DON'T BE AFRAID

 

 

 

The creature dropped the little girl's hand and the softness of her face returned to a deeper scowl. The creature did not like the little girl's response...

"Evil. They call me evil..."

The little girl fell back to silence. Baelzerog had given her very specific instructions to run should she encounter any foreign creature like the one that stood before her in the swamp, but in this moment, the little girl's nerves had paralyzed every tiny muscle in the girl's frail body. Finally, without an option to run, she divulged a response.

"And? What do they call you?"

The little girl nodded gently.

"Well someone looks after you, mustn't they?"

The creature's scowl faded to a softness in her sparkling eyes.

"I don't have a family."

"Everyone has a name," The creature continued. "What does your family call you?"

"Harpy tits," the creature retorted. The little girl had overheard Baelzerog use the same expression when he was upset (which was quite often) but something in the little girl told her it was an expression little girls should never use.

"I don't... have a name." 

A cool breeze brushed the little girl's face as finally mustered the courage to speak.

"What is your name?" The creature demanded.

The little girl remained frozen as her nerves began to sink.

"Do you have a flibbit's tongue or are you simply daft?"

"Well speak up! You know it's a capital Remerian offense to ignore your queen!" The threat carried less terror than the creature intended as it was clearly distracted with the little girl's radiant blood. But the creature's impatience grew thin, and after a split second, it raised its gaze.

Though afraid, seeing the creature's smile elicited a tug of some type of feeling in her chest that was as foreign to her as the creature that stood before her. The little girl would come to learn this feeling was called happiness.

"Ruttish swine!" The creature exclaimed with a smile that revealed a rather charming gap in its two front, slightly oversized white teeth. "You're a swampling, aren't you?" The creature displayed its excitement with a smile so bright it could illuminate the darkest of dwellings in Remeria. 

Before the little girl could study the creature any longer, it reached for the little girl's hand to inspect the violet blood that trickled across her palm.

This creature donned hair the color of the wheat stalks the little girl had seen the one Summer day she'd wandered over the edge of the swamp. Its bright eyes sparkled in a shade of green so magnificent it put the dull and drab colors of the swamp to shame.

...But this creature was beautiful than the girl in the water.

Though she little girl referred to most living things in the swamp she didn't recognize as creatures, for one reason or another it didn't feel right this time. In all honesty, the little girl didn't know how to describe this... thing. It had no scales, no fangs, not even a horn. It bared no resemblance to anything the little girl had ever seen in the swamp. In fact, the creature looked shockingly similar to the figure she'd frequently saw in the reflection of the mossy lake near camp. 

"I'm not," The creature responded with a fascinated look on her face that affirmed she wasn't.

The little girl blurted out to the creature that stood before her, but by all means she was the one the most afraid. 

 

 

Copyright Travis Bryant © 2019