The Eternal Wanderer
by Wilfredo Martinez

El Caballo Loco Strip Club, Tijuana, Mexico...
(Lulu, Tifa, Yuffie and WM are sitting at a table, talking)

(OOC: These are ALTERNATE versions of these characters, so please no "LULU WOULDN'T DO THAT!!" comments, OK?)

Yuffie: ...So, you were a mage, Lulu? WOW!
Lulu: Yeah. But I like to keep it secret. Don't tell the other people in the Alliance, OK? I like it that most people think I'm just a "strumpet"...
Tifa: Me too. (giggles)
Lulu: It's your turn, Wil.
WM: My turn for what?
Lulu: To tell your story, of course.
WM: I don't do "stories".
Tifa: No fair! We three just told you OUR life stories. Why won't you?
WM: There's nothing to tell.
Yuffie: Aww, c'mon, Wil! You're one of the most experienced interdimensional explorers ever, you said it yourself. You must have HUNDREDS of stories to tell!
WM: Well, yeah. But I don't like reminiscing.
Yuffie: Pleeeease?
WM: No.
Tifa: C'mon, Wil!
Lulu (winking at the others): Tell it, Wil or else-
WM: Or else WHAT?
(All three girls): YOU DON'T GET ANY TONIGHT!!

Yuffie: Tell us about Puerto Rico!
WM: There's not much to tell. Nice place to live, quiet, lots of outdoor space... but nothing really extraordinary. No magic, no Ultra-Technology...
Lulu: So, how'd you begin your career?
WM: Because of the fairies.
(All three girls): ???
Tifa: Fairies? As in...fairie tales?
WM: Yup. Hard to believe, isn't it, that I began my life as a cosmic wanderer thanks to stuff from kid's tales?
Yuffie: Ohh, tell us already! Tell us!!
WM: Okay, fine... I must've been seven, maybe six years old, I can't remember clearly. I DO remember the tales my Mama told me- of how, under the full moon, fairies would come out in the wild and play, and sometimes play pranks on people- like braiding my Papa's horse's tail at night! So, naturally, being the inquisitive person that I've always been, I slipped away one night of a full moon, and went into the nearby mountains to look for elves.
I remember it was dark, cold, and scary. I almost gave up several times, but didn't- I was just too stubborn, I guess.
And then I saw it- a light, coming from the hollow of a tree.
I sneaked close silently-
and then I saw them.
Two tiny- like 6 inches tall- people with dragonfly-like wings, with elven features, dressed in leaves, holding tiny spears, standing side by side next to a rock that held shut a hole on a tree.
-"WHO GOES THERE!!" they shouted.
Tifa: Uh, and that means..?
"Thunder and Lightning!" It's an expression of amazement. Oh, and hada is the Spanish word for fairie.
I thought the faeries -pixies, I would later find out- would either attack me, or fly away. Instead, they looked at each other in amazement, then at me, and they said: "...Y relampagos y estrellas!" (And bolts and stars!) "How did you know our password??"
-"Uh, password? I always say that..."
-"Then he must be-"
-"A chosen one!! The other pixie finished."
-"Chosen ones are human children who are allowed to come into Fairie World."
-"REALLY? Can I go??"
They stood apart, and suddenly, the rock moved by itself, and revealed the hole! Now, I know what you're thinking, but no, I wasn't thinking about the danger at all- I was a kid living a fairie tale! So in I went...
Lulu: Wait a minute. Are you traying to tell us- that your first adventure was due to a-
WM: A coincidence? YES! Well, actually, it IS rather hard to believe that a common saying would turn out to the same as the fairie's password. Maybe there was some truth to my being "chosen" after all...

WM: So anyway, there I was- a six-year-old kid, dropping into the hollow of a tree because some pixies told me to!
...The tree was like a dark tunnel, but it didn't last long. Soon, I stumbled out another hole, into what I thought at first was the SAME forest near my house...
...But then, under the full moonlight, I realized it wasn't: It was full of trees and flowers I didn't recognize. This wasn't Puerto Rico anymore, Toto!
But there wasn't anybody to greet me. Where were all the fairies?
I started walking around. Soon, I spotted a road, and headed towards it.
In it, I saw a caravan, of toy-sized wagons, pulled by rats! The drivers were some kind of cricket-men. It reminded me of a circus train. But there was something wrong with it: the wagons had bars in their windows, like a police car's. I walked closer silently- and then I saw her.
It was a little girl- I mean LITTLE! Smaller than a baby. She had blonde hair, and wore a red full-body suit with a hood. Looked kinda like Casper's friend Wendy the Witch, actually, except she had pointed ears.
She was in the last wagon. And she was crying!
Obviously, something bad was going on. So, I decided to find out what. Running ahead of the caravan, I suddenly stepped in front of it.
-"WHOA!!" The cricket-men in the lead screamed. "A 'BIG ONE'!!"
Big Ones, I would later find out, is what fairies call humans. I was hardly big at the time, but to the grigs (that's what the cricket-men were called) I was colossal!
-"Hey! What's going on here??" I shouted to them.
For an answer, they pulled out tiny spears, and leaped at me!!!
-"OUCH! CUT THAT OUT!! IT HURTS!! I cried. But they didn't stop pricking me with their spears.
Angry, I reached out for a small, dry branch on a nearby tree. I snapped it off, and started swinging it at the grigs. My blows connected, and the grigs went flying.
I wasn't THAT much of a threat to them, but luckly the grigs weren't the most courageous fairies either. When they saw two of their number fall, the rest hopped away!
I was bleeding from the cuts I had, but nothing serious. I went over to the abandoned wagons, and looked into the last one, where the girl was. I looked inside it.
-"EEEEK!!" she went. -"It's OK, I'm not bad!" I said to her. "I wanna set you free!" Then I opened her wagon's door.
Relunctantly at first, she came out, and asked, "...Are you a HUMAN child?"
-"Yup!" I said proudly.
-"Oh! You're hurt!"
-"Yeah, those crickets stung me. But I put them in their place!" I said proudly.
-"You SAVED us??" she asked, amazed.
-"Umm, yeah, I guess!"
-"The legends are true!!" she said with glee, "Human children are WONDERFUL!!"
-"Aww, shucks" I said.
-"Would you please help my friends?"
-"Oh, sure!" I said, and proceeded to free the other imprisoned fairies.

As I helped the fairies out of their cages, they immediately began to fly, jump and run around, crying with joy! They are very much like small children, such as I also was at the time. I marveled at their various types, and their beauty.
-"Whee! We are free!!" a pixie said.
-"Look! A Big One!" a butterfly-winged one (a sprite) said about time!
-"A human child" a little old man (a gnome) said.
-"Did you save us?" Another sprite asked.
-"Yes he did!!" my newfound friend said.
-"The legends are true! A child has saved us!! Another gnome said.
All the fairies began shouting in joy. as you can imagine, I was taken aback, but also very flattered at all the attention.
-"Come with us!" a female pixie said.
-"Yes! You must meet the Queen!
*The Queen? ALRIGHT!* I thought. "Sure! Let's go!"
-"Can I ride in your hand?" my friend asked.
-"Sure!" I said, picking her up.
And so, the whole bunch of little fairies led me around the dark forest, slightly illuminated by their magical lights.
-"What is your name.?" my little passenger said.
-"Umm, Wilfredo. But my Mama calls me Sijo"
Lulu, Yuffie and Tifa: SEAHO???
WM: Umm, yeah. It's my nickname. And it's spelled S-I-J-O.
Yuffie: Oh, that sounds so CUTE!!
Tifa: May we call you that?
WM: Um, I'd rather not.
Lulu: Why not?
WM: ... That was a good name when I was more- innocent. I don't think it fits me now.
Yuffie: I like it...
Tifa: Me too.
WM: Look, can I continue the story?
Tifa: Yes, sorry!
WM: Anyway, I then asked the little girl's name.
-"I'm Apelsin" she said.
-"Hey, I know what that means! I just learned it in class! Manzana (Apple) right?"
-"Uh, no, it means 'orange'. "
-"But you're not orange..."
-"And you're not a Sea Hawk."
-"Umm, you're right, I guess."
-Wait, I just thought of something (Tifa asked.) What language were you speaking?
WM: I was speaking Spanish; the fairies, their own language. I found out later that they use magic to understand, and be understood, in any language.
Anyway, I asked Apelsin what kind of fairie she was. "I'm a brownie" she said.
-"A brownie? Isn't that a chocolate cake? My Mama makes them!"
-"You're funny, Sijo!"
Yuffie: Ohh, all this little kid talk is sooo cute!
WM: Had I known you girls go gaga over that stuff, I'd told you this story sooner!
Lulu: Anything to get us in bed, eh, Wil?
Tifa: Like it takes THAT much work to get you in bed!
(The two exchange killer looks)
WM: Ladies, please! Let me continue!!... Anyway, Apelsin spent most of the trip explaining to me about the different kinds of fairies, and other things about their world. She also explained that the grigs were evil faeiries working for the Unseelie Court. They often kidnapped the good fairies, who are peaceful, as slaves.
Before I realized, the group suddenly stopped.
There, at the foot of a HUGE tree, was a miniature town, brightly lit with candles, and faeries running all over the place!!
-"OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS!! THEY ARE BACK!!" someone screamed. In seconds, I was surrounded by dozens of fairies, either shouting in joy at their being reunited with their kin, or asking me a dozen questions at a time.
Suddenly, however, someone shouted, "THE QUEEN! THE QUEEN!" and they all fell silent.
Out of the tree (which was their equivalent of a castle) came out a small procession of fairies, led by a Sprite-Woman of great beauty. She had wavy, Magenta hair, brown eyes, and wore a gossamer dress. Her wings were like a Monarch Butterfly's, but with a purple and blue color scheme. Most beautiful woman I had yet seen...
Lulu: I see you already had an eye for girls!
Tifa: Shut up! Please go on, Wil!!
I knelt in front of the Queen, both out of respect, and to see her better.
-"Greetings, child. I am Maev, Queen of the Fairies."
-"A-an honor, your majesty!"
- "My children tell me you freed them from the grigs. I thank you for that."
-"Aww,' twas nothin'."
-"OH! But I see you're hurt!"
-"'m okay..."
-"You must be healed. I can heal you, but I must first shrink you down to do it"
-"You can do that??'
-"Of course! She is the Queen!" Apelsin said."
-"Sure!! go ahead!!"
Maev began to chant, and a blue mist surrounded me. I couldn't see for a second, and I felt chilly. But in another second, it was gone-
-And I was now the same size as Apelsin! "Wow" I went. I could see the Fairy City much better now. The buildings were made of tree parts, there were live flowers as decorations everywhere, and bugs were used as beasts of burden. It was an incredible sight!
Maev then touched me, and I felt a warmness wash over me. Next thing I knew, my cuts were gone!
-"People of Faerieland!" Maev suddenly shouted, "In celebration of this this joyous ocassion, I declare tonight Sijo Night. REJOICE!!
And rejoyce they did! Next thing I know, I was dragged into a party, all the fairies, were singing, dancing, eating sweets, playing games, etc. Later I found out that fairies celebrate almost for ANY reason, but that remains still, one of the happiest memories of my life. My dream, had at lasty come true- I not only met the faeries, I was their hero!!