This is the story of a young girl named Eriana, and the extraordinary adventure she had. This adventure started on a day like any other…she was walking in the woods behind her house.
Eriana had a fierce imagination that was only encouraged by her surroundings. She lived on the outskirts of town, with a large wood behind her house. How could one not make up stories living in a place like that? She loved to write. Most of the stories took place in her wood; she thought it a very magical place indeed. Eriana also loved to read. Reading gave her new perspectives on the world, and how it was to be viewed. They stretched her imagination and encouraged its development.
This is why, on this particular spring day, she was out walking. She had started a new story and was out looking for inspiration. Suddenly, there, by the water! It looked like a little star that had fallen from the sky, but couldn’t find its way back; like a baby bird that had fallen from its nest. Eriana hurried the stream, curious to discover what made the sparkle, but just as she got close enough to see what it was, it was gone.
“Rats!” Eriana thought to herself, “I’ve never seen anything like that before here. I wonder what it was…” Then, over there, by the tree, the thing sparkled again, and Eriana hurried after it. She lost sight of it again, but then it popped up a little farther away. Just as before, when Eriana got close, it flitted away again. It led her through the trees, on an invisible path. She was so focused on not losing the sparkle that she didn’t notice that the trees around her were beginning to change their shape. They were no longer regular trees; they grew closer together, and their branches seemed to be reaching for each other. As the light led her along, Eriana also failed to notice that because of the closeness of the trees, the sunlight, which had been warm and golden, was now starting to change to green. The sunlight was no longer able to penetrate the thick branchy ceiling and so had to content itself with being a leafy green colour.
Finally the light stopped for good, and Eriana could see what she had been chasing this whole time. She approached slowly; for fear that it would disappear again. It had landed on a low branch of a tree, just above a bush covered with little blue flowers. Eriana gasped as she saw the light for what it really was; a fairy with pale green skin, dark hair and wings like a dragonfly that shimmered with all the colours of the rainbow in the sunlight. Even in the feeble rays that managed to find their way down through the foliage overhead. She was even more surprised to see that this fairy was male. Like most people, I would assume, Eriana had always thought of fairies as female. This is silly, of course, but true just the same.
“Finally, you made it. I was beginning to think that you would never show up,” the fairy-man said as he checked his polished nails for signs of any nonexistent dirt. He was very proud of his fingernails. The gleamed and sparkled in the light like pearls.
“I-I-I’m sorry. I … umm…wasn’t expecting….you’re a fairy!” Eriana stammered. His tone of voice had thrown her. It seemed as though it should come from a much larger creature. The fairy was clothed in leaves and wore nothing on his feet.
“Of course I’m a fairy, what were you expecting, an elf?! Anyhow, we’d better be going. They’re getting impatient.” He winked one blue eye at her, jumped up from the branch where he had been waiting, and only now did Eriana notice the branch-like gate in front of her. The branches of the tree had intertwined to make a sort of archway, and through the archway, Eriana could see more trees and sky. And in the excitement of discovering the gate, Briar’s comment about elves went unnoticed.
“Wait, I don’t even know your name!”
The fairy bowed low, while hovering in the air. “You may call me Briar, Eriana.”
“Hello Bria…wait, how do you know my name?” Eriana was startled. She was sure she had never seen this creature before.
“I have been watching you, and I have told Evander that you are the best person for the job, but we need to go now! That elf always was a worrier; I’ve told him that he needs to lighten up, but he never listens. Ah well…best be going. Follow me”
“We’re going through the gate-thing aren’t we?”
Briar winked at her, “You are a sharp one, aren’t you.”
The living gate swung open noiselessly to let them through. And, as they passed through what Eriana had so elegantly called the “gate-thing”, they both felt something very special. Briar felt he was home, for he had been waiting just on the wrong side of the gate for so long, that had forgotten how much this world meant to him. He had forgotten the smells and even the taste of air, which was different from Earth, for in this air, there was no pollution at all. For Eriana, she felt the change from Earth to the Somewhere Else distinctly. Even though the scenery stayed basically the same, she had the definite feeling as though she was very far away from home indeed. This feeling was only heightened when she saw what stepped out from behind the trees in front of her.
First I shall have to explain the significance of the trees into which Eriana passed. This forest was the border of the land of L’Adiya, and marked the edge of the world for all its inhabitants. Many types of magical creatures lived in these woods.
Therefore it was only natural that from behind a very large oak tree stepped an elf. This was so surprising and unexpected, that Eriana promptly fainted.