Chapter 1

A Dee Comes Home

A small red leaf, clinging desperately to its branch, is finally freed by a cool gust. It turns circles in the air, dancing gracefully towards the ground and comes to rest on the brim of a pale straw hat leaning against the base of the tree. Beneath the hat, the eyes of the older red dee creek open with the patience of a hundred years. The dee lays for a few minutes more taking in the calm autumn scene. He thinks how wonderful it is that those eyes that have seen so much are still captivated by the simple beauty in the world.

Win gently groans as he pulls himself to his feet. It won't be long now till he reaches the settlement. He's walked this path countless times and he knows he will walk it again before long. He pulls his backpack on and grabs his walking stick, which was more for intimidation than walking.

The dee steps out from under the maple tree and onto the dirt path, and begins the final waddle of his journey home.


Cherri slowly sat down in her rocking chair. The sun had set long ago and only the nearby lamp light illuminated her den through the window. It had been weeks since she had gotten Win's letter saying that he would be home soon. She knew he took his time, but she always worried for him. Win would never want any sort of celebration when he came home, she knew he wanted to drift in and out without making a big deal. Still, she wished she could have something special prepared for him other than the guest bed.

The elder magenta dee slowly closed her eyes and began to rock gently rock the chair, the rhythm bringing comfort to her tired body. Minutes later, or maybe an hour, she heard a wispy *pat, pat, pat* from her front door.

"That silly Win, does he think he's trying to not wake me?" she thought, with an invisible slight grin on her face. Cherri adjust her half moon glasses and climbs down patiently from her chair and waddles over to the door. She unbolts the shaky lock, more for her own comfort than to keep anyone out, and pulls open the door to see a very tired dee looking back at her.

"I'm home, Cherri" he said, with a rare warmth in his words.

"Welcome home, Win" she returned, stepping back to let him walk inside. Win enters the den, places his pack down and pushes it next to a large plush chair, which he then climbs up on and sinks into. Cherri walks over to the kitchen and puts on a kettle for tea, then returns to her rocking chair. They both sit silently in the dimly lit room. She knows that Win will talk when he's ready. A few minutes later the kettle starts to whistle and Cherri finishes preparing the tea. She picks up the kettle and walks over to the coffee table in the den, setting it down on a prepared tray.

"Ah, I don't trust myself to carry the whole tray anymore you know" she offers.

"Mm" returns Win.

She walks back to retrieve the two tea cups and likewise places them on the tray. She pours the tea, mustering a bit more concentration than she's used to. She pours both cups a bit more than half full, and places on on the side table between the two chairs, before returning to her rocking chair to slowly sip at her cup.

They continue to sit in silence, the only sound being the gentle creak of the rocking chair. Cherri realizes that Win must have fallen asleep soon after she gave him his tea. She grabs the biggest, softest quilt from the guest room and drapes it gently over the sleeping dee, his body rising and falling so subtly beneath it.

"Goodnight Win" she whispers, "I love you."

Cherri switches off the den's electric light. She preferred the light of the candles but her friend Han had convinced her to let him wire her home after she had a scare with dropping a candle. It pained her but she knew it was better this way. Cherri leaves the dark room and enters the main bedroom to go to bed herself, thinking how she hoped that Win would be up for talking in the morning. She knew that he needed his time to acclimate to being around other dees again. Cherri climbs into bed and tries to not think anymore, letting the warmth of the blankets carry her away.


Win is sitting on a park bench. The trees are bright green and there's a gentle breeze passing over him. It was spring when it happened, it's always spring when he visits. The whole world is aglow with warm yellow light. There is no sun in the sky. Win begins to feel uneasy being unable to find his backpack but quickly realizes its not important right now. A beam of white light erupts from the sky, landing right in front of the older dee. From the beacon a light orange dee emerges, with a bright yellow halo and either side of his body displaying small white wings.

"Hey Win, its been awhile hasn't it?" the winged dee cheerfully expresses.

"Hello Travis" Win replies, "I've missed you so terribly"

"I know darling, I've missed you too" Travis says. He floats up onto the bench next to Win and lets out a sigh. "I wish I could visit you more but it takes so much energy to transmit myself all the way out here."

Win raises an eyebrow, "I thought you were an angel, can't you just pop in whenever you please? Isn't God able to let you do anything?"

"Oh Win, please" Travis chuckles gently, "Didn't I tell you I'm no angel? I just look like one cause it's what you picture me as, we're in your realm after all."

Win narrows his eyes.

"As for God, well" Travis continues, "we've since dealt with him. Not quite as omnipotent as you'd think, just really full of himself. Looked like he was gonna cry when we unionized the castle and threw him out of his kingdom"

Trying to control himself, Win bursts into muted giggles. "Oh Travis I can't believe you. I don't know if you're really here or just a dream but I'm so happy to see you regardless."

"I'm happy to see you too Win, my love" Travis warmly replies. The two dees face each other and lean in for a gentle kiss, their soft cheeks barely grazing each other.

As they pull away Travis quietly says, "I'm very much real but I'm not unlike a dream either."

"There you go again about dreams and reality. I don't get it at all" Win retorts. "But that's ok, what matters is that we can be together"

"You're right Win" Travis responds.

The two dees exchange many more words. They laugh and cry. They hold each other in silence. They walk through the eternal spring world holding hands. They kiss many more times. Hours, days pass, perhaps weeks. Neither can tell how long it's been, all they know is that they're together right now and that it's all that matters.


Win's eyes open in the dark den. a low light from the almost rising sun barely lights up the room, barely enough for him to make out the time on a wall clock. It's early morning. He brings a hand to his face and feel the tried tears around his eyes.

"Goodbye Travis" he whispers into the dark. He feels the tears start to well back up but he lets the feeling go. He's ok now, he knows that he'll get to see him again.

Win feels the pull of sleep beckon him back. He curls up in the big comfy chair under the heavy quilt and is lulled back to sleep, to maybe dream about dolphins or strawberry care. As he finally dozes off, he swears he hears a voice so far away, so quietly telling him goodbye.

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