There once was a young man who lived in a big old house, with a big old bed and large comfy chairs, with a big old library and several old (but not quite so big) servants.
He had two brothers, both of whom ignored him. This suited him just fine. He preferred the solitude of the library, where he could write and write again in peace.
The gardens, too, gave him some comfort. When he was younger he could run and hide in the hedges from his older brothers, who chased him for sport and set the dogs to find him when they grew tired. Other times he would climb the tall trees in the wood bordering the house, and stay up there for hours and hours, until the dappled sunlight had faded from his perch and night had fallen. He would go roaming in the wood for a full day at a time, and return to the big old house for supper to find that his mother and father had barely noticed that he was gone.
The young man developed good night eyes from these adventures, and knew all the twists and turns in the woodland paths that would lose the others. One day, on one of these paths, he came across a boy.
This other looked weathered but not care-worn, thin and strong as a young tree. Yet he did not run as the young man approached him, and they spoke.
“I can teach you how to disappear” the boy said, and the young man believed him.
So every day for a fortnight the young man went to meet the boy in the wood, and every day the boy from the wood taught him something new, and in turn the young man taught the other all that he knew. The wood-boy knew all about what berries were safe, hidden paths in the forest, how to tell direction from the stars and the moon. The young man from the big old house knew how to mend a shirt, how to grow food, and how to understand the people in the house and town. What the young man really longed for, however, was to learn how to disappear. This knowledge was promised to him on the final day of the fortnight.
When the day came, the boy from the woods took the boy from the house deeper into the wood than he had ever gone before, until he came at last to a cave in the wall of a ravine, with a small but fierce river flowing beside it.
“Go into the cave, what you find will inside know the secret to disappearing. Learn with your eyes and your hands.”
So the boy from the house entered the cave. It is not for me to tell you what happened to him there, or what he met with inside. I do not know. In truth, no one could recall seeing the young man who lived in the big old house near the wood.
It is also true that the village folk will sometimes claim to see two small and fluid shadows stealing across the fields at dawn, which vanish into the wood as soon as the sun sails over the mountains.
Author’s Notes: This is actually several years old. I wrote it based on a prompt, I think, although the prompt itself is lost to the ages. I kind of enjoyed mussing about with the really simple, almost story-telling kind of feeling for writing a short “fairy tale.”
Comments (polite, please, I don’t care if they’re kind or not, but always be polite) are welcome.