Jared heard nothing more on the subject of the fairy for some time. He’d thought about it occasionally, but he decided to shrug it off and continue living life as normal. Fairies being real just brought too many complications. But, about a month later, his wife declared she was pregnant with their fourth child. He and the children were overjoyed. Everything seemed to be going smoothly. Eight months passed.
A little while after he had tucked all the girls into bed, he heard his youngest, Clary, whimpering softly under her array of stuffed animals. Crying, he thought, with all her stuffed warriors surrounding her? He decided to see what the problem was.
He walked in. He could hear her whimper, but her head was covered completely under her fluffed friends. He walked over and sat by the bed.
“It’s alright,” he consoled, “I’m here. What’s the matter?”
“They’re… they’re going to take him!” She cried in-between sobs.
Perhaps she was sleep talking, but he stayed by just in case. “Nobody’s taking anyone, darling.”
She popped her head out from under her covers. “But she said they would! She said they’re going to take him once he comes out!”
His eyes opened a little wider. “Take who?”
“The baby in mummy’s tummy!”
“Who said that?”
“The fairy!” She wailed.
He stepped back from the bed. “You… you must have h-had a nightmare,” he stammered. “It’s… it’s alright. No one’s taking anyone.” He stayed by her bed until she finally fell asleep.
He was unable to think about anything else as he sat next to his wife, sleeping soundly. He didn’t believe a word he said to his daughter to console her. He stared at her pregnant belly and prayed to God that this disturbing prophecy would not come true.
Another month came, and both Clary and he hardly got any sleep. They both knew why, every time they looked into each other’s eyes. They remembered, and they dared not tell another soul.
Then one day, his wife began to go into labour. He drove her to the hospital, but in-between each word of encouragement, he remembered his daughter’s words:
“They’re going to take him once he comes out!”
He shivered, and not from fear of fathering another child.
Thankfully the delivery went well. He thanked God that, in fact, no evil fairies showed up in the room as his first son came into the world for his very first time. However, her first night returning home made him as restless as ever. He stayed up next to the baby the entire night, watching over him closely. He tried to keep his eyes open as long as he could. He refused even to get up to get coffee. It proved to be a problem, when finally around five o’clock, his eyes began to get heavy. He did his best to stay awake, but sleep overtook him less than a half-hour later.
He awoke with a start. His wife was screaming at the top of her lungs. He lunged forward to see that, indeed, the prophecy was true. The baby was gone, replaced with a child that looked nothing like him at all.
Why had he fallen asleep? How could he fall asleep when the life of his own child was on the line? He could not believe what he was seeing. He groaned loudly.
The children rushed up to the room.
“Mummy!” yelled Janice. “What’s wrong?”
“He’s gone!” she replied hysterically. “The baby is gone! He’s gone!”
Clary rushed in frantically and hugged Jared at his knees. “Why, Daddy?” she whimpered. “Why would she do this?”
His wife turned to him with a piece of paper. “Jared. This was in his crib.”
It was a note. It read:
You should listen to your daughter next time.
In smaller type underneath were the words See me in the garden at dusk.
He crumpled up the paper. His jaw tensed and his bloodshot eyes narrowed with an insane rage.
He did as the note asked. As the family mourned their child after the police had asked multiple questions, he made his way down to the garden. It was dusk. A shadow moved in the garden and ran off towards the basement doors. He ran after it as it tried to open the doors quickly and quietly all while still running from him. He slammed the doors open and flew down the basement stairs after it.
It was cornered. It was just as he imagined it… a very small person with large pointed ears, long hair and beautiful blue eyes. It was covered in rags rather than a fairy dress, but it was a gorgeous creature nonetheless. Beauty didn’t stop his rage. He grabbed a fork from his pocket and slammed it into the ground at the creature’s neck. The gap between the prongs was just large that it didn’t puncture his neck, but just small enough that it kept it from moving.
“Tell me where my child is,” Jared commanded.
“Well,” it replied in a woman’s voice, “someone’s a little hasty. And rightfully so, I suppose.”
“Where is my son?”
“I don’t have him,” the fairy explained calmly. It seemed this was somewhat common for the little lady. “The goblin has him. But I can help you get him back. Just let me go, please.”
He removed the fork. She breathed out deeply.
“I’ve been sent here to help you get him back. I never meant him any harm. You should have listened to me the first time and sought me out.”
He nodded solemnly. “I agree, that was wrong of me. But please, if you can help me find him, do so.”
“I will. But I’m warning you,” she implored, “this goblin’s ruthless. He’s going to take you into a place you don’t want to go.”
He stood firm. “I will go anywhere if it means saving my son.”
“That will be your undoing, Jared. Follow me.” She walked to the far wall and then turned around. “And whatever you do, do not sign anything.”
She grabbed him by the hand, and they walked through the wall.