Long-long Journey

Edited by Garkovskaya T. N.


Chapter one

Albert was sitting on the bank of the river that flew near a village where he took a rest in the summer. Albert was fifteen years old, dark-haired and tall. He was thinking about his life, about those moments in which he couldnt understand some effects of causes. Also he was thinking about those moments when it was he who was misunderstood.
What should I do?! he expressed his thought aloud.
Albert didnt suppose to be heard, but he was answered:
Ill help you!
As he didnt expect here anybody to be, he jumped and turned around. He couldnt believe his eyes! There is a real fairy! A little maiden with transparent wings soared near him. She wasnt bigger than Alberts palm. The fairy was dressed in a light blue dress, shoes which matched with her dress in color, and a small tiara. It was the tiara which shined under the sunlight very brightly. Albert thought that those splashes of light could blind someone, if tiara was much bigger.
Err Who are you? asked Albert with great astonishment.
Are you blind? Im a fairy, cant you see it? replies the fairy and flew up closer to him.
So, I just cant imagine fairies in real life! Am I sleeping? he rubbed his eyes open. But it didnt help.
Oh no. I reject your reality and substitute it for my own, she giggled.
Sorry, what? Albert was getting more and more sure that it was a dream.
Nothing important. So, my name is Faye and I can help you with your problems.
How can you help me? asked Albert with plenty of curiosity. Sure, it was in his interests to know life better.
Let me show some moments in your life firstly, she offered.
How will you do that?
Just magic.
Albert decided not to ask her what she meant when she said Magic.
Ok, Im ready!
Lets go then.

Chapter two

Bright flash took them away from the time where Albert was. Now they were standing in the near past. They were in the town where Albert was born and had been living for his whole life. It was a last winter. It was quite cold around, but Albert didnt feel that. Maybe the reason was Fayes magic.
What do you want to show me? asked Albert with an unmistakable air of impatience.
Be patient, please. Youll see soon. There was a didactic note in Fayes voice.
Suddenly he saw himself. Firstly, he was petrified. It is very confusing when you see yourself. Secondly, he tried to rush to his replica-Albert. But his legs were frozen. He tried to scream, but there was no voice.
Never do that again. Please! Fayes voice was full of serenity. You may inflict a time paradox. She waited for about a minute and added, Are you cooled down? Now Ill release you.
Which of us am I? asked Albert.
Both, Faye shrugged.
I cant understand how it can be true!
Look, were in your past. You who are standing here and you who are walking there is only you. But that is you from the past, and this is you from the present. Is it clear? Faye tried to explain, but Albert seemed quite frustrated. OK, just look then.
Past-time-Albert was stopped by an old woman.
Could you help me to go across this road, please? asked an old woman.
Sure, replied past-time-Albert and did that.
So what? asked Albert.
Keep a close eye on that woman, said the fairy.
After she passed the road, and past-time-Albert went away, she slipped and fell. She tried to stand up, but couldnt.
She has broken her leg because you had helped her, commented Faye.
What?! Am I guilty that she slipped?!
Sure. If you hadnt helped her, all would have been fine, said the little fairy inflexibly. She just would have given her malediction to you and that was all.
I cant understand! Was my decision wrong?
Yes and no. It depends on how to look at it.
Can I remake it? asked Albert.
No, you cant. I mean, you may, but it will be nonsense. What is already done, will happen in any way with your interference or not.  She will break her leg in any case, wish you not to help her or wish you to, explained Faye.
Nevertheless you show me this.
 Yes. We will go to my world afterwards, promised the fairy.
Why? asked Albert.
There youll find answers to all your questions. By the way, why do you want to change your past? suddenly asked Faye.
Because I want to be better, replied Albert as though it went without saying.
Really? By changing the past? You are becoming better only for others, but not for yourself or for me. You know, aristocrats in exile surround themselves by luxury.
So what? Albert looked confused.
Look at yourself in darkness. What do you see?
Nothing
Exactly!
And how is it related to our conversation?
Darkness.
I cant see anything in it.
That is very natural for darkness.
Come on! You have confused me completely! Could you omit your riddles?
Lets keep moving. It seemed Faye didnt hear him at all.

The storm of colors had whirled before Alberts eyes. Thousands needles of thousands voices thrust his ears. He screamed, but he couldnt hear his voice. In a flash all stopped. Albert felt the smell of an apple tree blossoming. They were in a little garden near Alberts school. Albert and Faye were standing behind a huge bush of peony.
What do you want to show me this time? asked Albert while he was twisting his head.
The way how a bad deed can bring to a salvation, Faye was deep in her thoughts.
Albert had already known that he should wait for some time. After several minutes he heard the sounds of fight. Past-time-Albert was fighting with his classmate. Albert remembered this fight.
So what? asked Albert again.
You will break his finger a bit later.
Want you tell me this was a good deed? surprised Albert.
No, but you saved him from death. He will never know about it, but it is so.
How can it be?
Simple. He used to go home by bus, but today he will use underground because he is going to the doctor.
So?
His bus is going to turn over. He might be dead.
Oh! Albert smiled.
You are not a hero. You couldnt predict sequences of actions said Faye abruptly.
And you could? asked Albert timidly.
Yes People assume that time is a strict progression from cause to effect But actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, its more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timy-wimey stuff, Faye scratched her head.
Aha! You are riddling me again! said Albert with plenty of irritation.
Faye again missed what he said.
Did you understand how unpredictable consequences could be? asked the fairy. In her voice was a tone of expectation.
Yes. I understand that I dont understand anything!
Thats fair! Let us keep moving. Now, to my world

Chapter 3

Light waved good-bye to Albert. Probably, to Faye too, but Albert didnt know that. There was darkness all around.
Faye? Are you here? whispered Albert.
No response.
Is there anybody out there? he screamed and tried to go towards. After three steps he found a wall. The wall was made of rough stone. He went along it and found a rough wooden door. It opened without any difficulty.
Albert didnt expect, but he found himself in a tavern.
There was quite noisy. A big hall like that with a bunch of people could frighten anyone who has never been in such places before. In this tavern there were not only people. Besides humans, Albert found dwarves, gnomes, and elves. Suddenly, one elf noticed Albert. He came to him:
Hello! Dont be so shy, come in! the elf invited Albert to come in.
The elf pushed through, and Albert followed his footsteps. Finally, they came to the elfs table.
What did you eat today?
Just a sandwich.
Hmm, Ive never heard of witches who are living in the sandAnyway, lets eat! There is some fried meat, he moved up a plate to Albert. By the way, my name is Marten.
Nice to meet you, Marten! My name is Albert. The boy started to eat. Only now he understands how hungry he is.
You like that meat? Great!
Albert thought that they were talking in different languages. This feeling became stronger when he heard the song from the scene. Three young human maidens repeated the words:

Ab yul ann I dyad awt
En yab na log a toc na awd
Taw may on omma dawn egg kyowl
Omma dawn egg kyowl

A mandolin and a flute helped them to sing. Albert asked Marten:
What are they singing about?
You dont know this language? Huh. There is nonsense in this song. My Dad in bed, Cat is drinking milk, Im an idiot and Im laughing. It is beautiful, but nonsense. By the way, what are you looking for?
Why do you think that Im looking for something?
Your eyes. Persistent gaze, Marten screwed up his eyes.
Im trying to find myself. And answers to questions about life, sighed Albert.
We have a bishop. You should talk to him. He has infinite faith, he might help you.
Infinite face? He should eat lesser, or he wont be able to speak.
I mean his devotion to God.
Ah, I see.
After several minutes Albert found himself in the town. It looked like a mixture of towns of the Renaissance period which you could see in some pictures in one of the History books.
He was trying to find a church or a temple. Once he was stopped by the guard:
What are you doing here?
Im just walking around the town.
What a ridiculous title you have! exclaimed the guard.
What? misunderstood Albert.
Wall-king. Its quite dangerous to be the king of the wall! Good luck!
After some minutes Albert finally found the church. It was a huge building made of white stone. He pushed a massive oak door and came in.
He asked an old woman where he could find the bishop. She told him.
The bishop was a middle-aged, tall man in a red robe.
Hello, young man! Whats you name? asked the bishop in a very deep voice.
My name is Albert. And yours?
Christophe. How can I help you?
I was sent here by Faye. Do you know her? asked Albert hopefully.
Yes, I know her. Is she travelling again?
Yep. And she has found me.
So, you have some questions to me, right?
Yes. What are those empty spaces we are living for? Try to fill in those empty spaces. Be free in your tempo!
With what?
Faith, devotion, friendship. Love is fine too.
I think love is the main thing in the whole universe. But I cant find it at all.
Do you prefer love piece by piece?
I dont know
When you return to your world, go to the church and try to find your desire there.
And what if I fail?
Faye isnt a fairy, really. Just bear it in mind. Now, I should return to my work. See you in the next life, guy!

Albert opened his eyes. He was on the bank of the river. Was it just a dream? No! He felt in his hand a sheet of paper:

Please meet me on the same place and the same time next week. I have some business to you.
Faye.

He looked at the stream of water, sighed and stood up.

November-December 2009