*The winners post for the Flash Fiction Blogfest will be coming shortly*
The flute’s trill pierced the air, followed by the steady beat on the drum. Dancers’ feet pattered upon the forest floor. The sweet smell of mead tickled the young woodwose’s nose. He touched the soft leaves decorating his skirt. Someone plopped a crown of wood upon his head.
“Come on, Zoon, dance.”
He recognized Weedi’s voice, but he shook his head. “I’ll bump into the others. You know that.”
“Oh, you’re no fun.” She nudged his shoulder, and he felt the air shift in her departure.
His shoulders hunched over. Weedi was right. He was no fun when it came to their festivities. His heart sank, and he didn’t want to be around the others. He grasped the wooden staff and slowly weaved through the others and tried to be careful not to trip or bump against them.
The music faded, and he breathed.
Quiet cleared his mind, and he felt the familiar rough bark of the trees while he ambling toward a particular one.
His staff tapped along the ground. Rock, leaf, rock, tree, fallen branch, rock, tree.
His hands touched this tree’s bark. Smooth yet hard. Zoon smiled when he found the spiraling staircase.
Twirling faster and faster, the woodwose raced up the stairs. When he reached the outlook, he stopped, dizzy and breathless. He plopped down and stared sightlessly up while imagining he could see the stars.
His white eyes roved around his head, and his body went rigid. It was happening again, and instead of fear, he felt a thrill tickle his spine.
The image of a young human girl sat beside him. He marveled in her dark hair, full moon complexion. Purple eyes focused on him. Her eyes were wide, terrified. He reached out toward her, but grasped at nothing.
When she comes, you must protect her. She can’t leave until the month of beginnings. You will know her when you touch her face.
Zoon’s hand rose, and he felt her cheeks, her lips. She was so unlike the woodwoses with their soft hair covering their bodies. She felt pliable instead of hard.
Then she disappeared as before.
“I’ll know you when I touch you. You won’t part from us until the month of beginnings,” he whispered the prophetic words and envisioned her face. The only one he’d seen his entire young life.