We now jump backwards in time to a moment before the world noticed that Daniel disappeared...
Daniel looked up at his tower. He did not know if he would see it again. He had plenty of provisions - if anything, too much. At this moment, although he sensed that things were wrong in the kingdom, he did not know. Daniel quickly fled from his tower, avoiding any passersby. The pool of fairies would be safe. He had never seen another soul there, although he had told many of those closer to him about it. The pool was always too far for them to travel to, so it seemed as if only a legend and nothing real. As Daniel dodged from alleyway to alleyway, keeping mostly to shadows as the sun set and avoiding any passersby, it was not long until he was outside of the city. It was still a few hours before he got to the pool, but he was there before midnight.
Tired, and mildly confused, Daniel finally came upon the final clearing of trees that surrounded this pool. As he sat down, he let out a long sigh mixed with a yawn, ready to relax in the darkness. This man rolled out his bedding, enjoying the glimmer of the stars against the dancing of very small ripples on the water.
Daniel smiled at the pool.
Then a sparkle appeared like a firefly in the night. First one, which then disappeared, then came back. Another small flash of light came from another region of the pond. It was as if the stars themselves were creating fairies in the pool, which glimmered as fizzing orbs of light that then danced in circles around the waters. Upwards, downwards, the one turned into a few, then tens, then hundreds, in a magnificent display like Daniel had never seen.
A light came towards Daniel, circling his head several times, before landing on his shoulder.
"Look." The small voice was almost inaudible.
"Where?" queried Daniel, although his voice was booming in this stillness.
"Look." The voice said again.
Daniel looked at the water, edging closer, and eventually to only stare at his own murky reflection.
"You will be king." The still voice came again.
This made no sense to Daniel because he had assumed that he would be king regardless. He pondered why the fairy would make an effort to say what he felt was a ridiculous statement. All that effort, for something that he thought he knew?
"Look." The voice said one final time, before flying off.
The lights that circled the pools quickly faded as this light disappeared. It was as if each fairy triggered the adjacent one to turn their lights off. Daniel was once again in darkness. He peered over the edge at his reflection again, but instead of his reflection the pool opened up and he saw his kingdom. He saw his tower and all the homes beneath it. It looked like his home.
The scene quickly changed as everything turned into fire. There were peasants in the streets with sores as large as boils. Riots broke out as people began scavenging for whatever morsels of food they could find, destroying any building in their path that looked like it could contain anything. Dragons soon came with riders who had devilish horns as they spurred the beasts to throw fire. Daniel shuddered, but the scene was not over.
The view changed from his city to places within all of the kingdom of Albion. The scene filled with grotesque visions of people in peril, tormented by monsters. The single vision of the kingdom was at first split into a few, and those few into many, and those many into multitudes, filling the pool. The scenes crowded each other and multiplied just as the fairies did, except in visions of people on the waters. The visions each started off peacefully, showing families who could not stop the horrors that soon beset them. The scenes got worse and worse, with disease, starvation, wars, and worse. Much worse. Daniel thought he could hear sounds with the cacophony of sights. Pleas from people needing help, screams, children crying.
"Enough...." Daniel quietly said.
The vision began to flare up. Every natural disaster imaginable began as if the earth were trying to rid itself of its own plague of humans. Earthquakes, volcanoes, storms, hurricanes, floods. Humankind appeared as nothing as the earth rejected what it then considered an unhealthy parasite. Even the skies grew angry as meteors hit, finishing whatever destruction seemed to remain. Humanity continued to survive, although each moment increased in peril. The visions of each individual only appeared to merge because they became so similar. Daniel thought he could smell every bit of rot and feel every emotion from more and more individuals. He felt every pain.
"ENOUGH!" Daniel screamed in anger.
The vision stopped. The pool was clear and still in its blackness. Even the stars appeared to give no light.
The next moments were not silent, because silence does not describe how little noise existed at that moment. Not even the wind dared enter.
Daniel heard only the rhythm of his own heart. He sat there, slumped. Exhausted from his trip and from these visions, Daniel furrowed his brow, closed his eyes, as they welled with tears.
"You. Must. Stop. This." The still, small voice said, only to disappear as suddenly as it came.
Daniel spoke into the darkness.
There was no answer back.