Disclaimer: I don't own Leven Thumps or any of the characters and places associated with it. They belong to Obert Skye and Shadow Mountain Publishing.
There is a space between the possible and impossible, a very real place called Foo. It is an entire realm hidden in the folds of your mind, but it is quite real. Most that get to Foo do so by accident, thus they need plenty of help and guidance in order to adjust. That's where I come in.
Foo is changing rapidly. Each day more and more strife exists in the hearts of those who want out, who want to go home. At first it had been a few unhappy rants and cogs. Now the idea is beginning to spread. Too many are tired of their lives on Foo. They are tired… tired of the dreams of others, tired of feeling incomplete, and tired of being separated from reality. Most don't to keep fulfilling their role as protectors of hope and imagination for mankind.
A few of the faithful still dutifully fulfilled the callings they had been given by Fate. The Want strives constantly to turn the tide, and put Foo back on track. Yet, to those on the outside, including myself, it seems that even the Want, a seer who sees every incoming dream, is losing himself. Though the seven siids haven't moved much in years, Foo is slowly spiraling out of balance.
The council of stars, the group that manages the affairs of Sycophant Run, had recently urged that the pegs guarding their borders maintain a more vigorous watch.
I'm one of those pegs. Well, for a couple more hours…
My name is Cinder. I'm only twelve inches tall, but my role is a very important one. You see, I'm a sycophant.
What is a Sycophant?
Imagine a catlike creature, with leaf shaped ears, that walks upright and always wears a shimmering robe. An average sycophant stands only twelve inches tall. We live forever, since there is only one way for us to die, and only we know what it is.
We are the true defenders of Foo, charged with guarding its secrets. We live on Sycophant Run for most of our lives. Sycophant Run is and has been the sycophant's true home for as long as Foo has existed. When the time comes we leave in search of a burn, our assignment, a human being fortunate enough to stumble into Foo.
Those who get into Foo do so by accident. For example, Sally Summers, a normal middle-class mother, who happened to come to a stop at the imperfect corner created by Elm Street and Brush Lane. The temperature was a balmy 84 degrees, and the universe was firing off some pretty impressive shooting stars. Before she could awe in wonder at the spectacular sight, she was swept into Foo. Sally Summers later became my mother's burn and lived a long successful life. After Sally, my mother met my father and they hit it off immediately. I came along a few years later.
I've been guarding the beaches of Sycophant Run for almost five years now. Every sycophant must spend five years guarding their homeland. Tomorrow, my time as a posted peg, a defender of Sycophant Run, will be over. Then I will head to off to a school for sycophants, where I will learn how to welcome and care for my future burn.
I've wondered about who I would burn for. To be honest, I'm a little bit worried that I won't be the best of sycophants. How can I be sure I won't screw up?
My best friend, Clover Ernest, stopped by for a visit earlier today. Clover is a mischievous sycophant only a few years older than me. He just had his seventy-second birthday and his mother added an interesting addition to his robe. All sycophants have a special robe that our mother's made. It allows us to become invisible, simply by putting on the hood. Our mother's are the only ones who can change it.
Clover's mother added a unique addition. In his robe his mother added a pocket that holds any number of items, without weighing him down. He calls it a void. So far he's filled it with a giant supply of candy that he got from the eggmen. They're the best candy makers in Foo. A void would certainly prove useful; maybe I can get my mom to add something similar next time I visit.
Tomorrow I'm off to school again. (I'll lose these clunky claws that make it darn near impossible to write.) This time I'll be learning about how to be the best sycophant for my burn. I won't be going to the same school as Clover. He gets to learn from the best. Philip Winsnicker will be teaching his class! He's a famous nit, he even has a holiday dedicated to him!
I'm not quite sure why I have to write down everything that happens to me. Most sycophants don't, because we have great memories and usually live forever. I guess its part of who I am. I want to be able to pass on a record of everything that happens to me.
Until Next Time, (Unless one of the Seven Siids gobbles up this journal)
(Soon to be Sycophant-In-Training)
Cinder finished writing in his journal and stood at attention. He is a peg, a sycophant charged with guarding Sycophant Run and its secrets. The full-moon was rising, and the rhythmic sound of waves crashing on the shore was a peaceful sound. It had been many years since anyone had dared try to breach the defenses of Sycophant Run. Tonight wouldn't be any different.
Among the thousands of other sycophants Cinder felt right at home. Yet he could only think about how tomorrow would be different. Tomorrow he wouldn't be a peg anymore and would shed his long claws. Tomorrow he would be heading off to learn.
Author's Notes: This is a revised edition of the Prologue. (Draft 2)