This week’s Microcosms took on a bit of a Scottish theme – by accident more than design – as the three suggested elements were Fiery Redhead, Highland Estate and Tragedy. You can insert your own joke about the last one.
Back to the writing, these three elements inspired my story Faerie Stories below and achieved the runners up spot in the weekly contest. You can check out the story below the break
“Humans are coming, humans are coming.”
Terri marched up the Highland landscape. Her red hair, a creature puppeteered by the wind. Her encouragements carried by the air flow. I can’t believe her grandfather’s estate is so big, rolling over mountain after mountain, forest after forest. Yet it is the furthest away one Terri insists we must visit.
“Almost there.” She pauses, standing like a tourist board model. To be fair, with this landscape and her beauty it would be impossible for her not to be. I pant in reply. The steepest city hill is nothing like these.
Over the crest is the thickest, greenest forest. I half expected to bump into Little Red Riding Hood waving goodbye to her grandmother as we entered. The path Terri led us down must be a well-known one to her. She ducked under every hidden branch and stepped over each hidden puddle. I am only half as successful. At least I win on bruises.
“There.” She pointed above our heads. Thousands of small twig ball nests sat in the low branches. “Faerie homes. They feed off the tree resin.” She flicked her lighter into life. The yellow flame highlighted hundreds of minuscule pieces of wood. Straws for the Faerie to drink from perhaps. I shook my head. Faeries aren’t real so they must be something else.
Hissing surrounded us; an angry boiling pot of a sound. Whatever it was had a strength. The flame blew onto Terri’s hair, roaring it into blaze red. Her scream echoed off the trees as we ran.
We collapsed at the forest’s edge, watching the bluey purple flames turn the trees and the nests they held to ash. Whatever lived in them, whether bird or faerie, were no more.