Xylan the Guardian

“Dreams are where our brains solve the puzzles of the day and give us solutions for the morning. Dreams are the time in which our bodies heal and brains prepare us for what’s to come. What if that’s literally true? What if you dream of mythical being and then wake up to find its real?”

I wrote this story in answer to the following prompts:
FOWC with Fandango — Auspicious
Your Daily Word Prompt — Family
Ragtag Daily Prompt— Mask
Word of the Day Challenge — Laud

Xylan the Guardian

Fallon Fairley always went to bed happy. She wasn’t from an auspicious family. They didn’t have a lot of money. Fallon hadn’t many clothes or even lots of toys to play with. Regardless of that, she was a happy twelve-year-old. Those who knew her would say she was rich because of her wonderful imagination.

Her mother Mary Fairley came and smoothed her long rusty-auburn hair from her shoulders while tucking her in. “Good night, Fairy Princess,” she said as she imparted a kiss on her daughter’s forehead. The two possessed parsley-green eyes which twinkled as they looked fondly at each other.

“Night, mum.” Fallon rolled onto her side and was soon imagining fairytale worlds and she fell into a restful sleep.

This night was to be anything but restful for her. A dream within the fairy kingdom was interrupted by the strangest being. At first, Fallon thought she was looking at a mask. The being’s eyes bored into her mind with a hypnotic stare. His skin was as tree bark broken by a thousand cracks and crevices. Long wrinkled ears protruded straight out of his head as he gazed upon her.

Fallon tried to turn away from the being. It appeared bodiless and that terrified her. She tossed and turned in bed as she tried to dispel the horrible dream. The being moved toward her and she fell into a black abyss.

Her heart thumped within her chest as she awoke safe in bed. A ray of silvery moonlight beamed through the window, falling upon her bare shoulder and the far wall. For the longest moment, she watched as a gentle breeze moved the net curtain and rippled the dappled light. The feeling of being watched lay heavy upon her. Fallon knew this time it wasn’t her imagination.

Lifting her head from her arm she dared to gaze over the duvet. What she saw tore a gasp from her lips. She screwed her eyes shut, counted to ten, and open them again. The being from the dream was there in a room. She brushed her hair from her eyes and sat up. “Who are you? Why you in my room?”

“Please, do not fear me. I come as a friend.” The being’s voice was deep, rumbling like the earth. It’s strangely pointed ears wiggled as he talked.

Fallon played her eyes over his wooden mask of a face. She’d made oak tree spirits out of papier-mache and thought they looked quite like him. “No, friends don’t let themselves into each other’s bedrooms without permission!” She furrowed her brow, glaring. She didn’t know why, but she didn’t fear him.

“I had to come this way. Your family wouldn’t let me see you.”

“If I was my mum, I wouldn’t let a creepy thing like you see me either!” Fallon grinned at her daring. “Now, tell me why you’re here or I’ll scream.”

The being shifted in the shadow revealing himself to be wearing a dark green cloak which appeared to be made of ivy. “Remain quiet and trust me, Princess. You will soon see,” flicking those strangely hypnotic eyes to the window, he vanished back into the shadows. “Lay down, Fallon. Keep your eyes on the window.”

“Okay, I trust you.” Fallon didn’t trust him, but she felt she had no choice just then. Rolling to face the window, she laid back on her pillow and tucked a hand beneath the head so she could watch. She did so with the creepiest feeling of vulnerability born of knowing an inhuman being was standing in her bedroom as she lay there.

For what felt like hours, Fallon lay there in complete silence. She could hear just her breathing and heartbeat. Then the warm air in her bedroom turned frosty cold. The chilling change allowing her to see steamy vapour whenever she exhaled. The condensation on the window froze — something tapped on the glass.

Yellow demonic eyes blinked as they peered through first one pane and then another. The tapping continued; growing faster and faster matching Fallon’s heartbeat. Terror clawed at her conscious forcing her to bite back the urge to scream she was in no doubt this being was dangerous. At least it couldn’t get through her small window which she’d left open — could it!

With her eyes glued to the space between her rose-pink curtains, Fallon watched the lock barrel turn and click off on the larger window. The handle rose and it slipped open. First of wiry arm, clad in spiky, black hairs entered. She watched those talon-like fingernails reach around and grip onto the window frame. Then a hairy foot preceded the rest of the creature’s four-foot-tall, emaciated, yet muscular body. It swung in like a monkey and dropped soundlessly onto the windowsill. With ears like bat wings and the skeletal body coated in that black hair, Fallon was sure she was looking at either an Aswang or Chupacabra. She’d seen both in monster documentaries and although she was neither in Indonesia or Puerto Rico, she felt there was nothing else this monster could be.

It being blinked those devilish yellow eyes and showed a mouthful of razor-sharp teeth as its gaze fell upon Fallon still curled in her bed. “Fairy princess,” it hissed. “Time for your legend and legacy to die!”

Fairy princess? That’s what mum calls me. What’s going on?’ Fallon shuffled backwards under her duvet. The creature leapt through the moonlight, landing on the bed as its talons tore through the covers. Fallon thrust her legs out of bed and dropped to her knees on the other side. Breathless with panic she backed away toward the wardrobe. “Get out of my room —Now!”

Claws flailing, the creature leapt at her only for a blast of green light to slam into his ribs. The creature thundered into the wall above the headboard and crashed to the floor under the window — taking Fallon’s bedside lamp with it.

“Gobalin, get you to the underworld. Lest you wish to walk the earth seeking the whereabouts of your ugly head!”

Fallon peered over her duvet.

The creature had risen, its eyes were no longer yellow now they were blood red and full of fury. It’s hairs smoking from the blast. “You can’t stop me, tree weevil!” it spat as it cast the lamp side. A grey shimmer appeared in its hand, a ball of dark magic. With lightning speed, it leapt on the bed and fired a blast into the shadows. Two of Fallon’s teddy bears caught in the magic, desiccated to dust.

Fallon felt a hand on her shoulder. Glancing above, she locked eyes with the tree spirit. His crevassed face broke into a smile as he winked. “I warned you, Gobalin. Now, we’ll do it your way. You see, nobody harms the Princess while I live and breathe. The room flashed green. A ball of light struck the creature.

Gobalin shrieked as he flew off the bed and tumbled out of the window.

Fallon was sure she saw his head leave his shoulders before he vanished into the darkness. “Thank you for protecting me. But you … Him — you can’t be real. You’re things from my imagination!”

“Dear, Fallon. Have you ever wondered why you have an imagination which far surpasses any other student in your class?”

“No, I just thought it was because I use mine more.” Fallon perched on her bed watching the being. He seemed friendly but now was not the time to be complacent. “Do you have a name?”

“They call me Xylan Ilexion. I am a spirit of the tree’s and your guardian. The reason for your imagination is far more fantastical.”

“Tell me.”

“Your mother calls you ‘Fairy Princess’, correct?”

“Yes, that’s right.” Fallon glanced at the door wishing her mum would come through it just then.

“You see, that’s not a cute pet-name, it’s true.” Xylan drew a circle in the air with a gnarled finger. The centre shimmered with magic and revealed a fairy-tale city within the trees. Mushroom homes, dainty treehouses and glittering fairies flying around. “When you were a baby, your mother was the queen of the fairies. An evil fairy called Malus Radican convinced the people to banish you both. However, something has changed. Malus fears your return. He sent Gobalin the bat-goblin to kill you.”

Fallon sat wide-eyed, disbelieving her ears. “I’m just a regular girl,” she said looking down at her nightdress and seeing nothing out of the ordinary. “Fairies are tiny and …”

“Pretty, yes I know. Look at your charming face in the mirror. The green of your eyes shows the magic of the forest you possess. Fairies have the most powerful imagination of all the creatures. If they can dream it, they can make it real. More than that, fairies are fearless just like you. I laud and applaud you for not screaming and running when I came to you. Even when the goblin came, you controlled your fears well my, princess.”

“Thank you.” Fallon smiled at him, blushing under his praise.

The tree spirit walked to the window. “The morning is coming. It’s time for me to leave.”

Fallon followed him and fixed with a pleading look, “You can’t leave! I have so many questions.”  

“They will all be answered in good time. For, now, should evil come again. Remember my name is Xylan Ilexion — call for me in your mind, and in your dreams and I will come.” Xylan gave her a gnarled smile and broke into a thousand hawk moths. They swirled about Fallon’s head and whipped away out of the window. As they vanished into the night her bedroom door opened.

“Mum, is that you?”

“Hey, Fallon.  Yes, it’s just me. Come and sit on the bed, Fairy Princess. Now you’ve met Xylan, we better have a chat.”

The End.


The adventure continues in Search for Xylan.


Thanks for reading my friends, I really do appreciate it.

Don’t forget there’s always plenty more stories for you in the Short Stories and Short Stories 2 tabs.

Have a great day!

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