The Legend of Paraiso: Part Three
Oreh stood on the balcony of the Top Faerie's tower. He
looked over Paraiso, the kingdom he was supposed to save. He hadn't believed the
Prophecy was even coming true until, days after his being chosen, the snows had
begun to come. Then he had gotten to work. He looked over the water, watching
the boats come in and out of harbor. He was waiting. That was all he could do.
For weeks he had been waiting for the workers to finish his plans... for Ani to
come back safe.
He still couldn't believe he had let her go.
He did not believe she would bring their father back. But what if she did? Oreh
did not want to think about it.
He was not used to the thick coat that he now
wore. All of Paraiso now wore them - the weather was getting to be so cold that
it was like daggers without them. He shivered and returned into the warmth of
the Top Faerie's quarters. The Faerie herself sat beside a hot fire, warming
her hands. Oreh sat silently beside her, letting himself get warm.
Minutes passed and then two familiar friends
entered the room. Oreh glanced up and stood up when he recognized Duck and Diamanda.
"News?" he questioned. The two nodded and Di
stepped forward first.
"The Dreamers saw Ani coming home soon," she
"Good," Oreh said softly. "I miss her." He was
silent for a few minutes and then added, "Is she alone?"
"We don't know," the cloud Wocky said. "It is
so cold we can't concentrate very much anymore." Oreh nodded and stared at the
wooden floor then gestured at Duck. The JubJub stepped forward and DI dismissed
"The progress on your... project," he reported
uncertainly, "is almost finished. All of the Fire pets are working their best
to keep the snow out of it."
"Good," Oreh said, looking into the flames.
"Thank you." Duck nodded and left.
"You seem stressed," the lovely Faerie said
gently behind him. Oreh shrugged.
"It is just hard to imagine the end being so
near," he replied.
"It is not the end," she said firmly, standing
up. He turned to her. "It is the-"
"Right, right - future's chance," he said indifferently.
She frowned at him. He sighed, giving in. "It is just... so unsettling to go
one day from a normal male Wocky trying to get some girls' attention and then
the next day... having that same girl and every other being's life on your shoulders."
"If you do your job right, then you can get
the attention of any girl you want," the Faerie said with a slight smile.
"Can I ask you for something?" Oreh said abruptly.
She spread out her hands in a complying fashion.
"Anything within my power," she replied. He
looked straight at her.
"I need a key."
With a wave of her hand, a block of wood and
a knife appeared. "Here, maybe if you make it... it will be the way you want
it." Oreh took the wood and knife and thanked her. She smiled, sighed and rubbed
"I think I'll retire to bed," she informed him.
He stared at her then nodded solemnly. She fluttered her gown and vanished.
Oreh sat in the lounge of the Top Faerie's home,
whittling his wood into an octagonal shape, when he was attacked by a ball of
"Oreh, I'm back!" the well-known voice of his
little sister squealed. Oreh grinned and squeezed her tight. They held each
other for a few minutes before he finally held her at arm's length and looked
at her. During the weeks that they had been apart, she had grown older. He had
not gotten the chance to get used to her fur covered in flames before she had
left. (The Top Faerie had colored her for a good-bye present.)
"I've missed you," he told her - then he noticed
the figure standing quietly in the doorway. He stared at the shape for a moment
before saying quietly, "You found him."
Anioreh's face grew solemn and she nodded. "Told
you I would," she said, in an equally soft voice. She pulled away and stood
beside him, and the pair looked at the figure in the doorway. For the first
time in months, Oreh looked into those familiar bright green eyes.
Ani left the two, so father and son sat side
by side before the fire. They sat quietly for a long while, Oreh consciously
whittling his wood. Finally he could bear it no longer.
"Why did you leave?" he burst out. His father
"Oreh, ever since you were born, your mother
and I knew that there was a possibility you might be... you know - Hero. I never
wanted to believe it. But then your mother died. And then you didn't get colored
and I knew that I was right. I also knew that if you were to fulfill your destiny,
I needed to leave - or get forcibly taken. So, I decided to leave until such
a time as you were ready for me to come back."
Oreh wanted to argue, wanted to be mad at his
father, but he knew that they were good reasons. Leave or die? He nodded, accepting
it. His father smiled with relief.
"What are you making?" the older Wocky asked,
his voice filled with wonder.
"A key," Oreh replied.
"What is it for?"
"Our lives," the young Hero said simply.
Oreh was lowered down slowly on a rope, into
a hole that must have been more than two hundred feet deep, and five feet in
"You all right, son?" his father called from
"Yeah," Oreh called back and looked around at
the bare walls. He pulled a chisel out of his bag and looked closely at it.
"Time to work some magic, I guess," he said, and then blew softly on the tool.
It began to glow and he began to work.
For hours he carved into the tough clay walls.
Once in a while he would consult the book of Prophecies and then jump right
back into work. Designs and numerals began to dance around the walls, telling
the story of Paraiso. He worked the hardest around one small space which he
left for the most important part of all.
After what seemed like days of carving and carving,
he stopped to examine his handiwork. The wall had been carved much higher than
his full height. How did I do that? the hero wondered, but he did not
spend much time trying to figure it out. It was time.
"Duck!" Anioreh and his father had had their
turns watching him many times. The JubJub's grumbles came clearly down to him.
"What do you need?" his tired friend called.
The Top Faerie admired Oreh's work. She attempted
a smile at him and almost succeeded. She looked so ill!
"You have done wonders, Oreh. Now it is my turn,"
she said, her voice filled with slight regret. Oreh nodded, understanding. She
leaned forward. "Show me the key, dear," she whispered. He pulled the wooden
octagon out of his coat pocket. She took it delicately and examined it closely.
"Right here is where you need to... you know,"
Oreh said, gesturing at the blank space he had left uncarved. She nodded and
smiled, placing the key back in his paws.
"Now go, Hero; when you are gone I will begin,"
she informed him. Oreh sighed and hugged the lovely Faerie.
"Good bye," he whispered, knowing he would never
see her again.
"Good bye, my little friend," she whispered in
reply, stroking his fur. He pulled away and grasped the rope pulley. He tugged
it, signaling Ani and his father to pull him up. He looked sadly down at the
Faerie as he was pulled up out of the hole. She smiled up at him for the last
time, then he was out of the hole and running to the harbor.
Oreh shoved the key into a large random bottle
and shoved the cork into it. He sighed and kissed it sadly. "Save us," he whispered,
then withdrew his arm and gave a mighty heave, tossing the bottle out into the
"What if no one finds it?" his father asked.
"They have to," Oreh replied simply.
The Top Faerie watched Oreh disappear and then
turned to the walls. She felt so weak, she must make every ounce of her magic
count. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, concentrating with all her
heart, mind, and strength. Slowly, she lifted her hands into the air. All the
magic in all of Paraiso seemed to gather around her, supporting her and lifting
Elaey opened her eyes - for that was her name,
something she had never told anyone - and reached out her long elegant fingers
to touch the empty space on the wall. She pressed her hand on it and then focused
all of herself into it. The air quivered with magic.
Sparks leapt around her fingers, disappearing
into the clay walls. Oreh's carvings hardened for eternity and the earth vibrated
with the power. The Top Faerie sank to her knees and looked up at the octagonal
indent in the wall. She smiled peacefully, and closed her eyes.
All the inhabitants of Paraiso immediately began
to feel weary. They yawned and stretched and laid out where they stood. Oreh
watched all of them close their eyes then slowly fade out of sight. He watched
sadly as Ani and his own father were the last to lie down, bewildered, and then
fall asleep with happy expressions. Before they disappeared he kissed their
"I'll see you when you wake up," he whispered.
He then stood and looked over them as they disappeared.
Oreh the Hero then looked at the pale sun setting
over the snowy horizon. And still watching this, he vanished.
To be continued...