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Another story I wrote in my boredom. For some reason or another, I didn’t have a title ready so the story remains unnamed. It can be referred as Untitled Fairy Story or Fairy Tale. Actually I have a perfect title in my mind but it is kind of spoiler-ish so I decided not to use that. This one is in the same vibe as my last one-shot and in fact the ‘important character’ is the same character as the last one but I decided to tweak the setting a bit. You will see which character I’m talking about since it’s very obvious. Anyway, I find this one to be quite anachronistic and illogical but I’m trying to mimic the style of a fairy tale here. Of course I had to fight my own ego and OCD-ish tendency to keep this one simple and short. It’s only seven pages long but I see it more as a side quest to my main work. All in all, it makes a good distraction for my mind which is currently under unhealthy intense pressure because of the cruel wait for my master degree admission result.

Enjoy!

                A dense forest is no place for a young girl but for little Mathilda on that bright sunny midsummer day, she had no choice but to walk alone through the thick curtain of trees around her. Her little steps along the worn-out path were accompanied by her whistling of a little song taught by her mother. It won’t be too long before she can finally meet her mother and also her father again in the town. After spending summer in her grandmother’s home, she will return to her parents’ house and resume her daily life. Despite the shortcoming that struck her, as the wagon she rode could not cross the muddy path of the forest, she determined to reach the town because it would only take less than half a day walk from where she dropped off. The simple vision of a little girl of reuniting with her parents would not be hindered by the forest. Her grandma has reminded her numerous times not to enter the forest alone, but for a positive-minded girl such as Mathilda, she is just unable to ind herself alone because she believes the wood critters around her accompany her along her journey.

What Mathilda did not realize was how there were no little animals accompany her path since she entered the heart of the forest. Ignorance is bliss as Mathilda kept marching forward with her little backpack and her little song to accompany her.

Suddenly Mathilda stopped and began to listen around her. She realized that she was not alone in the forest. With no one else to ask for help, Mathilda reminded the story Grandma told her. The forest near the town holds a horrifying secret. A hideous monster lives there. People say the monster guards the forest from being sullied by outsiders and it won’t hesitate to feast on little girls such as Mathilda.

It is of no surprise such story can send the shiver down a girl as young as Mathilda but at the same time she is reminded of another story told by her mother. The story is about another resident of the forest. She is a gentle fairy who keeps watch on travelers, especially little children.

As Mathilda starts to focus listening to the voice she heard, she realized that it is the sound of a woman singing. Certainly Mathilda believes a hideous monster won’t sing such beautiful song. Her cloud of fear suddenly dissipates replaced by ray of innocent hope. It is possible she can meet the lovely fairy her mother told her.

Without hesitation, Mathilda runs to where the soft singing comes from. She finally comes upon a clearing in the forest. The area is filled with beautiful flowers of bright and gay colors. The sweet fragrant fills the air contrast to that of the cold hostile dense coniferous forest. The place she stumbles upon looks like a piece of paradise. This is certainly a place where one can expect to meet a fairy.

Slowly Mathilda walks across the flower field and she finally can see the person singing the beautiful song.

Well, she doesn’t seem like a fairy. She doesn’t have fairy wings and certainly is not glittered with fairy dusts associated with the mythical forest spirit. But her beauty and the warmth that emanates from her assures Mathilda that the lady is also certainly not a monster.

The lady is sitting down in the middle of a flower bed while humming her beautiful song. Her pretty sapphire eyes glisten under the sun and her wavy thick hair can be considered as the personification of the beauty of nature itself. Mathilda notices that she seems to be singing to the flowers around her as she sometimes throws a glance across the flowers in front of her as if she’s singing to a group of children that surrounds her. Mathilda starts to reconsider her impression. Maybe, she really is a fairy!

A loud snap echoes through the clearing as Mathilda accidentally stepped on a twig. The lady stopped her song and quickly averted her gaze to the little intruder. After seeing a little girl standing alone amidst the flowers, her cautious gaze calmed down into a welcoming expression.

“Sorry…” Mathilda quickly apologized.

The lady nodded and smiled to her.

“Don’t worry, little one,” she said to her with voice as warm and as beautiful as her song, “What are you doing alone in the wood?”

“I’m heading to the town to meet my parents.”

“What a brave little girl,” the lady responded in awe, “Why don’t you rest for a while and have a little chat with me? It’s been a while since I had a visitor.”

Mathilda shyly steps forward and sits down face-to-face with the beautiful lady. For some reason, Mathilda feels safe and at ease despite the fact she’s sitting in the middle of forest.

“Are you not afraid? Haven’t you heard from the folks that a monster lives here?”

“But I also heard that a fairy also lives here! I think I should not be afraid because I believe the good fairy is keeping watch on the children.”

“A fairy? That sounds nice.”

“Ma’am, are you a fairy?”

The lady lets out a little laugh and gives a playful little flick to Mathilda’s hair with her finger.

“I don’t feel nice being referred as ‘ma’am’. Certainly I’m not that old.”

Mathilda blushes. Of course as a girl should realized what her mother told her that a woman’s age is a critical issue as important as first love. She feels silly for forgetting that.

“I was only joking,” the lady quickly assures her.

Hearing that, both of them laughed.

“As for your question, I must return it to you. Do you think I’m a fairy?”

Mathilda thinks for a while. Even for a girl of her age, it feels very fantastic to find yourself sitting and chatting with a fairy. Surely fairy tale and real life won’t mingle that easily.

“I don’t know…”

“My… My…”

“But I’m certainly you are not a monster, Missy!” Mathilda exclaimed with confidence.

“It calms me down.”

“But what about you, Missy? Do you live alone here?”

“Well, I won’t certainly call myself alone but I do admit that it’s rare to have a lovely chat with beautiful girl such as you.”

She petted Mathilda softly which makes her squirm in embarassment.

“You can call me Mathilda!”

“Mathilda? That’s a nice name. It fits your auburn hair nicely.”

“Have you ever seen a fairy, Missy?”

“Well, I have lived here for quite some time but I can’t say I have seen one myself.”

“Really?”

A little disappointment is visible in Mathilda’s face.

“Tell me, Mathilda. What do you think a fairy looks like? Maybe I have seen one myself but because I have no idea what fairies look like, I ended up oblivious to their presence.”

“Hmmm… I think they have a pair of transluscent wings.”

“Like a bug?”

“Not like a bug! Umm… Maybe like a bug… but without the crawling and creeping of a bug. Fairies are also glittery!”

“Why would they be glittery?”

“Ummm… If I’m not wrong it’s because they use fairy dust so they can fly and grant wishes and do amazing stuffs!”

“Really?” she smiles hearing the imaginative answer of an innocent girl, “But wouldn’t the dust get into her eyes if she’s trying to fly covered in glittery material?”

“Ummmm…”

Mathilda crosses her arms in confusion but afterwards she tries her best to ome up with an answer although she is forced to make up some of them as she goes along.

“Why do you live in the forest all by yourself, Missy?”

“Because I’m not good with people.”

“Really? Because I believe you’re a good person, Missy.”

The lady just let out a small laugh hearing that answer.

After spending time with heartful and lively chat, Mathilda realizes that it’s getting quite late and the sun will set not long from now.

“Excuse me, Missy. Is the town still far from here?”

“Hmmm… It will probably still take a couple hours.”

“Really? Then I can still make my time!”

“Are you sure you won’t be spending night here? It will be risky to continue your journey this late.”

“No, I’m sorry I can’t. My parents will be worried because they were informed that I will return today.”

Besides, if she took her offer, her parents will realize that she entered the forest by her own and they would surely be furious at her. If she makes it to the town, she can make up a story for her tardiness.

“Ah… That’s a pity because it would be fun to have someone to talk to.”

Mathilda starts feeling guilty for rejecting her offer but she had no choice but to continue onwards.

“Missy, I promise I will visit you if I even enter the forest again! So please cheer up!”

With great reluctance, the lovely lady had to let her cute friend continue on her way. She watches as Mathilda’s small back vanishes into the dense crowd of trees returning to the path she had gone astray from in the first place.

As for Mathilda, she can still reach the edge of the forest into the town before sunset. It is difficult to bid goodbye to a friend especially a new friend you just had fun with. It feels there are still myriad of untold stories lingering to wait for another occasion where they can once again get to know each other. Waiting for that time is the most difficult part because fateful encounter with someone you can consider as friend is as bristle as spring flower. It will bloom but as season passes it will wither away. As spring once again visits the land, it will not be the same flower anymore. But for a girl as young as Mathilda, the flow of seasons is still long and she believes a second chance of meeting again will be there for the taking as long as she does not lose faith.

Yet fate plays loves to play her game with a dash of cruelty. Mathilda soon finds herself surrounded by three big burly men. Without doubt they are highwaymen. Despite her naiveté, Mathilda is a clever girl and she immediately knows that she’s in danger. However before she can let out a scream, one of the men reached out for her mouth and covered it with dirty rag soaked in sweet-smelled liquid. Mathilda starts to lose her consciousness and drowse away with sense of unspeakable guilt in her heart. Then again, even if she managed to scream, who can rush and save her? It’s been quite a distance from where she encountered the lovely lady and even if she could reach her in the first place, she will be haunted with greater guilt because what can a lady like her do against three highwaymen?

“We have a nice catch today, boss,” said one of the highwaymen with coarse voice.

“This is a lovely one albeit too young,” said the other who is holding Mathilda’s limp body.

“No problem, we can sell her to the pimps in the city. They will pay great heft of sum for great potential such as her.”

“Can I have fun with her first?”

“Hahaha, you creep! Please do as you want as long as you don’t take her virginity! Our paycheck will be decrease greatly and we will have no choice but flog you!”

The three vile men let out big laugh.

“But wouldn’t it be more fun if I join in?”

A lovely voice interrupts their laughter. The three of them threw a quick glance and they can see a lady is standing in beautiful dress holding a basket full of flowers.

“Yeah… Now this is something more suitable with my taste,” said the boss.

“What d’ya want here, lady!?”

“Me? I just want to tell you ruffians to let my little friend go and let me join the fun,” the lady responded with elegant smile.

“So are you sayin’ you want to trade places with her? Hah! No way! In fact, since yer here, we have no choice but to take ya both!”

The lady shrugged. Disappointment is clearly visible in her expression.

“My… My… I think we have a slight misunderstanding. I asked you to let her go and let me have my fun.”

“Hahahah!” the boss let out a hearty laugh, “We have a lonely lady here, boys! I guess y’all how to treat a lady, right!?”

“Yeah!” the other two answered in unison.

Meanwhile the lady in question just remains quiet. She clearly does not have enough patience to these ruffians’ idiocy but she has come a long way to have her overdue amusement time.

“So, are you waste of life are going to let her go or do I need to drill my words into that thick skull of yours?”

Hear her provocation, one of them became agitated.

“What d’ya say, la- AUGH!!! Boss!?”

The boss suddenly knocked the other’s head fretfully.

“Hold it, idiot! You don’t know how to treat a lady like her,” the boss answered, “Let me show you the way to please a lady who likes it rough like her.”

With dirty smile on his face, the boss steps forward and approaches the lady. His hand itches from the anticipation to taint that lovely figure and the beast between his legs is raging from the immense desire to ravage the beautiful nymph.

“I will make you feel nice tonight, ma’am.”

The lady’s frown suddenly reverted back to her warm smile. Her expression seems to be telling how much she’s been waiting for this moment to come.

“I don’t feel nice being referred as ‘Ma’am’. I believe I’m not that old…”

The highwaymen leader has already reached out his hand grabbed the lovely bosoms in front of him while the other two are cheering like uncultured barbarians they are.

“Don’t worry, Ma’am. I treat all lovely ladies the same. Roughly… I’m sure you won’t mind- AAAAAAARGH!!!!”

“You see, dear. I’m much much older to the point where I feel uneasy from being referred as ‘Ma’am’.”

He suddenly retracts his arm but what is dangling from his shoulder cannot be considered as a human hand anymore. It is more akin to that of rotten branch of a tree.

“W-W-WHAT IS GOING ON!?”

“Oh, my….” the lady whispers with an apparent sense of ecstasy in her face, “Why do not to be so afraid? The fun has only just begun.”

With terrified look on his face, the boss starts to sprint away from the lady but he suddenly tumbles down face-first to the ground below. As he looks back, he can only see the nightmarish vision of his legs missing from below his knees. Actually, they are not gone, just transformed into a pair of wooden stumps planted on the ground.

Seeing the tragedy that befalls his boss, the other highwayman drops the little girl’s body in his grip but little Mathilda’s fall is stopped by a bed of flower that suddenly emerged from the forest floor.

The two also starts to run away leaving their boss who is screaming and shrieking in agony as vines and plants begin to rip his body from inside. However their path stops midway and with horrified look, they find their legs bound by green vines that begin to creep along their body.

“N-n-no… Who are you?”

The lady bored already with the torment that descent upon their boss, now starts to approach them with warm and pleasant smile hiding fatal impulse from beneath.

“WHAT ARE YOU!?”

Then it comes upon them. The old story that is always told again and again to people who wish to step their foot upon this particular forest. The story of…

“A… a… a monster…”

But regret always comes late. The last vision they see before their sight vanished and their senses dominated with pain and agony is a beautiful gust of glittering dusts that fills their entire field of view.

“…da…”

Mathilda squirms and twists. There is nothing but darkness calling out to her in the distance.

“…thil…da…”

A voice is calling her from afar. Is it the voice of her mother? But it’s impossible. Her memory might be a little hazy but she’s certain that she has not yet stepped out from the forest.

“Ma…thilda…”

Yet the voice sounds very certain, serene in her ear. The voice that flows like the tranquil glen that cuts through green lush forest. Within the heart of an innocent child, image of nature and beauty of flower fields resonate within. It is the voice that calls out the image of spirit of Mother Nature herself.

“Mathilda…”

Slowly Mathilda lifts her eyelids. Vibrant ray of morning light illuminates her vision but under that shining light, she can see a figure of a woman with smile as warm as summer-lit grasslands. It is the face that instantly reminds Mathilda of the mystical folks her mother often talks about.

“Is that you… Miss Fairy?”

“My… My…”

No… It’s the voice someone else Mathilda definitely knows. She might not be a fairy but her presence for Mathilda is the proof that the beauty of fairies truly exists in this world.

“Missy…”

“Good thing I found you, Mathilda,” the lady welcomes her conciousness back with her usual warm smile.

“What… what happened, Missy?”

Mathilda’s head is still aching and she cannot recall what happened to her.

“What happened?” instead the lady just repeated her question, “Hmmm… I think you tripped on a root and hit your head somewhere, but everything is okay now. I have handled all the necessary treatment.”

“My head?”

Mathilda really does not remember anything but what the lady said seems to be logical enough.

“What time is it, Missy?”

“Just a couple hours from the break of dawn,” she answered, “You really are a tough girl, Mathilda. I was worried if you didn’t wake up.”

Mathilda sulks. She realized that a day has passed since the appointed time to meet her parents. Without doubt they must be worried sick right now.

“What’s wrong, Mathilda?”

“Mommy and Daddy… They will surely get angry at me…”

“My… My… That’s too bad, Mathilda.”

Mathilda sits down. Her head still hurts but she doesn’t want to trouble the lady too much. Besides she needs to collect the necessary energy to continue her journey but strangely she doesn’t feel hungry at all despite the fact that she skipped yesterday’s dinner.

“You don’t need to worry. I will accompany you to the edge of the forest but since I cannot leave here, you have to continue on foot but I’m certain you can manage to do that. I’m sorry but this is all I can do.”

The little girl shook her head.

“It’s enough, Missy. I’m the one who must apologize for troubling you so much. But at least…”

Mathilda looks down hiding her shy smile.

“At least I know that I still have the chance meeting you.”

“Yes, Mathilda. I will always be here in this forest. If you want to meet me, you know where you can find me.”

The lady hugs Mathilda tightly and presses her cheek against hers before whispers gently to her ear.

“In fact, if your parents get mad at you, please take them here. I will try my best to explain what happened to the two of them. Maybe I can also befriend your mommy and daddy.”

Hearing what the lady said, Mathilda gleefully nods.

Afterwards, the two of them continue their journey followed with small talk between them. Mathilda is now certain that her journey has given to her a new friend. That’s why she cannot hold back her tears when they must separate at the edge of the forest as Mathilda must return to the main road and enter the town. But the lady once again assures her that they will meet again.

“This is for you.”

She hands down three little flowers from her basket to Mathilda.

“I just plucked them yesterday but I’m sure these flowers will be much happier in your hands.”

Mathilda observes the three colorful flowers. They are simple but beautiful gifts from the lovely lady. After accepting her gifts, Mathilda once again throws a hug to the nice lady.

After exchanging wave goodbye, Mathilda follows the main road to the town while the lady waits until Mathilda’s figure completely vanished from her sight before finally walking back to the forest.

It was a good day for her. She managed to have her share of fun as well as making a new friend. In fact, there’s the probability that her new friend will bring along two new extra people for her to have fun again. It’s been a while since she had fun and what recently happened truly reinvigorate her spirit. Of course she needs to be careful because what pleases her can be addicting.

“It’s a good thing because of her, I managed to have a little fun time,” the lady comments to herself, “Because it would be a waste if the bait does not catch any fish and I must satisfy myself with the bait instead.”

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