Wyl's mama had always told him to be wary
of things he did not know, like Adult Problems, the forest behind his house, and the two enormous bridges that stretched high into the sky towards distant lands that he could only dream of.
Wyl loved his mama dearly,
but sometimes he did not understand why, exactly, he was supposed to stay away from the unknown. How else was he going to learn about new things?
But he knew his mama worried,
so he chose not to tell her everything. Like that time he and Draegnerys stole all the food in the pantry so they could hunt for faeries in the yard. Or the time that he tried to fly.
And he knew without a doubt
that he could never, ever in a million, trillion years, tell her about the person hiding in their shed whom he visited every night.
It was always the same: he would wait until the moon
had risen, then tiptoe down the worn stairs that creaked in the cold and groaned in the heat, and slip outside into the cool evening air, with a loaf of bread tucked under his arm.
He would walk to the shed and pull against the door
with all his weight until it begrudgingly gave way with a loud squeal. And then he would set the bread on the ground, make himself comfortable, and talk...
...until the moon shone through the gaps
in the wooden planks of the wall and he knew it was time to finally get some sleep.
And in the morning,
he would find some excuse to go into the yard or out to feed the chickens, and he would slip back inside the shed to grab the empty plate that was waiting for him.
Sometimes Draegnerys would ask him
where he was going, or mama would spend the morning looking for another plate, only to have it materialize in the cabinet by midday.
Sometimes Wyl thought
that he would be found out, for sure, but it had yet to happen, which was very fortunate.
Wyl would be hard-pressed
to explain his new friend to anybody, since he had never met him before.