Down in the Dark Woods by Gavin Ough

darkwoods75x99Vote at the end of this episode!

In the previous episode, Trewana revealed she is a Wood Nymph with significant powers to affect nature. Once she manifested her ability, readers voted she asks Nathan Clood for help in returning to her people.

Episode 3

“Will you help me, Nathan Clood?” The words sounded distant to my ears. My legs felt like they would give way at any moment as I stared at the piece of wood this (Wood Nymph!) woman had brought back to life.

“I…I…” For some reason, my mouth had forgotten how to work and Trewana stepped forward as if to help. I nearly jumped halfway back through my kitchen, tripping on some crap I’d left lying around and sprawling on the tiled floor.

“Nathan Clood!” Trewana called, “Is something amiss?” Her head entered the room from outside and she raised one eyebrow.

“I’ve hurt my elbows.” I’d spoken these words before I’d even realized I was going to say them. I sounded like a toddler.

I watched her face alter as she tucked her lips inside her mouth, biting down gently on them trying not to smile – and failing. A tiny giggle erupted from her and I felt really, very stupid.

“Come in,” I said after getting back up, “and tell me what the hell’s going on.”

“I need to get to Theildar,” she said in a soft voice, “I need to find out what has happened to the rest of my family.”

“I’ve no idea where that is,” I said, flicking on my laptop, “But I’ll Google it for you.”

“You will do what, Nathan Clood?” Her obvious puzzlement was amusing.

“Google it.” I said again. She shook her head and gazed in wonder at the screen before me as I zoomed in and out over various areas almost matching the name she mentioned.

“Any of these?” I wondered as no perfect match had popped up. She shook her head, “Well, you’re going to have to come up with something else then.”

Trewana’s face fell and she looked down, scratching at Dax’s ears,

“I cannot remember much, Nathan Clood,” the Nymph admitted, “Things have become confused.” She looked so downhearted I nearly hugged her but thought better of it. She closed her eyes.

“Near a border!” she shouted making me jump as I thought she might have fallen asleep, “Near the land of the Picts!” I could only stare at her.

Picts!” I nearly shouted, “You’re talking about hundreds of years ago.” A brief search revealed it was more like thousands of years, “This is just madness!” I cried.

“Look to your magic box, Nathan Clood,” Trewana told me, “It must be there.” I scrolled along the Scottish border from west to east, almost reaching the North Sea before her hand shot out. “There!” she shouted, “That lake! I know that lake!”

I zoomed in over a place called Kielder Water and we looked at the satellite images. I glanced over to see a mixture of hope and disappointment on her face,

“Where are all the trees, Nathan Clood?” almost begging me to return them.

“Cut down over the years.” I swallowed, “If you can remember the Picts, you might be more than two thousand years out of time.” Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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