She hesitated, and then let down her guard. The young man seemed genuine. Despite her urgency, she hovered level with his eyes. She looked coolly at him.
‘What’s your name?’ she asked.
The young man smiled wanly. ‘Uh, Will. You can call me Will.’
‘Okay,’ Far replied, keeping a distance, ‘I might help you.’
Will smiled charmingly.
‘But first,’ Far bargained, ‘I want to know why you were a bush.’
The light left Will’s eyes. ‘Oh, that,’ he fidgeted.
‘You have to be honest with me,’ Far fired at him. ‘I’m in no mood for games. I told you, I have things to do!’
‘Why do you want to know?’ he almost pouted.
‘Because,’ Far snapped, ‘we are in Wish and you are human.’
Will frowned. ‘What has that go to do with you?’ he asked stubbornly. ‘All I asked for is help to get out of here.’
‘Ah, and so you did,’ Far quipped, ‘but if I know humans they don’t spend their time as a small tree, unless something very unusual has happened, even in Wish!’
Will remained silent.
‘Wish comes from the minds of humans after all,’ Far bellowed at his lack of response, ‘so what happens to humans here is their own doing!’
Will glanced around uncertainly. ‘Why do you say that?’ he muttered.
‘Because,’ Far snapped, losing patience with the cut and thrust, ‘because, although humans are not my speciality, that being more Hope’s department, by what I know, they tend to often be, well... rather attached to themselves, if you know what I mean? Most humans wouldn’t waste time sitting around as a bush!’
The young man began to interrupt, but Far cut him short.
‘Hurry up,’ she roared, ‘I have urgent things to do. Either tell me or don’t, but unless you tell me very soon, you can get help from someone else!’
Will paused. Trees swayed calmly and birds chirped freely, and he wanted to go home. It looked like the butterfly was his only chance. He put his hands in his pockets and avoided her eyes.
‘I, uh... tridshooanicrn,’ he mumbled.
‘I’m sorry,’ Far fluttered closer, ‘I didn’t catch that. Would you speak up?’
Looking at the ground, Will repeated himself.
‘I still can’t hear you!’ Far cried, and threatened, with a flapping movement, to fly away.
‘Alright!’ Will called. ‘Don’t go!’ He looked Far in the eyes, took a deep breath, swallowed, and pulled his hands from his pockets. His blue eyes flinched from a private thought, but then clearly, and with utmost precision, he stated, ‘I tried to shoot a unicorn.’
Far was prepared for anything but that. ‘You did what?’ she gasped. ‘And... and you expect me to help you? Don’t you know when someone shoots at a unicorn that it’s a big mistake?’
Torment jumbled in Will’s eyes.
But it was enough for Far. ‘You are a villain!’ she hollered, and promptly forgot about helping him. With speed that even she didn’t think she had, Far thrust upward and flew for all her worth.
‘No, no, I promise you, I promise you, I’m not!’ Will hurtled after her.
Far, however, ducked and dived amongst tall sighing trees and disappeared from sight.
Will stopped running. Bewildered, he looked around. He was alone and lost, in the solitary silence of Wish.
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