The Nymph Of Love.
“Ok I got it.” Ash said rubbing his fingers against his forehead. “What you’re trying to tell me is that you’re some kind of Fairy thing.”
“A nymph.” she corrected.
“OK a nymph. And you saw me in a dream and had to come and find me. Why was that again?” He asked as he stood slowly watching the young girl.
“Because if a nymph dreams of a male he is her soul mate the one she’s joined with for all eternity.” she said proudly.
Ash couldn’t believe his ears ok this girl was nuts. She was cute and sweet with a child like innocence but definitely nuts. The girl sat with her legs crossed on the couch watching Ash as he began to pace the room. She was a tiny fragile looking girl with wild coppery curls framing her pale face. Her eyes were a green emerald colour and shone fiercely when the light hit them. No this wasn’t happening it was a hallucination Ash thought to himself. God she’s gorgeous, no concentrate Ash he scolded. Maybe he could get her some help and then if it worked they could see about dating.
“You still don’t believe me do you?” she asked the sadness in her voice resounded loudly. “What do I have to do to get you to believe me?” she was almost wailing now.
“I dunno fly around the room, show me your wings.” Ash replied flippantly.
The little girl stamped her foot on the floor. “I am not a fairy!” she exploded. “I am Aerwyn a water nymph. Argh you’re so infuriating!”
“Ok ok Aerwyn calm down.” Ash said feeling the excitement rolling off the girl. He should have known something was wrong with her, girls never just came upto him and started up a conversation. He was far too shy to even entertain talking to a girl. They were like an alien sub species to him. An this one was even weirder than the rest.
“Fine I’ll show you…damn human.” she spat as she stomped into the kitchen. Several minutes later she came back with a huge bowl of water.
“Ok look if you get water on the carpet my mom will kill me.” Ash warned.
Aerwyn shot him a glare and placed the bowl on the floor. She sat crossed legged in front of the bowl and held both her hands out over it. Ash couldn’t help grinning she looked adorable when she was angry. Slowly a look of pure concentration became etched on her delicate features. Ash shook his head how long was he going to let this go on for? Something from the corner of his eye caught his attention was that a raindrop? No that’s impossible unless we have a leak. He looked back at the girl and his mouth fell open. She was caressing a water bubble in her hands, it rolled around like a glass marble. Then another floated from the bowl and she had one in each hand. She was smiling gleefully as she played with the water. Ash stumbled backwards and scrabbled to get away. No he was seeing things this was just a dream. Pretty soon he would wake up in his room and laugh at this weird dream. Aerwyn giggled and moved closer.
“See now do you believe me?” she asked watching him do a brilliant fish impression his mouth bobbing open. “Ooooh it’s a fish!” she said giggling.
Ash’s mouth snapped shut and he edged carefully towards her. He held out one long index finger and lightly prodded the water bubble. It burst sending tiny teardrop shapes crashing to the ground.
“Uh Oh.” she sang. “Your momma’s gonna be mad.”
“What? I uh…” he was at a loss for words. He raked his hands through his brown wavy thick hair and she once more chuckled. “What?” he asked defensively.
“Nothing it’s just that you always do that when you’re stressed.”
“Yeah all the time, it’s so cute.” she reached over and petted him like he was a family dog.
“Stop that.” he said knocking her hand away. He wished he hadn’t done that she looked hurt. How the hell was this happening? This didn’t happen to him good ol’ straight laced Ash.
“So do you believe?”
“Yeah.” he whispered weakly.
“Yay.” she squealed and threw herself onto his lap. “Oh Ash we’ll be so happy and I’ll love you forever and ever I promise.”
“Wait don’t you have to live in the water?” he asked curious. Damn Ash you know where curiosity got the cat…dead. He reprimanded himself.
“Well kinda yeah, we always have to be near water or we can’t breathe.”
“Kinda like asthma yeah?” he remembered the first time he had seen Aerwyn. She had been in school bent over double in the reception gasping for breath. Ash had thought it was asthma at that time. Now he understood she had been dying right in front of his eyes.
“But that’s why I always carry around a bottle of water, if I can drink it or bathe in it I’ll be ok.”
He felt a painful pang deep within his chest at the thought of this frail girl lying lifeless and still her already pale skin now powder white. He shuddered and felt her arms lock around him. He looked up and her face was close to his too close. His heart picked up giddily was his first proper kiss be with a nymph, a non human? He felt her soft warm lips touch his and he couldn’t help but kiss her back. Oh god this is amazing Ash thought to himself. There was nothing on earth that could feel like this, it was like an energy coursing through his veins.
“Aerwyn.” he breathed between the little kisses she was planting on his lips. “Human here…needs to breath…Aerwyn…stop.”
“Sorry.” she blushed and lowered her head. “I get a little carried away sometimes.”
“It’s ok.” he said between gasps.
The pair sat fingers entwined and stares locked. Suddenly a noise made Ash jump.
“Dammit mom’s back.” he said while grabbing the bowl.
Aerwyn made an excited noise and jumped across the couch. “Oh no you don’t” he said wrapping one arm around her tiny waist and lifting her off the couch. “You need to go, my mom will kill me if she thinks I’ve had girls around.”
“But when will I see you again? Ash I need you I cant live without you!”
Oh boy she was really gonna be a handful.
“I’ll see you at school tomorrow ok.”
“Tomorrow I cant wait that long.”
“Ash?” his mom called out.
“Coming mom. Go!” he ordered her. She just stood there blankly without moving her bottom lip quivering. Oh gimme a break. He leant forward and kissed her hard and for one moment he didn’t want to stop. “Now go…please. I love you.”
An with that she danced across the back yard and disappeared into the woods that lay at the back of his house.
“Ash what on earth are you doing staring out of the window? Come an help me get the groceries from the car.” his mom said from behind him.
“Huh? Oh yeah sure mom.” he turned away from the window and followed his mom outside. The cool air was like a slap around his face and his eyes shot open as if he’d been in a trance. His mother placed her hand against his forehead
“Are you feeling ok baby? You’re a little hot maybe you should go lay down hmm?”
He had to agree he was feeling a little strange. He just nodded and dragged himself upstairs. Once propped up on his bed he reached for the internet and began trawling for information on nymphs. There were sea nymphs, wood nymphs and they were all said to be troublesome little creatures who loved nothing better than luring men into bed and sending them into madness. Remembering the curves of Aerwyn’s body he smiled…yeah but what a way to go. Then something caught his attention about them being oracles or prophets, then something else the article read ‘when a nymph falls in love it is forever. Should a nymph dream of her lover she will go all out to find him. These are the laws of the nymph people.’ he gasped so what she had said could be true. He had to stop and think about it, ok so I have just been locking lips with a creature that’s possibly a thousand years old and lives underwater. He shook his head he must be insane. Somewhere along the line of insanity and answers he drifted off into a sleep.
The morning light broke through his bedroom curtains which were now fluttering in the wind. His eyes opened slowly and he stretched in his bed. Dragging himself up he got showered and dressed. Halfway down the stairs he heard voices, oh god no tell me she didn’t! He raced into the kitchen and almost lost his footing on the wooden floor.
“Be careful Ash.” his mother warned.
He looked across the table and there sat angelically was Aerwyn. “What are you doing here?”
“When you didn’t come to school I got worried and so I came here.” she said proudly.
“Ash don’t be rude, your friend has come to see that you’re alright.”
“Yeah I know that mom she already said that. Aerwyn thank you for coming and I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Well I was thinking that I do need to go out so maybe your friend can stay here with you until I get back while you’re sick.”
“That’s not necessary I’m feeling better all the time.” Ash said.
“I don’t mind Mrs Walters I’ll stay with Ash, you go enjoy yourself.”
“Aww that’s sweet of you, see what a nice friend you have Ash.”
Before Ash had a chance to answer his mother patted him on the shoulder and left. He stared amazed then turned to face Aerwyn whose smile lit the entire room. She beamed at him and flung her arms around his neck nuzzling his chest. Ash was a good 6ft 1 and towered above her tiny 5ft 3 inch frame. She was like a doll in his arms, an for the first time ever he felt protective of her. His arms circled around her back and he rested his chin on top of her head.
“What am I going to do with you?” He asked.
“Anything you want.” she replied a brightness shining in her eyes.
“Aaah anything but that.”
“Why?” she pouted.
“Because even I’m not ready for that, I am only seventeen.”
“Most boys your age have already -” she began but he cut her off quickly not wanting to know what other boys his age did.
“I’m not like other boys.” he answered after a while.
“I know.” she breathed and placed her head on his chest once more.
Ash liked this he could get used to it.
“How long would you wait for me?” he asked not really wanting to tempt fate.
“I’d wait forever.”
Ash’s eyes misted over and he fought to regain control over his emotions. A single tear escaped and rolled down his cheek. Aerwyn lifted a tiny delicate finger and caught the tear on the tip of it. Smiling she closed her hand over it, then when she opened it again there was a perfectly formed crystal with a thousand tiny rainbow colours reflecting back the light. “May I keep it? I mean then I’ll always have a piece of you with me.”
“Sure but you’ve already taken my heart.” god that sounded corny. Ash laughed to himself and pulled her back into him kissing her lightly.
“You old romantic thing you. How did you ever survive without me.” she teased.
“I didn’t. I just existed.”
Now it was her time to cry. She’d heard about it before being in love but never could she imagine that it would feel like this. Euphoric and heady and all the while being possibly the most painful thing she had ever felt. No she had to stay strong, she had to watch over and protect the one thing that mattered more to her than anything…his life. This boy meant more to her than her own life. She would give up everything for him. There was only one thing standing in their way now and she knew what she had to do. Either make him immortal or become a human herself. She looked across at him how could she even think of taking his life away from him? No she would be the one to give up her life and join him, she had to speak to Oren only he could grant her that.
“Ash I just remembered I need to be somewhere.”
“Don’t leave me.” he begged as his fingers entwined with hers.
“I’ll be back soon ok, I love you forever.”
“I love you too.” he whispered back.
After an eternity of clinging onto each other they finally let go. Strange thought Aerwyn why should I feel so sad? I should be dancing and screaming and alive with our love. Maybe it was the thought that she had to be parted from him for even just a second. Or possibly she had an awful feeling Oren would say no, she couldn’t think about that now she just had to get there first. After kissing him she took off across the forest. Trees blurred by in flashes of green and brown each one meshing into the next. The cool air felt good against her skin. She reached the edge of a forest and slowed down to a walk. A waterfall gushed from the side of mountain and into a river that meandered across the grass in a snake like kind of way. She began calling out for Oren using all her will to summon him. There was a strange silence that filled the air and then everything seemed to burst with life. She turned quickly to see a young male with golden skin and the whitest hair you had ever seen.
“Oren.” she started.
“I know why you’re here.”
“Please Oren I cant be without him and to take his life away would be cruel I couldn’t bare it.”
“Walk with me.” he commanded gently.
Aerwyn followed him throughout the woods for what seemed like hours, listening as he spoke of the ways of the nymph people and how she had broken the rule of not exposing them to humans.
“So you see I have a problem.” he turned to look at her this little youngling with eyes that had lost their innocence and love for their way of life. “Go be with this boy as of now your no longer one of us, you’re human.”
Aerwyn felt a strange buzzing feeling sweep over her body and a feeling of something draining from her. Fear pricked along her skin. Why was she afraid? This is what she wanted, wasn’t it? She fell to her knees exhausted as if all her life energy had been sucked straight out of her. Excitedly she turned to thank Oren and found nothing there. Oh that’s right I’m human I cant see him, she thought to herself. Then it hit her
“I’m human!” she screamed dancing around manically. Ash she thought, I have to get back to Ash.
She ran as quickly as her new human legs would allow her which if she admitted wasn’t very fast. Ok well there is going to be things I will miss about my old life but it wasn’t all for nothing. I’m going to get a new life with Ash, my wonderful, handsome, caring Ash. The muscles in her calves began to ache and she stared at them annoyed.
“Oh no you don’t.” she warned them. “We don’t stop until we’re back in his arms.”
His house swam into view and her heart began to do excited back flips. This was it, the rest of her life with him. She raced up the porch steps and banged on the door.
“Ash, Ash it’s me let me in.” she could hardly contain herself.
The door opened and Aerwyn was surprised to see his mother open the door.
“Hi I’m here to see Ash.” she said through gasps.
His mothers eyes looked swollen and read. She fell to the floor sobbing into her hands. A tall thin man joined them and placed his hands on her shoulder.
“I’m sorry.” he said his voice trembling. “Ash is gone.”
“Gone what do you mean gone?” her voice got higher with each word.
“He was hit by a car about an hour ago, he…he died instantly.”
“No, no that’s not true why are you lying? I love him and we’re going to be together forever.” she sobbed tears falling from those green eyes.
“I’m sorry.” he said once more.
“Will you stop saying that!” she exploded with blind fury.
The man lifted Ash’s mother from the floor and took her back inside the sobs still reaching Aerwyn from behind the closed door. As she fell to her knees something caught her eye, a tiny perfectly formed crystal lay on the ground. She picked it up as tears rolled down her face. “Oh Ash.” she sobbed. She placed the tiny crystal on the delicate chain she was already wearing around her neck. “I’ll always have a piece of you.” she cried into the still air.
“Nobody ever saw that red haired girl ever again some people say she died of a lonely heart, others that she begged Oren to take her back.”
“Grandma I love that story.” I said while tossing back my red curls. I looked at the elderly lady sat in the chair, frail and fragile looking. Her greying hair hung in wild curls around her face. She sat sipping at a glass of water her green eyes an emerald colour that sparkled fiercely. The light hit something catching my eye instantly. A tiny tear shaped crystal hung from her neck on a delicate gold chain, she smiled wearily while twisting it between her fingers.
“Gran where did you get that from?” I asked.
“Oh an old dear friend who’ll I’ll always have close to my heart.” she said sadness creeping into every word and a strange fire flickered behind those eyes.