|Light in the Shadows
Author: Eva Sirico PM
Sera is a young servant at the mill. However, Sera gets swept up in the confusing and magical world that Pan reveals, as Princess Moanna's maid that followed her to this world. Sera must help Ofelia complete the tasks - before the moon is full.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Fantasy - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,026 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 11-23-11 - Published: 11-06-11 - id: 7529542
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own Pan's Labyrinth
Later that night, I walked down the hall to see Mercedes standing with a package in her hand, watching Dr. Ferreiro walk away. I heard the door to Ofelia's room shut softly as I crept up behind her. "Mercedes?" I whispered, and she jumped.
"God, Sera, don't do that," she said briskly, but I could see that she was shaking.
"What did the Doctor say?" I asked softly. "Is he going to help Frenchie?"
She stilled, and sighed. "No. He is not able to go."
I felt a jolt of unease sweep through me. "But, what will happen to-"
She held up a hand. "No more of this. No one must know," she said in a fierce whisper. She started to walk away but I called to her softly.
"Do you know how Santiago is doing?"
She gave me a forced, small smile, her eyes softening. "He is fine. We all call him Stutterer."
Tears wormed their way into my eyes, and I gave a choked laugh. Mercedes embraced me for a second before letting go and walking downstairs. I slipped downstairs and outside into the night.
Sitting outside on an abandoned crate I watched the moon and stars. It was something that I did often. When I couldn't sleep, I always felt the pull of the bright ethereal lights. I would spent hours outside in the cold, just to watch them. Mercedes simply didn't understand. Neither did I. No one else seemed to stop and marvel at the beauty bestowed by the glinting moonlight or heavenly glow of the stars.
I saw a twinkling light. Not from the skies, but in front of the labyrinth. I dismissed it at first, thinking it was a firefly. Then I saw the light dip and weave, and I realized with a jolt that the glow was red.
I had heard the stories of fairies. Who hasn't? I didn't know whether to believe in them or not. Mercedes had always humored me in the past, telling me some stories that her mother told her. My grandmother had always told me and my brother, Santiago, stories. I remembered me sitting on my brother's lap and listening to her. My brother was in his very early twenties, while I was just under five. Even though Santiago wasn't home most of the time, whenever he was, I always found my way onto his lap, while the three of us listened to the tales that our grandmother would tell.
Stories of fairies and magic.
I stood up from my crate, and started making my way towards the labyrinth, trying my best not to trip or fall in the dark. The lights from the mill were slowly being abandoned behind me as I steadily made my way into the dark, heading towards the forest. The twinkling red light was closer, and as I approached the imposing sides of the labyrinth, it seemed to pause and come closer.
Frozen with fascination and a little bit of fear, I watched as the light came to a halt right in front of me. The stories were true. Directly in front of me was a tiny, glowing figure. It was completely bald, and gossamer wings, that reminded me strongly of leaves.
"Are you a fairy?" I whispered to it.
The fairy motioned me towards the labyrinth, and started to fly into it. At the mouth of the passage, it stopped, almost seeming to look back at me, motioning me again. In a slight daze, I followed it into the labyrinth.
The walls were crumbled with age, and ivy tendrils snaked along it. Bits and pieces of the wall was left to decay along the path. More than once I tripped in the darkness. The moon slowly came out from behind a dark cloud, illuminating the twisting pathways, bathing them in an eerie glow. All the while, the fairy flew ahead of me, checking certain passages, and leading me to its destination.
After a while, we came out upon what looked like it used to be a rotunda, aged with time. Steps led down a large opening in the middle of it. The fairy led me down the steps, and we came upon a curious room. There was a large statue of a creature holding a small girl on its lap, with a baby on the girl's lap. Another girl was standing in front of the creature.
The fairy alighted on a stone plinth, chattering at me in a language that reminded me of leaves moving in the breeze. It motioned towards the statue, and I looked again, puzzled, before looking back at the fairy. "What is it you're trying to tell me?"
I heard the soft pattering of feet behind me, and I turned to see Ofelia walking hesitantly down the steps with another fairy guiding her. She looked shocked to see me. "Sera? What are you doing?"
"I don't know. I followed the fairy." I looked around. "What is this place? I've never been in the labyrinth before; Mercedes always said that I'd get lost."
Ofelia walked slowly towards the edge of a small pool. "Hello?" she called loudly, the sound echoing around the small cavern. No one answered back.
"Echo! Echo!" Ofelia's voice echoed around the cavern again. There was the sound of branches seeming to snap, and something big clattered around on what sounded like hooves. I jumped and looked around. A horse?
"It's you...Both of you! You've returned!" a voice called. It was rather cold, but yet reverent and awed at the same time, as well as happy. The voice spoke in a hoarse whisper, as if it hadn't had the need to speak in a while.
"Who's there?" I called nervously.
The moon broke free of the hold that the cloud had on it, once again illuminating everything in its soft glow, including the figure in front of us. It was tall, with rough skin that reminded me of bark, and seemingly had moss growing on it as well. It had a broad forehead, with spiral designs above each eye, with two horns growing out of its head. Its slitted blue eyes gazed at us as if it couldn't believe that we were really there.
It was a faun.
I recognized it from the tales that my grandmother would tell me. I never really concentrated on the tales themselves, mostly thinking about its appearance. From what my dim memories could recall, the being in front of us matched its description. Beside me, Ofelia backed away, eyes wide. I was frozen in place, staring at the faun.
The faun held up his hands. "No! No, don't be afraid, I beg you! Look!" He opened a cylindrical wicker basket at his side, and a blue fairy flew out. It was like the red and green one. I glanced at Ofelia to see her smile softly at the sight.
"My name is Ofelia, and this is Sera," she told him. "Who are you?"
"Me?" the faun replied, surprised. He moved in short, jerky movements as he paced slowly around. "I've had so many names. Old names that only the wind and trees can pronounce." Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the blue fairy reunite with the other fairies, and they leaned in close, as if sharing secrets with one another. "I am the mountain, the forest, and the earth," the creature continued, coming to a stop in front of us. "I am...a faun." He bowed to Ofelia, moonlight dappling his body. "Your highness-" he began, but was cut off.
"No, I'm-" Ofelia tried to say, but the faun interrupted her.
"You are Princess Moanna, daughter of the King of the Underworld." He turned to me. "You are her maid, her personal lady-in-waiting and best friend."
I gasped. Ofelia shook her head. "No, my father was a tailor."
"I've lived with my family most of my life. I only recently became a servant," I tried to explain, my mind whirling.
The faun shook his head at us. "You both are not born of man." He looked at Ofelia. "It was the moon that bore you. Look on your left shoulder and you will find a mark there that proves it." I noticed that Ofelia's hand strayed to her shoulder as the faun looked at me. "You are the daughter of a nymph, and willingly became Moanna's servant at a young age. You both were inseparable, the best of friends."
His gaze turned back to Ofelia. "Your real father had us open portals all over the world to allow your return. This is the last of them." He gestured at the cavern around us. His eyes strayed to mine. "But we have to make sure that your essence is intact, that you have not become a mortal."
"But, I've been a mortal my whole life!" I exclaimed. My brain was just simply not processing this. I couldn't believe this.
I felt the familiar pull, the tug on my heart and will to believe in these stories, to allow myself to be swept up in them. I wanted to believe that there was fairies and fauns and that magic was real and could exist. When I was a little girl, I believed it to be so. I had lost that magic when my brother joined the war, and my mind turned to other things.
The faun's bright, wise gaze held mine as if he knew the battle that my mind and heart was waging upon itself. "You want to believe. You know that what I speak is the truth. Here is the proof you need." He handed me a small piece of bark from a small pouch. I looked over the bark, my fingers feeling the strange yet oddly familiar pattern of the bark. My fingers slipped into a recognized pattern, and felt the bump of shapes that did not belong there. Turning the bark over, I saw strange runes engraved into it. Tracing my fingers over them, I felt the warm feeling return to me. The feeling that I would get, listening to the stories, believing in them...
I looked up at him. "My grandmother told me about you. She called you 'Pan'."
Pan smiled crookedly, before turning to Ofelia. "To insure your return, you have three tasks to fulfill – before the moon is full." He stepped back a few paces, and drops a large leather bound book on the ground, along with a leather bag. "This is the Book of Crossroads. Open it when you're alone and it will show you your future – show you what must be done."
"The tasks?" I asked, but he and the fairies had already faded back into the shadows of the cavern. Ofelia and I were alone.
The small girl knelt down beside the book, picking it up. She brought it back over to me and opened it. I leaned over her shoulder to see better, but it didn't make a difference. Turning some pages in confirmation, she bit her lip. "There's nothing here."
It was true. The book was empty.
Second chapter. I added the 'Pan' part in there because I didn't want to keep calling him 'the faun' the whole time...
Yes, I've made her the younger sister of Stutterer. His name was never revealed, so I've named him Santiago. I think it fits him.
Reviews are appreciated!