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One day, he was just there.

In her room, making her laugh, following her orders. She still have no idea how he ended up in her room, but Dídí didn’t complain. At least not until he started to cry and making her ears bleed from screaming so much that she wished for him to go away, and he did. But later that day, he returned. So she wasn’t mad after all? He wasn’t angry or sad, and instead thanked her for “setting him free”, whatever that means. The best part is that he wanted to stay by her side, and he made her feel that she, for once, had a friend. A house elf is not a normal friend by any means, but he was still a friend. Maybe she had gone mad - But he made her laugh and feel secure, and he promised her that they would be best friends forever. She really liked that.

Dídí didn’t have many friends. She didn’t even have a real pet yet. She often played alone, until he came along. Then they were two. Well, Benedikt constantly promised her that there were other elves everywhere, in the grass, in the trees, in the neighborhood. But she could only see him, and he was real for her, and that was all that she cared about.

Even though their friendship started of as her saving him from livelong slavery (under her orders, would be noted), it quickly grew into something they both enjoyed. Who would’ve known that a blonde girl at 6 years of age and short, far too hyper house elf dressed in far too colourful clothes would be best friends? They played together, laughed together. They taught each other games too - She taught him games she saw others do in school, and he taught her games he played back in Álfheima.

“Álfheima?”
“It’s where I come from!”

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The rest of the day was spent listening to the house elf talking about his home world. A beautiful world, full of grass, forests and magical creatures - Elves more precise. All kinds of elves, good elves, big elves, small elves, bad elves. Dídí listened and thought it reminded her a lot of stories her mother used to tell her at bedtime, but this was different. Maybe because they were told from the mouth for a real living house elf, and maybe because Benedikt was so extremely energetic about the whole thing, speaking with big words and big movements to Dídí’s constant “awe!”’s and “aah!”’s. By the end of the day, Dídí wished she lived there too.

“I can take you there for a visit!”
“Really? ... Are you serious!?”
“Come one, you saved my life, remember? It’s the least I can do!”

Dídí hindered herself from telling him that it was literally the least she ever could’ve done, and that he didn’t owe her anything - Because wow, would she actually be able to get to Álfheima? An elf’s world? Her? The thought alone made her jump and scream out of joy!

“What about my mom and dad?”
“They won’t even notice you’re gone! Soon, you’ll be home again”
“Are there more children in Álfheima?”
“Well, elves don’t really have kids like you do”
“I mean, human children, like me”

She could see something flash in Benedikt’s eyes.

“Well… Not really”

He stopped talking. She gasped, and whispered -

“Am I the first one?”
“Technically, you are, but-”

Dídí was so happy that she didn’t notice that the tone in his voice had shifted. She started to giggle and felt her whole body jolt, like when you’re on a roller coaster.

“Wow, I can’t believe it!”
“Well-”
“Am I THAT special? I would’ve never known!”
“It’s like-”
“Can we go now, immediately?”
“It’s not-”
“Can I meet other elves there?”
“No!”

Benedikt suddenly stood up and turned his back against her. She could feel the coldness and understood that something was amiss. Had she said something wrong? ‘Not at all’, he informed her, but he needed to do something first before coming back to her, something in Álfheima.

“Will you come back for me?”
“Of course!”

His eyes were big and trustfully, but there was something lingering in the air that she couldn’t quite catch. Like when grown ups tell each other things and you later understand that they meant something totally different. A feeling of the unknown.

“Are you sure?”
“Would I lie, Dídí mín?”

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She smiled uncontrollably. No, of course not. Whatever it was that he needed to do, he would do so, and then come back for her the next day. He pinky-promised her that and then they said goodbye for the day as they always do - with a high five. That night Dídí couldn’t sleep well. She kept thinking about how she, the next day, maybe would travel to Álfheima. Something in the deepest pit of her stomach made her uneasy, maybe nerves. ‘But that’s just silly’, she thought.

‘It’s a wonderful land of elves and magic’ she thought, ‘what could ever go wrong?’

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Benedikt returned the next day, just like he promised. But he wasn’t happy.

She could tell that something was up, but couldn’t understand a single thing he said. He just kept talking and talking. At first she had begged him to calm down and explain everything, but after she had reminded him of doing so for the fifth time she let it be, and just sat and listened. From what she understood, there was something about a king and a guard, and a prophecy, and a missing ingredient to a soup and somehow the whole thing had to do with teeth. She must’ve misunderstood again…

“Could you speak slower?”
“HOW could I speak slower when my life is over??”

He finally laid down on the grass, face up in a dramatic pose. Dídí would’ve laughed, but she didn’t know if he was serious or not.

“Your life is over?”
“YES! It is! Oooooh, you! YOU!!!”
“Me?”

He sat up and took her hands

“I can’t take you to Álfheima, Dídí mín”

She didn’t mean to show how disappointed she got, but it was hard to do, and apparently she didn’t do a good job because Benedikt kept looking her in the eyes and apologise. His almost pathetic apologising made it all feel better, strangely enough.

“It’s okay, Benedikt”

She wiped away a disappointed tear that had managed to form in her eye.

“We can still play here, right?”

He jumped up and hugged her, hard. He may only reach up to her hips in height, but he was still very strong. He promised her to do whatever he could to bring her to Álfheima one day, but for now, they played in her garden.

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This particular day quickly turned out to be rainy and cold. They eventually took refugee in Dídí’s tree house (Benedikt in a panic, for some reason) and watched the landscape outside while it rained. They sat there quiet for a while, before Dídí managed to finally ask the question that had been eaten her up from inside the whole day.

“Benedikt?”
“Yees?”
“Can I ask you something?”
“Of course, always, ask away!”
“Why can’t I come with you to Álfheima?”

His smile disappeared, and he looked stunned at her. Did he really not expect her to ask that at all? To just agree to not know? His gaze made her feel like she had said something bad again.

“I mean, you don’t HAVE to tell me, I- I just.. I mean, you… I mean-”
“I thought I told you?”

He said it with a straight face, he was serious. Dídí snorted,

“What? When!?”
“This morning? You remember when-”
“No, you just kept talking and I couldn’t keep up and THEN you said a lot of other things and to me it just sounded like a bunch of nonsense so… So I did… Not really listen… Sorry”

He made a loud sigh and knocked his head on the window to the tree house.

“No, it’s me who should be sorry... I’m SO sorry Dídí… I thought you understood”
“No… I don’t”
“Okay, okay, I should tell you truthfully... Especially if we’re actually going there someday.”

He smiled a big smile, but Dídí was silent. She didn’t want to think about going there again for a fear of getting disappointed again, so she kept quiet as he told her the story yet again, slower this time. Despite this, she had a hard time understanding him.

From what she understood, there is a rule in Álfheima; No human children, period. Benedikt thinks it’s a stupid rule, since he believed it’s there to protect them from other humans knowing about it and ruining it. ‘But Dídí isn’t like that’, he told the King and Queen, who logically ruled the world. ‘If I can stay by her side and make sure she can handle it, she-’ , but to no avail. Whatever he said, they turned him down. He begged them to understand, to be kind and open about it.

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Benedikt didn’t understand at all. Apparently, The King and Queen are usually very nice elves. They’re kind and all knowing, and even thought they rule the land, they only do so from evil powers and evil elves, and thus are usually very open and mild to everybody else. From what Dídí could see in his eyes, Benedikt was greatly hurt by how they had treated her without even meeting her yet. The more he spoke, the more determined he seemed to be, and when he was done, he looked up at her with fire in his eyes.

“It’s not fair!”
“What is?”
“That you can’t come. Here I have a friend for the first time in who knows when, and they won't let you in? Just because you’re human? That’s… That’s speciest!”

Dídí laughed and reassured him that it was fine, but he wouldn’t calm down.

“Tonight!”

he said as he jumped out from the tree house

“What? Tonight what??”

Dídí looked after him as he ran away in the rain, into a nearby bush.

“Tonight we’re going to Álfheima, you and me! Be prepared by 6 o’clock, I’ll wait by the big tree on the meadow. Meet me there please!”
“Benedikt?”

But he was gone. Dídí sat and listened to the rain and couldn’t help but feel a smile plastering itself on her face. They were really going? Really? Tonight? Did she dare to dream? Would she be disappointed again? Who cares!

She heard a thunderstorm coming closer as she laid flat on her back, laughing hysterically and thinking about what Benedikt had said. Yes, they would show them all! No one could stop her and Benedikt from being friends - Not her mom, not the Elf King, no one. She’d go there and she’d show them all how kind she is.

It’ll be fun!

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6 o’clock. By the tree. In the meadow.

It already started to get dark before Benedikt finally showed up, seemingly out of nowhere. Dídí told him that she had quietly run away and that her mom thought she was asleep, otherwise she never would’ve let her out. Dídí believed Benedikt would get mad and tell her that she shouldn’t have snuck away like that, but on the contrary, he seemed very jittery and found it very funny that she managed to be so brave and clever.

“You’re just like an elf Dídí mín!”

The comment made her blush.

There was a reason they were supposed to meet by the old tree. Apparently, it was the entrance to the elf world - Álfheima. It took some time for Dídí to realise that the tree was in fact also alive, but once Benedikt had introduced them to each other it was like she always had known. The tree didn’t ask any complicated questions, it just greeted them both and told her to be careful. Dídí nodded, shy and full of excitement for the world beyond.

Once they had stepped inside the tree it felt like a trip through a dream. Like she was flying through a living manifestation of that land between when you’re awake and when dreams have taken your consciousness. It was dark, yet full of light in every possible colour and shape lightening the two friends up as they traveled through it. She asked Benedikt if this was Álfheima, but he assured her that it was just a passage, like a bridge, between her world and his, and then begged her to enjoy the ride. They were flying, it felt almost like swimming through lukewarm water that didn’t get a grip against your skin. It was warm and soft, and even though some of the lights made her eyes water, Dídí couldn’t possibly look away. If this was a dream, she’d never want to wake up again.

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As they landed on the other side of the tree, they stood in the middle of a huge grass field, much bigger than the meadow on the side where they entered. She suddenly realised that her short elf friend had become taller. Much, much taller! She stood in awe and as Benedikt was laughing at her face he said he was surprised that she hadn’t noticed until now.

“My size changed as soon as we walked into the tree”
“Really?”
“Really!”
“Wow”

He was now about twice her size, looking even more mischievous than before. He rolled on the grass, laughing and telling her how good it felt to be home. As she tried to do the same, he quickly stopped her from (apparently) rolling onto invisible grass elves. To make everything easier for both of them, Benedikt agreed to help her see them, if she promised him once and for all to never mention this place for anyone else.

“Isn’t that a bit too late?” - she asked
“Yeah, but you know, principles” - he said as he removed one of the pouches from his belt, and she promised him.

The pouch contained a powder. It smelled like lemon and looked like pollen. Benedikt sat Dídí in front of him on the grass and started talking in a language she didn’t understand. He made a gesture for her to close her eyes. She obeyed, and put her hands on her eyes to not peak accidentally. As he kept talking, she started to feel strange. Like she was slowly sinking through the grass, and away from the sun. A purring feeling filled her arms, legs and back, a coldness was creeping up her legs and her ears, filled with Benedikt’s words, started to turn off and replace his safe voice with white noise.

The fun and wild excitement she had felt when they entered was soon replaced with a dreadful feeling of nothingness. She was stuck, unable to remove her hands, not even able to wiggle her toes.

It was cold.

How long had she been sitting there?

 

A minute?

 

An hour?

 

She believed she could feel Benedikt spreading the powder on her head, but it felt far, far away. The noise in her ears grew louder as she felt even more like she was sinking through the ground, into a blue, deep, dark unknown.

It was hard to breathe.

 

She couldn’t breathe.

 

 

There was nothing…

 

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“Done!”

Her hands were abruptly removed from her eyes, and she was forcefully thrown back into the sun and grassy field, where Benedikt was holding her hands and smiling at her. At first she was half prepared to explode, and her heart was pounding in her throat. The feeling of dread and panic had been so real. But here was nothing but calmness, sun and warmth. Benedikt’s smile faded.

“You okay?”
“It… It was scary”

He quickly let go of her hands and looked worried.

“You sure? ... I mean, it was?”
“I felt like I was drowning…”
“Dídí… I’m so sorry!”

He quickly attacked her with a hug, and apologised some more. Dídí, who now realised it was never his intention to scare her, shrugged it off. It probably wasn’t so scary after all, right? As a compensation, Benedikt decided to introduce her to some grass elves. They were so small that she barely could see them, but sure enough, there they were. Small, dressed in green, with big pointy ears just like Benedikts. He then took her hand and started running in a random direction.

“Come, let’s play!”

Despite the fact that according to Dídí’s sleep schedule it should be night, she was really happy that it was sunny and warm in the elf's world. Everything looked so much brighter and clearer than home. The colours were more intense, the smells much stronger and she felt healthier than ever before.

But when they played hide and seek together in a small forest, Benedikt suddenly disappeared. Dídí was searching everywhere, but didn’t want to go too far with the risk of getting lost. After ten minutes of her yelling his name and admitting defeat, she got bored and decided to sit down by a tree.

“Mom always says to stay in one spot when you’re lost”

She told herself as she plucked the petals off a flower to pass the time.

“Not that I’m lost… I mean, I guess I am. I’ve never been here before, I don’t know the ways. Are there any roads here? Probably not. Which makes everything harder, because, I mean. A road leads somewhere, right? But if there are NO roads, how will I get anywhere? How can I- OUCH!

Something hard hit her in the head. A pinecone. She stood up and looked around. Nobody in sight. Then she finally heard it, a small crackling sound from the tree above. She froze. Could there be a wild animal here? Like a leopard?

She quickly thought about what Benedikt had said about this place. No, not wild animals. But…

Evil elves.

She got goosebumps all over her back and tried to swallow the panic that started to form in her chest. But before she could make up her mind if she should look at it or just run and hide, she heard a voice from above. Whatever, or whoever, it was started to whisper to itself. It snickered. Dídí blinked. Wait a minute. Was it Benedikt this whole time? … Oh come on.

“That’s not cool you know!”

She said, stomping her feet and throwing away the pinecone.

“Just disappearing like that and then trying to scare me? Who do you think I…”

She looked up.
It wasn’t Benedikt.

Sitting above her in the tree was a tall, slender figure, almost completely hidden in the shadows from the tree tops. His skin was black and looked sticky, but his face was pure white. His big hands had long, pointy fingers, far too long, and they sort of reminding her of a nightmare she once had, and wherever he placed them on the tree he left a black mark oozing and hissing.

He stared at her. His pupils were small as peppercorns, and he smiled wildly from ear to ear. He looked like pure insanity.

“Well… Well… Well…”

He said, as he slowly, slowly started to climb down. His voice was high pitched and hoarse, and if it wasn’t so terrifying it probably would’ve been slightly annoying. Dídí backed away a step, but then she was stuck. She couldn’t run. She felt paralysed, unable to move or say anything.

“What… Do we have… Here?”

He climbed down to the ground, still staring into her eyes. She felt the panic rising and expanding in her chest, trying to shake her legs free from the inside. The creature moved, hunched over, closer to her. She could feel the stench, the smell of something rotten, and saw him leave big, black footprints after him on the grass.

She couldn’t move.

He was just a meter away. Still smiling like a mad person, he crooked his head and took a deep breath out. His breath, even from this distance, smelled like death.

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“You… You should probably run”

 

Dídí nodded.

 

“... Boh!”

 

She ran.
She turned around as fast as she could as the creature started to laugh like a maniac. She ran and ran.

Where?
How to get out?
How did she get back to the tree?

She heard footsteps behind her. Was it following her? A crazy laughter right by her left side told her that the creature was, indeed, following her. She screamed loudly and turned away from it, but kept running.

She fell on a rock, but kept running.
She stumbled into bushes, but kept running.

She had to get home - She HAD to get out of here!

She turned around some trees, and finally saw the open grass field. In the distance, she could see the huge tree they entered from. She sprinted even faster, the maniac laughter still fresh in her ears, she turned around a big rock and -

// CRASH //

Dídí had hit something. She had hit something very, very hard. She got dizzy and felt blinded as she fell to the ground and hit her head. Her head was pounding! She couldn’t see or hear, her ears felt like they were filled with salt water. She rubbed her sore head and could hear a voice calling her name somewhere far, far above her. She couldn’t get up and just run again, everything hurt too much, and it felt like gravity had increased a ton, pushing her into the grass. She could feel the tears coming, and started to cry into the ground.

Then she felt something grab her. In a panic she screamed, waggled and kicked, and came back to her senses. She could see Benedikt sitting in front of her, holding his own arm and wincing. She sat up, feeling drenched in sweat.

OW! Why did you do that?”

Her breath was slowly calming down. She swallowed.

“What?”
“You kicked me!”
“... Oh? … Oh!”

She suddenly remembers someone grabbing her, and the panic.

“Sorry!!! I’m so, so sorry! I didn’t mean- I was just… You scared me”

He looked at her angrily and rubbed his hurt arm.

“Why is it that you are so easily scared all of a sudden? This is the second time when I have ‘scared’ you by just trying to be nice. Is it that I’m taller now? Is that it?”
“No! No it’s not you, it’s…”

Dídí put a hand on her head. It was still pounding slightly, and she had a sore spot where she had crashed into the ground.

“I think it’s me…”
“... Are you okay?”
“I don’t know, I hit my head, and I feel weird”

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Benedikt loosened his angry face and dried some of Dídí’s tears. She sniffled and embraced him.

“I’m sorry…”
“You ran into me, for a second I thought I had hurt you… Guess I did...?”
“No, it was the ground, I think”
“... Well, sorry anyways. Gee, I only manage to hurt you, what a welcome huh? Why were you running anyway?”

Dídí suddenly remembers. A panicked rush ran across her spine and she stiffened in Benedikts arms. He apparently felt it because he let her go.

“What is it?”
“There… There is someon- SOMETHING in the woods”
“Something what?”
“It was chasing me!”
“Chasing you?”
“It scared me so much!”
“Scared you!?”
“Oh Benedikt I was so afraid!”

She could feel the tears pouring again as she remembers the panic, but also because of her incredible happiness in that she found Benedikt again. Now she wasn’t alone anymore. He dried her tears again and tried to make her calm down. He begged her to describe what the creature had looked like, and she did her best. She expected him to be more and more scared as she explained, but on the contrary - he looked more and more annoyed and slightly pissed as she told him. When she was done, he made a huge facepalm.

“I had hoped you didn’t need to meet him like this…”

She felt something break inside her

“You… You KNOW it??”
“It’s- I mean HE’s an elf”
“ELF!?”
“Wait, let’s do it this way”

He stood up and filled his lungs. Then he screamed out into the forests in such a loud voice that Dídí had to cover her ears.

JÓSAFAT!!! Get over here!”
“... Jósa-what-now?”

They only had to wait for a minute or two. Something moved in the trees in front of them. Dídí quickly stood up on shaky legs and took cover behind Benedikt, who stood in a protective pose in front of her. Benedikt still looked so angry. Dídí couldn’t understand it, she felt utter terror… Had she done something very wrong? The panic begin to spread in her body again, her legs shaking and teeth clattering. If she didn’t have Benedikt, she would run again. She’d run so, so fast!

“Jósafat! You big, fat, dumb elf, come out!”

‘What are you doing?? Don’t provoke it?’ Dídí thought, and when she could see a long, slimy, black hand coming from behind one of the trees, she closed her eyes hard, and buried her head deep into Benedikts warm jacket.

“Stop it!” Benedikt shouted
“Stop..? Stop what?”

The shrilling voice sounded way more confident than Dídí would’ve hoped. She whimpered and clutched her arms around Benedikt even harder.

“Stop it…”
“With wh-”
“I SAID STOP!”
“You have a girl there, Benedikt”
“I know?”
“... So?”
“... So stop it…”
“Let me do my job!”
“What. If. I. Don’t??”

Something tensed in the air. Dídí could hear the creature growl.

“How could you stop me?”
“Pffft!! HOW? Like I always do. You know I’m way, way, way, WAY stronger than you...”

Dídí could feel Benedikt crossing his arms. The growling continued, before everything slowly… Softened? The panic in Dídí cooled a bit, and even her shaking subsided. She realised she was still clinging to Benedikt for her dear life, and softened her grip a bit. After a while, Benedikt asked her to look up, and to not be afraid anymore. As she did, she could see that the forest, once again, was bright and warm. The creature, who stood in front of them, was not there. Well, he WAS, but he was so different that Dídí for a second couldn’t register that it was the same creatu- Sorry, elf.

His arms and legs weren’t freakishly long anymore. His pale face surrounded by matted black skin instead of dripping, oozing tar-like substance. His eyes were a bit smaller, and his pupils much larger. He actually looked quite nice, although very, very angry. He stood with his arms crossed and back straight, staring at Benedikt and Dídí like they just had insulted his whole family. Benedikt cleared his voice in a dramatic way and said;

“Dídí mín, may I present Jósafat; the human scarer!”
“The human… What?”

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Benedikt explained that it was basically Jósafats job to scare all the humans away from Álfheima, if they ever managed to get there by accident. He scares them away in such an effective way that they never, ever dare to enter again.

“That’s mean!”
“It’s needed!”

Dídí couldn’t help but laugh. His voice, that before had been so thrill and spooky, was now simply high pitched and annoying. Everything Jósafat said sounded like a scream and Dídí wasn’t sure if it really was his natural voice or if he really just was screaming all the time. As soon as the introduction was over, Benedikt and Jósafat immediately started to quarrel;

“What is the meaning of this?”
“Well, she’s…”
“NO HUMAN CHILDREN!”
“Ssshhh, calm down!”
“Why did you hinder me?”
“Because she’s my friend.”
“LIES!”
“No, it’s true!”

Dídí started to nod and agree with Benedikt. She took a step in front of him, long past being scared of the human scarer who, without his powers, mostly annoyed Dídí.

“He IS my friend, he promised to show me Álfheima!”
“Stay out of this, huuuman!”
“Jósafat, you can go and pretend that this never happened, pllleeeeaaaase? I just wanna show her our world, and then she can leave. Isn’t that okay?”
“Okay?? .. OH-KAY!?”
“Ssshh!”
“It’s N O T okay! What do you expect me to say when the King realises that a CHILD has passed my sensors? He may think I’m bad at my job! He might send me away!! All that would be YOUR fault!”
“Well, how about you come with us then?”
“- And then he would KICK me, and then- ... What did you say?!
“Yeah, well, because we’re going to see the King and Queen!”

Dídí felt the biggest smile of her life rising on her face and she turned to Benedikt.

“Are we really?”
“Sure! Didn’t I promise you that?”
“I must have forgotten.”
“Easily done when you’re new to so many new magnificent impression! Come, let’s go-”
NO!!”

Jósafat stomped in the ground, then he stomped again, and again.

“No! No! No! No! NO!!”
“... So you’re not coming?”
“Wha- Y- I- The- You can’t GO THERE!? With HER?”
“Why not?”

Jósafat glared at Benedikt. His whole body language and eyes was screaming ‘you’re kidding me right?’ so much that words weren't needed.

“Okay, I get it, but just listen for a minute!”
“I’m aaaaaaall ears… ‘House elf’...”
“If you come with us, we can all explain that you did in fact do your job very well, since you almost made our dear friend have a concussion as she ran away from you as fast as she could. However! She’s my friend, I brought her here and MADE you not scare her away. That’s no lie, is it?”
“... No, but-”
“THEN I will show them Dídí, and show them that she isn’t dangerous or weird and that the stupid rule they have isn’t needed for EVERY child”
“Benedikt…”
“And MAYBE they can give her a pass or something? They could call her our super special Elf Friend! Then she could come here and play, and I could come to her, and everything will be fine!”
“JUST BECAUSE you have become soft to humans doesn’t mean they will just CHANGE the rules all of a sudden?”
“How do you know?”
I HAVEN’T become soft!”
“Do you have to scream all the time?”

Benedikt cleared his ears. Dídí did the same as she also felt Jósafat’s shrill voice echo in them, and laughed.

“Look, IF, and I beg you not to, but IF you’re going to the Royal palace, then I’ll come with you”
“Great!”
JUST SO THAT I can see your face when they throw you out in an even worse fashion than I ever would, HAH!”

Dídí became numb. Would the King and Queen also turn into scary, horrible living beings of nightmares if they saw her, and scare her out? Benedikt giggled when she told him her fears and promised her that something like that would never happen. The King and Queen are royal, with great magic, but they aren’t scarers. ‘Also, they are smart!’ he told her, with a subtle nod towards Jósafat walking behind them. ‘They won't just throw you out before listening to what I have to say!”

As they walked the gravel road (“hey, they have roads!”) to the castle, Dídí had the feeling of being in a dream that she never wanted to wake up from. Despite Jósafats somewhat scary looks, bad smell and seemingly endless annoyance, he was actually really funny. He and Benedikt had known each other for a very, very long time, and the whole way to the castle they told Dídí different stories about each other, often embarrassing and snarky, and Dídí had no idea what do believe or whom. But they all laughed and had a good time. Jósafat even let her ride on his back as he and Benedikt raced a part of the road, proving Benedikt wrong that he was indeed faster than Benedikt, even with extra weight on top.

“You’re stinky!”
“And you’re heavy, now get down, we’re there soon”

The castle was indeed beautiful, built with beautiful bricks which reflected the sun and made the whole place shine a golden colour. It really looked like a dream. Dídí stood in awe as they walked up to it and told Benedikt that it was one of the most amazing things she’s ever seen.

“Wait until you see the inside!” he told her, and dragged her up the stairs.

The inside was indeed beautiful. The decor and colour was, not in gold as the outside, but rather in silver and cold blue. Going inside it felt like stepping inside an ice palace. Dídí wondered where all the guards where, but Benedikt just laughed at her. He told her that when you’re this powerful as the King and Queen were, you didn’t need any guards.

Benedikt told them to wait as he greeted the king. It wasn’t really a pleasant surprise to see Benedikt apparently, because they could hear someone shouting from the other room. Dídí and Jósafat stood in a dark corner in the hall, waiting for someone to come get them. They waited, and waited, and waited. But no one came. They waited some more. Jósafat soon began to anxiously fiddle with his hands and mumble to himself, and Dídí became so bored that she started to pace the room. She wished she could hear what they said.

She slowly made her way to the huge silver door that Benedikt had gone into. She could still hear angry voices from inside, not screaming, but still angry voices. She inched closer. The door wasn’t locked, or even fully closed. A tiny gap between the door and the door frame let her see inside. It looked beautiful, and huge, and also very, very bright. If she only leaned in a little bit more, she could maybe hear what they were talking about.

“--- I thought ---”
“I just ---”
“--- no, they ---”
“--- why?”

Ugh, no. She couldn’t hear enough. Just a little bit more, a little bit closer. A little closer! Maybe if she shifted pose, then-

BAM!

She tripped. The door opened with a loud noise, and she fell flat on her face. She quickly cupped her hands on her nose, scared that she’d get a nose bleed, and she could hear someone running up to her from far away.

“Ow, ow…”
“Dídí! You okay? What happened?? Did you push her!?”
“I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING!!”

The shrill voice of Jósafat came behind her, telling her that he also had made his way into the room.

“I’m fine”, she said sniffing. “I just tripped”.

She was more embarrassed than hurt, and Benedikt quickly lifted her from the ground and looked worried into her face.

“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, yeah I’m…”

But her voice died out. A meter or so behind Benedikt, a new character had walked up to them, quiet as the night. She had a long, silver dress on, glittering like diamonds and sweeping on the floor, glimmering and shining. Her hair was silver blonde, shining just as much as her dress, and on her head she had a silver crown, thin and sharp, almost shining too reflecting her hair and dress. Her face was beautifully straight, her hands long and tender and her ears were pointed. Her skin was very light, almost completely white, and her eyes were crystal blue, and looked at Dídí like they were turning her into ice. The pupils, if there was any at all, where tiny and piercingly cold.

“I… I…”

Dídí tried to say anything, but she felt numb and cold. The Queen, which she suspected that this was, walked up to her. Benedikt quickly took a step away. The Queen looked at her, her gaze cold and stiff.

“Are you the human?”

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