Four Forest Stories
The Netherworld is full of forests and glades. Some are ancient, seemingly eternal, refreshing the world with their magic and giving homes to countless dryads, sprites, and pixies. Some are youthful and brash, enticing adventurers and monsters alike to get lost within.
Many are dark, haunted places, areas where sunlight fears to tread that trade mystery and shadow like currency. Others are bright and cheerful, caught in perpetual spring weather, full of joy and prosperity.
“You just knitted your hair into that scarf you’re working on,” the owl said as it landed. Sitting high in the oak tree, the dryad started and swore royally.
“SWEET PINECONES I DID!” the dryad shouted without looking up. Slipping on her perch, she fell about half way to the ground before catching herself. The dryad struggled with her half-complete moss scarf, knitting bag, and huge needles. Within a few moments, the simple knot had become an ever-tightening web.
“Do you want help?”
“No.” the dryad grumbled petulantly.
“I don’t see how you’re going to get down.”
“I will find,” she spat through her hair as it conspired to gag her, “a way.”
Floral Print Florals
The bees watched the witch with an annoyed curiosity. Her floral print dress smelled and looked exactly like their garden, the petals even responded to the wind’s soft caress.
“Hm?” the witch said, noticing the buzz after a few minutes. “Oh! Sorry darlings.” She activated the flowers on her dress and scarf with a gesture, allowing the bees to get to work. With a happy, synced hum, the witch returned her attention to her book and the bees delved into the flowers, using the fabric as a portal.
A spring wind hinted at a storm that would arrive in several hours, just as the sun would begin to pack up its things and go home for the night.
“The poetry of love comes in many forms,” the dryad thought to herself as she gazed into her wife’s eyes. “Sometimes it is starlight and rain showers and soft words, and sometimes it is your mate waking early to surprise you with your favorite coffee and donut.”
I clip the black flowers from the shrub, “for the moon, for tonight,” I tell the plant.
I water the shrub and pluck a few berries, small and ripe and treacherous with magic. “For me,” I eat the berries, humming a dirge as old as twilight, “for now.”
I look up and see, at a fair distance, eyes as dark as coal peering at me. I pluck two more berries, eat one, and fire the other with a slingshot. The monstrous raven snaps the missile in the air and flies off, darker than night, to enjoy its prize.