"SILENCE." A chorus of voices spoke in unison, startling him out of finishing the question. He looked around and saw that he was in a ring of mushrooms, out in the forest, and a full moon appeared in the sky high above him. How had he been stolen from his bed without waking up? Why in the world had he been abducted in the first place?
"Noah Avenford, you're here to answer for the death of your Fae companion. What say you?" It was a single voice that questioned him now, and it sounded as if it were directly behind the light. Interrogation tactics, hah! He wouldn't answer the lunatic's questions. Instead, he focused his efforts on breaking apart the gossamer threads that bound him. He found them exceptionally strong, and they were causing his skin to tingle as he rubbed his wrists together.
The light seemed to float closer to his face, causing him to squint. Then the light dimmed, and he found himself staring directly into the face of a small, angry looking man. With wings.
"I must be dreaming." He said aloud, knowing how cliche it was to say such a thing in this sort of circumstance. But what else could it be? Certainly there wasn't a fairy floating a few inches from his face...
"Noah Avenford, this is no dream. The evidence is clear; you murdered your Fae companion. Have you anything to say in your defense, Human?"
The fairy man, more quickly than Noah could follow, had pulled a small knife from his side and poked him in the nose.
"The innocent Fae, Awen-alore, is cold and dead this eve, because of your careless words."
"I don't believe in..."
A loud cry rose from the group of winged people behind the speaker, and the tiny man poked his nose harder to stop him from finishing his sentence.
"That is exactly what got you here, Human. And as you've attempted to murder one of our kind again, there will be no verdict other than the obvious. Guilty!"
"GUILTY!" The voices cried in unison. Noah's heart raced. Would they kill him? If this was real... would they really be so cruel in the face of his ignorance? No one believed in fairies!
"Noah Avenford, for killing your Fae companion, we charge you to a life without a Fae presence. You will receive no replacement companion, you will be as yesterday to us, forgotten and unimportant. You will be judged, once more, upon your death."
He woke up the next morning in his bed, drenched in sweat. He immediately checked his wrists, noticing no trace of the threads that had bound them before. In his dreams? His mouth moved uninhibited, and a quick search of the bed turned up no grass, dirt, or anything else to indicate that he had traveled. He laughed to himself. Fae companion indeed!
But his breakfast that morning tasted like cardboard. No matter how much seasoning he dashed on his eggs, he couldn't make them taste better. He found nothing on TV to amuse him. The sun traveling through a clear blue sky didn't cheer him, or make him feel anything at all, really. When he went out to the city center, people moved around him as if he were a dirty, homeless man, begging for change. He noticed he couldn't smell any of the usual things around him; the bakery, the pizza shop, car exhaust.
Noah returned home, wondering if maybe he had caught a cold. Maybe the dream had bothered him more than he wanted to admit. He decided to lay down and take a nap, hoping that would clear his head. It didn't.
That night, he discovered that he no longer dreamed.