Once upon a time in a far away land, there was a kingdom of Ijanhuhua. It was a land of fairies. The ground was made of snow on which you could walk and would never slip. The stairs were made of stars which always shone. The path was always adorned with beautiful rose bushes. There were numerous white clouds to travel and play with. The trees were laden with ripe and tasty fruits which were always within reach. The fairies spent their day laughing and playing with each other. They were always smiling, for nobody in the land of Ijanhuhua had ever known what was pain and sorrow.
In the night, the fairies would go far away to the dreams of the good children. They would play with them, make them smile and tell them good stories. But they returned before dawn. If any fairy did not return before dawn, she would turn into a statue of white marble and the whole land of Ijanhuhua would come to an end. Due to this reason, only the elder fairies were allowed to go and meet the children. During the day, all the elder fairies would gather to tell the younger fairies about the children they met.
Among these younger fairies was the daughter of the King of Ijanhuhua. Her name was Gabriel. She was the prettiest fairy in the entire land. Whenever she smiled, the roses started to blossom, the stars shone more brightly and the clouds would start dancing. Everybody forgot their sorrows and started smiling when they saw Gabriel. Being a young fairy, Gabriel was never allowed to leave the kingdom. Everyday she bid goodbye to the elder fairies leaving to meet the good children in their dreams. She would eagerly listen to the stories told by them during the day. She always wished to grow big and fly off to the human land and see it for herself. But the rules were the same for all.
One day, Florence, an elder fairy told everybody about a good boy that she had visited. His father was a poor farmer and this boy took cattle for grazing. He was very poor and had no friends. His only friends were the cattle that he took out for grazing and his flute that he used to play while the cattle grazed. He was a very kind hearted boy and was always helping others. But he was always sad because he was lonely. He had no friends. The boy's name was Rimo.
Gabriel thought about the boy the whole day. The more she thought about him, the more she felt sad. The stars lost their usual shine and roses forgot to blossom. Nobody smiled in Ijanhuhua that day. During the night, Gabriel hid Florence's wand in a cloud and when all the other elder fairies had left the kingdom, she slowly took the smallest cloud and went to see Rimo.
Gabriel was seeing the human world for the first time. It looked beautiful with so many colors. She wondered why there was just one color in their land when there can be so many colors. She saw blue streams of water and the green fields. There were trees and so many different animals hiding in them. There were such huge boulders which the children called hills and mountains. The children went to school and played with their friends. They ate chocolates and candies. Some slept on matresses and others on beds made of hay. But they all had the same dreams - of fairies.
Slowly the cloud made its way to Rimo's. Gabriel saw that he lived in a small house and slept on a bed of hay. He was very innocent and handsome and around the same age as she. Rimo was surprised to find a young fairy of his age in his dreams instead of the big fairy that he usually met. Gabriel took his hand and together they flew in the sky, on the mountains and the hills. They played with the water and the birds. They ate the tasty fruits and the drank from the streams. When it was dawn, Gabriel realised that she should long since have returned home. She began to cry and as the first rays of sun touched her, she turned into a statue of white marble.
Rimo woke up from his dream. He felt as if the dream he had seen was almost real. He searched for Gabriel in all the places they had visited but she was nowhere to be found. Tired, he went off to sleep. In his dream he saw Florence crying and telling him that all the fairies would soon die. Gabriel had turned into a statue and they had exactly two days to bring her back to life, else the whole fairy's kingdom would be destroyed. It was only Rimo who could bring Gabriel back to life, because only he could see her. Gabriel was in his dreams only.
Florence said, "Gabriel has defied the laws and come all the way to meet you. She should have returned home before dawn because when the sun's rays touch a fairy, she turns into a statue of marble and the fairy's land gets destroyed. There are only two days left. You have to search for Gabriel and sprinkle two drops of fairy's potion on her." Then she gave him a ring that had a liquid flowing inside it. "I need to return to my land before its dawn. You will get my cloud at night. You can search for her only in your dreams. The Fairy Witch must have hidden her under the black cloud. You need to find the black cloud before the dawn and sprinkle this fairy's potion on her, failing which the entire land of Ijanhuhua will be destroyed. May the sky and clouds help you !"
Rimo got up with a start. He was in his bed, sweating. It was morning and he could see the cloudy sky. Some clouds were white while some were black. He tried to figure out the positions of the black clouds, so that he could search them when it was night, but the clouds kept changing their positions. When it was night, he dreamt that a white cloud floated up to him and waited for him to climb. He climbed on the cloud and it took off swiftly. Rimo travelled the sky far and wide but there was no sign of the black cloud. The dawn was fast approaching and he did not have much time. He wondered what a black cloud might look like.
When he was about to give up, he saw a white light shining far away. He followed it. He was surprised to see that the light was coming from a marble statue. The statue was nothing else, but Gabriel. There was no black cloud in sight. Rimo opened the ring to sprinkle potion on Gabriel but as he was about to open it, he was engulfed by a black mask. Rimo was unable to see or breathe. The black cloud started hissing and then it broke into a loud fire engulfing him and Gabriel. But just then a miracle happened. Large drops of water started hitting him. The fire around him extinguished slowly. Rimo saw that some hundred white clouds had gathered around him showering him with rain.
But before he could thank the clouds, the cloud on which he was standing started shaking violently. Rimo saw the sun ready to throw it's first rays. The dawn was approaching. Quickly, he sprinkled some potion on Gabriel. She opened her eyes and started crying. Rimo helped her on to his cloud and together they set off for the fairy's land.
As soon as they reached there, the flowers started to blossom and the cool breeze started blowing. The King and Queen hugged Gabriel. The King asked Rimo to ask for any favour and Rimo said that he wished to stay with Gabriel always. She was the first and probably the last friend he had found.
The King granted his request. Rimo came to live in Ijanhuhua with his father. It is said that they all lived there happily for several years before the King made Rimo his successor. Rimo became a very kind hearted king. He married Gabriel and they lived happily ever after.
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Loveena Tayal.
Published on e-Stories.org on 12/06/2009.