A Place in the Forest, Part II

“Oh no, I can’t eat that.”

Ivan paused with his hand still outstretched offering the smoked trout on its open napkin.  “Uh, there’s hardly any bones in it, if that’s what you’re worried about,” he said uncertainly. “I’m pretty good at deboning them.  But you do have to be careful anyway,” he added hurriedly. “Some of the really tiny ones–”

“No, no, it’s nothing like that,” Mava laughed, waving a dismissive hand.  The rejected snack was withdrawn. “I mean I can’t eat it.  I don’t eat like you do.”

The two of them were sitting in the ferns where a deer had made its bed the night before.  The green fronds whispered softly around them and the light filtering through the trees was the liquid gold of late afternoon.  Ivan had spread a modest meal of apples, bread, and fish on a friendly tree root that snaked past their feet, and did his best to conceal his disappointment that his offering was not better received.  “Well what do you eat?” he inquired. “Grass?”

“Oh Ivan, don’t be upset,” Mava said soothingly. “It’s lovely that you want to share with me.”

It was unnerving that she always seemed to know what he was truly feeling, but he was getting used to it. “I’m not upset,” he protested anyway.  Mava rolled her third eye. “You’re not upset, and I eat grass.  I go about on all fours like a little goat and chomp away.  It’s delicious!” To illustrate, she boisterously flung her head into the ferns and snatched up a mouthful.  Not ready to let go the slight of her rejection so easily, Ivan tried to remain stiff and unamused; but the sight of her glowing pink face, her dark blue eyes lit up with glee, fern leaves poking wildly out of her crazed grin–he couldn’t resist her.  He laughed.  Immediately she spit the leaves out, making a show of how distasteful they were.

“Alright, so not grass, nor ferns,” Ivan said playfully, giving in to her as he always did. “What then?”

Mava tilted her head to one side thoughtfully and regarded him with all three eyes, as if deciding whether to tell him a secret.  “I can show you,” she said at last.  Without waiting for a reply, she fell back into the ferns and closed her twin eyes.  The third eye stayed wide open, staring at him from the center of her forehead.  It was a bit eerie.  Ivan repressed a shudder, hoping Mava didn’t notice his discomfort–though she always did, and she never took offense.  As he watched, she spread her pink hands palms down on the ground, threading her fingers through the stems.  She let her knees bend softly and planted her feet in the dirt.  Then her third eye rolled upward slightly into her head, so he could see that around the very large pupil was the same kind of dark blue iris as her other eyes.  She began to breathe deeply and regularly, as if she had fallen asleep.  

Ivan sat awkwardly, wondering if she was still playing with him.  It was hard to tell with her sometimes.  But then it happened.  A glow began to emanate from the ground all around her.  It outlined her body in a thin haze of light and rose steadily higher, surrounding her like water.  Ivan’s heart was pounding.  He fought the urge to get up and move away.  As surreptitiously as possible, he tucked his feet closer beneath himself to avoid dipping a toe in the strange phenomenon.  The light swallowed Mava’s body and coalesced just above her chest, swirling into a mass.  It seemed to be taking a shape of some kind.  Before his astonished eyes, it formed a five-pointed star within a ring of light, which turned slowly in the air above his friend.  He held his breath.  All around them, crickets sang unconcernedly.  A thrush released its cascading call into the heart of the trees and was answered by another.  Then Mava took a long, deep breath, and the star of light sank into her, the light absorbed through her skin as if she was soaking in it, like spilled honey wine being dredged with a cloth.  Within a few seconds, it was gone completely into her body.

Then she exhaled.

The star exploded from her chest, sending a shockwave through the clearing, an expanding ring of light that rushed in all directions, it passed through Ivan, whipping his hair, it flattened the ferns, bent back the trees, snatched the scream from his lungs, and then–

Then he was sitting right where he had been and the clearing was peaceful and still, untouched.  The crickets and small frogs chirped on, unperturbed.  Not even a leaf had fallen.  The ferns rustled in a soft breeze as if chuckling.  Mava sat up and opened her eyes, smiling.

“What was that?” Ivan gasped, still staring around in disbelief at the complete lack of fallen trees and crushed foliage.

“We call it connecting,” Mava said, as if that was an explanation.

“But–but what did you do?” Ivan demanded.

“I drew some of the world’s energy into me,” Mava said. “And then I gave back some of mine.  It’s important to give some back, we always do that.”

“The–the explosion?” Ivan stammered.  Mava looked at him and seemed to see him for the first time since she’d opened her eyes. “Oh Ivan,” she said kindly, putting a hand on his shoulder. “Perhaps I should have warned you.  To be fair, I didn’t know what it would be like for you.  Don’t worry.  Look!  See how well everything is?” And she swept an arm out, gesturing at the forest around them.  Ivan blinked.  It was…well it was more than before, he didn’t know how else to describe it.  The leaves of the trees seemed more numerous and detailed, each one appearing sharply to his eyes, lit by the sun and gleaming the vivid green of life.  The whorls and ridges of bark appeared etched by an artist, deliberately designed to be a visual feast.  The sky was bluer than before, the scattered clouds more puffy.  He could distinguish the songs of different insects and frogs, hearing them as distinctly as familiar melodies, and then allowing them to blend into an orchestral masterpiece.  A pair of butterflies twirled past in a way that could only be described as frolicking.  A small bird landed in the tree above their heads, looking at them quizzically and without fear.  The clearing was breathing, glowing, alive.  Ivan turned to Mava.  Her eyes were sparkling.

“Your eyes are sparkling,” he told her.

Your eyes are sparkling,” she replied, with a smile of pure joy.  He realized her smile was reflected on his own face.  He felt wide open, free.  Something worrisome had been lifted away and he could not for the life of him remember what it was.  

“This is magic,” he stated.

“I suppose I can see why a human would call it that,” Mava said, twitching her small horns toward him as if sniffing him.  She stretched her arms over her head and released a deep sigh of pleasure. “We call it connecting.”

Later, when Ivan had recovered himself enough to finish his meal, he became pensive.  Mava saw the light around him take on a purplish tint.  “What are you thinking about?” she asked. 

“I wish I could do that, what you did,” he said. “It seems a shame that I have to eat this way.  Animals and things.”

Mava thought about this for a moment. “It’s more or less the same thing,” she told him kindly. “We’re both taking the energy of the world.  Your way is just a bit more complicated.  Extra steps.”

“But I don’t give anything back,” he pointed out.

“You do,” Mava said. “You’ve got to, or the whole thing just wouldn’t work, you know?  You’re just not aware of what it is you’re giving, that’s all.”   

By queenofelves

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


  1. I absolutely loved this. You have an incredible imagination. You words bring this world alive. Thank you for sharing it ❤️


    1. Thank you Thomas! It’s my pleasure to share ❤ I'm already plotting out what the next scene will be for these characters. They kind of feel alive in my head, like they are telling me what to write about them next.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy, yes you have me reading!!!
    A place in the forest was interesting. I felt as though it was base on the positive and negative energy that we release into the universe and towards one another. And, exactly it kept me wanting more.!!!

    Also I read, Starting Over!!! It kind of reminded me of a relationship that I was once in. Yes, communication and being evenly yoke is important. But, what is the objective!!! Are both objectives the same? I guess for two to become one, there have to be that deep discussion. The good, the bad and the ugly. And, hopefully in the end it will produce true love. Love, true love covers all!!!

    Yes Amy I’m loving what I’ve read thus far!!!
    Thank you!!! I look forward to reading my next story!!!


    1. Thank you so much Thomas! I’m really glad you’re enjoying my stories. I am planning to keep writing about Ivan and Mava so stay tuned for that 🙂 And I totally agree, true love does indeed conquer all ❤


  3. Amy as you know I spend hours in the forest and on the mountain near my home 😌. Just like Mava, I feel enriched by what nature shares with me 😊. For much of my life, I was like Ivan. Not realizing the value of my time in nature. ……I love 💗 the story !! Your ability to imagine and bring this story to life is a precious gift. Thank You 🙏 …I truly hope that we have not heard the end of Mava and Ivan 🥰


    1. Thank you Danny! It took me a long time to actively connect to nature as well. Now I’m amazed by its healing power 🙂 I’m already brainstorming the next installment for these two characters! They have a lot more to learn from each other


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