Citrine’s Monsters: Chapter Nine | At The End
Three days later I limped out of the dark forest. Brilliant sunshine streamed into my eyes, making me squint as moisture rolled down my smudged cheeks. I looked like a sight to scare any creature to death or drive them mad, running in circles of surprise. Reaching up, I placed a hand on a stunted tree trunk, leaning against it for support as a new vibe raced through my veins. Glancing north and south I saw nothing but rolling green hills, with vibrant grass waving over them as if in worship. The sun reached down its rays to bless them and a captivating song murmured past my ears in the breeze.
I left my creatures behind, to run in freedom through the eerie, wild, woods, yet their spirits were close to me as I stepped into the light. The bitter aftertaste of dark and hollow memories faded as my instructions to my monsters in the dark forest. Whatever fog of gloom and despair the boundary line forest had cast over me melted away in the light like ice in the sunshine. Closing my eyes I lifted one hand, leaving the other for balance, and drank in the purity, letting it wash away my sins and the bitterness I held tight to. His dark chocolate eyes rose before mine, a final reminder of what I had lost. Hansel. I suppose it was never meant to be for very long. We were happy for a time, and although I do not forgive you, I can forget.
Cheerful birdsong drifted to my ears, and I stood up straight, sniffing the sweet air, captivated by its kindness. Hobbling forward I walked into pure light and breathed in, while the last of the dew droplets kissed my feet, cleansing me from my journey through the forest.
“Who owns this land?” I mused aloud for I could hear a voice, calling, shouting, telling me over and over, yet it was not in a language I understand. “I know this cannot be the legendary land of the immortals. Nay,” I shook my head. “Who owns this land?”
Suddenly the wind fell to a hush, and the grass stood up straight in attendance. I shivered, but not from fear, merely from anticipation, for I felt as if my request was granted. A few moments later, over the rolling hills, with a jolly grin smacked on his face, a bearded giant walked towards me. His hair was chestnut brown and his skin tanned from what I supposed was hours in the sunlight. His bushy beard hid his thick neck, but it was his eyes that paused my breath. They twinkled at me, as good and kind as the boundary line forest had been dark and evil. He carried an ax over one shoulder and when he saw me, standing in my dirty shift with my wild hair, he threw back his head and a deep genuine laugh roared out of his belly.
“You called?” he bellowed when he finished laughing, his eyes dancing merrily at me.
I gaped in astonishment. He was brash and strong, bold and kind, and I sensed nothing but goodness in him, purity without wickedness, mischief without sin. There was something else, something that made me take another step towards him. It was the lure of power. Anticipation beat at my breast as ideas rose in my mind and words spewed out of my mouth. “This is your land?”
“Aye!” he roared, slapping his knee. “You must be new here.”
“Eh,” I pointed back at the forest. “I came through this morning. Who are you?”
“Welcome,” he nodded at me, eyes winking. “I am Novor Tur-Woodberry.”
Despite myself, I winked back at him, a sure feeling of safety gripping me. “Hello,” I held out a hand as a riot of mischievous thoughts collided in my mind. “I am Citrine.”
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