Fae prince

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Fantasy Realm
a story inspired by "willow maid" (preformed by: erutan)

Submitted: November 05, 2018

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Submitted: November 05, 2018

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Since I was little, my parents were taking me to the small lake outside the village  so I could ice skate and I loved doing that more than anything. Ice skating became my life and I wanted to become a skater when I grew up. But everything changed when I lost my parents in hunting as a 7-year-old and was left to my strict uncle that didn't like my plans and forbade me to skate. He took my skates away and since then I had to work as a shepherd and I could only dream of a beautiful frozen lake that I grew to love. Part of me told me I could not blame him for being angry because skating isn't actually a real job, but the pain remained.

I turned 15 this autumn and my only wish was, like every year, to get my skates back or at least for my uncle to allow me to go to the lake, but I got neither. I couldn't even thought about it because it would make him angry. As I was left with unfulfilled wishes, I could only comfort myself and hang out with my goats to forget the sorrow. I took the herd outside the village near the dark forest that I'm not allowed to go into because the people from the village say that dangerous creatures live in it and that it is enchanted. Something has always dragged me into it, but I've never entered it. My uncle would bury me alive if I dared to break his rules. I sat in the grass and the dry leaves that had already begun to fall and took a little, mischievous goat that loves to hide from me and run around so I can't catch her:

-Don't yell, you little bastard. You're not going anywhere today. Do you know there are wolves out there? They can eat you.-I told her trying to make her quiet, but she didn't care for my words a single bit:

-Who will annoy me if you'll be gone, huh?-my uncle, of course:

-At least you do not have an uncle to get angry at you whenever you do stupid things.-I stroked her head and kissed her, and she bit my hair and pulled it. That's „thank you“ for loving her and caring for her smart ass.

I tried to keep my little wild goat in my hands as long as I could just so I wouldn't have to get up and run after her, but her desire to run away from the herd and my patience was stronger than me and she managed to jump out of my arms. To my misfortune, she went down to the woods and stumbled among the trees, and I stood there frozen for a moment, staring at the tall dark broad trees whose crowns formed a deep shadow. Though I was afraid to go into the woods, I had to because my uncle would get angry with me if I lost a goat. I ran in and went to catch the small one when I heard a silent cry and whining and went for the source of the sound. What I saw surprised me for a bit. The little boy was sitting on the stump, holding his knee and crying. As soon as I got to him, I noticed wings on his back and slightly unusual clothes:

-What happened to you?-I asked him softly, and he looked at me in tears for a moment and then pointed to a scratched bloody knee. I tore a piece of my old worn dress, tied his wound and kissed it, and he stopped crying and took me by the hand:

-There you go. Is it better now?

-Thank you.

-What are you doing here? You should not be alone in the woods.

-My brother is looking over me.

-Where is your brother?

-Somewhere near here. He let me play and I fell. Why are you here? People aren't usually coming to our forest.

-My goat ran away.

-You're pretty.

-Thank you...

-You wanna flower?-he created a purple flower in his hand and gave it to me:

-That's nice.

-Where are you from?

-The nearby village.

-I responded to him and a few moments later I heard my goat and turned to her:

-I have to go.

-Don't leave me!

-My uncle will be angry with me if I stay here for a long time.

-Stay with me! Please!-he grabbed me with both hands and didn't want to let me go:

-We can find your goat together.

-Good ...-little one cheered and went with me to search. After only 10 minutes I managed to reach and catch it, but when I turned to thank the little one who helped me, he was gone.

Without a problem I found the exit of the forest and came back to my herd, and to my fortune none of the other shepherds from the village saw me where I came from. Not so long afterwards I went home and didn't say anything about it so my uncle wouldn't take away from me yet another reason to life:

-Where have you been till now?-I heard my uncle's voice:

-Some of my goats are bastards and they don't listen to me.

-So teach them discipline.-he said entering the room and bringing some food with him:

-To train the old goat is like trying to change your mind about anything. Impossible.

-I have to care about you and feed you until you learn to work on your own and get married, and you really could do it as soon as possible.

-I'm 15 years old, who gets married at that age?

-Nearly everyone.

-Well, I'm that minority who doesn't follow the stats. I looked up to you.

-I got you before turning 20 and I wasn't quite in a position to worry about someone else.

-Do not blame me for being alone, you were poor before my parents died.

-I'm not blaming you.

-Then get married.

-I must take care of you first.

-Wait, do you really expect me to go get married?

-There are several younger shepherds who would gladly take you.

-What are you doing while I'm gone? Are you questioning people around village if someone is looking for another child to take in?

-I heard things from a friend.

- Ah, yes, I forgot about that village hatchery of weirdos and the main source of information you call a bar.

-Do you want to die alone?

-Don't we all die alone?

- I'm so done with your shit! Get serious! You will get married!

-One day for sure I will.

-Soon.

-You wanna bet?

-I pity the mother who gave birth to you.-I know that my opposition is annoying him, but I was told that it is not right to torture and kill other people.

The next day I found purple flowers on my window, the same as the little one gave me, and I knew immediately that it was from him. And the day after that, and the whole week after that, I came across purple flowers on my window every morning, but I never managed to see who is bringing it, even when I stayed awake all night.

One cold early morning when I went to take my goats to pasture, I noticed that my mischievous little goat was wearing a purple flower beside her horn, but it couldn't tell where she got it from. She's too small to jump to the window and take one, and there are no such flowers at this time of the year. I tried to catch her and take it, but the little one  escaped me again and I followed her to the edge of the forest where she stepped among the trees just a few steps and stopped. Just then I saw a little one behind the tree watching me:

-Where were you till now? I sent you flowers, but you didn't come.

-I'm not allowed to go to the woods.

-You don't have to be scared. Animals are friends. If you don't hurt them, they won't do anything.

-I should go back.

-Not! Stay with me! I'll show you the forest.-he smiled and walked over to me, and I couldn't refuse him in the end. I stepped toward him with a bit of fear and as soon as I entered the woods he pulled my hand and took me away with himself.

The ground was covered with dry brown and red leaves and every step of mine could be heard, every breath of my breath turned into clouds of white smoke due the cold air and the light of dawn ran through the branches and illuminated our path. The little one led me further and further so that I no longer knew where I am nor how to go back and the further we went the darker it got.

We came to the hill where little one stopped and showed me herd of deer that passed by and he just swung his hand to what a couple of deer came and examined us softly and without fear:

-You see? They're good. They won't bite you.-he petted one of them and smiled at me:

-You want to stay a little longer?

-I shouldn't ...

-Please!-little one started to beg me to stay at least a bit more:

-My goat is running around, I can't leave her alone.

-She will be fine. We can look for her later. Stay with me a little longer.-where is that brother of his watching him?

I sat with the little boy on the stump, and the deer fearlessly remained close to us and licked our hands:

-They are pretty.

-White ones are the most beautiful, but it's hard to find them.

-I've never seen them before.

-I'll show 'em to you once.-a squirrel ran to his shoulder and he got happy:

-What would you want?

-I don't ask you for anything. You've already given me a lot.

-I'll give you whatever you want. You certainly want something.

-Well ... for years I want my skates, but my uncle won't give them to me.

-You know how to skate?

-I learned as little.

-You want to show me? The lake is not so far away.

-Once the winter comes.-I sat little one in my lap and stayed with him for a while when it came to me that I had to go back to the village because the uncle would get angry with me:

-I should go...

-Already?

-I'll come again. I promise.

-What are you doing in my forest?!-I heard a voice behind me and got scared, and the tall fae with black wings looked at me with malice aforethought:

-Humans should not be here! Get outta here!

-No! Don't push her away!-little one tried to calm him down, but I was so frightened that I had left the child next to me and ran away before he personally dragged me away. I barely found the way out and picked got to my village where my heard and my little goat who decided to come back were waiting for me.

I got so scared I had not returned to the forest for days, and I stayed the whole autumn far away from it when on one winter day skates appeared on the window. I got very happy and hid them in a bag so uncle wouldn't see them and ran out toward the woods. I stood in front of the big trees and wanted to go in, but I was still afraid of the fae who chased me away:

-Hey!-little fae spoke and appeared behind the nearby tree:

-Come!

-But what if that fae sees me again?

-Don't worry, nothing will happen to you, I talked to him. Let's go to the lake.-although I was scared, I stepped into the woods, and the tiny one pulled me by the hand:

-Do you like the skates I left for you?

-They're beautiful.

-Let's try them out.-are you really sure that the other fae is okay with this? Last time he seemed like he was ready to suffocate me with his bare hands.

The little man led me through the woods and took me to a large frozen lake where a weak light barely piercing through the clouds was falling on it. I put on my skates and went to the ice a bit unsure because I had not been on the frozen water for a long time, and the kid took the fife and played. At first I was a little bit nervous and shaky, trying to recall how it was to skate and then I became more and more carried away by his music and danced off on the ice. I didn't mind the cold wind or the snow that was flying around me, I just wanted to enjoy these short moments that I get to spend in my skates I haven't dressed for so long. Only when I stopped I noticed the older fae looking at me from the forests and I climbed to the shore:

-I told you not to come to my forest.

-Leave her! I called her here!

-She doesn't belong to the faes. People from the villages hurt my forest and scare my animals.

-I'm sorry ...- I barely spoke:

- I didn't want to make you angry. Here...- I took off my skates and put them in front of him:

-You can take them back.

-You don't have to give them back.-little one said:

-They are yours..

-Get away from her.-fae pulled little guy behind him:

-I thought I was clear enough last time. I do not want to see you again in my forest.

-No!-little one shouted:

-Let her stay! She didn't hurt anyone!

-To her fortune. If she did, I would have killed her.

-Give her a chance!

-Silence, kid!

-You haven't even tried!

-All right!-he barely agreed and sighed:

-I'll let you into my forest under two conditions. You have to bring me a gift until tomorrow night. If I'm satisfied, you'll come in. And you may not talk to people about us or bring others with you.-I nodded and he let me go back to the village, this time without yelling.

At first I did not know what to bring him because I am poor and livestock is reaching a higher market price than me, but then I found a few walnuts and acorns under thin snow on the ground. The next day I came up with a small bunch of them in my palms at the edge of the forest waiting for him, and he slowly came from the deep shadows to the low light of dawn. I stretched out my arms in front of him, and he tilted his head as if he did not know why I brought them to him:

-I did not have anything else.-I was expecting some kind of prodigy, but he said nothing and just picked them up and put them in the bag:

-Come in.-he let me in and the little fae got happy and took my hand.

I spent all my winter sneaking out into the woods and skating on the lake, and both faes watched me all the time. My uncle has already begun to doubt that I'm sneaking out, but he never find out where I'm going. In the spring, the snow started to melt and I had to put away my skates which made me a little sad because I really enjoyed skating and my dear two faes seemed to me to have fun watching me scrape the ice.

One early spring morning before the uncle woke up I ran to the edge of the forest where the fae and his little brother waited for me:

-We missed you.

-I was gone only for a few days.

-Every day you don't come to us we miss you more and more.-fae said in a much lighter tone than when we met. His golden hair was shining in the sun that revealed his rather pale skinny face on which I had never seen a smile, and his penetrating blue eyes staring at me as if trying to see my soul:

-Let's go.-he stretched out his hand toward me.

-I never asked you ... why are you always in the woods? I have not seen you leave it yet.

-We can't get out. If we get separated from it, we will die.-I didn't speak another word and I took his hand and escorted him deep into the woods.

As I could no longer skate, the little fae asked me to sing to them and my voice impressed him as soon as I let it out and so he taught me his favorite fae songs that I sang with him every day I spent in the woods. I even started singing to my own goats when we were out of the village, and the little goat liked it most. But to my misfortune, someone from the village managed to hear me. The young hunter and blacksmith, very familiar in the village because of his talent, heard me singing as he walked through the nearby road and approached my heard:

-You sing well.

-Thank you.

-How come I never heard you before?

-I don't usually sing.

-You should.

-Where did you go off to?

-I'm back from the hunt. May I stay with you?

-Of course.-I let him sit close to me and listen to me while I was singing. I think he likes me. He has that look.

Early in the morning a couple of days later I ran into the woods where my prince with a white rose in my hand waited for me:

-This is for you.

-What is that?

-When fae falls in love, he brings white roses to her girlfriend.

-Is this a custom for you people?

-Something like that.

-The big brother wants you to stay with us. It's annoying when we have to wait for you.

-I do not know how to do it...

-You can marry me.

-Straight to the point, huh?

-If you agree, I must warn you... you will become one of us, but you will never be able to leave this forest again or you will die. Fae are attached to their forests.

-I...-I could not think of a clever answer at this point. His cold eyes stared at me with hope that I would agree, but I wish it was so easy, to move from one world to another:

-I would love to stay with you. But what about my uncle? He'll be alone.

-Can't you think of yourself for once? Just think - the whole forest at your service. And you can skate whenever you want. No man can offer you what I can. No living man has love I have for you. The question is... do you want to stay in your misery and let your uncle harass you with your customs that will not bring you any luck or to join me,  the who loves you?-that is actually a good argument. My uncle will give me away to someone, and I do not want someone I've never seen before, I want my beloved fae. I did not risk life fleeing in the woods every little bit so that in the end I would get separated from him:

-I want to stay, but I worry.

-You don't have to worry about anything. He is not a child, and he wanted to get you away from himself for a long time and marry you for somebody. Am I not a good choice?-he sounded a little offended as if I told him he's not good enough, but I ignored that and hugged him:

-If I wanted to, I could not think of anyone better than you.-I can't see his face, but I feel him smiling.

In the early spring we had a wedding and finally I became one of them, and my village was left behind me. And so months passed since I went to live in the woods and I heard no words from the villagers until that summer day when my old friend the hunter decided to be brave and walk where he should not. He surely heard me sing and followed the sound of my voice in the hope of meeting me again:

-I knew I recognized that voice.-he said all happy and the little fae who sat on his lap hid so he could not see him:

-I thought something had happened to you. It is a story in the village that you went to the woods and you did not come back.

-What are you doing here? You should not be in this forest.

-We were looking for you. Your uncle is worried about you.-he does not care for me but for what rumors that say about me:

-Tell him I'm fine. But please do not come here anymore.

-Why don't you come with me back to the village?

-I can't. Please leave.

-I will not leave without you. I promised your uncle that I will bring you back to him if I find you.

- I do not want to come back! I belong here!

-Have the fairies adopted you?-he said with a grin:

-And what if they did?

-You're not joking.

-If anyone asks you, you did not see me. Now please go before some of the older faes see you. They will kill you. They do not like humans.

-They love you. More than me.-grin from his face faded away and now he looked more like he is sad that he hadn't got a chance, that we couldn't meet before. He turned his back and went back to the way he came:

-You won't leave us, right?

-Of course I won't.-I kissed him on the forehead and then I noticed my spouse standing just past us and looking at a hunter and holding a short knife in his hand:

-What are you doing?

-He must die!

-Don't attack him!

-You are my wife, this is my forest, and he dared to harass both! I'll make sure this never happens again!-he came after him, but I grabbed his hand for a moment and wouldn't let go:

-Please don't! He won't come back!

-I did not kill you that day because you helped my brother but he dared to approach my wife and ask her to commit suicide together with our baby!

-Let him leave.

-You never wondered why people in the surrounding villages are talking that those who come to my country don't come back? This is because they didn't respect the rules and they disrupt my peace. If I let him, someone would think he managed to overcome me.

- Forget it. Everything will be fine.-I tried to calm him and he seemed to listen to me.

In the evening I laid down in a pile of leaves and grass under the hedge of the branches and almost fell asleep when I heard many crows flying up and squawking as if scared. It can't be anything terrible, so I thought and remained motionless. Shortly thereafter, my fae came and laid beside me. I took him by the hand he placed over me to hug me and felt something wet, but it didn't seem like water, it was warm:

-What did you do?

-I've been scouting a little bit. Don't worry about anything and sleep. It's not good for your baby to get upset.-he answered to me calmly, but I didn't really believe it. I stretched my hand out to the light of the moonlight and saw the red color on my fingers. I shouldn't have even ask because I immediately realized what had happened. He didn't listen to me.


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