I used to be afraid of the dark. But that was before it happened. Before I discovered what lay in the dark beyond what my eyes could see. Before I got to know the creature that lived under my bed and came out when the light went out and I was fast asleep. Those were good times. Now, however, I'm afraid of something far worse than that. Experience taught me to be afraid of the creatures that live in the light.
I remember waking up in the middle of the night, scared of a nightmare. It took a moment for my eyes to adjust to the darkness and there he was, standing at the foot of my bed. I could only distinguish his outline with the little light that filtered in through the blinds from the cars outside. I remember clearly the look in his eyes. Eyes that were red like rubies harvested from hell itself, glowing in the darkness of my room. Oddly, I felt no fear of him. A gut instinct, if you can call it that, told me he wasn't there to harm me.
"Stay still." He said almost in a whisper. "They are watching us, but they can't see in the dark unless you move."
A car's light flashed through my window and I saw something trying to look inside. A flash of something at least, one moment it was there and the next it was gone.
"She is gone." The creature said.
He was about fifty centimeters high and wearing a sort of grey hooded cloak. He walked on the bed until his face was a few centimeters from mine. Then, I could see that his face resembled a bearded boar.
"You are in danger," he said. "She is after you because she knows what I know. And now she wants you dead."
I was frozen. Unable to decide what should scare me more, that a creature was standing in my bed or that he said another creature wanted me dead.
"Who is she?" I managed to say.
The creature caressed his beard and jumped to the floor. Then he began pacing around the room impatiently.
"She's a fairy. A creature of the light. Her name is Xriza." he said. "And I am Koli, a creature of the darkness."
I remember sitting up in my bed and looking at him, my expression puzzled.
"Ah, yes." He said when his eyes crossed mine. "I must explain. For ages there has been a war between the creatures of the light and the ones of the dark. There is a prophecy that a chosen one will be born and shall unbalance the war in favor of one of the sides."
"And you think I am the one?" I asked.
"No, of course not." He said dismissively. "I am the one. But just as I am the one of darkness, there is also the one of the light. Xriza is that one."
"I don't understand." I said. "Where do I fit in?"
"Easy." He explained. "You are the one I chose to be my aid, my sidekick, or whatever you want to call it. And this goes both ways. Having chosen you makes me your protector."
I rubbed my eyes. He was still there. This wasn't making much sense.
"What? What is this war about?" I asked.
"You don't get it, do you?" he said. "You've been told the story since you were born and you still don't recognize it, do you? But the truth about it is much more cruel.
I am what you would call your guarding angel. The war is about you, about every human. We hide in the dark and protect you, while they try to kill you in the plain open light."
"You mean you are my guardian angel?" I asked.
"You may think of me as an angel, and I'm guarding you. There is a slight difference." He said.
"And why should I believe you?" I asked. "How can I know that it is you who want to hurt me and she the one to protect me?"
"I cannot provide proof for you. I can only hope you trust me. When she attacks I will be there."
And just like that, Koli ran under my bed and disappeared. I threw myself to the ground and searched for him but he was nowhere to me found. After a while of searching in my room I went back to bed and fall asleep again.
The next day I couldn't decide if it had been a dream or reality. The memories felt so real that I was a little scared. The day went by as usual and at noon I went to the park to eat my sandwich like I always do on a bench in the sun. I must have eaten half my sandwich when I saw her sitting on the bench next to me. She looked like a fairy. A tiny woman about half a meter high with butterfly wings. She was wearing blue jeans and a white shirt.
She was staring at me with a malevolent grin. Her eyebrows curved in between her eyes. I froze, and without any warning she got up and jumped at me. Her hands like claws and her mouth open, showing her pointy teeth at me. I jumped back and she hit me hard on my left arm as I raised it to protect my face. I felt her nails sink into my flesh and the pain that instantly followed. I continued to go back until I hit a tree. In its shadow Xriza became blurry, or else my sight was failing me.
What followed was something surreal. I saw Koli materialize in front of me and began to fight Xriza. Both of them appearing and disappearing as they went from sunlight to the shadow. The fight was terrible and really violent. Until there was only Koli standing in front of me.
"She is gone." He said. "For now."
I thanked him and ran back home. I could tell that Koli was running right beside me, even if I didn't see him. Once home, I closed all the windows and I stayed in the darkest place in my house. That was the last day I ever went out in the sunlight. I was now part of something bigger than myself, but I was not afraid, for now Koli was by my side. He is my guarding angel.