A Hero Called Sacrifice

Dust sprinkled around me, waking me up. I opened my eyes, seeing nothing but the deep darkness. I stood up gingerly, feeling my way around. Still nothing came to my senses. Distant twinkling chimes of bells reached my ears, and light filtered through the thick cloud of darkness. My arm flew up and shielded my eyes. The light diminished gradually.

"Whowhere am I?" my voice seemed to sound small, so insignificant, when someone replied. She had a voice that sounded ancient and old, but still contained youthfulness in it.

"Andrea, please, you must help the realm of the Fairy-Elves."

"How do you know my name? What am I even doing here?"

"Fairy-Elves know all," she whispered, the light fading away.

* * *

I bolted up from my bed, eyes wide with amazement. Calming my shaking body, my head met with the slightly damp pillow again. My thoughts blurred. I was to helpFairy-Elves?

Subconsciously, I drifted in and out of sleep, until my mother woke me up.

"Andrea, time to wake up!"

I tumbled out of bed, getting ready for a new day. Luckily it was the holidays, so I had time to ponder over the strange dream. Feeling refreshed, I greeted my mother and went out to enjoy the brisk winter morning.

* * *

"These spasms of images come at the wrong time at the wrong place," I muttered as my stomach gave another lurch. My right hand was clutching my head, trying to keep the headache at bay. My feet stumbled across the snow.

"WHOA!" I yelled as I slipped on a patch of ice. "Oof" I rubbed the injured spot, knowing that there was going to be a big bruise there by tomorrow.

I glanced up, and stars danced in my vision. My consciousness started to slip away from me again.

"No," I moaned. I have to get home before it got too dark. I struggled with my inner self, only making matters worse.

The world faded into black once more.

* * *

I was lost. Even though this was exactly like my dream, the Fairy-Elf who spoke to me hadn't even bothered telling me where I should go. Maybe she should have given me a map.

I walked around, finally spotting some light somewhere up front. I looked out, not fully expecting the landscape that unfolded before me. Instead of seeing singing birds, luscious green trees, and a world of happiness, the place was in a dark gloom, barely alive.

"You see what has become of our world?" a sorrowful voice spoke up beside me. I jumped, searching for the origin of the sound. It came from a four and a half-inch tall creature, with pointy ears, and a wise face.

"Are you aFairy-Elf?" I asked uncertainly.

"Yes," she answered sadly. "I am the eldest, leader of the whole clan. My name is Arelas."

"But then"

"Why is the world so black when it is believed to be bright?"

I nodded, throat closed, unable to make a sound.

She sighed and looked towards the North. "It happened around six months ago. One of our people – Halwen – betrayed us, fleeing to the dark side. He built a castle for his forces, and they grew steadily. At first it was not a problem; we could hold them off while some of us flew to get more help. But now"

"He has become too strong then?" I inquired.

"Yes, and-" she stopped abruptly, alert.

"What is it?" she hushed me and pointed to the North. A black mass was moving at a rapid pace towards us.

"They are Halwen's soldiers," Arelas told me quietly. "Beware; their spears are poisonous. Stay silent and still."

The army was twenty feet away from us. We ducked behind a bush, waiting with bated breath, hoping against hope that we will remain hidden, unnoticed.

But something inside me stirred. The feeling intensified as they drew nearer. My hands trembled.

Whatever you do, DON'T move,' Arelas's voice rang in my head, confidence masking the nervousness underneath. We crouched even lower, barely visible.

The troop was less than five feet away from us. All we can do now was hope. Miraculously, they passed us without giving any sign of noticing. I sighed in relief.

We began to inch forward when all was silent again. The leaves rustled softly. The castle slowly loomed upon us.

The foreboding feeling grew stronger.

"Well, all we have to do now is to kill Halwen," Arelas said, fluttering about.

"But how?" I asked, slightly breathless.

"Simple. You have the power, Andrea. Discover it."

I was left pondering. Power, in me? You must be kidding. I was born as ordinary as any other girl! Besides the fact that I can converse with Fairy-Elves and somehow ended up in this realm

"Oof!" Arelas pushed me to the ground. For a little person, she sure was strong. "What was that for?" I started angrily.

"Shh"

It was getting steadily hotter by the minute. "Oh no," Arelas gasped quietly. "STAY BACK!" she shouted at me, she herself flying upwards.

Unable to contain myself, I peeked up. A giant bubble surrounded me and the Fairy-Elf, protecting ourselves against the furious flames.

The battle lasted for a few minutes. I stared. The trees cried in agony, already unable to survive. Wait a minutetrees! Forests! A memory sprang back at me at a time during camp. After being gone for more than six hours my parents hadn't even notice I was gone

Please, Andrea, hurry! The flames will burst the bubble in mere minutes!'

Then it clicked. Time! Of course, that's what we needed! Arelas was losing strength fast, and I needed to help her. I glowed. My eyes took on a blank look, and I screamed, "Teiryuujo!" The full force of my magic hit the source of attack, and the flames were stalled in mid-air.

"Hurry, Arelas!" I could feel my magic draining.

She mustered her last ounce of power and obliterated her six-month enemy.

"Yes!" I croaked out hoarsely. A victory dance was most definitely needed. That is, until I noticed that the Fairy-Elf laid motionless from her position of battle. "Arelas?"

She didn't move.

Ignoring my exhaustion, I dashed towards her petite body. "No!" I cried. "Don't die now! You just defeated the traitor, and now you're leaving too? What about your people, your land?" I sobbed, bringing her close to me as my last desperate attempt to revive her.

She still didn't respond.

Suddenly, I glowed again. Numbness started to spread through my limbs, to my body, then my arms. Only my head had sense now.

"Andrea?" a voice asked me, innocently.

"Ah, good, you're back," I smiled faintly, and what little feelings left inside of me was gone in an instant. My soul shredded into pieces, forever lost in this realm.

I never heard the crying that came afterwards, from her.

* * *

"We assume that she has died of hypothermia," the doctor reported.

My body was found on the streets, covered with snow from head to toe.

My parents were there, crying their eyes out. Even my little brother, who simply loved to annoy me to death, was crying.

"I'm sorry, Mom, Dad, Bro," I whispered, even though I knew they couldn't hear me. "It was the right thing to do. Believe me."