Wind danced through the orange and golden leaves. Darkness engulfed the night but for the full moon and a lone red-orange fire in the clearing. Wolves howled in the distance, mingling with the nymphs’ singing as they sat around the fire. The flames flared with the pitches of their notes and the beating of their deer-hide drums.
They sang of the nature of today. They sang of the nature of yesteryear. They sang of the nature of the future, of its downfall at the hands of humankind and their newfound machinery. Tears streamed down their faces, mixing with the dirt smeared across their skin, and formed puddles in the earth at their feet. Moans of despair mingled with their notes of joy and optimism, as they dreamed of a savior who could stop the march of progress.
The scuffling of boots on dry dead leaves broke the nymphs’ trance. Three elves dragged three men into the clearing, axes hanging limply from their free hands. The elves threw the men and the axes towards the fire as though both offended them deeply.
“These men were chopping down trees from the Sacred Woods to build a human settlement,” the lead elf told the nymphs, his glaring eyes never leaving the men.
The nymphs glanced at each other, then nodded. The one closest to the elves waved dismissively at them. Without taking their eyes off of the humans, the elves took their leave.
With the elves gone, the nymphs began their singing once again—louder, angrier. The flames of the fire climbed higher and higher, capturing the men’s attention. Even as the naked feminine forms of the nymphs approached them, the men could not look away from the multicolored fire dancing behind them.
Red, orange, yellow, blue, indigo, violet—again and again the flames flashed through these colors, climbing higher and higher until they reached the stars themselves. The nymphs were but shadowy hourglasses before this fiery rainbow as they crouched before the men, running their sharpened claws down their chests.
The men’s cries, like an injured wolf’s howl, mingled with the nymphs’ angry tunes as the creatures dug deep into the humans’ chests and ripped out their hearts. As the men collapsed, one by one, the nymphs crushed their hearts into dust, to fertilize the earth from which they had stolen.
The nymphs stared as the ground beneath them swallowed up the bodies, then returned to their posts, singing their woeful song as the fire returned to its red-orange state.
Note: This story is a submission to the #highfantasychallenge brought to us by Matthew Fromm. For more information and to submit your own story, follow the link below.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Original narrative & well developed characters
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme