The beast

The grove

The woods were dark, but then they were always dark for their meetings. The Ketan scanned the darkness and waited in silence. The Mocor would not be long in coming. They had not planed this meeting, they had not set the time or place, they simply had an understanding, and every night they would find themselves together, in the shadow of the trees.

A new shadow appeared among the trees, glowing green eyes distinguishing it from the rest of the darkness. The Ketan smiled at the arriving Mocor, taking comfort in his presence, he was a kindred spirit, a place of comfort. They stood there, looking at each other for a few moments.

"I hate having to hide among them." Said the Ketan, stretching her long fingers on a tree.

"At least you have the option to hide among them, fairy, all that I can do is hide from them."

The Mocor stared down at his gargoylesque features then at the Ketan who could easily pass herself off as human.

"I am loosing myself to them."

"Are you?"

The Ketan let herself slide down against the side of the tree.

"I spend my days among them. I'm starting to think like them. I'm afraid that I'm loosing the fairy to the human way."

The Mocor knelt down and placed a large hand on the Ketan's delicate shoulder.

"Maybe it's best, that you become one of them. They do rule this worlds now."

"No! I don't want to, Mocor. I don't want to let it happen. I don't want to forget"

"Our domain is shrinking.' said the Mocor, always the voice of reason. 'Those of us who can pass unnoticed among them are lucky, there's still a way out for them."

"Then we would be truly dead, nothing more than myths. I'm afraid. I am afraid that one day, I won't even care."

"Then stay the night and stay the day…"

"…and know how feels eternity."

The Ketan smiled at the invitation, she slowly got up and followed the Mocor through the park that had become his home, all that was left of a once endless forest.

The Ketan stayed the night and stayed the day then stayed some more. The park was small but it was alive and it still held the echo of the ancient forest. As long as there would be even the smallest grove here, the shadows of the forest would remain. She walked among the trees, letting blond hair that had never been longer then shoulder length in the human world, fall all the way down her back, and pointed ears appear from under her golden waves. This was eternity, this was heaven.

The Ketan was enjoying the afternoon sun with her friend when she suddenly staggered backwards, her eyes wide with terror. The Mocor caught her and keep her from falling.

"NO! The trees."

"Ketan, what's wrong?"

"The trees, they're taking the trees!"

The Ketan escaped her friend's grasp and ran toward the source of the pain in panic. Horror. Bulldozers and men with chainsaws had started hacking away at the trees.

She ran out of the woods in her full elfin flamboyance and yelled for them to stop. The workers stared in shock as the woman came out of fairy tales and onto their work site, followed by a huge, living gargoyle. The gargoyle wrapped a protective wing around the elf and hastily brought her back to the relative safety of the woods.

The Mocor carried his protesting friend deep into the grove.

"Let me go! I can't let them take the trees."

"And I can't let them take you."

Finally calmed, the Ketan asked the inevitable question.

"What are we going to do now?"

The Mocor was solemn as he looked up at his friend.

"You're going to walk away."

The Ketan stepped back in horror, shaking her head. This was her greatest fear, this was to forget.

"No!"

"Yes."

He put his large hand on her forehead and drew on his fading powers.

"Sleep."

The elf went limp in his arms and he gently set her down on the leafy ground. He passed a hand above her and all of her elfin features vanished.

"Listen to me Ketan. You will forget that you are of the fairy realm, but you will not forget the fairies. You will remember, always, that the forest is sacred, a place of safety. And remember, most of all, that no matter how alone you feel, there is someone watching over you."

The Mocor stepped back among the shadows as a man approached. The only one among the workers with the courage to go after the mysterious girl.

"Ma'am, ma'am. Are you all right?"

The Ketan woke at the sound of the man's voice.

"Mmm? I just had the strangest dream."

"Yeah' The man gave the trees a suspicious look as he helped her to her feet. 'this place has that effect."

"What's going on? What's all that noise?"

"We're cutting down the trees to make room for a housing development."

"But, the trees are important."

"Hey, people need a place to live."

The Ketan looked back sorrowfully as she was led away.

"Everything needs a place to live."

Unbeknownst to her, someone watched from the shadows, something really, nothing more than a myth.