The Wood Nymph

In the isolated afternoon world of the wilderness, streaks of Sol's radiance slipped through pygmy apertures from the canopied roof overhead, endeavouring to arouse the supine figure before them. Small birds, coaxing and tweeting, came and went as they pleased, flitting about in pendulous and sturdy branches alike, foraging for a bride to take home, and a new life to bestow Mother Earth. Rustling leaves waved in unison whilst the winds played a serendipitous hymn, as together they bid them good-luck on their day-to-day excursion.

A narrow gleam came down directly at his eye, its heated touch nettling him to awaken and get started. Shielding himself from its blinding intensity, he forced his sottish bulk to sit up, rubbing the blemish away from his sight.

As he sluggishly stood, a faint yet absolute scamper he hearkened. Defenceless, he cautiously reached for a branch close by, silent as a cat. Holding it in front of him, he waited for the impending danger—a bear? A boar? His narrowed gaze centred upon the tree before him.

Then, he caught a glimpse of a woman with ochre hair, her eyes capacious as his blue orbs met her light magenta ones. Abruptly she concealed herself behind the magnificent pine tree, whilst he remained gawking at her comeliness and symmetry.

His heart palpitated at his chest, catching him off-guard. Is he still half asleep? he wondered, rubbing his drooping eyes.

Yet there it was again—the sound of twigs and leaves breaking beneath running feet.

Running? He shook the clinging leaves off from his unruly curls, staggering to the tree where the lady had once hid, and then his legs seemed to govern him for he found himself racing after her.

He pursued her then on, never fully visualizing her for she capered about from trunk to trunk, emerging and re-emerging to peek behind trees, her image always a blur as she floated away in an impossible speed—with each blink of his eyes, fading into thin air.

Mother Nature seemed invigorated as she witnessed the chase, their game of hide-and-seek. She assisted the nymph on her vivacious strive in getting away.

He's coming, the zephyrs would cantillate.

Hide behind me, the hardwoods would offer.

Let's leave them be, my minions, Mother Nature would order.

By now, his breathing was discordant and raucous; hers, sedate and unruffled. Her musical gasp a missing note to his piece.

Their course finally ceased before the centre of the woodland—the most colossal oak tree he'd ever set eyes on. On one time he would have been fascinated by the magnificent sight yet his mind was currently occupied with another matter, however.

His posture stagnant, he stared at her bare back turned to him as she peeped on the right of the tree, expecting him in that direction. She knew not of the danger she had landed into—him.

From behind, as sleek as an eel, he grabbed hold of her hand whilst she swayed towards him, a sweet-sounding gasp escaping her.

"Mine," he claimed.

A slow, tentative smile curled her lips, an expectant twinkle in her eyes he knew he would never forget. For a second, she touched his blonde curls, and then she was gone, swallowed by the entrée of her home.

He began favouring an oak tree among the others from that day on.