Story Time Sunday #60

If my soul were cut into horecruxes (HP fans get it), one of the pieces would most definitely be this super high fantasy nerd who writes epic adventures about the fae and other creatures of folklore.

In this flash piece, “With Dread and Dree,” I present to you Dourva and her Soulstead, Mieve. Let me know if you enjoy these characters and/or this concept, and if you’d like to hear more stories about this duo.

Happy Sunday!

With Dread and Dree

In the lowest layer of emerald, Dourva sat astride her Soulstead Mieve and waited for the hunters to pass. It was the wisest thing for Elven of her age to do, but her warrior heart stirred to whisper the attack words in Mieve’s furry ear and let his 42 teeth do the rest. After all, the hunters were on forbidden land, land promised long ago to the Elven clan in a binding peace settlement.

Mieve’s neck hairs raised. As a young wolf, he’d never seen humans this close, and the smell of their glands agitated his senses.

How easily humans forget promises made. Elven magic had been bound to the farthest forests on Earth in exchange for the promise of the undisturbed acreage to enjoy their centennial lives in peace.

Dourva, having turned 202, was by no means equipped to understand the intricacies of Elven politics, and in no position to question the rules by which her elders protected all that was theirs, but a few hundred feet from the trespassers, her staff swirled of its own accord.

As the pair of malicious men drew closer, she caught a whiff of tobacco, the dirty filth of flesh, the sour smell of drink. Hunting under the influence; what poor animals would they maim in their stupors?

Crouching as they neared, Mieve shielded himself and his companion from sight, but Dourva’s Elven ears could make out every word and the more they heard, the more her wand danced circles overhead.

She listened in to discover some sense of dignity that would stop her from unleashing her powers, but the trespassers’ words only made her longing worse.

“P.U.! Stepped in something foul there, Floyd. Must be big game in these parts.” The man’s mate lifted his boot, caught one whiff of the moose dung squished into the tread before swatting his hand before his nose.

“Well, Mabel’ll clean my boots. And be happy doing it.” Chuckles, as Floyd spit tar-stained phlegm into a fern patch.

“You got that pretty thing in her place then, eh? Only took you a couple of years.” The man in the plaid swigged from the flask before passing it to his partner. “Gotta train ‘em young.” The man added, cackling like a jackal. “They get old and useless.”

After a drink, Floyd continued. “Thinking of trading up then, George?”

“Nope.” George took his swig. “I think the girl I got still has some miles in her yet.”

At this, Mieve’s rear-end twitched, rustling the nearby branches.
Holding up his hand, George motioned his companion to pause. The silence was instantaneous.

The hunters crouched back-to-back, readied their rifles, and scanned the forest, looking for the source of the sound. After a few minutes, George stood and continued with his bawdy banter.

“I’ve always got my eyes out for another wall hanger.”

Floyd took to the tree closest to Dourva, pulled down his trousers and dousing the young fir with a filthy yellow stream.

Glowing from anger, Dourva’s hand contained a current that, once released, would travel through her staff. The petals at the magical wand’s peak would spread and it would release the venom, seed pods carrying her contempt towards the hunters, filling first their ears, then their eyes, then their noses with a virulent emerald smoke.

The vapor would fill the men with violence, bigotry, and hatred; all the things they themselves had released into the world. Lightning pains would strike at their organs. Elveskud, as it was called, and glowing with the forest’s potency, the trespassers would then turn on themselves filled with dread and dree.

“Mieve, álfur one.” Mieve reared back, ready.

Dourva’s wand thrust into the forest sky; released its venom. She held the wand high. Waited for the forest to fill the trespassers’ lungs before she lowered her staff and set her Soulsteed free to do his part.

For Mieve’s heartbeat perfectly matched her own, a war drum, and in that sense their minds and bodies aligned in purpose–to rip the unwanted visitors limbs from their bodies and watch as the carnivorous forest animals came ‘round to feast on their shredded parts.

There was an art to killing that clearly humans had long ago forgotten.

© 2022 | K.Hartless

7 comments

    • Thank you, Tom. I’m so glad you enjoyed this tale. It was great fun to dive into the Elven world. I like this idea of Soulsteads, or animals that somehow connected to the partners and share a sort of spiritual bond. I’m wondering if there’s more story there. Again, thank you for reading it, and taking the time to leave me a kind note of encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

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