“…Say, do you want to fly, love?”
“Fly! How on earth—”
“Shh, child. Put aside your questions. You’re in the Shelter of Mystery, after all.”
I smile. “All right, then. How do we do it?”
“Much like the fairies do. A little bit of stardust and a whole lot of trust.” With that, he lifts his staff horizontal to the ground. I watch it sparkle, little flecks of light popping off of it and disappearing into the air. The keeper bends down. “Wrap your arms around my shoulders. Don’t worry—I won’t drop you.”
I do as he says, climbing onto his sturdy back and gripping my own forearms after they’re securely wrapped about the top of his chest. His cloak smells of campfires and fern. I rest my head contentedly on his hood, then gasp as we lift off the ground. I whoop and laugh as the wind rushes over us, and my stomach rises to my throat when we dip low beneath an outstretched tree limb. The keeper spins, just for kicks, and I clamp on tighter.
“I won’t let you fall, love. Never,” he shouts as we finally leave the wood behind and enter the open hilly space where I first came into the shelter.