Chapter 2- Where the River Runs

Submitted into Contest #98 in response to: Set your story on (or in) a winding river.... view prompt


Adventure Fantasy Fiction

They ran through the dark woods as fast as they could. Nicodemus knew it wasn't going to be long before the dark lord knew they were gone.  If they could just get far enough ahead. Primrose ran in  front trying hard to keep her balance. It's hard running blind in complete darkness. Suddenly Primrose fell off the edge of the grass. She did not know where she was falling too. She saw Nicodemus down on his knees with his hand stretched out but it was too late she had fallen past his reach. Primrose tried to brace herself for the fall. How can you prepare yourself for falling into the unknown?  Primrose finally landed in cold dark river. As she sank into the water she remembered a problem. She couldn't swim. This normally was a problem that Primrose could avoid but in this case she fell right into it. She struggled her way back to the top and when she got there she gasped for air. "Hold on your majesty." Nicodemus shouted. He jumped into the water after Primrose as she floated down the winding river.Nicodemus came up out of the water and floated towards Primrose. Primrose was struggling to stay above water then suddenly a fish popped his head out of the water and looked at Primrose. She saw him and screamed "Who are you?" She asked. He ducked under the water then came back up "Why I'm a fish, just a simple river fish. The names Gold, professor Gold." He said proudly. The water was moving fast and kept crashing over Primrose's head. Professor Gold ducked down under the water and then back up again. "So what is your name?" He asked. "I'm Primrose." Primrose said. She was still struggling to stay above water but she saw a glimpse of Nicodemus floating down the river, she knew he would catch up to her soon. "I say my dear, you look as if you are struggling to stay afloat." Professor Gold said. "I am." Primrose said quickly. Finally Nicodemus floated to her and she grabbed a hold of his arm. "Your majesty are you alright?" Nicodemus asked. "Yes I'm fine." Primrose answered. Professor Gold ducked under the water and back up "Whoa. Nicodemus is this the future princess? The one from the prophecy?" The professor asked. "Yes she is." Nicodemus said smiling. The professor gasped "It is a pleasure to meet you your majesty." He said. "The pleasure is mine." Primrose said. The professor had swam away leaving Nicodemus and Primrose floating down the river. "I have failed you, my lady." Nicodemus said sadly. "What do you mean?" Primrose asked. "I let you fall into the river, I did not protect you." He said. Primrose rubbed the bark on his arm "You are doing wonderful at keeping me safe." Primrose said. They continued floating down the river "Are we lost?" Primrose asked. Nicodemus sighed "In truth I don't rightfully know where we are." He answered. "Well can we get out of the water?" Primrose asked. "No, the dark lord cannot see us in the water. We need to be far enough ahead of him." Nicodemus answered. Nicodemus stood up and picked up Primrose so she could dry off and be out of the water for a while. He was still in the water so he hoped that the dark lord could not see them.

A dark fog began to fall all around them "Look it's getting foggy." Primrose said. Nicodemus smiled at her but secretly he had a bad feeling. He could feel it in his bark, the dark lord was coming. "Primrose." Nicodemus said setting her in the grass. "I thought we had to stay in the water." Primrose said. "He is coming, he must have found us. Your majesty, do you trust me." Nicodemus asked. "Yes." Primrose said calmly. He pulled a stick off of his arm and blew into it. It made a loud whistling noise that echoed through the forest. Then many flying creatures came out of the forest and circled around Primrose. "Nicodemus what are they doing to me?" Primrose asked. So many circled around her that she could not be seen. Then they flew back into the forest revealing Primrose. Nicodemus got down on his knees "How do you feel my lady?" He asked. "I feel strange." She said as she rubbed her head. She realized that her hair was gone then she held her hands out in front of her and saw how tiny they were. She ran over to the water and saw her reflection and screamed at the sight. Then she turned towards Nicodemus "They…they turned me into a squirrel! Why am I a squirrel?" She asked in a panic. "In this form you will be safe." Nicodemus said. Primrose moaned "alright fine." She said. "Now climb into the top of that tree." Nicodemus said. "But why can't I climb on you?" Primrose asked. "Because I don't want you to be seen. That tree will keep you safe." Nicodemus answered. Primrose slowly walked over to the tree and looked up, it looked like it went on forever. Primrose jumped onto the tree and was now standing sideways on the bark. Then she slowly slid back down to the ground and Nicodemus laughed "You have to grab hold of it my lady." Primrose looked over at him "I'm trying. I have never climbed a tree before." She said. "Do you need help?" Nicodemus asked. "No no I've got this under control." She said with a wave of her hand. Primrose tried again and began climbing up the tree, she had almost reached the first branch when she lost her grip and began falling. She closed her eyes and waited to fall but then something grabbed her. She opened her eyes and looked around she was being lifted into the air by a tree branch. The tree had bent down and caught her before she fell. Gently the tree sat her on another branch "Thank you." Primrose said. "You're welcome." The tree answered. Primrose climbed up higher in the tree where she was hidden but she could see what was happening. The dark lord drifted through the forest to the place where Nicodemus and Primrose stood. He stopped and looked around "Come out." He hissed. "I know you’re here."

Nicodemus had turned back into a tree and Primrose hoped that he didn't know which one he was. As Primrose sat and watched a little robin flew over and perched beside Primrose. "What's happening." She asked. "The dark lord is looking for the princess." Primrose said. She had thought it would be smart to pretend she wasn't the princess. "Have you met her yet?" The robin asked. "No I thought she might appear." Primrose said. The dark lord continued looking around but he didn't see the princess or the tree that was with her. Finally he drifted back into the forest and the dark fog left with him. The sun began to rise over the mountain making the water sparkle and shine. The robin flew away and Primrose slowly climbed down the tree. Once on the ground she walked over to Nicodemus and climbed up the side of his trunk. She rubbed the bark on his face "He is gone." She whispered. He turned back into his other form and stepped into the water. With Primrose on his shoulder he walked down the river towards the rising sun into the unknown.

June 17, 2021 22:18

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