A Knight's Sorrow

September 1, 2012

Little Raven

Filed under: Story — Harlequinn @ 2:46 am
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Once there was a little girl, that was the talk of the town. Her long black hair that seem to cascade down her pale shoulders, coupled with her eyes that were blacker than the darkest night, had earnt her the nickname Raven. And like the raven, Little Raven was both a curious creature, that death seemed to follow.

Ever since her parents died while wandering through the woods, anyone that got too close to Little Raven, seemed to die a tragic death. The only one who ever cared, and seemed to be immune to this tragic curse, was her Grandma, the old woman of the woods. Though as best she could, her Grandma couldn’t stop Little Raven’s desire to live within the local village when she came of age. As such, once a month, Little Raven would make a visit to her Grandma will a basket of supplies.

On one such trip to her Grandma, Little Raven heard a curious noise she had not heard before. It was a sweetly gentle music that seemed to be like liquid honey upon the ears. It called towards Little Raven, beckoning her away from her away from the path she always travelled. As she closed her eyes, it seemed to whisper her name. Pulling on her curiousity, gently coaxing her forward.

Little Raven’s first step forward, snapped her back to reality, as a few twigs crackled underfoot. As much as she was alarmed, so was the source of the music, as silence filled the air. Then the thought that the ethereal melody may have been a ploy to lure young maidens to their doom, Little Raven froze with fright.

Her eyes slowly scanned the dark forest, as the shadows seem to creep closer. Yet nothing stirred.

Her ears listened intently to the echoing silence, hearing only the slight rustling of fallen leaves. Yet nothing made a noise.

“Hello?” she hesitantly asked, as she took another step off the path, only to jump back onto the path in surprise as a little head peered around from a tree.

“Why hello miss.” smiled the young unkempt face of a man that appeared to have never had a pair of scissors go near his auburn locks that flowed past his shoulders in a tangled mess, but yet had the decency to keep the hair on his face to just a stubble.

“I… I’m sorry. I just heard your musi…” she began to reply, before she lost her words at his appearance.

It wasn’t because she was just merely alarmed, but because it was something she had only read about in her Grandma’s books. Gracefully, he stepped out from behind the tree, his pale bare chest seeming to be chiselled out of delicate white marble. Which only made the contrast of the shaggy auburn fur that graced over his legs and cloven feet, all more apparent.

“You’re… you’re a faun…” Little Raven stammered, as she tried to piece together the confusion that had swept through her mind.

“Why… why I guess I am.” the faun chuckled as he comically looked down at his legs to highlight the rather obvious nature of what he has.

“So what brings you to the woods, little miss?” he enquired, as he stepped towards Little Raven.

“I… I’m taking some things to my Grandma…” she replied, casually glancing down the path towards her Grandma.

“The Woman of the Woods? In that case, you don’t want to take that path. Much too dangerous. Besides, I know a shortcut through the woods.” the faun casually replied, waving his hand dismissingly to the path. Slowly, he approached her, smiling a little too sweetly as he extended a hand towards. A hand that ended in wicked nails.

In fright and panic, Little Raven ran down the path. She knew the stories. She knew the tales. Fauns, while friendly, were tricksters. Leading people off the path through the woods. Leading them deeper into the dark forest. The forest where many had entered and never returned. The forest where Little Raven had lost her parents.

She ran faster and faster. Her eyes locked on the path ahead, as the trees whizzed past her in a blur. She ran until she could no longer hear the faun call out for her to stop. His warnings a mere whisper in the wind, and then nothing. Then she ran a little more, before she had to stop to catch her breath.

“Little Raven? Is that you?” came a gruff voice up ahead, which she recognised. Smiling, she ran into the arms of the woodsman from the village. All sense of panic seemed to fade away, as she buried her face into his chest.

“Oh thank you, thank you, thank you. Back there, there was this faun, and he tried to…” poured out her words like dam about to burst, until she saw his axe.

His large heavy axe that could split trees in two, as though they were like toothpicks. His axe that curiously seemd to be covered in red sap that dripped and pooled in a dark red puddle on the ground. But yet all of the times Little Raven had traversed the woods, she had never seen red sap. Nor in her Grandma’s books, had she heard of any tree with red sap.

Slowly she peered around the large man, only to pull away from him in fright. At first she thought it was an animal that laid on the ground behind him. But then she realised that animals don’t wear clothes. Animals don’t wear shoes. Animals don’t play go through the woods with Little Timmy’s teddy bear.

“I’m sorry, Little Raven.” whisperd the Woodsman as he stepped forward with his axe raised.

“Little miss? Little miss? Where are you? There’s a murderer in these… oh…” he called out to Little Raven, as he ran down the path, wheezing and panting. He had found Little Raven, but a few moments too late. Her body lay on the ground, still yet serene.

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