty.”

She grabbed up all the bottles and headed to pay.

It seemed like forever before she headed back to her apartment with her treasures. Instead of going directly to her apartment, she headed to the tunnels. It wasn’t long before she ran into Eric.

“What’s in the bags?” he asked

“It’s a surprise, and I need you to do me a favor. Could you gather all the kids and bring them here?”


“Oh, and Eric?”

Eric turned to look at her.

“Bring as many buckets of water as you can.” She winked at him.

He returned in record time with all the tunnel kids, each carrying two buckets full of water. Catherine passed out the spray bottles and helped fill them up. Once all the bottles were filled, boundary lines were drawn, and safe places declared, they were ready.

“On your mark, get set, GO!” Catherine yelled.

The fight began in full force. Laughter, shrieks, and happy screams echoed through the tunnels as the children chased and sprayed each other. Catherine found herself in the crossfire several times, but laughed as hard as the children. When bottles emptied they were quickly refilled, and the fun continued. Soon adults came to find out where the happy noises were coming from. Some smiled, shook their heads and went back to their previous activity. Some helped by refilling empty buckets. Others just couldn’t help joining in the fun. Catherine noticed Vincent walking towards them.

“I need to borrow that,” she said to Kipper.

He smiled and handed her his full bottle. She placed the bottle behind her back, walked calmly up to Vincent, and sprayed him in the face.

His look of shock made Catherine laugh. Vincent calmly watched the children play for a few minutes before casually picking up a bucket that was a quarter full. He turned to Catherine.

“Vincent, you wouldn’t dare.”

“Perhaps, but then how would I return the favor?”

With that, he dumped the bucket over her head. The children erupted with laughter to see Catherine soaked.

A tapping on the pipes made them all stop. Dinner.

Groans quickly spread among the children. They reluctantly started handing the bottles to Catherine.

“Vincent, why don’t you keep them for the next time?”

The children’s eyes danced with glee. Vincent put the bottles in the buckets and handed them to the children to carry.

“Would you join us, Catherine?” Vincent asked.

“I would love to.”

Vincent took her hand and they followed the children to dinner.