He sat among them, surrounding himself in their company. A neat stack near his right elbow, waiting. The rest spread out all around, overlapping here and there as thoughts from one source seemed to flow into the next. Stories, myth and legend, fantasy….evidence.
“Still here?! The supplies are packed! We should be gone already!” the voice echoed too loudly across the library. “We decided this weeks ago, and you lost.”
A set of heavy steps and a set of lighter, quicker ones behind those approached the desk.
“You decided you won,” Filvarel observed without looking up from his study.
“There is no proof. No solid evidence. Nothing. End of story. Book closed. Let’s go.” Dhuggoc scooped up the books and papers and heaped them onto a return cart. Salser jumped at the noise, landing between Dhuggoc and Filvarel.
“The proof is all around you,” Filvarel plucked a volume back from the cart.
“Proof of what? That fairies exist or that they don’t?” Salser prodded.
“I’m not starting this again. Time to go,” Dhuggoc insisted.
“They are as real as any of us. Fairy tales are everywhere. Every culture, every generation. It is based on some truth.” Filvarel marked a passage of his book for further study.
“What is truth? Your truth or mine? Truth can be tricky, like me,” Salser chuckled, hopping from one foot to the other.
“You will shut up,” Dhuggoc warned. “You’re distracting him.” He grabbed the remaining books and papers from Filvarel’s hands and dumped them on a poor, unsuspecting librarian as she passed. “Unless you hand me a fairy, a real live fairy, they don’t exist. No such creature, no such magic. And no more delay!” He turned on his heel and tromped out. It seemed dwarves did not belong in libraries.
Filvarel sighed and gathered up his things. Between Salser’s antics and Dhuggoc’s rough demeanor, his companions were leaving quite a wake in the normally peaceful library. Filvarel whispered an apology to the book-keeper at the center of the library as he passed. And, running his hand along the shelves with a promise to return soon, he slipped between the rows and out into the tree-lined street.
“What if he handed you a dead fairy? Do dead fairies count?” Salser goaded.
“A dead fairy would only prove that they once existed. My point is that they are still with us today.” Filvarel unrolled a small sketch, still unfinished.
“I see no one with us except this trickster. And I’m done with this argument. Nothing has changed. You still have no proof,” Dhuggoc didn’t look back.
“What is your proof? How do you prove they don’t exist? Hand him a not-fairy?” Salser was enjoying this a bit too much. Duggoc glared at him.
“You cannot see the air. Nor can you see loyalty,” Filvarel commented.
“Why must you complicate matters?” Dhuggoc was getting agitated now. “And put away your silly drawing, elf. That is a child’s work.”
“I am merely trying to cut through the flaws in your logic,” Filvarel replied evenly.
“Stop it. I hate that. My mind is set,” Dhuggoc asserted.
“Yes, you do keep repeating your point,” Filvarel left it at that. He rolled his parchment up again, content to work on it later.
“And you said things that are repeated are based on some truth,” Salser triumphed. The little gnome looked like he might break into a jig.
“Just as you said that you can be tricky,” Filvarel countered. “You twist my words.”
Salser laughed gleefully and ran ahead counting himself the winner this round. Dhuggoc shook his head and strode on, eager to continue their journey. Filvarel, however, paused a moment and glanced into the branches of a nearby oak. “Why can they not see the fairies?” he asked.
“Seeing is not believing,” the winged creature replied lightly. “You have to believe it; you have to know it to be true. Then look closely and see. Fae magic holds this world together. But once dried….”
“Glue is invisible.” Filvarel supplied.
This story shouldn’t have been written…but I wrote it anyway.