“There used to be six of us, but now I’m alone,” the creature said after descending to the ground. Janice could tell because of his voice, though her eyes were still squeezed shut. His voice was sad, and not at all menacing. Janice opened one eye, and was surprised at what she saw. A young boy stood front of her. He looked like a teenager, but was only two feet tall, and very pale. His skin seemed to be glowing, though his bulky coat (obviously meant to hide how abnormally thin he was) was old and dirty. He had a mop of curly hair, though the color seemed strange— brown, yet tinted with colors she had never seen before. Who was this boy? Was he…? Janice’s mind tried to push away the impossible thought, but could not. Was he even human?
He seemed to read Janice’s mind, “I am not a human, as I expect you were wondering. I am a Spera*, a type of fairy. My family had lived here in this cave for centuries, helping travelers on their way; giving them hope. But now my family is gone.”
“This place,” the boy continued; his voice sounded wise, and somewhat old, yet with a high, kid-like tone to it, “used to be a beautiful place, full of light and laughter.” He nodded at a faded arrow painted on the ground at the entrance to the chamber they were in. It was pointing into the chamber, and had the word dreams painted below it. “This really was the place where dreams came true.”
Janice’s eyes were both opened by now, “What happened?” she breathed.
He went on, his voice taking on a grim tone, “Someone came here who should never have. He seemed like a normal traveler at the time, desperate for hope, and in great need of help on his journey. You see, only the people who are in the greatest need can even see this place. We helped him, of course, letting him rest and giving him things he needed to fulfil his journey, but he grew greedy of what we could give him, and he wanted more and more, until we finally had to refuse.
“He did not like that response.
“We are a peaceful people, and not ones to put up a fight, much less able to maintain one, so the man threw us out. We, Spera, are not very strong by nature, and though my family survived for a while, none except for myself lived. I rediscovered our old home, stripped of its glory by that evil man. I have seen no travelers since my return. You, Janice, are special indeed.”
He paused, looking hard at Janice. “So,” he said, “I told you my story, now tell me yours.”
Janice sighed. Maybe, just maybe, this strange creature could help.
So she let her story pour out.
*Spera is Latin for hope
Whataya think? Do you like this story? Do you want me to continue? Or would you rather see something different?
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