A Place in the Forest

A heavy crashing of branches sent two stealthy ravens up from their cover of leaves, croaking disgruntledly.  Mava’s knife was already in her hand when the man landed in an undignified tumble of twigs on the thick moss at her feet.

“Lecher,” she snarled, crouching back. “Spying on me, were you?”

The man scrambled gracelessly to his feet, obviously reeling from his fall, and put the tree trunk against his back, holding out a scraped palm in a universal gesture of please don’t hurt me. “I wasn’t,” he gasped, his voice wheezing out desperately.  He paused to try to regain the breath which had been knocked from his lungs by the hard landing.  Mava narrowed her twin eyes and opened her third one wider.  The effect obviously disturbed the stranger, who was not much of a man after all.  He was more of a boy, Mava realized as she watched his face pass through a spasm of horror, but a human boy and therefore not to be trusted easily.  Humans were too prone to believe their own lies, making them impossible to discern.

“Then what were you doing?” she demanded, brandishing her knife. “This is my spot, interloper.”

“I swear,” he wheezed, both palms raised now. “I didn’t know this was your place.  I was hunting.  A deer path runs through here.  Surely you’ve seen it.  I was waiting in this tree.”

As if to support his story, there was a rustle in the leaves overhead and a hunting bow bounced out of the tree, concluding his explanation with a hearty thwack to his head. “Ow,” he said sadly, eyes watering as he rubbed the spot.  In spite of herself, Mava laughed.  The light around the boy was pleasantly green anyway, suggesting pure intentions.  His face reddened helplessly. “It’s painful enough, thanks,” he said sulkily. “No need to laugh.” At this Mava resumed her posture of aggressive interrogator, making him shrink back against the tree.

“Why didn’t you make yourself known when I came here?” she growled. 

“I–I was going to,” he protested, looking strained. “But then…”

“Then I started undressing,” Mava said menacingly, taking a sudden half-step forward, knife raised. “I should kill you!”

“Please!” he cried. “Please.  Forgive me.  I did not intend to violate you.  If I had had my wits about me I would have called out to you.  It’s just that I’ve never–well, I haven’t ever seen–” he squirmed a bit, searching for the words.  Mava folded her arms, letting her blade dangle conspicuously from slightly relaxed fingers, and rolled her twin eyes while keeping the third one fixed on him. “You’ve never seen a naked woman before,” she finished for him.

“Yes,” he said gratefully, then looked immediately stricken. “I mean no!  Well actually yes, but–but that’s not what I meant to say.” The redness of his face was deepening, and Mava found herself enjoying it. “I mean I’ve never seen–one of you before.  Your kind.  The pink people.”

He was too comical.  “Pink people?” Mava repeated incredulously, and burst out laughing again. “Is that what you humans call us?  Pey help you, for such intelligent and creative creatures you are a bit obvious at times aren’t you?” A hesitant grin started to transform his face as her laughter infected him. “I can’t wait to tell the others.  Pink people.  How stupid.”

“You’ll let me live then?” he asked hopefully.

“Don’t be a fool,” she retorted. “I was never going to kill you.”

He had stopped cowering now and straightened out to his full height, a bit taller than Mava.  “How should I know?” he returned. “I don’t have a third eye to see through you with.  As far as I can tell you’re exactly the murderous ruffian you pretend to be.”  At this depiction of herself, Mava laughed again.  She could see in his brown eyes a playful spark dancing.  Everything about him was brown, such a contrast to the shades of magenta skin Mava was accustomed to in her village.  It was pretty.  A light breeze stirred the surrounding leaves as the two of them looked at each other, raising goosebumps on Mava’s arms and making her suddenly aware of the way her tunic was clinging to her wet body.  As if he was reading her thoughts, the boy’s face got redder.  

“I’m not supposed to be here with you,” she said presently.

“Why not?” he asked.

“It’s taboo,” she explained. 

“Why?” he repeated.  She paused. “I don’t really know,” she admitted. 

“Do those…move?” he asked, in the manner of someone who knows what they’re saying is awkward but simply can’t hold it in.

“My nodes?” Mava asked, raising her hand unconsciously to the two small, fleshy pink horns that curved slightly upward from her hairline. “A little.  About as much as you can wiggle your nose.” And she wiggled them to demonstrate.  His mouth fell open in astonishment. “What are they for?” he breathed eventually. 

This was a question Mava had never encountered before.  Her brow furrowed as she considered it. “They help me feel things,” she said simply.

“You mean you touch things with them?” he asked in the same voice of breathless amazement.  She laughed, but nonetheless felt slightly disconcerted. “Well sometimes, yes,” she replied. “But it’s more like…concepts.”  She shook her head, as if to clear away the webbing of unaccustomed thought.  

“You’re really beautiful,” he said abruptly, his face bewildered.  The light around him had a pink tint. “Your eye, it…it’s beautiful.  At first I thought it was hideous.” In response, Mava blinked the eye in question, a large round orb that was mostly glittering black pupil set in the center of her forehead.  She watched his expression shift from alarm to fascination. “New things are like that sometimes,” she offered.

“My name is Ivan,” he told her.  She sheathed her knife. “Mine is Mava,” she replied.  They stood looking at each other as if they had just shared a deep secret.  The small waterfall tumbled into the pool behind Mava, sparkling like gemstones, chuckling at them.  “I have to go soon,” Mava said. “They’re wondering where I am.”

“How do you know?” he asked, eyes wide.

“I can feel them wondering,” Mava said smiling.  It was pleasant, amazing him with the most commonplace of things. 

“I wish you wouldn’t go,” he told her. 

“I’d also like to stay,” she confessed.  Suddenly, his light took on an unmistakable vermillion cast.  She stepped back, hand going to her knife hilt.  He blushed crimson and groaned, reading what she had seen in her face.

“I’m sorry,” he said miserably. “I can’t help it.  You’re…you’re very beautiful.”

Mava stood in the orange glow, letting it illuminate her arms.  It was hard to believe Ivan couldn’t see what she did.  “We aren’t like you,” she said, but she wasn’t sure how to elaborate or whether she should.  His light tickled her nodes and a new idea unfurled in her thoughts.  It was her turn to blush.

“You can come back to my spot,” she said by way of goodbye as she backed away. “But no more spying.” Then she ducked under a branch and melted into the forest. 

By queenofelves

Writer, artist, and magic-user. Lover of fantasy and romantic poetry. Always exploring!


  1. Wow, that was really good. I’m not really a fantasy person, lol this type anyway. But I found it to be very well written. articulate, and somewhat erotic in an innocent way. I find it fascinating to learn the depth of people who you only observe on the surface. You’re gorgeous, talented and very interesting Amy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dennis! I’m definitely going for innocent eroticism with this one, with intentions of appealing to a young adult audience. There’s something so compelling about the edge of sexual innocence, especially for the young people who are about to leave it behind for new experiences. I loved that kind of tension when I was a young reader–and I guess I still do! I appreciate your feedback 🙂


    1. I’m glad you’re intrigued! I’m excited to see where it goes myself. I am planning an arc for the two characters and their relationship. If I get enough chapters accumulated I may turn it into a novella 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is fantastic. I’m a writer and huge fan of the Fae and the lost magical world they inhabit. This is a great story and I like what you’re doing with your characters.
    Beauty and talent!


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