via Daily Prompt: Stump
She was a small girl, sitting on a stump in the woods. The stump itself wasn’t all that interesting; it was old and brown, with big fat roots that the girl rested her feet on, and had all sorts of gunky green stuff growing on it. But she just stroked the moss and dirty wood, humming quietly to herself. She seemed like a sprite, or like one of those fairies his mom was always telling him about, with her chestnut skin and the sunlight surrounding her like a cape. Or a halo. Did fairies have halos?
He kept on staring at her, waiting for her to get bored of the stump and move on, or to start playing a game, or talking…something! All the other girls at school were always talking with high-pitched, shrill voices. They were so annoying. He had a feeling that this girl would have a low, smooth voice though, like the rocks papa used as paperweights.
She leaned back on the stump, trailing her fingers over the gnarly bark and humming some soft tune. It sounded so familiar…like a lullaby from a zillion years ago. Something that he shouldn’t have heard before, but somehow did. He found himself moving forward, closer to her so he could hear the song better. What are you doing, stupid head? He grabbed the trunk of the tree he was hiding behind to keep himself in place.
The girl hummed a little louder, and the song wove through his fingers and under his skin. It was thick and hot, flowing beside his blood, twining around his veins like a ribbon. Mama always wore ribbons n her hair. Did the girl ever wear ribbons? Her hair curled wildly around her shoulders and squiggled over the rough ridges of the stump. She didn’t seem to care that the ends were lying in the dirt. Maybe he should go tell her…
The song got louder, louder, until all he could hear, and all he could remember hearing was the melody. His heartbeat raced, thumps keeping time with the tune. The world shivered, misted, faded in and out of clarity. The girl didn’t seem to notice.
Look at me! He longed to scream at her, but his lips firmed over his teeth. A cage. His chest was a cage for his heart, and it was trying to get free.
The girl peeked over at the boy behind the tree from under her lashes. Of course they weren’t real lashes, just like she wasn’t a real girl…but what did that matter? She smiled, revelling in the song that pushed from under her lips and slipped under her long fangs. It was almost time…
He was so cute, blinking, trying to clear the fog over his eyes, nails ripping away from his fingertips as he tried to stay hidden. He was never hidden, not from her.
She smoothed her fingers over the rough bark of her stump. Humans would pay for what they did to him. She would never forget the day they did it- the awful roaring at their machine, the shuddering of the forest as his great bulk fell against the earth. His branches were never supposed to touch the ground; they were supposed to wave at the clouds and bathe in the breeze. But his stump was all that was left. She brushed a soft kiss on his inner ring, and left.
She was hungry, and the boy was almost done cooking.