Down in the Dark Woods by Gavin Ough

darkwoods75x99Vote at the end of this episode!

In the previous episode, Clood and Trewana convinced a couple of  locals to lend them a small boat to cross the water. Once there, readers voted the pair makes their way to an inter-dimensional portal leading to the Wood Nymph’s homeland.

Episode 8

Trewana tied the boat to a thin tree and climbed a small rise to the flatter top of the island. I followed, panting heavily,

“I’m done,” I said, hands on knees as I tried to get my breath back.

“We can rest for a while, Nathan Clood,” she said in that unusual way she had of using my full name, which pleased me for some odd reason.

Trewana leaned against a massive pine and I looked on in awe as it began to move. Roots as thick as my arm pulled out of the ground as the tree leaned away from us. Soil rained down and ferns grew, unfurling their jade fronds to create a soft bed.

The resultant cave was just enough for us to squeeze into and I fell asleep with the earthy scent of her hair in my nostrils.

**

Dawn had come and gone when I felt a small hand shake my shoulder,

“Time to rise, Nathan Clood,” Trewana told me softly, “We must meet my people.” My stomach growled and every muscle ached as I groaned my way into a standing position.

Casting a coy glance over her shoulder, the slight, two thousand year old girl scampered off into the woods.

In what must have been the middle of the little bit of land was a jumble of rocks, just a pile of rubble someone gathered here for some unknown reason. Around the pile, in a ragged circle about six feet across, the earth was bare.

Trewana stood by the stones with an almost impish grin on her face and one hand held out towards me.

No sooner had I stepped inside the bounds of that bare circle, I felt the world shift beneath me. Initially, my brain screamed, Earthquake! As I hit the floor, however, it became clear I wasn’t in the same place any more.

Massive, ancient oak trees formed a green canopy above my head and the few pine trees I could see were now like interlopers gatecrashing a party. I dragged in a lungful of air, noticing the scents of nature which hadn’t been there before. Looking into the sky I saw the twin lines of a passing jet had vanished and my ears failed to detect the hiss of passing traffic which had been hurtling across the nearby bridge.

“Well, Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.” I quoted sarcastically. Trewana gave me a puzzled look,

“Kansas, Nathan Clood?” she queried.

“Well, it’s about feckin’ time!” A small, high pitched voice piped, “Two hundred years I been sittin’ in dat bleedin’ tree. Me arse looks like the feckin’ bark!”

I cast about, looking for a source of the Irish accented voice. Something like the sound of hummingbird wings reached my ears and I sat back down quickly as a small, winged person flew towards Trewana.

She turned to me as I stared at her and demanded,

“And what the feck are you looking at?” Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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