Alina the young fairy woke up to the sound of the birds singing in the trees around her house. With a few blinks and after stretching all her muscles she rolls out of the bed. Not fully awake she grabs the white dress her mother made for her a few years ago. The mornings in this forest are always the best time to go for her daily sun meal. The rays of the rising sun taste just so much better on her skin.
She opens the door and walks down to the lake in the beautiful pattern of light and shadow that the leaves over her head form on the ground. She feels like this will be a wonderful day. Happily humming she reaches the cold, clear water and sits down on one of the stones around it. Alina slides her naked feet into the lake and leans back. She closes her eyes, letting the sun fill her with energy for the day.
After what could be one hour her eyes open again and a warm golden glim is added to the light green. She raises her head and looks around. She could have sworn that there was a new sound, something that does not fit the peaceful murmur of this place. Even in her young age she knows what that means. Humans came here and it would be her task to prevent them from damaging her home. Or even worse finding the gate to the hidden village. She jumps of the rock and runs towards the noise. Making nearly no sound with her steps, despite the ground being already covered with the first yellow leaves showing the nearing autumn.
Quickly she reaches the source of the rumor. A man, he looks as if he is just grown out of his childhood years. With his thick linen shirt, he must sweat in the humid, warm air under the dense treetops. On his shoulder he carries a long stick holding a bag, Alina supposes it is filled with tools to cut and destroy. He walks with determined steps and whistles. If he continues this path, he will get dangerously close to the mother tree in the center of the woods. The sacred meeting place of the fairies.
Alina quickly runs a few meters further and hides behind a tree. Her suggestive magic is the main reason she got elected as one of the guards, but her training is not completed yet. What would her mother do in such situation? First, she should try to distract him from this path. If he just wants to cross the forest this should not be a problem. She concentrates and sends the idea of an easier path to his mind. His steps curve lightly to the left, so that he would pass the center further away.
With quite steps she sneaks behind and follows him a while, he always steers back to the center. As if something is dragging him there. Alina gets nervous. Why did this need to happen on the day her teacher left for a report to the queen? This requires more than just light corrections of the thoughts.
If she at least would have learned to read his intentions. Then she would have known what he wanted this deep in the forest. Not seeing any other possibility, she walks up behind him, if she gets close enough, she could at least stop him if he tries to do something. Jumping from hide to hide she stays close and watches all his movements.
Around noon he settles down and opens his bag. With relief Alina realizes that nothing except food and an old looking book is stored inside. She approaches his resting place in an attempt to read the title.
“Folklore and mystical creatures”
She jumps back. This man is not trying to cross the forest, his goal always was reaching the mother tree! In her sudden movement she touches a small bush and it rustles loudly. Before she can regain balance, he looks over and spots her. His eyes widen, but before he can get a closer look, she quickly runs away.
“Hey, come back. Who are you?”
He jumps up and tries to follow her, but she knows every tree and swiftly evades all roots on the ground. The distance gets bigger fast and she manages to hide in a small cave. Her breath is hard and she is sure her heart can be heard in the whole forest. He passes by the entrance looking around in a helpless attempt to see her again.
She needs to do something. If this man gets to the center he surely will get caught and most probably killed. But what could she do to prevent that? She is not prepared for this situation. And if she tries to find out his intentions? Hiding is not really an option anyway at this point. She got caught and now she needs to get things right again. With a sigh she presses of the wall and slowly walks up to him. Managing to get close before she gets noticed, but staying a bit away as she clears her throat.
“Umm, hello. Guess I should introduce myself. Judging from your book and your presence here you will know it already. I am a nature spirit and my name is Alina. What are you doing in this forest?”
He spins around and gasps at her sight. Seemingly surprised she is back. After a short moment of shock, he starts to talk with a warm and sounding voice.
“ahem, yeah, I am Gerald. So, the tales are true.”
He gets distracted letting his eyes wander over her body. She uses the time to get a closer look too. His skin is rough and tainted from long work outside. But his face sparks an intelligence that is not given all humans. His clear blue eyes don’t fit the rough appearance. She feels a strange affection for this man. Something she never thought was possible.
“I have so many questions. Where do you live? And what are you?
His excited and confused look get her to giggle. It seems he was on the search for information. At least he wouldn’t destroy something now. But if the knowledge of their existence spreads others will come after him. Humans always destroy what they try to understand. She needs to be very careful with him.
“I am sure you have questions, but we are not living in secret because we want to. Knowledge is a burden only few can stand carrying. If I would answer your questions, we both will get serious trouble.”
What was happening? Why is she even talking with him? This situation was far off everything she got told. Never should a human even see her. And still she was here, talking with him.
“Better you forget ever meeting me and run. Turn your back on this forest and never come back.”
His eyes raise and lock hers. His shoulders fall down. He suddenly looks very sad and Alina feels a strange affection. He still was a human. The evil disturbing the balance in the world. But this one doesn’t look that evil.
“But… I want answers. I was searching my whole life to find this place. I won’t leave without more information. And also, I would never be able to forget this face again...”
He stops and nervously licks his lips. Something in Alina wants to help this man, but she shouldn’t even let him go with the amount of information he already has. If anyone finds out of this she would get in trouble.
And what was this part with the face? Her hands slide subconsciously up and touch her cheeks. Her fairy species doesn’t even look that far off to humans if one ignores the green shade of her color. Anyway, he seems eager to find out more and that would grow to a problem if she does nothing.
“I can’t tell you anything. And if I did you would never leave this forest alive. Even talking with you extends everything I got told. This is your last chance to go. Else I need to trap you and hand you over to the …. others”
Almost she said to much. He needs to disappear before her spinning mind lets out dangerous facts. She concentrates trying to get him to go. But he just stands there and looks at her fascinated. If that doesn’t show effects, she needs to use more direct methods. Out of one pocket she pulls a wooden knife and jumps forward aiming at his arm in the intention to get him feared and run. He stumbles back a few steps but keeps watching her with a strange glance.
“And if I stay here. Could you tell me more if I never intended to go away again?”
He seems to not understand the situation they both are in here. This was far more than just a funny secret to laugh about. The whole fairy kingdom was built on the fact that nobody knows his position. Never before has a human even seen a fairy and escaped. But his question doesn’t leave her mind again. What if he never goes away to spread the knowledge? Wouldn’t that be the solution to their problem?
“Why should you stay here? There is nothing to find for you in this forest. Fairies don’t like humans, so you would just get hurt if you do.”
Another information. This is getting to far. She needs to call the authorities on this. Only a few days alone and she needs to run back to them like a small child. That will stay with her for a long time. It could have been so easily avoided. Just her stupid curiosity and humbleness. Why is she so concerned about the wellbeing of this human? And why does the thought of him staying here is feeling like a good idea?
“Why are you hating humans? I could try to change your mind if you tell me a reason. I am here, because I wanted to learn about your species, there is so many differing information out in the world.”
Alina starts to slowly enter his mind and setting his thoughts to tired moments. This was luckily one of the easier magic, but it always leaves marks in the minds and is therefore the last resort. With his words in her ears she watches him yawn and blinking sleepy. A peace between fairies and humans? What a utopic idea. But she will need to talk about this with him when he wakes up.
“What is this? I think I will need a rest.”
George lays down on the ground and is instantly fast asleep. Her magic making him unaware of his surroundings. Alina comes closer, grabs him under the arms and pulls him away. Now it is a luck her teacher isn’t here. She will have enough time to check what he is remembering and if it gets necessary to tell the inner guard circle about this man.
This is my first story I have written on my own. I know that there is a lot to improve and I will stay at it to get better. Any feedback is greatly welcome.
This story will continue in more chapters I will try to keep one bigger event for one chapter. And yes, they will become friends. And no, I don’t know if they will become “friends”.
With this I conclude the buildup of my story. Stay tuned for more.