Fern slashed and countered with his sword, but his opponent was simply too quick and too powerful. Fern was dueling Bres in exchange for his freedom and badly loosing. When he was pinned to the ground with a sword at his throat, he knew it was over. Bres didn’t kill him, of course. This wasn’t a duel to the death.
He had been training for nearly a year, and he was no closer to beating Bres. He began to realize that he would be here forever. He had already accepted that he would never be able to kill Bres, and he didn’t want to any more. But now he wondered if he would ever see his mother and father again.
He had started to give up hope.
Then Bres created a door in front of him.
“Go,” he said.
“You want me gone? I thought you liked me.”
“I adore you. But no matter how much I want to, I can’t keep you here. You are my stars. You’re beautiful and incredible and magnificent, but that doesn’t change the fact that I stole you from the sky. Now I need to let you return home, because that’s what’s best for you.”
“This will take me home?”
Fern bolted for the door and ran through it. He came out on the other side into a field and the door disappeared.
It was still a long journey from the house. When he eventually found his way home, he was exhausted, but he knew that he would have dinner waiting for him. The door was locked. He was too short to reach the door knocker and he just wanted to lay in his own bed. He began climbing the vines that led to his window, as he had so many times before. It was the fun way to get into his room. When he got up to the window, it was not only shut and locked, but also barred. They were trying to keep him out. But why? Didn’t they want him to come home?
He peered through the window. His parents were smiling at each other. They shouldn’t be smiling. They hadn’t seen him yet. What were they smiling at? When he saw the crib where his bed should be and the infant in his mother’s arms, his eyes became wide and he fell to the ground.