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Tracy sat at the edge of the pond with her chin cradled in her knees, staring into the murky water below. A gentle warm  breeze blew through her raven hair and caressed her face. she picked up a pebble laying next to her and played with it before tossing it in the pond. she knew she had to get back home soon before her dad got home, but she definitely wanted to stay, in fact if she had it her way she would never go back. she knew though if she tried to run, she would only get so far, before she was found and made to go back, or worse.

She sighed while getting up. "can I be eighteen yet?" she dusted herself off and brushed the loose hair out of her face, but as she did she started to hear something like the sound of light bubbling coming from the water below.

 At the shallow edge of the pond she could see air bubbles quickly rising to the surface, Catching her off guard. Tracy leaned in to get a better view as she wondered what could be doing this. But as she leaned in, suddenly a small object shot out of the water and landed at Tracy's feet. 

 Tracy let out a scream as she jumped back, trying to avoid it. Her eyes traced the ground trying to see what it was that came up out of the water.  She could hardly believe her eyes as she saw the figure of a man, in a black waistcoat, laying on the ground, only, this man was the tiniest man she had ever seen. 

Whatever he was, he was small enough to fit into the palm of her hand. She would have thought he was a toy except he definitely did not look like he was made out of plastic and a few seconds later, she could see him starting to move. Her eyes widened and her mouth dropped in horror, but she remained silent saw his tiny frame got to his feet, standing no taller than the height of a coffee mug.

He got to his feet facing wiping the mud off of his coat and turned to face the pond, which to him perhaps looked more like a small lake. "Where the hell did I end up, damn hell hounds" But as he took in the his surroundings, he seemed to notice Tracy’s shadow, which had engulfed the ground around him. Very quickly the man spun around first staring right at Tracy’s feet.His face turned to horror as he looked to see Tracy standing there at her full height. 

Their eyes met and locked on each other, neither one of them knowing what to do. As she stared at him, Tracy crouched down to get a better look. But as she did, he darted off towards the pond “Hey, wait." she called after him and without thinking she reached for him, catching his coat, causing him to fall backwards on his butt. Realizing what she did she pulled her hand back. " oh, no, sorry. I didn't mean to."

But as the tiny man started to get back up, Tracy grabbed him again, except more gently than before and brought him to her face as he fought to get free. She was surprised how light he was, as she held him in her fist. She could feel Him squirming in fear but only so slightly, tickling her a bit on the palm.  With Wide eyes and in complete wonder she asked “oh my gosh, what are you? How did you get so small? No OH my gosh what is going on?!." 

         The man squirmed more and more, trying to get loose, as he begged “Please let go, your crushing my ribs."

Tracy's eyes widened and she gasped "Oh my gosh." she loosened up her grip apologizing. “I’m so sorry, I hope I haven't hurt you. Your so small, How did you get so tiny?” waiting for him to speak again. She had hundreds of questions running through her mind, who was he, no what was he? 

"Not exactly what I meant, but thank you I guess." He said cooly as he stopped struggling with her. “And as far as I know, I haven’t changed size."Then with a defeated look on his face he sighed. " But, that's probably besides the point, can you tell, where I am?"

Tracy looked around at the pond and said. "We're by the pond by my house, outside of Freeport, Texas."

His face turned twisted in confusion. “Texas? What realm is this, what magic was that? Texas? Who names a place..."

"You said something about magic?" Tracy asked sheepishly.

He looked back at her and said, "of course it was..."  he suddenly got a sick feeling in his gut. " magic."

“Sorry, but this is just really weird for me I mean here this stuff is impossible; magic, you, this is all just crazy?" Tracy was really confused, and by now here mind was racing at the possibilities, was she going crazy, is this real?


The man sighed. "Maybe I should explain What happened before I got here." he said. "I'm obviously not in my world anymore, but I’m from the realm of Agamar, I was being chased after by these beasts called Hell hounds, sent to kill me, by order of the King. Long story short, they chased me through the brush until I tried to lose them in a cave,


 “My squad and I had mapped out the tunnels as an easy get away from the king's men, but I ended up making a wrong turn and heading down a path we had yet to map out. I ended up at a dead end when I came to an underground river and with the hellhounds on my tail, I had no choice but to jump in. I ended up washed down river and next thing I know, here I am.”


Tracy looked worried as she held him. “Wait why did the king try to kill you?”


“I’m part of a rebel cell called the Order of the white hand.” He said. “We are tired of him killing our people, I joined up after he had my family killed in front of me. That’s what happens when you can't afford his taxes I guess.”

 "Your family?" she asked


" Yes," he sighed.


"That’s awful." Tracy said, she couldn't help but have some compassion for the little guy, " so how are you going to get back home?"

"I'm not exactly sure right now, but even if I could go back now those hell hounds will be waiting for me" he said. Looking around at his surroundings didn't make him feel much better. Magic or not, this world was definitely too big for him. "I may just have to make an improvised tent and sleep out here until tomorrow morning."

 

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