I thought I’d give this another stab. I use it as practice really and to explore things in my head that I can’t quite get out…
Kostromo tumbled through the opening into nothing, the howl of the wolves fading as she fell head over heels into the darkness of the cavern below. With light fading fast she attempted to once more open her wings, and this time she felt them move ever so slightly as she strained.
“Open” she cried, jaw clenched as she tumbled unsure of which way up and which down. Her heart raced, surely she hadn’t escapade the cold earth and the wolves only for it to end like this.
Eyes closed she willed them to again open with all she and this time they burst free from the icy fingers that had held them so tight, and in the blink of an eye she ceased to fall.
On gossamer silver wings she hovered in the middle of the cavern, high above her she could still see the light streaming through the opening she had slipped through. She looked about but everything was so very dark. Looking down she could see a feint ribbon of blue light cutting through the inky blackness. It was hard to tell how far away it was. Was it the Cavern floor?
There was no way she could go back out the way she had came, so slowly she began to float downwards. Occasionally she could just make out cold rock faces here and there and as she descended silently the sliver of blue began to shimmer more brightly and she could hear the feint trickle of water.
It was a river, and as it neared she could see that it glowed with a soft blue light illuminating the area adjacent to where it ran. Small tufts of grass, daffodils and crocus followed its path as it carved it’s way across the cavern floor and silver sprats could be seen swimming in the shallows, larger fish breaking the surface then darting back below the swirling waters.
She alighted gently alongside the river, he wings still beating slowly. The cold seemed to have lessened, and as she stood bathed in the light of the waters she heard a voice.
“Welcome faery” it said. It was an old voice, and familiar.
“Frog King” she exclaimed excitedly “Show yourself”.
From the shimmering waters the largest frog you will ever see emerged, his skin dancing shades of emerald greens and golds and his eyes as blue as the light of the river. He heaved himself onto the bank not far from her, the water cascading from the bumps and lumps of his skin. Kostromo bowed in respect. The frog king was one of the oldest of the woodland kings and was already old beyond memory when she was still a youngling.
“Welcome Kostromo” he said bowing his head in response, “we had all but given up hope of seeing your kind again.”
“Oak awakened me” she said as a dragonfly whizzed past her head.
“Winter has continued unchecked without you Kostromo, and for many many seasons, without your light all of the creatures have suffered.”
“But why was I not awakened?” She asked.
“When you last slept there was an awakening of a darkness that we have not seen before and…” The Frog King paused.
“What is it?” Kostromo pressed.
He looked at her with eyes that were piercing blue like the heart of an ice berg and blinked.
“Your sister was taken Kostromo, she was unable to wake you and so the winter saw no end”
“Taken? By whom?”
“There are things under the heavens, old forces and long forgotten, that have returned child” he answered in his deep croaking voice “creatures from the darkness and another time that few of us still recall and that we had thought vanquished.”
Kostromo stood still, her head spinning as she struggled with the words of The Frog King.
“Where is Lucia” she demanded. “Where is she, I will free her” she insisted.
“Patience fairy” Frog King cautioned “now is not the time for such things, first you must eat and rest. We have much to discuss.”
Photo courtest of Photoparisienne@pixabay