James Meets a Fidori
The last thing James remembered before lying down, was the purple flower. As his eyes closed, the black centre seemed to ooze into the purple petals, covering them with a thick oil-like slime. The petals began to droop with the weight of the liquid. James felt the same way, only his hands had turned green the moment he had picked up that innocent-looking flower. As the green had spread across his body, his strength was zapped. He had laid down, sure he would die from whatever poison was attacking his body.
Suddenly, out nowhere, James felt liquid on his lips, dripping into his mouth and filling it with a sweet taste. Involuntarily, his tongue licked his lips, wanting more. More of the sweet sap was placed on his mouth by a figure that had a faint peach fuzz texture. James swallowed gratefully. He could feel his strength returning and he blinked his eyes open. His eyes zeroed in on what looked like two giant mushrooms that had been pulled out of the ground and placed upside down. But as his eyes followed the stems, he could see they were attached to legs that seemed to be covered in leaves. It was a strange creature indeed who was feeding him this tasty sap. James took another lick and noticed the creature’s hand was a shade of green, just like his had been before he had fainted. Interestingly, the boy found he was not scared. This creature with the green hands and mushroom feet had kind eyes and whatever he was feeding him seemed to be fighting off the poison of the purple flower.
When the creature saw James’s eyes open he stumbled and backed away.
“Wait!” cried James, worried he would lose sight of the creature. The creature stopped, but far enough away that he could make a run for it if he needed to.
“Please don’t go,” pleaded James. “You saved my life.”
The two stared at each other for a long while, studying the differences between them.
Finally, the creature spoke. “What are you?” he asked, though he thought he may have seen a similar creature long ago.
“What am I?” repeated James as he sat up, still a bit weak, but gaining strength every second. He thought it was funny that this creature should ask him such a question. “I’m a boy. And what are you?”
The green creature smiled, “Nice to meet you Boy. I’m a Fidori.”
The word ‘Fidori’ echoed in James’s mind. It was comforting, almost warm and tasty like the sap that had saved him. “I’ve never seen anything like you before.”
The Fidori laughed. “I may have seen something like you once, but I’m not sure.” The Fidori came back to James now and put out his fuzzy hand. “Come, Boy, I want to show you something.”
James took his hand. “You can call me James,” he replied.
The Fidori smiled, “James, boy.”
The two took a few steps over to where a group of rocks stood, guarding the deadly purple flowers. “I think those flowers are poisoned. I saw you pick it up and then you fainted. But the flower you picked is back in there now and it is alive again.”
James could see it, but it looked much different than the one he had seen when his eyes closed. The black centre was not dripping all over the purple petals and the flower was standing upright again. “What was the stuff you used to save me?”
“Oh, that’s sap from a very special tree,” said the Fidori. “Trees that grow where I’m from. I found only one little one here in the forest and I thought it might help.”
“It sure was tasty,” commented James.
The Fidori’s eyes lit up. “Oh yes, the best. All these other tree saps are not the same.”
“Where are you from Fidori?” James said, pronouncing ‘Fidori’ slowly to make sure he got it right.
“You can call me Zintar,” said the Fidori. “And I am not from here. I don’t really know where I am or where I came from, but it’s not here.”
James noticed that the Fidori’s voice trembled as he said this. “Are you lost?” he asked kindly.
“Yes, I am,” answered Zintar.
“Well, I know the forest pretty well. Maybe I could help you find your home,” suggested James.
“Oh, would you?” Zintar said. “I’ve been searching for a long time, but I can’t find anything that looks familiar.”
“Well, what does your home look like?” asked James.
“For starters, the ground is not as hard,” The Fidori said, thumping one of his mushroom feet on the forest floor. “It’s kind of springy and my round feet just hop along. It is much easier to walk on than this stuff.”
“Hmm,” thought James, trying to remember if he had seen any bouncy areas in the forest. Then he remembered a place between two big rocks where the moss was so thick that it was kind of bouncy. He had even taken a nap there once because it was so cosy. “I might know of a place with softer ground.”
Zintar’s eyes lit up. “Really?”
“Yeah. It’s not too far from here,” said James confidently. “Come on, I’ll show you.”
The two walked along through the forest. James was feeling normal again after his episode with the poisonous flower. Well, normal-ish. He was, after all, talking to a green-skinned, leafy legged, mushroom footed creature. In all the fairy tales, James had never even heard of such a creature.
“Is this your home, James?” Zintar asked.
“No, not really. My home is just outside of the forest, but I like being in the forest much better.”
“The forest is pretty,” said the Fidori. “But when I first woke up, I was startled because it was so dark. I sat for two days behind a tree watching everything go on. There were little creatures scurrying around and they didn’t seem bothered by me, so I ventured away from the tree. Things got a bit lighter, but I still couldn’t see the sky as I can from home. Where I come from, you can see the sky forever–there is nothing in the way.”
James began to wonder if the mossy place they were headed to might not be the Fidori’s home after all. You could see the sky, but there were also tree branches in the way. They were not very far from the place, so thought they might as well keep going to check it out.
They arrived at the place where the hard ground turned into soft, dark green moss, but James wasn’t feeling very confident about it anymore. “This is the place, Zintar. But when you were talking about being able to see the sky stretched out forever, I began to think I was wrong.”
The Fidori walked out onto the mossy ground. He took a little bounce with his mushroom feet, but James knew by the look on his face that this was not home.
“The ground is softer here, but it’s not home,” Zintar said with a sad smile. Though it was not his home, he thought James was being so kind, helping him try to find his way back.
“I have another idea!” James exclaimed, interrupting Zintar’s thoughts. “When you talked about the sky, it made me think of another place. Do you want to go there?”
“Oh, yes!” said Zintar. He hoped James could find his home, but he had been searching for so long that he had almost given up hope.
James began describing the place. “There is a field right in the middle of the forest and you can see the sky with no trees in the way. Sometimes I lie down in the grass, which is a bit softer than the forest floor, and I stare up at the clouds.”
“We do that, James!” said Zintar excitedly. “Fidoris love making up stories with cloud shapes.”
“Really?” said James. “I’ve only just pretended each cloud was an object, not part of a whole story.”
“Oh, yes! We love to tell stories and the clouds give us lots of fun ideas,” said Zintar.
The boy and the Fidori chattered on a bit more as they made their way to the clearing. When they finally arrived, James looked at Zintar to see if he recognized the place at all. Before he even announced that this was the place, he knew it was not Zintar’s home. Zintar had continued chatting as if nothing had changed. James realized that if it had been Zintar’s home, he would have stopped and said something.
“I’m sorry, Zintar, this is the place,” he said sadly.
“Oh,” the Fidori answered. He looked up at the clouds and then down at the ground. “No, James, this is not my home.”
“I figured,” answered James. “I thought you would have recognized it and been more excited if it was your home.” James watched as the Fidori looked around the clearing. He looked up at the sky and realized the clouds were perfect for shapes.
“Zintar, do you want to lie in the grass and tell me a story with the clouds?” James asked.
Zintar watched the boy lie down and stare at the sky. While he was sad that he had not found his home, he realized he had found something almost as precious. He had found a friend.
Read more about the Fidoris in
By Jasmine Fogwell
While living in the old inn of Nemesté, James discovers that he and his parents are not the only ones calling the inn home. On the third floor lives a mysterious old lady named Rionzi DuCrét. Though the villagers fear Rionzi and have confined her to her room, she and James strike up an unlikely friendship. They soon discover that they have both befriended leafy, mushroom-footed creatures in the woods called ‘Fidoris.’ But the friendship is threatened as Rionzi grows suspicious of James’s claim of a certain Fidori sighting. How could he have found out about her deepest secret? Have the villagers set a trap for her to finally prove that she is insane?
Jasmine Fogwell is the author of The Fidori Trilogy and The Frizz. Visit http://www.jasminefogwell.com to find out more.