Down in the Dark Woods by Gavin Ough

Down in the Dark Woods by Gavin Ough

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Readers voted Quercus the fairy tells Clood that Brackaden attacked Trewana and their mother, killing the older queen.

Episode 13

“Right then,” I called loud enough for everyone to hear, “Who’s going to tell me what this bastard’s after?”

I pointedly ignored the woman I’d maimed and tried to hold back the vomit threatening to spray from my mouth. They probably mistook my trembling for rage so that worked in my favor.

“Nate!” It was Quercus, “What the feck! I only left ya for a couple o’ minutes and ye’ve gone and blinded some girl!” I felt her little wings beating inches from my face and had to fight the urge to slap her away.

“Come on, now,” she told me. “Come wit’ me an I’ll tell ya all about it.” I heard the whispers as I followed the fairy out of the clearing.

A high-pitched scream cut off halfway through as a Nymph or Dryad executed the would be assassin.

Sensing my mood, Quercus landed on a branch just lower than my head as I slumped to the soft ground. Crossing her tiny legs at the ankles she looked at me and shook her head.

“It’s always like this when humans get involved,” she said cryptically. “The whole bleeding lot of ya go too far.” Her small sigh sounded like a bird chirping.

“Before I go an’ tell ya about Brackaden, you need to know something about him ya won’t like.”

“Something else, you mean.” I grumbled.

“He’s Trewana’s brother.” It felt as if the trees were pulling in tight around me. Claustrophobically squeezing the air from my lungs. I stared at the little fairy, shaking my head in disbelief.

“Some feckin poison grabbed his heart years ago. Infected him wit’ the need for power. A hunger for it. Something happened to him, something he wanted and couldn’t have, sort o’ broke him inside. Since then, well…”

“What was it?” I asked.

“No one ever told me that,” Quercus answered. “None o’ them would talk about it.” Tiny, winged shoulders lifted in a shrug, “But ever since, he’s been trying for the Sitalolaquan.”

“Yeah, what is that?” I asked. “Trewana said something about it this morning.”

“It’s the point where all the Earth’s healing and growing power comes to the surface,” she piped.

“Oh, well that explains everything then,” I spat sarcastically. “How’s that any help to me?”

“Well, feck you, Nate!” She shouted at me. “We’re not the only one who’s hurting over Trewana.” Mention of the Wood Nymph queen brought back the pain in my chest. 

“Sorry, Quercus, it’s just all so…weird.”

 “Ah, ye’ve no need to tell me, I’m from Belfast,” I laughed.

 “It used to be there were three people what could go to the Sitaloloquan. Trewana, Brackaden and their mammy. Realizing humans was gonna take over the planet, they got together to decide what needed to be done. It was at that meeting…” Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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