March 30th, 2003
A Rude Awakening - By Shaedehart
Nymphs are beautiful creatures; they come in many shapely sizes. They
are known for their endowments, none of which rise above the neckline.
Quite frankly, one might observe that nymphs have only enough neurons
to propel their lovely legs from mirror to mirror. The nymph itself
resembles a puddle - a beautiful reflection, but not much depth.
The mid-morning sun blazes brightly as burnished copper, glinting off
the surface of tiny pools dotting the forest floor. The remnants of the
morning mist lift lazily, and glistening dewdrops parachute off the
precipices of broad leaves into the pools below, their wake rippling
outward in an ever-widening circle. A cool breeze blows through the trees,
bringing with it the scent of mist and moist earth. It playfully
tosses the hair of Fylaia, a nymph who has come to splash in the water. Her
gauzy tresses whip wildly over her bare bronze body as she trips
merrily over the water's skin.
Only a few hours earlier, she had begged Sylaia, Ryvaera's resident
mage to cast a spell of breathe air on her, so she could see the water
from the top side. Sylaia had balked at first, convinced that Fylaia was
taken with fever. It was only after a thorough examination that Sylaia
finally agreed to cast the spell. She had lectured Fylaia long and
hard about the dangers of the airy region - dragons and tigers and
baenlyrs, oh my! Convinced that Fylaia would not stray too far from the
water, she recited the incantation and shooed the wayward nymph out of her
At first, Fylaia dares not to venture far from the river's edge, but
she is enticed by the rich, earthy smell flowing in from the trees. She
dashes from puddle to puddle, amazed at how light the air feels against
her skin as compared to the water. Thoughts of Ryvaera soon leave her
mind as she is entranced by the sights and smells of the top side, and
she ventures further and further beyond the bank, until Ryvaera is a
mere faint rippling on the wind.
By and by, she catches her reflection and pauses to wave to the pretty
lady she sees on the other side of the ground. Ho, there! It seems
that her newfound friend wants to play copy-cat. She giggles, consumed
by the Narcissistic pleasure held in the glistening images. She
pirouettes and leaps lightly about, trying in vain to outperform her shadow.
Again and again, her friend would match her. Just as she thinks she
has leapt farther, faster, or higher than her companion, her laughing
face appears again in another of the ground's windows. Try as she might,
she can only match her image pace for pace; she can go neither faster
nor slower, leap neither higher nor lower.
This befuddles her little blonde head, not that this keeps her from
playing -- far from it. Nymphs take no time for such befuddlements and
confusions. The simple matter is, her attention has already been drawn
away from her competition and into watching herself dance in the spaces
of the puddles. Her steps become more complex and her amusement
becomes more heightened as she watches her reflection out of the corner of
Suddenly, her attention is fixed by a brilliantly shiny object several
yards away. As she draws closer, entranced, she notices that it seems
to be delicately carved red stone, a perfect perch to gaze at herself
in one of the puddles. Look now, she says to herself. There's even a
little hollow for me to sit in! From a running start, she makes a
grand, flying leap and lands heavily in the center of it, settling to gaze
at her countenance on the water's mirror.
The perch begins to shake, and a rumbling thunder seems to encompass
her. The tinkling bells of her laughter become a mere echo on the wind,
abruptly halting as she is tossed into the air and toasted by the
dragon upon whose nose she has so heavily lit. Her delicate body crisps
nicely in the dragon's scorching heat. Presently, she is crunched and
Sighing deeply, the dragon begins picking what he believes to be a hair
loose from his teeth with one of his talons. Instead, he pulls a
broken silver locket on a delicate chain from behind his right front fang.
A slip of paper flutters from its cavity - her name, Fylaia. A deep,
resonate chuckle rises from within him as he whumps his crimson head
heavily to the forest floor, and he covers his bruised nose with his
sawtooth tail. Fylaia? Sound a lot like filet. In that case, perhaps she
was just born to be my lunch. Appeased, he sleeps. Stupid nymphs.
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