Year of study: fourth
Assignment type: paired (without mentor)
“I thought dryads weren’t dangerous,” says Aria, leaning back against the Guild’s central staircase. “Are you sure the briefing said ‘dryad’?”
“No, Aria, I just made it up.” She looks at me as though trying to figure out whether I’m being serious. “Of course I’m sure. Didn’t you read the briefing yourself?”
She shrugs. “Why should I? I knew you would.”
“That is so not the—oh, just come on. We’re going to be late and some poor human will wind up prey to a group of dancing dryads.”
The faerie paths take us directly to the willow grove of Pontolion Botanic Gardens. It’s late afternoon, and orange-gold beams of sunlight filter through the trees. An enchanting melody reaches my ears. Not too far away, a group of dryads are dancing in a circle. They’re strangely transparent, seeming to barely touch the ground as they twirl about. Flowers adorn their hair and they’re clothed in simple dresses. In the center of their ring is a young man. Dancing. Like an idiot.
Aria’s right that dryads aren’t really dangerous, but they do love their dancing. And any human caught under the spell of their music will keep dancing until the music ends. Which could be days from now. And that would be bad for this human. Very bad.
“See?” I say to Aria. “We’re already late. Now we have to contact a mentor and get someone to come clear his memory.” Aria rolls her eyes and mutters something under her breath. It takes a lot of patience not to snap at her. “Okay, you distract the dryads. I’m going to take out the source of their music.”
~ ~ ~
Like this flash fiction? Find out more about the Creepy Hollow series.
If you'd like to know more about my A to Z flash fiction pieces, read my A to Z Challenge Theme for 2012 post.
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