EVERYTHING WAS AS HAPPILY as it ever had been in the land of Crym.
Streaks of sunlight shone through branches of emerald green leaves. Creatures scurried to and fro in their daily routines. A goblin hoarded his treasure underground. Ravens swooped in playful chases from tree-to-tree. Dragonflies zipped along the stretch of a stream that snaked around glades and meadows, ending at the edge of a towering cliff, cascading over a lake.
But somewhere deep in the forest, where no one paid much attention to, a silent intruder appeared midair.
Beryl, a young spark fairy, flew into the area. She paused inches away from it. She had never seen anything like it before. She examined it from all sides. It appeared the same at every angle. Peering into its circular void, she curiously placed her hand through it. Cold air pricked at her skin. She pulled away, uncertain if her hand was frozen. Nothing.
She shrugged her shoulders and turned away. The sound of wind had stirred from behind. She felt something strange: a slight tug of her energy being zapped. Her light drifted from her hands, feet, and hair, trailing towards the hole.
When she distanced herself, the tug grew stronger, pulling her closer every time she resisted. This continued for what seemed unbearably long she thought it'd never end. Then at once, it ceased its hold on her and her light and wings vanished.
For the first time the weight of her body sent her sprawling toward the ground, leaving her shocked and dazed. Tears welled in her eyes. It didn't make any sense. She gazed upward. The dark hole had grown larger.
She crawled to her feet, shaking, completely stripped of her once beautiful light. Succumbed by darkness. Replaced with the shade of night . . . void of stars.
Any previous thought of who she was or where she was heading—including the warmth of her body—fleeted from her. Nothing mattered. Not anymore. Except, the ache in her stomach.
Those streaks of light she’d danced joyfully in, now stung her eyes. She hid in the shadows, shivering.
Not far, a snowy-white rabbit rested beneath a bush. Drawn to its warmth she sat next to it, but something snapped inside Beryl’s mind.
Sharp teeth sank into the rabbit’s flesh.
When Beryl emerged from beneath the bush, the moon was at its brightest. The ache in her belly had subsided and she licked away warm blood that dripped from her lips.