Letters from the Stars
The Wizard was used to the solitude. In fact, he'd come to enjoy it; it let him create his own daily routine with little to no interruption. The only commitments he had to worry about were his own and no one else's.
There were times, though, when he'd peek out his front window and sip coffee as he watched the people of Castanet go about their lives. Sometimes, he'd consider it-leaving the cocoon of his home, joining them.
He very seldom did. The longest trips he made were to Fugue Forest, and even then, he took advantage of the magic he knew to avoid walking. Instead he let the townspeople come to him—he read their fortunes, predicted their love lives. It was a quiet existence, but he liked it best.
Sometimes, at least. Every once in a while, things did get lonely; it was a feeling that sneaked up on him, grabbed him from behind. But he could ignore that. He had little desire, little need to leave his home. Watching the people was enough for him, and he figured it always would be.
It was a hot summer afternoon when the local farmer suddenly showed up at his door, Harvest Sprite in tow. It took the Wizard a few minutes to remember her name-Molly, wasn't it? He'd heard rumors about her taking up residence on Waffle Farm, far at the other end of the island.
But she wasn't just the local farmer, he knew that. The Harvest Sprite at her side meant that she was the one chosen by the Harvest Goddess, the one who was meant to restore life to the island.
And she wanted—no, needed—his help.
Apparently, Molly had to ring the Green Bell, which was currently in the possession of the Witch Princess-who had, by some accident or another, turned herself into a frog while trying to save the Goddess Tree. "I told her not to do it," he couldn't help saying when Molly told him.
But Molly was earnest and kind, he could tell that much from their first visit. He couldn't possibly turn her down; this was for the good of the island, after all.
"It would take a special potion," he told her in his wistful tone. "Hibiscus, cornmeal, and butter... Bring me those and I'll make it myself."
Molly stared at him, most likely mulling the strange list in her mind, but she nodded after a moment's pause and departed with her sprite companion, promising to bring the items as soon as possible.
The Wizard sat back in his chair, eyes locked on his front door long after Molly had left. Was she really a good choice for a responsibility this big? he wondered. Was she someone truly capable of saving the island?
He eventually nodded to himself, taking another placid sip of coffee. If the Harvest Goddess chose Molly, then she was the perfect candidate. He had to trust (another emotion he hadn't quite gotten used to) that she would fulfill the important duties she'd been given.
Starting with the ingredients he'd asked her to gather. The hibiscus would be especially difficult, he knew; the boat to Toucan Island-the only place the flower could be found at the time-wasn't even running.
Part of him wondered if Molly would come back; or if she would end up like the other islanders, who were aware that their homeland was deteriorating but could do nothing to stop it.
But she did come back.
And that wasn't the only time she surprised him.