This was my entry for Cracked Flash Fiction Competition on 16 July 2016. The prompt was: ‘I need to talk to a human,’ he demanded.
For my #FolkloreThursday post only that Thursday I’d done a piece about elves. So obviously that’s where my mind went.
Ruler of the Forest
By Ronel Janse van Vuuren
‘I need to talk to a human,’ he demanded.
I peered at the elf standing at the gates of the castle, not sure if I was seeing this right. Elves never came to human dwellings. Mostly because they preferred us to stay away from theirs.
Only silence met him. All the guards stayed hidden as ordered.
I could hear music coming from the deepest part of the forest. It was calling me; calming me.
No! I shook my head. I knew better than to listen to elven songs.
Piercing eyes were staring at me. The elf. I hadn’t been as careful as I’d thought.
‘We need your assistance,’ he said looking directly at me.
I swallowed. Stories of human maidens being abducted by elves were spoken in hushed tones late at night. Though, to be honest, I never felt the fear the others clearly did.
My blood sang a song I never felt before. Quickly I danced down the stairs and through the open gate.
I can be ruled by magic instead of mighty swords, I thought as I followed the elf into the sheltering shade of the forest.
‘Why do you need me?’ I asked as music enveloped me the deeper we walked into the magical woods.
He smiled wickedly.
For the first time the songs didn’t sound soothing or inviting.
‘Only the ruler of the forest knows that,’ he finally answered as he led me over the invisible paths into the dark heart of the woods.
More curious than afraid, I followed while blue will-o’-the-wisps danced around us to the increased tempo of the music of the night.
So? What do you think? I listened to Nightwish’s Elvenpath while writing this. Though not sure what the lyrics are, I clearly heard the lines “ruler of the forest” and “elf-folk is calling me” or something like that. Mm, I should really go and look at the lyrics…
“Dreams come true; without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.” – John Updike