Purple Skies

Celia steps one foot in front of the other. She opens her arms out to balance herself on the ledge. A soft melody fills the air around her. Her small lips form the sounds of old songs passed down through sheet music written in the stars. When she reaches the end of the ledge she makes a show of bending her knees and spring up before, as all things do, falling down. Celia never hits the ground. Fabric from her shirt is crunched up in the back inside the claws of a griffin. The griffin, Emrys, flaps his wings in one giant motion and Celia begins to see trees turn into tiny green specs. 

Emrys sets her down on grass that smells like your favorite desert. She smooths out the fabric of her shirt. Emyrs foot prints mark the ground like iron skin. Celia's five year old feet don't even dint the grass. 

"I'm hungry." Celia lays down on the grass and looks up at the sky colored in tones of purple and blue the blend into one other, a moving stary night. 

"You ate." Emrys looks straight ahead. They're in the middle of the terrian that belongs to a creature that finds enjoynment in hearing the screams of any living thing. 

Celia says, "That was in the morning. My mom made me pancakes."

Emrys bends his head, sniffs the grass. He can smell the effects the young child is having on the land. It doesn't smell like anything of this world. Past that scent he can smell the trace of the creature. 

"Stop moving around." Emrys looks over at her rolling around. Celia is playing with the flowers that turn a luminescent green to the touch. 

"Can I take one home."

"No."

Before she begin complaining Emry's uses his wing to guide her forward. If they could fly to the portal opening he could have the girl home within minutes but the sky above this forset doesn't like creatures like him. This terrian doesn't like anything with a conscience. It eats up anything that can feel pain. The heat in the air makes Celia's skin itch. She scratches her arms until her dark skin turns red. The griffin commands her to stop. He found her playing on the stones of Eden as if they were built for her enjoyment. He let her continue playing until he could figure out the best way to return her to her realm. It was clear she was young for her world. She did not question the trees with branches that can dance or the the water that travels in bubbles and roams freely. 

"You must climb on my back." The griffin lays down and uses his wing to help her wiggle herself onto him. She struggles to jump on, her tiny feet kicking into his side as she hoist herself up. "Grab onto my feathers."

"It won't hurt?"

"No."

Celia grabs on and he beginnings walking into the section of the forset where the ground hungers for flesh. He hovers above it, gliding through intangled trees and avoiding plants with teeth. Emrys nearly hits against a flower with petals that burn anything it touches. He redirects and tilts them away. Celia begins to laugh.

"Stop that." 

Celia frowns. "Why?"

"It's not safe." Laughter attracts the creature, sound of joy brings it out of the shadows. 

"I can do what I want."

"Would you say that to your mother?"

Celia shuts her mouth and pulls on his feathers. The griffin considers letting her fall. He couldn't do that though. His home was not like this always. There was a time when the same plants trying to kill them could heal and the ground wanting to devor use to protect. Celia eventually falls asleep. Use had her tie herself to him using her shoelaces. She bounces off a little with swift movements he makes but he manages to get her to the portal. He lands in front of the dimishing opening. Portals to his world are rare now. Magic is dying. He shakes himself so Celia wakes up. She yawns and and rolls off of him, being saved only by her shoelaces. 

"Ow." 

"You are home." 

Celia unties herself and looks around. "No I'm not."

"You will be once you pass through there." He points his beak at the shimmering opening that appears to be stars withing in touching distance. 

Celia steps forward. "I'll go get lunch and come back."

"You can not return."

Celia pouts. "Why not?"

The griffin inches her forward. "Go home." 

The little girl steps into the stardust and disappears. Behind him griffin can feel the forset creature wake up.