It all starts with a vigorous walk in the woods. An opportunity to stretch my legs and get my heart and lungs pumping after a prolonged period of sedentary isolation. I divert from my usual route (a wide, moderately traveled path) and follow a narrow animal trail along the creek. The diversion helps get me out of my head. I immerse myself in nature, inhaling the scent of damp earth and admiring the early spring wildflowers that dot the landscape.
It must have been fairly late when I broke free from my tomb, as the darkness now descends quickly. I know my way around these woods and have no difficulty making my way back to the wide path. As I emerge from the animal trail, I intend to take the left turn that will lead me back to the security of my prison, but to the right there is firelight and the sound of laughter. I know it is them. My instinct is to flee as I always do. My feet, however, appear to have a mind of their own.
I walk toward the firelight. Of course they know I am coming. The banter and laughter continue, but there is an underlying anticipatory tone. I cautiously make my way to the clearing and stand among them. The communication ebbs as eyes fall upon me. It has been a long time since I have stood in their presence. I know I am a pathetic sight. I, having once been their leader.
We had flown together, disbursing our magic among the unfortunate. A thankless job, I grew tired and weary and could lead no more. I withdrew from the fairies, despite their efforts to console me. I isolated myself in the woods; my wings lying limp. I have no desire to reclaim my position, but I miss my family and the loneliness weighs me down. Do I dare ask their forgiveness? They are waiting.