The stranger

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The air was still that day. Ferry felt it the first time he opened his eyes, that morning. A thick stillness ruled over his house and everything around. The swing under the walnut tree and the sheets his mother washed the other day were now hanging stiffed on their ropes. As if the wind that waved and swelled them the night before had left to far horizons. The jasmine bush wasn't sending breezes of sweet fragrances anymore. The crickets and the birds were quiet. It was all wrapped in silence. A meaningful silence, the loudest, most thundering of all.

That day was to remain in Ferry's mind for the rest of his life. Every small thing he did, every meaningless thought that came to his mind. Every word he said. They were all to stay in his memory as carved letters in stone that even the strongest storms could not erase.

Ferry woke up at the break of dawn, as usual. He didn't need sleep anyway ever since he's gotten his fairy abilities, over six years ago. He tried to focus on his daily chores. Since he couldn't come close to his father's workshop — the sickliness was even worse since he came back — his main chore was to take care of the garden. A pleasant occupation that always brought him peace and chased the worries away.

With the wooden tools Thyme, his fairy Guardian, has made for him, Ferry has created the most beautiful garden in Goodharts. Under his touch, the plants shivered and quivered, flowing over in an explosion of colours and scents that spread far away, beyond his street, all the way to the Shepherd's Forest. As proof, there were the awards and the paper cuts Eileen Donovan, his human-mother, was keeping in a photo album. He would've done anything just to see her happy.

Yet the relationship with his father has gotten colder over the years. Peter Donovan was now convinced his son would never help him with the workshop, nor join him at the tavern and chat in front of a mug of beer. They eventually ended up accepting each other's nature and avoid the quarrels.

Ferry hasn't changed too much either. At least, his appearance didn't. Ever since he has stepped foot on the Land of the Unseen, his look was almost the same. Same messy hair, almost white, which fell into his eyes in rebel strays. Same piercing eyes which changed the colour each time he was overwhelmed by strong emotions. Same fair-skinned face whether summer or winter. But Ferry didn't care about his appearance anyway, as humans used to, especially at this age. 

Something did bother him though, even if just a little

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Something did bother him though, even if just a little. He was the only boy in town who lacked facial hair which boys his age saw as a sign of adulthood and manhood. Yet his cheek was as soft and neat as a girl's cheek. A reason for never-ending jokes and mockery on behalf of Billy Pride who, truth be told, wasn't so hairy himself.

His stature, however, was different. He has grown up. He was still the tallest boy in Goodharts. His body, although long, has become muscular, mainly because of the training with Baldie. Or better yet, Thyme. Ever since he has grown up, his Fairy Guardian, half-man, half-raven, the mighty warrior of Akna, did not accept to be called Baldie anymore. That was because of the stupid jokes of the other Fairy Guardians. Ferry eventually indulged him with the condition that Thyme wouldn't address him with the stiff, pretentious title of Prince Garrett. So, for his Guardians, he was simply Garrett. Yet his friends were still calling him Ferry. His unusual appearance had brought him the name of Elf among children at school without them suspecting how close to his true nature they were.

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