|-A very remote place-|
Sleep came easily to the people of Indigo Hollow, to all but one. While most would look up to the dark blue sky, reflect upon the gentle glow of candles against their homes of soft metal and stone, and perhaps offer a prayer to their Father Moon, Owen would stay awake throughout the night.
Owen never prayed to Father Moon, and in return was never granted rest. So he would sit on the steep hills that overlooked Indigo Hollow and sing to the flame of his fire by day, and by night he would stalk the grassy streets of town.
There he laid to feel the cool breeze against him, or listen to the croaking of the night-frogs. He would sneak into the older homes that did not have people sleeping within, or candles lighting their walls, and he would disappear through trap doors into the world below.
Tunnels ran all beneath Indigo Hollow, and beyond, connected from the old homes. The elders of the town refused to speak of the tunnels, and only Owen had the bravery to prowl them, particularly after dark.
And they were wondrous to him; their ceilings always high and arched, decorated with soft metals and studded with huge red gems. Intersections were polished to a shine and his shoes would not scuff them, and often dead ends were great domed rooms lit faintly by pools of curious blue water from which white pillars rose.
Windows too were a common sight, though for all their elaborate frames and smoothed wooden shutters none looked upon anything more than walls of dirt.
Something rare, that Owen had only encountered a single time, was a staircase. It spiraled so high that it must have loomed far above the surface, and higher still, though to his disappointment it ended only in a small empty room. A crack in the wall afforded him a glimpse outside; a rolling landscape devoid of anything but hills or grass, and he knew that he must have been in a tower far from Indigo Hollow. This alone was a small wonder – no one had ever been known to venture far from town.
And yet, Owen had never been able to explore as freely as he wished. It felt sometimes as though the tunnels grew longer the longer he stayed. Sometimes a shadow would drift slowly in the corner of his eye, but he would find himself unable to turn his head until it was gone.
Once he tried to sleep in one of the blue water rooms, thinking that its relaxing glow would permit him a chance to rest for once. It worked, briefly, before he heard the echo of a voice.
It came from further down the tunnel, monotone, emotionless:
I tried so hard to be good.
Owen never tried to rest in the tunnels after that.
Another old-shorty; the idea of a place inhabited by surrounded for as far as anyone knows by absolute desolation is an appealing one to me, as is that of such a huge mystery so close to home (just beneath it, in this case).
This might sound cheesy; but the idea for the town itself came to me shortly after replaying the original Spyro -- something about the Dark Hollow level stuck with me, so if you're familiar with that you'll see some similarities. The picture above is from that level's skybox.