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The grove

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Just a bit of something I've had floating around in the ether for a while.  Thanks for reading. 


A half forgotten place. Or perhaps a half remembered place. The ending fragment of a song, or the face of someone you don't quite know. The feeling you get upon waking from a deep slumber, half convinced you left a part of yourself behind in your dream (and perhaps you did but would you miss it if you don't know what it is?). A badly repressed shudder that you don't quite know the cause of and a smell on the wind that triggers tears you don't remember crying until after they are dripping down your face onto your clothes.

That was how her grandmother had described the Wisp, and indeed most fae folk. Tricky and changeable, like the ocean and the wind, and woe betide you if you angered one. Courtesy was the only option when dealing with the sidhe.

When she had first started exploring the forest that edged their home her grandmother had gifted her with a small chain, from which hung a pebble barely the size of her pinky finger nail. This was no ordinary pebble according to the tales her grandmothers grandmother had passed to her, and because it was worn holey by the river that passed by the edge of the forest would protect her from fae folk as long as she wore it. She never took it off.

Fae folk were patient people by nature, immortality tended to do that to a being, and could converse until you're ears could take no more, so her grandmother had never given her a name. Her mother had died in childbirth and not had time to name the baby she had given life to.

"Names are a powerful thing, girl." Her grandmother had warned her. "Should you ever decide to take one be careful who you tell it to." But being called "girl" wasn't all bad. Her grandmother was a kind lady and it was not done out of malice. But her grandmother had passed on some time ago, and she found herself unable to spend time in the cottage she had grown up in. So she ventured into the forest, deeper and more often than before, but still with her chain firmly about her neck, then with a piece of leather when the chain snapped one day in the kitchen. But until today she had never lost sight of the horizon.

Black for mourning, though her skirt had long since ripped on a wayward branch, and purple for her grandmothers favourite colour. Her hair in loose waves, and though her grandmother often told her the pixies might steal it from her head if she was not careful, she hadn't the heart to cut it short. And now she was lost. Blinded by her tears and lost in her grief she had strayed too far. She would pay for that she knew. You do not get something for nothing in these woods. Balance in all things, to take you must give. And what had she gained by losing her way? A sigh. Bruises. She sat herself on a rock to examine her feet. She'd lost her way and her shoes, and soon her life if she could not find her way out again. Knowing what she did about these trees she was only mildly alarmed when the wind buffeted her off the rock the was perched up, her balance not as good as it should be at the very best of times, but she was more than a little worried when she realised she had wandered into a grove. She knew of only one grove such as this in these woods, but despite that she offered up a prayer that this was not it.


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