A Chance Encounter (1/2)

( In reference to this post )

#12: “Please don’t be afraid of me. I’m not dangerous, I’m just big.” with Jacob Andris of Fairy Tales: Bowman of Wellwood.

Yep, that sounds like Jacob after he became friends with Bowman. He became very aware of how big and scary he could be, especially to the sprites.

This story is the first thing that came to me with that line. So, allow me to introduce the first glimpse of my water sprites!

Jacob almost had a crick in his neck from turning it this way and that as he walked. Usually, walking among nature relaxed him. However, the scenery around him drew his eyes in every direction, and it was due in large part to the slopes that angled around him. He was Midwestern, through and through, and the mountainous region of Colorado might never cease to amaze him.

Nature hikes through relatively flat forests were one thing. Adding mountains gave him an extra challenge and took his breath away in more ways than one. The views, when he could glimpse beyond the trees, were beautiful and unlike anything he’d seen before.

He couldn’t help but think that Bowman would love it.

A stream caught his attention, and Jacob wandered nearer to watch it fall over the rocks. It burbled down a miniature waterfall before angling sharply towards a thicker copse of trees, and Jacob followed it absently.

Not long after pushing aside low branches heavy with leaves, Jacob found a shallow pool only five or six feet across. Ferns and small wildflowers lined the edges of the water, with some tall grasses braving the shallowest parts.

A shimmer of motion among some rocks piled high against one side of the pool caught his eye. It was the barest twitch, and yet he zeroed in on it immediately. Normally, he’d never have noticed it at all. But Jacob’s best friend was a wood sprite, whose leafy wings allowed him to blend in among the trees with ease. Jacob was used to paying closer attention.

He hopped down a slight drop to approach the pool, and fell to a squat next to the rocks. Most of them were no bigger than a grapefruit, but a few reached the size of basketballs.

A tiny girl was pressed against one of the bigger ones, failing to hide in the shadow of the other stones.

Jacob’s jaw dropped and he stared openly. She was like nothing he’d ever seen.

Her skin was light grey, almost blue, and it shimmered in the light from the water that lapped around her legs. Long black hair hung down her back in damp locks, while her bangs stuck to her forehead. At first, Jacob thought she was caught in a net, but he realized that she was wearing it as a shawl shirt, with a short skirt tied close around her hips.

The girl had fins. The sides of her thin little legs sported what looked like tail fins; if she held her legs together, they would take on the appearance of a mermaid. From her back sprouted four silvery fins with dark blue markings that looked remarkably like butterfly wings. With the way she pressed her back against the rocks, the fins were spread wide and displayed for Jacob to see. A water sprite! That’s gotta be…

She stared up at him, her murky eyes wide and filled with terror.

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