Simon McGoran sighed. The world was changing. He was too old to keep up anymore. At eighty-seven he was stuck in a tiny apartment with neighbors he hated. Technology had become too complicated. It was a headache to even work the television. While he was in good health and still fairly strong most younger people treated him as if he was an invalid. Though some were nice about it most weren't. He sighed again shifting in his favorite recliner as his mind drifted toward sleep. That was the best place for him these days. Dreams of a past long forgotten. Of places and people that no longer existed due to progress. His parents, siblings, most of his friends. His childhood home and places he knew. Simon loved them all and held them close in his heart as sleep took his mind away.
A warmth like the sun roused Simon from his nap. His sleepy mind found it strange. His chair wasn't near a window, and he could feel he was still resting there. Slowly opening his eyes, he looked around. It took his brain several long minutes to realize he was no longer in his tiny apartment. He was sitting in front of a log cabin that looked in need of some repair but showed no signs of anyone living there.
"Where?" Simon started to speak but the voice that came from his mouth wasn't one roughened by decades of smoking and a love of the drink. It sounded much younger. Looking at his hands he went into shock seeing the smaller hands, they lacked the scars he'd gotten from his many fights, the liver spots due to his age. More than anything he felt the strength. While he'd been strong in his old age that was nothing compared to the strength he felt now. It dwarfed even his peak by several fold.
"How is this possible?" Simon stood up and was shocked again at the smooth motion of his body. "So, it's not just my strength, I guess. I need to look around."
Simon looked around from where he was standing. Aside from the cabin there were fields in need of care, a barn that still looked pretty solid, and a pond that looked clean. He then turned around and saw his favorite chair seemed to have traveled with him. Smiling at the sight of something familiar he wrapped his arms around the base of the recliner and lifted as he was taught when he worked as a logger. The recliner came off the ground easily and he carried it to the porch placing it down carefully. The porch was still solid which was good.
"Guess I should start by checking inside." Simon tried the door to the cabin, and it swung open easily under his hand. The inside showed a living room area and a small kitchen. The potbelly stove needed cleaning. He could tell even from here. He could see two doors and moved to check them. The first led to a bedroom. The bed was large and made of heavy wood. He wasn't sure what was in the mattress, but his hands sunk deep into it when he applied pressure. There were no signs of blankets, sheets or pillows. Checking last door revealed a bathroom with a large wooden tub and toilet that seemed to be carved from stone. The seat was wood and needed replaced. Checking revealed that water was indeed drawn into the house, and this was a flush toilet. That was a relief. One less thing he had to worry about.
"It would be silly if you did have to worry about such things Mr. Simon. After all this place was built by someone from your world." A small feminine voice that held the faint sound of bells spoke next to his ear. Simon looked over and saw a woman only four inches tall in a silver dress with green eyes and a bright smile. "Hi! My names Alison and I'm the one who brought you here."
Simon blinked slowly. "Fairy?" Seeing something that should only exist in stories caused his brain to stall. His reaction made Alison giggle.
"Yes Mr. Simon. I'm a fairy. I know it's a lot to take in but that's not important! I brought you here because I wanted to give you a chance at a new life since you seemed so unhappy when I found you. What do you think so far?" Alion smiled brighter.
"I'm not really sure Ms. Alison." Simon said slowly. "My body feels much stronger and better. No pain or sickness but nothing comes for free so what's the price?"
"Well, you see the price as you call it has already been paid. All I did was released the experiences contained within your body. You see most humans don't remember this, but they age because of the accumulated experiences their bodies gather over time. If that isn't released, then they die of old age. You had almost ninety years of experience weighing down your body. Now that it's released your stronger and better." Alison took a deep breath after the long-winded explanation.
Simon blinked again. "If you released my experiences, why do I remember them?"
"You don't lose the memories simply the stored-up energy. You can even do other things with your experiences. Imbuing them into tools or creatures weaker than you grant them abilities. I can show you how." Alison said calmly.
Simon nodded slowly. Alison flew out of the bathroom, and he followed. She led him to a patch of wild weeds where she showed Simon a caterpillar with silver fur.
"This is a Silver Silk Caterpillar. It's a basic creature and normally considered little more than a pest but I like them. If you focus on a memory, you want to share with it and place your finger on it you'll form a bond with it. It will become your friend, but you still have to treat it well." Alison spoke with all seriousness.
Simon smiled brightly. He'd always loved having pets when he was younger. This was just a new and exciting way of doing so. He gently placed a finger on the little caterpillar and focused on a memory of his grandmother sewing and weaving as she used to before she died. He felt a warmth move from him to the caterpillar who glowed with a warm light for a moment. He felt the connection and its joy at being given such an experience that clearly meant so much to Simon. Simon gently collected his new friend and after gathering lots of leaves he could sense it liked tucked into the cupholder on his recliner to keep it safe while he went inside to clean up the house.
He could hardly wait for what else his new life had in store for him.