Down in the Dark Woods by Gavin Ough

darkwoods75x99Vote at the end of this episode!

Previously, after Trewana makes the decision to reveal the lands of the Nymphs and Dryads to the world, readers voted members of the public turn up with a mixture of goodwill and selfishness.

Episode 18

The flight from Edinburgh airport to Heathrow in London had only been in the air for fifteen of its approximately ninety minutes flight time when the pilot nearly fainted.

I thought some form of chaos would ensue once Trewana had announced she had opened the magical borders sealing this land from the rest of the world.

It turned out to be much more prosaic with everything seeming the same until we reached Kielder water.

Some of the lake remained and some of the roads which had surrounded it. I could vaguely see a red car which was half buried in a mound of earth and a couple of the sailing boats which had been on the water now jutted from the earth too.

A pair of white-faced men were coming towards us with expressions of complete shock.

“You!” The older of the two jabbed a finger at me, “You…you…you went missing. What’s going on?” His eyes widened further as he caught sight of Trewana and the odd assortment of creatures behind her.

It took me a few seconds to realize this was the pair who had loaned Trewana and me a rowing boat when we first got here. I raised a hand in a weak wave.

Other people were approaching us now, some on foot from cars that had nowhere to drive now that the road had gone and some from the few boats on the lake.

Questions and exclamations were fired from these newcomers, some of whom were more interested in how they were going to get to work.

Trewana allowed it for a few moments as people caught her image on cell-phones. Eventually she raised her arms and called in a clear voice, “Human friends!” I winced as she highlighted her own non-human nature, “We have urgent need of your help. An army of Fire Sprites and Chaos Demons are come to destroy us and take power from the earth.”

As speeches go, it might have gone better. The majority of people carried on with their own petty worries, luckily they had managed to get the whole thing on social media, however.

Broadcast vans turned up covered in dishes and camera crews fronted by a crowd of men and women who jostled to be nearest. Cameras clicked, people called out and one man ran towards us.

Dylath stepped in front of Trewana as the man came with rage in his eyes. The queen motioned for the large Wood Nymph to step aside and with a small gesture, caught him in the grip of an instantly grown ash tree.

A gasp ran through the crowd when they saw his hands were caught through its trunk but they knew he was fine as he swore and struggled against the wood that held him.

“What are you?” someone shouted from the throng.

“I am Trewana,” she called to them, “Queen of the Wood Nymphs, Dryads, Sprites and one fairy.”

A wild idea exploded across my brain. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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