THE AWAKENING – #flashfictionmagic
“Come with me. I know a place you will be safe.” Her fingers curled around his, cool and hard and perfect.
He didn’t resist as she tugged him behind his cottage and up the steep, tree-gnarled hill. “My wife—she won’t know where I am,” he muttered.
Leaves and trunks already hid the cottage’s thatch roof. The wood nymph glanced back at him, her green-lined eyes exasperated. “That is the point. You think you will be safe if she can find you?”
He frowned. Something was strange, his thoughts so muddled. But the nymph kept tight hold and soon he was heaving for breath to keep up. The nymph danced lightly over fallen branches, hardly rustling the rotted leaves underfoot.
A jolt of panic rocked him as he stared at her supple back. “Wait.” He pulled to a stop. “She warned me about you.”
The nymph turned back slowly. This time her lips and eyes softened with sorrow. “I know she did, Rip. She is a witch who won you with a spell. We wood folk are the only ones who can weaken it enough to take you away.”
Some of his confusion faded. “You told me all this before.”
She nodded. “You must sleep for a hundred years before the spell breaks entirely. But we must hurry—she returns from the village even now.”
Rip hurried after her, urgency lightening his feet. When they reached a shallow cave, she settled him against the far wall and covered him with branches, then handed him a mossy horn full of black liquid.
“Drink it all,” she murmured. “When you wake, she will be long gone, and you will be free.”
He studied her smooth, brown face once more. Doubts began to creep in—what if she was a witch too? But her eyes remained gentle, no sign of impatience.
He took the horn and tilted it back.
“I’ll see you when you wake, Rip.” Her clear voice was the last thing he heard before darkness settled over him.
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