“Prince Gil!” his companion called. “You must come quickly! The rain has stopped!”
Gil shot out of bed so fast that his circlet with a simple jewel cut into the center flew off his head and clattered on the planks nearby.
“Ah, prince!” Sayer said, still speaking loudly, and he scrambled down from the window to grab the circlet. “I’m sorry for startling you!”
His friend’s cheeks were ruddy, and his curly hair bounced around his face. Though Gil’s hair was blond, it was equally curly—a familiar attribute in their people.
“Don’t worry, Sayer.” Gil sat on the edge of his bed and pulled on his navy-blue slippers. “You said the rain has stopped—has it really?”
“Yes!” Sayer bobbed his head and handed the prince his circlet. “The guards were afraid it was going to flood the canal but luckily it didn’t.”
“That’s good.” Gil slipped the silver crown on top of his curls. “What about the evacuation? Did you manage to get the people to high ground?”
His friend stared at the ground, and Gil’s heart pounded in his chest. I gave the warning too late.
But then Sayer’s face split into a grin. “Of course, sire. We got them all to safety.”
Gil took a deep breath and stood. “Thank goodness…”
Sayer bowed and motioned to the open window. “After you, your highness.”
Gil stepped over the windowsill and onto the brick below. It formed a bridge across the deepest part of the canal, and the water roared below them. It was dark crossing the pass, but at the end of pathway was a half-circle of light.
Gil hurried over the bridge and to the outside. Water pooled on the ground, and the tall green trees shivered in the breeze. A section of the trees was cut away to form a path. Gil’s guards marched up and down it, their black and red cloaks fluttering in the breeze. They bowed as he passed.
Sayer’s footsteps were right behind him, one pace behind the royal heir.
“This will do our water supplies wonders,” Gil said. “We will be able to last through the summer.
“Even the fall at this rate,” Sayer said. “The farmers are storing the water now.”
The rain was a good thing after all. Usually, the storms gave him anxiety. He was afraid his kingdom would blow off into the sky with a strong gust of wind.
“I want to have a celebration,” Gil said. “Call in the courtier and—”
The ground shook.
It jarred his crown off his head again, and the ground vibrated so violently that Gil collapsed to one knee. In an instant, he heard hundreds of trees crashing into the ground.
“Prince Gil!” Sayer and the guards tried to rush over to the prince, but the ground jarred them from doing so.
“Is there too much water?” Gil felt violent sick, and he forced himself to look at the sky.
A giant shadow stared back at him. It was so big that it blocked out the sun. it had a mountain in the middle, and two lakes on either side.
What is this monster?
A giant hole opened on the shadow, and a stream of noises left it, none of which Gil could understand. But the ground stopped shaking, and Gil forced himself to stand.
“Get the people in the castle!” he ordered Sayer and the guards. “Get everyone to safety!”
“But your highness!” Sayer replied.
“Do what I asked!”
Two worms pinched Prince Gil’s waist, and it startled him.
“Prince Gil!” Sayer rushed toward him, and Gil reached for his outstretched hand.
And then suddenly he was flying, rising in the sky, and he saw the vast green forest of his kingdom. Another set of worms lingered near him, holding his circlet.
“Let me go…!” Gil pounded at the thick worms, but they didn’t flinch. Instead, they twisted him to face the giant shadow.
The air that came from the hole was hot, and it blew Gil’s curls. One of the worms slid on his circlet.
“That’s my crown!” Gil said. “My grandfather earned that crown in the war!”
But he realized it wasn’t a worm—it was a finger. A huge one.
He stared wide-eyed at the shadow, whose lakes and mountains and holes seemed oddly like a giant version of his own face.
This was human.
We have been found.
Bibliography: “The Little Hunting Dog” in The Chinese Fairy Book by R. Wilhelm.
The image is a ring in the shape of a crown. Image found here.
Author’s Notes: If you haven’t read any of my work by now, I’ll preface this author’s note with this: I do not do complete stories. What I write are small tidbits of a bigger story that make you buy into the idea. That makes you want more. This is completely intentional for me to gauge the likability of a particular concept.
That being said, I wanted to expand upon the idea of the little people in one of the Chinese stories. If you go back and reread this story, you will notice a lot of things—the trees are actually blades of grass. The canal is a drainage area, etc. etc. I just wanted to tell a story of a little fantasy colony of people advanced enough to have royalty and military having their worlds unbalanced by the arrival of a human. Would you buy this concept as a fantasy story?