Down in the Dark Woods by Gavin Ough

darkwoods75x99Vote at the end of this episode!

In the previous episode, Nathan Clood found an unconscious woman in the base of a lightning-struck tree. Having no option but to carry her home, readers voted Clood dries her out and watches over her as she sleeps.

Episode 2

Dax watched me intently as I dried as much of the rain off her as I could, I grabbed a comforter and threw it across her, noting a pale pink blush had lit her skin and the trembling had stopped.

Once I’d changed and dried Dax off, I added some logs to the fire and settled in an armchair with a book, making sure I was available if she woke.


Streaming sun roused me from my slumber and my eyes shot to the couch which was suspiciously devoid of the waif thin woman. My dog had absconded too.

I rushed through my kitchen and to the back porch where the door stood open. A fluttering of either fright or anticipation drilled up through my guts and chest as I looked out the door.

Dax sat, staring in total adoration at the woman who stood by my pile of seasoned logs. For her part, she had her face close to the butt ends of the logs and was sniffing at them.

A gasp escaped me as her tongue shot out and licked at one of the chunks of wood and her head snapped round, fixing me with the most intense stare I’d ever endured.

“Are you the barbarian responsible for hewing these mighty creatures?” Her voice had an accusatory edge to it.

Confusion hit me like a sucker punch as I looked back into eyes of such a dark blue they were almost black.

“What creatures?” I finally managed to ask. Without a change of expression the thin woman grabbed a long piece of wood from the pile and started towards me.

“These creatures!” Her voice had risen in anger and I thought she was going to brain me with the log but she just shook it near my face as I threw my hands up in defense.

Shaking my head, as I realized she actually meant the trees which formed my log pile, seemed to satisfy her and she let her hand drop, still gripping the wood.

“I am called Trewana,” she said as my heartbeat calmed down a little. What kind of name is Trewana? I wondered.

“Nathan Clood,” I told her, “Are you alright?” Trewana looked down as if confused herself,

“I am unsure what has occurred, Nathan Clood,” she looked worriedly at me, “Where are the other Wood Nymphs?”

I told her how I’d found her and that I thought she’d had a concussion so I’d take her to the hospital. She responded by holding up the split log towards me and looking at it while concentrating.

I actually felt my mouth fall open as I watched the dried out wood regain its natural color. A bud appeared on the surface and swelled, exploding like a firework before my eyes and growing into a foot-long branch with leaves, buds and tiny flowers.

I looked at the creature before me with a mixture of fear and wonder. This can’t be real! I thought, before… Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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