"She's right, you know." Freya said, and resumed her attack on the mutton shank.
"Glad my journeys are behind me, then." I said, and glanced down the table. There was a man at the far end I hadn't noticed before. He was paler tha(more)n pale, like a goth kid wearing too much makeup. The white shirt and black suspenders he wore did nothing to warm his complexion. I glanced back at him between gaps in the conversation with Freya and Atlas. They both seemed to be hinting at something, and whenever the small stout woman halfway down the table smiled or laughed, they did the same, no matter what we were talking about.
Once the meal was reduced to crumbs, Atlas stood. I hadn't noticed him put anything into his mouth save water the whole time, and his gossamer rags were covered by a rough woolen robe.
"Atlas, what's with your clothes?" I asked.
He smiled at me. "The fabric is made of dreams."
"Why are they soldered to you?"
"One never divests their dreams, not fully. Not even you, small one."
And he was gone.
Freya knocked her chair over when she stood to say goodbye, and the hug she locked me in pinned my arms to my sides. I choked a muffled "goodbye" into her breastplate. She winked, and was gone.
The rest of the creatures and characters glimmered and popped out of existence in my world, one by one. The petite woman was the last one, though she must've sent her sheep on ahead of her, because when she strode up to me, she was alone.
"You can't journey without shoes. And never turn down a good pair of boots, regardless of price."
"I'm not going anywhere."
"Don't be certain. Journeys never truly end." She vanished.(less)