The Ways of the Fair Folk

The roots are a hindrance, so are the trees. You don’t like trekking but have to since your stepfather is an avid explorer and your mother won’t let you cut yourself out of this “family” weekend.

You have been tracking through this Godforsaken land for almost three hours now, bitten by who knows how many gnats and insects and scratched countless times by the sharp twigs that never seem to keep out of your way, and still your mom’s new husband won’t tell you where you people will be camping out.

“Are we there yet?” You shout out again, as you slap away another mosquito on the quest for your precious blood.

“Just a little bit more, kid. Enjoy the beauty of nature till then. Feel the peace.” Your stepfather yells back.

You think about telling him to shove his “peace” where the sun doesn’t shine and scowl heavily. Who does he think you are, Ann of the Green Gables? Wait, you don’t know who that Ann is, but the name sounded apt for this situation, kind of. 

More frown lines mark your head as you angrily stomp through the tiny track heavily enclosed on both the sides by green. Your hiking boots are killing you. Why the hell do they manufacture such ugly shoes anymore? Oh right, for nutcases like your stepfather who must privately think of himself as Tarzan.

You sigh as you dream about an alternate situation where you are at the mall buying those precious yellow high heels you have your eyes set on since the day you fell in love with them during window shopping.

Drat it! Another chip of nail polish flakes off your once perfectly manicured, poison ivy green nails, and flutters to the ground where it promptly disappears in the leaf litter. You mutter out a string of vile curses under your breath lest your mother hears them and grounds you when you return home.

You hate the forest. You hate hiking. And more than anything else you hate your stepfather for causing you so much emotional trauma! If you had your way then you would clear out this forest and build the largest mall in the world here. Then you wouldn’t mind coming here at all.

Finally, you find yourself in a tiny clearing and brighten up when the march stops. But before long you are set to the task of helping your “new” father erect two shabby tents that you wouldn’t let anywhere near your if you had your way. Yuck, the puke green color on top of everything makes you want to curl up and die!

And as if life was’t being hard enough, you find yourself fixed up with chores like gathering firewood, collecting water from the nearby river and other horrific things you wouldn’t wish on anyone. No, maybe on Tatiana; you don’t like the way she looks at your boyfriend. That bitch!

Suddenly you see something shining briefly at a distance. Your senses prick up and you drop your half-hearted pile of dry twigs to the forest floor and stride towards it. Maybe you would find a hunk of precious stones and get yourself a beautiful necklace made out of it. 

As if. But the shine still arouses your curiosity and thus you must find out what it is coming from. And God help that thing if it turns out to be a patch of polished and useless rocks.

When you tear out of another disgusting bush, you stop short when you see the most gorgeous guy you have ever seen in your entire life look at you once before running into the forest. You wish to whoop out in joy. You are in luck! Another family must be camping nearby and it would make your weekend when you befriend that dude and flirt with him all the while.

After all who would let such a tasty treat go just because they already had a boyfriend? Anyway Sammy looked like a wet rat in a peddler’s hold compared to the other guy with his lean physique and shoulder length hair tied up sophisticatedly near his neck.

You follow after the guy and shout out, “Hey! Wait up. Dude!”

You twist through trees and overgrowth and somehow manage to keep him in sight. He is a very fast hiker, maybe an experienced one. But if you had to hike through twenty miles of rotting maggots to have a chance with that guy, you wouldn’t miss it for anything.

He finally stops. You sigh out in relief as you step out into the clearing too. You are huffing like mad since you just rushed through a terrain you wouldn’t cross in your life if you had your way.

“Hey, hi! Are you hiking too?” you breathe out and try to look pretty, although you are sure your hair must be as frizzy as wool on sheep.

The gorgeous boy looks at you coldly and doesn’t reply for a long while. You study his beautiful features till then, his big eyes, his silky hair, his odd clothes and a band of shining metal around his neck.

“You have destroyed our forest enough. It’s time you learnt a lesson.”

You frown as the boy says this in an Old English accent. Then he smiles at you cruelly and runs into the forest so fast that you can’t see him anymore after a second. You try to figure out what he said to you when you realize that in your haste to reach the boy you have not seen where you were going.

You start panicking. How will you return back to your camp? And that’s when you hear a distinctive animal growl behind you. Your mind shuts down in fear as you slowly turn your head to see a huge black bear right behind you with its ugly yellow eyes fixed on you…

Elves are creatures born from German Mythology. Earlier they were thought to be divine creatures with magical powers but over time their image has transformed manifolds. Nowadays proclaiming the word elf can either mean the little green creatures who work in Santa’s workshop in North Pole or the majestic beings who reside deep inside woods, the latter being the more preferred since the Lord of the Rings.

Elves are usually associated with nature. They are seen in stories and poems living in silence and peace deep within forests and other places still virgin of the destructive human influence. They are immortal and eternally young and are artistic to a degree that pales human brilliance in the field of arts.

Portrayed as exotic and awe-inspiringly beautiful creatures, elves appear cold to the human race. They generally do not seek out our company and despise it when their natural forest homes are endangered by human activities. They are skilled in archery and hunting and can be spurred into a wild hunt if enraged.

So the next time you enter a forest, remember: Never hurt the trees. Because you never know who might be looking down on you from their perch high up in the foliage, hidden from your sight just because you are too unobservant…

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