Kaylen was sitting by the tree. It had been nearly three days since his arrival in Childhome, a magical land for poor, abused children. Many people had met him, asking him questions about the world he had lived in, and the conditions of the children who lived in his city.
He answered as many questions as he could, and yet, he couldn’t help but stare at the green tree that stood in the middle of Childhome. The tree was calling to him in a voice that sounded like a cry for help. He remembered what Imani had said to him regarding the tree: “Queen Pradine of Sarnwey was the last queen of that land, for her husband had imprisoned her in that tree and there is a spell that is holding her in there forever.”
He stood up and walked around; Childhome was a magical land filled with laughing children, singing Elves and fairies, and fresh air and green grass. There seemed to be a ring of deadly thorn bushes and hedges that surrounded the idyllic place. Trees were everywhere, mainly willows. Lakes were scattered around the area, and there were several mountain ranges to the left.
Kaylen thought to himself should I have given up my entire life? The obvious answer was yes. For many years, he had been the weird kid, the kid no one wanted to talk to, the kid who ruined everything for everyone. He had been called “freak”, “weirdo”, “nutcase”, “crazy”, “moody”, “moron”, and just about every other name in the book. He had no friends and he couldn’t even relate to his family at all.
Also, in his old life, Kaylen had spent most of it dodging magical villains, or being in interdimensional worlds with giants, fairies, and elves. In fact, the only reasons why he was in Childhome in the first place were because of a chance meeting with his true father, meeting up with Imani, and an encounter with his true mother Penelore, the fairy princess, from whom he learned her sad life story and the role his father played in it.
He soon forgot the story and returned to his boring, dull, and pathetic life until a few days earlier, when his father had taken him to the former magical land of Sarnwey and charged him with a task: restoring the land back to its magical roots. But how could he restore a land of that magnitude if he was so against magic to begin with?
He stared at his reflection in a lake; gone were the hideous glasses that he had once worn on his face. His reddish brown hair was uncombed and scattered around his head. His blue eyes, once dull, were now as bright as the noonday sky. His clothes (which was a t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans) were falling to pieces, as were his tennis shoes.
“Hmmm…guess I never thought to bring extra clothes when I left,” Kaylen thought to himself. Then he knew that there was no going back for him now. Not when he had just willingly given up his life for a young girl’s visions and the hopes of millions of people everywhere.
“Do you still doubt yourself?” Imani said to him. “If so, then why? You know what your destiny is.”
Kaylen said, “But why am I expected to do everything for others?”
“You cannot live your life just to please everyone,” said Alexis. “Even if you managed to save a few people, there will be many more that you have failed to save.” He sighed and said, “I was just told that we were not allowed to have any disabled children in Childhome.”
“Why not?” Kaylen asked.
“There are those who don’t like them here in Childhome, and they would do anything to destroy them,” said Alexis.
“Why would they destroy disabled people?” cried Kaylen. “They’re just people. And besides, they don’t have the capacity to do anything wrong.”
“Well, some did,” Jasper said as he approached them. “In fact, a woman named Andrea Muty dared to thumb her nose at polite society and tell disabled people to…”
“Ok, that’s enough!” Imani cried out. She had heard Jasper’s story about how Andrea and several others had allegedly planned to overthrow the city of New York and rule over the residents by tailoring to the desires of many disabled people everywhere.
That was, until her death.
However, that’s not part of this story.
Kaylen said, “There’s got to be someone out there who isn’t evil and is willing to help us.”
“Well,” said Imani, “there should be. But for some reason, this land has no magic in it and fairies and other magical beings are dying because they are not allowed to do magic at all.”
“The previous emperors have destroyed the magical world, so that’s also the reason,” said Alexis.
“So I think that we should go and see if we can restore the magic in the world,” said Kaylen. “There should be no reason that magic cannot be restored. Besides, if we succeed in doing so, then the fairies will return and land will be restored to its original glory.”
Imani smiled and said, “See? I knew that it was a great idea to bring him here. I was beginning to think that you were all a bunch of idiots who don’t know what they were doing.”
Aaron laughed, saying, “We’re not idiots!”
“No,” said Alexis. “But you are!”
Kaylen said, “Well, what about if we rescue just one disabled person? It can’t be too bad, now can it?”
"Well, no. It can’t be too bad. Even one person can change the future of the entire world," said Alexis.
Kaylen thought what if we could slip away from here and find just one person to save? That person would have to have the power to see the fairies and bring them here. That person would be able to help the fairies restore the land to its true roots.
Imani caught his gaze and said, “What are you thinking about, Kaylen?”
"Someone might have the power to help the fairies," said Kaylen. "And if they can, we must find them and bring them here."
"I don’t now," said Imani. "We don’t have too many adults who can help fairies."
"Well, it’s the children who can help, right?" Aaron quipped.
"Well, I don’t know," said Alexis. "These days, children are more interested in their video games than in fairy tales."
"But there are some who are not," Aaron said. "Now let’s go find him!"
Alexis frowned and said, “Aaron, we’re not just going to jump into action because of what he says.”
"Well, if we don’t," Imani cut in, "then bad things will happen." Kaylen nodded.
Alexis frowned and said, “Fine, we’ll go. You have three days to pack.” He left and said to Kaylen, “I hope you know what you’re doing.”
Kaylen nodded and looked around him. What was he getting himself into?