Rascal had been having a fine day indeed. The sun was shining and the human children had been given special cookies to eat in the yard. There were crumbs galore, enough for Rascal to have a feast. Cookies always gave Rascal enough energy and joy to keep him in fine spirits for hours at a time.
He had found the littlest fairies and had spent many minutes playing his own version of peek a boo, where he would simply fade in and out in front of them. The littlest fairies had laughed their loud belly laughs and joy emanated from all involved.
Next, he had found a wonderful treasure. A human child’s toy gate. He was filled with excitement. He had even managed to convince the other fairies to help him manipulate the play thing into just the right location to have his Gateway to the Unknown. He hadn’t really expected anyone to help him because most of the older fairies, the ones needed for lifting such a heavy object, seemed to have no time for folly. Yet, to his amazement, they had helped him.
As Rascal looked upon the Gateway the most whimsical and imaginative part of him hoped against all hope that the Gateway would lead him to new lands or worlds, never before seen by any fairies. Maybe he would even cross into another dimension. He could only hope.
He stood proudly and announced to all that he was about to embark on adventures beyond any adventures ever taken in the history of the Fae. He alone would boldly cross the barrier. He alone would have these adventures. He would have great stories to tell.
Now part of Rascal, the realistic part, was beginning to take over more and more of his time as he aged. It was quite similar to the way teen-aged humans seem to shed their imaginations with each passing day. Rascal’s realistic self reminded him that the Gateway was just a human toy made out of human made plastic. It would not really lead him to new worlds or dimensions. It would only lead him to the other side. It would lead him to the rock wall.
Still, Rascal had a plan for that. He planned on going through, dancing a jig, spinning around and coming back through the Gateway. Then he would bow with flourish and announce proudly that he had indeed gone on a great adventure to another dimension in which time was running on a different course.
He would say he had been there for hours while only seconds passed in this world. Then he would tell outlandish tales of what he had done in those hours.
Rascal was very excited because he knew he would be able to make up stories for days to come simply by walking through the Gateway. He was not concerned in the least that he would not be able to really go into another land.
He stood before the Gateway and took his first step. His imaginative side was just a little more prominent than his realistic side, and it was becoming more and more dominant with each step. His wings were fluttering, his belly was quivering. He was more anxiously excited than he ever remembered being.
Rascal could hear the jitters in the background, but to him they sounded like cheers of support. His imagination was souring along with his dreams.
Rascal’s right foot went through the passageway and as he let it land on the ground in front of him he lost sight of it. None of the other fairies noticed his brief moment of pause, but pause he did.
How could his foot have disappeared? Where could it have gone? It was just the briefest of pauses and the rest of his body followed his foot into the Unknown.
‘Oh, I hope I stay in one piece,’ he thought to himself with alarm.
Suddenly Rascal was not where he had expected. He was not looking at the stone of the wall. He was not looking at anything. Rascal was in complete darkness.
There was an odor in the air. It was the most unpleasant odor and Rascal could not think of what might make that odor. It was so intense that it burned when he breathed in.
Within minutes Rascal began to fall forward. There was something about the air around him that had made him incredibly dizzy and disoriented. He felt something hard and flaky under him as he landed on what was anything but the dirt he had carefully smoothed around the Gateway.
In his last moment of consciousness, Rascal swore. It was not something he had ever done before. Such was his shock at what he was experiencing. For Rascal’s thoughts were fuzzy at best, but he had the terrible sensation that many, many larger than life beetles were crawling over and around him.
Then, fortunately for Rascal’s sanity, Rascal was completely unconscious.
To be continued….