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CHAPTER 5 – The Ring and Between
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Indeed, Hugh could see that the mixed group of fairy folk was staying together in one spot as the two made their way down towards them. Only when they got within a few paces of them did they move on ahead. Now, Hugh could make out more detail in two or three of the larger ones he called Glows – enough to enable him to discern the shapes of small people rather than blurs of light – and they did seem to be gesturing them to follow.
In fact, the further they led into the wooded area, the clearer each individual seemed to become. It was almost as he remembered seeing them when he was much younger. Now he could easily tell that they were glancing back every few seconds to see that he and Tyrentia were still following.
They led them to a small clearing alongside the stream. It seemed to have a perimeter of small flowers round it that Hugh could never remember noticing there before. The group of little figures moved to the far side, and beckoned again until boy and girl joined them there. Almost immediately, the two became aware that some sort of transparent wall of a bubble-like substance seemed to have formed just behind the fairies – and the group walked straight into it and vanished, with the exception of two Glows who carried on beckoning and then seemed to be trying to shepherd them in that direction.
Taking a deep breath, Hugh stepped towards it with Tyrentia at his side. He was only vaguely conscious of the fact that she had grabbed his arm and was holding onto it hard. They moved to the other side of the ‘bubble’ – and then so many extraordinary things happened all at the same time that it was impossible to take them in unless in small doses.
For one thing, the Glows, after some initial fuzziness, had settled into fairly normal human-type shapes, but now they were only slightly shorter than the two humans. Then they noticed how enormous everything else on this other side appeared to be, and the realisation came. ‘We’ve shrunk to their size!’ Tyrentia squeaked.
‘You haven’t really shrunk, as such; not as such,’ said the female of the Glows. Both she and the male one with her now looked very much like golden versions of the usual depictions of fairies illustrated in children’s stories. ‘You’ve simply taken on your Fey forms. You both have ancestry which allows your Life Forces to Adapt; to Adapt. Welcome to our Link in the Breena Ring Chain. Our one is called Glim Ring. We will be your guides here; your guides. This is Felin, and I am Avinia.’ She turned and said in an aside to Felin, ‘See, I told you they would be a Highest Prince and Princess here; be them here.’
Somehow, Tyrentia stopped gaping and found her voice again. ‘Glimmering?’ she repeated.
‘No,’ said the Glow. ‘The Ring is called Glim.’
‘How …?’ began Hugh, and then stuck for lack of decision on which of about a hundred questions to ask first. Tyrentia glanced at him, and then released his arm abruptly and stepped back to stare at him with an amazed expression. He stared back with equal amazement.
Both were quite recognisably themselves. Hugh was still burly, and still with his ruddy complexion, reddish hair, and dark eyes. Tyrentia had kept her long, very black hair, exceptionally fair complexion, and startling blue eyes. However, their features seemed to have been fined down to give sharper angles and planes. They now both simply looked more fairy-like, somehow. Then each noticed, on the other, butterfly-like wings sprouting from somewhere on their backs, and both glanced over their shoulders suddenly and gave an experimental flap to see if they had them too and they worked. They did, and they did.
Hugh was definitely no longer in his school uniform; nor did Tyrentia have the skirt and blouse she had been wearing to school during the ‘trial’ period. After some blinking they made out that they seemed to be wearing versions of what Felin and Avinia had on – a kind of body-suit and a long flowing dress, respectively. The colours still seemed to be making up their minds, and changed from one to another.
‘Of course, something you need to know from the start, and then ignore, is that you aren’t really seeing exactly what you think you’re seeing,’ Felin spoke for the first time. He got stared at very blankly, and smiled in a way that somehow reminded them of a cat.
‘Being in a completely different dimension,’ he went on, ‘all reality here operates on its own set of rules quite distinct from the ones in force in yours. However, your senses compensate by translating everything into sounds and images familiar to you from your own experiences or books or legends or whatever, just as they do in reverse for us when we visit your world.’
Avinia nodded. ‘Gradually, you’ll probably continue your Adapting. You’ll continue. Then you’ll sense things more as they really are. It doesn’t really matter. I mean, say that in your dimension you are seeing a charging rhinoceros as a hippopotamus. You’ll still be trying to get out of the way, out of the way, won’t you?’ Hugh noticed that she seemed to speak in quick little bursts which reminded him of something he couldn’t quite place.
‘If it came to trying to avoid teeth when one should be dodging a horn, it could make a difference,’ Felin said with another smile.
‘Oh, don’t be picky-picky; don’t be picky!’ snapped Avinia.
To be continued with Chapter 5 (ii)
© Colonialist July 2013 (WordPress)