Unusual - adj. Not usual, common, or ordinary.
She was dreaming again. The same dream as she'd had the past four nights - she was running down a path in the woods. The moon glimmered through the trees allowing her to see the path. She knew she was running away from something and not towards - but she felt more urgent than frightened. She stopped when she got to the brook that cut across the path - this was a place not only of her dreams but a path she took often and it didn't vary in the dream from her knowledge of it in reality - except she never walked it at night. She kneeled down, and cupping her hands, dipped them into the cold water - bringing it up to her thirsty mouth. She became aware that something had shifted - something was behind her and she stilled her breathing so as not to give away her knowledge.
She had never gotten to this point in the dream on the other nights - just awoke feeling the sensation of her running leaving her limbs and wondering what it was that pursued her so. She allowed her hands to cup more water and brought it again up to her mouth, all her senses straining to understand what was behind her. She could hear the slightest rustle and feel beneath her knees the tiniest quake of the earth - as if something large but graceful had stepped near. She could smell something different than the cold mineral water she was drinking - it wasn't the sharp tang that indicated a deer, nor the putrid stench of a bear - nor would a bear have been so considerate not to make a noise - she thought with some relief.
She decided she would get to her feet and turn and face her pursuer. Why not, she thought, having some sense that this was a dream and her curiosity had always been stronger than any trepidation she may have had. She got to her feet and turned in one swift movement. There stood the most unusual creature she had ever beheld. It towered above her with spindly limbs and a greenish hue - and seemed terrified. It closed its eyes and remained motionless - she could have sworn it believed this rendered it invisible and so she took the opportunity to take in every detail. It was covered in a very light greenish fur or hair - stood upright in a human posture and had tremendous wings that seemed to be covered in a light opalescent green skin. Its sex, for it had one, dangled tenderly between its legs - his legs - she corrected herself - and it was this vulnerability that caused her to finally speak.
"I can see you you know."
The creature opened his eyes and stared at her with wonder.
"Oh. You can?"
"Yes. When you close your eyes I don't go away."
"Oh. Ah ... I can see you too." At this the creature gave a little bark of a laugh - an embarrassed one, she thought.
"Who are you and why have you chased me?"
"I'm not chasing you!" The creature sighed and scratched his elbow. "I just was trying to catch up with you to tell you that there is danger in your world."
"Yes, the one you live in during the light hours. There is something happening and you may get caught up in it, so I came to warn you."
"Whatever are you talking about?" She felt annoyed by this creature presuming to warn her. Indeed!
"I cannot stay much longer here. It isn't allowed - I'm not supposed to warn you but you saw me once before and were kind to me so I wanted to be kind to you."
"I have never seen you before."
"Ah ... yes, you have. It was many years ago - you were a child-human and you found me with a broken wing and took me home and nursed me until your mother-person said I was filthy and you must let me be."
"But that wasn't you - that was a sparrow!" She remembered how broken-heartedly she had cried but her mother was insistent.
The large green creature just stood and stared at her - his luminous wings lifting a bit and then settling.
"Oh," she said. "Well, what am I to do about this danger?"
The creature bent down so his mouth was close to her ear and whispered - his voice and breath were one harmonious and fragrant thing, "The same thing you did then. Ignore the grown-ups and take care of the broken."
She remembered that she had pretended to obey her mother but had gone to find the wee sparrow where her mother had thrown it. She had hidden it in an outbuilding and brought it worms and seeds until it had flown free. How could she have forgotten this?
She started to answer the creature but he was gone and she awoke with tears in her eyes and a resolve in her heart.