Lily, Age 13, Evanston, IL
Faye alighted on a low branch, folding her charcoal wings carefully behind her. She looked up to the sky and waited for her companion, Oliver, to land beside her. She didn’t need to wait long.
A long scream was followed by a small figure plummeting downward. Oliver hurtled through the branches of the tree and landed with a soft thump on the ground. Faye stared at him curiously.
“Why is it that you –– as a fairy –– cannot even fly properly?” asked Faye. Oliver shrugged and hastily tried to renovate the damaged limbs. Faye sighed at his lame attempts and helped him out. Instantly, fresh tendrils began to germinate from the dead boughs.
“Come, Oliver,” Faye started down a shady trail.
Minutes grew into hours, and the trail seemed interminable. Eyes burning with determination, Faye marched forward like a soldier. The trees hung too low to fly. Oliver hunched his shoulders, looking more like a beggar than a soldier. He whined about the heat, and did not notice as Faye’s eyes glazed over in annoyance. Faye knew that this path was mandatory to achieve their task.
The seemingly endless trail gave way to a barren landscape. There was no civilization except for a random little grey tent.
Faye walked toward that tent, with Oliver tagging behind. The tent flap shivered as a voice sounded from inside. “Come in, dears.” The two entered a dimly lit room, smoky from incense.
“Ah,” crooned a mysterious voice from the shadows of the room. “I have been expecting you two.” A thin woman wearing a purple silk robe and a turban appeared.
“Cool! I like your––ow!” cried Oliver, responding to Faye’s furious elbowing.
Faye smiled politely, brushing back her raven hair. “Teller, we have come––”
“To seek a foretaste of the boy’s future,” the Teller finished. Faye nodded.
“How did you––ow! Stop it, Faye!” Oliver rubbed his arm but continued speaking this time. “How did you know?”
“I know everything,” answered the Teller mystifyingly. “I know that you are not well-coordinated for a fairy, too,” she said. She smiled at Oliver knowingly as he blushed.
Faye stepped in. “Teller, we have come for Oliver’s future. Not for a report on Oliver’s abnormal fairy clumsiness,” then she glanced at Oliver, “bad grammar, and unbearable curiosity.”
“As you wish,” sighed the Teller. She glided into a corner that held a table and a silver bowl.
“What are you going to do?” questioned Oliver, poking the silver bowl with fascination.
“Do not disrupt a Teller’s telling.” The Teller took a glass pitcher and trickled drops of water into the bowl. The woman peered into the bowl. “Interesting…” she murmured.
“What?” chorused Faye and Oliver.
The Teller gazed at the two, her expression mildly curious. “Nothing at all,” she replied, opening the tent flap. “You two may leave now.”
Faye narrowed her dark eyes. “You haven’t told us anything yet. We aren’t leaving.”
The Teller smiled kindly. “Your paths are marked with danger. Vicious beasts seem tame in comparison.” She patted the Oliver’s shoulder. “Both of you shall regret listening to Oliver’s future.”
With a gentle shove, Faye and Oliver were outside of the tent. “Adieu, fairy-children. May luck be with you. May we meet again, safe and whole,” the Teller bid them farewell. Then, as if by magic––which it probably was––the tent vanished into thin air.
Oliver was the first to recover from shock. “What are we s’posed to do now? Teller’s gone.”
Faye shook her head, “I guess we’ll have to find what we need elsewhere.” At that, Faye soared across the arid land, Oliver right behind. They flitted their wings and disappeared into the azure sky.
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