Jill’s home was very comfortable. The tree was thinner than many of the homes in Fable, but felt so much bigger on the inside thanks to having few rooms. Sandy hunched over a little as she went through the door, even though she didn’t have to, because being inside this stump reminded her of crawling through tunnels. Some of the walls were smooth and flat because Jill wanted them that way for shelves but most of the others were rough and concave like she had dug out everything with her bare hands.
Sandy liked it here, though. Everything felt so sturdy and permanent. But she didn’t like how empty it looked, either. Jill’s living space was the opposite of Maxine’s in virtually every way. There were no ‘piles’ of random treasures to be cleaned up sometime in the future. There was nothing distracting on the walls to grab the eye. If it weren’t for the plants that Jill had brought in, the entire home would have been smooth dark woodgrain. It was as plain and utilitarian as could be and Sandy was disappointed by this for only a moment. Slowly, it started to make sense to Sandy that this is what Jill’s home would look like.
I mean it. I do like your home.
Eh. It’s okay.
You’re real modest… And I bet I know why.
This is probably the first home you ever made.
Yeah. First one I liked, anyway.
You were probably expecting something all huge and nice.
Right. I figured anyone who could build our café that fast would have a mansion.
But this is way better.
Why do you say that?
Because it’s something you made with love. It’s just right for you.
It feels good to hear someone else say it.
I didn’t really know what I was doing when I started and it shows if you know where to look.
I think I’d hate living in a mansion, too. It’d be a lot of work and money just to have the same back yard.
I feel that if you spend all your time trying to make yourself look rich, you’ll miss out on the simple things.
Speaking of which, shall we dig in?
Jill’s face made the entire journey worth it. She lit up when she was reminded of the pie Sandy had tucked under a cloth. Miko looked around nervously for plates and silverware, but Jill didn’t rise to serve any. Instead she cut the pie like a pizza with a pocket knife and lifted out a huge gooey chunk. Miko looked on with wide eyes as Jill chomped into it like a candybar. Sandy giggled playfully as she watched both Jill’s happiness at getting a rare treat and Miko’s attempts to wordlessly ask Sandy if she was seeing the same thing she was. Sandy folded down the pie tin and took her own slice. Miko did as well, but held it gingerly away in her fingertips to keep the drips away from her fluff.
Man, I forgot how much I loved the café’s pies. Now I gotta come by more often.
Mission accomplished, then.
Oh my gosh, it’s everywhere…
I was going to ask if you’d be safe walking back and forth through the woods. But after that monster attack, I’m guessing the forest is more afraid of you.
Not all of it. It’s still dangerous out here.
You mind if I tell you a bit about the woods while you’re here?
Please do. I’ve got to learn everything I can about Fable.
First rule of Fable. Don’t just wander off anywhere you like. The mist on the ground gets thicker as you get to the edge. And things get weirder the more of it you see.
Fable has an edge?
Well, it would kind of have to, right?
If you can only get here by a magic train, it can’t be as big as a whole world.
That’s my guess, anyway.
The mist makes everything it touches grow. And all the weird stuff you ever see comes out of the mist, too.
It’s also why the forest is so big. The trees soak up the mist and do whatever they want after that.
If we didn’t have Jill, the forest would overgrow all of Fable. We’re very grateful.
You know what else I’d be grateful for?
Oh well… Just call me stickyfingers.
Where’s the mist come from?
No one knows.
And to make it worse, we think that going all the way into it is a one-way trip.
Yeah. No one has ever come back out of the mist, so I’ve heard.
On a clear morning, you can see the mist out over the sea too. It’s so far out that there’s no way you’d hit it accidentally. But it’s there.
That’s why we call it the Forest of Imagination. Anything you can imagine can happen in there.
And if you go too far, Fable forgets all about you.