Dark Sprite

Submitted into Contest #87 in response to: Write about a mischievous pixie or trickster god.... view prompt


Fantasy Horror Speculative

The young girl stood in the center of a dirt path before a thick, black, tangle of forest. The wind rustled the trees, making the gnarled and wicked branches appear as if they were alive. Wooden signs on both sides of the seldom traveled road bore words of warning in dark red paint, as if written in blood. Turn Back, Haunted Woods, Beware, and Enter At Your Own Peril, where among the many phrases used to persuade travelers to choose another path. The girl was not afraid. Her purpose was certain.

Glancing back one last time at her encampment, she tugged on her pigtails to make sure they were even, as she often did out of habit. She tightened her belt, straightened her dress, clenched her fists and walked forward, resolute in her task. She wondered, as dawn quickly approached, how long it would take for anyone to notice she was absent from her tent. She knew the guards nor the scouts would pursue her into the woods. No one would be so bold. She knew she would be on her own as she followed the path and disappeared into the obscuring trees and underbrush.

“Bobo!” the girl exclaimed, her voice nervous and innocent, but barely above a whisper. She laughed at herself and her softness. “Bobo! Here boy!” She belted the words out for any and all to hear. She showed no fear even though she knew what lurked in the shadows of this dark forest. “Bobo! Where are you, boy?! Come to me! Follow my voice!” Her search led deeper into the woods and after an hour she stopped to sit on a stump and rest.

A sadistic giggle sounded quietly from somewhere nearby.

“Hello! Who is there?” she demanded. “Please, help me. I have lost my dog, Bobo. I beg you, do tell me if you have seen him.”

The giggle repeated, followed by a faint fluttering noise. This time it was nearer.

“Will you help me? Please!” The girl began to cry. “I miss my doggy and I am very tired.”

“Your hair is pretty,” insisted a squeaky, high-pitched voice. There was a hint of maliciousness in the statement made. It was not meant as a compliment.

The girl smiled hesitantly and before she could respond, a rush of wind and flapping wings swirled around her head. A blade was unsheathed and the girl’s pigtail was pulled taught. It all happened so fast and then it was done. She grasped at the side of her head, felt the wetness of blood and the absence of her pigtail. She screamed.

From a branch several feet above the girl, a small winged fairy appeared from behind the tree. A sadistic grin spread from ear to ear revealing its sharpened little teeth. Dark greenish-black skin wrinkled around its cold-hearted eyes and devilish mouth. It bounced on the limb with glee twirling the pigtail trophy in hand. “I thank you girl for the souvenir. I will add it to my collection.”

“How could you?! You have disfigured me!” She felt the bald patch on her head. “Why would you do such a thing?”

“Why not?”, echoed the fey voice, as the wicked figure vanished into the shadows again.

Holding her remaining pigtail in one hand, the girl watched the trees and prepared to defend herself. She braced herself for another attack, unsure of where it would come from or when it would come. “You are a wicked and nasty little trickster with an evil heart. Did your mommy not teach you to treat others as you would wish to be treated?”

“Your dress is nice,” stated the fey. A vicious giggle followed.

The girl could feel something strike her from behind. She felt wet and the smell was overpowering. Turning to face her assailant, she was blasted by another wave of liquid that splashed across her dress and into her hair. The foul fluid dripped from her ear and cheek. She gagged as the strength of the smell filled her nostrils. “Why are you like this?”, she cried out. “Why do you treat people so?”

The fey appeared on a tree branch from above again snickering maniacally. “That will surely stain your lovely dress, my dear. How unfortunate.”

“What have you done?”, the girl begged an answer as tears rolled down her cheeks. “What is that foul odor?”

“Urine. Mostly rabbit. Some blood too, and juices from the dark berries nearby. It will never wash out and the smell remains even after washing. It is one of my favorite pranks!” The fey laughed again and slapped its knees with its hands and fluttered its wings.

The girl began to run back along the trail in an attempt to escape her tormentor. She could hear the fey take flight to pursue her, but she could see nothing. Her feet caught on something; a wire or rope perhaps, carefully hidden on the trail. She toppled forward and landed face first in the dirt. Stunned, she remained prone for a few moments. She felt something grab her foot and her boot was jerked away. The fey flew over her and disappeared into the trees ahead. She could hear a splash in the distance and remembered the creek she had crossed earlier. She assumed that was the last she would see of her boot.

The wicked creature returned and landed in the path near the girl. “Now you will have to hop all the way home! Is that not the funniest trick? I love that one. There are so many sharp sticks and stones along the path. Hilarious, right? I am very good at this.”

The girl sat on the ground and hugged her other boot tightly with both arms. Tears flowed down her cheeks. She looked at the fey with a look of defeat and surrender. “All I wanted was to find my lost doggy.”

The smile on the fey’s face faded slightly and it stood in silence.

“Why are you so mean? I would have been your friend. I would have shared my cakes that I have in my satchel. Are you not lonely? Do you not long for a friend to laugh with and talk with? Why are you such an evil sprite?” The girl stared at the fey and realized that what she said had caused the creature to think.

“It is not in my nature to make friends,” insisted the fey. 

“Is there a law that says you can not change?”

“Your kind hunt my kind. Men and their babies are not friends to the sprites of the forest.”

“Perhaps, we can be the first to change that? She smiled at the confused creature. Her words had meant something. Holding out her hand, she nodded to the fey, “Let us be the first to call ourselves friends.”

The fey reluctantly approached and then reached for the girl’s hand to forge the bond of friendship.

With the quickness of a pouncing cat, the girl grabbed the fey by the arm and hit it across the head with her boot. The fey staggered in a daze, it panicked and struggled to escape the girl’s iron grip. Blow after blow was landed with the boot in a savage and furious attack until the fey was battered unconscious on the ground. The girl quickly opened her satchel and produced a sparkling spool of thread. She lifted the fairy and placed it against a tree stump and then wound the thread a few times around both, securely binding the now helpless creature. Sitting patiently on a nearby rock, she waited for the fey to wake.

The fey opened its eyes and frantically tried to escape the bonds. It looked at the girl and pleaded, “Release me! I do not have your dog! I have not even seen your dog!”

Approaching the fey, the girl wiped the blood from the creature's brow and licked it from her hand with a smile. “There is no dog, you fool. I must say, I did not think I could do it this easily. It is said that dark sprites are very hard to catch.” She watched the fey struggle to escape. “You are bound with a magical thread. Fey can not escape from it.”

“Who are you?”, asked the fey. “What do you want from me?”

“Things are not as funny now, are they? I see no smile on your face. I hear no more laughter coming from that foul maw of yours.” Grabbing the fey by the chin, she laughed in its face. “I am the trickster now it seems!”

“Who are you? Surely, not a child,” the fey added. “You are far too cunning.”

“The child and the missing dog were but a ruse to lure you in, fool. I must say, my acting skills surprised even me. Now, what I have in store for you at first seemed cruel, but after your willingness to treat a helpless little girl with such malice, I feel it is far more akin to justice now.” Pulling her severed pigtail from the fey’s belt she added, “I am hoping that this next part is more painful for you than it was for me to lose my hair.” Opening her satchel, she removed a dagger covered in glyphs. It glowed with magic and she could see the fear in the fey’s eyes. “You know what this is, don’t you?”

“I beg you, please do not take them from me.”

“Perhaps, I should take only one, as you did with my pigtail and my boot. Although, I bet you wish you had stolen both of my boots now, huh?” She laughed even more sinisterly than had the fey before. “Well, as it is, I recently acquired an interesting and powerful book of magic and the spell I wish to cast requires both of your wings I am afraid, and then some. If you have a stick, I would bite down on it now.” 

“I have no stick! My arms are bound!” screamed the fey. “Give me a stick! Mercy, I beg you!”

Blade in hand, the girl began to carve away at the creature's wings as the forest echoed with the screams of agony. After the wings were removed, the tongue was next, as it was also needed for the magic to work. The girl took her time and seemed to derive great pleasure from the butchery.

“Well, now that your tongue is silenced and you can no longer use your enchantments against my real name, I will say this, I am a young princess recently crowned queen, but my years are many and my wisdom far greater than my age. I thank you for the souvenirs. Your contributing reagents will help to bind something far more powerful than you.” With one last look into the terrified eyes of the fey, she plunged the blade into its heart and said, “The name is Valda, bitch.”

April 01, 2021 21:57

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Claire Lindsey
13:43 Apr 07, 2021

Quite wicked yourself! I was expecting her to capture the fae but I didn’t realize her purpose for doing so would be so dark and gruesome. I enjoyed the character even more then, a princess who certainly isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty is really interesting. It makes me wonder what she’s trying to capture.


Ryan Dupont
15:37 Apr 07, 2021

Thank you so much for reading my story. All of my stories on Reedsy (so far) take place in the same dark fantasy world and the more I write, the more they link together and the world grows and develops a little with each new entry. I am having fun with it. If you get a chance, read some of the others. The Straw Doll and The Summoning are linked to Dark Sprite. Thanks again and I look forward to reading more from you!


Claire Lindsey
15:54 Apr 07, 2021

I’ll have to take a look! I don’t write horror/dark stories often, my only other one that kinda counts is Linden Drive. It’s definitely a fun genre to write, though, and I love reading it :)


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