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Once upon a time…
Winter storms infected a land somewhere very, very far away. Snow flurries consumed the sky, and bunches of white frost multiplied on the ground. A poor orphan boy named Gavin Staniel left his makeshift home to gather wood for fire. The young boy was nearly an ice cube by the time his sled was full of materials for burning, so he sat for a minute to enjoy the warmth of small flames. He brushed away the snow from the icy ground, and a tiny golden key stole his attention. He soon forgot about the cold and dug deep into the earth for the answer. A small iron box was that answer, and sure enough the key fit.
Slowly and gently, he eased the lid completely open.
“It’s empty,” he uttered to himself in disappointment.
Seconds later, Gavin was sucked into a new dimension of golden glow oozing. He floated down a lavender sky and fell into soft, lime green grass pillows. In astounded puzzlement, the child noticed a small bag, its contents were a scrap of wood, a clover, and a coin. Gavin returned the goodies to their home, stuffed the bag in his pocket and begun to follow the snug sunshine and glowing sticks.
As the smolder melted away, the stars played peek-a-boo and Gavin grabbed his scrap of wood to finish what he started in the realm of reality. One… two… three… strikes was all it took for the sparks to fly. The nice warmth of the fire covered his body in a blanket of cozy. Soon, his eyes gathered fairy dust and he dozed into deep sleep.
A small midnight kitty cat awakened Gavin at dusk by tickling his face with a fuzzy tail. The sky was a fiery fuchsia full of green fireflies. Fire flames blew up high as the cat, fantastically transformed into a fictitious witch.
“Hello my dearest Gavin,” her beautiful lips parted and she spoke with an even more daunting tone, “I am here to help you Gavin, to bring you back to your family.”
He shook off the amazement at the impossibility of that wish.
“My parents are dead!! I will never be able to see them again,” he announced, holding back a sea burst of tears.
“It must be beginner's luck that you've made it this far on this land without my help, considering your emotional state,” the witch assumed.
Howling winds blew back her long dark curls as she grasped her blood cherry cape and pulled out a mirror.
She spoke hypnotically, twirling her long fingers around the glass, “Look deeply into this mirror. Become lost in yourself, in your hopes and dreams. Remember, do not to let your fears consume you.”
Gavin took a deep breath in and stood in front of the mystical mirror. Exhale, and the plain image of himself wasn’t so lonely when his long lost parents appeared.
“Ma! Pa! Oh how I've missed your sweet loving faces. I wish I could hug and kiss you,” the boy lit up with excitement.
His parents replied lovingly, “My baby, we love you. We will always be by your side to protect you.”
“I want to be with you,” the boy begged under the witch’s creaky cackle.
“You will see us one day Gavin, but listen to me closely. This witch is not someone you can trust. You must jump into the mirror, do not fear, the clover will save you from the wicked,” his mother warned.
Lightning struck from the wicked enchantress’ anger, “How dare you say such a thing after I let you see your son! Now, I will take him as my slave.”
Gavin’s mother anxiously demanded, “Hurry Gavin, make a wish and leap into faith. I love you.”
Before the sorceress could dispose of the mirror, Gavin charged directly into the mystical mirror shattering it into a billion pieces.
Deep down a thick fog of black, he sank through like slow sand. Gavin found himself lost again in opaque suffocation. This time on cold, hard ground surrounded by the sound waves of synthetic whispers.
“I want to shred your soul,” cried a tormented voice, “I will smash your dreams and bathe in your tears.”
Stomps synchronized a ticking clock like a time bomb. Once 6:66 hit, so did a massive fist of steel to Gavin’s face. He was slung across the vast nothing, picked up and tossed out again. War with the devil requires more than skills in combat and mental perseverance, one must have luck, lots of luck. Smack, cringe, spit, and groan your way to a breath of smog air. One single breath was what Gavin was panting for. He closed his eyes as if to see the end, released fear and control, he crossed his fingers, and began to chant a wiccan protection spell.
“If spirits threaten me in this place, fight water by water and fire by fire, banish their souls into nothingness, and remove their powers until the last trace. Let these evil beings flee, through time and space,” repeated Gavin three times with charm.
He grinned at the devil as the golden light spilled in once again and released all suffering spirits. Even the beast was no competition in the light, his skin sizzled and eroded till his golden glow could soar and dance with all the others. The light elevated Gavin back to his universe of fantasy, and he continued to follow his road of glowing sticks.
Gavin tirelessly edged on in his new world of wonder. Exotic flowers bloomed in bursting energy and color when he passed. Fireflies sang in a harmonic symphony of buzz. A sterling silver castle in the distant lands became his destiny’s destination.
“I never want to leave,” thought Gavin, “This place has such a consuming magic. It's a daydream and I am the nightmare warrior.”
An eerie smell swept the land of its enchantment and covered Gavin in chills. He shook off the goosebumps, then a decayed hand reached from down under and grabbed his ankle. Gavin sprinted in fright, right into a nest of spiders. Faster and faster he ran out of the night, chasing glowing lights.
The crystal castle seemed to meet Gavin halfway in his run for dear life. He slowed to a steady pace, and smelled the pushing daisies. Strolling up an amethyst stone path, he was stopped by a moat and drawbridge. An array of serpents, trolls, giants, fairies, and plenty of other unidentified bodies were floating to the tip top. Gavin noticed two familiar faces; one was the wicked witch with her face up and the beast he conquered was face down.
The crystal path began to quake, the chains of the drawbridge began to clank as it was rolled down. As the dust particles drifted away, at the other end was the most magnificent face. A woman of Gavin’s taste, she had sunset cheeks, and her smile made the sun rise. Her orange hair glowed golden like his key, she was dressed in pink silk, and she had opal iridescent wings that fluttered in his stomach. Gavin was in love.
“Hello Gavin, I am Queen Lynnx. I have come to tell you that our fate is said to be written amongst the stars,” spoke the glorious fairy queen, “I have been watching you protect my land with all your heart, and I would like to show you something. I will only show you, if you promise to keep this place a secret.”
“I cross my heart and hope to die. I'd stick a needle in my eye and you can cut my throat if I tell a lie ma'am,” stuttered Gavin in disbelief and astonishment that such a beauty was actually speaking to him.
Lynnx spoke again, “If your words are true, you are welcome in. Let me warn you though, if you cross this bridge again to say goodbye, we will never meet again.”
Gavin did what he was told and followed the mistress into her bewitching chamber.
“You see Gavin, I have been fighting the beasts of this plane for quite some time, and never have I seen such grace in your war. I'd like for you to stay,” exclaimed the fairy queen.
Off in a daze of amazement, Gavin was consumed by crystal sculptures of never before seen beings. His favorite were the bat-winged jaguar with the head of dragon and the sun god with a heart-shaped belly. The elegant fairy queen just smiled with her glistening fangs.
They walked into a room of deep ocean blue. On the walls, were the familiar dancing stars and bubbles. There they drifted around the frankincense atmosphere. They sat side by side on bright red pillow chairs of soft-isfaction. She reached behind her and pulled out the little iron box from the Earth. Around her neck she wore the golden key. Before he could say anything…
“I'm not asking you to leave Gavin. I want you to stay here with me and guard this dimension of fiction. Your heart is fantastical and your bravery is uncanny, but I love you for loving this eternity,” eloquently whispered the queen, “with this box and this key you can go back to your home if you choose?”
Silence stilled the swirling mood, and Gavin remembered his home. It might not have been much, it definitely wasn't a shiny castle, but it was all he had left of his parents. He questioned himself and his own strength. He felt that only luck had saved his life and it wasn't his own might.
“Heads,” he thought as he flipped the coin and looked underneath.
Slow and steady Gavin announced,“I love my homeland, and I will miss its simplicity, but I know I must stay here. I'm too tired of shoveling snow, and I am content on growing. This land is by far more powerful than my mortal flesh, but I promise to defend it with my infinite soul!”
She grabbed his hand in unity and replied with another terrific smile, “You will need a new name to be my king or you will surely fall of dust on the 13th day. Can I give you a new name?”
“Of course my lady fair, anything of your delight,” he exclaimed.
“I shall name you, my King Acorn Valentine, for luck, a long life, and lovely stride,” spoke Lynnx.
He twirled up in the warm gold light and transformed into the man he was meant to be. A robe of white and gold luminosity, he grew dark black wings with red feathers, and sharp fangs much like his lover’s. They fell into each other's arms and too quickly into happily ever after.