The Promise
the shadows dance
Series Moments in Time - Fable Stories by Ben McQueeney (Teethman, Wes Green)
Writer Ben McQueeney
Chapter Chronology
Chapter Chronology

Moments in time - a collection of fable stories

The PromiseEdit

The young girl lay on her back looking up at the beautiful blue sky. There weren’t any clouds in the sky but then there were never any clouds in the sky. There were plenty of birds singing though. The gentle chirp chirping of a nearby sparrow could be heard amongst the trees.

The little thing has probably come for a drink or a bath in the stream.

A small stream ran through this place. The water was always fresh and cool. She could have sworn that she had seen a fish in there once in one of the deeper areas by the rocks. It could have been a shadow though. The trees would often cast various shadows in this place depending on the time of day. The girl would watch the shadows jump about on the grass as if they were alive and telling a story. She was laid in one of those areas now. The beams of light coming through the branches of the trees were creating their own stories on her legs. The warmth of the sun was relaxing and comforting.

“It’s like their telling a story. Don’t you think?” she said while still facing the sky.

“…..Like a story?” He said using his unique tone that he had when he spoke.

“Yeah… the shadows they dance about. They seem alive to me. Their movements are as if they’re acting out a story of heroes and villains.” The girl said happily.

“…..I….I’ve never seen it that way before…” he said with his gentle tone.

The girl always tried to ask at least 5 questions a day. She was very curious about many subjects in general and during her time had found out that 5 questions a day was the mans limit before the answers to her questions began to be overly vague or simply unheard.

“Well? Do you think they tell stories?” she sat up grabbed a nearby pebble and hurled it into the stream. The plop sound that was created broke the silence the man seemed to be giving her.

I guess his limit today is three questions.

“It won’t be long…” the man said looking at the young girl.

The girl watched the ripples in the stream spread out against the slow flow of the water.

“What the shadows? Or the shadow stories?” Needless to say the girl was confused by the mans response to her question. He often would reply to questions in an overly strange way. This response however, did seem very off.

“No shadows only light….” The man said slowly.

The girl stood up to face the man. She had noticed a slight breeze had started to stir in the leaves of the trees making a background rustling sound.

Funny. I can’t remember there ever been a breeze.

“Only light? I don’t understand.” The girl started to feel a little uneasy.

“It’s still OK though? Isn’t it?” she said to him wanting a firm answer.

She glanced at the floor to see a strange change in the colour of the grass. It seemed darker, less bright green. She looked up towards the sky and saw that there were clouds. There were lots of clouds a mix of greys and whites. She noticed a sparrow now perched on top of a nearby branch. The bird was still and seemingly unaffected by the wind that was continuing to increase in velocity moment by moment. The bird wasn’t singing anymore.

It was just watching her.

She couldn’t remember a time when she had seen the bird stand so still just watching her. Like a statue.

She repeated to the man.

“It’s still OK? Isn’t it?” she tried hard to remove the undertone of growing panic in her voice.

The man remained silent.

All that could be heard was the increasing rustle of wind in the trees and the stream. The stream seemed to have increased in size and the water flow through it was going much quicker.

I can’t remember this happening before.

“You don’t need to panic…... This is what you have wanted.” The man said as he turned his back on the girl.

The girl stunned didn’t know what to say. She watched him walk towards the trees.

“What I wanted?...! Where are you going?” she raised her voice on the second question.

She ran after the man and stood in his path. The wind was flapping his robes against his legs. He stopped.

“I am going where I always go.” He said to girl completely calm and relaxed.

The girl wondered how he could be so relaxed when all around them seemed to be increasing in chaotic activity.

“Are you coming back?” the girl needed to shout it loud over the sounds of their environment.

The man placed his hands on the girl’s shoulders.

“I don’t need to come back.” He gently squeezed her shoulders and moved her kindly out of his way.

The girl now in tears didn’t understand. She watched him walk slowly towards the trees. The sky now dark grey continued to stir above him as he walked.

“PLEASE…I DON’T WANT TO BE ALONE!” she shouted in desperation.

For a moment he stopped.

A sudden and massive relief washed over her like an awesome wave. Only to be broken when he stepped into the forest and without any trace vanished into the chaos.

The girl dropped to her knees in this place while everything around her unravelled.

I’m alone.

The girl put her hands on her face and cried harder. She was so scared. She felt so alone.

She wasn’t sure how long she was there crying. She looked up and saw the bird.

The bird was stood in front of her about an arms length away. It was completely motionless and simply looking at her. Through her tears and her panic it provided a strange sense of comfort.

It made a slight movement with its head. Its eyes were as black as night and completely locked onto hers.

She didn’t know how. But she felt a relief in this little birds presence.


She looked around her and noticed that the colour of forest was darkening. The clouds had turned from Grey to black and the water of the stream had started to fade away. The wind had started to die down.

Is it coming to an end?

Whilst all her surroundings were turning to black the bird didn’t move, didn’t flinch. Always staying completely focused on her through out. She almost wanted to reach out and pick the little bird up. It was all that was left.

They were now in a complete darkness. The girl and the bird were lit up from some unidentified light source coming from some unidentified direction.

“Whats happening? Where am I? I don’t understand.” She shouted into the curtain of night.

The bird remained still. She slowly stood up and tried to make anything out in the darkness.

There was nothing. She knew there wasn’t she knew that the darkness went on forever.

The little bird took flight. It circled around the girls head maybe two or three times before finally making off in the distance.

“I am now completely alone” The girl realised she had always known that she was alone. She felt empty.

A light appeared ahead. It was bright and harsh against the black of the darkness.

She repeated “I am alone”

A shadow appeared in the light before her. It seemed to move and dance in the same way the shadows had in her meadow moments earlier. She moved towards the light. It was like a massive mirror of light.

What could it be?

“I am alone” she whispered under her breath.

“No you’re not. Not anymore.” A voice whispered back.

Before she had a chance to reply she felt a hand grasp her arm gently.

“Follow me”

As they entered the light she thought to her self.

The promise was kept.

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