The valley below was obscenely beautiful. I have hiked these hills all my life, but this
time it was as if I had never seen it before.
The trees were taller, greener.
The river was clearer. The sky
“No!” I shook my head and chided myself, “Don’t fall under
that spell.” The little pixie had stolen
my stardust and I was going get it back, no matter what.
I knew that she was headed for The Circle, the border
between the ‘real’ world and the world of Faerie. Most people avoided this place, but I knew
the rules. That stardust was given to me
by my mother and I, in turn, was going to give it to my wife to be. “A gift received to be given” is sacred, untouchable,
both in this world and the other. I
would be allowed to pursue the thief through any realm…or so I had heard. It’s not as if this ‘rule’ had been tested;
it was just something that everybody ‘knew’.
I was sure that I would find out, one way or another. I laughed out loud at the thought of a book
of laws outlining human/faerie relations.
As I approached The Circle, the trees moved to keep me
out. I felt a sinking feeling that both
justice and my stardust would be out of my reach forever. However, when I touched a tree, I discovered
that is was soft, barely even there. I
was able to walk right through it, as if it were a blanket or a curtain. As I did so, I thought that I heard a
childlike voice whispering, “No sin.”
I passed through or around many more trees until I emerged
into a clearing. At the center of the clearing
was a small pond of clearest, calmest water I have ever seen. It was like crystal. Around the pond were several toadstool
circles; Faeries had definitely been here recently, but there was no evidence
of them now.
“Well,” I told myself, “what’s the worst than can
happen? Maybe I’ll get wet.” And with that, I jumped into the pond.
Strangely, it wasn’t until that very moment that I finally
asked myself why the pixie had stolen my stardust and broken the law in the
first place. I figured that was
something else that I would be discovering soon enough.