Changeling’s Choice by Rachael Ashdown

changeling75x99Vote at the end of this episode!

In the previous episode…the travelers stopped for the night, and Aksel kept watch while Soren tried to devise a way to escape. As the readers suggested, his attempt will fail, but he will come up with a quick cover story of having to go to the bathroom.

Episode 16

Soren waited. He pretended to sleep, his eyes almost completely shut as he watched their guide. Despite his warning, Linnea had promptly fallen asleep, her soft snoring indicating she was not going to be up for a quick escape. Frustrated with her attitude and lack of cooperation, Soren made the decision to just leave her. She would just muck things up, he reasoned. She was on her own.

As he was mulling over how best to sneak away, he heard the same soft violin music that had echoed through the marsh earlier in the day. Opening his eyes slowly, he caught sight of a silver violin in Aksel’s hands, the beautiful instrument letting off a soft, enchanting tune. Soren could hardly believe his luck. With that music to cover his escape, now was his best chance to run.

Inch by inch, Soren rose to his feet, eyes never leaving Aksel. The spirit’s back was to him, and the moonlight illuminated his silvery form, making it easy for Soren to keep an eye on him. Holding his breath once he reached his feet, he began tiptoeing out of the clearing, back down the path that they had taken. He would find a way around once he was out of earshot, he reasoned, backing away slowly.

But for all his efforts, he just was not capable of great stealth. He was no more than eight feet away from where he started when his foot slipped off the path, submerging in the water with a splash. He winced, freezing automatically, the cold and muddy water seeping back into his boot.

“There is little point in trying to escape, my friend,” came the melodious voice of Aksel. The spirit still did not turn around, but the violin music paused as he addressed Soren with a gentle hum. “This marsh is enchanted. You will be sucked down into the waters before you make it one hundred yards.”

“Oh, of course not!” Soren said, his voice a bit too high pitched to be believable. “No, I was just going to relieve myself. I will not go far.”

“Do hurry back,” Aksel said after a short pause. “There are more creatures in this swamp than simply me.”

Soren nodded vigorously, regardless of the fact that Aksel could not see it. He hurried down the path, intent on relieving himself since he had little other choice. He finished quickly, grumbling to himself about his rotten luck. But as he turned to head back to the campsite, he found himself suddenly staring into three pairs of large blue eyes.

“Look at this! Oh, what a handsome little boy!”

“What is he doing in this swamp, I wonder.”

“Are you lost, child? My sisters and I would be happy to help you.”

Soren stuttered, unable to find words. He was shocked and rather embarrassed that while on his bathroom break, he had suddenly been accosted by three very fair looking elves, each with a very troubling glint in her eyes. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

< Previous Episode | Next Episode >

Follow by Email

%d bloggers like this: