by Pirate Turner
"You know," the delicate, feminine voice shattered the lonely Dwarf's thoughts, "you could come with me."
Sebastian looked up, his dark eyes widened in surprise. "Come with you?"
"Yes." Medusa nodded. "You are welcome to accompany me back to their realm."
"That realm is no place for one of my kind."
"And it is for mine?" she questioned him as a soft breeze sent ripples fluttering through the silk material of her scarves.
"We are from the same realm, Sebastian. How can it be a place for me but yet not for one of your own kind? Do not tell me you meant Dwarves alone; I know you better than that."
"You're right," he admitted, "I didn't. It isn't a place for any being from our Realm of Imagination, but it is for you because you love him."
"You love Miranda, so why is it not also a place for you?" she questioned quietly, bringing him a sharp look of surprise from the Dwarf. She smiled gently. "Your feelings for the girl are not as secret as you think."
Sebastian jumped from where he had been sitting on the dock to his bare feet. "Did Malachi tell you?!" he demanded, his dark eyes blazing furiously. "I'll --"
"No, Malachi did not tell me. I did not need to be told nor do many of the others. We can see it in your eyes, Sebastian -- the adoring way you gazed upon the girl while she was still with us and the aching emptiness that fills them now that she's gone." Medusa's eyes searched Sebastian's as she spoke, but the Dwarf quickly lowered his eyes. "It is nothing to be ashamed of, Sebastian. You love her; she loves . . . "
"Do not say that!" the Dwarf sharply exclaimed, suddenly springing to his feet. His hands balled instinctively into tight fists even as a dark red flushed his face. Medusa gasped softly and took a single step back, looking at him in clear surprise and shock. He bit back a sigh. "Look. I know you're just trying to help, but do not lie to me, Medusa! Miranda does not love me! She never could! Look at me! Your snakes were not real, but my pointy ears, huge feet, and short stature are! I'm not beautiful like you! I'm just an ugly, short Dwarf with absolutely nothing to offer a Princess as beautiful and valiant as Miranda! She can do far better without me, and she neither needs nor has any reason to want me!
"I wish you all the best for your life with the mortals, Medusa, but I can not go with you! If I go, she will know the truth, and she will flee! I will lose her, and my last memories of her will be of her being terrified of me! At least, this way, I will always remember her fondly and will always have that one blessed kiss we shared on the battlefield and the hope that I could perhaps be wrong and something could have come from that, but if I go with you, all those hopes will be dashed! I am sorry, but I can not allow for that to happen!"
The Dwarf, his short body shaking with his emotions and tears streaming down his cheeks, turned and stormed down the dock, leaving Medusa to turn after him and call out his name. "Sebastian!"
He threw a hand back out at her, his fingers splayed apart. "No! Just go!"