Fer suddenly stopped talking. Her eyes were closed and her hands gripping the arms of the chair. She opened them again and I saw the wave of sadness wash over her face. It was obvious, she still carried a lot of pain and sadness over what happened.
“That’s enough for today. It’s getting late and we need to leave early tomorrow.”
I looked at the window and saw it was true. The sun was setting. I was so into the story that I didn’t even realise how late it had gotten. Fer shook her head and got up from the chair.
Pointing at an empty corner of the room, a bathtub filled with water suddenly appeared. Steam was rising from the water. “Wash up while I go out to get something to eat.”
I looked back at her and said, “How are you going to get something to eat in the middle of the forest.”
Her eyes as she looked at me. Smiling cruelly, she said “You forget that there are still Fae living in this forest. I’m going to stop by one’s place and get some food. They always make for me when I stay here.”
“Will it be safe for me to eat.” I asked knowing full well what magical food did to humans that ate it. Fae and the gods’ food being the most dangerous to humans.
“Yes, it will be safe.” she said, walking out the cottage, slamming the door behind her leaving me alone.
I grabbed my bag and pulled out a new tunic and pair of pants. Luckily, I had packed for several days, so I would be fine. I didn’t know how long I was going to be in the forest. Walking to the bath, I found a towel and bar of soap. It smelled of lavenders and Fer.
I blushed at my thoughts. Shaking my head, I quickly striped out of my clothes and jumped into the water. I lifted my head from under the water and sighed. The water was just the right temperature.
I leaned my head back and closed my eyes. The water was heaven on my sore muscles. It had been a long time since I’ve walked as much as I did today. Hopefully, I would be able to keep up with Fer as…
Fer would be coming back at any moment. I snapped out of my daydream and began washing away the forest on me quickly. It would be awkward if I was still in the bath when she came back.
By the time Fer got back from wherever she was, however, I was sitting in front of the fire, writing down the beginning of Fer’s first tale. She was carrying a bag over shoulder and what looked to be apples in her hands. They were red apple-shaped with golden stems.
She dropped everything onto the table and pulled out some bread and a chunk of cheese from the bag. Grabbing one of those apple-looking things, she walked to where I was sitting on the floor and sat next to me.
“You have some food in your bag.” It was not a question. “How long will it last you for.”
“It should last me a few days. Five maybe six at most.”
She nodded and handed me the bread and cheese. “Eat up. We’ve got a long journey tomorrow.”
I took the food from her and asked, “Where will be going?” The bread was warm. It must have just come out of the oven. I placed the cheese into the bread and took a bite. The bread was so soft and melted on my tongue. In a few bites the bread and cheese were gone.
Looking at the paper I had been writing on, she replied, “I have some business in the Gods realm. So, we’ll start there, maybe move here and there between realms. I don’t have all the details yet.”
She took a small bite out of the apple-like food and swallowed. “I see you’re writing what I told you.” She took another bite and another.
I nodded. Looking down at the half-eaten fruit in her hands, I asked, “The fruit you’re eating, what is it?”
“A golden apple.” She finished the apple and threw the core into the fire.
“A golden apple?” I exclaimed, shocked to be hearing what I heard. “Aren’t they rare and meant for keeping magic at bay. Also, isn’t it supposed to be gold.”
“Yes, for the second question. My magic is too powerful for my body, so I eat the apples to weaken it. My magic lets me see many secrets. It’s part of the whole future looking thing I explained earlier. You know my Fae gift.”
I nodded. All Fae had magic powers, but their Fae gift was a unique magic that they alone had. Like being able to detect lies or heal fatal injuries and so on.
She got up from the floor and looked at me. “As for the colour it is only the stem that is gold. That’s why it’s so hard for humans to find them. They believe the whole fruit has a golden colour. Well, that’s for most golden apples. The whole gold-coloured ones are indeed rare and can only be created by some of the Gods. Those of course have different properties.”
“Oh, that explains everything.” I thought of the orchard I’d seen in the garden. “Wait, the orchard…”
She nodded and walked to the door. “Yeah, but don’t tell anyone. That orchard is not meant to exist.” Turning back to look at me, she said, “Go ahead and sleep. We are leaving at dawn.”
With the she left again to gods know where. I stared at the fire and thought about what she had said.
Getting up, I walked over to the bed and lay down. Closing my eyes, I prayed some secrets could not be seen easily by her because I did not want to explain mine to her. I was not ready to tell people about it.