My parents told me not to go into the woods. When I asked them why, they wouldn’t tell me. I’m fifteen and I’ve spent the last ten years here. I wish they had told me what I would find.
When I was five, I snuck into the woods while my parents worked the small farm we lived on. There was a very clear path that was well kept that I followed. As I got further into the woods, it got darker. Just as I was about to turn back, I heard a sweet song. I heard a beautiful female voice, singing:
And so it was that later
As the miller told his tale
That her face, at first just ghostly,
Turned a whiter shade of pale
Instead of heading home, afraid of the darkening woods, I ran forward. I wanted to see the person singing this song. In my five year old mind, I decided she would be very pretty. I was not disappointed. When I found her, she was in a small clearing that the sun filtered into. The sunlight hit her white gown, making it look as if she was wearing pure sunlight. Her hair was raven black and curly. She was standing in the center of a circle of small, colorful toadstools. They were colors I had never seen a toadstool have before. Some were purple, some pink and one a brilliant, vibrant blue. Flitting around her were what appeared to be fairies - real life fairies!
She stretched her arms wide and continued to sing.
One of sixteen vestal virgins
Who were leaving for the coast
And although my eyes were open wide
They might have just as well been closed
She beckoned me to her. As I approached, she crouched low and put her arms out as for a hug. I stepped over the ring of toadstools and ran into her arms. She was so pretty, I just had to. When the hug was done with, I looked at her face. It was just as pale but now I noticed her teeth – all of them were pointy like incisors. Her eyes were a crimson red color and her ears were pointed. The fairies that had been flying around her had stopped flying. Some stood on her shoulder, some on her legs and arms. They had similar looking faces.
She smiled, showing her teeth and said “I’m so glad you could join us, Thomas.”
To this day, I don’t know how she knew my name. It may have been magic or she may have just been waiting for me. I have been hunting game for her all of my life. When I was five, it was merely trapping rabbits but now that I have the strength of a man, it is larger game – boars and deer. I have tried to leave the woods but when I reach the edge of the wood, I am stopped as if I was bumping into an invisible wall.
For the first few years, my mother would sometimes come up to the mouth of the woods and place flowers on the ground in front of a cross that she had placed there. I had called to her waving but she never saw me. She eventually stopped coming and I eventually stopped crying every night. All I do now is hunt with no hope of leaving these woods. I shall grow old with a bow in my hands, having spent my whole life in service to the fairy queen.