A Route Through Fenderdale

“Have ye lost yer way?” The spirit’s voice was heavy, old, cracking from the years of stillness that came before this moment. My boy looked back, squinting at the tree, unable to open his eyes fully in the brightness of its eyes.

“No… I just want to see where the path took me.”

This was a philosophy we had both adopted some years ago, after wandering a moorland path and finding ourselves in a faerie grove. It had its perks; we found new places, people, things… The downside was we were late for everything.

“Are we free to walk these woods, Spirit?”

The tree nodded, his leaves rustling, his glowing sap oozing beneath his bark. “Aye, but mind the shadows of the west, fer they’ll eat your magic if they can ge’ it. They hunger fer the wandering spirits that get lost in the maze of roots and branches… just lurking, waitin’ teh gobble yer up.” It coughed, remembering itself. “But ye’ll be alright, nae bother.” Its great eyes drifted to face me, light shining on my shimmering pelt. The sap roiled faster, twinkling, as the spirit added quietly, “I like yer hat.”

I nodded in thanks, and awkwardly we continued on, our eyes watching all shadows.

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