When I was younger, I had a friend. She was my best friend. She watched after me more than my parents ever did. She was like a big sister to me. But she was odd. At first glance, she looked like a completely normal teenager. But if you looked closely, her ears were pointed. She had small horns sticking out of her hair. And she had wings. Huge, beautiful wings.
When I was around 7 or so, my parents told me she didn’t actually exist. They told me she was imaginary. She slowly faded away. But I’ll always remember how she left.
We were in my uncle’s yard. My uncle was a rich man with a huge mansion and yard. I liked to explore there. I would pretend that I was a world famous treasure hunter, and my “imaginary” friend was my partner. But this time, Zerlis didn’t seem to be in the mood for it.
“Are you ok?” I asked her. She nodded. “I’m fine.”
”You don’t seem fine.”
Zerlis smiled sadly. “Don’t worry your little head about it, Em.”
An hour or so later, she suddenly spoke. “Emerald, I need to go.”
“Why?” I asked her. She didn’t look at me.
“I can’t explain. You might not see me for a while. Just… just be safe, ok? Don’t trust anyone.”
I gave her a confused look. Then, I reluctantly replied, “Ok…”
She smiled at me. “Good. Bye.” With that, she disappeared.
I kept exploring on my own for a while. Then, I heard something weird. Someone was stammering. I peeked our from behind the big hedge and saw a terrifying sight. It was Zerlis, but with two other winged people. Except their wings weren’t beautiful. Their wings were torn, and radiated evil. They were trying to pull Zerlis through what looked like a portal. She caught sight of me and shouted one word: “Compralistis!” It was the language she’d made up and taught me. It meant stay. The other two turned their head to look at me, but I had already ducked back behind the hedge.
Since then, I didn’t see her. I believed my parents stories that she’d been imaginary. I forgot about her. But eight years later, that all changed.