I had the urge to return to this. Let’s have another part shall we.
Through the caves the frog king led Kostromo, following the light of the river as it lead ever downwards. They passed through a small narrowing in the cave wall and she could feel the rock against her skin. It was warm to the touch. The frog king saw her run her hand across the surface.
“By the light of the river and the warmth of the earth have we survived these many years” said the frog king as he hopped alongside Kostromo. “Were it not for this place we would surely have fallen to the darkness long ago.”
The narrowing in the rock wall had lead to another large cavern, the ground flatter than before and the river now wider and throwing up more light into the space. She could not see the ceiling but on both sides were steep craggy walls. She noticed movement as she looked about and as her eyes became accustomed to the light she could make out row upon row of small caves scattered.
“Welcome to our home” the frog King said with a smile.
He hopped down to a small raised area next to the river and croaked loudly, the noise reverberating around the space. Slowly there emerged from the dark caves all manner of creature and they began to make their way slowly to where the Frog King waited.
“So many creatures” she said to herself as she watched them descend and pass her. A wood nymph brushed by her and nodded slowly. Her skin that of a silver birch, slender arms and legs and her hair a mass of dark green tousles.
It seemed all the creatures of the wood were here, magical and non magical alike. From high up the wood sprites fluttered down slowly, their gossamer wings blue from the light of the river. Butterflies, sparrows, larks, dragon flies and all manner of flying creatures filled the air and around her feet there there gathered what seemed to be every creature that had roamed the forest that would have eagerly welcomed her in years gone by.
The magical creatures stayed further back, as if uncertain of her presence. She noticed two squat cave trolls whispering to each other and a dryad looked away as Kostromo tried to catch her gaze.
“People of the forest” boomed the Frog King, his voice echoing throughout the chamber. “We have long waited in the dark and in the cold, resigned to the long winter.”
There was a bustle of chatter and a family of field mice scuttled up the nymph to get a better view. Though the Frog King was speaking Kostromo felt all eyes on her.
“But now, Kostromo has returned once more. There is hope once again that spring may return to the forest.”
The Frog King paused dramatically. At first there was silence, no creature spoke and none moved.
“Spring has returned” shouted the younger of the field mice that had earlier found it’s vantage point in the hair of the nymph. “Kostromo has returned.”
As if released of their fears, a cry of celebration went up from the gathered creatures. The great cavern reverberated with the shouts and calls as they gathered around her and the Frog King.
He looked across at her, his blue eyes shining and smiled.
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