Author's Note
Just so you all know why I've been writing this instead of working on Angel Without Wings...Rianna made me! *sob* I WANT to work on Angel, HONEST I do, but noooo...Rianna thinks I need to write this...*sniff* Don't ask me why. Stupid, obstinate, opinionated Muse...
I thought about writing a long thing in here about where this came from, why I wrote it, how come, and other rot, BUT I decided not to because you won't care unless you're one of those people who have to know EVERYTHING (I hope not; I plan to leave lots of thing unexplained in this story. Explaining them requires use of a brain, and mine is dysfuntional, rather like the rest of me) and beside which it's generally, as a general thing, dull and pointless to explore my thought patterns, unless it's for humorous purposes (...please read Weirdness: Or Ravings of an Insane Lunatic at 1am and you'll get the idea...) so I gave up on that idea and decided just to beg you not to kill me for not working on Angel Without Wings. PLEASE DON'T KILL ME FOR NOT WORKING ON ANGEL WITHOUT WINGS! IT'S ALL MY STUPID MUSE'S FAULT! BLAME HER! Anyways, short preview thingy of what I've been scribbling today...

Disclaimer: MINE MINE IT'S ALL MINE! BWHAHAHAHAHA!!! (I really love doing that...)


Forest Fae
by Kathryn Angelle

Raven ran through the woods until the sounds from the farmyard faded and she was all alone. Then she slowed to a walk, listening to the birds around her. In the farm yard, you could never hear the birds because of the loud rumbling equipment, the yelling, the many animals, the constant bustle...She had dropped the milk pail, again. She had been scolded, again. But this time Cook had gone to fetch her switch, and Raven had run. Her hips still smarted with welts from yesterday. Cook had a strong arm and no gentleness in her.
Her legs had started to ache. She was never very strong, always skinny and thin-boned, pale and big-eyed. Her black hair always escaped its ties to surround her queer, angular features and tilted dark eyes. Those eyes looked quizically at everything from under brows parallel to them and thick, tangled lashes. Raven leaned against the thick trunk of a huge tree, tracing patterns in the rough bark. Its roots sprawled over the ground in a wild mass, and she sank down onto one of them. She closed her eyes and sagged back, savoring the feel of the quiet sunlight...
"Are you tired, little dark-haired one?"
She sat up with a sharp jerk, looking around her wildly.
"Who..." The voice had come from close beside her. What Raven had taken for another tree root was a small brown-skinned man, with a full, twiggy beard, and thick heavy brows that almost hid his twinkling eyes. She might come to his chin, standing, but he was a good deal broader. His clothing was a strange mix of rough earth-colored cloth and dark leather that resembled the tree bark, his shoes looked like large leaves. Raven leaned back, pressing against the tree. "Who-"
"Thistle Oakleigh."
"Wha-"
"A tree gnome. Or a dwarf, in some cultures, though it's not my true nature."
"Wha-what is your true nature?"
"Teisn'ien turin, a tree sprite, a fae creature." He looked at her face. "You have nothing to fear from me, little dark-haired one." Looking up into his eyes, Raven felt suddenly that he meant it, and eased down from where she had plastered herself against the solid trunk of the tree. Now she was almost touching knees with him, but it no longer made her uncomfortable. "You did not answer my question."
Raven looked up. "What question was that?"
"Are you tired, little dark-haired one?" She liked his voice. It was warm and rough and very kind.
"I suppose I am..." She was very tired, now that she thought on it; the curve of the tree root felt very cozy...she sank back, curling into it...

Raven woke up because she was being carried. Her bleary eyes made out a shoulder covered with rough cloth and leather, and a thick mass of dark beard. She blinked, then turned her face back against his chest. Her whole life she had been abused, and the fact that this stranger handled her gently made her trust him more than she had ever trusted anyone. She went back to sleep.