Down in the Dark Woods by Gavin Ough

darkwoods75x99Vote at the end of this episode!

In the previous episode, readers decided Nymphs and Dryads appear from the surrounding woodland, armed and ready to kill Clood as he’s human.

Episode 9

I heard a gentle rustling in the undergrowth and from the trees around me and saw what looked like people staring at me. Some of them held longbows with arrows pointed at me while others stepped forward with things that looked suspiciously like swords.

Heat broke out in my chest and I looked to the sky,

“Now what the hell’s this all about?” I shouted, letting rage fuel my words. I glanced at Trewana who wore her confusion like a mask. A big male something stepped towards me, arm extended and sword glinting in the sunlight.

“Release our queen, human and prepare to die!” Incredulity washed some of my anger away and I just shook my head.

“My dog’s dead, my home’s been burned to the ground, I nearly got incinerated by some kind of living flame creature, driven four hundred miles and almost got myself arrested for suspected child abuse!” I knew I was shouting but didn’t care. “Now I come here to bring back your queen and you lot want to kill me?” I spread my arms and turned in a slow circle. “Go on then! Fire away!” A flash of fright chilled my chest as I heard the creak of bow strings being pulled back.

“STOP!” Trewana’s voice cracked like thunder, echoing around the clearing, bringing silence to the woods, “Not one Dryad, not one Nymph will do anything to harm this human.” The diminutive little Nymph stood next to me and stared down the creatures surrounding us both. “Nathan Clood has helped me through the human world, which is much changed since I was last there.” Her gaze traveled across her people. “I would never have made it back were it not for him.”

The bulky Wood Nymph who had pointed his sword at me sheathed the blade with a flourish and nodded to me slowly before drawing back. Several tiny little girls shot forward, crowding around Trewana, all clamoring for her attention. I watched as she strode off with them, a massive grin across her face. The gathered Nymphs and Dryads melted into the trees, disappearing from my sight almost immediately. In seconds I was alone, at a loss as to what to do. I heard a buzz, getting louder, in my right ear and turned to see the foul mouthed pixie who had greeted us minutes ago,

“Ye’re called Nathan Clood, eh?” I had no idea whether I’d gone mad or this was all real, her Irish accent and high-pitched voice threw me completely. I nodded, a smile creeping across my face,

“That’s me,” I told her, “How’s your ass?” She tittered a little laugh and landed on my shoulder, making it hard to see her.

“Wouldn’t you like to know, now? I’m Quercus, by the way.” I could feel her wings fluttering against my neck. “Are you going to follow that lot or just stand here like a prick?” Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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