She rises from the ground with a smile on her face. Her ashy dress tipped with green leaves stays snug to her body as she stands up on two feet.

Her watery eyes roar against her black pupil and darken with intensity. Her waist-length, straw colored hair is pinned behind her ears and shimmers like the sun as her shoulders square up.

She was born from the dirt, her skin brown as the bark surrounding her. The willow tree gifted her with graceful height and the oak gave her strong will and deep roots.

Her lips are as soft as roses and light as day, while the night tipped her its fearless mysteries and the deer her swift speed. She hunts in a pack of one patient and golden as a lioness. Her demeanor is gentle as a robin, but her bite is as sharp as a python.

She came from the woods where no one dares to enter and laughed at the creatures we're so afraid to face. Once a man finds his courage to step foot over the thick tree line he returns by the river face down.

No one seems to know exactly how old she truly is but no one ever dares to ask. It is said that she will answer one question before she decides if your worth living or not and I was foolishly talked into daring.

"What will you have of me?" she asks with a sullen look. Her voice barely reaches a whispers yet it bounces around my head, thundering against the inside of my skull.

"I-I want to know the cruelest beast out here," I blurt loudly, thinking back to the stories the elders would tell me when I was a kid.

Waves crash inside her unblinking eyes as she purses her rose lips and nods, "Very well follow me."

She spins with such speed and grace that like her hair swirls behind her like a straw cape before settling back to straight down her waist.

I open my mouth to object but she shoots me a look with enough venom to kill a small animal. My jaw pops shut as I nosily follow with my head down.

She never looks back until she reaches the bank of a river. Realization dawns on me and I move to bolt but she's by my side in less than a second with her long fingers wrapped around my arm.

"The answer is in the ripples," she tells me reassuringly to my ear as she forcefully pulls me to the edge. She then stands completely still, her lean muscles locked as she patiently waits.

I swallow hard and reluctantly lean over to look. "Wait," I pause, confusion raking my mind, "All I see is my reflection. I'm just a human."

I can feel her against me in moments, her warm breath tickling the side of my face. "Exactly," she mummers into the wind as she pushes hard on the small of my back.