Aleena, a teenage peasant girl, is lured into a mysterious forest where Queen Goodwende, ruler of the Good Spirits and the creatures of the countryside, are constantly battling against Archlord Pheande, master of the Evil Spirits. Meanwhile in the Land of Farbeyond the evil Knights of Mayhem are seeking to gain control of the local mortals. To save Aleena from the Archlord, Queen Goodwende protects her with a spell that changes her into a brilliant firefly whenever she is in danger.Unfortunately Tayne, an evil lantern maker who uses fireflies to power his lanterns, catches her and decides to use her extra brightness to power a special golden lantern that he intends to sell to his king. When Tayne shows the special lantern to Kenelm, the blacksmith's son, he immediately falls under the spell of its beauty. Without realizing that it is really powered by a girl, he begs his father to buy it for his birthday but Tayne refuses to sell. Later that night, the spellbound Kenelm leaves home to find Tayne and plead with him to part with the lantern.When they meet, Tayne dupes Kenelm into going to the Land of Farbeyond to work as his apprentice.
When Kenelm discovers the lantern's secret, and tries to rescue Aleena, Tayne arranges for him to be thrown into the castle's dungeons. There, he rescues a pet squidgel and their attempts to escape and return home with Aleena takes several adventurous and unexpected twists. After we enjoy meeting all the characters, good and bad, and the extremely good descriptive passages, the story comes to its happy conclusion.
Michael Chapman has written several short stories which have been used by storytellers and teachers from Kuwait to Brazil. In 1999 he started the literary website Talesetc.com and, a few years later, Short-stories.org.uk to encourage new writers to showcase their work.Following a visit to Corfu where he witnessed the amazing spectacle of fireflies dancing in an olive grove, a dream about rescuing a girl who was kept in a cage and a visit to a lantern maker in northern France, he wrote a short story which combined them. With it being well-received by visitors to his websites, he decided to re-write it to include within the story some other popular short stories that he had originally written for his grandchildren: the result is 'Aleena of the Lantern'. It is written in the style of a Fairy Tale and is intended for readers of all ages.Michael Chapman is retired and lives in rural Kent, the Garden of England.