“A petitioner approaches.” Rayan intoned.
Curtis rolled his eyes as he covered the time capsule. He dusted off his hands, placed the shovel on the ground, and slumped in his chair at the table.
“Are you not even going to put on shoes?” Rayan pursed his lips.
“Why bother? It’s not like she’ll even get the door open. I’m surprised she made it past Fierma, not many can claim that.” Curtis tucked his feet under the table.
“She bound Fierma to a lower altitude. Aren’t you forgetting something?” Rayan raised an eyebrow.
“Huh. Clever.” Curtis looked around. The clifftop was covered in brush. The winter pixie gave him a thumbs-up as she flitted past. He glanced at the table and smacked himself on the forehead. Raising his hand over the cup, he filled it with elderberry wine. “Happy now?”
Rayan huffed, the air fluttering his moustache. “Do you not wish to be rescued?”
“Of course I do!” Curtis glanced at the mounds of dirt behind him, row upon row reminding him how long he’d been stuck at the top of the world. “There are just so few who earn their wings anymore, let alone their wands – the door’s never going to open.”
“But what if-”
“Even if she opened it, like Glenda managed to, she’d have to have a unicorn to unlock the winter tree and release us all from eternal night. A unicorn! Absurd, mythical creatures that don’t exist!” Curtis stood, throwing his hands in the air and knocking over the chair.
“But what if-”
“Then, even assuming a miracle, why would she ever choose ME over all the riches of the world.” A tear spilled down his cheek. “I lost all hope a hundred years ago, Rayan.” He bent to pick up the chair, resigned.
“The door opens!” Rayan intoned.
Curtis hastily sat and smoothed his shirt.