In the setting sun, somewhere deep, deep within the still untouched forests in the north of the United States, was a little village filled with small old cottages. One particular cabin seemed to be older than the rest but it had one of the most beautiful surrounding the village could muster. It was standing in a big clearing right next to a lake making sure that the sun would be in view as long as possible. On the terrace of this particular cottage sat an old man in a rocking chair, rocking back and forth to the rhythm of wind and listening to the wind rustling the green leaves in the trees making them break the overall silence. The old man had his eyes closed as he enjoyed the wind dancing through his white hair. It made him relax and remember the days of old, a time when he was still freely travelling the world to visit all kind of places. In his youth he had seen everything from the rainiest parts of England to the Sunniest parts of Australia to the coldness of Russia. He had even seen secluded parts of China which no one was ever supposed to experience. And what a story teller that had made him. But now he was back to the roots of his origin, the village in where he was born and raised, just waiting for the bonds that tied him to this world to wither away.
In the background he could hear children laughing and running towards the water breaking the tranquility. He couldn’t stop the smile from growing on his lips as he could hear them splash in the lake and laugh at each other talking about their eventful day. What he wouldn’t give to make sure these little devils had a wonderful life ahead of them. They would probably live a normal life, making the mistakes their parents had tried to warn and prepare them for, giving their parents a living hell until they sometime in the distant future would end up like him. But he didn’t complain, never would he complain about the advantages that came with the wisdom of age. His time had passed and it was their time to shine.
The splashing from the water had stopped and the silence was lying heavy upon the clearing once more. Feeling a little odd and observed the old man finally opened his eyes to see a bunch of shivering children standing around him with towels around their shoulders and trying to cover as much as possible to shield away from the cold of the night. So the sun had already set? Man, time flies…
“Great! You’re awake!” One of the children exclaimed as the eagerness grew in his eyes. “Grandpa, can’t you please tell us another story?” Of course he wasn’t their real grandpa but they insisted on calling him that either way.
Another child jumped a bit to get a little warmer and opened her mouth to speak. “Please, Grandpa. We promise to behave.”
The old man chuckled hoarsely. He never could deny these 11-to-12 year old children another story if they so wanted to hear them. These stories of his were meant to pass on to the next generation and it was his duty to make sure they never forgot them, his privilege to tell them so that they may retell them in the future to their own kids and grandchildren.
“Come on,” he told them happily “Come inside the house to warm yourselves up. It must be freezing in the water at this time a day.” They just laughed in the way only children could laugh, albeit that they were not so young anymore they still had the smooth edges of a child’s face.
“You’re just old grandpa,” yet another child exclaimed. “It was perfect. It is just the air that is so cold.”
“Dennis! Don’t be rude!” The girl from before said and blushed at his impolite statement.
“I’m not rude, Alberta”
The old man just chuckled some more and patted both of their heads to tell them it was fine and that they could stop the fighting. “Don’t fight kids, siblings should keep it together. But he is correct. I am an old fart.” He smiled widely and everyone started to laugh at the situation. “Now why don’t you come on in? Standing out here can’t be too good for you.” He turned around and went into the cottage, the children following shortly afterwards. “What do you kids say about lighting the fireplace and put you guys under warm blankets instead of wearing those wet towels, hm?” He lit the fireplace as he knew the children would run to get the blankets as they usually used. They visited so often that it was customary to bring forth the blankets to the storytelling. He had made sure to get a lot of blankets when they started to visit on a regular basis so that no one would be left without one.
When he was done lighting the fireplace he sat down on his regular chair next to it and waited as the children to drop in and put themselves down in front of him chatting away like they usually did. And wait he did till he had all their attentions. It didn’t take as long as it usually did and they seemed very eager to start, so who was he to stop them from listening?
“So… what story do you want to hear today?” The children all began talking at the same time and the old man raised his hands to silence them and again catching their full attention. “Quiet down everyone. One at the time, please.” He turned the child he knew was the one more tuned to shy away compared to the others and therefore didn’t speak up as often. “Steven, what do you wanna hear?” The boy looked up in surprise that he had been the one on the receiving end of the question and spoke up hesitantly.
“Um, can’t you tell us the one about Max, Tyson, Kai and Rei?”
The wind came dancing in from nowhere as if activated by the mere mentioning of the story and whirled around the old man’s white hair before settling down but not completely disappearing. As it was the trigger everyone spoke up again and agreeing to Steven’s choice of story. That was good, he needed the confidence-boost of making a well-liked choice.
“You wanna hear that one again?”
“Yeah! Everyone shouted. “Come on grandpa!”
“Okay, okay. You win” He said in defeat. “But first, why don’t you tell me why you want to hear it so much. For as many times as you’ve heard this one before you should know it by heart by now.” Looking out over the group of children he quickly counted them all to 10. They were about a dozen. That’s a good amount for this time. “Jennifer, Why don’t you start telling us why you want to hear it so badly?”
Jennifer began to think of the best thing to bring up and her face lit up as she came up with what to say. “Because it’s about magic and about love.”
“It’s not about love! It’s about intriguing fights and it’s funny at times too.” A kid named Daniel exclaimed
“Is too about love! Not about a romantic love of lovers but there is love nonetheless. The love between friends to keep them together through the hardships.”
The old man broke the fight up with a cough and shifted his attention towards someone else. “What about you Dennis, why do you want to hear it again?”
“I want to hear the battle with Voltaire again and you’re the best at telling stories, especially this one. You make it seem so real.”
“If that is what you really feel then I will tell the story again. Thank you so much for your kind words Dennis.” Dennis smiled a ‘You’re welcome’ brightly and started to lean against Jennifer. He had expected there to be something going on between the two of them for a while now but it had yet to bloom out. “Shall we start?”
“Wait!” a smaller girl named Sandra shouted before running away to the kitchen to come back out cuddling a stuffed white tiger. She had forgotten that tiger last time she visited and always had it close. It was a present from the old man himself and he was glad she loved it as much as it should be loved. She sat down in her place and looked up, the tiger tightly in her embrace. “Now you can start the story.”
The old man smiled and looked at the still damp children, the fire and the tiger and he felt the wind travel soothingly around him. Good, everyone was here. “So you wanted to hear about the four teenagers’ quest to defeat the great evil source of Voltaire?” They all nodded eagerly. “Before now I have only told you the most important and destiny revealing parts making it a very good fairytale. I think it is due time that you got to hear the whole legend, that you got to hear the whole story behind the curtains and that you got the image of the powers growing within them all. I think that you are now all old enough to hear the real story to the breakdown of magic. This time this story will tell you the reason why there is no magic left in the world.” He smirked as he could see the awestricken faces of the children. The wind blowing its own symphony around him making the thought of magic existing become more real to them and its performance guided them to the state of mind that made them suck in every little detail.
“Listen real close now children, because this tale I will be telling you is a tale about friends and foes, about trouble and deceit, of action and magic. But above all, it will be a tale about trust.”