Guardians of the Forest Pt. 2 - Original Short Story
Part Two: Guardians of the Forest
“I wonder what a villager is doing down here. It is unlikely they had not heard of the dangers.” A soft, even voice mused.
“Yeah, this one’s level seems pretty low, doesn’t it?” A higher-pitched voice responded without a shred of mercy.
Your body was still on fire. Just breathing through your nostrils made them ache, probably a result of catching your fall earlier with your face. You could wiggle your toes though which meant you still had feet and that, along with generally being alive, felt like victory.
“Look at this sword! I couldn’t even make my morning toast with this thing!”
A laugh. Not a laugh emitted from one of the female voices you kept imagining, but from you. You knew the sword was worthless back when you’d found it in the attic, but it was either take that rusted heap of junk or a garden hoe. You couldn’t help but chuckle at the futility of all your efforts.
“The warrior is awake.”
“Or having a nice dream.” The higher pitched one snickered.
You opened your eyes.
They were girls.
One was close, kneeling beside you, her face hovering close to yours. Her blue eyes were wide and curious and her head was covered in tangles of pink that clung to her cheeks and seemed to float around her face. And she… Had rabbit ears. Long, white, soft rabbit ears.
You found yourself reaching up to feel one out of some strange instinct, but she sat up quickly and looked back at her companion.
A fairy? Holding your sword in one hand, with wrists so tiny you’d imagined they’d break after giving a casual wave, never the less supporting the weight of that relic you brought with you into the forest.
Yet there she was, pointing the blade skyward, then rotating it wildly like a clock hand gone rogue.
She danced lightly with your weapon, hovering in the air for brief instants, propelled perhaps by the ribbon affixed to her back, a glittering weightless construct of fabric that you had first mistaken for wings. She had another ribbon in her long blond hair too, that one bright red.
Both girls were adorned from head to toe in light leather armor, a mix of browns and greens that would serve well to camouflage them in this hazardous landscape, you imagined. Though lithe, curious creatures as they were, they appeared to be adorned as soldiers.
“Hey, is this an heirloom or something? Good luck? Maybe that’s a stupid question considering…” She paused her twinkle-toed swordplay to consider you. Her eyes were bright and full of mischief, the same blue as the rabbit girl. Sisters?
“That sounds a bit rude, does it not?” The rabbit girl cautioned. “I am sorry. She has not had many opportunities to speak with humans so her manners are a bit lacking.”
They were nothing alike.
“It’s fine,” you wanted to say, maybe even thank them for saving you, but instead only a garbled growl emerged from the depths of your chest. Your throat might as well have been filled with sand.
“Hey, hey!” The fairy girl darted forward, paying no heed to the sword still in her hand. You were suddenly afraid for your life again as the blade flew over your nose. “That didn’t sound good at all!”
“No…” The rabbit girl frowned.
She reached out and gently tucked two fingers under your collar, tracing your throat down to a collar bone. It might have felt pleasant if she wasn’t wearing gloves or if you could feel anything but pain anymore.
“Whatcha got?” The fairy asked.
The rabbit girl heaved a heavy sigh. Bad news? Then she smiled, such a gentle, subtle curve to her lips. “Nothing is beyond repair. In fact, this human appears to be quite strong.”
You did not feel quite strong.
“Huh…” The fairy didn’t believe it either.
“We need to get our warrior inside.” The rabbit girl stated with a firm nod of her head, as if she had made a weighty decision just by uttering the words. Then she looked into the eyes of her companion. “And we need to release this energy.”
“M-Mimion!” The fairy straightened. You flinched as your sword swung like a pendulum over your gut.
The rabbit girl, apparently named Mimion, replied with a slightly cheerier tone. “It is a good chance to put all of that training to real-world practice.”
The fairy puffed out her cheeks. “I’ve had plenty of real-world practice with you!”
“Then prove it.”
So the two girls had carried you — somewhere. They had purposefully held you face down, the rabbit girl holding your arms and the fairy holding your ankles. If they had actually been concerned for you, it certainly didn’t show in the way they lugged you around like a sack of potatoes, swinging your body this way and that as they stumbled over the terrain. Your muscles roared at the treatment but your throat was too sore to shout or complain.
You observed your surroundings changing, at least from your perspective of the ground. The landscape transformed from grass, to dirt, to marsh, then to a neater trail. That gave way to stone and as they proceeded, the stone became slippery and shiny and you could hear trickling and splashing in the distance, a water source of some kind nearby, maybe even falls.
Curiosity almost granted you the strength to turn your head and observe some of these spectacles but your body was just too weak. How pathetic it was to not even be able to move your neck.
The girls were quiet during the trek all the while, perhaps giving each other the silent treatment after whatever disagreement they had had back at the battleground.
It made you uncomfortable and you couldn’t help but wonder what they’d meant by wanting to practice on you.
You lost consciousness again while imagining the girls hogtying you to a spit.