Heart pounding. Breath unsteady. Soren went into the human world before, but this time would be solo. Mother, Emma Lee, and father, Aaron, watched their preteen proudly as he readied his bag. They knew this day would come. It was the Borrower way – the four-and-a-half-inch folk.
The young Soren always checked his supplies – lines, hook, strap. His task – borrow something. Soren hoped to find something valuable like cheese, dried meat, or fruit, but that was risky for his first solo mission. Soren also knew if he brought back a dust bunny, his parents would be proud.
The standards set were his own – and he refused to do anything less.
Emma Lee stepped up and gave her son a kiss on the top of his head while Aaron nodded proudly. They talked about how this day would go, but now Soren found himself trembling in his boots.
Was it supposed to feel this way? Nervousness? Fear? Soren’s mind wandered to stories his parents told him to keep him wary of humans and the outside. What if the human was home? What if he got caught? Seen?
Soren couldn’t think about it. He shook his head free of these thoughts. Aaron, a well learned Borrower, warned Soren about letting temporary worries cloud the moment. He needed to be sharp to overcome the challenges he faced to become a man.
With a final, calming breath he turned and set out to the openings in the walls. The question was which one to go to. Soren trekked forward, hand on his hook. He knew where each one slipped into the human world and where the items were; but which door would he choose?
The bedroom had tissue and pins while the kitchen had food. The bedroom was safer, but the kitchen seemed more useful. Kitchen. It was a challenge and a terrifying one, but it was necessary.
Before long, he was at the electrical cover to the kitchen floor just behind the refrigerator. He stood and listened. Nothing. He slipped outside, young hands trembling with excitement and nervousness. He stepped to the edge of the fridge and listened to its hum. Soren turned his keen ears to the house’s sounds. A smile crept across his face. Nothing.
Soren tossed the hook into the counter and climbed up the line, eyes widening in panic when he reached the top. There was a human in the living room – asleep on the sofa. His heart leapt into his throat and instincts surged. He refrained from retreating when he noticed remnants of breakfast still lying on the counter – bacon, eggs, cheese.
This was his moment. He knew what he had to do to overcome his fear. Courage leapt into his heart as Soren crept forward with the utmost care and slipped meal fragments into his pack before descending the line to the walls.
The moment he made it inside the walls, he leapt into the air and sprinted home – first solo mission complete. He had done it.
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