The Princess looked up at me, and I felt my cheeks burn under the Royal gaze. The Royal family had been around for as long as the creatures of this world could remember, and the best of us had learnt to respect them and their wishes. For many, it would be an honour to serve them, or to have served with them in the times when Royalty had done its best to protect our world. I had known creatures who had served with the King during the last war of our dimension, the time when the Royal family had fought to keep out every bad element which threatened to turn our dimension to dust. I did not remember much, but the vague fear of others as they learnt of the disaster. Luckily, the Royal family had saved them, and here we stood today. I had seen so much in my millennia of life, but yet I had not lived enough to know what would come next.
“Do you know what’s going on?” The Princess asked me, nevertheless.
I had seen things over the centuries, I had experienced bad and good, happiness and sadness, and I had heard many tales of our world, and its beginning and dreading ending, but even I could not give the answer to everything that was to come.
So, how to start?
“There is a prophecy, foretold on the tongues of all creatures as a mysterious myth, in which, in a time in our far future, there will be a number of people ‘crossing over’ from a different realm to our dimension. It is said that they will not know what their job is, but that it is vital for the survival of the land. There is also another part of the legend, more a rumour than anything else (Your Highness knows of the stories that the power-hungry creatures tell to amaze), that some of our creatures will know the fate; perhaps the collectors are gifted that way? It is said that some of us will help, others will hinder…”
There I laughed, the tinkling of my voice like a thousand bells in the wind.
“But isn’t that always the case? Every story must have an adventure, a leader, an oppressor…”
The Princess pondered everything I had said so far, her brown eyes searching my face for lies.
Finally she said, “I’ve heard of the tale. Of course, we all believed it was just a fairytale.”
“As did I. The final part of the prophecy mentioned the blindness of some of the creatures in our realm, and how everything could be destroyed because of their mistakes. The world is falling apart, Princess, that I can’t deny, but I can’t say if the prophecy is just nonsense, or truly spoken by those who saw the time of the Great War. You see, apparently, something similar to this has happened before, but was concealed from our histories by a ‘master creature’. It was just before the Great War, and I knew little of the dimension at that time; in my youth I was oblivious to the delicacy of life.
“I spoke with a collector beforehand, a few hours ago before you arrived here. He, unfortunately, did not tell me much- nor did he tell anything to the humans. Perhaps, the only thing that some of them know is that something will happen with them. Once again, I think that it is in connection with the prophecy…”
“How did you get here then, if you were not taken as the others were?”
“I was just passing, flying high in the morning sky, when I saw the figures. I recognised the collector as a creature of our world, but I knew something was not right. I landed, invisible, and watched.”
I did dare not mention that, perhaps, it was I who would be one of the creatures mentioned in the prophecy. Yes, I had appeared all knowledgeable to the collector, but how was I to know that now really was the time that the centuries had been waiting for? I had no idea whether I was to be involved, or that perhaps, I had already taken a step too close, by taking guard of the human who had appeared. What was drawing me to them? It surely was not curiosity (for I had overcome that years ago), but could it be the tantalising touch of fate?
“…And then, those,” I gestured to the boys and girls outside, “started to arrive out of nowhere. I believe that there is only one ‘crossing point’ in our world and it is here, beside that dreadful cavern. I guess I was just here at the right time…”
I shivered involuntarily. I did not like to admit that I was afraid of the cliff and whatever was down at the bottom. I had heard from other creatures of the sky that it was evil, just like a rip in our dimensional atmosphere.
“A couple of them are gone, and I daresay, Your Highness, that this is all part of the destiny, of that prophecy. I don’t know who will be against our beloved dimension, or who will stand beside me in its protection, but I believe that they have gathered here.”
“Do you think,” The Princess said slowly, “That there will be more?”
I gave as much of a shrug as I could do with my feathered wings heavy upon my back.
“I do not know. Only time will tell…”
“And so why am I here?” The Princess demanded.
“I’m sorry, Your Highness, I don’t know. You cannot be involved, for…it makes no sense-”
“What about the fact that you said creatures of our world would be involved?”
“Yes, creatures, Your Highness. But a member of the Royal family? I do not believe that is what was meant by it, and so I said that you shouldn’t be here.”
“Alright. Now, angel, you stay beside me and I will make sure they do not hurt you unjustly again.”
“Thank you, Your Highness. We should go outside and explain this matter to the humans. But not all of it, I think, with the knowledge of the prophecy, they could try to become to powerful. We do not want to cause what we are trying to avert.”
Perhaps there’s something more… Something that those creatures of old could tell us. I only wish I knew why these certain people have been chosen, for it makes no sense…