Vector goes to Springtide, and finds himself a lot younger, and also a dragon.
Springtide: Vector’s Rebirth
“What the?” Vector stared in awe trying to process what he was looking at. A rather boring trip to the mall had suddenly become very interesting upon visiting a store full of old dusty antiques. Most of it was pretty boring, but there was a mirror in the back corner that now had Vector mesmerized.
The reason for Vector’s wonder was simple. It was his reflection. Vector looked like, what many might describe as a somewhat average young adult. He was kind of lanky, blond hair, wearing a hoodie with his jeans, and had a pair of black rectangle frame classes. Why would this appearance make leave him absorbed by his own reflection? It was simple, it was because that wasn’t what was actually showing in the mirror. Looking back at him in the mirror was a small child, one that couldn’t be older than three. He had Vector’s clothes, but was less wearing them and more piled upon by them. The child held Vector’s glasses in his hands, as they were far too big for a toddler to wear, and so he mindlessly twiddled with the lengths of them.
“How is something like this possible?” Vector asked. It had to be some kind of trick mirror… But, the image in it was him, or at least him as a kid. It had the same hair, the same body shape, everything he had seen in his baby pictures. And of course, it was wearing, or trying to wear, the same clothes he had on now. He couldn’t think of a way a mirror could have been prepared like that. Maybe it was electronic, someone was watching him on the camera and had quickly generated an image? Yet it was so accurate.
Vector slowly reached out a hand and touched the mirror’s surface. As he did, the image of child self disappeared as the surface of the mirror rippled like water.
“Okay… That’s bizarre.” Vector stuck his hand through the mirror. It was warm on the other side, and he could feel a breeze. It led to outside? But… Something was wrong. The mirror was a free-standing mirror. That meant there was nothing behind it. No wall for a secret passage, no compartment that anything could be hidden in. By all logic, if his hand had passed through it would have been sticking out the other side of the mirror. And yet, here he was.
Vector pulled his hand back, the mirror’s surface rippled a bit and then the image of the child appeared again. Vector stared at it, then began to walk back and forth in front of the mirror thinking.
“Am I really considering this?” Vector asked himself. “I have no idea what this is, and I’m really going to do this?” Yet, between the reflection and what he felt, he was dying of curiosity to understand what this mirror was. “This is such a bad idea…” Vector took a deep breath, and then charged through them mirror.
And promptly found himself tripping over his own clothing.
“Gah!” Vector fell to the ground and was suddenly rolling in grass. When he stopped he sat up. His shoes and jeans had been lost a few feet from where he came, while his hoodie now fit him like a tent. And the place he was in…
It was possibly the most beautiful place he had ever seen. A meadow filled with flowers of endless colors. A bright sun shining down, with enough clouds to keep it from becoming too hot. Then, a massive oak tree, its girth thicker than some bedrooms Vector had lived in. The tree was where Vector had stumbled from. There was no mirror on this side, but the tree did have an enormous gaping opening in its trunk, that was roughly the same size as the mirror Vector had come through.
Vector finally looked down at himself. He was tiny! His body was so much softer and rounder than it should have been! There was no question about it, he was now the three-year-old version of himsself he had seen in the mirror.
“What is this place?” Vector asked his voice full of wonder. He stood up and tried to walk forward, intent on exploring and learning more. However, progress was hampered by the giant hoodie that threatened to get tangled up with his legs in each step. It made it rather hard to move forward and-
Vector paused, noticing something else. This serene meadow was far from empty. There were several piles of discarded clothing laying along the grass, all relatively close to the oak tree. Other people had been here before Vector. And apparently, they had left their clothing behind. So, others had come here… And were they running around naked now? Vector shivered at the thought… Yet, as he struggled to walk without tripping he was aware of the fact that his hoodies was far more of a hindrance than an actual article of clothing.
“Well… If everyone else is already doing it…” Vector muttered to himself, as saying it out lout made it easier to accept. He dropped the hoodie, stepped out of it, and continued on naked through the field. After a few more minutes of walking though he came to a strange sight.
The field ended, very abruptly. Obviously, fields usually end but it was… Unnatural. Instead of a gradual change to new scenery, it was as if two completely different ecosystems had just been sat next to each other. And even stranger… There were two completely different areas bordering this sudden break in the meadow. On Victor’s left was a quiet forest with the sun peaking through the trees, filled with the sound of singing birds. To his right, was also a forest, but the trees, the ground, everything was made out of cardboard. To make it stranger, it appeared to be sunset over the real forest, while the cardboard one was midday just like the meadow.
“This place is so bizarre.” Looking between the two, Vector felt the real forest was less alien, and so continued in that direction. The second he crossed the threshold between areas he felt the difference. The woods were a few degrees cooler than the meadow, not enough to be uncomfortable, but definitely enough to be noticeable.
Considering Vector’s current age, it was a pretty safe bet to conclude that this place had some kind of magic or supernatural shenanigans going on… So he probably shouldn’t be too concerned with how strange the borders were. It technically wasn’t any less likely to be real than what he had already experienced. With this in mind, he felt slightly more confident as he moved on. There was a dirt trail leading through the forest, and Vector figured as long as he stuck to the trail he could find his way back to the meadow and his own world. At least… He thought. However, after the trail had curved a couple times he found himself getting lost after all.
Was that the same tree he had passed earlier? Or was it his imagination. It looked so similar… Yet, he was sure he hadn’t taken enough turns to circle back. Had he? And… There was a bush with three smooth rocks sitting on the ground in front of it. He had seen an identical sight but… It was a bush and some rocks, how sure was he these were exactly the same? It could be a coincidence, there were just three here. Yet… He couldn’t shake the feeling that he was going in circles. He decided it’d be best to turn around and retrace his own steps. If he followed his own footprints he should make it back to where he started easily!
Except… After rounding a corner, the footprints stopped. Was that possible? Had maybe the wind blew them away? He looked in the other direction, and found the trail he had been following was also gone.
“That’s… Not good…” Vector muttered.
“Are you lost little one?” It was a high-pitched voice that sounded somewhere above Vector. The young child looked around frantically trying to find the source. Instead he heard a giggle behind him, and then on the other side.
And then the source of the voice came out, a ball of light shot down from one of the trees, flying in a short circle around Vector before floating up to be exactly eye level with him. As it came to a stop, the light faded slightly and Vector could make out a tiny figure. It was a blue haired boy with pointed ears and translucent wings. The boy looked to be about two years old by human standards, and much like Vector was completely unclothed.
“Are… You a fairy?” Vector stared at the small thing in awe.
“What was your first hint?” The boy stuck his tongue out. “Come on, you act like you’ve never seen one of us before.” This just got a flat look from Vector. “Wait… Have you? Is this your first time here? And you came all the way in the Fey Woods?”
“Y-yes.” Vector stammered a little nervously. “You said Fey Woods, that’s where this is?”
“This area yes.” The fairy shrugged. “But if you’re wondering about the entire world you’re in… Well… Welcome to Springtide, a land of magic and fantasy!” The fairy gave a mischievous grin.
“Springtide?” Vector was trying to process a lot of information right now. Top among them was the fact that magic was real, which the meaning of was finally starting to dawn on him, and the fact that he was currently talking to a real life fairy.
“Yeah, you know, world of creativity, where anyone can do magic?” The fairy grinned knowingly.
“Anyone at all?” This caught Vector’s interest.
“Ohhh, do you want to develop your own magical power?” The fairy danced around Vector in the air. “It’s really not that hard. I’ll be happy to teach you.”
“Really!?” Vector felt almost ready to bounce up and down from excitement.
“Of course!” The fairy then froze in air; and gave a heavy sigh. “Though, perhaps rather than jump right into the advanced stuff, we should start you from the beginning?”
“That’s fine with me.” Vector nodded as sat down on his knees to get comfortable while he listened.
“Well if you insist.” The fairy landed on the ground about a foot away from him. “Say… What’s your name kid?”
“Kid?” Vector debated making a comment about the fact that the fairy actually looked younger, but decided it was best to let it pass. “It’s Vector.”
“Alright then Vector…” The fairy floated back into the air. “Let’s get you started from the very beginning! Just as you asked.” The fairy held his hand out in front of his own face then blew on it. A puff of dust flew out of it and into Vector’s face.
“Gah!” Vector had been caught off guard and fell backwards onto his back. Suddenly, he felt overcome by a sense of vertigo. The entire forest seemed to be growing around him… And he was feeling strangely weaker. And tired… Vector felt his vision blurring as he reached out an arm towards the fairy. It was strange, the arm looked ever smaller than it had when he arrived… Like it belonged to a baby. He didn’t have long to think of that though as it grew dark, as he suddenly found himself surrounded by strange walls. He couldn’t see and it was cramped… Yet, it felt strangely warm and comforting. Before Vector could even try to understand what happened he found himself asleep.
“Oh dear.” The fairy giggled as it walked up to the large football sized egg that sat where Vector had been a moment before. “I guess that’s actually before the beginning. Well… Close enough.” The fairy studied the egg for a moment, debating what it should do. After a few minutes, it decided there wasn’t much fun to be had with it until he hatched, and so the fairy took the air and flew off.
Vector had no idea how long he had been asleep for when he finally woke. All he knew, is it had been the most restful slumber he had ever had. As he woke, he could hear a voice coming from somewhere… It was kind of muffled. Vector yawned and tried to uncurl himself from the fetal position he had slept in.
He hit the side of the walls. Walls? He could vaguely remember them. He was inside something! He began to try to push against the edge of the wall, trying to find an exit. Instead, the walls began to crack up completely… And then shattered overwhelming Vector with light.
“Raaaaawwwr!” Vector gave a shout, in a voice that sounded far too small to be his own.
“Whoa! Easy there!” As Vector’s vision cleared from the sudden light he made out the source of the voice. It was green scaled creature, with a long tail, big wings and short horns on the tip of its head! It was a wyvern! Well… A small cute looking one.
“Roooawwwr?” Vector managed to ask. Why couldn’t he find words. He slowly tried to get to his feet, but found he couldn’t get up off all fours… And… That small cute dragon was bigger than him?
“Easy there, you just hatched.” The wyvern gently grabbed Vector’s shoulder with a wing. “Give yourself a moment to let your senses recover.”
Hatched? That was ridiculous. Vector didn’t hatch from…
He didn’t finish the thought, as he noticed small spotted purple pieces all around him that certainly looked like they might be an eggshell. Vector slowly looked down at himself.
He was a dragon too. A small purple one, no bigger than a house cat, with light colored spots and red spines.
“Raawr!?” Vector held up his paws in front of his face in disbelief.
“… And based on that gonna guess you weren’t a dragon previously huh?” The green dragon seemed mildly concerned. “I was actually just hear collecting berries for breakfast when I found your egg. Noticed it was wobbling and figured that meant you were about to hatch.”
“Roaaawr rawr roooawr!” Vector flailed his paws and tried to stand up on two legs. He managed to balance for roughly two seconds before falling onto all fours again. How was he a dragon? What had happened! Last thing he remembered was the fairy… And… Had he done this?”
“You seem just a tad confused.” The green dragon giggled a bit. “Tell you what… If you want, you can join me for breakfast. Maybe I can teach you a few things about how your body works now. And then afterwards, we can go for a fly.”
“Rawr?” Vector tilted his head. He slowly looked over his back and saw the small wings attached there.
“Well what did you think they were for?” The wyvern asked. “Now… It’s about time I get moving, you coming?” He turned away from Vector.
There were many things Vector would have liked to ask, but right now words just seemed to fail him completely. However, a rumbling noise from his stomach proved that heh was in fact hungry… And this other dragon seemed friendly enough. After considering it, Vector slowly trotted along behind the dragon.
“By the way, I’m Jade.” The wyvern spoke up. “What’s your name?”
“Rawr?” Vector gave Jade a look.
“Rawr huh? Odd name.” Jade stuck his tongue out.
“ROOOOOOAAAAWR!” Vector shook his head at Jade. He had only known this guy for a few seconds, and already he felt like an annoying brother.
“I’m kidding, I get it, you’re a bit too young to start talking right now.” Jade smiled. “Maybe you can just write your name in the dirt for me or something.”
It seemed that unlike his last encounter, Jade’s friendliness was genuine. Vector felt like he should have been more concerned or nervous about what happened… But, it was hard to be upset. For some strange reason, becoming a dragon felt almost like an upgrade… Even if he was too young to talk. And the other guy seemed alright. And at the very least he seemed to know his way around the forest. That helped with the whole being lost issue. Oh, that was right. In all the excitement of suddenly being a dragon, Vector had completely forgotten he was lost in the woods.
Vector followed after Jade, sticking a little closer than was needed. The older wyvern didn’t seem to mind, and stretched a wing out to rest over Vector’s shoulder as the two set off to find food. Neither knew it at the time, but they had taken their first steps into a friendship that would last a lifetime.