"What are you doing here, son of Siadhan?"
The words had come suddenly into his mind, but from where? He did not know, and there was no one around him. That he saw as he spun quickly, looking, searching. And he saw nothing. There was nothing other than the trees around him, nothing other than the underbrush, other than the nature around him.
"Son of Siadhan?" the small boy called out, querying the empty air around him, the words unafraid, confusion clear on the young one's face. He was but a small boy, and had his own age figured out to be around nine or ten winters. Elongated and pointed ears were hidden behind chin length tresses of ink-like hair, and eyes of mismatched colors watched, looking still for whoever had spoken. One eye was a jade color and the other a fawn-gold and they constantly searched amongst the trees and undergrowth for the speaker.
He had been out here, for a walk, to escape from Goo, and the beating he was sure to get. Earlier that day, he had broken one of the doors off its hinges in playing during his rare free time. The punishment would be a beating. Every punishment, without deviation, was to be beat. Now the beating's severity always depended on the mood Goo was in. Since today was the man's gambling day, and he never failed to lose all of his money to the dice, Raif knew that should he return home with the failure all too evident, he'd be sore for days to come. He had figured earlier that he might as well get some enjoyment out of it, because Goo could only hurt him so much.
"Son of Siadhan, you should leave."
The voice came again as he continued to search, defiant of the fact that something was warning him to leave. As he slowly circled about, giving a fearless face to whoever might be watching, he noted that there was a mist slowly creeping up, and that he could not exactly make out all of the trees any more.
"Who's there?" was his simple reply as he stopped turning, reaching for the small, wooden stick shaped like a dagger he had at his side. Though he had a feeling the dull wooden blade would have no real effect for whatever monster was toying with him, he held onto it more for the fact of comfort than anything else. With his small fingers holding to the well-worn hilt of the stick, he felt just a little bit safer, his heart slowing its beat once more.
"Siadhan's son, why did you come here? What did you hope to find?" The voice came again, and accompanying it was another wave of mist that was obliterating the view of near everything. As Raif listened to the voice, which seemed to echo within the mists, he thought that perhaps it was female, with an odd accent to it. Something he had never heard, yet it tugged at the very inner core of him.
"I, I don't know," he answered truthfully, slowly backing away from the mist, as if he could run away from it. Never mind the fact that it was all around him, surrounding him. He did not know why he had came here, why he had dared to entire the forest, or at least this part of it. There were stories aplenty about this forest being haunted, of old shades and spirits residing here. His heart started to beat fast again and no matter how tightly he held to his makeshift, pretend weapon, he could not calm himself. Within a few steps his back pressed up against a tree, and he stopped there, eyes darting around wildly.
"You should not be here, Siadhan's son. This is no place for you. Aush il kon tik vim pec'a qon."
Those last words caused his skin to goose-prickle with cold, and his entire body to shiver. His hand pulled out the wooden-blade now and he took a furtive, yet futile, slash at the mist that was closer yet to him now. As he did so, he felt something wrap around his leg, a small needle wheedling its way into his shin, drawing out a cry from him.
With his abrupt cry, the mist split, was torn, and recoiled away from him. It retracted away, clearing his vision once more, and reformed into the shape of a humanoid female, her head cocked slightly to the side. But Raif did not notice her yet. Instead he was looking down to see what had cut into his skin, what had wrapped around his foot. There, holding to his appendage, was a thorn-covered vine that had snaked from the ground, and one of the barbs had penetrated both clothes and skin as it had trapped him unawares.
Before his very eyes, the vine withered and turned brown, then yellow, and soon black. No longer was it living, instead it was ash, and was blown away from him when a gentle breeze kicked up. He was not sure whether he should be afraid, or if he should run. The latter sounded like a good idea, but against his better judgement he lifted his gaze to the Mist Lady, his eyes narrowing some.
"Siadhan's son, Aush il kon tik vim pec'a qon."
::November 28, 2002 10:14 AM