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Fantasy Sad

She had never awakened before the first blossom of spring. Nymphs rarely do. Though, she still found herself stirred from her winter’s slumber by a warmth similar to that of the sun and a gentle crackling by her side. It most certainly felt like the warmth of spring; the warmth that told her to wake up, yet when the maple tree’s nymph opened her eyes, the reflective white of the snow around her nearly blinded her.

Instinctively, she raised her arm to shield her light green eyes. By her side, she felt the same warmth like a loyal, heeling dog at her ankle. But when she glanced down, it was an unruly campfire that had been left by her maple tree. Squatting, she held out a finger to touch it. To be burned by it. Like the sun. She pulled her finger away.

Strange, she thought. No, this was more than that. This was peculiar.

It was also burning too close to her stomp. The winter winds blew through the forest, delivering a fake layer of fresh snow that was plucked from the ground, yet the fire only wavered before carrying on. It existed as it always has, as a threat to her tree, arrogant and unaware of its juniority to the ancient tree with its thousand rings inside.

With a flick of her hand, one of the higher branches twitched and dropped a load of snow on top of the fire, sufficiently snuffing it out. Satisfied, she crossed her arms and hmphed, staring at the snow pile. With that taken care of, she strode towards her tree and was about to rejoin it for the rest of her winter hibernation when she paused mid-step. The wind had blown by her again, asking her to stay.

At its plea, she stayed. She had never stayed awake during the winter. Never seen the fluffy loads of snow perched on dark green pine tree branches like snowy crows as she did now. Never heard the silence that lulled the forest to sleep like a chilly lullaby as she did now. Never felt the sting of the snow pool around her ankles as she did now. You could say it was strange as all unfamiliar things are. But all the world was once unfamiliar to you as a baby so the nymph started walking to make it a little less strange.

She knew these woods. She’d lived here her whole life. To make it something she was hesitant about was impressive, but the nymph still knew the way to the river that the deer drank from in the summer.

It was familiar. The same. The current had not submitted to the weather and kept running towards whatever it so desired. The nymph had never seen the end of it, nor did she need to. It was enough to exist as it did to her.

Slowly, she crouched beside it and held out her hand like an old friend. She scooped a handful of water, then two, and let it pool in her hands. Gradually, it trickled through her tan fingers and dripped into the snow below, melting thin, individual holes as it did.

Peering through the holes, the nymph could almost see the frozen ground’s surface. She pursed her lips—those same ones threatening to turn blue—and scooped another handful of water. This time, the river nearly chilled her to the bone. She dropped the water down one droplet at a time, staring intently at its soft, calm destruction.

Eventually, she reached the ground only to discover its precious grass had shriveled up and died. She pressed a firm hand to it and it pushed back, not giving way as it does in the summer when the ground is soft and inviting. Upset, she pressed harder against the ground, spreading her warmth through her fingertips. They turned bluish-purple as the ground dethawed. It was slow work, but work nonetheless.

As the ground warmed up, she wondered if this was why her sisters never awoke during the winter. How tragic it must be to see the destruction of everything you hold dear and treasure during the summer. Though, this frozen hell was something worse than destruction, because it was still there. The grass was still touching her fingers. It still existed, but it had been suspended in time in a mid-dead state to prolong its suffering in hopes it would survive and grow again next spring. But the frost does kill.

The blue had reached her wrist, but she kept pressing. Beneath her hand, the grass had willed back to life and become springy to the touch.

Nothing had been destroyed. It was still there. It felt like she could still save it. It felt like she could bring it back. Make spring come early. Make her sisters wake up and join her so she wouldn’t be so alone in this white forest.

The blue swallowed up her elbow. It devoured her arm and travelled to her collarbone. However, the grass patch spread, growing several feet in diameter.

But seeing this still exist hurt more, because she couldn’t actually save it, nor could she give up.

An acorn had been buried under the soil when it was loose in autumn. A chubby squirrel had forgotten its dinner. Or died. Perhaps he died because he could not find this last meal.

But the acorn gained new life. It grew into a thin sapling that the wind tugged at. The wind tugged at the nymph too. It was regretful. It wanted her to go back. It knew where this was leading. As the wind had circled the earth for several centuries it had learned and seen enough.

While the sapling grew, the nymph withered. The maple tree’s branches dried and snapped off while the sapling gained new branches. And the green patch spread and spread. And the blue on her skin spread and spread.

Until it was everywhere.

***

Spring had come early this year. As the other nymphs awoke from their slumber, their soft bark warmed by the sun, they noticed a new oak tree with a thick stump by the rushing river. Collectly, they agreed, it had not been there last fall. It must have grown in the winter. It was peculiar. Unfamiliar.

As was the shriveled up stump of a certain maple tree. The nymphs did not know what happened to it. But the wind did. When a new, younger nymph with hazel eyes emerged from the oak tree for the first time in her short life, when the nymphs exchanged puzzled expressions about her existence, but welcomed her. When they placed wild flowers on the stump of the maple tree, the wind knew. A life for a life. Nothing is quite as simple as that.

March 23, 2021 19:31

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7 comments

Aisa M
03:40 Mar 25, 2021

Lovely :D

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Lily Kingston
13:49 Mar 25, 2021

thank you!

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05:42 Mar 24, 2021

Beautifully sweet :)

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Lily Kingston
13:49 Mar 25, 2021

thanks :)

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14:14 Mar 25, 2021

:)

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Angel {Readsy}
00:17 Apr 23, 2021

You are a professional writer well done. Spring time is my favourite.

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Josh C
14:20 Mar 31, 2021

Beautiful imagery. It almost makes me miss winter...

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